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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names

Judas

By Jeff A. Benner

Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him, (KJV, Matthew 10:4)

The word Iscariot is not Judas' last name; it is a description of who he is. There are several theories for the meaning of this identifier, one being that it is from the Hebrew איש קריות (ish qri'yot) meaning "man of Kerioth." Another possibility is that Judas was a part of the sect of the sicarii, a group of assassins among the Jewish rebels that carried a dagger called a sicae.

The name Judas is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Judah, in Hebrew יהודה (ye-hu-dah, Strong's #3063). Most Hebrew dictionaries will define this name as "praise," but as this English word is an abstract word it falls short of its true Hebraic meaning. The parent root of this word is יד (yad, Strong's #3027) meaning "hand". The child root ידה (Y.D.H, Strong's #3034) is derived from yad and means "to throw or stretch out the hand" and is the base root in the name Yehudah. If you were standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time you might throw your hands out and say "Wow, will you look at that". This is the Hebraic understanding of "praise" and the name Yehudah.




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