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The Hebrews

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These laws and cult of Yahweh form the eternal character of the Hebrews to the present day. ... Jewish king Josiah (of Judah) tried to extend his territory ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Hebrews


1
The Hebrews
2
The Land
  • Mesopotamia
  • Ur in the South and Haran in the North
  • Egypt
  • Hebrew nation forms
  • Palestine/Israel/Canaan/Shechem
  • Hebrew god promised this land to them.
  • Many battles fought over it.
  • Center of a brief Empire.
  • Land bridge between Mesopotamia and Egypt

3
The Age of the Patriarchs1950 BCE 1500 BCE
  • No record of the Hebrews until 1224-1211 BCE
  • All history is from Genesis (part of Hebrew
    bible)
  • Pre-Egyptian Hebrews age of the patriarchs
  • impossible to date
  • Written about a thousand years after it happened
  • no-one else was interested in the Hebrews
  • 1950 1500 BCE is a guess of scholars.

4
Age of the PatriarchsImportant Figures
  • Abraham
  • Selected by Yahweh to be his chosen people.
  • Semite living in Haran (northern Mesopotamia) -
    Father, came from Ur (southern Mesopotamia)
  • Visited by Yahweh told to move his family.
  • Migration - 1950 BCE
  • The region was collapsing
  • Yahweh tells him that all the land of Shechem
    (Palestine) will be given to the Him his
    descendents.
  • Entered into a covenantal relationship with the
    Hebrews and promises to protect them

5
The Original Hebrews
  • Nomads wandering tribal groups
  • Society organized around kinship rigid
    hierarchy.
  • Relationship with god is also a kinship
    relationship
  • Anybody who isn't a descendant of Abraham is not
    included in the special relationship with God.
  • Top of the kinship hierarchy tribal leader
    "patriarch,"
  • desiring a king is disobedience to God.
  • Hebrew tribes move to Egypt from Mesopotamia to
    find a better life.
  • Probably one of the foreign groups who
    overwhelmed Egypt at the end of the Middle
    Kingdom. (We will learn about this soon!)

6
More info on the Age of Patriarchs
  • Religion of the early Hebrews
  • had nothing to do with the Yahweh cult
  • introduced by Moses
  • Moses was first to hear the name of god, Yahweh.
    (Exodus)
  • Religious practices described in Genesis indicate
    a belief in animistic forces and even, possibly,
    polytheism
  • Highly controversial.
  • By the end of the patriarchal age, several tribes
    identified with one another as having a common
    ancestor and a common identity.
  • We don't even know what they called themselves.
  • We haven't successfully figured out where the
    term "Hebrew" comes from.
  • Maybe from the Egyptian word, "apiru," or
    "foreigner."

7
Egypt the Wanderings1500-1250 BCE
  • Migration out of Egypt 1250 BCE
  • the most important event in Hebrew history.
  • Gave the Hebrews an identity, a nation, a
    founder, and a name
  • Exodus , the biblical account of the migration
    "bene yisrael," "the children of Israel.
  • Almost no account of the Hebrews in Egypt, even
    in Hebrew history.
  • Several Egyptian records of foreign groups during
    the New Kingdom
  • Records of expelling groups that are threats or
    overly powerful.
  • The Hebrews never appear
  • The Hebrews only interested in events leading to
    the migration
  • The rest of their stay in Egypt (centuries) is a
    mystery.

8
  • Guesses about the Hebrews in Egypt
  • Big Hebrew population may have lived in N. Egypt
    1500-1250 BCE.
  • Many tribal groups, most Semitic, settling in N.
    Egypt from 1800 BCE.
  • Foreigners grew powerful
  • for a short time they dominated Egypt, ruling the
    Egyptians
  • Egyptians took back control over Egypt at the
    start of the New Kingdom
  • kicked out as many foreigners as they could.
  • Life got harsh
  • Egyptian king, Seti I (1305-1290), moved his
    capital to Avaris at the N. end of the Nile
    delta.
  • Established powerful military at the entrance to
    Egypt.
  • Garrisoned cities are labor intensive
  • building projects involved heavy taxation in the
    form of labor taxes.
  • heaviest burden fell on foreigners in the area
    including the Hebrews.
  • Probably what is described as the oppression of
    the Hebrews

