Many texts, publications, teachers, preachers etc. refer to ALL of Israel as Jewish. I'm forgoing putting links herein as there are many references online quickly and easily found. For example, "The 144,000 Jews of Revelation" as if all tribes are Jewish. But, far more than that. Some go as far as to say Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are Jewish. And, teaching and prophetic interpretations abound with the assumption all of Israel is Jewish.

How can this be defended using scripture?

Scripture shows Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Hebrew. From Jacob, renamed Israel, on down all are "Israelites". But, ONLY the tribe of Judah (mixed with Benjamin and some Levites) are "of Judah" aka Jewish.

It isn't a trivial distinction. To properly identify who's being addressed to prophesies unto the end of this age, the understanding is quite different which side of this matter one views as who is Jewish with respect to Israel.

  • 2
    "The 144,000 Jews of Revelation" - If you are referring to Revelation 7:4-8, verse 4 says "Israel"; it does not use the term Jew(s).
    – agarza
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 0:43
  • @agarza, if you Google the term you'll have an endless list of references teaching/preaching/etc. to all the tribes as "Jews" although Rev 7:4 says "Israel". That's the point of my question, how are so many conflating "Jews" with all 12 tribes and able to defend it using scriptural.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 1:05
  • 1
    It's a Synecdoche. Completely normal.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 3:29
  • @curiousdannii, without scriptural support for that claim, 'completely normal' is wrong. And, not insignificant as scripture is interpreted in a completely different manner than intended by the Lord.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 12:43
  • Where's your evidence for what you think was intended by the Lord?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


The ten tribes were lost after the Assyrian Captivity. Those who came back from the second captivity (the Babylonian Captivity) to re-build the temple in Jerusalem were of Judah.

They were Jewish.

Yes, Abraham was an Hebrew. But from the time of the second captivity, only Judah (Jews) were left in whom prophecy could be fulfilled.

Thence came Christ who is come, in respect of the flesh, of the tribe of Judah. That all prophecies might be fulfilled in Him.

  • Some members of the other tribes returned to the land after the exile. There's no such thing as truly lost tribes. See for example Anna in Luke 2:36.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 7:30
  • @curiousdannii Yes, indeed, but generally it was so and it was so in the judgment of God. And the term 'Jew' reflects that judgment.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 11:33

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