What is Hebrew?

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Hebrew is term used for the people who are descendants of Abraham based on the Holy Bible. It also refers to the language spoken by the same descendants. Many people consider the Jewish and Israelites of present times are the descendants of people who were called Hebrew in ancient or Biblical times.

The first Hebrew was said to be Abraham and all Jewish people were said to be his descendants. Many people in Israel are of Jewish descent and so are considered to descendants of Abraham, and therefore are also Hebrews. The term Hebrew is rooted from “Ivri” which refers to “ever”. According to some religious rabbi, “ever” is said to mean the “opposite side” which explains why Abraham was considered the first Hebrew. Abraham was considered a believer of God and therefore stood by his belief despite the differing opinions of other people. In this particular context, Abraham was “on the other side” when it comes to his belief in God. Joseph who went to Egypt was also referred to as a Hebrew because of his own steadfast character. He was considered to have risen to the ranks in Egyptian culture because he possessed the quality of “ivri” or being a Hebrew.

Many stories regarding Hebrews and their language referred to the Jewish settlers of Israel. Even the Israelites themselves consider themselves as Hebrews especially when speaking with people from other countries or parts of the world. As time passed, Jewish became synonymous with Hebrews and this explains why many people believe that Israelites are all Jewish and that they are also referred to as Hebrews. As a language, Hebrew is spoken by the Israelites or Canaanites of Biblical times. Some people get confused when referring to both Canaanites and Israelites as Hebrews. The Hebrew Bible is said to have made a distinction between these two groups of people but many believe they share the same culture. It is also said that Israelites were simply a part of being Canaanites and therefore unifying them as Hebrews.

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