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From the page[edit]

It is very obvious that an clear attempt is being made to strip the historical connection between the Hebrew People and Modern Jews. This is fundamentally IMMORAL.

This page was left with broken sentences, incorrect and missing identification of geography and facts, and misleading statements.

This is a blatant anti-Jewish attack and should not be condoned on wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

This page needs to be protected as more vandalism continues to remove any text that associated Jews with Hebrews, which is on its FACE ridiculous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

The term Hebrews is sometimes used by certain Christian groups to distinguish the Jews in ancient times that lived before the birth of Jesus from Jews that lived afterward. Though important in some Christian theologies

How do we add to the page why such groups would wish to make this distinction? OneVoice 14:58, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I am not sure OneVoice but if you find out please add it in.Zestauferov 02:27, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Llywrch why are you censoring me again? Interesting to note that nobody else who watches this page found anything remotely controvercial about what I had wrtitten since Feb 6th I should mention to those reading that though granted sysop rights this is no big deal an Mr L has no-more authority than the rest of us too revert all prgress on the page. Also Mr L does not really have any real interest and certainly not knowledge about the subject but just considers me a pest and thus that he is doing us all a favour by censoring all my contributions.

Jews are Israelites, Israelites are descendents of Heber, and Christians use the term in ways differend from Jews. Granted it is also a term used to refer to a New Testament Book but this is all mentioned in the article. Is it really worthy of disambiguation? If you watch this page could you please make a comment on which version you think is better?


Zestauferov 02:26, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hebrews are not Jews. Hebrews were ancient Israelites and Israelites consisted of twelve tribes. Judah (Jews) being one of the twelve tribes. Whenever the word Hebrew is used it refers to an Israelite and not specifically some one from the tribe of Judah (Jew). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Canaanite Religion[edit]

Removed text

The traditional head of the Canaanite pantheon who would later become the angry, jealous God of the Old Testament, whereas the Canaanite elite began to favor El's son, Adad, whom they referred to as "Baal" (translated as "The Lord"). The god El was worshipped in various parts of the Near East in ancient times. The Babylonians worshipped Ellil as the god of air, with a distinctly angry and jealous personna, but Ellil was not the primary god of the Chaldean pantheon since early Sumerian times. The Sumerian name for El was Enlil, but the Sumerians soon began to favor his brother Enki, and the Babylonians favored Enki's son, Marduk. Enlil's son Adad was prominent in the Sumerian pantheon, but not so much as one of his other sons, Ninurta, who is often associated with Lugalbanda.
The Hebrew worship of El became more pronounced after the Canaanite ("Hyksos") invasion of Egypt that ended Egypt's Middle Kingdom times. Egypt began its new kingdom times by reconquering the Canaanite controlled Lower Egypt and expelling or enslaving the invaders. The Hebrews, seeking an end to slavery, used their god as a rallying call for unification, declaring El (or Yahweh) to be the only god, following Pharoah Akheneten's popularization of monotheism. Upon returning to Canaan, the Hebrews at times took control of Canaanite cities, leading to generations of a power struggle between El worshippers and Adad worshippers. King Solomon temporarily halted this struggle by, for a time, uniting all Canaanites under the old polytheist system.

This is an interesting new perspective but it probably belongs under Canaanites not here since it deals mainly with the Canaanite religion. I notice that some of the facts are erroneous however and suggest the contributer check his/her sources once more and try to read through the glossing. Zestauferov 02:20, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The removed text hardly represents a "new perspective." Something very similar can be found in the 1970s edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (early 15th edition).Zyxwv99 (talk) 17:47, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

To User:Zestauferov[edit]

Dear friend,

Hurrians, Hebrews, Habiru were not a Proto-Iberian ethnic group (or Proto-Iberian non-exclusive ethnic group)!

With best regards,

Levzur (Dr. Levan Z. Urushadze)

It is interesting to see your about-face considering your reply to Kaz [1] on what you eventually made into the Caucasian peoples page. I should correct you though that although I know little about your version of Protoiberians (I still think the term is Hatto-Iberian), I do know that Hebrews & Habiru were both certainly non-exclusive ethnic groups. However we are grateful for revealing your final opinion on the suject. Zestauferov 01:06, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Dispute: Hebrews as Canaanites[edit]

Considering the following phrase:

Many Hebrews were originally Canaanites ...

