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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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JUDÆA. A name first appearing in Tob 1:18 as applied to the old kingdom of Judah (of which Judæa is merely the Græco-Roman equivalent), as it was reoccupied after the Captivity by the returned descendants of subjects of the Southern Kingdom. Though sometimes (as in Luke 23:5 , and more definitely in Acts 10:37 ; Acts 26:10 ) loosely employed to denote the whole of Western Palestine, the name was properly confined to the southernmost of the three districts into which the Roman province of Western Palestine was divided the other two being Galilee and Samaria. It lay between Samaria on the north and the desert of Arabia Petræa on the south; but its exact boundaries cannot be stated more definitely. After the death of Herod, Archelaus became ethnarch of Judæa, and after his deposition it was added to the province of Syria, and governed by a procurator with his headquarters in Cæsarea.

It was in the wilderness of Judæa that John the Baptist came forward as the forerunner of Christ ( Matthew 3:1 ; cf. Mark 1:4 ; and Luke 3:2 , ‘the wilderness’). It is probably the same as the ‘wilderness of Judah’ ( Judges 1:16 , Psalms 63:1 [title], the desert tract to the W. of the Dead Sea. R. A. S. Macalister.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Judaea'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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