The biblical and modern day states of Israel have the same name, even though they are not the same entities.

Is there a name for the biblical state of Israel which is diffrent from Israel? Like the name Israelite refers to the ancient Jews/people of Israel and not to the citizen of modern day Israel (which are called Israeli).


I think the only way to make this distinction is to refer to the kingdom of Israel. Since the modern political entity is a republic, that will serve to distinguish them.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Unless you are talking about a period that distinguishes the kingdom of Israel from the Kingdom of Judah – mgb Jul 9 '13 at 4:02
  • 1
    @mgb Yes, and furthermore, tradition has it that the ancient Israelites were not always ruled by kings: at other periods the final authorities were judges or tribal elders. – MetaEd Jul 9 '13 at 4:19
  • @MετάEd fair point, but was there a political entity called Israel at the time? I was under the impression that the country, not the nation, of Israel had always been a kingdom until it was reestablished in the last century. Is that wrong? – terdon Jul 9 '13 at 12:08
  • @terdon In modern parlance, a state (OP's word) is a geopolitical entity. It seems to be a fact that Israel existed as a distinct geopolitical entity before it was united under a single king. This is not based on any expertise of mine, but on the information at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – MetaEd Jul 9 '13 at 21:47
  • In Old Testament times the notion of the nation state did not exist - society was tribal. Some historians argue that the entity - nation state - was given birth only in 1648, by the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty-Years War in Europe. – WS2 Oct 14 '15 at 22:05

How about ancient Israel? This parallels the way we talk about ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.