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"Hebrew" as an adjective or adjectival noun is traditionally understood to be based on the name of Abraham's ancestor, Eber, mentioned in Genesis 10:21. Eber's name, in turn, is believed to be based on a Semitic root word meaning "beyond", "other side", "across"; with an intended association with "from the other side [of the river/desert]" -- referring perhaps to the inhabitants of the land of Israel/Judah from the perspective of Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, or the Transjordan (with the river referenced being perhaps the Euphrates, Jordan, or Litani; or possibly the northern Arabian Desert between Babylonia and Canaan).
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