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Ancient Israel


Ancient Israel Pt 1 As the various Mesopotamian groups came and went, one Fertile Crescent group successfully emerged from ancient history to stay they are ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Israel

Ancient Israel Pt 1
  • As the various Mesopotamian groups came and went,
    one Fertile Crescent group successfully emerged
    from ancient history to stay they are known as
    the Israelites from Ancient Israel
  • There are many names used to describe the people
    of Ancient Israel
  • Israelites is the most commonly used name but
    Hebrews or Jews or Jewish people are also
    used in the historical narratives
  • The Israelite religion is known as Judaism, and
    people that believe in Judaism are called Jews -
    Hebrew is also used as the name of the language
    of the Israelites and of Judaism
  • The word Israelite means he who has wrestled
  • Many people in Western civilization are familiar
    w/the Israelites primarily due to the wide
    recognition of the Hebrew Bible
  • (Tanakh in Hebrew), which tells the narrative of
    their story

A Breakdown of the Hebrew Bible
  • In the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, the
    God of the Israelites (known in Hebrew by many
    names, Hashem is probably the most common)
    appeared before a man named Abraham of Ur
  • This incident occurred approximately between 1950
    BCE and 1300 BCE
  • According to the Torah, God said to Abraham
    Leave your own country and go to a country that
    I will show you. I will make you into a great
  • The Biblical account relates that Abraham did as
    he was asked - after much travel, Abraham
    reached an area of land called Canaan and God
    appeared again, saying I give this land to
    your descendants.

  • Abraham and his people entered into a formal
    agreement or covenant (brit in Hebrew) w/their
  • The Israelites agreed to worship their God and
    only their God, and in return, they would be
    their Gods Chosen People and be given the land
    of Canaan as their Promised Land
  • This began the monotheistic tradition of Judaism
  • To symbolize this covenant, God told Abraham that
    all Jewish males must perform a ritual called a
    brit milah

Ancient Israel Pt 2
  • The Hebrew Bible continues w/the story of Abraham
    his family
  • A major famine drought in Canaan caused the
    Israelites to leave and migrate south to Egypt -
    many historians believe that a sizable Hebrew
    population lived in the Nile Delta from about
    1500-1250 BC
  • Some historians also believe that the Israelites
    moved into Egypt specifically at the time when
    the Hyksos had taken over Egypt
  • The Israelites lived peacefully in Egypt until
    they were eventually enslaved (no specific reason
    is given as to why) by the Pharaohs who used them
    as laborers on numerous building projects (not
    the Pyramids!)
  • When Pharaoh decreed that all male Hebrew babies
    were to be drowned, a baby named Moses is floated
    down the Nile in a basket
  • Hearing a crying child, Pharaoh's daughter pities
    the baby and adopts him
  • He is raised as an Egyptian but as a young man,
    Moses discovers the truth flees
  • God, appearing as a burning bush not consumed by
    flame, commands Moses to go to Egypt and demand
    of Pharaoh "Let my people go."

  • Pharaoh resists Moses' petition through God,
    Moses unleashes 10 plagues upon Egypt (see
  • When the last plague strikes, Moses instructs the
    Jews to cover their door posts w/the blood of a
    lamb as a sign for God to protect/pass over the
    Jewish homes this is why the holiday
    commemorating the Exodus from Egypt is called
  • Pharaoh then releases the Israelites and they
    head east toward the sea
  • Moses, using Gods power, parts the sea for the
    people to cross when Pharaohs army follows,
    Moses closes the sea, drowning the Egyptians
  • Moses then begins the journey back to the
    Promised Land the Jews wander in the Sinai
    Desert for 40 years
  • During the journey back, Moses climbs up Mt.
    Sinai and returns w/the 5 books of the Torah as
    well as the Ten Commandments, which contain the
    basic laws of Judaism

Ancient Israel Pt. 3
  • After the Exodus, the Israelites re-entered the
    Canaan, changed its name to Israel, and
    organized themselves into 12 tribes
  • The tribes became involved in conflict w/the
    Philistines, a group south of Israel - to deal
    w/the Philistines, the Israelites appointed a
    king, Saul , who was a disaster
  • He was replaced by David, who went on to become
    the most successful Israelite King
  • In 1000 BCE, King David united the tribes,
    defeated Israels enemies established Jerusalem
    as the Israelite capital
  • Davids son Solomon (971-931 BCE) did even more
    to strengthen Israel - Solomon is best known for
    his construction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

  • The Israelites viewed the Temple as the symbolic
    home of Judaism the innermost room of the
    Temple, a sanctuary known as the Holy of
    Holies," housed the Ark of the Covenant , a chest
    which contained the original Ten Commandments
    original 5 books of the Torah

  • Solomon's building required him to tax the
    Israelites heavily
  • Upon his death (approx. 926 BCE) the 10 northern
    tribes revolted and established their own nation
    called the Kingdom of Israel (they took the name
  • The two southern tribes then established their
    own nation called it the Kingdom of Judah
  • Because of the split, the Israelites as a whole
    became much weaker and more vulnerable to outside
    attackshint, hint!!!!

  • The power of the northern kingdom of Israel
    declined, and by around 800 BCE, it was forced to
    pay tribute to the powerful Assyrian Empire
  • Eventually, would not suffice - the Assyrians
    overran the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE
    (see primary source reading)

  • The southern kingdom of Judah was also forced to
    pay tribute to Assyria but managed to survive as
    an independent state
  • However, Judah remained a target - the Chaldeans,
    who had conquered the Assyrians, turned their
    attention to Judah
  • Under King Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldeans
    conquered Judah and completely destroyed
    Jerusalem and the Holy Temple_in 586 BCE
  • Most Jews were sent into exile in Chaldea to live
  • Upon the destruction of the Chaldeans by the
    Persians and Cyrus the Great in 538 BCE, the Jews
    were allowed to return _home_to make a 2nd Holy
    Temple (see primary source reading)

  • Judah remained independent until it and the
    entire FC was conquered by Alexander the Great in
    332 BCE - the Greeks gave Judah a new name -
  • Judea lived under Greek rule for 200 yrs until it
    was conquered made part of the Roman Empire in
    64 BCE
  • In 66 CE, Judea revolted in 70 CE, the Romans
    crushed the rebellion and destroyed the 2nd Holy
    Temple it was never to be rebuilt again
  • The only part left of the Temple is its Western
    Wall, which is the holiest place in Judaism today
  • The Romans dispersed as many Jews as they could
    away from Judea - this large dispersal of Jews
    living outside of Israel was/still is called the
  • In 1948 CE, (1,878 years later) the modern-day
    nation of Israel was created as homeland for Jews
    from around the World
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