The hebrews Essay

This essay has a total of 1073 words and 5 pages.

the hebrews




The ancient Middle East and Mesopotamia was largely a multicultural society composed of
small, often insignificant kingdoms that were regularly torn between the forces of
powerful empires, from Babylon to Egypt to Greece to Rome. One of these small kingdoms
through its religion, philosophy, and law became one of the most important cultures in
Middle Eastern and Western history.

The word Hebrew appears to have been derived from the world Hiberu, which was found in
writing sent to Egypt by one of the small states that Egypt had left behind when it
withdrew from Canaan in the 1300s BC. These states were distressed by the arrival of
nomadic tribes that came in waves across generations. Hiberu meant outsider and probably
referred to a great variety of migrants.

Beginning as a closely-knit, war-like group of wandering tribes, this culture enjoyed for
a short period, one of a histories greatest empires, but it soon fell into a small and
feeble state. The Hebrews would surface as one of the most significant culture of the
West and Middle East, giving us monotheism, law, and a new history for the west. For the
first hundred years the Hebrews wandered and roamed the region of Mesopotamia, Palestine,
and northern Egypt. From about 1950 BC to 1500 BC they rambled around the ancient Near
East. Around 1500 BC they settled in the fertile land of northern Egypt called Goshen.
It was here that these drifting tribes developed a national identity.

Around 1200 BC the Hebrews, also called "The children of Israel” left Egypt in an
event called the Exodus. This historical event was lead by Moses. The Old Testament's
Book of Exodus describes an unnamed pharaoh ordering the slaughter of all male Hebrew
infants, and it describes a Hebrew woman trying to save her infant son, Moses, by putting
him adrift on the Nile in a tiny boat of reeds caulked with tar pitch. Moses was credited with
introducing a powerful single idol, "Yahweh" to the Hebrews. This new religion of Yahweh
and the dramatic Exodus from Egypt are perhaps the main unifying events that solidified the
Hebrews into a nation.
The Hebrews enjoyed a brief time of magnificent power and prominent status. After a few
hundred years of mostly unsuccessful attempts to drive out the established populations
they were finally recognized as a monarchy. During this time Israel's three most famous
Kings lived one after another. This small period of time is known as "The golden age of
Israel." The three kings, Saul, David and Solomon, unified the often squabbling tribes.
The first king of the Israelites in 1029 BC was Saul. In spite of his victories he failed
to push the Philistines toward the coast and tension grew between him and the prophet
Samuel. Saul was overthrown and a new king was to be named. Saul would die in battle a
short while after his dethroning against the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa.

With the death of Saul, the Israelites would need a new king to rule the newly formed
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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