|any of various peoples believing themselves to be chosen by God, esp the Jews|
A term applied to the Jews. According to the Old Testament, God chose the descendants of Abraham through the line of Isaac and Jacob — the ancestors of today's Jews — as the people through whom he would reveal himself to the world. God therefore freed them from slavery in Egypt and led them into the Promised Land.
the Jewish people, as expressed in the idea that they have been chosen by God as his special people. The term implies that the Jewish people have been chosen by God to worship only him and to fulfill the mission of proclaiming his truth among all the nations of the world. This idea is a recurring theme in Jewish liturgy and is expressed in many passages of Scripture, as for example: "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people of his own possession, out of all the nations that are on the face of the earth" (Deut. 14:2). The term chosen people is a free translation of the biblical terms 'am segullah ("treasure people") and 'am nahallah ("heritage people").
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