Chapter 3 The First Israelites

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Transcript Chapter 3 The First Israelites

Chapter 3
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites
• About 1200 B.C., many great changes took place
around Mediterranean Sea.
• About 1000 B.C., people called Israelites built kingdom in
• Israelite religion focused on one God.
Belief in one god is known as Monotheism.
Israelite faith became religion we know today as Judaism.
Followers of Judaism are known as Jews.
Judaism influenced Christianity and Islam & helped shape
beliefs and practices.
• Israelites spoke language of Hebrew.
• Wrote down much of their history & beliefs & later became
known as the Hebrew Bible.
Early Israelites
• Earliest Israelites were herders/traders.
• According to Bible, they came from Mesopotamia & settled in
• Believed they were descendants from Abraham.
• In Bible, God told Abraham & his followers to leave Mesopotamia &
go to Canaan.
• There, they would worship one true God & land of Canaan would be
promised to Abraham & his descendants in return.
• According to Bible, this is why Israelites settled in Canaan.
• Abraham had a Grandson named Jacob.
– Jacob was also called Israel which means “one who struggles
with God.”
– Later this name was given to his descendants.
• Jacob raised 12 sons in Canaan.
– His family was divided into tribes, or separate
family groups.
– These groups later became known as the 12
Tribes of Israel.
– They lived in Israel for 100 years before moving
to Egypt due to a destructive drought.
Slavery to Freedom
• Life was bad for Israelites in Egypt.
• Pharaoh needed men to build pyramids, so he enslaved them.
• Ordered all baby boys born to Israelites thrown into Nile River.
• Bible recalls that one mother hid her son in a basket
on the riverbank.
• Pharaoh’s daughter found baby and named it Moses.
• He grew up tending sheep & around 1290 B.C., he saw a burning
bush & heard a voice.
• He believed it was God telling him to lead Israelites out of Egypt.
• To get pharaoh to release Israelites, Bible says God
sent 10 plagues to trouble Egypt.
• Plague can be a disease or something to cause problems to people.
Slavery to Freedom/Ten Commandments
• Last plague God sent would kill all first-born
children—except for those of Israelites who marked
doorway with lamb’s blood.
• Plague convinced pharaoh to let Israelites leave. Today, Jews
recognize this day as Passover b/c God “passed over” their homes
w/the tenth plague.
• Pharaoh changed his mind & sent army after Israelites.
• In Bible—God parted the Red Sea to let his people pass.
• When Egyptians followed, water drowned soldiers.
• Israelite escape is known as the Exodus.
• On way back to Canaan, Israelites had to travel
through Sinai desert.
Ten Commandments
• Bible states, Moses went to top of Mount Sinai &
received laws from God.
• Laws were known as the Torah. Later, they became first part of the
Hebrew Bible.
• Torah described a covenant, or agreement with God.
• God promised to return Israelites to Canaan if they followed laws.
• Torah explained right & wrong by God.
• Most important part of Torah was The Ten
– Told Israelites to be loyal only to one god—whose name must
never be spoken.
– Never worship other gods or images.
• Belief in only one god became foundation for Christianity & Islam.
Ten Commandments
• Helped shape basic
moral laws.
• Told people not to
steal, murder, tell lies,
about others, etc.
• Helped develop belief
called “Rule of Law.”
– Laws apply to everyone
Do not worship any god except
Do not . . . bow down and worship
Do not misuse my name.
Remember that the Sabbath Day
belongs to me.
Respect your father and your
Do not murder.
Be faithful in marriage.
Do not steal.
Do not tell lies about others.
10. Do not want anything that
belongs to someone else.
The Promised Land
• It took the Israelites 40 years to reach the Promised
• Moses never lived to see the Promised Land.
• Joshua took over and led the Israelites into
• When they arrived the Canaanites were living there.
– Due to the belief that God promised the Israelites the
land, Joshua led them into battle against the Canaanites.
Walls of Jericho
• Joshua led the Israelites to the city of Jericho and
told them to march around the City’s walls.
– They sounded their trumpets for six days and on the
seventh day the Walls of Jericho crumbled.
– Who were the fighting Judges? After Joshua died, the
Israelites looked to judges for leadership (Military leaders).
– Over time, the Israelites took control of the hilly region in
central Canaan.
– They built walled towns.
The Phoenician Alphabet
• One group of Canaanites, the Phoenicians, created
an alphabet.
– Made writing simpler and helped people keep records.
– The Phoenicians brought the idea of an alphabet to the
Greeks. The Greeks passed it on to the Romans.
– Most Western alphabets are based on the Roman