9
Moses and the Yahweh Cult
  • Moses made the Hebrews important.
  • United foreigners into a distinct people
  • Gave them a religion and a theology
  • Most believe that Moses was either a real man
    or a group of people.
  • Hard to pin down facts about him.
  • Has an Egyptian name
  • Spends a large amount of time with a non-Hebrew
    people, the Midianites
  • With them he marries and seems to learn the
    Yahweh religion
  • Are there two Moses, an Egyptian and a Hebrew? Or
    an Egyptian and a Midianite? Are the Midianites
    the first peoples to worship Yahweh and then
    teach their religion to the Hebrews?
  • Also hard to tell who participated in the
    migration
  • Focus is on the Hebrews, but Exodus claims that a
    "diverse group of peoples" left Egypt with Moses.

10
  • Introduction to Yahweh and Yahweh cult occurred
    in an area around Mount Sinai (S. region of the
    Arabian Peninsula).
  • Occupied by a nomadic, tribal people
    Midianites.
  • Worshipped a nature god - believed lived on Mount
    Sinai.
  • There, Moses first meets Yahweh and learns his
    name
  • Moses returns to Sinai with the people of Israel
    and stays
  • There, all the laws and cultic practices of the
    new Yahweh religion are set down.
  • The laws come directly from Yahweh "ten
    commandments."
  • These laws and cult of Yahweh form the eternal
    character of the Hebrews to the present day.

11
Occupation of Canaan1250-1050 BCE
  • Hebrews arrive at Canaan land promised to them
    1000 yeas earlier
  • Begin long process of settling the land.
  • There were people already there.
  • Canaanites Semitic people spoke language close
    to Hebrew.
  • Farmers, some nomads, but civilized.
  • used Mesopotamian cities as models built small
    imitations.
  • Learned military technology, tactics, law from
    the Mesopotamians
  • Hebrews uncivilized, tribal, and nomadic

12
  • The Hebrews had a few spectacular victories in
    battle
  • Gained territory along the coastal plains
  • But were driven out of these areas
  • Settled in a few places in the Jordan River
    valley.
  • Held their own against the Canaanites, but could
    not defeat a new people - the Philistines (from
    the north)
  • overwhelmed everyone in their path.
  • had chariots and iron weapons
  • few could stand against new technologies.
  • Hebrews found themselves living in the worst
    areas of Canaan
  • Balance of power shifted as local kingdoms would
    grab and then lose territory
  • Hebrews would find themselves under one and then
    another master.

13
The Judges and the Deliverers
  • During this time, the Hebrews rarely organized
    into a single group.
  • Divided into separate tribes
  • No center of Yahweh worship no central
    government.
  • Only official positions were Judges Deliverers.
  • Judges exercised some authority over all the
    tribes of Israel.
  • May have had some kind of legislative and
    judicial control
  • Judges" weren't gender specific.
  • Most important "judge" was a woman Deborah.

14
  • Deliverers were military commanders.
  • Organized intertribal armies led them into
    battle against foreigners
  • Appeared at the time of the greatest oppression
    of the Hebrews
  • elected by Yahweh to free the Hebrews from
    oppression
  • Hebrews regularly abandon the Yahweh religion for
    local cults
  • particularly Canaanite cults.
  • focused on the god Baal
  • Hebrews that settle in the Canaanite cities
    disappear into the Canaanite religion
  • Yahweh religion largely maintained by the nomadic
    groups in the hill country.
  • Hebrews eventually want the identity and
    stability of a unified nation and monarchy.
  • Monarchy was an act of disobedience towards
    Yahweh
  • Turned this group of tribes into a kingdom and
    empire.

15
The Monarchy1050 920 BCE
  • Two hundred years of poor success in occupying
    lands in Palestine
  • Hebrews united to form a single state under a
    single monarch.
  • First ruled loosely by judges, then deliverers
  • Still faced constant threat of invasion and
    oppression
  • Still has not even remained firm in their Yahweh
    religion.

