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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Ancient Civilizations

World History
Who are the Hebrews?

The Hebrews

No group has had a greater historical impact from such comparatively insignificant origins and resources, or has put up with as much persecution as have the Hebrews. Hebrew scriptures make up the Old Testament of the Christian Church. The Bible has had the greatest single influence on religion, ethics, and literature of the West. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all rooted in the scriptures of the Hebrews.

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Jerusalem is a Holy City to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
The Dome of the Rock is a muslim shrine where muhammad ascended into heaven.

Who are the Hebrews?
The Hebrews originated in UR, along the Euphrates River (Sumeria). Early Hebrews were traveling merchants. Abraham became unhappy with the city so he left with some people to Palestine. The Phoenicians told the Hebrews that they must stay on the outskirts of town because they wanted to defend their city.

Jerusalem street
An Old Street in Jerusalem.
In the distance is the Dome of the Rock -
Where Muhammad is said to have ascended into heaven.

On the way to Palestine, the Hebrews broke up along the way; Some went to Egypt, the land of Gossian - again the outskirts. Then they were pushed out of Gossian by Egypt. The Israelites thought they were trapped.


Monotheistic - one God, Yahweh. One god did it all.

Yahweh always did what was right and just.

Their history is written in the first five books of the Old Testament, The Torah.

Ten Commandments were part of a covenant or promise made with Yahweh.

First to have an abstract notion of God, and to forbid his representation by images.

Nature was demythologized and man had dominance over it. Nature was seen as good, and not as a threat.

At first believed they alone lived under God's protection as His chosen people, then believed their God was the God of all people and of the universe. Because they believed in this one God for everyone, they also came to believe that not only should you love your neighbor, but your enemies as well - a new concept.

History of the Hebrew People

Oasis in Sinai Desert
Oasis in the Sinai Desert

Abraham, at Yahweh's command, went to Canaan from UR about 1900 BC.

Left Canaan for Egypt because of drought.

Pharaohs made the Hebrews slaves. The Hebrews remained slaves for 300 years.

Moses ("Moses" means boy or son) was a Hebrew who had been raised as an Egyptian prince by his mother, who had left him and then was chosen to raise him. His mother asked the Pharaoh to let them go, but the Pharaoh declined. Moses said God would punish the Pharaoh, but the Pharaoh didn't believe him.

God punished the Pharaohs: Water to blood, frogs, lice, flies, boils, hail, locusts, three days of darkness.

Moses led many people out of Egypt and moved south to the desert. - Exodus to Mount Sinai, 1290 BC, where, it is said Moses received a message from Yahweh. Mosses met God and they had a chat.

Moses is given the Covenant. The God became the god of the Israelites and JUST the Israelites. There were laws - many, many laws, not just the Ten Commandments. They may not have any other gods, (not there are no other gods) binding themselves to one God. The Covenant: "I Will Be Your God; You Will Be My People."

Moses wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of disobedience of the Ten Commandments.

King David delivered them to Jerusalem, the center of their people, c. 900 BC. He brought the Holy Ark (Ten Commandments). The Ark has since been lost. The Hebrew kingdom reached its height of power and prosperity under the rule of Solomon. They had slaves and high taxes, but were prosperous.

Judaism - Culture and Religion

Judaism is centered around Yahweh.

Monotheism - one central god

Special nature of god - God is not a person.

Exists outside of nature, can violate natural laws - miracles. The god is not subject to natural laws.

A moral god, a god of justice acting according to a set of laws, not on a whim.

All powerful. Can be good and evil. He may do good or evil because he has all power.

Ethical and moral conduct - not only know right, but go out and do right. Take action.

Chosen people - they are the only ones who understand the divine plan.

Judaic Greatness, the Hebrew sense of self-confidence. They have some how managed to keep their identity.

Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all came from these people.

Dead Sea Scroll Caves
The Caves at Qumran, on the Shores of the Dead Sea
Where Old Testament Books Have Been Discovered

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Mesopotamia and the City of Sumeria

The Fall of Mesopotamia

Who Were the Phoenicians?

History of the Hebrew People

More Information
Compare Phoenician, Greek & Roman Alphabets

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | Renaissance and Reformation |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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