When did the term “Jews” come to refer to the Jewish people as opposed to “Israelites” or “Hebrews”?


Notes by Autumn Light

divided-monarchy-hpImage source: myjewishlearning.com

With the fall of the (northern) kingdom of Israel and the scattering of its population by the Assyrians in 722 BCE, when Judea became the sole sovereign Israelite entity.

It certainly occurred following the reforms conducted under King Hezekiah (of Judea) who came to power shortly after that, welcomed the remaining northern Israelites into the kingdom, and ordered his officials to integrate their religious traditions into the Judean one, to forge the single Jewish tradition that became the basis of the Hebrew Bible some two hundred years later.

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