KJV John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

There seems to be a significance to the fact that as there are are 12 tribes (kinda, sorta) and 12 disciples (kinda, sorta):

KJV Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

"Judas" is both the name of the "Jews" and one of the tribes ("Judah") and of the betrayer. Jesus didn't have many kind words to say about either. Is Judas' rejection while bearing the name of the tribe which housed the temple supposed to cast a dark shadow on the tribe? Is there a graphic curse on the Jews implicit in the experience of Judas?


5 Answers 5


Its more a fullfilment of prophecy:-

Psalm 41:9 "Even the man at peace with me, one whom I trusted, Who was eating my bread, has lifted his heel against me."

In the first instance it was David's adviser "Ahithophel" (who had change sides from David to Abslom, thus a trator!) whom his son Abslom sent to undermind his father thus betraying King David his father formenting a revolt against King David as take the Kingship forhimself:-

2 Samuel 15:12 "Further, when he offered the sacrifices, Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s adviser, from his city Giloh. The conspiracy kept gaining momentum, and the people who supported Absalom were growing in number."

Then the long term prophecy was fullfiled; as "Ahithophel" been ones close to King David; Judas had been close to Jesus:-

Mark 14:18 "And as they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, one of you who is eating with me will betray me.”

John 13:18 "I am not talking about all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this was so that the scripture might be fulfilled: ‘The one who was eating my bread has lifted his heel against me.’"

John 13:26 "Jesus answered: “It is the one to whom I will give the piece of bread that I dip.” So after dipping the bread, he took it and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Is·carʹi·ot."

  • Interesting stuff. Can it not be both a fulfillment of prophecy and prophetic?
    – Ruminator
    Nov 11, 2018 at 16:50
  • The Judah connection I find no evidence for as yet. Both seem ok.
    – user26950
    Nov 11, 2018 at 17:07
  • See also 2 Samuel 20:9: biblehub.com/2_samuel/20-9.htm
    – Ruminator
    Jun 2, 2020 at 16:56

It is not possible to make any connection between the names of the 12 apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel, apart of the "kingdom" number of 12. The fact that just one of the 12 apostles has the same name as one of the 12 tribes is an accident of history to which the Bible attaches no significance. (Judas was replaced with Matthias in Acts 1.)

What is far more interesting is the contrast between Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter arising from the Last Supper - both were disciples, both were trained by Jesus for several years and both betrayed their Lord. However, Peter repented and converted 3000 in one sermon at Pentecost; while Judas did not repent and committed suicide.

Back to Judah/Judas. There are numerous references to things "twelve" (I do not attach much significance to numbers as some do) in the Book of Revelation such as 12 foundation stones of the New Jerusalem and 12 tribes in Rev 7 which includes the tribe of Judah. Therefore, I cannot see any significance to Judah having a curse; nor can I find where the tribe of Judah was cursed.

Despite Judah's personal problems as recorded in Gen 38 he was willing to become a substitution for his brother in Gen 44:18-34 - a very moving speech indeed. Thus, Judah becomes a wonderful example of a changed/converted heart, was the ancestor of Israel's kings and a human progenitor of Christ.

  • There are actually multiple disciples with names that match to the 12 tribes. Its kind of confusing because the scriptures are writen in greek and many of the names were changed to Romanized forms. So hebrew names were often switched out. EG. Yehshua became Jesus. But also Matthew the tax collector - his name was Levi. I often wondered if Levis role as tax collector was symbolic of the corruption of the priesthood by money in Jesus time eg: My house will be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of robbers. Also the origin of the english word "levy" for taxes
    – Marshall
    Oct 20, 2021 at 14:20

Jesus IS the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" which is clearly a type--a type of GREAT HONOR. However, He was from Nazareth of Galilee, as we see in Luke 2:3-4, together with Luke 2:39:

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

At the time of these original twelve, including Judas Iscariot, Jews were not EXCLUSIVELY arranged in tidy groups by their location. Indeed, you have to account for brothers, Simon--called Peter--, and Andrew, as well as brothers James and John.

