Gen 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Luke 16:15 So He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is praised/prized among men is detestable before God.“
42 times the word Judah is used in the New Testament, but it is translated as Judas more times than Judah or Juda. One needs to understand that in biblical Hebrew and Greek, this name is the very same.
Judah or Judas = “he shall be praised” Ἰουδάς = Ioudas G2455, יהוּדה = yehûdâh H3063
27 times in the NT the word used in Greek for Judah is translated as Judas, because, as I’ve pointed out, they are the same name, one being in Hebrew, the other being its Greek translation.
Mat 1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
Mat 1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
Okay, now that I have all that out of the way, I can get to the heart of the what this article is truly about. There is a divine reason that the name of the person that betrayed Jesus, is the same as the name of the of the son of Israel that sold Joseph into slavery. Judas was one of the 12 chosen by Jesus, just as Judah was one of the 12 sons of Israel.
I’m about to attempt by the grace of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit to break down the scriptural relation between Judah and Judas, their symbolism, their character and the overall message of these two people’s lives for the Body of Christ.
*The praise of “our brethren” is not the same as the praise “of God”. One is motivated by pride, the other is motived by sacrifice and a fervent love for God.*
The 3rd time Judah’s name appears in the scriptures after his birth and birth order listing, is in the 37th chapter of Genesis. This verse is the very first speaking role and appearance of Judah as a man among his brothers in scripture. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in his very first cameo appearance…
Gen 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, “What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?“
Yep, he’s actually talking about monetary profit, and there being none if he and his brothers were to just kill Joseph and conceal their crime. Check out this next line~
Gen 37:27 “Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brethren were content.
*Okay here’s something I want to interject here.
Judas is known for selling the Lord Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. He sold Him to the Jewish chief priests so they could hand Him over to the Romans for execution, because as a fellow Jew they believed “let not our hand be upon him for he is our brother our flesh” just as Judah reasoned with his brothers to sell their little brother Joseph into slavery.
Yeah, it was Judah “the praise of his brothers” Judah that came up with the idea to sell Joseph for monetary profit. Check this out, the 4th and 5th times Judah’s name appears in scripture is in Genesis 38.
Gen 38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
Gen 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite named Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. (Shuah means “wealth” in Hebrew)
The Canaanite woman bore Judah 3 sons, Er, Onan and Shelah.
Judah took a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites even though Abraham and Isaac both were recorded as saying this to their sons:
Gen 24:3 “And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:”
Gen 28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, “Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.”
So by the 3rd mention of Judah in Genesis he is already being described as a not-so savory character, based on the things brought into the scriptural narrative about him. By the 4th and 5th mentions of Judah we can already see:
- He is jealous of his brother Joseph.
2. He talks his brothers into selling their youngest brother Joseph into slavery for profit due to that jealousy.
3. He causes his oldest brother Reuben, (who wasn’t there when the brothers sold Joseph) to share in the sins of his brothers, when they dipped Joseph’s coat in blood and presented it before Israel to cause him to believe Joseph had been mauled and eaten by an animal.
4. He takes a wife of the daughters of Canaan despite the admonitions of his forefathers.
Yeah, I’d say we were all suppose to be keeping our eye on Judah and what his life may mean to us, considering the Savior of the world would have to be born amongst the brethren of Judah, to be a prophet to Judah, to offer deliverance to Judah, to be rejected by Judah, which would open the door to bring about the perfect sacrifice to God, resulting in the invitation for reconciliation for ALL of mankind.
Let me tell you, the mentions concerning Judah and his character don’t get much better, in fact they point out a few more clues about him that need to be brought to light.
In the next verses of Chapter 38 we see that Judah makes a false promise to his daughter-in-law Tamar after his firstborn Er gets struck down by the Lord for his wickedness and then his second born Onan is also struck down for not bearing seed on behalf of his older brother with his widow Tamar.
Judah promised Tamar that if she would remain a widow in her father’s house until his youngest son Shelah came of age, (Gen 38:11) that she would be given in marriage to him. Well time passes and Shelah comes of age and Judah still had not given Tamar to him in marriage. Judah’s wife the Canaanite woman eventually dies and Judah and his friend Hirah the Adullumite, (the guy that hooked him up with his Canaanite wife), go to see the sheepshearers in Timnath for Judah to apparently grieve his loss. Tamar gets word that Judah has gone up to Timnath to shear his sheep so she removes her widows garments and puts on a veil and goes and sits along the road on the way into Timnath.
Gen 38:14 And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
Gen 38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
Gen 38:16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, “Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee;” (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, “What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?”
Gen 38:17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from my flock.
*Okay, just to give clarity on the narrative going on here. Judah has just lost his Canaanite wife, and he goes to Timnath with his buddy Hirah the Adullumite. Samson also looked for a wife among the women in Timnath later on in Scripture, but that is whole other story..
Judges 14:1-2 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
Tamar knowing that Judah was going up to Timnath, possibly looking for a new wife, was led by the Spirit of God to remove her widows garments and cover her identity with a veil to get Judah to fulfill his vow to her concerning her seed. This is how it went down.
Judah sees Tamar on the side of the road at the entrance to the city and thinks she is a harlot and asks to lay with her. Tamar asks Judah what he can offer her as payment if she allows him to lay with her. Judah replies;
Gen 38:17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from my flock.
Do you see the prophetic wording Judah uses here and he doesn’t even realize it? It’s a kid from his flock Tamar wants alright, but it’s not the four legged kind. The rest of verse 17 says Tamar said this:
“Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?”
