The Info List - Tribe Of Judah

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According to the Hebrew Bible , the TRIBE OF JUDAH (Hebrew : שבט יְהוּדָה, Modern _Shevet Yehuda_, Tiberian _Shevaṭ Yəhûḏā_; "Praise") was one of the twelve Tribes of Israel .


* 1 Biblical account * 2 Territory and main cities * 3 Origin * 4 Character * 5 Fate * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links


The Tribe of Judah
Tribe of Judah
(Yehudah), its conquests, and the centrality of its capital in Jerusalem
for the worship of the god Yahweh
figure prominently in the Deuteronomistic history , encompassing the books of Deuteronomy
through II Kings , which most scholars agree was reduced to written form, although subject to exilic and post-exilic alterations and emendations, during the reign of the Judahist reformer Josiah
from 641–609 BCE.

According to the account in the Book of Joshua , following a partial conquest of Canaan
by the Israelite
tribes (the Jebusites still held Jerusalem
), Joshua
allocated the land among the twelve tribes. Judah's divinely ordained portion is described in Joshua
15 as encompassing most of the southern portion of the Land of Israel , including the Negev
, the Wilderness of Zin and Jerusalem. However, the consensus of modern scholars is that the conquest of Joshua
as described in the Book of Joshua never occurred.

In the opening words of the Book of Judges , following the death of Joshua
, the Israelites
"asked the Lord" which tribe should be first to go to occupy its allotted territory, and the tribe of Judah was identified as the first tribe. According to the narrative in the Book of Judges, the tribe of Judah invited the tribe of Simeon to fight with them in alliance to secure each of their allotted territories. As is the case with Joshua, many scholars do not believe that the book of Judges contains reliable history.

The Book of Samuel describes God's repudiation of a monarchic line arising from the northern Tribe of Benjamin due to the sinfulness of King Saul , which was then bestowed onto the Tribe of Judah
Tribe of Judah
for all time in the person of King David
King David
. In Samuel's account, after the death of Saul, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, while Judah chose David
as its king. However, after the death of Ish-bosheth , Saul's son and successor to the throne of Israel, all the other Israelite
tribes made David, who was then the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel. The Book of Kings follows the expansion and unparalleled glory of the United Monarchy under King Solomon
King Solomon
. A majority of scholars believe that the accounts concerning David
and Solomon's territory in the "united monarchy" are exaggerated, and a minority believe that the "united monarchy" never existed at all.

On the accession of Rehoboam , Solomon
's son, in c. 930 BCE, the ten northern tribes under the leadership of Jeroboam from the Tribe of Ephraim split from the House of David
to create the Northern Kingdom in Samaria
. The Book of Kings is uncompromising in its low opinion of its larger and richer neighbor to the north, and understands its conquest by Assyria
in 722 BCE as divine retribution for the Kingdom's return to idolatry.

The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the House of David. These tribes formed the Kingdom of Judah , which existed until Judah was conquered by Babylon
in c. 586 BCE and the population deported.

When the Jews
returned from Babylonian exile , residual tribal affiliations were abandoned, probably because of the impossibility of reestablishing previous tribal land holdings. However, the special religious roles decreed for the Levis and Kohanim were preserved, but Jerusalem
became the sole place of worship and sacrifice among the returning exiles, northerners and southerners alike.


The Valley of Elah, near Adullam, in the territorial boundary of Judah

According to the biblical account, at its height, the Tribe of Judah was the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Judah , and occupied most of the territory of the kingdom, except for a small region in the north east occupied by Benjamin , and an enclave towards the south west which was occupied by Simeon . Bethlehem
and Hebron were initially the main cities within the territory of the tribe. The lion is the symbol of the Tribe of Judah. It is often represented in Jewish art , such as this sculpture outside a synagogue

The size of the territory of the tribe of Judah meant that in practice it had four distinct regions:

* The Negev
(Hebrew: _south_) – the southern portion of the land, which was highly suitable for pasture * The Shephelah (Hebrew: _lowland_) – the coastal region, between the highlands and the Mediterranean
sea, which was used for agriculture , in particular for grains . * The _wilderness_ – the barren region immediately next to the Dead Sea , and below sea level ; it was wild, and barely inhabitable, to the extent that animals and people which were made unwelcome elsewhere, such as bears , leopards , and outlaws , made it their home. In biblical times, this region was further subdivided into three sections – the _wilderness of En Gedi _, the _wilderness of Judah_, and the _wilderness of Maon _. * The _hill country_ – the elevated plateau situated between the Shephelah and the _wilderness_, with rocky slopes but very fertile soil. This region was used for the production of grain, olives , grapes , and other fruit, and hence produced oil and wine .


