Patriarch, reputed forefather of the Tribe of Juda.
The story of his life is contained in Genesis 29-49.
He was a son of Jacob by Lia.
He saved the life of Joseph by interceding with his brethren, proposing that he be sold to the Ismaelites.
On the second journey to Egypt he persuaded Jacob to consent to the departure of Benjamin, for whom he pleaded before Joseph after the incident of the cup, thus forcing Joseph to reveal his identity.
To him were born five sons, to one of whom, Phares, is traced the Messianic lineage.
New Catholic Dictionary