The english word "Jew"

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at
Thu Jun 13 10:47:51 EDT 2002

The word which is translated "Jew" in English
is used in Akkadian in Sennacherib's annals (701 bce)
i-yau-di, to refer to Hezekiah, king of Judea (iua-di-a).
It is also used in the Elephantine texts to refer to Jewish
conscripts from Judah (Yehud) the Jews, yehudaiya (end of the 5th C
It is used by the returning exiles. In Ezra.
Now your friend may have a problem because of the letter J,
which is the German Y. I don't know when Jew became shortened from
Judaean, but in Yiddish (Jewish) the word for Jew is Yid, which is
from Yudean. In German Jew is spelled Jude, pronounced Yude, from Judah.
Judaism is Juda-ism, the religion/belief system of the people from

The problem that many people have is that the NT provides Jesus'
as descending from the Judean kings, and then it has him say that
Jews are descended from the devil. Since people don't want to have Jesus
himself be descended from the devil (!) they go through all kinds of
to deny that the Kings of Judah are Jews!

I hope this helps!
Liz Fried

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ralph Purificato [mailto:ralphp3 at]
> Sent: Wed, June 12, 2002 7:37 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: The english word "Jew"
> I am not sure of the motive but I have someone who does not
> believe or he
> is being lead to believe that the people who call themselves
> Jews are not
> the same people that descended from the tribe of Judah.
> Stranger still he
> claims to be Jewish. He believes that the present and also
> those who are
> called “Jews” in the New Testament belong to some other tribe
> that took
> over the identity of the true “Jews” descendents of  Judah.
> My question here is where did the English word “Jew” come from. He
> believes it was made up by Shakespeare and says the word did not exist
> before that.
> Thanks so much
> Ralph
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