For those that have noticed I have seemed to neglect the Tribe of Judah until now.
In the Song of Deborah Judah (as well as Levi and Simeon) did not exist.
Levi was previously explained as joined priests of Egypt to the house of 'Aaron'.
Simeon will be dealt with in a later chapter on Hezekiah.
Judah of course deserves special treatment.
The two early texts that mention Judah are the Blessing of Moses (Dt. 33) and the Blessing of Jacob. (Gen. 49)
I believe the blessing of Moses was written in the early 700s BCE in Israel. The Blessing of Jacob was likely Judean written as a retraction to the former in the late 700s.
I will deal with both these texts when we come to them chronologically but for now lets see what they tell us about Judah.
33:7This is for Judah. He said,
“Hear, Yahweh, the voice of Judah.
Bring him in to his people.
With his hands he contended for himself.
You shall be a help against his adversaries.”
Judah seems to be a nobody. Simply a helper.
49:8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the neck of your
enemies.Your father’s sons will bow down before
49:9Judah is a lion’s cub.
From the prey,my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down, he crouched as a lion,
as a lioness.
Who will rouse him up?
49:10The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff frombetween his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs.
To him will the obedience of the peoples
49:11Binding his foal to the vine,
his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;
he has washed his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
49:12His eyes will be red with wine,
his teeth white with milk.
This text is a retraction to the Blessing of Moses and potrays Judah as the best rularship ever. However a quick glance at Dt 33 again is SHOCKING!
33:22Of Dan he said,
“Dan is a lion’s cub
that leaps out of Bashan.”
A lion cub?
Why did the Judeans use a line ascribed to Dan?
The Judean text (Blessing of Jacob) says about Dan:
49:16“Dan will judge his people,
as one of the tribes of Israel.
49:17Dan will be a serpent in the way,
an adder in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
so that his rider falls backward.
We previously noted that the Danites were a sea people that landed in Israel. (Denyens)
Why is Judah getting the same blessing as Dan had previously and more important why is Dan portrayed as a highwaymen?
The answer might be in a boring list contained in the book of Joshua. According to Joshua the Danites lived by the sea. (Already established) and later moved out and conquered a city in the far north.
What is more curious though is that the location borders Judah to the west. A territory later ascribed to the Sea people (Philistines)
Putting this all together we see a slow picture:
1. Denyan(Danites) land on the coast of Israel in both the north and south.
2. In the North they will later conquer Laish and form the city of Dan.
3. In the South they will either become or more likely intigrate into Philistine tribes.
4. In the 1000-900 BCE period they move to the highlands. The form a new tribe. 'The Lauders' (Judah)under a rular named Asa
5. Local Cheiftians are established with the neighbouring Jebusites in Jerusalem and other smaller tribes by 870 BCE under a rular who was likely named Jehoshaphat in later years (assuming he shared Yahweh worship )
6. Ahab, while in war with the Syrians sees advantage in marrying his daughter to this Dynesty the son of Jehosaphat, Jehoram.
From this point on this provance of the Omrites would become known by a new name. 'House of the Beloved'.
The next chapter will deal with this marriage and origins of the so-called House of David.