Definition of Israelite in US English:



  • 1A member of the ancient Hebrew nation, especially in the period from the Exodus to the Babylonian Captivity (c.12th to 6th centuries BC).

    • ‘So the Egyptians made slaves of the Israelites (also called Hebrews).’
    • ‘The book of Leviticus contains a number of food laws that the ancient Israelites were to obey.’
    • ‘One way in which to analyze biblical narrative is by examining the ways in which the ancient Israelites perceived and used space.’
    • ‘I begin to see why the Israelites wandered for 40 years after refusing to take the Promised Land.’
    • ‘Unlike their exodus over four centuries later, the Israelites ' entry into Egypt was under very favorable circumstances.’
    • ‘Israel's sacred books provide the prevailing cultural intertext for Israelites in the period.’
    • ‘The end came when the Israelites were battling the Philistines at Aphek.’
    • ‘Why were the prayers, sacrifices and observances of these ancient Israelites not pleasing to God?’
    • ‘In what part of Egypt did the Israelites dwell before the Exodus?’
    • ‘It was once thought that the ancient Israelites must have been predominantly left-handed because Hebrew is written from right to left.’
    • ‘For centuries, the Israelites believed that their faith in God rested in the land, the king and the temple.’
    • ‘The Temple of the ancient Israelites is the original Hebrew expression of pagan consciousness.’
    • ‘Elijah told the Israelites that Yahweh would bring drought to the land if they continued worshipping Baal.’
    • ‘The Hebrew Bible written by the ancient Israelites, was adopted by the Early Christians.’
    • ‘Joshua and the Israelites had made an impressive beginning of their conquest of Canaan.’
    • ‘The Lord instituted Passover at the time of the Israelites ' exodus out of Egypt.’
    • ‘The Torah recounts how in the second year after the Exodus, the Israelites arrived at the borders of the Promised Land.’
    • ‘Ezekiel runs into the Israelites ' expectation that God is, and always will be, a God of retribution.’
    • ‘Not only did Pharoah refuse to let the enslaved Israelites go, he made life even more difficult for them.’
    • ‘The Sabbath, which totally set apart the Israelites from the nations around them, also entailed responsibility.’
    1. 1.1
      old-fashioned and sometimes offensive term for Jew


  • Relating to the Israelites.

    • ‘Could this be the first hint that even Joshua is not completely confident that adherence to God's Torah is itself sufficient guarantee of Israelite success?’
    • ‘On his shoulders were two onyx stones, each engraved with the names of six Israelite tribes.’
    • ‘What is the role of sacrifice in Israelite religion?’
    • ‘He continues his sermon noting how unaccustomed we are, even as Christians, to the authentic language of discernment this Israelite king represents.’
    • ‘Emphasis was usually on Israel and Israelite society, although later generations would apply it to the known human world.’
    • ‘So that the angel would know which houses were Israelite homes, the Children of Israel were to follow very specific instructions.’
    • ‘Chronicles records the institution of this music as an integral part of Israelite worship.’
    • ‘By the time of King David however, the city came fully under Israelite control.’
    • ‘Doxologies were an integral part of Israelite worship and that of the early church, appearing frequently in psalms and hymns.’
    • ‘Well, we might say, it is not surprising that Israelite culture would celebrate resistance to foreign potentates.’
    • ‘Zechariah spoke in a world dominated by traditional Israelite enemies.’
    • ‘Hellenistic women in fact could do so, and there were even some situations in which Israelite women in Palestine asked for a divorce.’
    • ‘The same can be said of Israelite tradition.’
    • ‘God and the people of Israel generally accepted non-hostile aliens in their land, provided that they conducted themselves according to Israelite religion and law.’
    • ‘A point that may draw fire from biblical scholars is Berrigan's linear-developmental understanding of Israelite religion.’
    • ‘The Pharisees' holiness approach protected Israelite culture from assimilation into the dominant Greco-Roman culture.’
    • ‘Donald Senior stated it nicely in his article ‘Between Two Worlds: Gentile and Israelite Christians in Matthew's Gospel.’’
    • ‘It would seem that Josiah embraced Israelite religion as a bulwark of his kingdom.’
    • ‘In spite of these positive references, the traditional attitude towards physicians in Israelite society was one of distrust.’
    • ‘In sum, Israelite society was family oriented.’


Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek Israēlitēs.