Who is a Jew?

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Have you ever wondered where the term Jew comes from?

In order to answer this question, I would like to give a little background information. Abraham, known as the first Hebrew, had a son named Isaac. Isaac had two sons named Jacob and Esau, GOD changed Jacob's name to Israel, and he had 12 sons, known as the 12 tribes of Israel.

Many years later the 12 tribes prospered under the leadership of King David in the land of Israel. King David was succeeded by his son Solomon.

When King Solomon died his son Rehoboam became king. Rehoboam treated the people roughly. 10 of the 12 tribes rebelled against him, splitting the nation in two. This group became known as the 10 northern tribes of Israel. As time went on these 10 tribes drew further and further away from the true worship of GOD, and eventually they had separated themselves so much from GOD that when the king of Assyria invaded them GOD was not able to protect them. They where taken captive and have become known as the 10 lost tribes of Israel.

The tribes that remained faithful to the throne of David were the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites. Jerusalem remained their capital. Since the tribe of Judah was the largest, these remaining tribes together were referred to as the kingdom Judah. It is from this name, Judah, that the term Jew is derived from. It is interesting to note that king David was from the tribe of Judah as well as both the parents of the MESSIAH.


Picture: Rosh Hashana greeting card from the early 1900s. Public Domain.

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