Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
The fourth son of Jacob, by Leah. The name more properly is Jehudah. And Leah his mother made this remarkable observation on his birth, she said: "Now I praise the Lord:" therefore, that is, on that account, she called his name Jehudah, that is, (as the margin of the Bible renders it) praise. (Genesis 29:35) And this name is a plain compound (as Mr. Parkhurst observes) of Jah, the Lord; and hudah, to convess. Now then, if we turn to the prophetical expressions of the dying partiarach Jacob, (Genesis 49:8) concerning Judah, we shall arrive at the full sense of both passages, Leah's, and her husband's. "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise." This reading doth not convey to us the expression as strongly though the sense is the same, as by reading it thus: Thou, Judah, thy brethren shall (confessor,) or praise, (as Jehudah;) "thy father's children shall bow down to thee:" that is, they shall acknowledge thee to be the Jeehudah, and as such shall bow down to thee.
And this forms a beautiful correspondence to what the apostle, in the gospel-church, in after ages, was commissioned, by the same Holy Spirit that moved the patriarch, (2 Peter 1:1-21; 2Pe 3:18) to tell the people of the Lord Jesus, who sprang out of Judah after the flesh, and was, and is the Jehudah of his people- "who being (saith the apostle) in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:6-11)
While I am speaking, of Judah, under this one view of him in this memorable prophecy, it may not be amiss to consider him also in another. The same prophetic spirit that was in Jacob, leading him to the acknowledgment of Judah under one character typical of the Messiah, prompted him to speak of him under another. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." (Genesis 49:10) The Jews themselves, however unintentionally and unconsciously, confirmed the certainty that this Scripture referred to the Lord Jesus Christ under a double evidence. For when in the hall of Pilate Jesus stood before the Governor, and the Governor asked him, saying, "Art thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus acknowledged it, and said unto him, Thou sayest. (Matthew 17:11) But soon after, when to the cry of the Jews for Christ's crucifixion, Pilate said, "Shall I crucify your king?" the chief priests answered, "We have no king but CÃ¦sar." Here was a confirmation to the one part of Jacob's dying prophecy, that the Shiloh should not come until the sceptre was departed from Judah-the chief priests confessed that that sceptre was departed, for they acknowledged that they had then no king but CÃ¦sar; and, therefore, the Shiloh was come. The other testimony, and from their own lips, also became equally strong. Jacob said, that a lawgiver should not depart from between his feet until Shiloh came; and this law they proved did remain, for they contended with Pilate to enforce that law, for supposed blasphemy in the person of Christ. Take ye him, and crucify him said Pilate, for I find no fault in him. They then made this memorable answer: "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." Thus confirming the other prediction of the patriarch, that the lawgiver was not gone from between the feet of Judah until the Shiloh was come, to whom the whole referred. Two such striking evidences, and from the Jews themselves, on this important subject, never surely could have been expected; and now obtained, could only have been brought to pass by the overruling power and ordination of the Lord.
The reader will, I hope, indulge me with one observation more concerning Judah, in respect to this memorable prophecy of his father Jacob; because I humbly conceive it is important, and every thing connected with our Lord Jesus cannot fail of being interesting to his people. It is well known that the word Shebeth, which is translated, (Genesis 49:10) sceptre, and signifies a powerful kingly office, is the same word which, (Judges 5:14) is translated pen. Out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulon they that handle the Shebeth of the Scribes. Now it is evident, from the use of the Shebeth upon both occasions, (Genesis 49:10 and Judges 5:14) the one speaking of the office of a king, and the other of the scribe, that without violence to the expressions in either case, and in reference to the glorious person typified, his ruling the sceptre, or writing with his pen, conveys the idea of equal offices. The governors of Machir, and the pen of the writer of Zebulon, are put in parallel rank of equal dignity and importance. Hence, therefore, why may not the Shebeth of our Almighty Jehudah be supposed to convey an idea of his taking down the names of his people, whose names we know are "written in the Lamb's book of life?" (Revelation 21:27) Who but him wrote those names in the book of life? Is not Jesus described, and by himself under the spirit of prophecy, as having "a tongue as the pen of a ready writer?" (Psalms 45:1) And if a tongue to speak, why not the hand to write of the things touching himself? Moreover, if none but Jesus was found worthy "to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof," which was seen by John in the hand of him that sat on the throne, who but him could be worthy to write the records in it? (Revelation 5:1-10)
I beg the reader to observe, that I desire to deliver these sentiments, on a subject so necessarily sublime and mysterious, with the most profound awe and reverence. I would be always understood on these deep things as rather inquiring than deciding, rather desiring to be taught than to teach; but I cannot but think, that such views of the Lord Jesus are very sweet and interesting, and tend, under the Holy Ghost's guidings, to endear Christ to the heart, when we behold him thus typically represented in so many engaging services for his people. And surely, as it is said of Christ in one blessed Scripture, that the names of his people are all "written in the book of life," (Revelation 20:15) and in another he bids his people to "rejoice that their names are written there," (Luke 10:20) as when considering himself the shepherd of his flock, and his people the sheep of his fold, he saith that "he calleth them all by name, and leadeth them out," (John 10:3) and as the whole flocks of the mountains and of the vale, and of the cities of Benjamin, Jerusalem, and Judah, shall all pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, (Jeremiah 33:13) surely it is not stretching the Scripture to say, that the Shebeth of Jehudah is as eminently descriptive of the greatness of his character, when speaking of this use of it, in writing, as in ruling, for sovereignty is implied in both, And the poor feeble hand that is now writing these lines, (earnestly begging forgiveness if he errs in the matter) cannot conclude this article without first saying, (and will not the reader for himself also join the petition?) Oh, that the almighty Jehudah may have graciously exercised the Shebeth of his power, and written my poor name, worthless as it is, among the millions he hath marked down in the book of life! Amen.
The land of Judah. When this is named in Scripture, as distinguished from Israel, it is meant thereby to denote that the kingdoms were divided. The kingdom of the ten tribes, or Samaria, was distinct from Judah. It formed a divided character concerning Judah, that this kingdom retained a reverence for the true religion, and the priesthood, and the law, at a time when the ten tribes were following idolatry. It were needless to remark after what was said before concerning Judah, that the name means, the praise of the Lord.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Judah'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/pmd/j/judah.html. London. 1828.