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Judaism Chapter 2 Section 5 Pg. 57-61 In the beginning… • • • • 4,000 yrs. Ago – developed religion of Judaism Ancient Israelites = Hebrews Differences from those of nearby people: 1. Monotheistic – believe that there was only God (at the time all other people worshiped many gods) • 2. Believed in an all-knowing, all-powerful God who was present everywhere • 3. Recorded events and laws in the Torah (most sacred text) – The Torah includes the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – Hebrew Bible includes a total of 24 books • 4. Additional laws and customs written down much later make up the Talmud Ancient Israelites • Abraham is considered the father of the Israelite people when he moved to Canaan • God made a covenant – promise and agreement • Included 2 declarations that became the basis of 2 key beliefs – 1. God declared that He would have a special relationship with Abraham and his descendants – 2. Israelites believed that God had chosen them to fulfill certain obligations and duties in the world – View Canaan as their “promised land” Canaan: The Promised Land Covenant Continued • Moses later renewed God’s covenant with the Israelites • Enslaved by Egypt after a famine forced Israelites to migrate there • In return for faithful obedience to God, God will lead them out of bondage and into the promised land • Moses led the Israelites in their exodus – departure, from Egypt to the promised land Moses parting the Red Sea Kingdom of Israel established • 1000 B.C., the Israelites had set up the kingdom of Israel – 12 separate tribes of Israel feuded • David – strong and wise 2nd king of Israel, united these tribes into a single nation • David’s son Solomon then became king and turned the city of Jerusalem into an impressive capital. Completed a temple dedicated to God Division and Conquest • 922 B.C. – Solomon dies and the kingdom is split into Israel (north) and Judah (south) • Independent for 200 yrs. but eventually fell to more powerful people • 722 B.C. – Assyrians conquered Israel • 586 B.C. – Babylonian armies captured Judah (exile lasted about 50 yrs) • 539 B.C. – Persia conquered Babylonia and soon freed the Israelites (from the kingdom of Judah = known as Jews) • Returned to Judah and rebuilt a smaller version of Solomon’s temple (lived under Persian rule) Second Temple Law and Morality • Concept of law was central to the Israelites • Torah includes many laws and is often referred to as the Books of Law • Some of the laws deal with everyday matters such as cleanliness and food preparation, others define criminal acts, and establishes moral principles • Society is patriarchal – men hold the greatest legal and moral authority • Family’s oldest male relative was the head of the household and arranged marriages for his daughters • Women had fewer legal rights but some outstanding women won great honor (Judge Deborah) Ten Commandments • 10 Commandments = set of laws that Jews believe God gave to them through Moses • 1st 4 stress religious duties toward God such as keeping the Sabbath – holy day for rest and worship • The rest address conduct with others Teaching an Ethical Worldview • Prophets – spiritual leaders emerged to interpret God’s will and remind people of their duties (Isaiah & Jeremiah) • Taught a strong code of ethics – moral standards of behavior (urged both personal morality and social justice, calling on the rich and powerful to protect the poor and weak) All were equal before God and Jews saw their leaders as fully human and bound to obey God’s law Maintain their beliefs over time and place • Diaspora – 500 yr period of the spreading out of the Jewish people to different parts of the world • Wherever Jews settled, many maintained their identity as a people living in close-knit communities and obeying their religious laws and traditions • Will influence Christianity and Islam (all honor Abraham, Moses, and the prophets) • Shared heritage of Jews and Christians is known as the Judeo-Christian tradition • 63 B.C. the Romans had conquered Judea, where most Jews of the time lived • Hellenistic age – many Jews absorbed Greek customs and ideas • Zealots were not reluctantly willing to live under Roman rule – led a Jewish revolt against Rome and reestablish an independent state. Some believed that a messiah – anointed king sent by God would soon appear to lead their people to freedom • In 70 A.D. Roman forces crushed the rebels, captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the Jewish temple. Thousands of Jews were killed in the fighting, others were enslaved and transported to various parts of the empire, and many Jews decided to leave Judea • Over the centuries Jewish religious teachers (Rabbis) extended and preserved the Jewish law, and Judaism survived.