Many many people are going to disagree with that on religious grounds. The page can never be considered NPOV so long as this is phrased as if no one disagrees. There are some times in the Old Testament where a Canaanite marries into a Hebrew family, but whether Hebrews were originally Canaanites is a matter of strong dispute. Maybe the dispute can be lifted if the article can be phrased in such a way that is sensitive to the sensibilities of both dispassionate scientific thought and Abrahamic religions, without definitively endorsing theory over religious belief or vice versa. - Gilgamesh 09:39, 29 June 2004 (UTC)

Yes that comment was made on 16:02, 28 Mar 2004 by user who tried to re-write the article as if Hebrews were nothing more than canaanites. A perspective which ignores much of the available evidence but is still a perspective none the less.Zestauferov 12:13, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Alright then... So, what are going to do about it? The reason I haven't changed it myself is that I personally don't know much about the Habiru or Hurrians. I'm more into Biblical history and linguistics, not as much into archaeology, cuneiform, etc. I'm sure there's lots of valid science and study; I just haven't covered it all yet. - Gilgamesh 12:29, 29 June 2004 (UTC)

It is well known in Canaanite history that El was once the most favored god, but that Adad/Hadad was later the favored god, and the ongoing conflict between the Canaanite factions was identical to the ongoing conflict described in the Old Testament between the "Hebrews" and the Canaanites. After Exodus, they lived side by side, and each successive political regime usually resulted in a shift in the balance of power between the factions, except during the reign of Solomon who was respected by both sides, and who had his famous Israelite temple built by Hiram, king of the well known Canaanite city of Tyre, and of course in the first Temple of Jerusalem, many Canaanite gods were honored: "...This tale was derived from the so-called Elohim (E) text of c. 750 B.C., and was apparently the origin legend designed to account for the serpent-god of bronze that was in those days worshipped in the Temple of Jerusalem, together with certain images of his Canaanite goddess-spouse, Aherah." - Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology. Also, history refers to a Canaanite invasion and conquest of Lower Egypt, followed 100 years later by an Egyptian re-conquest of Lower Egypt and expulsion and enslavement of the Canaanite invaders. The Old Testament refers to the event soon after in which these thousands of slaves joined together under the leadership of Moses and left Egypt to return to Canaan, as Israelites. For a much more in-depth discussion on the Hebrews' origin and emergence from Canaan, see "Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic", by Harvard University's Professor Frank Moore Cross (Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Emeritus).


I have taken some speculative statements out of the article and tried to put in a bit of a wider perspective without disagreeing with what was in there originally. It was a complicated time and place in which the Hebrews lived, and there is a lot of thought that they were a "mixed multitude" (Numbers 11:4) of people who had survived the collapse of the great empires around them, not ethnically homogenous nomads. Fire Star 06:22, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)


User: asks of the Avars: What is the relation between them and the Hebrews?

That is a good question. There is no historical relation between them, to my knowledge. Fire Star 04:45, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Between 18:35, 3 Aug 2004 and 06:15, 6 Sep 2004, a lot of facts were removed without discussion. Would those responsible like to work on it again please this time expanding the points you disagree through discussion in the article itself rather than simply removing the info you disagree with. For example "the biblical Noah story was almost identicle to the Hurrian one even though both may have their origins in the Gilgamesh version" would have been a better way of including the Sumerian comment rather than simply replacing all reference to the Hurrian vewrsion. This would certainly help readers like me to understand the arguments for and against certain stances. Thank you. 12:50, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone have a copy of this book?

" Hurrian Hebrews; Ea as Yahweh; The Origins Of The Hebrews & "The Lord" "

I am trying to find out about its contents.

I can tell you that it used to be available through a site called which once existed exploring the origins of the Hebrew people, and their Lord, ancient history, and old testament. The book is supposed to be quite well documented and was once for sale through that site up until at least as late as June 10, 2003. It seems the political group suppressing this truth has succeeded in shutting them up and closing that site down. You might be lucky enough to find a second hand copy of that book if you search hard enough.

Oooo I'm scaaared! If your conspiracy theories are true then I guess I wil be in danger as I have a copy. (zip) It was authored by Forrest Reinhold of Iowa University.

NPOV dispute[edit]

Why is there an NPOV dispute on the page? The last comment about any NPOV issues was made on this talk page in september!!.

I ought to mention, that, reading that dispute, it should be noted that most secular academics don't view the Hebrews as Canaanites either, since their culture is quite notably distinct. The most plausible secular theory is that the Hebrews were Hurrians (preserving Hurrian culture) speaking Canaanite (for practical reasons).

