When we look at the Bible, we notice that while Adam and Eve were the first humans to inhabit Earth, the book of God later talks about groups of people – and most people will easily recognize names like Hebrew, Jews, and, of course, Israelites. The question remains – were all of these people the same, or are there important differences that should be noted about them.
In this post, we’ll essentially try to answer the question: “are Hebrews and Jewish the same?” and take a look at the history surrounding both of these terms.
What Is The Difference Between Hebrew And Jew
When it comes to looking at the difference between Hebrew and Jewish cultures, many people will tell you that these are really the same. There is a lot of truth behind such a fact, and the same tends to apply when considering if there is a difference between Hebrews and Israelites, but when you get a little more technical, you will find that there are some differences, especially in the context of the Bible.
Who Were The Hebrews?
Generally, Abraham is often referred to as the “First Hebrew.” The term “Hebrew” is often utilized in order to point out a descendant from the first Hebrew, being Abraham, and the term was used in the earlier parts of Genesis already.
Who Were The Israelites?
Later in the Bible, Jacob was referred to as the “Israel” and later one, after having 12 sons, the term “Israel” and “Israelites” was used more often – with his sons referred to Israel tribes. Three of Jacob’s “tribes” inhabited Southern Israel and the rest were located in the Northern area of what was called Israel at the time.
Hebrew Vs Jewish
Jewish origins start with the 12 tribes of Israel, referring to the 12 sons of Jacob, of course, who technically was the “first Israelite” in this case, if we look at things from a technical perspective. While there was a time where the Israel kingdoms were considered united, a split between them occurred upon Solomon’s death – and this is what caused the tribes to also split into two. On one side, there was Israel, and on the other, Judah.
A “Jew” is considered a direct descendant of Judah – and, at the same time, a Jew would also be classified as a Hebrew, since they are descended from Jacob. Now, on the other hand, Israelites are often not considered to be Jews – this is an important factor that should be taken into consideration.