What is the…
Tribe of Judah
Also see: What is the Kingdom of Judah?
Judah and his three surviving sons went down with their father Jacob into Egypt (Genesis 46:12; Exodus 1:2). At the time of the Exodus, when we meet with the family of Judah again, they have increased to the number of 74,000 males (Numbers 1:26-27). Its number increased in the wilderness (Num. 26:22). Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, represented the tribe as one of the spies (Num. 13:6; 34:19).
Under Caleb, during the wars of conquest, they conquered that portion of the country which was afterwards assigned to them as their inheritance. This was the only case in which any tribe had its inheritance thus determined (Joshua 14:6-15; 15:13-19).
The inheritance of the tribe of Judah was at first fully one-third of the whole country west of Jordan, in all about 2,300 square miles (Joshua 15). But there was a second distribution, when Simeon received an allotment, about 1,000 square miles, out of the portion of Judah (Joshua 19:9). That which remained to Judah was still very large in proportion to the inheritance of the other tribes. The boundaries of the territory are described in Joshua 15:20-63.
Map of the territory of the Tribe of Judah
This map shows the approximate location and boundaries of the 12 Israelite tribes, based on records in the Book of Joshua. This, and more, was The Promised Land given by God to the descendants of Israel, the grandson of Abraham. The full extent of the Canaanite land promised was never acquired, due to the repeated disobedience of the Israelites during the their commanded conquest of this very idolatrous, heathen land, after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt and the following 40 years of Divine punishment wandering in the wilderness, before Joshua and the living descendants were allowed to enter the land, following the death of Moses.
The territory given to Judah was divided into four sections.
The south (Hebrew: negeb), the undulating pasture-ground between the hills and the desert to the south (Joshua 15:21.) This extent of pasture-land became famous as the favorite camping-ground of the old patriarchs.
The “valley” (15:33) or lowland (Hebrew: shephelah), a broad strip lying between the central highlands and the Mediterranean. This tract was the garden as well as the granary of the tribe.
There were 38 towns in this district (Joshua 15:48-60).
The “wilderness,” the sunken district next the Dead Sea (Joshua 15:61), “averaging 10 miles in breadth, a wild, barren, uninhabitable region, fit only to afford scanty pasturage for sheep and goats, and a secure home for leopards, bears, wild goats, and outlaws” (1 Samuel 17:34; 22:1; Mark 1:13). It was divided into the “wilderness of En-gedi” (1 Samuel 24:1), the “wilderness of Judah” (Judges 1:16; Matthew 3:1), between the Hebron mountain range and the Dead Sea, the “wilderness of Maon” (1 Samuel 23:24). It contained only six cities.
List of cities
These are some of Judah’s cities (in alphabetical order).
- City of Salt
- Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor)
- Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron)
- Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim)
- Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir)
Prophecy in the book of Revelation
Revelation 7:4–8 mentions that people from the 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed by an angel of God. Godly descendants of Judah will be a part of the 144-thousand Israelite evangelists for Christ during The Great Tribulation.
of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
of tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
- Who is Judah?
- Who is Juda?
- Kingdom of Judah
- Tribes of Israel