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Good Morning. 

Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. (Genesis 14:13)

The opening verses of Genesis 14 describe a regional war in the days of Abraham that resulted in Lot being taken as a hostage. Some traditions say that he was taken because he was Abram’s nephew. This is the news that was reported to “Abram the Hebrew.” And here we have the very first time the word Hebrew is used.

In the Hebrew language the word is ivory and comes from the root עבר avar which means, “to pass or cross over.” It is referring to the fact that Abram crossed over the Jordan when he came into the land of Canaan from Haran. Because he was known by this term, his descendants inherited the title as well. Consequently, today, it is used more as than ethnic term to identify the physical descendants of Abraham. However, I would argue that, initially, the term didn’t describe Abram’s lineage but described his actions — he left the land of his father and crossed over into what God had called him to do.

In other words, Hebrew should be considered a spiritual term to describe those who have followed in Abraham’s footsteps. I would contend it is the term that should identify the people of faith who have crossed over from death to life. If we are in Messiah, we are Abraham’s seed, hence we are Hebrew. We have heard the voice of the Creator and obeyed His command. Through His Son, He has made covenant with us and we with Him and, thus, we identify as His people.

Furthermore, it is our mission to live a life that exemplifies the faith of Abraham — “he believed God” — that others may be drawn out of the darkness and cross over into the light and life. In reality, to be Hebrew has little to do with who your ancestors were; it has everything to do with what you do in regard to our Heavenly Father. If we are following the Messiah, we are Hebrew!


Blessings and Shalom,  




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