Abraham, reported to be the first believer of monotheism was born
the city of UR located in what is today Iraq. G_d told Abraham to leave
the city of his birth and go to a land that " I will show
Abraham and his wife Sara followed G_d's command and settled in the
land that is now Israel. Abraham and his son Isaac and his
son Jacob are considered the patriarchs of the Jewish people.
Jacob had 12 sons who with their descendents became the Jewish people.
The patriarchs lived in the
land of Israel from 1800 to 1600 BCE.
During a severe drought in the 16th century BCE they
Jacob's son Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous
brothers. Through a series of fortuitous events over 20 years Joseph
ends up in a very exalted Egyptian position. His family is welcomed and
were very well treated. Many years later a new pharaoh arose who,
fearing the growing size of the Jewish population
their loyalty forced them into slavery in 1428 BCE. Moses is directed
by G_d to lead the people out of Egypt. The 8 days of Passover
celebrates the exodus from Egypt, which occurred in 1312 BCE. After
Egypt the Jewish people spent 40 years in the desert, during which time
most of the generation of slaves die. On Mount Sinai, the entire Jewish
people, some 2 million people, heard the voice of G_d and Moses
the Ten Commandments and the Torah.
BCE the Jews returned to Israel, the land promised to them
descendents of the 12 sons of Jacob become the 12 tribes of Israel.
Each tribe settles in their own designated area in the land of Israel
The First State of
In 1020 BCE a Jewish monarchy was established
under King Saul. Saul consolidated Jewish control over the land in a
number of successful battles.
After the death of Saul, David became king in 1004 BCE. David
moved Israel's capital from Hevron to Jerusalem. David
established Israel as a major power in the region by successful
military expeditions, including the final defeat of the Philistines.
Developing a network of friendly alliances with nearby
kingdoms allowed David to sucessfully reign for 39 years.
Solomon became king in 965 BCE. Solomon further strengthened
kingdom which ranged from the Mediteranean Sea on the west, to the
eastern shores of the Jordan river on the east, to what is now southern
in the north and to the Negev in the south. Solomon's
crowning achievement was the
building of the first Temple in Jerusalem in 960 BCE. The
became the center of Jewish national and religious life. read more
Commonwealth of Israel
king of Persia conquered Babylonia in 539 BCE. In order to have an
ally positioned between Persia and Egypt, Cyrus directed the Jews to
return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple, which he helped fund.
Opposition to the rebuilding of the Temple from people who had filled
the vacuum during the Jewish captivity (Ezra 4), halted work on the
Temple until 521 BCE when the Persian King Darius (Ezra 5) ordered work
to continue. The Temples was completed in 517 BCE and
dedicated the following year. read more
The Conquest by Rome