16
Saul
  • Hebrew tribes decided they wanted a king (like
    the Egyptians and Mesopotamians had)
  • Hebrews asked Samuel, the "judge" of Israel, for
    a king.
  • disobedience towards Yahweh
  • Yahweh selected a king for the Hebrews Saul
    (probably chosen by popularity among the people).
  • Ineffectual leader
  • Mostly a military leader.
  • No accounts of him exercising monarchical power
    outside of military exploits.
  • still tribal people, so the transition to a
    monarchy was slow.

17
  • Saul not a wealthy monarch (like any tribal
    leader)
  • Fails to carry out Yahweh's instructions
  • Yahweh chooses another king, David.
  • Saul was king for only 2 years.    
  • Pattern emerges monarchy is viewed as a
    negative development in Hebrew history (even
    though written about centuries after the rule of
    Jewish monarchs).
  • Monarchy creates new conflict Who is the ruler
    if the king can disobey Yahweh?

18
David
  • Chosen before Saul became king
  • Saul tries to kill him, David runs eventually
    Saul kills himself.
  • David returns and becomes king.
  • Character changes as king
  • he murders a man in order to marry his wife.
  • Worse than anything Saul did!
  • Big accomplishments too. (40 years as king).
  • Defeats the Philistines
  • Transform the new Hebrew kingdom into a Hebrew
    empire.
  • Never fully integrated, but send tribute and
    labor to David out of fear.
  • Unites the tribes of Israel under an absolute
    monarchy.
  • Non-military affairs building, legislation,
    judiciaries, etc.
  • Built up Jerusalem to look more like the capitals
    of other kings rich, large, beautiful
  • Hebrews found themselves under heavy taxes and
    forced labor.

19
Solomon
  • Last king of a united Hebrew state,
  • Wise and shrewd king - best of all the kings of
    Israel.
  • Wanted to be like a Mesopotamian king
  • He built up the capital in Jerusalem with a huge
    palace and temple attached to it
  • had 700 wives and 300 concubines
  • most of whom were non-Hebrew (in the book of
    Judges , Yahweh forbids all male Hebrews to marry
    non-Hebrews).
  • imported products gold, copper, and cedar, -
    unavailable in Israel.
  • Taxed his people heavily.
  • Gave twenty towns to foreign powers for imported
    goods
  • Paid Phoenicia in slave labor every three
    months, 30,000 Hebrews performed slave labor for
    the King
  • Portrayed as a good king in the bible
  • from accounts of Hebrews living under they did
    not agree.
  • They became very unhappy.
  • When he died (around 926 to 922 BCE) the 10
    northern tribes revolted.
  • Would not be ruled by Solomons son.
  • Established their own kingdom.
  • Empire of David and Solomon was gone
  • Two kingdoms emerged lost all the territory
    within 100 years.

20
The 2 Kingdoms920 -597 BCE
  • The 2 Kingdoms of the Hebrews North - Israel,
    South - Judah.
  • Israelites capital in Samaria
  • Judeans capital in Jerusalem.
  • Remained separate states for over two hundred
    years.
  • Both had many ineffective, disobedient, and
    corrupt kings.
  • With the collapse of the Hebrew Empire
  • Moab successfully revolts against Judah
  • Ammon successfully secedes from Israel
  • Within 100 years Israel and Judah are tiny states
    - no bigger than Connecticut.
  • tiny states never survived in that region
  • Israel and Judah were of commercial and military
    importance to nearby powers (Mesopotamia Egypt)

21
The Conquest of Israel
  • 722 BCE Assyrians conquered Israel.
  • forced the 10 tribes to move to other parts of
    their empire.
  • Kept them weak and peaceful.
  • chose the upper and more powerful classes
  • No reason to fear general population.
  • Sent Assyrians to move into the conquered
    territory.
  • Many of them adopt the worship of Yahweh over
    centuries.
  • These Israelites disappear from history
    permanently the ten lost tribes of Israel.
  • They were scattered in small populations all over
    the Middle East.
  • Drop their Hebrew names, identity, and religion
    to fit in.
  • Babylonians later did the same thing when they
    conquered Judah but all to one location.
  • Jews set up a separate community retained their
    religion and identity.

