Difference Between a JEW and an ISRAELITE


Israelites make up ALL of Israel. ALL 12 tribes.
Jews are only a sect of the Israelites.

Jew = practicer of Judaism.

Not all of Israel were observing the Mosaic Law (practicing Judaism).

You’ve got two houses:

1. House of Judah

  • JEWS
  • southern tribes
  • southern kingdom
  • sometimes called house of Israel between the exile of 721bc and right before the cross
  • Tribes: Judah, Benjamin, & Levi
  • worshipped on their mountain in Jerusalem

2. House of Ephraim

  • northern tribes
  • northern kingdom
  • also called House of Israel/House of Jacob/House of Joseph
  • Tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph (later Ephraim and Manasseh)
  • worshipped on their mountain Mount Gerizim (in Samaria)

So, rule of thumb is, a JEW is from the House of Judah.

BUT.. someone that wasn’t from the House of Judah could be a Jew if they were practicing Judaism.

So which is it? Was it those of the House of Judah? or was it those who were simply practicers of Judaism (meaning anyone)?

It was those who were practicers of Judaism, but once the northern kingdom was cut off from the covenant, that covenant was only between YHVH and the southern kingdom, the House of Judah. That’s why the rule of thumb is ‘House of Judah’, but there were others who joined in on their covenant. I hope this isn’t confusing a ton of people.

A JEW is an Israelite….. but an Israelite isn’t necessarily a Jew because the Israelite could be from the northern kingdom, or could be a non-practicer of Judaism.

That’s how you can have non-Jewish Israelites. Israelites that didn’t observe the Torah, or were not from the southern kingdom.

The Jewish Israelites called the non-Jewish Israelites and all others that were not Jews, gentiles (nations).

When the New Covenant came to Israel, the NC members were no longer observing Judaism (were no longer legally Jews), therefore, in the NC there was no more ‘Jew nor Greek’. Jew (observer of Judaism) nor Greek (non-observer of Judaism). They would all be different, legally, in the New Covenant.

If this is confusing, please let me know. I’ll try rewording everything in simpler form.

Here’s a video with more details: https://youtu.be/TiIlq7XUOfc


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