January 22, 2016
Judah, the fourth son of Jacob’s twelve, now acts as spokesman. This is an early indication of Judah’s rise to leadership. Reuben, the eldest, lost his birthright through sexual misconduct with Jacob’s concubine Bilhah (Gen. 35:22), and the bloody revenge taken by Simeon (son #2) and Levi (son #3) following the rape of Dinah (Gen. 34), led to Jacob’s curse over them (Gen. 49). Judah, who had been against killing Joseph, now offers himself as ransom for his brother, Benjamin (Gen. 44:33). Even though Joseph is their rescuer during this time of famine, Judah is the brother whom Jacob later blesses as the “lion’s cub” and the one to whom the “scepter shall not depart,” speaking of his later kingship (Gen.49). Judah is the tribe to which King David and King Jesus are born.