Judah (jōˈdə) [key]. 1 In the Bible he is the fourth son of Jacob and Leah and the eponymous ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. In the Book of Genesis, Judah emerges as a leader. With Reuben he interceded for Joseph's life, and he was the spokesman for his brothers before Joseph in Egypt. In the exodus his tribe was in the lead, and it settled in the rich land of S Palestine, extending from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean, according to scripture. Within its borders was Jerusalem. It gave its name to the Kingdom of Judah. The royal and Messianic family of David was of the tribe of Judah. 2 In the Book of Nehemiah, a Levitical family. 3 In the Book of Ezra, a Levite. 4 In Nehemiah, an overseer. 5 In Nehemiah, a priest's son. 6 The same as Hodaviah
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