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Sunday, April 21 2013
Who Is Judah?
Judah was one of the sons of Jacob. He was born during the twenty years that Jacob lived with his Abrahamic relatives in Syria (see The Syrian Marriage Wells), before the LORD changed Jacob's name to "Israel" (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel). Jacob had two wives, his cousins Leah and Rachel, and two concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah, the servants of Leah and Rachel. In total, Judah, a child of Leah, had ten brothers (Benjamin was the only son of Jacob to be born in what became known as the land of Israel; see The Rachel Prophecies) and a sister (Dinah) born along with him in Syria. Judah's full siblings, born of Leah, were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah
"35:23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
Jacob returned to the land of Canaan when Judah was a teenager. At that point, the only "Jew" in existence was Judah himself - "Jew" is merely an abbreviation of the name Judah ("Jude" and "Judas" are other variations). When the time came for him to marry, Judah couldn't marry a "Jewish" girl because none existed yet. Moreover, the only Israelite (a descendant of Israel, formerly known as Jacob) girl in existence at that time was Judah's sister Dinah. So Judah married Canaanite women, from which the first "Jews," the descendants of Judah, were born (see also What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites?).
"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. 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 38:5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him." (Genesis 38:1-5 KJV)
When the oldest son Er had grown to adulthood, Judah found a wife for him - a woman named Tamar, who could not have been a "Jew" either because the only Jews that then existed were Judah's three sons. Tamar was almost certainly a Canaanite woman, just like Judah's wife Shuah. The marriage of Er was brief however: "Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him."
"38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 38:7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him." (Genesis 38:6-7 KJV)
The LORD (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God) put Judah's second-born son Onan to death also (i.e. the LORD killed the first two "Jews" that existed).
"38:8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also." (Genesis 38:8-10 KJV)
Judah then arranged for the widow Tamar to live in her father's home, with the intention that Tamar would eventually marry Judah's youngest son Shelah when he had grown up.
"38:11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house." (Genesis 38:11 KJV)
Later, Judah's wife Shuah died. By that time also, Tamar had lost her tolerance for her widowhood and delayed family situation, so she resorted to a ruse to have children, not through her dead husband's brother, but through her dead husband's father who was then, as a widower, not married - just as Tamar was not married.
"38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
Judah later discovered that Tamar was with child, his child, or as it happened, his twin sons - Pharez and Zarah. It was from the line of Pharez that Jesus Christ was born (Matthew 1:1-3).
"38:24 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.
Fact Finder: (a) When did the tribe of Judah (the descendants of Judah) become the Kingdom of Judah? (b) When did the national religion of Judah begin? (c) Is the nation that is known today as "Israel" actually Judah?
This Day In History, April 21
753 BC: According to the historian Varro, Romulus and Remus founded the city of Rome on this date.
43 BC: Marcus Antonius was defeated by Octavian (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) near Modena, Italy.
1075: Alexander II, (Anselm of Lucca), pope 1061-1073, died. Although elected pope, the German court nominated another man and Alexander was not recognized by the empire until 1064 (see Emperors and Popes).
1509: King Henry VII of England died. His accession to the throne in 1485 ended the Wars of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York.
1526: Mongol Emperor Babur annihilated the Indian army of Ibrahim Lodi.
1689: William III and Mary II were crowned joint king and queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1782: The city of Rattanakosin, now known as Bangkok, was founded on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.
1809: Napoleon's army fought the Austrians at the Battle of Landshut in Germany.
1828: Noah Webster published the first U.S. dictionary (the first English-language dictionary was published in England around 1600, over 200 years before Webster).
1836: Rebel forces under Sam Houston defeated the Mexican army under Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, which led to the Texas secession from Mexico.
1898: Two months after the sinking of the battleship Maine, the U.S. began a naval blockade of Cuba. It almost immediately captured a Spanish merchant vessel, the Buenaventura. The beginning of the Spanish-US War.
1914: The Ypiranga incident. A German arms shipment to Mexico was intercepted by the U.S. Navy near Veracruz.
1918: Manfred von Richthofen, Germany's top fighter ace in the First World War, was killed in action at age 26. Known as the "Red Baron," he shot down 80 (79 British, 1 Belgian) enemy aircraft. The Red Baron was shot down by a Canadian fighter pilot, Captain Roy Brown, over northern France.
1926: Queen Elizabeth II was born in London.
1934: The so-called "Surgeon's Photograph," one of the most famous supposed photographs of the Loch Ness Monster, was published in the Daily Mail. In 1999, the picture was revealed to be a hoax - a toy submarine outfitted with a sea-serpent head.
1965: Sir Edward Appleton died at age 73. The British physicist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1947 for his discovery of the Appleton Layer (which the scientific community named after him) of the ionosphere, which is a dependable reflector of radio waves.
1989: Tens of thousands of students and workers poured into Peking's Tiananmen Square in defiance of official warnings against anti-government protests.
1992: The first discoveries of extrasolar planets were announced by astronomers Alexander Wolszczan and Dale Frail.
1997: The cremated ashes of LSD user and "guru" Timothy Leary (who, amazingly, was a psychologist who witnessed the horrendous damage that LSD did to people's minds) and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry were launched into space in the world's first "space funeral."