tribe history appears
JUDAH (1:111'„ Yehrida, i.e., according to the etymology given in Gen. xxix. 35, " praised "), the name of one of the twelve tribes and of their eponymus the fourth son of Jacob by Leah. Except in the history of Joseph, the Biblical interest attaching to Judah belongs not to the individual but to the tribe ; for in Gen. xxxviii. an ethnographical allegory appears transparently enough under the surface of the record. According to the usual form of such statements in the Old Testament, Judah's marriage with the daughter of the Canaanite Shuah is to be referred to a union of the tribe with Canaanite elements. Er and Onan are extinct subdivisions of the mixed population, though a minor family of the former name appears as incorporated with Shelah, the third clan of this branch of the tribe (1 Chron. iv. 21). The details of the disappearance of these ancient stocks are obscure.1 The stocks of Pharez and Zerah are represented as secondary. They are children of Judah and Tamar, but the former is their father in virtue of an extension of the levirate principle. As the author represents Tamer's conduct as justifiable under the circumstances, the narrative must have taken shape before the levirate law assumed the narrower form given in Denteronomy.2 An ingenious explanation of Tamar, Pharez, and Zerah is given by Lagarde, Orientalia, (1880). He identifies Tamar (palm tree) with Plicenicia, and regards Zerah (rr1=Tnht, incligena) as the old Canaanite element of the union which had to yield precedence to the younger Hebrew invaders (Pharez). In any case the narrative of Gen. xxxviii., with all its obscurities, indicates two of the most notable features in the early history of Judah, its mixed character and its long separation from the rest of Israel (ver. 1). The latter point receives further illustration in the book of Judges. Judah and Simeon seem to have broken off from Israel at Gilgal, and taken a separate course. In the song of Deborah the tribe is not named among the rest, and even in the time of David Judah and Israel are still more conscious of their separation than of their original unity. Indeed the two soon fell apart again at the division of the kingdom, but after the time of David the idea of unity was never lost ; and, while the prophets look for a restoration of the realm of the house of Jesse, Dent. xxxiii. 7 (the work of a poet of Ephraim) prays for victory to Judah against his enemies and his ultimate restoration to his people, the greater Israel of the north. The blessing of Jacob, on the other hand, views Judah in the light of the Davidic sovereignty as holding the hegemony over his brethren until the coming of the Messiah.3 Our most detailed information as to the tribal history of Judah is derived from 1 Chron. ii. 1 - iv. 23. It appears that the tribe absorbed a large element of non-Israelite origin, the Hezronites, or, as the Arabs would now say, the leader, original nomads who lied settled down in villages and towns. To these belonged not only the Jerahmeelites but the Calibbites in Hebron and the southern steppes. It appears to have been the incorporation of these elements that raised Judah to the eminent place which it maintained from the time of David. The details of this important piece of history have been analysed by Wellhausen, De gent ibus et familiis ,Incheorum (Gottingen, 1870).