I believe if you want to know the truth go to the earliest source. Not the info of some latter-day professor who has to feed his ego. Not the Darwinian who wants to change history. The books of the old testament are some of the oldest historic writings available, telling the story of a nation as it happened through their generations. These writers didn’t want fortune or fame from their writings. They weren’t after producing a best seller, although that’s what they did achieve. No, their purpose was to document events as they happened regarding their nation’s existence. The pain and suffering as a nation; the trials and tribulations of their lives and relationship with God; their times in exile; their punishments for turning away from God; their glory and fruitfulness when living with God; their rewards for obeying God’s law. It was all written down as a document to be preserved, not for financial gain, but to be handed down to future generations. It is a testament to all the nations of the world. To all those that will listen and understand. If you want to know the unbiased truth read the holy scriptures, read them as a history book. Learn the truth. There are many lies written in various forms of literature but there can only be one truth. Seek it. The writers of the holy bible were just documenting events. The old testament isn’t about converting people to religion, it’s about events that happened to a nation, and other nations around them. It’s about the people, their relationships, their wars, their travels and migration. It’s about history first hand.
It’s a phenomenon and a mystery how and why the Jewish race has been persecuted throughout history. They have endured harsh times by their oppressors, even to the brink of extermination, and yet they survived against all the odds. Here is a brief overview.
1967 – 1606 BC
This story takes us back in history over 4000 years to the forming of the nation of Israel at the times of the patriarchs (the heads of the Hebrew people). The leaders here referred to are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, three of the patriarchs. Abraham was known as the father of all the nations, the first patriarch. He was born in 1967 BC. Abraham and his wife Sarah were originally known as Abram and Sarai respectively. They and several family members moved out of their country into Canaan, under God’s command. This is where God gave them their former names the year was 1892 BC. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants to inherit the whole land of Canaan forever. Abraham was born in 1967 BC and moved into Canaan when he was 75 years old. He had a son when he and his wife, Sarah, were old and assumed that Sarah would never carry a child, but was eventually blessed. In 1868 BC they had a son and named him Isaac. Years later, Isaac married Rebekah and in 1807 BC they had twins, Esau and Jacob.
Incidentally, the wives of these leaders: Sarah (wife of Abraham), Rebekah (wife of Isaac) and Leah (a wife of Jacob,) are all known as the matriarchs. These three father figures and the three wives mentioned are entombed at the Hebron holy site: The Cave of Machpelah, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
Just to mention, Jacob had another wife named Rachel. Leah and Rachel were sisters but Rachel couldn’t conceive at first and Leah gave Jacob six sons and a daughter, Rachel gave him two sons at a later date.
12 sons and 12 tribes
Jacob, also named Israel by God, was Abraham’s grandson. He had twelve sons (all patriarchs) born between 1723 and 1710 BC and eventually they each ruled over a part of the twelve Hebrew tribes that came together as a nation and became known as the twelve tribes of Israel. (The Israelites).
Judah was one of the most prominent of the twelve tribes and covered the city of Jerusalem. Kings Solomon and David were from this tribe and the bloodline passed down to Mary and Jesus. Jerusalem became the capital of Israel. King Solomon build the holy temple in the city of Jerusalem.
The twelve tribes consisted of ten of the Northern Kingdom and two of the Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom was: Simeon; Reuben; Gad; Ephraim; Issachar; Naphtali; Manasseh; Asher; Zebulin; Dan. The Southern Kingdom was: Benjamin and Judah.
Egypt is World Power
C1600 – 1200BC
Israel came out of Canaan into Egypt because of famine in 1677 BC. Jacob was 130 years old at the time. After dwelling in Egypt for 135 years, the tribes of Israel prospered, multiplied and grew strong. Pharaoh saw that they were growing and becoming a large nation. He feared that someday they would become a threat to him and Egypt. So, in 1382 BC he took them into slavery. They remained so for another 80 years. They were made to build cities and monuments and life was cruel and harsh. In the scriptures it mentions that they also built the city of Ramses. Later, the king of Egypt ordered all the male babies born to the Hebrews to be cast into the river. Moses survived and was brought up by Pharaohs daughter, he eventually had to flee Egypt and had a calling from God to return and lead the Israelites out of slavery.
