Hebrews (Hee´brooz)

An alternate designation for the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham. The biblical writers use the term “Hebrew” to designate the direct ethnic progenitors of the people who can later be called “Israel,” or “the children of Israel.” The Lord, the “God of Israel” (Exod 5:1), is equated with the “God of the Hebrews” (Exod 5:3). On other occasions, Israelites or their ancestors refer to themselves as Hebrews in discussions with foreigners. Joseph defines his country of origin as the “land of the Hebrews” (Gen 40:15); the “land of Israel” is only applicable after the settlement of the tribes. The same nuance prevails in the speech of foreigners referring to Israelites. Note, for example, Potiphar’s wife in speaking of Joseph (Gen 39:14; Gen 39:17); likewise the chief butler (Gen 41:12). The term “Hebrew” is used by the NT writers to denote those Jews who continued to maintain their traditional Judaic heritage, including their Hebrew (and Aramaic) language, in contrast to the hellenizing Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture (Acts 6:1; 2Cor 11:22; Phil 3:5).

Exod 5:1

Bricks without Straw
1Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate ... View more

Exod 5:3

3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he ... View more

Gen 40:15

15For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”

Gen 39:14

14she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, ... View more

Gen 39:17

17and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me;

Gen 41:12

12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each a ... View more

Acts 6:1

Seven Chosen to Serve
1Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows w ... View more

2Cor 11:22

22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.

Phil 3:5

5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

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