The Israelites Overview This section discusses the early history of the ancient Israelites, including their relationship with God, their escape from slavery, and their conflicts with the Canaanites over land. • The Israelites believed in one God who set down moral laws for his people. They recorded their history in the Bible. Today this section of the Bible is called the Old Testament • The Israelites had to fight the Canaanites to return to their promised land. The Early Israelites • The Israelites built a kingdom in Canaan, along the Mediterranean Sea in southwest Asia, in 1000 B.C. • Today, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan occupy the land that was once Canaan. • Israelites believed in one God. • The belief in one god is called monotheism. The Early Israelites (cont.) • The Israelite faith became the religion of Judaism. • Judaism influenced Christianity and Islam and helped shape the beliefs of European and American societies. • Israelites spoke Hebrew and wrote their history and beliefs in what later became the Hebrew Bible. The Early Israelites (cont.) • The Israelites believed they were descended from a man named Abraham. • The Israelites believed God told Abraham to settle in Canaan, the Promised Land of the Israelites, and worship the one true God. The Early Israelites (cont.) • After 100 years in Canaan, the Israelites suffered a long drought. • To survive, some Israelites went to Egypt. • The Egyptian pharaoh enslaved the Israelites. • To prevent the Israelites from rebelling, the pharaoh ordered all baby boys to be thrown into the Nile River. The Early Israelites (cont.) • The pharaoh’s daughter found a baby boy in a basket on the riverbank. • She named the baby Moses. • When Moses grew up, he herded sheep in the hills outside Egypt. • In those hills, he saw a burning bush and heard a voice. • He believed it was God telling him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. The Early Israelites (cont.) • The Hebrew Bible says that God sent 10 plagues to trouble Egypt. • The last plague killed all the first-born children, except for those Israelites who marked their doors with lamb’s blood. • The plague convinced the pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt. • After the Israelites left, the pharaoh changed his mind. The Early Israelites (cont.) • He sent soldiers after the Israelites. • The Hebrew Bible says that God parted the Red Sea, so the Israelites could pass. • The water flowed back when the soldiers tried to cross and they drowned. The Early Israelites (cont.) • On the way back to Canaan, Moses went to the top of Mount Sinai and received laws from God. • These laws were known as the Torah, which became the first part of the Hebrew Bible. • The Ten Commandments—what God believes to be right and wrong—are an important part of the Torah. • The Ten Commandments helped form the basic moral laws of many nations. The Ten Commandments After Egypt… It took the Israelites 40 years to get back to Canaan, Moses had died and his son took his place The Israelites had to fight many wars to get their lands back from the Canaanites A group of Canaanites called the Phoenicians had an alphabet which the Israelites adopted and used to write records Back to Canaan…Main Ideas • The Israelites chose a king to unite them against their enemies. • King David built an Israelite empire and made Jerusalem his capital city. • The Israelites were conquered and forced to leave Israel and Judah. • Eventually, they were exiled to Babylon. Exile and Return • Exile occurs when people are forced to leave their homeland. • During the Israelites’ exile in Babylon, their religion became what we call Judaism. • Jews met each week on the Sabbath, a day of worship and rest, in a synagogue, or house of worship. • After this time, the diaspora of the Jews began. The word diaspora means “scattered.” The Jewish Way of Life • Religion shaped the Jewish way of life. • Jewish laws influenced Jews’ education, food, and clothes. • Sons were valuable in Jewish society. • Sons carried on the family name and became the head of the family after the death of their fathers. • Sons learned how to earn a living and how to worship God from their fathers. The Jewish Way of Life (cont.) • They later learned how to read the Torah from religious leaders. • Girls learned how to be good wives, mothers, and housekeepers. • They also learned about Jewish laws and strong women of ancient Israel. • Jewish laws stated that Jews could eat only certain animals, such as beef, lamb, and certain scaly fish. • Today, food that is prepared according to Jewish law is called kosher. • Jewish laws also applied to clothing. The Jews and the Romans • In 63 B.C., the Romans conquered Judah and renamed it Judaea. • The Dead Sea Scrolls were found near the Dead Sea in A.D. 1947. They describe Judaism during Roman times. • The Jews hated Roman rule. • They revolted in A.D. 66 and drove the Romans out of Jerusalem. The Jews and the Romans • The Romans regained control four years later. • They killed thousands of Jews and forced many others to leave. • The Romans also destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. • What remains today is the Western Wall. The Jews and the Romans (cont.) • The Jews revolted again, but the Romans stopped the revolt. • This time, they forbade Jews to visit Jerusalem and gave Judah the name of Palestine, referring to the Philistines. • For 2,000 years most Jews lived outside Palestine and faced persecution. • In A.D. 1947 Palestine was divided, and a new Jewish nation called Israel was created in 1948. • Palestinians (descendants of Philistines) and modern Jewish people still fight over ownership of Israel to this day. Israel Today • In A.D. 1947 Palestine was divided, and a new Jewish nation called Israel was created in 1948. • Palestinians (descendants of Philistines) and modern Jewish people still fight over ownership of Israel to this day. Jerusalem: Disputed. Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, but most countries have embassies in Tel Aviv. Gaza Strip: Israeli occupied territory with limited Palestinian self- government. West Bank: Israeli occupied territory with areas of limited Palestinian self- government.