|HEBREW (Descendent of Eber) |
(hee' brew) A descendant of Eber. See Eber. It differentiates early Israelites from foreigners. After David founded the monarchy the term Hebrew seems to disappear from the Hebrew language. The designation apparently begins with Abraham (Genesis 14:13), showing that he belonged to an ethnic group distinct from the Amorites. It distinguished Joseph from the Egyptians and slaves of other ethnic identity (Genesis 39:14,Genesis 39:17;
Genesis 43:32). Abraham's land has become the land of the Hebrews (Genesis 40:15), and his God, the God of the Hebrews (Exodus 5:3). Given the ethnic identity, special laws protected Hebrew slaves (Exodus 21:2;
Deuteronomy 15:12; compare
Jeremiah 34:8-22). After the death of Saul (1 Samuel 29:1), the term “Hebrew” does not appear in the historical books, pointing possibly to a distinction between Hebrew as an ethnic term and Israel and/or Judah as a religious and political term for the people of the covenant and of God's nation. See Habiru.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'HEBREW (Descendent of Eber)'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".