That is exactly what Forrest Reinhold's book is about. Also E.A. Speiser wrote a lot on that topic.

That isn't true. Most secular academics don't view the Hebrew and Canaanite cultures as distinct at all. Asherah, for example, are found continously right down to and beyond 400BC. Likewise there is absolutely no cultural break whatsoever to indicate that there was any sort of abrupt change (e.g. an invasion by foreign "Hebrews").

Theophoric names referring to Canaanite deities are found throughout the parts of the bible describing the period (e.g. xxxxbaal, xxxxbel) as normal Israelite names. "High places", Asherah, and "sacred poles" (i.e. totems), are described by the bible itself as being continuously present, as are sacred fetishes such as the Nehustan.

The bible itself even describes king David as leading a band of Hebrews who were outlaws living in the hills to invade and conquer the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. If you read it carefully, you will notice that the Book of Kings is extremely careful about calling groups of people Israelites, Judahites, and Hebrews. The Hebrews are always described as foreign outsiders from the eastern hills, and in some cases even as being on the opposite side to the Israelites, even supporting the Philistines.

Try reading the work of Israel Finkelstein, a major archaeologist of Israel, internationally respected as a world class academic, and also Professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. The book of his that springs most to mind is The Bible Unearthed.

Hurrian invasion theories are really an extremely minority viewpoint. --Victim of signature fascism 21:35, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I believe that the Hebrews should be honored[edit]

The Hebrews have given religion to more than half of this world. They need to be honored. 02:56, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Somehow I think the world would have had religion with or without the Hebrews. Its just a question of which one. Steve kap

I still think that the notion of Hapiru as mercinaries and outlaws may have had atleast some small part in the ultimate evolution of the Hebrew culture. Hapiru inhabited virtually all parts of the near-east c. 2000-1100 bc. and they were really a mixed bag of ethnic backgrounds.

Hebrew/Israelite stories of enslavement in Egypt do seem rather valid if we realize that under Egypt's control of Canaan c. 1450-1200 thousands of canaanites, hurrians, and hapiru were taken as captives of war and made slaves. There are ancient references to "Apiru" as workers in the city of Pi-Rameses c.1290bc, thought to be the Raamses of bible tradition. This is all hypothetical of course. -- 04:31, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Descendants of Eber[edit]

According to [Children of Eber], based on Genesis 10:21, the earliest usage of Bnei Eyver (בני-עבר) clearly includes all the tribes of Arabs, Moabites, etc. Aminaa

Please don't insert original research. Jayjg (talk) 17:12, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Please learn basic rules and simple English. I have reverted the article so that it is consistent with other wikipedia entries (that I have had no part in) and Biblical scholarship. I do recognize that many of you guys believe that we Arabs are not fully human beings and come from a separate creation than do the Biblical Hebrews. However, as I have noted, the scriptual reference supports my revision. Thanks. Aminaa

I have no idea what you are talking about, but please avoid further violations of WP:CIVIL. Jayjg (talk) 18:49, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Please check the references I posted before making unfounded accusations. Aminaa

There is no statement in Children of Eber about North or South Arabians. Please don't insert original research. TewfikTalk 01:31, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

heyyyyyyyy every one[edit]

hope you like how i edited the paper

אני לא יודע אנגלית אבל שימחתם אותי שרשמתם על העברים

The term "Hebrew" versus the term "Jew"[edit]

The more I research this subject, the more confused I get. Gringo300 04:04, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't "Hebrew" also include e.g. Samaritans, while "Jew" wouldn't? 21:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
King David is described as attracting a band of "Hebrews" when he flees into the wilderness to escape the wrqath of Saul; the context makes clear that these are outlaws, in the mode of Robin Hood's merry men, rather than an ethnic group - and this is the conclusion reached by modern scholars with respect to the words Hebrew and Apiru, i.e., they represent a socio-economic group rather an ethnic or religious identity. The language of these Hebrews, a dialect of Canaanite, became the language of the bible. The word "Jew" is derived from the Roman name for their province of Judea, derived from the Greek name Ioudaea, and pronounced "Yudea" - the Latin J was pronounced as a Y. Ioudaea itself was derived from Aramaic Yehud, the name of the province under the Persians. The Persian name in turn derives from the the Hebrew name of the ancient kingdom of Yehuda, which we know in English, incorrectly, as Judah. (And why not, since we call Deutschland Germany and Sveringe Sweden). PiCo 19:13, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes but, aren't the Jews also known as 'Hebrews' in an ethnic sense before the time of the United Monarchy? I.E the Hebrews are the ancestors to the Israelites, as I added in the main article. So how do we reconcile these two diferent meanins of 'Hebrews'. Two different groups with the same name, or the same group that partially evolved into the Israelites and partially stayed the 'Hebrews'? Does anyone know of any resources that explains this? --Jake11 17:21, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
As PiCo started saying, the term 'Jew' was only introduced far after th time of the first kings, and is mainly refer to people of the tribe of Yehuda (Judea). It was later became a general term for all Israelites descendants, in parallel with the story of the lost 10 tribes. The tribes Yehuda and Binyamin were the last to be exiled and held a different kingdom from the Israelites after the split. So basically, what we now refer to as "Jews" or "Judasim" is basically an evolution of one tribe's name.--Civax 21 June 2008


