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All Eyes on Israel
Chapter 2 - Is Modern Israel the Israel of Promise?
Page 2 - Was Abraham a Jew?
(Go Back to Page 1 - Abraham in the Old Testament)

Was Abraham a Jew? What Was Abraham's Nationality? We will find later in this study that the term "Jew," a shortened designation for "Judah," was first applied to people who lived a few generations after Abraham. Abraham himself was not Jewish (or Israelite) but, it would seem, Chaldean:

"And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." (Gen 11:31)

Abraham, though often called the "father of the Jewish race," was a Chaldean, from Ur of the Chaldees an area of Babylon as was his wife, Sarah. Abraham is referred to as a Hebrew:

"And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew ..." (Gen 14:13)

Hebrew means "one from beyond" and is derived from Eber (or Heber, Strong's no. 5676) meaning "the region beyond" (the Euphrates)

The term Hebrew also is taken to mean "to pass" or "to cross over." Abraham "crossed over" the River Euphrates to get to the land of Canaan, from Chaldea. That was his ethnic origin. He lived long before there ever was a Jew.

Scripturally, the question of Abraham's Jewishness is easily answered. So, if Abraham was not a Jew, where did the Jews originate from?

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