Did you know that Adam was not a ‘Jew’?  Noah was not a ‘Hebrew’?  Abraham was a Hebrew, but not a ‘Jew’?  Confused? Here’s why:

From Noah the earth was replenished.  Noah’s son Shem began the line of what we would call ‘Shemetic’ or ‘Semetic’ peoples.

Shem then had Arpachshad, who had Shelah, who had Eber.  Eber is where the term ‘Hebrew’ originates.

Ultimately from Shem and Eber’s line came Abraham (which makes Abraham both Semetic and a Hebrew).  Abraham then had Isaac, who had Jacob, and then Jacob was renamed Israel by God in Genesis 32:28.  Hence Jacob’s twelve male children become the twelve tribes of Israel, and collectively their descendants are known as the Israelites.

One of Jacob’s/Israel’s children is Judah.  Much later in 922 B.C. what had become the Kingdom of Israel was divided, with the northern Kingdom remaining ‘Israel’ and the southern kingdom becoming the kingdom of Judah.  Judea was a variation of Judah.  Ultimately those from the region of Judea were known as ‘Jews’.

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