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The Hebrews
• Hebrews (Israelites) – Small group of middle
eastern people who followed Judaism
• Nomadic - a group that moves from place to place
• Harran – Major Hebrew Trading City
• Yahweh – The Hebrew god
Vocabulary (continued):
• Descendants – offspring such as children and
• Exodus – The Hebrew escape from slavery in Egypt
• Covenant – a promise
• Social Justice – The idea that everyone is to be
treated fairly
Vocabulary (continued):
• Psalms – sacred songs from the Bible
• Judge – a person who settled disputes in a Hebrew
• Jerusalem – The capital of the Hebrew Kingdom
• Prophets – persons claiming to have received
messages from God
Vocabulary (continued):
• Sabbath – the day of rest, holy day of the week,
usually Sunday
• Torah – The Jewish holy book, tells of the history
of the Hebrews
I. Introduction to the Hebrews
• Hebrews are also known as Israelites
• They were a group of nomadic herders and
merchants from the Middle East
• Their Religion is still followed today
I. Introduction to the Hebrews (continued)
• They followed a trade route through the Tigris
and Euphrates River Valleys
• They traded gold, copper, and ivory for silver
• They formed the city of Harran at the base of the
Turkish Mountains
• Some moved further west and traded with the
Phoenicians and Egyptians
II. The God of Abraham
• Much of what we know about the Hebrews
comes from the Bible
• Yahweh (the Hebrew god) made a Promise to
Abraham (the leader of the Hebrews) that if
his people were to accept him as their one
true god the Hebrew people would be able to
live forever peacefully in Cannan
II. The God of Abraham (continued)
• Yahweh was a different god
– No human qualities
– Always did what is right
• Abraham’s descendants lived for 100yrs in
– Abraham’s Grandson Jacob had 12 sons which
formed the 12 Hebrew Tribes
– As the Hebrews began to disobey God, a drought
hit and it pushed them into Egypt where they could
III. Moses and the Ten Commandments
• Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for 600 yrs
• Moses emerges as a leader of the Hebrew people
and went before Pharaoh to ask for the release of
his people
• Eventually Pharaoh was convinced to release the
Hebrews after a series of Plagues that was
according to the Hebrews sent from God.
III. Moses and the Ten Commandments
• As the Hebrews were leaving the Pharaoh sent his
army to recapture them
• The army trapped Moses and his followers at the
edge of the Red Sea
• According to the Hebrew religion, God gave Moses
the power to part the Red Sea and allow his
followers to escape into the Sinai Desert
III. Moses and the Ten Commandments
• The escape of the Hebrew people is known as the
• During their time Abraham was given the Ten
– If the Hebrews would follow these new rules, then
God would renew the covenant that he made with
Abraham and allow the Hebrews to live peacefully in
III. Moses and the Ten Commandments
• The 10 Commandments promoted social
justice and allowed the Hebrews to strengthen
their army and eventually grow strong enough
to enter Canaan
• This set of laws called for Yahweh to be the
only God
IV. The Promised Land
• After the death of Moses, Joshua lead the Hebrews
into Canaan (the promised land)
• The Hebrews became farmers and shepherds
• The adopted the language and technology of the
Canaanites and Phoenicians
• They also made their own advancements such as a
better form of irrigating their crops
IV. The Promised Land (Continued)
• Most of the Hebrews lived in one room two level
• Houses were made of mud-brick and supported by
wooden beams, with a flat reed rood and a clay floor
• The lower level was used for cooking and working, the
animals would be brought in and kept here at night
• The upper level was where the people slept
V. Kings
• After the death of Joshua the tribes well apart
– Each had their separate Councils of Elders and Judges
that made decisions for the tribe
• Overtime the Elders and Judges decided that a king
was needed for the Hebrew Kingdom
• Saul was named the first King of the Hebrews
– Over time Saul became very power hungry and the
people did not favor him
– When he died in battle David was named King
V. Kings (Continued)
• David makes the take over of the Canaanites
• He made Jerusalem the capital of the Hebrew
• David is also responsible for the majority of Psalms
in the Bible
V. Kings (Continued)
• David’s son Solomon took power after the his
• Solomon built a massive temple at Jerusalem and
made the Hebrew Kingdom wealthy and lead a very
peaceful reign
• Some Hebrews did not like the fact that Solomon
collected high taxes and they did not agree with his
wealthy way of life, after he died the Kingdom split
into 2 separate parts
V. Kings (Continued)
• Israel in the north and Judah in the south fought
among one another for 200 years
• After the fighting weakened the Hebrew Kingdom
eventually was conquered by other empires
VI. Prophets
• Reminded the Hebrews of their responsibility to
• Preached that Yahweh was the God of everyone
and warned that the fall of the Hebrew Kingdom
would come if people did not follow God’s Law
• Both parts of the Hebrew Kingdom fell apart
VI. Prophets (continued)
• After the 2 parts fell many Hebrews were pushed
into Babylon
• The Prophets kept meeting on the Sabbath to keep
their religion and way of life alive
• After 70 years the Hebrews returned to their
homeland of Canaan
– They rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem
– A scribe by the name of Ezra recorded the Laws of
Moses into the Torah
VII. Major Contributions
• 1st major monotheistic religion
• Laws were made to teach people to treat one
another fairly
• Judaism is still a religion today