Little History of Israel

Genesis 6:1, 5-6,17    Now, it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful: and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. . . . And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.

Genesis 10-12     This will cover the genealogy from Noah’s son, Shem, to the birth of Abraham

Genesis 12:1-3     Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house.  To a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation: I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 21—-read through and find that Sarai birthed Isaac

Genesis 41:31-41      So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe.  And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. . . . Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. . . . And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 10:12,13    “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

Ezekiel 18:21-23     “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.  Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”

Ezekiel 33:11     Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.  Turn, turn from your evil ways!  For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

Matthew 1:2     Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. . .      


Jewish boys were educated in the Torah, the history which was covered with the Kings, Samuel and the Chronicles, and then the early prophets, followed later by the minor prophets.  In those early days, their genealogy was very important.  It was very important as part of your family history to know what clan you came from.   So certainly, all knew that also, usually introducing themselves with a name, then followed with son of ….., tribe of …  For instance, years later, Paul would claim his heritage in Philippians 3:5-6, “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the 8th day, of the people of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin.”   There were only two tribes who stayed loyal to King David, Benjamin and Judah, so this was an important part of the identity of this part of the family.

If girls were educated it was usually by a parent or an older brother.  Girls were not encouraged to learn reading and anything that males might need when they are grown and starting a business or bartering.  It was important for boys to be educated–women were to be educated in household duties–cooking, caring for the household and family, gardening, and so forth.

In the Torah, God spoke to those He had chosen (Moses, Joshua) to deliver His people.  Then, messages were spread by travelers telling others what they had witnessed, heard, experienced.  The Israelis were hungry for words from the prophets, especially once settled in Israel and Judah and spread out amongst their areas.  Words of God had been passed down by Moses until they reached the Promised Land, then by Joshua as he led the men to finish conquering the land God had designated for them and settling, building their towns, villages, and farms.  But they all missed hearing the words of God–they had the Torah, but there must be more.  

They then demanded Judges; people who also heard from God and made His rules known to the people.  The last judge was Samuel, a Nazarene dedicated and given to a priest when he was 2-3 years of age.  He became a listener and speaker of God’s words to the people.   But then they wanted a king. (Oh, boy, you have a King–a Creator, One who cares for you and supplies all you need. . . )  But, no, they insisted on making a man their king.   

There were good and bad kings.  Those who chose to follow God and to do what God decreed, and those who lived by whatever THEY wanted and would give them pleasure.  God used prophets to proclaim God’s commands to straighten up and obey His rules.  They warned of political unrest with nearby nations, who were sinning, following idols as their many “gods” and not the one true God.   Some kings chose to follow God, at least for a short while, while others had no fear.   They just did whatever they wanted to.  Afterall, hadn’t things been like this for a LONG time, and nothing catastrophic had happened.   ‘Haha, why should I give up my riches and change my ways?’

So, in 721 BC, God sent in the nation of Assyria, blood thirsty, cruel and vicious men who destroyed and burned the area and took many hostages.  Those not taken tried to eke out a living with no tools, damaged land, and damaged bodies.  Difficult to control oxen to farm the land with only one arm. . .

It was about 590 BC, the Babylonians invaded and took 10,000+ as captives, including the teenage Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.  These were all young men of royal lineage, well- educated, smart and God fearing.  When ordered to change their diet to “kingdom” food according to the king of Babylon, they asked not to do that–and proved themselves healthier and sturdier than the others who imbibed in the rich, high calorie, intoxicating foods/drink.  They kept themselves pure–praying and honoring God, the Creator, as their ritual, three times daily, they took no forbidden foods in, and did their assignments without complaint or shirking.  That does not mean they lived a life of luxury–they worked while enslaved, and made the best of their captive lives, while still knowing God was in charge and it was He they honored, not the king of Babylon. 

When they refused to bow to a craven tall gold image of the king of Babylon, they were thrown into fiery furnace.  They said, ‘Ok, but we will honor only our God, the only true God, and it is okay if we die, He is our true God.’ And they were seen inside the furnace but now as four men, not as the three thrown in the heat;  thus proved to whatever Babylonians who were present–God was with these three young devoted Hebrew men, and saved them from having a single burn or wound.

He did the same when some jealous Babylonian officials decided they could trap Daniel and have him killed in a lions den.   Too bad for them God was in charge and smug as they were initially, they LOST.  Daniel walked out without a single mark on him, and those officials and family became the lions meals for a few days running.

When the Persian empire took over the Babylonian Empire, King Cyrus, (God initiated) finally permitted some of the Jewish men to return and rebuild the temple.  Some chose to stay in Babylon, some chose to return to Israel.  But the temple was rebuilt, and the Hebrews rebuilt the area–putting up housing, planting crops, and taking care of the clean-up which had occurred and allowed to stay stagnant for many years.  They started rebuilding a community in Jerusalem, God’s Holy City.  The Medo-Persian Empire remained ruling in Israel—Aaron’s familial line of priests had been restored, many Hebrews had returned to Israel as merchants, and the Jews had given up worshiping idols.  However, they treated their wives shoddily, they did not tithe and support the Temple, the priests were not caring for the Temple, nor teaching the people God’s ways, and they were marrying pagans.

In 333 BC Israel was in a tug-of-war, which really did not affect them over-much between Egypt and Greece.  Israel adopted much of the language and customs of the Greeks, and in Egypt the OT writings were combined into a book of all the writings for what we know now as the OT, called the Septaugint, and then translated into Greek.  Much of the studies of the male children centered around the OT and Septaugint, which is often quoted in what we know as the New Testament.

The Syrians also tried to muscle in and did for a while.  They overtook the Temple and desecrated the Holy of Holies within the temple.  In 165 BC, the Maccabees, led by Judas Maccabee from the Aaron line of priests defeated them and cleansed the Temple, but fighting continued until the Romans came into power in 63 BC.

Then the Romans came clanking in.  Oh boy, they oppressed with military presence and cruelty, they increased and increased taxes–and did I mention they increased taxes?  As hard as they worked the Israelites could not get ahead, their actions judged at every corner.  People were thrown into prison until they could pay their taxes.   That always seemed to be a Catch-22.  How can one work and make money to attempt to pay taxes when locked in prison?  How is there anything but discouragement and then how does one hope to move forward or ever get released?

 Educated Jewish men were conscripted to be tax collectors, so it appeared as though they agreed with the Romans, the taxes and penalties being mandated.  These men were shunned by their own people, seen as part of the problem, traitors to Israeli beliefs.

Then, it was during this time in Israeli history that a Child was born in a little town called Bethlehem.

Thank You, Lord for all the means I have access to and can gain information and knowledge about those several hundred years and many nations who tried to subdue Your people.  You have opened doors in my mind and understanding therefore helping me and ‘mybellaviews.’