Hebrews (or "Hebertes", "Eberites", "Hebreians", "Habiru" or "Habiri"; Hebrew: "עברים" or "עבריים", Standard "unicode|ʿIvrim", "unicode|ʿIvriyyim" Tiberian "unicode|ʿIḇrîm", "unicode|ʿIḇriyyîm") are an ancient people defined as descendants of biblical Patriarch Eber (Hebrew עברי (ʿIḇrî) "traverse or pass over"), a great-grandson of Noah.

They were called Ibri, meaning the people from over on the other side of the Jordan river. [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Hebrew] They lived in the Land of Canaan (the Levant). The Ibri people are also known in Africa, mainly Egypt and SudanFact|date=August 2008.

Other authors believe that Ivri is another name for Abraham, and define the Hebrews as the descendants of this patriarch. [ [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/259033/Hebrew entry in britannica.com] ] Note however that Abraham is once referred to as "Abram the Hebrew" (Genesis 14:13).

Hebrews are known as the ancestors of the Israelites, who used the hebrew language. Israelites were the writers of the Hebrew Bible and therefore the spiritual and historical forerunners of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. In the Bible and in current language, the word Hebrews is often used as a synonym for Israelites, and sometimes for the users of the hebrew language (Jews and Israelis).

Hebrews vs. Israelites vs. Jew

Israelites are defined as the descendants of Jacob, son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham. Eber, an ancestor of Jacob (6 generations removed), is a distant ancestor of many people, including the Israelites but also the Arabs, descendant from Ishmael. Among historical scholars, there is some disagreement about the relationship between the Hebrews and Israelites, the history and legacy of the Hebrew people.

Jews are all people of Jewish faith, regardless of ancestry.

The terms "Hebrews" and "Israelites" usually describe the same people, called Hebrews before the conquest of the Land of Canaan and Israelites afterwards. [ [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=295&letter=I&search=hebrews Hebrews entry in Jewish Encyclopedia] ] [ [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/259033/Hebrew entry in britannica.com] ] Occasionally, "Hebrews" is used to designate the Jews, who use the hebrew language. [ [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Hebrews entry in thefreedictionary.com] ] The Epistle to the Hebrews was probably written for Jewish Christians. The current State of Israel, a homeland for all Jews, is often nicknamed the "Hebrew state".


These areas were politically Phoenicia and of the Philistines in Canaan when they first arrived in the area (this statement is matter of debate: some archaeologists believe that the Israelites simply arose as a subculture within Canaanite society). The Hebrews lived within this region in the 2nd millennium BCE and spoke a Canaanite dialect, which played a role in the Hebrew languages, the local Canaanite culture. The extent of the distinction between the culture of the Canaanites and the Hebrews is a matter of great debate, touching as it does on strong religious sensibilities.They were also known as the Israelites and Judeans. Hebrew is the main language traditionally used in Jewish holy scriptures and prayer, and since the early 20th century, has undergone a secular revival, to become the primary everyday language of Jews in Palestine and later in the State of Israel.

See also

* Semitic peoples



* [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/index.jsp Jewish Encyclopedia]
* [http://www.dinur.org/resources/resourceCategoryDisplay.aspx?categoryID=411&rsid=478 Biblical History] The Jewish History Resource Center
* David M. Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings, ISBN 0-609-80130-9
* "Ancient Judaism", Max Weber, Free Press, 1967, ISBN 0-02-934130-2

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  • Hebrews — 1 Hebrews 2 Hebrews 3 Hebrews 4 Hebrews 5 Hebrews 6 Hebrews 7 Hebrews 8 Hebrews 9 Hebrews 10 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Hebrews — [hē′bro͞oz΄] n. a book of the New Testament, a letter of undetermined authorship to the Hebrews: abbrev. He or Heb …   English World dictionary

  • Hebrews — The usage of the OT does not make it clear whether the Hebrews are regarded as an ethnic group. The description is rare. But they are distinguished from Egyptians (Exod. 2:11) and identical with ‘Israelites’ (Exod. 5:1, 3). The Philistines who… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Hebrews — noun A book of the New Testament of the Bible, the epistle of to the Hebrews. See Also: Heb …   Wiktionary

  • Hebrews — noun 1. the ethnic group claiming descent from Abraham and Isaac (especially from Isaac s son Jacob); the nation whom God chose to receive his revelation and with whom God chose to make a covenant (Exodus 19) • Syn: ↑Israelites • Topics: ↑Old… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hebrews, Epistle to the — • The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and His Divine mediatorial office Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Hebrews, letter to the — About 200 CE Clement of Alexandria referred to this letter as written by Paul, but there is nothing in the text about its author. There are in fact good reasons for rejecting Pauline authorship; the Greek is too good to be Paul s; favourite… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Hebrews — noun plural but singular in construction Date: 14th century a theological treatise addressed to early Christians and included as a book in the New Testament see bible table …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Hebrews — /hee broohz/, n. (used with a sing. v.) a book of the New Testament. Abbr.: Heb. * * * …   Universalium

  • Hebrews —    (Acts 6:1) were the Hebrew speaking Jews, as distinguished from those who spoke Greek. (See Greeks.) …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

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