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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
– 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
Maintain their beliefs over time and
• 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
• 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.