You need to be semitic to be Hebrew, the majority of ashkenazi are primarily slavic in origin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Semitic is a language family, not an ethnicity or race, and Ashkenazis are primarily of Middle Eastern descent but with European admixture. Funkynusayri (talk) 14:43, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Only one important question[edit]

What are the real physical characteristics of the people of Abraham, ¿White, Brown, Black? I need an answer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Though this isn't really the place for such inquires (WP:blablabla), here's an answer anyway. Racial categories and the concept of race as we know it today did not exist in the days of the very hypothetical Abraham his equally hypothetical immediate descendants. The social institution of whiteness, and by extension blackness, as we know it today did not exist any more then nuclear waste, Bratz Dolls and telemarketing did. If you wish to bring anachronism into it however, fine. If you were to reconstruct an old school heeb, you'd probably think that s/he was brown. Or at least as brown as I'd get if I were living in friggen Palestine. Don't know how the noses would match up though.

Not that your modern day Hebrews with 'European admixture' were white till the 1950's really. (talk) 23:10, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

The Bible and Biblical commentaries both note that the Biblical Jews were a "mixed multitude" and included a variety of skin tones and hair colors (and eye colors). Some prominent Biblical characters were red-heads. The ancient Egyptians described and painted Jews as including blondes and redheads and blue eyed people along with dark haired dark eyed people. They were also described by the Egyptians as being lighter skinned than the Egyptians. The notion that "the Biblical Jews" were somehow all alike genetically ignores the fact that Jews simply come from Abraham's family. My family has red heads, blondes, and black haired people. We have brown eyed, blue eyed, and green eyed people. Yet, we are all an immediate family. Imagining that at some earlier time there was no genetic variation is just an unfounded assumption. Abraham's family need not have been any genetically narrow than anyone else's family today. ~affinity — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Abraham vs Eber[edit]

Meieimatai, as per WP:VER, The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. The Jewish Encyclopedia says that Eber is "The eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews". This opinion, supported by a reliable source, belongs to this article. The second opinion, that Hebrews are the descendants of Abraham, also does. But you have no right to delete the opinion you disagree with; please refer to WP:NPOV.

If you want to contribute to Wikipedia, you must learn its rules. Otherwise, your edits will be repeatedly reverted, as I just did to your recent re-writing of the article. Emmanuelm (talk) 13:19, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

The position taken by Emil G. Hirsch and Eduard König in that article is unsupported by the actual text since it says that Shelah begot Eber, and the statement that "Eber" was originally the name of a region is itself unsupported by any evidence I'm aware of. The proposition that the Ivri is derived from Eber is a theory that can be traced to textual analysis in the 19th century, but is not supported by any outside evidence. We don't know where the region that "Eber" lived in was, but we do know from context that Abram was at this time living in the plains of Mamre, among the Amorites as it says in the Genesis 14:13. If "Eber" designates a country in the neighborhood of Assyria, and to a certain extent forming a part of it—the country beyond the Euphrates, then it clearly can not refer to the Amorite territory, can it? Not only that, but Abram is never in any source shown to have lived in Assyria. Pleas also note the date of this reference as 1901. If you can find more recent scholarship on the subject, I'd be most interested to hear about it--Meieimatai? 22:24, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


Due to the recent edit warring this page has been protected for 1 week. Please use the time to discuss the matter here and come to a consensus on what should and shouldn't be included on the page. If an urgent edit needs to be made during the protection, please place the template {{editprotected}} here with details of the edit that needs to be made and justification for the edit, and an administrator will come by to make the edit. If you have agreed and resolved the dispute before the expiry of the protection, please make a listing at requests for unprotection. While it is also possible to make such requests on my talk page, it would be quicker for you to use those previous methods. Thank you. Stifle (talk) 13:52, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Request for full protection posted on WP:RFPP. Emmanuelm (talk) 13:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Current content after reversion 15 October 2008[edit]

