Hebrew: A name applied to the Israelites in Scripture only by one who is a
(Genesis 39:14,17; 41:12) etc., or by the Israelites when they
speak of themselves to foreigners
(Genesis 40:15; Exodus 1:19) or when spoken of
an contrasted with other peoples
(Genesis 43:32; Exodus 1:3,7,15; Deuteronomy 15:12) In
the New Testament there is the same contrast between Hebrews and
(Acts 6:1; Philippians 3:5) Derivation.
1. The name is derived, according to some, from Eber
(Genesis 10:24) the
ancestor of Abraham. The Hebrews are "sons of Eber"
2. Others trace the name of a Hebrew root-word signifying "to pass
over," and hence regard it as meaning "the man who passed over,"
viz., the Euphrates; or to the Hebrew word meaning "the region"
or "country beyond," viz., the land of Chaldea. This latter view
is preferred. It is the more probable origin of the designation
given to Abraham coming among the Canaanites as a man from
beyond the Euphrates
3. A third derivation of the word has been suggested, viz., that it
is from the Hebrew word 'abhar, "to pass over," whence
'ebher, in the sense of a "sojourner" or "passer through" as
distinct from a "settler" in the land, and thus applies to the
condition of Abraham