15 For in truth, I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews; nor have I done anything here that they should have put me in the dungeon.”
kee gu-NOV gu-NAV-tee may-E-retz ha-iv-REEM v’-gam POH lo a-SEE-tee m’-U-mah kee sa-MU o-TEE ba-BOR
טו כִּי־גֻנֹּב גֻּנַּבְתִּי מֵאֶרֶץ הָעִבְרִים וְגַם־פֹּה לֹא־עָשִׂיתִי מְאוּמָה כִּי־שָׂמוּ אֹתִי בַּבּוֹר׃
40:15 I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews
It is remarkable, notes Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, that at this early date, the Land of Israel was already known as the ‘Land of the Hebrews.’ While the Torah chronicles and elaborates on events in the lives of the Patriarchs and other monumental occurrences that influence all of Jewish history, it provides little commentary on the surrounding nations’ reactions to these events. Through this reference, though, it becomes clear that the Hebrew people was emerging as a recognized entity, important enough for the land to be referenced as theirs.