The current content is completely contrary to the plain reading of the text, and its analysis. The statements made are based on not only wrong interpretations from 19th century texts, but bad reference sources, namely
1. ^ (a self-reference!
2. ^ entry in 1911
3. ^ Hebrews entry in Jewish Encyclopedia 1902
4. ^ entry in 1911
5. ^ entry in unauthoritative
As it is now, it is simply utterly false, and misinforms--Meieimatai? 22:37, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Ironically, I agree completely. Doug Weller (talk) 10:50, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Mei & Doug, did you read the whole Hebrew entry in the Jewish Encyclopedia or just the first paragraph? The entry clearly explains the different interpretations of the origin of this word. The same can be said about the Hebrew entry in Britannica online, although I find it less clear. I agree that, in the current lead paragraph, Eber is probably too prominent, Abraham not prominent enough, but to call the current version "completely contrary to the plain reading of the text" is... completely contrary to the plain reading of the texts. Both Eber and Abraham belong in the article, along with the acknowledgment that, currently, Hebrew (and Hebe) is considered synonymous with Jew. Emmanuelm (talk) 13:36, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I shouldn't have said agree entirely, because I was really just looking at the references. It is certainly the case that you can't use Wikis, and I don't think that anything a century old is likely to be a good reference. If it's accurate, I'm sure better references can be found. Doug Weller (talk) 13:58, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Hebrew vs hebrew and "Habiru"?[edit]

I'm not sure why Hebrew is uncapitalized several times in this article. Names of languages are always capitalized. And any equivalence between Hebrew and Habiru/Apiru is purely conjectural. I don't see why it can't be mentioned as a theory in the body of the article, but it certainly doesn't belong at the top as an equivalent. I'll fix those two things when the protection expires. -LisaLiel (talk) 03:49, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

The dominant thought in academia is that the Habiru were a social not an ethnic group, e.g. hence my revert. I shall add this in shortly. Dalai lama ding dong (talk) 14:05, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

The Dusty Ones?[edit]

For the Etymology section: don't some scholars think the term Hebrew may have come from "abiru," meaning "dusty ones"? This may be a reference to their original status as nomads from the desert (as opposed to the civilized Mesopotamians). Hermanoere (talk) 16:57, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

The lead "concludes" positions which are debated in schoarly literature[edit]

The sentences: "The Old Testament uses Hebrews and Jews interchangeably" and "In [ ] languages the transfer of the name from Hebrew to Jew never took place" used in the lead are gross oversimplifications, as this source shows: What Does Hebrew Mean? by D.R.G. Beattie and Philip R. Davies. Oncenawhile (talk) 22:19, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Please provide more evidence that that one article is not WP:FRINGE. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 23:32, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
The Old Testament does not use Hebrews and Jews interchangeably, and the statement that it does has no WP:RS. The biblical citations given in support are a piece of incompetent WP:OR. To suggest that "Oxford Journals" are a fringe publisher is ridiculous. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 14:57, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
The POV is what's fringe (read the article), not the publisher. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:05, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Biblical history is currently a very contentious subject, and the mainstream covers a wide spectrum of views (with apologies for the mixed metaphor). I don't suggest that Beattie and Davies are necessarily right, but in wikipedia the word "fringe" is strongly insulting, and effectively means without academic support, which is not true of their views. In any case my main point is that the statement in the article is unsourced and unsourceable. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 19:32, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I have no opinion about the text currently in the article. As for "fringe", I don't think it's insulting or supposed to be insulting. It's easy to to show something isn't fringe by posting a couple more RS that make the same point. That's what I was asking for above. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:56, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
If you think "fringe" isn't insulting in wikipedia, I'm not sure which planet you live on, but as you're not contesting my main point we might as well stop arguing. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 21:16, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I live on a planet where WP:FRINGE is a wikipedia content guideline. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:20, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

It 's been almost a year since this debate and noone has been able to provide a source, for the disputed paragraph.

"The Old Testament of the Christian Bible uses Hebrews and Jews interchangeably, in the Book Of Esther (2:5) Mordechai the Benjamite is called a Jew, though he is not of the tribe of Judah. In Jonah 1:9 Jonah is called a Hebrew.</ref>"

Looks like WP:OR to me. Oncenawhile (talk) 09:05, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

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