Exodus to Canaan
1462 – 1422
Moses eventually lead the Israelites out of bondage from the land of Egypt through the desert unto the land of Canaan. He sent 12 spies into Canaan, one out of every tribe and instructed them to stay 40 days and gather information on the inhabitants, the food grown, the richness of the land, the terrain, etc, there. After 40 days they reported their findings to Moses. God told the Israelites that they will dwell in the desert for 40 years as a punishment for disobeying him repeatedly, 1 year for each of the 40 days that the spies were gone into the land of Canaan. The generation that disobeyed him will not see the promised land but their descendants will.
Joshua conquers Jericho.
The Israelite army prepares for war and the priests carry the Ark of the Covenant into battle as a mighty weapon empowered by God. The seventh and last trumpet was sounded and the walls of Jericho fell, making way for the mighty army of Israel to go forward and destroy the city and its inhabitants. The spoils of gold and silver and all precious items were taken back to the Israelite’s camp and into the treasury. The Israelites go on to take all the land of Canaan by fighting many battles in the following years.
Israel`s Fall from Grace
Israel was appointed a series of Judges to rule over them. During this era, they turned away from god several times and worshipped idols. God punished them by delivering them up to their enemies. When they repented god favoured them again and restored their status.
1372 – 1332 BC 1st Apostasy
Israel in captivity for eight years under the rule of the king of Mesopotamia.
Judges 3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves. 8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim for eight years.
1332 – 1314 BC 2nd Apostasy
Israel again in captivity, this time for eighteen years under Eglon the king of Moab.
Judges 3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
1252 – 1232 BC 3rd Apostasy
This time it was twenty years in captivity for their sins. Their oppressor was Jabin the king of Canaan
Judges 4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead. 2 And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin King of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 3 And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
1212 – 1205 BC 4th Apostasy
Seven years in captivity under the rule of the Midianites.
Judges 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. 6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.
Israel is World Power
1200 – 750BC
1172 BC 5th Apostasy
With God`s favour, Israel conquers the Midianites, under the leadership of Gideon, and becomes a world power. Gideon dies in 1172 BC and Israel once again turns away from God and worships the false god Baalberith.
Judges 8:32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim and made Baalberith their god.
1145 – 1127 BC 6th Apostasy
Eighteen more years of oppression for disobeying God
Judges 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him, 7 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. 8 And that year the vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.
Reign of Saul
1065 – 1025 BC
The birth of Saul was around 1105 BC and in 1065 BC he became king. He ruled until 1025 BC. During his Reign, in 1036 BC, the Philistines slaughtered the Israelite army and carried off the Ark of the Covenant. While the Ark was in the Philistine`s possession it became a curse unto them. They moved it among their people and suffered much destruction. Turmoil fell on them wherever it went. They had possession of the Ark for seven months before returning it back to the Israelites for fear of further deaths.
Reign of David: 1025 – 985 BC
And Solomon: 985 – 945 BC
David was born in 1055 BC and became King of Israel in 1025 BC, the year that Saul died. Prior to this date he ruled over Judah from 1030 BC. He remains king of Israel until 985 BC. He was thirty years old when he became king and reigned for forty years. Under David`s rule the nation of Israel grew in power and prosperity. King David fought many wars and battles, he defeated many enemies and spilled much blood on the battlefields. In 1015 BC King David and one of his wives, Bathsheba, had a son and they named him Solomon.
Solomon was anointed King of Israel in 985 BC and ruled for 40 years until 945 BC. A temple was to be built in Jerusalem, to be God`s house and a place for the Ark of the Covenant, King David prepared the design and all the materials for the temple in readiness for his son Solomon to take charge. David wanted the job of building the temple but God told him that his son was to be the builder because David`s hands were soiled with the blood of too many wars.