Mat 10:2: Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

Can we determine that each brother of these sets of brothers is not of the same tribe? Certainly not without EXPRESS DESCRIPTIONS differentiating their parentage. Without such express language, we must assume that each set of brothers has the same heritage. Can we assume that all the disciples/apostles were of the tribe of Benjamin just because they were from the region that many Benjamites came from? Hardly, Jesus is a great example of that.

Paul, of Tarsis, was admittedly from the tribe of Benjamin, according to Phil. 3:4-5:

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

MOST IMPORTANTLY, types cannot be set without EXPRESS FOUNDATIONS for the type. Iscariot (iskarioth), from Hebrew origin, points toward "a man" (H376) who is similar through the idea of seeming (in type, perhaps), in amount and kind of a "bad (H1749) nature. That gives the probability of Judas Iskeriot being an "antitype" of Christ.

These EXPRESS representations are located at:

Entire Psalm 109, together with Acts 1:15-20; John 6:64, 70 and 71, and Revelation 16:13-14; The prince of this world to be cast out--John 12:27-31, together with John 13:21-30 and THEREFORE John 13:31-32; Now, the prince of this world is going to be coming to a certain place--John 14:29-31; Finally, that place and that prince of this world is EXPRESSLY revealed--John 18:1-3

There is no basis to view Judas as a scoundrel type of an unsubstantiated scoundrel tribe of Judah. There is much EXPRESSLY STATED basis to view Judas as an opposite and a contrasting antitype of Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

  • Thank you Bill for your response. Please see my related question: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/41573/…
    – Ruminator
    Jun 3, 2020 at 9:53
  • I'm sorry, I don't understand whether you are trying to single out a certain tribe as being those "lost sheep" or not. If so, where is it expressly stated that there are no other lost sheep other than Ephraim?..or Judah.. or any other tribe. The flock--the entire nation of Israel--to whom both John the Baptist and Jesus went to--had lost sheep. Are you saying that "his own" in John 1:11 means the tribe of Judah? Jun 4, 2020 at 18:49
  • Background: Jeremiah 16:14-17 This is where we get "fishers of men".
    – Ruminator
    Jun 4, 2020 at 19:29
  • 1
    Yes, the dispersion occurred "because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem." (Jer 15:4) This is a matter of the earthly kingdom, not the heavenly kingdom. The first fishers were only 12 in number. Jeremiah 16:14- is future concerning "many fishers"--one-hundred and forty-four thousand from each of the twelve tribes listed.--who will preach the gospel of the visible (typified by visible liquid waters) WORD of God" as the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" on the throne of David on earth. David ruled as king over all the tribes of Israel--not just Judah. Jun 5, 2020 at 0:28

This is not for certain - but most likely Judas and his betrayal actually represented the tribe that was to descend from either Jacobs son Reuben or Dan.

The 12 tribes of Israel descended from and match to the 12 sons of Jacob. But if you go and do some checking you will notice something very curious. There aren't actually 12 Tribes of Israel. There are 13 tribes of Israel.

  1. Reuben, 2. Simeon, 3. Levi, 4. Judah, 5. Dan, 6. Naphtali, 7. Gad, 8. Asher, 9. Issachar, 10. Zebulun, 11. Benjamin, 12. Ephraim and 13. Manasseh.

The explanation for this - potentially explains which Tribe the disciple Judas represents.

In the Genesis story of Jacob, of his 12 sons Reuben was the first born. But Reuben was essentially cursed because he betrayed his father. He snuck in and had sexual relations with one of his fathers concubines - Bilhah. See Gen 35:22 for where this occurs.

While Israel(Jacob) was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel(Jacob) heard of it.

As a result of this betrayal Reuben was not blessed by his father Jacob on his death bed. Instead Jacob cursed him and Reuben forfeited his birth right which was then divided between the 2 favoured sons. Judah and Joseph.

See Genesis 49:3

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. But Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it."

Then later in 1 Chronicles 5 its explicitly stated that his birth right and inheritence was removed and given to other sons.

