Learn more about Hebrews
This article is about the Hebrew people. For the book of the Bible, see Epistle to the Hebrews.
Hebrews (or Heberites, Eberites, Hebreians; Hebrew: עברים or עבריים, Standard ʿIvrim, ʿIvriyyim Tiberian ʿIḇrîm, ʿIḇriyyîm; meaning "descendants of biblical Patriarch Eber"), were people who lived in Canaan, an area encompassing Israel, both banks of the Jordan River (The West Bank and Jordan), Sinai, Lebanon, and the coastal portions of Syria.
These areas were politically Phoenicia and of the Philistines in Canaan when they first arrived in the area. The Hebrews lived within this region in the 2nd millennium BCE and spoke a Canaanite dialect, which played a role in the Hebrew languages, although their culture was distinct from the local Canaanite culture. The extent of the distinction between the culture of the Canaanites and the Hebrews is a matter of great debate, touching as it does on strong religious sensibilities.