2 Monotheism vs. Polytheism Polytheism is the belief in many gods.Monotheism is the belief in one god.While most ancient belief systems were polytheistic, it was the Hebrews who developed the first monotheistic belief system.
3 The Hebrews The Hebrews regard ancient Palestine as the promised land. Abraham was chosen by God to be the “father” of the Hebrews.The Hebrews worship one God (monotheism).They referred God “Yahweh.”The Hebrews migrated to Egypt because of a threat of famine.At first, they were given places of honor in the Egyptian kingdom.Later they were forced into slavery, and fled between 1300 and 1200 B.C.It became known as “Exodus,” and they were led by Moses.
4 They later relocated near Mt. Sinai. Moses then passed down with the written laws known as the “Ten Commandments.”The commandments would be the basis for Judaism.The judges and prophets interpret God’s laws to the Hebrews.Hebrews expand their territory by conquering their neighbors.Hebrews unite under Saul, David, and Solomon.
5 After Solomon’s death, the kingdom splits into Israel and Judah. King Solomon builds a trading empire, beautifies Jerusalem, and erects a great temple.After Solomon’s death, the kingdom splits into Israel and Judah.After a long struggle, Israel falls to the Assyrians.Judah resists the Assyrians for about 116 years, then falls to the Babylonians.Survivors are sent into exile in Babylon for 50 years but return to rebuild the Temple.