Crossing Over

Strong’s 5674 “abar”, alienate.  The definition: to pass over, through, or by, pass on; most prominently to cross over a stream or land border, to transverse, emigrate; as well as to pass away, cease to exist. (1)

It is such a joy to connect the dots in YHVH’s word.  While researching the first use of the name “Hebrew” at Gen. 14:13 when Abram battles to rescue Lot, another connection became very clear.

 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew;…” (KJV)

The word “Hebrew” is from Strong’s Heb. 5680 “iber”, (2) which is commonly thought to be from Abram’s ancestor Eber in Gen. 10:21-25 and 11:14-16.

An excerpt from Benson’s Commentary at Gen. 14:13 offers:

“Abram is here called the Hebrew, and because the word signifies passage, some have thought that he is so called from his passing the Euphrates; but it is much more probable that he is called so from his great and good ancestor Eber, mentioned Genesis 10:24; Genesis 11:14, in and by whom the primitive language and true religion were preserved; and, therefore, though Abram had five other progenitors between Eber and him, who were persons of less note, he is rightly denominated from Eber, because he revived the memory and work of Eber, kept up the same language, and eminently propagated the same true religion.” (3)

This thought is repeated in several other of the commentaries.  But the actual word “Hebrew” is not only a name but also a descriptive adjective. As an adjective it adds another meaning.  Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB) has the first definition of the word “Hebrew” as the adjective at 1.b:

“used to distinguish Israel from foreigners (= one from beyond, from the other side, i.e. probably (in Hebrew tradition) from beyond the Euphrates (compare Joshua 24:2,3E), but possibly in fact (if name given in Canaan) from beyond the Jordan;…” (4)

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges commentary at Gen. 14:13 includes:

“The name “Hebrew” here occurs for the first time in Scripture. It is a title used of Israelites, either by foreigners, or in speaking of them to foreigners, or in contrast with foreigners. The word was popularly explained as a patronymic meaning “descendant of Eber,” see notes on Genesis 10:24, Genesis 11:14. Its formation, from the root ‘br, suggests that it means “one who has come from the other side,” probably, of the river Euphrates, cf. Joshua 24:2. The LXX renders here ὁ περάτης, Lat. transeuphratensis.” (5)

Ellicott’s Commentary has:

“Abram the Hebrew – That is, the immigrant (from beyond the Euphrates), but also his patronymic from Eber, who in like manner had crossed the Tigris.” Source: Ibid.

From MacLaren’s Expositions:

“… It is a personal epithet, or, in plain English, a nickname, and it means, probably, as the ancient Greek translation of Genesis gives it, neither more nor less than ‘The man from the other side,’ the man that had come across the water. Just as a mediaeval prince bore the sobriquet Outremere-the ‘man from beyond the sea’-so Abram, to the aboriginal, or, at least, long-settled, inhabitants of the country, was known simply as the foreigner, the ‘man from the other side’ {of the Jordan, or more probably of the great river Euphrates}, the man from across the water.”  Source: Ibid

And once more for emphasis, Barne’s Notes at Gen. 14:13 has:

“At all events, this is the first appearance of the name in Scripture. As we all know, it has become that of the nation, but a Jew did not call himself a ‘Hebrew’ except in intercourse with foreigners. As in many other cases, the national name used by other nations was not that by which the people called themselves. Here, obviously, it is not a national name, for the very good reason that there was no nation then. It is a personal epithet, or, in plain English, a nickname, and it means, probably, as the ancient Greek translation of Genesis gives it, neither more nor less than ‘The man from the other side,’ the man that had come across the water.”   Source: Ibid

Strong’s 5674 “abar” and 5680 “iber” are related: crossing / passing from one side to the other; used for the alienation or emigration from one land into another; as well as crossing bodies of water – rivers, streams, seas.  The name “Eber” comes from the verb “abar” meaning to pass through.  It means “he who passed over”. (6)

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges at Gen. 10:24 has:

“Êber”  in the Hebrew means “on the other side of.” The ancestors of Israel are described as those who “dwelt of old time beyond the River” (êber ha-nâhâr = “on the other side of the Euphrates river”).” (7)

Therefore Eber is presumed to have crossed over either the Tigris or the Euphrates.  Then his descendant Abram crossed over the Euphrates, also called the river Frat.

Jacob crossed the rivers Euphrates and Jordan both when leaving his father Isaac’s land in Canaan, and again upon his return from Laban in Haran (Gen 31:21; 32:10).  It was at the brook, or stream of Jabbok, which flows to the Jordan where Jacob wrestled with the angel (Gen. 32:24-31; 48:15-16), and received the blessing and a new name “Israel” as a prince of God.  And, after having been blessed, in the morning he crossed over the brook of Jabbok.

Is it long before we think of Abram’s descendants crossing over the Red Sea in their exodus from Egypt?  Then in order to enter the physical promised land of Canaan, they again cross over water, the river Jordan.

And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.  I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.

