Hebrew or Jew

Before I ‘get to’ plan, first a clarification…

A book I was re-reading the other evening, started to irritate me. Well, not the book, but the fact the author used Jew and Hebrew interchangeably.

Talking about Joseph (of the coat-of-many-colours) and his position as prime minister under Pharaoh, the author called him a Jew.

Please… let me clarify.

The father of Joseph was Jacob, (God changed his name to Israel). Not wishing to confuse you, I will stick with Jacob for the moment.

drawwing of Jacob's sonsJacob had twelve sons. Joseph was the eleventh son. Ultimately those twelve sons became the start of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Remember the name change?)

Judah, the fourth son, is the one from whom Jews were named. Joseph, the eleventh son was not a Jew, although he was Hebrew. From Joseph came the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh who were his sons. All the other brothers had tribes named after them. You will find Jacob’s blessing of his sons, by name, in Genesis 49.

So, Joseph was NOT a Jew.

The next mistake the author made was in calling Moses a Jew. Moses, like his brother Aaron and sister Miriam, was a Levite, from the tribe of Levi. (The third son of Jacob.)

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.
Exodus 2: 1

It is easy to ‘lump’ them all together, and adding to the confusion is that the modern country of Israel would be comprised mainly of descendants of Judah.

If you are confused, don’t be concerned. In two years at a Bible Training Centre, I very much enjoyed the sessions on Biblical history, but found it hard to keep a track the tribes after the nation, comprised of the twelve tribes, split into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom. (After the reign of King Solomon.)

Suffice it to say that those early ‘church fathers’ were not Jews.

Jesus Christ however, as prophesied, came from the line of Judah.

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