Judah, Tribe of

The Jewish nation emerged from the 12 sons of Jacob, with the descendants tracing their lineage back to their origins – Judah, in this case.

After the death of Saul the tribe of Judah crowned David King (2 Sam 2:4).  This was 7½ years before the other tribes recognised and gave allegiance to his kingship. David ruled over all Israel from 1003 BC until his death some 33 years later. In 930 BC Israel split into two kingdoms – the Northern kingdom (or Israel) consisting of 10 tribes while the Southern kingdom (or Judah) became the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The territory they occupied was also called Judea and the temple was established there.

Jacob prophesied that Judah would be as a lion, which typifies authority, power and victory (Gen 49:9). Jesus, whose ancestry is associated with this family line, is called the lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5).

See also: Israel, Judah, Judea, Southern Kingdom, tribe/tribes.