Gen 38:18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
Signet=chôthâm H2368, representing a name, and the authority that comes with it.
Bracelets=pâthı̂yl H6616, a cord, or thread, that which binds, interweaves or connects together.
Staff=maṭṭeh / maṭṭâh H4294, a branch, a rod or tribe.
So as you can see, there is a lot of spiritual symbolism that is going on in this exchange between Judah and his daughter in law Tamar, whom he thinks is a prostitute.
Gen 38:19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put (back) on the garments of her widowhood.
Gen 38:20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive (back) his *pledge from the woman’s (Tamar’s) hand: but he found her not. *skip ahead 4 verses.
Gen 38:24-26 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, “Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, “By the man, whose these are, am I with child:” and she said, “Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.” And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her (Tamar) again no more.
*So, right here we see that Judah not only admits that Tamar is more righteous than him, but we see WHY she is more righteous than him. The Lord struck down one of his Judah’s own sons, Onan because he wouldn’t give his seed to Tamar on behalf of the firstborn son, and now Judah was withholding his only living son Shelah from taking her as his wife to bear seed. (Shelah means= a petition) And to top it off, his first response to hearing that Tamar had played the harlot and was with child, was to have her burned before the people.
It’s funny how he immediately thought that, considering just 3 months prior he had laid with a harlot and was secretly nervous about no longer being in possession of the things that gave him authority among his brethren, due to paying for laying with a harlot with them.
So the hypocrisy goes deep here in this depiction of Judah for history to remember and take notes concerning. By the way on the topic of saving the seed of Judah; God had a woman save the seed of Judah twice. Tamar and Jehoshabeath. 2 Chron 22:11
If you’re following along, and I pray you are, you’ll see that Judah thus far in scripture has not been painted as a very righteous character, in fact, its been as though the Lord has been building an archetype character in Judah for the overall story of the redemption of mankind. When Jacob/Israel blesses his 12 sons, this is what he says concerning Judah.
Gen 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Gen 49:9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
Gen 49:10 The *sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until *Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.
Scepter= shêbeṭ H7626 rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe.
Shiloh= shı̂ylôh H7886, He whose it is, that which belongs to Him, He whom which it/they belong.
Verse 10 is saying that a rightful king and lawgiver will rise up (Shiloh) and Judah will at that time, no longer hold the *scepter or position of lawgiver. The careful use of the word “until” in Hebrew is actually translated as “up until the time”, so the verse more acutely reads “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, up until the time that Shiloh arrives, then unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”
Verse 11 &12 Jacob continues to say this about Judah: “Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”
So when *Shiloh arrives He will bind Judah’s *foal into the *vine, and his *ass’s colt unto the choice vine.
*It really only makes sense if you understand the symbolism in the words that Jacob uses in this statement.
Binding ‘âsar H631=to tie, bind, imprison, also of obligation of oath (figurative)
Foal ‛ayir H5895=he-ass specifically a male donkey or mule.
Vine gephen H1612= a vine.
Ass ‘âthôn H860= she-ass, specifically a female donkey or mule.
Colt bên H112= son, grandson, child
Choice vine śôrêq / śôrêqâh H8321=choice species of vine, choice grapes.
The verse is talking about how Judah (a foal) was bound/ tied to the bloodline of Abraham (vine) through the colt/son of Tamar (the she-ass), among its most choice grapes. The prophet Zechariah says this exact phrase in Zec 9:9 concerning Judah only King James decided to interpret it different…
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a *colt the *foal of an *ass. (in the original Hebrew it says “a foal, the colt of an ass” interpreted from Hebrew it means a “he-ass the son of a she ass.”)
The rest of verse 11 and into verse 12 Jacob says this also about Judah.
“he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”
It translates as “washing his garments with wine, his clothes in the blood of grapes, eyes dull from wine, and teeth white from milk” It means, although Judah is washed for his future generation, and is clothed in the bloodline of Abraham, he will be dull from wine in his judgments and his teeth white from the benefits of having consumed the best from the land, livestock and it’s people because of those dulled judgments.
In this same chapter we see what Jacob says about Joseph the one Judah and his brothers sold into slavery.
Gen 49:22-26 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
(In Hebrew the same word for “branches” is also the word used for daughters)
You see, in chapter 48 just before Jacob blesses his 12 sons, Jacob blesses the sons of Joseph, and passes the promise of God to Abraham, Isaac and himself, to Ephraim and Manasseh and NOT to the seed of Judah.
1Ch 5:2 “For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:”
The prophet Jeremiah said this about Judah:
Jer 17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;
1Ki 14:22-24 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
2Ki 8:19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
1Ch 9:3 And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh; (they all cohabitated together in Jerusalem and other cities in the region of Judea)
Zec 10:6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.
Even to this very day Judah is STILL the praise among his brethren, and they were the ones that did not recognize the time of their visitation.
Luke 19:44 “They will level you to the ground—you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
Jesus coming to them first as a Lamb, but is Returning to them as a Lion. This isn’t a good thing folks.
Only 144,000 among the seed of the 12 Tribes of Israel are to be marked with the seal of God, and only 12,000 from the Tribe of Judah will be prevented from the judgments of God spoken of in Revelations from overtaking them and killing them. Joseph however has double. He has 12,000 sealed for himself as well as 12,000 for his son Manasseh.
What do you think God wants us to be? The praise of God, or the praise of our brethren?
I’ll leave you with that. I pray this article has stirred you to go deep in study into your Bibles and reflect on the things that I have laid out and highlighted.
God Bless you; Store up Oil for your Lanterns, be free and set free in Jesus Name!