Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 21
The group name yehudiym, derived from the place name yehudah, later to be the name used by the Babylonians and the the Romans for the province of Judea, may not be a western semitic word at all. Edouard Lipinski has propsed an Arabic derivation from the stem whd meaning "gorge, ravine", so connecte to the physical geography of the land. Blenkinsopp adds:
The term 'yehudiym', therefore, began as a designation for a proto-Arabian lineage which came to inhabit the rehiob called Judah and which took its name from that region. After the formation of the state, the ublic identity of the members of the lineage was defined by belonging to the kingdom of Judah as a political entity.
Assyrian records, for example of Sennacherib's expedition against Judah in 701 BC, refer to the king at "Hezekiah the Judean".