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English Bible Dictionary

Jew

 

(a man of Judea). This name was properly applied to a member of the kingdom of Judah after the separation of the ten tribes. The term first makes its appearance just before the captivity of the ten tribes. The term first makes it appearance just before the captivity of the ten tribes. (2 Kings 16:6) After the return the word received a larger application. Partly from the predominance of the members of the old kingdom of Judah among those who returned to Palestine, partly from the identification of Judah with the religious ideas and hopes of the people, all the members of the new state were called Jews (Judeans) and the name was extended to the remnants of the race scattered throughout the nations, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Under the name of "Judeans" the people of Israel were known to classical writers. (Tac. H. v.2, etc.) The force of the title "Jew" is seen particularly in the Gospel of St. John, who very rarely uses any other term to describe the opponents of our Lord. At an earlier stage of the progress of the faith it was contrasted with Greek as implying an outward covenant with God, (Romans 1:16; 2:9,10; Colossians 3:11) etc., which was the correlative of Hellenist, and marked a division of language subsisting within the entire body, and at the same time less expressive than Israelite, which brought out with especial clearness the privileges and hopes of the children of Jacob. (2 Corinthians 11:22; John 1:47)

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