Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home


Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and father of the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The name Judah comes from the Hebrew word for gratitude. Leah gave birth to Judah and said "Now I will praise God" (Genesis 30:35) It was his idea to sell his brother Joseph to a Midianite slave trader rather than leave him to die in the pit (Genesis 37:27). He later became the spokesman for his father Jacob and his brothers when they traveled to Egypt during the famine in Canaan. He marries Shua, a Canaanite woman, and has three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. Judah is also involved with Tamar and has twin sons with her named Perez and Zerach.

The tribe of Judah inhabited Jerusalem during the reign of its kings David and Solomon and was later the kingdom of all of the southern tribes of Israel.

Sources: Bridger, David. Ed. The New Jewish Encyclopedia, NY: Behrman House, 1976; Navigating the Bible II