Jewish Ancient History : An Overview

Jewish Ancient History : An OverviewThe Jews are probably one of the world’s oldest civilizations, dating back to the ancient times. Their history is marked by a lot of significant events and is highlighted by their culture and religion. However, Judaism as a religion was mentioned as early as the Hellenistic period of the Greeks (31 BC) and is dated in historical records such as the tablet inscripted by an Ancient Egyptian King named Merneptah, known as the Merneptah Steele which contained the first documented use of the word “Israel”. It was dated as early as 1200 BC while recorded religious literature stated Israelites’ Babylonian captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple. The most important piece of info it contains however, is the inscription which is translated as “Israel is laid waste”, which implied that the food (grain) supplies of Israel had run out, making them a military threat. The ancient history of the Jews can be divided into several time periods, covering Israel before the foundations of Judaism, the fledgling nation during the rise of Judaism and the formation and rise of rabbinic Judaism.

The civilization mainly started in the coast of the Mediterranean sea and the Fertile Crescent which stretches from parts of Persia (Iran), Assyria (Syria), Mesopotamia (Iraq), Israel, Jordan and parts of Egypt. If ancient Jewish writings were to be believed, the modern Jewish people descended from ancient Israelites that stayed in Canaan between the Mediterranean and Jordan river. Religious texts say that the Israelis descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were then led to Egypt due to the famine that gripped the land. After a few hundred years, they were enslaved by the Egyptians and after which, Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, which was stated in the Exodus. After which, they returned to Canaan, 1400 years before the birth of Christ. There, the foundations of Judaism were established due to Moses receiving the Ten Commandments in Mount Sinai. In 1000 BC, a monarchy was established. There, names of the various Israeli kings like David, Solomon and Saul popped up. However, after Solomon’s death, the nation was split into two kingdoms, namely the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah. However, the fraction caused them to be conquered by the Assyrians 8 years before the birth of Christ. Read more

The Jews: A Celebrated People

The Jews: A Celebrated PeopleWe’ve all heard stories about the Jews, whether it may be in the Bible or in the history books. In the last entry, we talked about the Jewish holiday called Hanukkah, a holiday wherein the Jews commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to God after the Maccabean Revolt against the Greeks two centuries before the birth of Christ. Today however, we will be talking about the Jewish people’s turbulent history and other things that you really need to know about them. We will not only be covering the historical aspects, but also the biblical ones.

First off, the Jews are an ethnoreligious group (meaning that they are a people unified under one religion) that originated in Israel and most likely originated from the ancient Israelites and Hebrews. Jewish faith, nationality and ethnicity are strongly related, since Judaism is the traditional religion of the Jews. Even non-Israelite converts have been openly accepted into the Jewish society throughout the years. Read more

Hannukah: A Jewish Celebration

HannukahJews around the world celebrate this very popular, albeit minor, holiday. Hanukka is an eight day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Syrians in 2nd century BCE. The holiday lasts for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev (the third month of the civil year and the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew Calendar) which usually occurs late November or early December in the Gregorian Calendar.

The history behind this holiday was when the ruler of Syria 2500 years ago tried to make the Jews worship Greek Gods. A statue of the ruler was erected and the Jews were forced to bow to it. However, the Ten Commandments forbade the Jews to praise or worship idols and figures, and so they refused. A revolt led by the Maccabees started. It lasted for three years which resulted into the defeat of the Syria. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed however, the Jews managed to clean and make reparations. After which they rededicated it to God. Today, the holiday is celebrated by firing up a candle on the Hanukiah, a candelarium with nine stems, everyday during the duration of the celebration. Read more

Knowing The One True God

Praying Man

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]

In the deepest corners of our hearts we search. We search for something that can fulfill us, and no matter how we try to fill it with something else (relationships, money, fame, career success) we will never be satisfied. This is because, that empty place in us cannot be fulfilled with what this world can offer, it is a space where God’s spirit is to dwell. A small space that can enlighten our lives as we journey knowing HIM more, as we build a closer, deeper relationship with Him.

Knowing God does not come through a specific program, study or process. Knowing Him comes from a relationship with a real PERSON—because our God is a living God. He hears our pleas and the desires of our hearts. He knows our pains, our deepest fears, our worries, and he cares about us. [Psalm 139] Sin made a barrier between humankind and God when the first of His creations sinned against Him. It is the sin that has been passed on to us [Romans 3:23] like a hereditary disease and there is nothing in the works of our hands that can save us from the wages of death [Romans 6:23]. Read more

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