Chronicles 22: 7 And David said to Solomon, my son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
So it was that Solomon built a magnificent temple as the house of God. In 985 BC work started on the building of the temple and it finished in 962 BC. The Arc of the Covenant was placed in the temple in 974 BC. Solomon became a great and wise ruler. He was granted great wisdom from God and was recognised as the wisest man on earth. Solomon died in the year of 945 BC.
945 BC – 721 BC
After the death of Solomon, the nation was divided: the ten tribes the Northern Kingdom (Israel) were ruled by Jeroboem and the southern Kingdom (Judah) was ruled by Rehoboem (Solomon`s son). The two now separate kingdoms wared against each other. For many years this carried on.
Assyria World Power
750 – 612 BC
In 721 BC Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom was taken by the Assyrian army. Israel had once fallen from grace through idol worship of the heathen gods. The Northern Kingdom (Israel) was delivered in to the hands of the Assyrians and carried off as slaves…
Fall of Israel to Fall of Judah
721 – 586 BC
In 586 BC Jerusalem, the capital of the Southern Kingdom of the tribes of Judah was captured by the Babylonian army, under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. The Babylonians destroyed the holy temple in Jerusalem and burnt it to the ground. The walls of the city were knocked down and the houses burnt. Many of the citizens were slaughtered, men young and old, women and children all fell by the sword. All the treasures of the temple were carried off to Babylon, along with rich nobles of the tribes of Judah and taken into slavery. The remaining poor were left in the city. Once again, God had punished his people severely for turning to worshipping false gods. Now their holiest of places had been destroyed.
Babylon is World Power
612 – 539 BC
After conquering Assyria, with the aid of the Medes and Persians, Babylon becomes a world power and the first great empire of the ancient world. Also known as the Chaldean Empire. It had several leaders and during the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, it was ruled by King Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon was a nation of idol worshippers and during his reign Nebuchadnezzar had the Etemenanki Ziggurat rebuilt.
The Jews without a temple
586 – 516 BC
During this period of the Jews in exile the Medes and the Persians were on the rise as an army joined to fight common enemies. Darius was the king of the Median empire and the Persians were ruled by Cyrus the Great. In 539 BC Darius the Median took the Babylonian kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar`s son, Belshazzar, the then king of Babylon at the time, was slain the night the empire fell.
Persia is World Power
539 – 333 BC
After the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians, in 538 BC Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their land of Judah. To build their temple again. 50,000 Jews returned to their home, albeit under the rule of the Persian empire.
Restoration of the Temple
516 – 400 BC
Work started on the temple and after many years it was rebuilt. It was finally finished in 516 BC under the reign of Darius the Mede. A celebration, the Passover, took place to mark the occasion. The Jews had come home once again, to their land, given to them by God. But still under foreign rule.
Greece is World Power
333 – 63 BC
Greece became the next world power, the third of four great empires in the ancient world. They conquered the Persian empire under the leadership of Alexander the Great. They took control of Jerusalem but let the Jews govern themselves as Cyrus did previously. They were still under the rule of the Greek Empire but allowed to practice their religion. In 168 BC the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, desecrated the temple by erecting a pagan alter inside the temple and sacrificing a pig to the Greek God Zeus. Revered to in the bible as the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel. This led to a revolt and Judah became an independent state within an empire, but only briefly. They were overthrown and Antiochus IV stopped all Jewish worship and implemented worship to the Greek pagan God Zeus.
Rome is World Power
63 BC – AD 476
Rome was a republic from the 6th century BC until it became an empire in the 1st century BC and had its first emperor. In 63 BC it became the fourth great empire of the ancient world, the mightiest of them all. The Jews came under Roman rule and although Judah was under Roman occupation, the Jews still had their own laws and religion to practice, in a way controlled by the occupying Romans.
