Abraham – Not His Own Grandfather

(Response to the BAR article by Anson Rainey, INSIDE OUTSIDE, Where Did The Early Israelites Come From?)


   Many other readers may have noticed that Anson stated Abram was “the first Hebrew” in his article’s third paragraph.  Since the word “Hebrew” is derived from one of Abram’s forebears, EBER, we can be certain that Abram was not his own grandfather, which would be the only way he could have been “the first Hebrew” (because EBER was the first Hebrew).


   The name EBER (ayin-beth-resh) is taken from a verb meaning “passing”.  Words are archaeological fossils which can open up deeper meanings to us than dusty bones, clothing, clay pots, or stone walls.  The term “IBRI” developed from EBER, and over time became “Hebrew” – Habiru is an Egyptian form.  Abram (Abu Ramu, exalted father) was a descendant of Eber (Gen. 14:13), and probably met him.  Shem was still alive during Abram’s early life as well.  Signposts are all around the Earth today which are based on Eber’s name.  The Iber river, the ancient names of England (Hibernia) and Spain (Iberia), and the literal meaning of the German word “UBER” (above, over) all relate directly to the people and culture that sprang from a man we hardly ever discuss.  Where did the “early” Israelites (a people, not a land) really come from?  The answer Anson suggests in his article “passes through” (EBER) a lot of people and territory;  but I suggest that Israel came from the loins of Abrahim, the exalted “father of many”.  In many places in the past, Israel’s dispersed tribes have taken forms of the name Yitsaq, Abrahim’s son, as we see in the term Sacae.  Abrahim is the source of Anson’s search for the early Israelites, because he fathered many nations  -  as the name given to him reveals to us.

brother Lew White




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