3.4 - The Origins Of Judaism


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The origins of early Judaism. Looks at some early events involving Abraham, Moses, and the Exodus.

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3.4 - The Origins Of Judaism

  1. 1. The Origins of Judaism So I discovered the menorah is missing a couple of stems. Sorry.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>Know how Israel’s location contributed to its history and development. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what the Torah is and why it’s important. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what Abraham did and why he’s important to Judaism. </li></ul><ul><li>Realize in what ways Judaism differed from most religions of the time. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what Moses did and why he’s important. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what the ark of the covenant is as well as why the Ten Commandments are important (don’t need to know each of the ten). </li></ul><ul><li>Know how the Hebrews settled down, what the judges and prophets were. Also know who the three main kings were, especially Solomon and his importance. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>The area known as Palestine. It’s around the modern day state of Israel. </li></ul><ul><li>Which is here: </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>It’s in a prime location. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the connection between Africa (specifically Egypt) and Asia. If you want to go from to the other you have to pass through this area. That means it’s good for trade. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s also between the Mediterranean and Red Seas. There wasn’t a Suez Canal back then. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>On the downside, that sweet location also makes it attractive to others. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was often a battle ground for the surrounding powers. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>We get most of the early Jewish history from Torah. </li></ul><ul><li>This is the first five books of the Hebrew (and also later the Christian) bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also known as the Pentateuch, which is Greek for ‘five containers,’ referring to the cases in which each of the five scrolls would be kept. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other sources from the time are scarce and we have to fill in the archaeological details. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The founding patriarch of the faith was Abraham. </li></ul><ul><li>Originated in the Mesopotamian city of Ur (remember Ur?) and migrated to the land of Canaan around 1800 BC. God promised him that he would be the father of a great nation there. He moves around the area a bit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He also takes his wife Sarah with him. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>While there, he has two sons, Isaac and Ishmael </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isaac was with his wife Sarah. Ishmael was with his wife’s handmaid, Hagar. According to legend, Isaac’s branch is the Jews and Ishmael’s branch is the Arabs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abraham also nearly kills Isaac as a sacrifice. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. <ul><li>All through the wanderings and the rest, God, Yahweh, was with Abraham. </li></ul><ul><li>Yahweh was not a localized deity. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, he was singular. This was a monotheistic religion, which was quite quaint for a mostly polytheistic world. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some scholars argue early Judaism was henotheistic – that it recognized other gods, but that one god was far above them all and was worthy of devotion. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. <ul><li>Yahweh was also not a physical god. This was also unique. Some Greeks even thought the Jews philosophical because of it. </li></ul><ul><li>God makes an agreement, a covenant, with Abraham to be fulfilled through Isaac. If Abraham and his descendants obey Him, then He will bless and protect them. </li></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>Eventually the Hebrew people who had settled in Canaan migrate into Egypt because of a famine. </li></ul><ul><li>They’re enslaved and forced to labor under the pharaoh working on his building projects. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some scholars think the Hebrews were actually a mercenary force that got tired of being given building assignments instead of war work. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Under the leadership of Moses, the Israelites escape Egypt around 1300-1200 BC. </li></ul>
  12. 14. <ul><li>This is when Charlton Heston tries to get Ramses to let his people go and God visits plagues on the Egyptians for his intransigence. </li></ul><ul><li>Burning bush, parting of the Red Sea, etc. </li></ul>
  13. 16. Flaming shrubbery Boil water before drinking
  14. 17. He ain’t just stretching.
  15. 20. After getting out of Egypt, the Hebrews spend a long time wandering around the Sinai Peninsula.
  16. 21. While in the Sinai, Moses receives the Ten Commandments… at the top of Mt. Sinai.
  17. 22. <ul><li>They are: </li></ul><ul><li>I am the Lord thy God…Thou shalt have no other gods before me. </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or worship one. </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. </li></ul>
