Judah, biblical figure of ancient Canaan. He was the ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of Israel that bears his name. As the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, Judah is credited with persuading his other brothers not to kill Joseph. During the great famine in Canaan, Judah, his brothers, Jacob, and their families settled in Egypt at Joseph's invitation. Judah's name was later given to the kingdom with Jerusalem as its center.