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The neutrality of this article is disputed.

This article is about the Hebrew people. For the book of the Bible, see Epistle to the Hebrews.
Hebrews (syns. Heberites, Eberites, Hebreians, descendants of biblical Patriarch Eber; עברים, Standard Hebrew ʿIvrim, Tiberian Hebrew ʿIḇrm; also עבריים Standard Hebrew ʿIvriyyim, Tiberian Hebrew ʿIḇriyym) were bands of nomads who wandered Syria, Palestine, and Canaan and as far as present day Egypt and Kuwait in the 2nd millennium BCE. They are most commonly identified in contemporary records of neighbouring regions as Hurrian mercenaries called Habiru apparently based in the valley of Habur between the Euphrates and Tigris. In the Levant, Hebrews spoke a local Canaanite dialect (see Hebrew language) though the ancestral proto-Hebrews around present day Urfa or 'Ur of the Khaldis', from whence the Hebrew Patriarch Abram came, dwelt amidst the Hurrians. Interestingly Habiru names listed on the Tikunani Prism are also Hurrian.

Many Hebrews were originally Canaanites who gradually distinguished themselves based upon a religious difference by adopting Hurrian themes like the specific biblical version of the story of Noah. Many names in the bible are also better explained from Hurrian than from Canaanite such as Noah, Moses and David. The Hebrews worshipped the Hurrian form of EA known as Yah and many of the Hebrew names ending in -Ya have counterparts in Hurrian. El (Lord) and Elohim (gods), were both words the Hebrews adopted from Canaanite.

Hebrew nomads traditionally lived in tents and raised livestock principally goats, sheep and cattle. Their main beasts of burden were Oxen, Donkies and Camels. Camels were also used alongside Horses which were reserved for battle, though the main bulk of Hebrew military bands would probably have been on foot.

The most influential group of Hebrews to emerge from the 2nd century BCE Hebrew migrations were from a group which had long settled in Egypt and were known as Israel. Besides the Jews, other Hebrew peoples include the Edomites, Bnai israelites, Midianites, Arameans and Joktanites.

Certain Christian groups sometimes use the term Hebrews to distinguish the Jews in ancient times that lived before the birth of Jesus from Jews that lived afterward. Though important in some Christian theologies, the distinction is not recognized by the Jews themselves who still call themselves Hebrews in Hebraic.

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