  18. 23. <ul><li>Honor they father and mother. </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not kill (murder). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not commit adultery. </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt no steal </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not bear false witness. </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s possessions. </li></ul>
  19. 25. The Ten Commandments represent a new covenant between God and the Hebrews. If they follow the commandments, God will bless them. 15 command-ments?
  20. 26. <ul><li>The Ten Commandments served as the basis for Jewish law. </li></ul><ul><li>The full code was much more detailed and governed all sorts of social and religious conventions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>613 total sub-commandments in the Torah </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Led to ethical monotheism: living justly in relation to God and to other people. </li></ul>
  21. 27. The tablets were placed in the ark. It was carried before the Israelites and a special tent was set up for it whenever they camped. <ul><li>The outstretched wings of the cherubim was the throne of God and the ark itself was His footstool. </li></ul>
  22. 28. <ul><li>Said there was some eerie light that would hover there. </li></ul><ul><li>Only Levites (one of the 12 tribes of Israel and the priest class) were allowed to touch it. Everybody else would get killed. </li></ul><ul><li>The ark was placed in the Temple of Solomon (which we’ll get to later). </li></ul><ul><li>It eventually disappears at the time of Babylonian exile when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We really have no idea what happened to it, which is odd for something so important. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Babylonians may have taken it and destroyed it, but it wasn’t documented in their loot records. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Priests may have spirited it out of Jerusalem before the attack. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 29. One church in Ethiopia claims to have it.
  24. 30. <ul><li>The Hebrews finally get out of Sinai and invade Canaan. </li></ul><ul><li>They proceed to attack Canaanite towns like Jericho. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interesting question about this account is whether the Israelites engaged in what we would call genocide. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, but what happened after it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joshua 6:20-21 – “When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old , cattle, sheep and donkeys.” (NIV) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 31. <ul><ul><li>Actually this isn’t that troublesome for the time. It wasn’t uncommon to eliminate a population (see the Greeks and Romans). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Event actually served as an example to other Canaanite towns that there was a new power in the region. Archaeology shows this and other cities were destroyed around the same time (oddly this is all at about the same time the Egyptians expel the Hyksos). </li></ul></ul>
  26. 32. <ul><li>Over time, the people in the region are conquered by the Hebrews and the Hebrews settle down. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule by judges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ad hoc leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often war leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Deborah, Gideon, Samson, and others. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 33. <ul><li>Prophets </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think of them as they type that predict the future. Rather, they were God’s mouthpieces, His spokesmen. </li></ul><ul><li>God spoke to them and then they spoke to the people. Also interpreted God’s laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples are Isaiah, Ezekial, Jeremiah, Daniel </li></ul><ul><li>Funny story of Elijah from 2 Kings 1 </li></ul>
  28. 34. <ul><li>The Hebrews would come together every once in a while under a judge to face a threat. Once the threat was gone, however, they’d fall apart again. </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually, they decided they needed a king (hey, everybody else had one!) </li></ul><ul><li>Saul is appointed as the first king. He was tall and good-looking. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This kingdom is called Israel. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Saul, according to the Bible, falls out of favor with God and David is appointed king. </li></ul>
  29. 35. Yes, the David of David and Goliath.
  30. 36. <ul><li>About 962 BC, Solomon becomes king </li></ul><ul><li>Proceeds to develop trade </li></ul><ul><li>Also builds the grand temple in which the ark was housed. </li></ul><ul><li>On the downside, Solomon’s building projects nearly bankrupted the country. They required high taxes and a lot of labor from citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>The kingdom divided into two: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Each had their own king. </li></ul>
  31. 40. <ul><li>The Babylonian Captivity </li></ul><ul><li>Israel is conquered by the Babylonians. Judah holds out for a while, but it too is conquered and many of the Jewish people are held in Babylon. </li></ul><ul><li>They’re treated well by the Babylonians, but aren’t allowed to return to Judea until the Babylonians are conquered by the Persians around 537 BC. </li></ul>