22
The Conquest of Judah
  • Judah was conquered by the Chaldeans in 701 BCE
  • 625 BCE, Babylonians took control of
    Mesopotamia for a second time.
  • Jewish king Josiah (of Judah) tried to extend his
    territory
  • Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians fought over
    Judah he failed.
  • Babylonians defeated the Egyptians in 605 BCE
  • Judah became a tribute state to Babylon.
  • Babylonians were defeated in 601 BCE
  • The king of Judah, Jehoiakim, defected to the
    Egyptians.
  • Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, sent troops to
    punish Judah in 597 BCE.
  • Jehoiachin (new King of Judah), gave Jerusalem to
    Nebuchadnezzar
  • Nebuchadnezzar deported 10,000 Jews to his
    capital in Babylon
  • all deportees were drawn professionals, the
    wealthy, and craftsmen.
  • Ordinary people were allowed to stay in Judah.

23
  • Zedekiah defected from the Babylonians again
  • Nebuchadnezzar sent another expedition 588 BCE
  • Conquered Jerusalem in 586
  • Zedekiah caught and forced to watch the murder of
    his sons, then blinded deported to Babylon.
  • Prominent citizens deported again
  • Number was far smaller between 832 and 1577
    people were deported.
  • The Hebrew kingdom was ended.
  • Never appear again, except for a short time in
    the 2nd century BCE

24
Exile597 538 BCE
  • Nebuchadnezzar (king of the Chaldeans) deported
    the most prominent citizens of Judah
    professionals, priests, craftsmen, and the
    wealthy.
  • The "people of the land" were allowed to stay.
  • During the exile 2 groups the Jew in Babylon and
    the Jews who remain in Judah.
  • We know almost nothing of the Jews in Judah after
    586.
  • Famine
  • infinite despair.
  • Some people were better off land of rich
    deportees redistributed to the poor.
  • Rivalries between the two groups of Jews.
  • Wealthy and professional Jews in Babylon regarded
    themselves as the true Jewish people.

25
  • Jews were settled in a single place by
    Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Deported Jews formed their own community in
    Babylon and retained their religion, practices,
    and philosophies.
  • Unlike the 10 lost tribes.
  • Some adopted the Chaldean religion, but most
    remained united in worship of Yahweh.
  • Defeat and loss of land promised by Yahweh seemed
    to indicate that Yahweh had turned away from
    them.
  • Period of great despair
  • Blamed Exile on their own impurity.
  • They betrayed Yahweh, allowed Mosaic laws and
    cultic practices to become corrupt
  • Theology of salvation appears.
  • Israelites would be gathered together, society
    and religion purified, unified kingdom
    re-established
  • The Torah was probably written in its finalized
    form in this period. (Central holy text of the
    Jews).

26
After the Exile538-332 BCE
  • Cyrus of Persia conquered Mesopotamia and the
    Middle East for religious reasons.
  • Cyrus wanted to conquer the world.
  • Conquest was strategic before Cyrus guaranteed
    your territorial safety by conquering potential
    enemies.
  • Middle of the 7th century BCE prophet,
    Zarathustra (aka Zoroaster), appeared among
    Persians
  • preached a new religion.
  • Zoroastrianism the universe was made up of two
    distinct parts.
  • good and light
  • evil and dark.
  • History was the battle between these forces.
  • Humans were part of the struggle in all they did.

27
  • Zoroastrianism involved two gods but other gods
    took sides.
  • Cyrus believed Yahweh was one of the good gods
  • Cyrus said Yahweh visited him one night.
  • Yahweh commanded him to re-establish Yahweh
    worship in Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple.
  • Cyrus ordered the temple rebuilt.
  • Ordered that the Jews in Babylon return to
    Jerusalem.
  • Sent many people back to the native lands to
    worship the local gods there
  • Jews were not unique.
  • Judah became a Theological State
  • Jews were sent home only to worship!
  • Society Changed
  • solely concerned with religious matters
  • foreign religions not tolerated as they had been
    before foreign religions expelled
  • Non-Jews were persecuted
  • Yahweh and only Yahweh was worshipped.
  • Persians and Greeks respected this
  • Romans eventually try to introduce new Gods and
    greatly offend the Jews.

