Jew

Jew [H] [S]

the name derived from the patriarch Judah, at first given to one belonging to the tribe of Judah or to the separate kingdom of Judah ( 2 Kings 16:6 ; 25:25 ; Jeremiah 32:12 ; 38:19 ; 40:11 ; 41:3 ), in contradistinction from those belonging to the kingdom of the ten tribes, who were called Israelites.

During the Captivity, and after the Restoration, the name, however, was extended to all the Hebrew nation without distinction ( Esther 3:6 Esther 3:10 ; Daniel 3:8 Daniel 3:12 ; Ezra 4:12 ; Ezra 5:1 Ezra 5:5 ).

Originally this people were called Hebrews ( Genesis 39:14 ; 40:15 ; Exodus 2:7 ; 3:18 ; 5:3 ; 1 Samuel 4:6 1 Samuel 4:9 , etc.), but after the Exile this name fell into disuse. But Paul was styled a Hebrew ( 2 Corinthians 11:22 ; Phil 3:5 ).

The history of the Jewish nation is interwoven with the history of Palestine and with the narratives of the lives of their rulers and chief men. They are now [1897] dispersed over all lands, and to this day remain a separate people, "without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image [RSV 'pillar,' marg. 'obelisk'], and without an ephod, and without teraphim" ( Hosea 3:4 ). Till about the beginning of the present century [1800] they were everywhere greatly oppressed, and often cruelly persecuted; but now their condition is greatly improved, and they are admitted in most European countries to all the rights of free citizens. In 1860 the "Jewish disabilities" were removed, and they were admitted to a seat in the British Parliament. Their number in all is estimated at about six millions, about four millions being in Europe.

There are three names used in the New Testament to designate this people,

  • Jews, as regards their nationality, to distinguish them from Gentiles.
  • Hebrews, with regard to their language and education, to distinguish them from Hellenists, i.e., Jews who spoke the Greek language.
  • Israelites, as respects their sacred privileges as the chosen people of God. "To other races we owe the splendid inheritance of modern civilization and secular culture; but the religious education of mankind has been the gift of the Jew alone."

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Jew". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Jew [E] [S]

    same as Judah
    Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names. Public Domain. Copy freely.

    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Jew'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

    Jew [E] [H]

    (a man of Judea ). This name was properly applied to a member of the kingdom of Judah after the separation of the ten tribes. The term first makes its appearance just before the captivity of the ten tribes. The term first makes it appearance just before the captivity of the ten tribes. ( 2 Kings 16:6 ) After the return the word received a larger application. Partly from the predominance of the members of the old kingdom of Judah among those who returned to Palestine, partly from the identification of Judah with the religious ideas and hopes of the people, all the members of the new state were called Jews (Judeans) and the name was extended to the remnants of the race scattered throughout the nations. Under the name of "Judeans" the people of Israel were known to classical writers. (Tac. H. v.2, etc.) The force of the title "Jew" is seen particularly in the Gospel of St. John, who very rarely uses any other term to describe the opponents of our Lord. At an earlier stage of the progress of the faith it was contrasted with Greek as implying an outward covenant with God, ( Romans 1:16 ; Romans 2:9 Romans 2:10 ; Colossians 3:11 ) etc., which was the correlative of Hellenist [HELLENIST], and marked a division of language subsisting within the entire body, and at the same time less expressive than Israelite , which brought out with especial clearness the privileges and hopes of the children of Jacob. ( 2 Corinthians 11:22 ; John 1:47 )


    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Jew'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.