The Lion From the Tribe of Judah

In Jewish Jesus by Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

Jesus, while reaching out to Samaritan Israelites, did not hide his Judean perspective: “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we (Judeans) worship what we do know…”. The Samaritan woman, despite her own community’s opposition to the claims of David’s family to the throne of Israel, silently affirmed the reasoning of the young prophet – “Salvation is from the Jews,” which in her mind no doubt meant – “Salvation is from the tribe of Judah” (John 4:22).

It is likely that Jesus had a text in mind when he was speaking with the Samaritan woman that would help us understand their agreement about the source of salvation being “from the Jews.”. When blessing his sons before he dies, Jacob reflects on the actions of Judah who was now mature and had repented of his past actions. Despite not being his first-born son, Jacob blesses Judah with these words: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to him it belongs comes, and to him the obedience of the nations.” (Gen. 49:8-10) The Book of Revelation explicitly equates Christ Jesus with the Lion from the Tribe of Judah mentioned in Jacob’s blessing. (Gen.49:8-10; Rev. 5:5-6)

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