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Did the Jewish people descend from Abraham?

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06/30/2015

Yes. The Jewish people are descendants of Abraham, whose Semitic ancestors lived in the Fertile Crescent and who lived most of his life in the Middle Eastern country of Israel (Canaan) 3800 years ago.

Abraham is called a Hebrew (Genesis ch.14) because "Hebrews" (Ivrim) means descendants of Eber (Ever). Ever was an ancestor of Abraham (Genesis ch.10-11), and the early Hebrews were Abraham's uncles and cousins for several generations back. They were Western Semites and lived in northern Mesopotamia.In 1934-39, excavations were conducted at ancient Mari on the Euphrates River. They found that ancient towns were named after the ancestors of Abraham:
The city of Nahor was found near the city of Harran which exists to this day. Equally clear signs of early Hebrew residence appear in the names of other towns nearby: Serug (Assyrian Sarugi), Terah (Til Turakhi, "Mound of Terah"), and Peleg (Paliga, on the Euphrates near the mouth of the Habur). All these names are found in Genesis ch.11.


In Ur, Abraham first repudiated idolatry. (See: Abraham's biography.) He then sojourned in Harran (Syria) for several years, and then lived in Canaan (Israel). It was in Canaan that Abraham made a covenant with God (Genesis ch.15), and raised a family to be the center of carrying on his traditions (Genesis 18:19).

Abraham's chosen son was Isaac (Genesis ch.21). Isaac's son Jacob was blessed by God, who renamed him, calling him Israel (Genesis ch.35), which is why Jews are also called Israelites.


Jacob had 12 sons, who fathered the 12 Israelite tribes. The Israelites worshiped One God.

One thousand years after Jacob, ten of the tribes were exiled by the Assyrians, to points unknown. The only complete tribes left were Judah and Benjamin; plus part of Levi. The few thousands who remained from the other tribes joined the Tribe of Judah; and modern Jews are mostly descendants of Judah (hence the word "Jew").

This tradition has been substantiated by DNA analysis of Jewish communities all over the world, showing them to be inter-related and of Middle Eastern origin. The Cohanim, a family of the tribe of Levi, also share common genetics.

We possess the names and dates of our ancestors and leaders in an unbroken chain for 3800 years.


In 2000, Nicholas Wade concluded that his DNA study "provided genetic witness that Jewish communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries. The results accord with Jewish history and tradition."


See also:

Jewish history timeline

What race were the Israelites?

Jewish ancestry

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12/01/2007

Yes. Abraham sired Isaac, the son of the covenant, who sired Jacob... whose name was changed by the angel to Israel. Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel, from which we get the name "Jew."