Rome had been fighting wars with Greece on many fronts and for centuries until Rome finally defeated them when in 168 BC at Pynda, at the battle of Cynoscephalae, Greece fell.
Destruction of the second temple
Under Roman occupation the Jews had several skirmishes with the Romans, but not enough to be a threat to the might of the Roman Empire.
In AD 66, 33 years after Jesus’ crucifixion, the Jews once again revolted. The Emperor Nero sent Vespasian to restore order. In AD 68 some order of semblance had been achieved in the province. The Romans then concentrated their efforts on Jerusalem. At that time Nero committed suicide. Vespasian was declared Emperor and returned to Rome. His son, Titus, then lead the army in Jerusalem. By AD 70 they had penetrated the city and began the systematic slaughter. The Roman soldiers murdered just about everyone they came into contact with in a bloody frenzy. Men, women, children, all innocent bystanders, fell under the sword. They made their way to the temple and in a fit of madness they slaughtered the Jews trying to save it. The Romans set fire to the temple, climbing over dead bodies in their attempt to loot for treasure. The Temple was destroyed for the second time in history. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered and thousands that were left were sent to Egypt to work as slaves. Others were dispersed throughout the Roman empire and persecuted, sometimes as entertainment in the arenas.
The holy relics of the temple were carted to Rome and put on display as a celebration of their victory.
Once again, the Jews were enslaved and taken away from their holy land. They were dispersed all over the Roman Empire…
AD 70 to AD 1967
From the destruction of Jerusalem and the holy temple, the Jews, through the centuries, settled all over the globe. Anti-Semitism followed them wherever they went, but very few remained in the holy land. In the first two centuries many settled in Babylonia.
The age of the prophets had gone and God no longer spoke to the Jews directly to them. The rejection of Christ was maybe their major stumbling block. God chose not to speak to them directly any more but the old testament prophets wrote about and predicted the future of the Jews right up to the end of the modern world.
The Spanish Inquisition seen many Jews murdered for their beliefs and opposition of Christianity.
Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler saw the worst atrocities of the Jews in modern times and maybe the worst time in the 4000-year history of the Jewish people. Around six million Jews were murdered between 1939 and 1945.
Of course, there were many incidents of anti-Semitism in between these times in modern History.
Jewish rebellion against Roman rule ended in what was described as a massacre with the romans slaughtering thousands of Jews at Betar, a Jewish settlement about six miles south of Jerusalem.
During the first crusade, tens of thousands of European Jews were killed by the crusaders as they passed through Europe on their way to the holy land. The crusaders were brutal and murdered all Jews, men, women, children, sick and old. Around 12,000 Jews were killed in the Rhyme Valley alone.
The second crusade struck Jews in Germany and France again. Many more Jews were slaughtered.
During the third crusade, many Jews were massacred in England. 150 Jews were murdered at York Castle by a mob enticed by the start of the third crusade.
Around 3000 Jews were massacred in France by the crusaders.
In Paris, by order of the pope and the French king, all copies of the Talmud were to be burned.
In May of this year pope Innocent IV (now there’s an irony) authorised the use of torture by the inquisition to obtain confessions from accused heretics. The Jews suffered greatly under this order.
During this year all Jews were expelled from England.
Several thousand Jews in Germany were murdered by the unofficial Armleder bands before the pope stopped the senseless killings.
Widespread anti-Semitism in Spain led to thousands of Jews being massacred. One of the worst attacks on the Jews in the middle ages.
Jews were attacked in Vienna, and across Austria. 300 trapped in the Or-Santa synagogue in Vienna, some committed suicide the rest were burned to death when the synagogue was torched from inside. The rest of the Jews in Vienna, around 200, were burnt at the stake.
The pope issued a decree condemning the Jewish religious writings and ordered them to be burned. All books were collected from the Jewish community and a large bonfire ensued.
The Cossacks, under the rule of Chmielnicki slaughtered thousands of Jews in the polish ruled eastern region. Hundreds of communities were destroyed and it is estimated that 100,000 Jews were murdered in all manner of death from the sword to drowning.
