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Biblical People
Judas, KJV twice Juda. [Gr. Ioudas, a transliteration of the Heb. Yehudah, "Judah," "let Him (God) be praised," a common Jewish name, especially since the days of the patriot Judas Maccabeus, liberator of the Jews from the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164/63 b.c.).]

1. A pre-exilic Judahite appearing in Luke's genealogy of Jesus (Lk 3:30).

2. For Mt 1:2, 3, KJV, see Judah, 1.

3. Judas the Galilean, who led a revolt about a.d. 7 when Quirinius, the Roman governor of Syria, to which Judea had been attached the year before, and Coponius, the 1st Roman procurator of Judea, sought, for the first time, to impose a direct Roman tax upon the Jews (Acts 5:37). Josephus repeatedly mentions Judas and his revolt (Ant. xviii. 1.6; 6; xx. 5. 2; War ii. 8. 1; 18. 8; vii. 8. 1). Judas forbade the payment of taxes to of the Romans, on the basis that the Jews were God's chosen people and that God had given them the land of Canaan. No foreign power, he contended, had the right to levy taxes upon them, and submission to taxation was no better than slavery. Josephus describes the revolt as a religious war. Judas and his followers were affiliated with the Pharisees, and though the movement failed and its leader was killed, there grew out of it the sect or party of the Zealots. The Zealots are probably to be identified with the Sicarii, or "daggermen," who were chiefly responsible for provoking the Jewish war of a.d. 66-73 that led to the destruction of Jerusalem, the burning of the Temple, and the annihilation of the Jewish nation.

4. Judas Iscariot, a son of Simon Iscariot (Jn 6:71 RSV; cf. ch 13:2, 26), and the disciple who betrayed Jesus. The surname Iscariot distinguishes him from another of the Twelve, Judas the son of James (Lk 6:16; Jn 14:22). The name Iscariot is thought to come from the Heb. Iïsh Qeréyoth, "man of Kerioth," a city of southern Judah between Beer-sheba and the Dead Sea. The surname probably indicates that Judas was a native of Judea, and if so, the only one of the Twelve not a Galilean. The first mention of Judas is his appointment to be one of the Twelve (Mk 3:19). He may have become a follower of Jesus during the Judean ministry. Apparently a man of some executive ability, Judas became treasurer for the disciples (ch 13:29). That he was not strictly honest in his handling of the common fund is evident from the fact that John calls him a thief (ch 12:6). The seeming deference with which the other disciples treated Judas suggests that they admired him and respected his ability. Approximately 1 year before the betrayal, Jesus foretold that one of the Twelve, whom He did not name, would betray Him (ch 6:70, 71). Jesus' mild but direct rebuke to Judas at the feast at Simon's house, the day preceding the Triumphal Entry (see ch 12:12), on account of Judas' protest that the price of Mary's expensive ointment might better have been entrusted to him— "and given to the poor" (Mt 26:6-13; cf. Jn 12:1-8)—was apparently Judas' excuse from for making his first contact with the high priests. He found them assembled together at the house of Caiaphas, deliberating on what procedure they might take to dispose of Jesus (Mt 26:1-5, 14-16). The "thirty pieces of silver" (v 15), namely 30 shekels, for which Judas conspired to betray his Lord, the traditional price of a slave (see Ex 21:32). At the Last Supper, Jesus gradually revealed to Judas that He knew all about Judas' plot to betray Him. As He washed the disciples' feet Jesus said, "Ye are clean, but not all" (Jn 13:10). Judas must have surmised that Jesus referred to him, but the other disciples had no way of knowing to whom of their number Jesus referred. A little later, Jesus made it plain that the betrayer was present in the room, quoting Ps 41:9 cryptically: "He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me" (Jn 13:18). When Jesus said, "One of you shall betray me" (Mt 26:21), He spoke in literal terms that could not be misunderstood. A few moments later, Jesus identified the betrayer as the one "that dippeth his hand with me in the dish" (v 23). Finally Judas inquired directly, "Master, is it I?" and Jesus replied, "Thou hast said" (v 25). Immediately, the betrayer left the upper room, with Jesus' final admonition ringing in his ears, "‘What you are going to do, do quickly'" (Jn 13:27, RSV). Ever since his first offer to betray Jesus, Judas had been seeking a favourable occasion on which to carry out his perfidious bargain (see Mt 26:16). Doubtless reasoning that with Jesus now inside the city it would be relatively easy for the priests to apprehend Him, Judas went directly from the Last Supper to the Jewish leaders and made final arrangements for the traitorous act. Judas was probably not far away during the trials before the Sanhedrin. When Jesus submitted to the death sentence, he publicly confessed his traitorous act and returned the 30 pieces of silver (ch 27:3, 4), an act that doubtless embarrassed the Jewish leaders greatly. Later, he committed suicide, and the betrayal money was spent for a potter's field (Mt 27:5-10; Acts 1:18, 19).

5. One of the Twelve, a son of James, carefully distinguished from Judas Iscariot (Jn 14:22). He is doubtless to be identified with Lebbaeus Thaddaeus [Gr. Lebbaios Thaddaios] (Mt 10:3; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:16; Acts 1:13).

6. A brother of Jesus (Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3), commonly identified as the author of the Epistle of Jude (Jude 1; cf. v 17). See Jude, Epistle of.

7. A Jew of Damascus, with whom Paul lodged for a time after his conversion (Acts 9:10, 11).

8. Judas Barsabbas, a leader in the church at Jerusalem who, with Silas, was appointed to accompany Barnabas and Paul to Antioch with the letter announcing the decision of the Jerusalem Council respecting Gentile converts (Acts 15:22, 27, 32). He had the prophetic gift and engaged in public ministry (v 32) -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.

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