555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

185. Where Did the Jews Get the Name "Hebrews"?




It is held by the best authorities and by the Jews themselves that the name is derived from Heber, or Eber (which means "from the other side," or a sojourner, or immigrant). Heber was the son of Salah and the father of Peleg (see Gen. 10:24, 11 '.14, and I Chron. 135). Abram was the first to be called a Hebrew (Gen. 14:13), presumably in the immigrant sense. The name is seldom used of the Israelites in the Old Testament, except when the speaker is a foreigner, or when the Israelites speak of themselves to one of another nation. Some writers have held that Hebrew is derived from Abraham (Abrai), but this explanation is not generally adopted.