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Transcript
A BRIEF HISTORY OF
ISRAEL
Placing Scripture in a historical context.
PATRIARCHS
• Abraham
• Isaac
• Jacob
• During this time: no great empires in the Middle East
• Tribes were nomadic
• Some sharing of ideas, religious practices, world views &
religions
• No one group dominated
• Abraham left his home  settled in Canaan
MOSES & CONQUEST OF CANAAN
• The distinctive faith and identity of the Israelites begins with
Moses
• Moses led the people out of slavery in Egypt
• Wandered for years throughout the desert
• Their religion was a covenant between God and
themselves
• In Canaan, (Palestine) the Israelites were joined by those
already there who were also unhappy with their political
situation and were attracted to the new faith
• Eventually this group, joined by their common faith in
God gained control of Palestine
JUDGES
• For about 200 years,
• A loosely knit group of tribes, with no central government
• They were united by a mobile shrine
• The ARK OF THE COVENANT
• On certain occasions, they would gather around the Ark
to renew their covenant with God
• There were no permanent leaders, but when needed,
• Judges would be chosen to lead the people
• They had strong personal qualities,
• Able to draw people together to meet a particular
need
MONARCHY & EMPIRE
• 11th Century B.C.E.
• Philistines gained power, loose tribal system no longer worked
• The Philistines tried to control all of Palestine
• Securing trade routes
• Stole the Ark of the Covenant
• Killed or scattered priests and other leaders
• The Israelites decided that they needed a king to unite them
• Saul
• United the tribes, drove back the Philistines,
• But did not defeat them completely
DAVID
• Forced the Philistines to admit that the Israelites were stronger
• David set Israel up as a kingdom
• Canaanite city-states became part of Israel
• All of the land became Israelite territory
• Canaanites became subjects of the crown, all felt like they were part of a single
nation
• He created a court in Jerusalem
• Recaptured the Ark and brought it to Jerusalem
• Israel’s territory grew dramatically
SOLOMON
• David’s son
• Used economic power instead of military power
• Made Israel’s treasury much richer
• Built the Temple in Jerusalem
• He divided Israel into 12 districts, each support the central
government with taxes for one month in a year
• This heavy taxation made people angry
• The Empire was divided into two rival states: Israel in the
north, Judah in the south
• This weakened their economic & military power
FALL OF ISRAEL
• Israel made alliances to survive the threat of the Assyrians
• King Ahab of Israel married Jezebel, daughter of the King of
Sidon
• Jezebel tried to make worship of the pagan god Ba’al the
official religion, many of the court followed her lead
• This led to a struggle and revolt
• Weakening the state of Israel
• By the middle of the 8th C B.C.E., Israel was near anarchy
• Israel is conquered by the Assyrians
JUDAH STRUGGLES TO SURVIVE
• Judah was not destroyed by the Assyrians,
But they were a vassal state
• In 640 BCE, Judah became independent
• King Josiah renewed Israel’s covenant
with God
BABYLONIAN EXILE
• 609 BCE, Judah loses more of its
independence, now a vassal of Egypt
• 603 BCE, Babylonian armies defeated the
Egyptian King, now Judah has an
allegiance to Babylon
THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH REBELLED,
BUT LOST
• 601 BCE, the king and other leaders  Babylon
• 589 BCE, second rebellion:
• Jerusalem burned, many others  Babylon
• Israel’s theology: God chose Jerusalem & David’s
descendents
• Losing the Temple, shook that faith
• Prophets helped:
• Warned people before the fall
• Gave hope after
ISRAEL RESTORED
• 538 BCE, Persians defeat the Babylonian Empire
• King Cyrus orders the Jewish community to be returned &
the Temple rebuilt
• 440 BCE, Nehemiah, now governor of Judah,
• Rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem
• Rebuilding the people’s morale
• Ezra
• Taught Jewish law to the Jews, helping make sure it is
obeyed
EZRA & JEWISH LAW
• Following the Law helps the Jewish people back into their
covenant with God
• No intermarriage with pagans
• No work on the Sabbath
• Land to lie fallow every seventh year
• Debts would not be collected every seventh year
• People would tithe (give a portion of their income to
God)
• People were still political subjects of Persia, but they were
allowed to run their own affairs following the laws of their
God.
GREEK RULE
• 333 BCE, Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire
• The same kind of relationship between the Jewish people
and the ruling state
• Greek culture begins to have a big impact
• Many Jews, (especially “upper classes”) wanted to be a
part of Greek culture
• A split is developing in Judaism
• The office of High Priest in Jerusalem is sold to the highest
bidder
• Some wanted the job so badly, they sold the Temple’s
sacred objects
168 BCE
• King Antiochus wanted to enforce Greek policies
• Especially: to have the Jewish people equate the Greek
god Zeus with their God
• Many Jews resisted
• Antiochus
• banned Judaism,
• ordered copies of the Law destroyed,
• forced Jews to eat pork
• Set up an altar to Zeus in the Temple
• Judas (“The Hammer”) Maccabeus led a revolt and retook
Jerusalem & rededicated the Temple