The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright, 2 and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)

Essentially Reubens first born birth rights were taken from him. To Judah went the ascendancy, the leadership; from the tribe of Judah would come the kings of Israel and the eternal King, the Messiah - Yehshuah\Jesus. To Joseph went the double portion due to the firstborn and the greatest inheritence of land and goods. As a result of this 2 tribes of Israel descended from Josephs lineage instead of just 1. They were named after his sons. The Tribe of Ephraim and the Tribe of Manasseh. Joseph also received the greatest land allotment - the lands of his father Jacob himself.

Sometimes the two tribes that descended from Joseph are referred to as "half tribes" but they received equal allotments to the others and tribal lineages were named after them directly - and not their father Joseph indicating they were given equal status with the other tribes.

If not Reuben then the other potential option is the Tribe of "Dan". In revelation 7 the number of inhabitants from each tribe sealed with the spirit are listed - but the tribe of Dan is ommited. Additionally in the same place in Genesis 49 already mentioned where Jacob blessed his sons - he describes Dan as a "Viper".

Dan will be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward.

This is obviously only my personal opinion but to my reading the tribe the disciple "Judas" most likely represents would be either the tribe of Reuben who betrayed his father, was cursed and lost his birth right or the Tribe of Dan who Jacob described as a "Snake" and which is ommited from from the elect in Revelation 7.

  • "indicating they were given equal status with the other tribes". Right: In Genesis 48:5 Jacob says: "“And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.". Jacob adopted Joseph's sons, and the name Israel became primarily associated with them. Jul 18, 2021 at 19:49
  • Yes exactly - and by adopting them they became tribes - so this once again shows there were 13 tribes with Jacob stating his sons names shall be used for the tribes tha. This matches with the fact their were in fact 13 disciples once they selected a replacement for Judas. Its just not exactly clear which "tribe" Judas represents but to me Reuben seems most likely due to the betrayal and loss of birth right, There is also the repeated symbology of blessing the younger son more then the older. ].
    – Marshall
    Jul 20, 2021 at 16:41

The Thirteenth Disciple Paperback – 23 January 2013 by Ahmed al-Hasan (Author)This book, The Thirteenth Disciple, is a translation of the original Arabic book titled Al-Hawwari al-Thalith Ashar, written by Imam Ahmed al-Hasan and released in 2012. Al-Hawwari, translated as disciple, literally means one who is spoken to in particular, and the thirteenth is the position promised Judah by Jesus in the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, or more accurately the Gospel of Judah. The Gospel of Judah has baffled scholars, Christian and secular alike, since its discovery and the release of its translation. The assumption that every reference to Judah is a reference to Judas Iscariot has understandably resulted in shock and confusion that a gospel named after the betrayer of Christ, as they understand it, would be written by early Christians and circulated. The crucial question in understanding this nearly forgotten gospel and properly translating its title into English is not why would Jesus praise Judas Iscariot, but rather, who is the Judah spoken to in particular Dear reader, what you hold between your hands is unlike anything published in modern time, for it is not the product of opinion, but is instead the truth of the unseen restricted to Almighty God and taught to His chosen messengers, peace be upon them all. The author of this book is the first of the twelve Mahdis, Imam Ahmed al-Hasan, the direct descendant of the Messenger Muhammad, as explained in the Commentators Foreward by the pure sheikh Alaa al-Salim, and this book is a proof from the proofs of Almighty God to prove the authority, authenticity, and legitimacy of His messengers, as it is knowledge of the unseen which He gives only to whom He chooses. The relevance of the Gospel of Judah is in its connection to the crucifixion which Christians, Muslims and Jews acknowledge, yet differ over


  • Hello and welcome to the site. Thank you for your response. May I ask you to do two things for me, to make your answer more effective? Please apply some formatting to your answer so it isn't one big paragraph. Indicate what is a quote and what are your personal comments. Also, please leave off the book review and instead cite relevant passages from the text. Thanks. And when you have second, please take the site "tour": hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Ruminator
    Jun 2, 2020 at 17:05

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