Why did our Lord Jesus arise from the
tribe of Judah?
Question: Why was the tribe of Judah chosen over the others for Jesus earthly
Response: The book of Hebrews actually uses this
very issue to make a point of the fact that in coming from the tribe of
Judah our Lord's new high-priesthood signals a change from the Old to
the New Covenant, since of course in accordance with the Mosaic Law all
prior priests came from the tribe of Levi (see especially Heb. chap.
7-8). One important reason in the selection of the tribe of Judah for
our Lord's genealogy is the membership of David in that tribe. Jesus, of
course, is David's greater Son, and in the mentions of our Lord's
lineage it is usually His descent from David that is the point which is
emphasized rather His tribal affiliation per se (e.g., Matt.1:1; 9:27;
22:42; Lk.1:32; 1:69; Rom.1:3; 2Tim.2:8; Rev.22:16; cf. also Rev.5:5
where "from the tribe of Judah" is immediately reinforced by "[from] the
root of David"). For Jesus is the "Son of David", the One who fulfills
the covenant to that great believer wherein he was promised a Son who
would reign forever, the Branch who would spring from his root, namely,
the Messiah (cf. 2Sam.7:12-16; Is.9:6-7; Jer.23:5-6).
The first and technical reason for Jesus' descent from Judah is the
important fact that Jesus is THE "First-born" unique and only Son of the
Father (Rom.8:29; Col.1:15; 1:18; Heb.1:6; Rev.1:5; cf. Jn.1:14; 1:18;
3:16 3:18; 1Jn.4:9), and Judah is the tribe of the first-born - by
assignment. For although Reuben was technically Jacob's first-born son,
he forfeited the double-portion rights of inheritance that would
otherwise have accrued thereto through misconduct - and he lost them to
Judah (cf. Gen.49:3-4; 1Chron.5:1). It is for this that reason the
"ruler's scepter" belongs to Judah (Gen.49:10; cf. Num.24:17), who ever
after receives the privileges of the first-born. While we are not
specifically told why it is that Simeon and Levi, Judah's older
brothers, were disqualified from taking Reuben's place, it no doubt has
to do with the incident in Genesis chapter 34 (compare especially
Gen.34:30 with Gen.49:5-7).
Just as the three brothers ahead of Judah were disqualified for
misconduct, so we have a reverse parallel in the case of David who was
promoted for extraordinary conduct (specifically, his exceptional love
for the Lord). David, of course, was the youngest of the sons of Jesse,
and yet because of his heart for God and his dedication to the Lord
which put all of his brethren in the shade, he was exalted as no one
before him, becoming, in effect, the first-born (for God looks on the
heart: 1Sam.16:7). So on this point of "primogenitor", it is important
to remember that God is not only capable of but also inclined to exalt
the humble and humble the proud, considering the true "first-born" to be
him or her who puts the Lord first in their hearts, demonstrating that
faith and dedication in lives of faithfulness. For it is only in
carrying our crosses daily in this way that we emulate Him who is the
Firstborn of all creation, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Hope this helps with your question. Please see also the following
Surrounding the Birth of Christ
Life of Christ (in BB 4A: Christology)
of the Life of Christ
Mary, Joseph, and Nazareth.
Why did Jesus choose
John over James to take care of His mother Mary?
What about Joseph?
In Him who humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross with the
result that He has been exalted to the highest place and given the Name
that is above every name, Jesus our Lord.