According to the Torah
, the tribe consisted of descendants of Judah , the fourth son of Jacob
and of Leah . Some Biblical scholars view this as an etiological myth created in hindsight to explain the tribe's name and connect it to the other tribes in the Israelite confederation. With Leah as a matriarch, Biblical scholars regard the tribe as having been believed by the text's authors to have been part of the original Israelite

Like the other tribes of the kingdom of Judah, the tribe of Judah is entirely absent from the ancient Song of Deborah
Song of Deborah
, rather than present but described as unwilling to assist in the battle between Israelites and their enemy. Traditionally, this has been explained as being due to the southern kingdom being too _far away_ to be involved in the battle, but Israel Finkelstein et al. claim the alternative explanation that the southern kingdom was simply an insignificant rural backwater at the time the poem was written.


As depicted by the Deuteronomists and post-exilic writers, the tribe of Judah was the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Judah. David
and the royal line belonged to the tribe, and the line continued even after the fall of the Kingdom of Judah in the Exilarchs . The traditional Jewish belief is that the (Jewish) Messiah will be of the Davidic line, based on the LORD's promise to David
of an everlasting throne for his offspring ( Isaiah
9:6–7, Jeremiah 33:15-21, 2 Samuel 7:12–16, Psalms 89:35–37).

Indeed, many of the Jewish leaders and prophets of the Hebrew Bible claimed membership in the tribe of Judah. For example, the literary prophets Isaiah
, Amos , Habakkuk , Joel , Micah , Obadiah , Zechariah , and Zephaniah
, all belonged to the tribe. Later, during the Babylonian Exile , the Exilarchs (officially recognised community leaders) claimed Davidic lineage, and when the Exile ended, Zerubbabel (the leader of the first Jews
to return to Yehud province ) was also said to be of the Davidic line, as were Shealtiel (a somewhat mysterious figure) and Nehemiah
(one of the earliest and most prominent Achamenid -appointed governors of Yehud). In the time of Roman rule , all the holders of the office of Nasi (_prince_) after Shemaiah , claimed Davidic lineage, through Hillel , who was rumoured to have maternal lineage from the Davidic line.

In Matthew 1:1–6 and Luke 3:31–34 of the New Testament, Jesus
is described as a member of the tribe of Judah by lineage . Revelation 5:5 also mentions an apocalyptic vision of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.


The Lion of Judah
Lion of Judah
on the municipal emblem of Jerusalem

As part of the kingdom of Judah, the tribe of Judah survived the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians , and instead was subjected to the Babylonian captivity ; when the captivity ended, the distinction between the tribes were lost in favour of a common identity. Since Simeon and Benjamin had been very much the junior partners in the Kingdom of Judah, it was Judah that gave its name to the identity—that of the _ Jews

After the fall of Jerusalem, Babylonia
(modern day Iraq), would become the focus of Jewish life for 1000 years. The first Jewish communities in Babylonia
started with the exile of the Tribe of Judah to Babylon
by Jehoiachin in 597 BCE as well as after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem
in 586 BCE. Many more Jews
migrated to Babylon
in AD 135 after the Bar Kokhba revolt and in the centuries after.

's traditions, recorded and elaborated in a 13th-century treatise, the " Kebre Negest ", assert descent from a retinue of Israelites
who returned with the Queen of Sheba
Queen of Sheba
from her visit to King Solomon
in Jerusalem
, by whom she had conceived the Solomonic dynasty's founder, Menelik I . Both Christian and Jewish Ethiopian tradition has it that these immigrants were mostly of the Tribes of Dan and Judah; hence the Ge\'ez motto _Mo`a 'Anbessa Ze'imnegede Yihuda_ ("The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Tribe of Judah
has conquered"), one of many names for Jesus
of Nazareth. The phrase "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has conquered" is also found in the Book of Revelation .


* History of ancient Israel and Judah


* ^ Finkelstein, Israel (2002). _The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology\'s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts_. Simon & Schuster. pp. 369–373. * ^ Kitchen, Kenneth A. (2003), _On the Reliability of the Old Testament_ (Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) (ISBN 0-8028-4960-1 ) * ^ “Besides the rejection of the Albrightian ‘conquest' model, the general consensus among OT scholars is that the Book of Joshua has no value in the historical reconstruction. They see the book as an ideological retrojection from a later period — either as early as the reign of Josiah
or as late as the Hasmonean period.” K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (1 October 2004). "Early Israel in Recent Biblical Scholarship". In David
W. Baker; Bill T. Arnold. _The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches_. Baker Academic. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-8010-2871-7 . * ^ ”It behooves us to ask, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming consensus of modern scholarship is that Joshua
is a pious fiction composed by the deuteronomistic school, how does and how has the Jewish community dealt with these foundational narratives, saturated as they are with acts of violence against others?" Carl S. Ehrlich (1999). "Joshua, Judaism and Genocide". _Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: Biblical, Rabbinical, and Medieval Studies_. BRILL. p. 117. ISBN 90-04-11554-4 . * ^ ”Recent decades, for example, have seen a remarkable reevaluation of evidence concerning the conquest of the land of Canaan by Joshua. As more sites have been excavated, there has been a growing consensus that the main story of Joshua, that of a speedy and complete conquest (e.g. Josh. 11.23: 'Thus Joshua