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Israelite History Thousands of Years of Development

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1 Israelite History Thousands of Years of Development
Part I by Jack Mahoney Part II by Gina Belmonte

2 Six Major Middle Eastern Empires
In biblical history, the land of Israel/Palestine was ruled by six major empires: Egyptians Assyrians Babylonians Persians Greeks Romans Mnemonic Aid: “Eat At Bob’s, Pasadena’s Greatest Restaurant”

3 Pre-Historic Period 3760 BCE - traditional date of creation of world
Year 1 in Jewish calendar Is Gen 1-11 factual history (Orthodox/Fundamentalist view)? or foundational myths about basic theological truths (Liberal/Progressive view)?

4 HEBREW / ISRAELITE PERIOD (2nd Millennium to ca. 539 BCE)
ca ca BCE - EGYPTIAN are overlords of area that later belongs to Jewish people, or today’s Israel. ca Foundations of Israelite People under Patriarchs/ Ancestors; God promises to give Holy Land to Abraham’s descendants

5 Patriarchs 1) ABRAHAM & Sarah (+ her handmaid Hagar)
2) Isaac & Rebekah (+ elder half-brother Ishmael, son of Hagar) 3) Jacob = Israel (two wives, Leah & Rachel, & two handmaids, Zilpah & Bilhah) 4) Twelve Sons of Jacob = 12 Tribes of Israel (Judah = "Royal Tribe"; Levi = "Priestly Tribe"; Joseph; Benjamin; etc.)

6 Moses & the Exodus Generation
ca Israelites (a.k.a. Hebrews) in Egypt (since time of Joseph, the "dreamer"); welcome at first, but later in slavery ca MOSES and the Exodus – Plagues; Passover; Exodus from Egypt; Torah/Covenant on Mount Sinai; Wandering in the Desert for 40 years (books of Exodus - Deuteronomy) Have Jews learned more from troubled eras than from good eras? What elements of Jewish faith are tied to the Exodus?

7 Joshua and the Judges ca – after Moses’ death, conquest of Promised Land led by Joshua Loose confederation of 12 tribes of Israel Charismatic military/political leaders called "Judges“: Samson, Deborah, etc. Events recorded in books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth

8 United Kingdom of Israel: The Golden Age
ca tribes in one united monarchy; first ruler King Saul; continual war with Philistines ca Jerusalem conquered by King DAVID’s army; made capital of all Israel; David expands kingdom; God promises House of David will rule Israel forever (2 Sam 7) ca First Temple built in Jerusalem by David’s son, King Solomon; worship centralized ca Death of Solomon; throne succession struggles; kingdom divides into two parts: North vs. South

9 Divided Monarchies (922 BCE - 587 BCE)
North "Kingdom of Israel"; ruled by several series of corrupt kings; 721 - fall of Northern Kingdom & capital Samaria to ASSYRIANS; deportation of most Israelites; importation of foreigners into areas of former Israel South "Kingdom of Judah"; ruled by David’s descendants: some bad, some good; 720's - religious reforms under King Hezekiah; resistance against Assyrian takeover 620's - religious reforms of King Josiah; Deuteronomy

10 Babylonian Conquest of Judah
605 - Babylon defeats Egypt; territory of Judah becomes part of Babylonian Empire 597 - First unsuccessful revolt of Judah vs. Babylon; ruling elite of Judah exiled to Babylon 587 - Another unsuccessful revolt of Judah vs. Babylon; total destruction of Jerusalem city & temple by Babylonians

11 Questions to Consider Do you think the Babylonian exile foreshadowed a dark history to come? To what extent is State of Israel today grounded on the biblical history and religious beliefs of the Jews?

12 Babylonian Exile BCE - most upper-class Jews (officials, priests, artisans) deported to Babylon; others flee to Egypt, etc.; much of HB written, esp. major prophets; final compilation of Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy) & Deuteronomistic History (Joshua to 2 Kings) by Judean scribes living in exile in Babylon.

