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Daily Life in Ancient Israel

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This division between tribe and city dwellers led to increased tension ... The sexual drive was seen to be unruly as a result of the first sin by Adam and Eve ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Daily Life in Ancient Israel


1
Daily Life in Ancient Israel
  • Chapter 13

2
Changing Patterns of Life
  • Before David and Solomon people lived mainly in
    small villages and lived on farming and
    shepherding
  • After David and Solomon larger cities were
    established, shifting the economic and political
    power away from the rural areas
  • This division between tribe and city dwellers led
    to increased tension in the area
  • Rural dwellers resisted attempts at paganism from
    Jerusalems kings, but remained extremely loyal
    to the house of David, being one of the primary
    means of defense against outside attacks

3
City Life
  • 1,000 3,000 people
  • Extremely crowded conditions some buildings
    shared walls
  • Typical house stone base, mudbrick walls, and a
    flat roof made of mud or sticks and thatch
  • Cities usually had a major public square where
    marketing was done and where elders met to make
    judgments
  • Some evidence of a drainage system, but most
    cities were probably garbage-infested

4
The Human Person in Israelite Thinking
  • Descriptions were concrete
  • Ex. Song of Songs
  • Humans are made up of flesh (basar), spirit
    (ruah), heart (leb), and soul (nepesh)
  • The basic quality of human life comes from the
    soul desire, feeling, weakness, need for
    nourishment
  • Israelites viewed a person as unified in flesh
    and spirit

5
Sickness and Old Age
  • Sickness
  • Medicine depended on natural roots and plants
    used fantastic curses or prayed to God
  • Some belief in evil spirits causing illnesses
  • God was the ultimate cause of a cure
  • Old Age
  • Life was short average less than 45 years
  • The long lifespans (ex. Abraham _at_ 175 years old
    Moses _at_ 120 years old) was a sign of blessing for
    being faithful rather than a literal age of death
  • Old age was seen as a time of failing strength,
    loss of eyesight, inability to eat, and growing
    weakness still the elderly were respected for
    their wisdom

6
Death and Afterlife
  • Prior to, and for a while after the exile, there
    is little evidence that the Israelites hoped for
    an afterlife, although others (Egyptians,
    Mesopotamians, Syrians) did
  • Israel avoided mentioning a place of joy after
    death instead appeared to believe in a place of
    stillness, darkness, and helplessness
  • Israelites were forbidden from offering
    sacrifices to the dead, or consulting their
    spirits
  • Awhile after the exile, the focus shifted to the
    goodness/evil of the life of an individual
    renewed interest in God not forgetting the
    faithful

7
Daily Work
  • Based off Genesis 1 and 2 the purpose of men
    and women is clearly said to be the domination of
    the earth and its cultivation
  • After the first sin, laboring became both a
    blessing and a curse
  • Other occupations
  • Metalworkers
  • Artisans
  • Scribes

8
The Family in Israel
  • Family Unit
  • Large was preferable
  • Strong clan loyalty for the protection of all
  • Marriage
  • In the bible, frequent instances of deep love
  • Levirate marriage when a woman is widowed, she
    is taken in by her husbands closest male
    relative
  • Women
  • Have less power in the relationship
  • Responsible for educating children in the home
  • Although not empowered, were rarely shown in the
    bible as being disrespected or treated badly
  • Children
  • Often portrayed as headstrong and strong-willed
  • Lucky boys got formal education reading and
    writing
  • Sons were desired added to clan strength

9
Sexual Attitudes
  • Sexual behavior was carefully regulated
  • Sex and Marriage
  • Love, even in arranged marriages, was expected to
    grow
  • Strict laws against violation of marriage vows
  • Sex before marriage carried with it the
    obligation to marry that person
  • Other Condemned Sexual Acts
  • Unnatural Acts
  • Bestiality
  • Males wearing womens clothing
  • Public nakedness or exposing sexual organs
  • Sexual activity of a warrior engaged in a holy
    war
  • The sexual drive was seen to be unruly as a
    result of the first sin by Adam and Eve

10
Marriage Customs
  • Monogamy vs. Polygamy
  • According to Genesis 1 and 2, monogamy is ideal
    covenant bonds!
  • Seems to have been standard practice around the
    writing of these books (1000 B.C.) except for
    kings
  • In cases of polygamy, the first wife was
    protected and had special rights over the other
    wives second wives were taken only in order to
    bear children
  • Marriage Ceremonies
  • A time for rejoicing
  • Husband publicly declared his obligation to care
    for his wife
  • Wife processes to the grooms house

11
Friends and Enemies
  • Friends
  • All brothers must be treated equally by their
    father even if they have different mothers
  • There is a primary loyalty between brothers
  • This brother idea was spread to mean all
    members of the covenant
  • Enemies
  • In many biblical stories, hatred for an enemy
    leads to a disaster
  • In the proverbs, the idea of overcoming the
    hatred of an enemy and helping him is discussed

12
Legal Justice in Early Israel
  • Very little written record, especially prior to
    the exile
  • Before King David-
  • Disputes were handled at the family or clan level
  • Blood-revenge
  • After King David-
  • Clan system judgments were given by the elders
  • Penalties were generally less severe than
    neighboring countries

13
Royal Justice
  • Kings took an active interest in their lands
    justice they often made judgments themselves
  • The law was built on the age-old customs and
    judgments royal additions came only in cases
    that needed new solutions or had never occurred
    before
  • Ultimately, law came from God

14
Slavery
  • Nearly every nation in the Near East permitted
    slavery
  • Israel limited its use
  • Poverty forced a person into slavery just to live
  • Prisoners of war, made to work for the state
  • Slavery was opposed to the basis of the covenant
    God had given His blessings equally and to all
  • Both types of slavery gradually disappeared after
    Israel lost political independence and social
    conditions changed
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