Judah (Hebrew: יְהוּדָה, Modern: Yəhūdah, Tiberian: Yehūḏāh) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Judah. By extension, he is indirectly eponymous of the Kingdom of Judah, the land of Judea and the word Jew.
According to the narrative in Genesis, Judah with Tamar is the patrilinear ancestor of the Davidic line.
The Tribe of Judah figures prominently in the Deuteronomistic history, which most scholars agree was reduced to written form, although subject to exilic and post-exilic alterations and emendations, during the reign of the Judahist reformer Josiah from 641 to 609 BC.
The Hebrew name for Judah, Yehudah (יהודה), literally "thanksgiving" or "praise," is the noun form of the root Y-D-H (ידה), "to thank" or "to praise." His birth is recorded at Gen. 29:35; upon his birth, Leah exclaims, "This time I will praise the LORD/YHWH," with the Hebrew word for "I will praise," odeh (אודה) sharing the same root as Yehudah.
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