Was Abraham a Jew?

By showing the origin of the Jewish people, it is clearly seen that Abraham was not a Jew. The word Jew refers to those of the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. II Kings 16:6 contains the first biblical usage of the term. This was many centuries after Abraham’s lifetime.

As the name indicates, the tribe of judah descended from the man named judah. He was one of Jacob’s twelve sons (Gen. 35:23). Jacob was one of Isaac’s two sons (Gen. 25:26). Isaac was one of Abraham’s two sons (Gen. 21:3). Abraham was, therefore, Judah’s great-grandfather. He was not a Jew, but was rather one of their ancestors, and should appropriately be called a Hebrew (a descendant of EberGen. 11:17-26).