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Map of the twelve tribes of Israel showing the Tribe of Judah territory

Judea or Judæa (Hebrew: יהודה, Yəhuda; Arabic: يهودية, Yahudia, Greek: Ἰουδαία, Ioudaía; Latin: Iudaea) is the name of the mountainous southern part of the region known as Land of Israel and Palestine, roughly corresponding to the southern West Bank and northern Negev desert in Israel [1] The region is named after the biblical tribe of Judah and associated with the Kingdom of Judah.


Judea as a geographical term first appears in the Bible in Ezra 5:8 , designating a province of the Persian Empire.[2] During the days of Darius, Judea was a small dependency in his two million square mile kingdom.[3] Darius found in his archives the decree of Cyrus which authorized the construction of the Temple. As a result, he ordered a generous contribution from the royal treasury. In 63 BC the Roman general Pompey made a settlement which reduced Jewish territory to Judaea and Idumaea. The Romans established an outsider, Herod as a king. Around 40-37 BC the Roman Senate gave Herod the title 'King of the Jews' and he governed Judaea for thirty-three years as an friend and ally of Rome.[4]


  1. A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Mark A. Tessler - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  2. Tenney, Merrill C, ed. (1967). Pictorial Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. p. 456. ISBN 0-310-23560-X. 
  3. Pfeiffer, Charles F (1979). Baker´s Bible Atlas. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. p. 166. ISBN 0-8010-6930-0. 
  4. Wood, D. R. W, ed. (1985). New Bible Atlas. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers. p. 58, 67. ISBN 0-8423-4675-9.