One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A country in the Middle East, on the Mediterranean Sea; population 8,100,000 (estimated 2015); languages, Hebrew (official), English, Arabic; capital (not recognized as such by the United Nations), Jerusalem.
1940s: from Israel.
1The Hebrew nation or people. According to tradition they are descended from the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob (also named Israel).
2The northern kingdom of the Hebrews (c.930–721 BC), formed after the reign of Solomon, whose inhabitants were carried away to captivity in Assyria.See also Judah (sense 2)
Old English: from Hebrew Yiśrā'ēl ‘he that strives with God’ (see Gen. 32:28).
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