And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; …”  (Josh 24:2-8, KJV)

God called Abram out of Haran.  He called Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob (Israel) out of Egypt.  Each had to cross over the water to the land God provided.

Elijah crossed the river Jordan on dry land before he was taken up in the chariot (2 Kings 2:4-8).  Elisha, when he took up Elijah’s mantle, crossed back over the river Jordan on dry ground before beginning his ministry for YHVH (2 Kings 2:13-14).

Jonah was immersed in water in the belly of the fish, with the surging waves passing over him before beginning his ministry to Nineveh (Jon. ch. 2).

This crossing through, passing through the waters is an anointing of God.  Type and anti-type.

God now calls us through His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) to come out of the darkness and be separate for Him (1 Pet. 2:9), to be His priests and kings on this earth (Rev. 5:10).  A symbolic part of that calling out is crossing the water, which anti-type is now immersion.

16 So now, what are you waiting for? Get up, immerse yourself and have your sins washed away as you call on his name.’”  (Acts 22:16, CJB), or…

“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”  (Acts 22:16, KJV)

That was Paul’s calling.  He answered the call by being immersed in water, “crossing” the water.  He had to enter into it, immerse himself completely, and rise back up out of it.

” Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”  (1 Pet. 3:20, KJV)

The water has always been a part of the calling out from among the wicked, separating out of the darkness and into the light.  A separation unto God is an anointing, to sanctify and be consecrated for Him, to be purposed / appointed / ordained as His people (Lev. 8:10-12; Isa. 45:1; 61:1; Jer. 1:5; Acts 13:48; 2 Cor. 1:21; 1 Tim. 2:7)

A priest was always anointed before beginning his ministry unto God (Ex. 30:30-33). In the OT, under the law, the anointing was done by oil.  Under the new covenant, the gospel of Christ, the anointing is done by the Holy Spirit, the oil of gladness (Heb. 1:9).

16 As soon as Yeshua had been immersed, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, he saw the Spirit of God coming down upon him like a dove, 17 and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with him.”  (Matt. 3:16-17, CJB) (8)

Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit after he crossed the water, after entering into it, immersing himself in it, and rising back up.  He crossed the same water, the river Jordan as had the Israelite whom God had called out of bondage in Egypt (Josh 3:14-16; John 1:28).  Jesus’ crossing of that river Jordan was at that very same spot where the Israelite had entered into the Jordan.(9) (10)    It was the anti-type, and fulfillment of the OT crossing.

This is being born of the water and the spirit (John 3:5).  We cross the water (immersion / baptism) from darkness into light, from bondage and slavery into freedom from sin and death; and then the Holy Spirit will anoint us, and write our names in the book of life (Phil. 4:3, Rev. 21:27).  Only then are we in Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).

Many of us cannot go to that same geographical location at the Jordan to cross over, to be immersed into Christ.  But we do not have to be at that same location that so many of the faithful crossed in answering God’s call.  The action of immersion and confessing Yeshua as the son of God can be done anywhere a body of water is found (Acts 8:36).

That is how we answer the call, and cross over and through the water, following the instruction YHVH has given us (Acts 2:38, 3:6; 4:18; 5:40; 8:16; 19:15).  That is how we are separated and sanctified for Him.

24 Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life — that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life!”  (John 5:24, CJB)

And, now we ask…why is the book of Hebrews called “Hebrews”?   Isn’t it addressed to those who have already crossed over?

(Edited April 12, 2022)

(All bold emphasis is mine.)


1) Strong’s 5674 “abar” – Biblehub

2)  Strong’s 5680 “iber”  – Biblehub

3) Benson’s Commentary – Gen. 14:13 Biblehub

4) BDB Definition of Hebrew – same source as note 1 above

5) Cambridge Bible commentary – same source as note 2 above

6) Etymolgy of Eber – here

7) Commentary at Gen. 10:24 Biblehub

8) Under the law, each high priest anointed his successor, carrying on the original anointing from Moses through Aaron (Lev. 16:32).  Christ was immersed by the John, the son of Zacharias , a legitimate priest of Aaron’s lineage (Luke 2:8-21), and grandson of the Zadokite High Priest Yahushua III (Joshua ben Fabus, 30-23 BC).

John was the descendant from Aaron through Eleazar to Zadok, the high priest to David.  John was set apart, consecrated, filled with the Holy Spirit from in the womb – anointed (Luke 1:14-17).  The transfer of the office of High Priest was made at His baptism from Aaron’s priestly blood lineage office (Num 6:23-26) which God had appointed to John to the everlasting spiritual office of High Priest held by Yeshua, Jesus  (Heb. 7:11-20).  Sources: Biblesearches    also here

9)  The Location of the Baptism of Jesus…. here

10) At the Jordan River, where Jesus was Baptized – here

4 thoughts on “Crossing Over

  1. Pingback: From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name – Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

  2. Ann Fangio

    This is wonderful Gina! Thank you so much for all of the work you do!! I really appreciate your research and the time you take to bring this to me/us.


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