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4 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course Lesson 2

Rehoboam was king of what people? In verse
21, who did he prepare to fight against? In this
context, who does “Israel” refer to?
COMMENT: By definition, the terms
“Israel” and “Israelite” BEGIN with Jacob and
continue from that point. These terms did not
exist PRIOR to Jacob’s name change. As a
result, could Adam, Noah, Shem, Eber,
Abraham, Isaac and Esau have been Israelites?
NO, of course not -- for none of them were
Jacob’s descendants! Yet, to this day, some
people erroneously refer to these men as
On the other hand, Joseph, Moses,
Joshua, David, Solomon, the Old Testament
prophets, Yeshua and his apostles were ALL
“Israelites” because they were descendants of
Jacob. In fact, many multitudes of peoples today
are Israelites due to their physical descent from
the various tribes or sons of Jacob Israel.
9. Read now I Kings 11 and 12.
COMMENT: The terms “Israel and
“Israelite” can also, in a NARROWER sense,
refer to the northern ten-tribed kingdom of Israel
as opposed to the southern kingdom of Judah.
At this point in our study we should
The nation of Israel was split into two separate
examine a word that does not appear in the Bible
kingdoms under Rehoboam and Jeroboam.
but is directly related to people mentioned in the
Therefore, care must be taken to determine the
Scriptures. This word has been greatly misused
INTENDED meaning of these terms according
and twisted from its original meaning, causing
to the overall CONTEXT within which they are
much confusion and turmoil. This word is
used. “Israel” can refer to all twelve tribes or just
“Semite” from which come the terms “semitic,”
to the northern ten tribes -- depending on the
“semitism” and the grossly misapplied
“anti-semitism.” Let us briefly examine the
At this point in our study we can
origin and correct meaning of this beleaguered
conclude that ALL Israelites by DESCENT are
Hebrews; however, NOT all Hebrews are
Webster’s Dictionary tells us that the
Israelites. Furthermore, Adam and all of his
word “Semite” (Shemite) comes from the Greek
descendants PRIOR to Eber were neither
word Sem and the Hebrew word Shem and
Hebrews nor Israelites. Also note that Esau and
refers to Noah’s son SHEM and his
his descendants, although they could qualify as
DESCENDANTS. Any direct descendant of
Hebrews, were NOT Israelites. Only his brother
Shem, then, would qualify as a “Semite” by
Jacob and his descendants could RIGHTLY
claim the name “Israel(ite).”
1. Shem is first mentioned in the Bible in
Genesis 5:32 as part of Adam’s family record.
2. Genesis chapter 10 gives us Noah’s

The Correct Meaning of Names
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