13 Persian Period 539 BCE – Babylonian empire conquered by Persians
King Cyrus allows all exiles to return to their homelands Urges reconstruction of city & temple of Jerusalem Book of Ezra & Nehemiah gives account Ca. 520 – rebuilding of Second Temple in Jerusalem Not as nice or large as Solomon’s Temple Ca – more exiles return to Jerusalem Led by priest Ezra & governor Nehemiah Some Jews stay in other parts of the Middle East, sometimes in conflict with other nations. Book of Esther


15 Hellenistic/Greek Era
334 – Alexander the Great begins conquest of Persian Empire (cf. Daniel 11:1-4) Hellenization = establishment of Greek language, religion, culture, government throughout East (2 Macc 4:13-15) 323 Alexander dies; empire divided among four generals (Daniel 7) Hellenistic Empire Divides (cf. 1 Maccabees 1-7) Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt controls Palestine BCE Seleucid dynasty from Syria rules Palestine BCE Ca. 250 BCE – Septuagint (LXX) HB translated into Greek in Alexandria, Egypt More books added; categories rearranged


17 Maccabean Era 167 BCE – Desecration of Jerusalem Temple by Seleucid ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes Statues of Greek gods Sparks revolt of Jews led by Judas “Maccabeus” ( ) Events recorded in First & Second Book of Maccabees 164 – Maccabean Revolt’s first main success: rededication of the Jerusalem Temple (2 Macc 8) Hannukah, the Feast of Lights ca – Short independence and expansion of Israel under Maccabean/Hasmonean rulers

18 Hasmonean Dynasty BC – Hasmoneans rule Israel several generations Rivalries among various Jewish Groups Pharisees: Popular group, mostly laymen Strict observance of laws and traditions Sadducees: Smaller elite group, mostly priests followed Torah, rejected new traditions. Essenes: Small group, lived “monastic” lifestyle near Dead Sea Associated with Dead Sea Scrolls

19 Roman Era 63 BCE – ca. 650 CE 63 – Roman army under General Pompey takes over Middle East 40-4 BCE – King Herod the Great Named “King” by Roman Senate Fights to gain control over Israel Builds cities with Roman temples, fortresses; expands Jerusalem Temple. 4BCE – Herod dies; Kingdom divided between three sons and one sister


21 During & After King Herod
Herod (40-4 BCE) 6-4BC Jesus born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth Pharisees - (2nd cent. BCE – 1st cent. CE) Precursors of “rabbis” (founders of “rabbinic Judaism”) Followed laws of HB; also “traditions of the elders” NT: Opponents of Jesus (Matt 23, Mark 8:11, Luke 12:1) High Priests Members of Tribe of Levi Leaders of Jewish people; control Temple Caiaphas: arrest & conviction of Jesus (Matt 26:3, John 11:49-53) Roman Procurators (esp. Pilate 26-36CE) Governors of provinces (e.g. Judea) Military, civil & criminal jurisdiction Jews had much self-government, run by Sanhedrin Death penalty had to be approved & executed by Roman Procurator

22 First Jewish Revolt 66-74 CE – Jewish war vs. Rome begins in Galilee & Jerusalem Recorded in Josephus’ Jewish War 68 CE – Most of Judea recaptured by Romans (General Vespasian) Emperor Nero dies; Pause in war; 3 short-lived Emperors 70 CE – Jerusalem captured by Roman Army under General Titus (Emperor Vespasian’s son); city burned; Second Temple destroyed

23 Summary and Review 539 BCE – Persians (King Cyrus) conquer Babylon
rebuilding of 2nd Temple of Jerusalem 334 BCE – Alexander the Great & Hellenization of Mideast 323 – Alex dies; Empire divides: Ptolemies & Seleucids 167 BCE – Desecration of Temple by Antiochus IV leads to Maccabean Revolt; Temple rededicated 164 63 BCE – ca. 650 CE – Romans Control Mideast 40-4 BCE – King Herod the Great Ca. 30 CE – Jesus’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate 70 CE – destruction of 2nd Temple of Jerusalem

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