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People's Dictionary of the Bible

Judas

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Judas (jû'das). 1. The son of Jacob, "Judah" in R. V. Matthew 1:2; Matthew 3:2. The faithless apostle who betrayed his master. Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16. He was Simon's son, John 6:71, and is called Iscariot, probably from his birthplace, perhaps from Kerioth in Judah, Joshua 15:25, or from Kartan, or Kartah, in Galilee. Joshua 21:32; Joshua 21:34. Of this man's earlier life we know nothing, nor for what reason he was induced to follow Jesus. Why our Lord appointed Judas an apostle, the sacred narrative does not tell us. Jesus knew and expressed his knowledge of Iscariot's character. John 6:64; John 6:70-71. In calling him our Lord acted only in accordance with the general administration of his kingdom. This is illustrated by one of his parables, Matthew 13:24-30; and it is no more than we continually see,—ungodly men in place and power, both in the world and in the church, with gifts which they abuse and responsibilities which increase their condemnation. It has often been a puzzle to those who did not understand the moral government of God, comp. Psalms 73:1-28; but he will eventually vindicate his wisdom and his justice. Meanwhile valuable lessons of warning and circumspection are taught by the fate of such as have perverted their privileges to their own ruin. Judas maintained a fair character among his fellow-apostles, and was entrusted with the custody of their money, John 12:6; John 13:29; nor do they seem to have suspected him even when our Lord was distinctly warning them that one of their number would betray him. Matthew 26:21-24; John 13:22. This was Judas' question to the priests: "What will ye give me?" Matthew 26:15. Satan espied bis opportunity and took it. Luke 22:8. Probably Judas began to see that he was suspected, and, when the Lord in answer to his hypocritical question, had distinctly told him of his treason, full of additional passion, he went recklessly about his work. Matthew 26:25; John 13:26-30. He was fulfilling prophecy, but was unconscious of it. His own evil heart it was that prompted him; and therefore the guilt of his deed was upon himself. When confronted with the results of his base treachery, he was seized with remorse, returned the bribe, and hanged himself. 3. One described as one of the Lord's brethren, Matthew 13:55, called also Juda. Mark 6:3 A. V. An interesting story is related of his family by Eusebius. The emperor Domitian was alarmed by what he had heard of Messiah's kingdom, and ordered some of the descendants of the house of David to be sought out and brought to him. Those so presented to the emperor were the grandsons of Judas; but the hardness of their hands, proving that they were but ordinary peasants, and their description of the spiritual nature of the new sovereignty, removed all apprehensions. They were let go, and lived on, honored as the Lord's relatives, into the reign of Trajan. 4. A brother of James, and one of the apostles; called also Thaddæus and Lebbæus. Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; John 14:22; Acts 1:13; Matthew 13:55. 5. Judas of Galilee, a leader of an insurrection "in the days of taxing "—i.e., the census—a.d. 6, and who, according to Gamaliel, was very successful for a time, but was ultimately completely defeated. Acts 5:37. We find in Josephus an allusion to a man, who is there said to have been born in the city of Gamala in Gaulanitis, and to have been the founder of a new sect, which did not differ from that of the Pharisees save in a fanatical love of liberty and refusal to support the Roman state. 6. The one whose house in Straight street, Damascus, sheltered Paul during his blindness. Acts 9:11; Acts 9:17. This Judas may have kept an inn; it is unlikely that he was a disciple. 7. Judas, surnamed Barsabas, a "chief man among the brethren," a "prophet," who was chosen along with Paul and Barnabas and Silas to carry the decisions of the council of Jerusalem, a.d. 50, to Antioch. Acts 15:22-33.


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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Judas'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/rpd/j/judas.html. 1893.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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