Jew, Jewess, Jewish


ju, joo, ju'-ish, joo'-ish (yehudhi plural yehudhim; Ioudaioi; feminine adjective yehudhith; Ioudaikos):

"Jew" denotes originally an inhabitant of Judah (2 Kings 16:6 applies to the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom), but later the meaning was extended to embrace all descendants of Abraham. In the Old Testament the word occurs a few times in the singular. (Esther 2:5; 3:4, etc.; Jeremiah 34:9; Zechariah 8:23); very frequently in the plural in Ezra and Nehemiah, Esther, and in Jeremiah and Daniel. The adjective in the Old Testament applies only to the "Jews' language" or speech (2 Kings 18:26,28 parallel Nehemiah 13:24; Isaiah 36:11,13). "Jews" (always plural) is the familiar term for Israelites in the Gospels (especially in John), Acts, Epistles, etc. "Jewess" occurs in 1 Chronicles 4:18; Acts 16:1; 24:24. In Titus 1:14 a warning is given against "Jewish fables" (in Greek the adjective is found also in Galatians 2:14). The "Jews' religion" (Ioudaismos) is referred to in Galatians 1:13,14. On the "Jews' language,'' see LANGUAGES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; on the "Jews' religion," see ISRAEL, RELIGION OF.

James Orr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'JEW, JEWESS, JEWISH'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.