28
  • Learned many things from the Persians
  • included Persian elements in their religion
  • occurred at the same time there was an effort to
    purify the religion!
  • Most elements were popular not official beliefs
  • Persist only in Christianity
  • Arose among the people not the educated and
    priestly classes.
  • Persian Beliefs
  • dualistic universe (good vs. evil)
  • Hebrew belief the universe was dominated only
    by Yahweh. History was the result of Yahweh and
    Human will not good and evil.
  • dualistic afterlife. (heaven and hell)
  • Hebrews belief soul after death went to a house
    of dust called "Sheol," for a brief time then
    faded from existence.
  • Identical to all other Semitic versions of the
    afterlife.
  • Focus on present life.
  • In popular religion (which becomes Christianity),
    the Hebrews adopted this view of the afterlife.
  • explains suffering in this life Exile justice
    at one's death

29
Greeks and Jews 332-63 BCE
  • After two centuries under Persia, Judah became
    part of Macedonia, a Greek state.
  • Alexander the Great had conquered Persia and most
    of the world. (known at that time)
  • After his death empire divided among three
    generals.
  • After two centuries of peace under the Persians,
    Hebrew state caught in the middle of power
    struggles
  • Between 319 and 302 BCE, Jerusalem changed hands
    seven times.
  • Jews bitterly resented the Greeks.
  • More foreign than any group they had ever seen.
  • The gods of the Greeks seemed wildly offensive.
  • Society was very opposed to exposure of the body
  • Greeks wrestled nude and dressed very lightly

30
  • Mostly, Greeks left the Jews alone
  • They let the Jews run their own country
  • declared that the law of Judah was the Torah
  • Attempted to preserve Jewish religion.
  • When the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, desecrated
    the Temple in 168 BCE, he touched off a Jewish
    revolt under the Maccabees
  • Judah became an independent state again.
  • During this period, Jewish history in several
    areas in Judah, in Mesopotamia and other parts
    of the Middle East, and Egypt.
  • Large, powerful groups of Jews lived throughout
    the Persian empire
  • Jews outside of Judah still thrived.
  • In many foreign cities throughout the Hellenistic
    (Greek) world, Jews formed unified and solid
    communities
  • Jewish women had more rights and freedom in these
    communities rather than at home.  
  • Torah was translated into Greek in Ptolemaic
    Egypt because it was the law code of the Jews.
  • Mistakes and mistranslations occurred
  • Hebrew Torah is very anti-Egyptian -- founding
    event of the Hebrew people was the oppression of
    the Hebrews by the Egyptians
  • The Greek translators, working for the Greek
    rulers of Egypt changed the anti-Egyptian
    aspects.
  • This translation made Judaism into a World
    Religion Made the Hebrew scriptures available
    to Mediterranean world early Christians.

31
The Diaspora (dispersion, scattering)
  • Jewish state ends in 70 C.E. Romans began to
    drive Jews from the home they had lived in for
    over a millennium.
  • Really began before the Romans, when the
    Assyrians conquered Israel in 722
  • 597 BCE on, three distinct groups of Hebrews a
    group in Babylon and other parts of the Middle
    East, a group in Judea, and another group in
    Egypt.
  • Thus, 597 is considered the beginning date of the
    Jewish Diaspora.
  • In 63 BCE, Judea became a protectorate of Rome.
  • under the administration of a governor
  • Judea was allowed a king
  • Governor's was to regulate trade and maximize tax
    revenue.

32
  • Romans were a nightmare for the Jews.
  • Governorships were bought at high prices
  • They heavily taxed the Jews.
  • Even with a Jewish king, the Judeans revolted in
    70 CE
  • ended tragically.
  • 73 CE, last of the revolutionaries were holed up
    in a mountain fort called Masada
  • Romans had waged war on the fort for two years
  • 1000 men, women, and children inside were
    beginning to starve.
  • Jewish revolutionaries killed themselves rather
    than surrender to the Romans.
  • The Romans then destroyed Jerusalem, annexed
    Judea as a Roman province
  • Systematically drove the Jews from Palestine
    (named by the Romans after the Jews enemies the
    Philistines)
  • After 73 CE, Hebrew history would only be the
    history of the Diaspora as the Jews and their
    world view spread over Africa, Asia, and Europe.
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