“And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” (Genesis 29:35)
This verse is the testimony of Jacob’s first wife, Leah, at the time of the birth of her fourth son. It also is significant in that it contains the first mention of the Hebrew yadah, often rendered “praise,” but more often “thank” or “thanks.” In fact, she even named her son “Judah,” which is essentially the same Hebrew word.
Although Reuben, Simeon, and Levi were all older sons of Leah, God chose Judah to be the father of the tribe through which Christ would come into the world. Whenever Leah spoke to her son, she would actually be calling him “Thanks” and thus in effect remembering her gratitude for this gift of a special son.
We also continue to give thanks every day for that special Son of the tribe of Judah, the Lord Jesus Christ. And as Judah later was willing to offer his own life for his brother Benjamin (see Genesis 43:9) out of love for both his brethren and his father, so this distant grandson of Judah was willing to lay down His own life to save those whom He was glad to call His brethren (Hebrews 2:11-12).
In the last reference to Judah in the Bible, this son of Judah is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” who will one day be acknowledged as King over all the earth (Revelation 5:5). The last mention of “thanks” in the Bible is when the elders of the church in heaven cry out: “We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and has reigned” (Revelation 11:17).
We surely have much for which we thank God, but most of all we are thankful for the Son of God, our Creator, Savior, and coming King. HMM