Presentation on theme: "Ancient Israel Prepared by Anita Billeter Palmdale School District with funding from Jordan Fundamentals Grant Keeping History Alive Grant."— Presentation transcript:
Ancient Israel Prepared by Anita Billeter Palmdale School District with funding from Jordan Fundamentals Grant Keeping History Alive Grant
The Belief of the Israelites The Israelites practiced monotheism, the belief in only one god, which was a new idea in the ancient world. The Torah contains the basic laws of the religion of the Jewish people, called Judaism.
The Origin of the Israelites According to Genesis, God told a shepherd named Abraham to move from Mesopotamia to Canaan to establish a new nation. Many different people lived together in Canaan, and gradually came together and were called Hebrews.
Some Hebrews became slaves to the Egyptians, and were led out of captivity by Moses. After the Egyptian ruler set the Hebrews free, they took a long and difficult journey- called the Exodus- back to their homeland.
An Agreement with God According to the Torah, Moses received a message from God establishing a covenant, or special agreement, that bound the Israelites to God. The Torah explains that first of God’s laws for the Israelites were written on stone tablets that are also known as the Ten Commandments.
The idea of a covenant became the basis for both Judaism and Christianity, and the Ten Commandments form much of the Western world’s ideas about law and justice.
The Monarchy The second king of the Israelites, David, united the tribes of Israel, and established a dynasty that lasted over 400 years. Under David’s leadership, the Israelite empire extended from the Sinai Peninsula to Damascus, with Jerusalem as its capital.
David’s son, Solomon, made treaties with neighboring nations, increased trade with others, and began a royal building program. Solomon’s main temple in Jerusalem became the center for the Israelites’ religious life and a symbol of their faith. After Solomon’s death, Israel split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah.
The Message of the Prophets In 587 B.C. the Babylonians conquered Judah, destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple, and took 15,000 prisoners to Babylonia. Jewish prophets, who interpreted the will of God, said the Jewish people were being punished for breaking their covenant with God.
The prophets preached that if the Jews obeyed the laws of God, they would someday be able to return to their homeland.
A People Governed by Priests The Babylonians allowed the Jews to return to Judah, but Jerusalem and the surrounding territory remained a province of Persia. Without a king, leadership of the Jews fell to the priests, who oversaw the rebuilding of the temple, the celebration of religious holidays, and the following of laws.
In the 400s B.C., Ezra, a priest and scribe, collected the holy writings that became the Torah. Some Jews came to believe that a messiah would someday free the people and restore Israel’s independence.
The Revolt of the Maccabees New rulers from Syria brought Greek culture to Israel. A Jewish priest and his son, Judah Maccabee fought a two year rebellion against the Syrians.
In 164 B.C., the Maccabees drove the Syrians out of the area around Jerusalem and restored independence to Judah. Jews celebrate this victory today as Chanukah.
The Teachings of Jesus Jesus taught that people should obey the Ten Commandments and the teachings of the prophets; he stressed the importance of love and forgiveness. As Jesus gained followers and was called the messiah, opposition from religious leaders grew.
About A.D. 33 Jesus was arrested, charged with treason against Rome, and put to death. A new religion, Christianity, rose as Jesus’ followers spread his teachings.
Judaism in the First Century In A.D. 66 the Zealots rebelled against Roman rule, and during that war, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and burned down the temple. The Jews revolted once again in A.D. 132, but were crushed after three years.
The Jewish Legacy After battles with the Romans left the Jews without a homeland or temple, the Torah became their portable temple. As Jews settled in other lands, rabbis, or teachers, helped them to continue to practice Jewish traditions.