🔼The name Judea: Summary
- Place Of The Jews, Place Of The Praisers
- From the verb ידה (yada), to praise.
🔼The name Judea in the Bible
Judea is the name of the province of the Persian empire to where the exiled Jews repatriated. Strictly spoken, it denoted the area in southern Palestine, centered around Jerusalem and west of the river Jordan.
In Hebrew or Aramaic the name Judea occurs in Daniel 2:25, 5:13, 6:13, Ezra 5:1 and 7:14 (as יהוד, Jehud). Ezra actually mentions the "province Judah" (מדינה יהוד; Ezra 5:8) and Nehemiah simply speaks of "the province" but then continues to use the region's original name יהודה (Judah; Nehemiah 11:3).
In Greek times the province became known as Ιουδαια (Ioudaia), which became Judea to the Romans, who turned it into the Roman Province of Judea in 6 AD. This name occurs 44 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.
🔼Etymology of the name Judea
The name Judea comes from the Hebrew name Judah, which in turn comes from the verb ידה (yada), meaning to praise:
The related verbs ידה (yada), to praise, and הוד (hod), to be worthy of praise, conjugate into such similar forms that it's often not clear which verb in which tense is used. From the verb ידה (yada), to praise, come:
- The plural noun הידות (huyyedot), meaning songs of praise.
- The noun תודה (toda), meaning confession or praise.
From the verb הוד (hod), meaning to be praise-worthy, comes the noun הוד (hod), meaning splendor, majesty, vigor, glory or honor.
The Greek name Judea is also part of a cluster of words that have to do with the name Jew. See our article on that name for the details.
The name Judea should be understood to mean Place Of The Jews, which in turn means Place Of Those Who Praise.