Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Judah's birthday?

HISTORY AND LEGEND: This Day in Jewish History 1565 BCE: Judah Is Born, Will Found a Mighty Kingdom. Did Judah really exist? Archaeological evidence is scanty but what there is can support biblical tales of migrations and travails (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).
For all Judah's colorful stories – which include magnanimously orchestrating the sale of Joseph by the jealous brothers to the Egyptians rather than killing him, being anointed leader of the house of Israel by his father Jacob, and having five sons including Ur and Onan – some scholars suspect his existence is a figment of rewritten history, to explain in retrospect why the tribe of Judah became ascendant over the other 11.
That pretty much sums it up for any historical Judah as a person, but there is archaeological evidence for Judah the kingdom and perhaps some indirect information relevant to Judah the tribe. Read it all before the subscription wall comes down.