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Judaism
Lesson 1- The Early Hebrews
The Early Hebrews
The Big Idea
Originally desert nomads, the Hebrews established a great
kingdom called Israel.
Main Ideas
• Abraham and Moses led the Hebrews to Canaan and to a
new religion.
• Strong kings united the Israelites to fight off invaders.
• Invaders conquered and ruled the Hebrews after their
kingdom broke apart.
• Some women in Hebrew society made great contributions
to their history.
Main Idea 1:
Abraham and Moses led the Hebrews to Canaan and to a new
religion.
• Accounts of the Hebrews describe the Hebrews’ early history and the laws
of Judaism, the Hebrew religion.
• The Hebrew Bible traces the Hebrews back to Abraham, who was told by
God to settle in Mesopotamia.
• After a famine struck Canaan, the Hebrews ended up in Egypt and lived
well, causing the pharaoh concern.
Possible Routes of
Abraham and Moses
The Exodus
• The pharaoh of
Egypt made the
Hebrews slaves
to stop them
from taking over
Egypt.
• A leader named
Moses demanded
that the pharaoh
free his people.
• He refused, and
plagues
occurred,
frightening the
pharaoh.
• His people were
released, so they
began their
Exodus out of
Egypt.
• God then gave
Moses the Ten
Commandments
by which to live.
• They included
worshipping only
God and valuing
human life.
• The Hebrews
reached Canaan
and settled there
in small
communities, as
the Israelites.
Main Idea 2:
Strong kings united the Israelites to fight off invaders.
• The new threat to the Israelites
came from the Philistines.
• The Israelites united under Saul,
who became the first king of
Israel.
• The Israelites wanted a single
ruler who could lead them in
battle.
• David became king after Saul. He
won many wars.
• Solomon became king next, and
expanded the kingdom and trade.
• He made allies with nearby
kingdoms, including Egypt and
Phoenicia. Trade with them made
Israel very rich.
• With the riches that came from
this, he built a temple to God in
Jerusalem.
Main Idea 3:
Invaders conquered and ruled the Hebrews after their kingdom
broke apart.
• After Solomon’s death, revolts broke out over who should be king.
• This split Israel into two kingdoms, called Israel and Judah. The people of
Judah became known as the Jews.
• Both were conquered, and Judah fell to the Chaldeans.
• The Jews went through a period of
enslavement called the Babylonian
Captivity.
• The Persians took over and allowed
the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Some
did not return, however, and settled in
other parts of the Persian Empire.
• Scholars call the scattering of the Jews
outside Canaan the Diaspora.
Scattering and ConquestKingdoms of Israel and Judah, c. 920 BC
• The Jews were conquered by the Romans, but made many advances in teaching and
building temples.
• Yohanan ben Zaccai was a teacher during this time who clarified some Jewish
teachings to help people better understand the religion. He also built a school to teach
about Judaism.
• Despite these advances, the Jews were not happy, and called on people to rebel.
Scattering and Conquest
Main Idea 4:
Some women in Hebrew society made great contributions to
their history.
• Hebrew society was governed by men. Women had few rights.
• They had to obey their fathers and husbands. They couldn’t choose their own
husbands.
• A woman could not inherit property unless she had no brothers.
• Some of them, however, such as Queen Esther, the judge Deborah, and Miriam (the
sister of Moses) made great contributions to society.
• Some women, such as Ruth and Naomi, were seen as examples of how women
should behave. Ruth was devoted to her mother-in-law.