The Haidamacks, in the East polish region, slaughtered thousands of Jews of all ages and both man and woman. No mercy was shown and it is said that in one city the bodies had to be cleared off the streets for the soldier’s horses to pass.
Anti-Jewish riots took place throughout Germany.
2000 Jews were killed in Russian attacks over several areas of Russia and up to 2500 killed in Odessa by organised mobs.
After WW1 there was much anti-Semitism in Russia and many pogroms were organised resulting in around 150,000 Jews murdered.
In Nazi Germany, an event known as “Kristallnacht”, the Nazis murdered 100 Jews, burnt down their synagogues and ransacked their homes. Around 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and deported to the death camps. This was the start of the “final solution” and set the well oiled killing machine in operation. What resulted was the final death toll of 6,000,000 Jews.
Germany starts WW2 by invading Poland and the roundup of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto takes momentum. Mass executions of Jews follow.
The biggest single massacre of the Jews, during the holocaust, to the said date takes place in Kiev, Russia. In a place named Babi Yar. On 30 September 1941 the Nazis executed over 33,000 Jews.
In that same year, in October, known as the “Odessa massacre”, over 50,000 Jews were slaughtered.
Around 400,000 Jews were rounded up in the Warsaw ghettos and deported to the death camps.
Around 300,000 Hungarian Jews were transported by train to Auschwitz concentration camp for execution.
By the end of WW2, The Nazis had systematically exterminated 6,000,000 Jews.
The United Nations set out a plan that divided Palestine into two states, a Jewish and an Arab state. This was unacceptable by the Arabs and fighting broke out between Arabs and Jews.
A state of Israel was declared. It was the first time since 70 BC (1847 years) that the Jews had a recognised home again. The Arab / Israeli war started with Arab nations attacking Israel.
The war of independence for Israel ended. It saw over 6000 Israelis killed and around 1500 wounded.
Jews were permitted to leave Iraq (modern day Babylon) provided they gave up Iraqi citizenship. Over 100,000 Jews were evacuated from Iraq between the years of 1949 to 1951. The evacuations were named Ezra and Nechemia, after the leaders of the Jews from 597 BC, who led the Jews back to Jerusalem back then from Babylonian exile. Another 49,000 Jews were brought from Yemen and surrounding area between 1949 and 1950, in Operation Magic Carpet.
Israel invaded Egypt and among other Foreign nationals, Jews were forced to leave Egypt. Around 25,000 Jews fled the harsh regime and their assets were seized by the Egyptian government.
When the Jews advanced into Jerusalem it seemed like suicide with all the surrounding Arab nations attacking them. The Arabs sustained heavy losses but after six day the war was over. Israel had won and after capturing the holy part of the city, (the old city) up to the remains of Solomon’s temple, (the Wailing Wall), the Israeli general, Moshe Dayan stated that the Jews had come home, never to leave again.
Egypt made war again against Israel in what was known as the “Yom Kippur War.” In retaliation to the 1 967 six-day war, Egypt was hoping to regain back lost territory. The Jews fought back and won the war at a cost of 2500 Jewish soldiers dead.
The Dome of the Rock
In the holiest part of Jerusalem is the Muslim holy mosque, ” The Dome of the Rock. ” This is one of the holiest places in the Muslim world and is built directly where the holiest temple of the Jewish religion stood, “Solomon’s Temple.”
Jesus was the last “live” messenger directly from God. From AD 33, after Jesus’ ascension, no more direct contact with God was documented. Although the scriptures have many passages from the prophets regarding later events. Several of those revelations came direct from Jesus. These events refer to the times when the Jews came back home to their holy land after nearly 2000 years of exile.
One prophesy stated that the Jews will have their land back in the end times, This happened in 1948. In 1967 they retook the holy part of the city of Jerusalem.
Another prophesy stated that Solomom`s Temple will be built again for a third time.
Watch this space.