Judah : praise, the fourth son of Jacob by Leah. The name originated in Leah's words of praise to the Lord on account of his birth: "Now will I praise [Heb. odeh] Jehovah, and she called his name Yehudah" (Genesis 29:35).
It was Judah that interposed in behalf of Joseph, so that his life was spared (Genesis 37:26,27). He took a lead in the affairs of the family, and "prevailed above his brethren" (Genesis 43:3-10; 44:14,16-34; 46:28; 1 Chronicles 5:2).
Soon after the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, Judah went to reside at Adullam, where he married a woman of Canaan. (See ONAN, TAMAR.) After the death of his wife Shuah, he returned to his father's house, and there exercised much influence over the patriarch, taking a principal part in the events which led to the whole family at length going down into Egypt. We hear nothing more of him till he received his father's blessing (Genesis 49:8-12).