To many Bible readers, it is well known that Israel had 12 tribes. Genesis 49: 2-28 suggests that these tribes were named after descendants of Jacob, such as Levi, Simeon, Ephraim, Zebulun, and Gad, just to mention a few. But what curious Bible readers want to know is, “which tribe is Jesus from?”
Jesus Christ was from the tribe of Judah, as is implied in the Bible in Hebrews 7:14. For it is evident that Our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. This verse suggests that Jesus was a Judean since, in Jewish culture, a child picked his father’s tribe automatically. Joseph was from Judah, thus implying that Jesus’s tribe was Judean or Judah.
To learn more about what the Bible says about Jesus coming from Judah and why Jesus is described as the lion of the tribe of Judah, continue reading this article.
What does the Bible say about Jesus coming from Judah?
The Bible suggests that Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.” Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to lose. Its seven seals Jesus was a descendant of Judah, Jacob’s son.
King David also belonged to the tribe of Judah and was also a descendant of Judah, son of Jacob. Jacob was the son of Isaac, a descendant of Abraham. Covenant Life Church Pastors suggest that the prophecy of Jesus coming from King David’s lineage was fulfilled by his coming from the tribe of Judah, which is the same tribe King David came from.
If Mary was a Levite, isn’t Jesus also from the tribe of Levi?
Jesus Christ is from the tribe of Judah through Joseph, His earthly father, who was a descendant of King David from the tribe of Judah, as the Bible suggests. Luke 3:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age (as was believed), the son of Joseph, the son of Heli. This verse implies that Jesus was born of Joseph, whom he saw as his earthly father.
According to Jewish law, a man born to a Levite father is a Levite. This implies that a son was of the same tribe as his father. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was a Levite; this is implied when Elizabeth, a cousin of Mary, is married to a Levite priest. Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was one of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Since Mary was married to Joseph, who was not a Levite, it is believed that she and her children were disqualified from the Levite tribe according to the Jewish law reflected in Leviticus 22:12. If the priest’s daughter is married to an outsider, she may not eat the holy offerings. This verse suggests that Jesus could not have been a Levite since a child in Jewish culture took up the father’s tribe.
Why is Jesus described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah?
The description of Jesus as the lion of Judah was symbolic to broaden the Bible reader’s understanding of Jesus, as suggested by many Bible passages. It represented his personality, character, and behaviors, as well as his historical background or origin. Grant Osborne, a New Testament scholar, compares Judah to a young lion growing in strength, capturing prey, and resting in its lair. He regards Jesus as a fearless and powerful leader with great strength, Majesty, and absolute authority over all creation. He celebrates Jesus’ military skill, power, and prowess by comparing him to a young lion in its prime years.
Jesus was gentle and kind, as illustrated in John 1:36, and looking at Jesus as He walked, he said behold the lamb of GOD. Where He is called the lamb of God, but also Ferocious to His enemies as illustrated in Revelation 19:15. Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike all nations. And He will rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
A lion is simply used to symbolize the specific aspects of Jesus’s character, as the Bible uses hundreds of metaphors and images to describe people or events that took place.
Was Jesus a Jew?
Several Bible passages indicate that Jesus was a Jew. However, many people have differing opinions about Jesus’ ethnicity. Luke 3:1-38 paints a clear picture that suggests Mary, Jesus’ mother, was descended from a Jewish family. According to the genealogy, Mary is a direct descendant of David. This is thought to give Jesus the right to be called a Jew.
Luke 2:21-39 implies that Jesus was exposed to Jewish culture from a young age. He was a member of the Jewish tribe of Judah. His parents, Joseph and Mary, were both Jews, and most of the rites of passage that Jesus underwent as a child solidified him as a true Jew. Furthermore, Jesus observed many Jewish feasts and festivals as a child and even as an adult, such as Passover. Jesus also frequently worshiped in synagogues and taught the people using Jewish holy books such as the Tanakh.
This fact is acknowledged by scholar Samuel Ungerleider, who claims that by adhering to Jewish traditions and holidays, Jesus displayed His Jewish identity. Additionally, he points out that the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Jesus was Jewish because it depicts him as a genuine Jew. Later on, however, scholar Samuel claims that since Jews had their own religion, people disowned Jesus as a Jew with the advent of Christianity. However, in reality, Samuel implies that whether or not Jesus adhered to Jewish tradition or embraced Christianity, He was still a Jew.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.