The book most recently read was entitiled “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism” by Jason A. Staples.
I would highly recommend this book for the clarity of the terms for “Israel”,”Jew” and “Hebrew”. I would also recommend any book about this subject, you would be surprised by how some things in the scriptures will clear up for you when reading things.
This is another example, where we can get ourselves going down the wrong road with our ‘asuming’ definition of something and you find out the statement you say, is not factual. There are many things as christians that we mean to go back and do some research on terms, definition, stories, paradigms, allegory,literal, types, metaphors, and parables! I recommend that we all do it!
Staples does a very good job of detailing what the people, inside and outside of ‘Israel’ , What prophets meant by their usage of each word, and when it changed to a subset of one, or vica versa. It was very informative to the understanding of even within the ‘Jewish’ community in which they were apart of. Within these three definitions of this said ‘group’ it would change when an event happened to one or all of the group. Depending on when the word Israel was used in could be meaning just the northern tribe, or it could mean both the northern and southern tribe, Judah. This was used in knowing of the original setup, but also of the reuniting of them both in the eschatology of Israel, and their prophets.
A added bonus of this book, was a subset of a theme that was carried out in the telling of the story of these three terms. It was the underlining story of the “Covenant Theology” laced throughout the telling and believing ‘Israel’ that they would ‘all’ be brought back together as one. It is this, that brought me even more assured on what covenantal Theology of God’s desires for All to be “ONE”.