Wednesday, December 25, 2013

亚伯拉罕 简史

亚伯兰 Abram ( 1948 BCE – 2123 BCE ) 生于迦勒低 ( Chaldeans ) 的吾珥 ( Ur ),是美索不达米亚 ( Mesopotamia ) 的一座古城,位于幼发拉底  ( Euphrates ) 河畔南部,今遗址位于伊拉克 ( Iraq )境内。

亚伯兰的父亲叫他拉  ( Terah )。亚伯兰为长子,下有弟弟拿鹤 ( Nahor ) 和哈兰 ( Haran )。亚伯兰娶同父异母的妹妹撒莱 ( Sarai ) 为妻。

大弟拿鹤娶侄女密迦为妻,生八子 : 乌斯 ( Uz ), 布斯 ( Buz ), 基母利 ( Kemuel ), 基薛( Kesed ), 哈琐 ( Hazo ), 必达 ( Pildash ), 益拉 ( Jidlaph ) 和彼土利 ( Bethuel )。彼土利生拉班 ( Laban ) 和利百加 ( Rebekah )

小弟哈兰英年早逝,遗下一子二女 : 罗得 ( Lot ),密迦 ( Milkah ) 和亦迦 ( Iskah )

亚伯兰的父亲他拉带了亚伯兰和罗得离开家乡吾珥,要往迦南去 ( Canaan )。中途停在哈兰 ( Harran ),不再前进。他拉便死在哈兰。哈兰今位于土耳其东南部。

后来耶和华上帝指示亚伯兰去迦南。亚伯兰( Abram ) 离开哈兰到迦南时已75岁。与他同去的除了妻子撒莱 ( Sarai ),还有侄子罗得 ( Lot ),和他们所有的积蓄和佣人。


自以为是(一) 离开迦南

亚伯兰和罗得有钱有业,离开哈兰到陌生的迦南,开始新的生活,因该不难。到了神所指示的地方 - 迦南 ( Canaan ),他们却不定居下来,反而迁到南地 ( Negev )。后来遇到饥荒,又到埃及 ( Egypt ) 暂居。

在埃及,亚伯兰怕美丽的67岁撒莱召来杀身之祸,认妻为妹(确实同父異母之妹)。美丽的妻子果然给法老相中,被招入宫。法老反而招来了一身骚,无奈放走撒莱,并命亚伯兰离开埃及。

岂不知,迦南就是上帝的旨意吗?


自以为是(二) 分家分居

亚伯兰无奈又离开埃及回到迦南。原来亚伯兰和罗得的总资产太多,迦南地容不下两个大财主,两家人常为牧地相争。亚伯兰顾念骨肉之情,为了不伤和气,决定和罗得分居。罗得选了东边约旦平原 ( Jordan ),亚伯兰留在迦南。分了楚河汉界,两人从此各自为政。

罗得定居所多玛 ( Sodom ),因此被卷入五王叛乱,被霸王基大老瑪 ( Kedorlaomer ) 所掳。亚伯兰率领318条好汉相救,好不威风!仗后,罗得继续在所多玛定居,所多玛人和蛾摩拉人 ( Gomorrah ) 道德沉沦,乱搞男女关系,罪恶甚重,人神共愤之!连住在所多玛的罗得也受了影响。

上帝决定要毁了所多玛和蛾摩拉,命罗得全家即刻离城。罗得迟迟不走,不但不拼命逃上山,却去了附近的琐珥 ( Zoar )。妻子还往后一看,变成一根盐柱。罗得后来离开琐珥上山,躲在洞穴里,和两个女儿乱伦生了儿子,摩押 ( Moab ) 和便亚米 ( Ben Ammi ),就是摩押人 ( Moabites ) 和便亚米人 ( Ammonites ) 的始祖。

岂不知,上帝何曾要罗得离开?何曾要罗得入乡随俗?


自以为是(三) 纳妾留后

好个亚伯兰,名威迦南。有钱有势,不但是农牧专家、还是家财万贯的企业家、有勇有谋的军事家、更是上帝眷顾的子民。虽然不登位称王,亚伯兰已经名副其实的一国之尊!小国也是国呀!唯一遗憾的是年老无子,多富无后。

不过耶和华上帝曾应许,亚伯兰必后裔如星众多。只不过爱妻已停经多年,看来撒莱是当不成万国之母了。撒莱也深明大义,准亚伯兰纳妾。

撒莱让埃及籍使女夏甲 ( Hagar ) 与亚伯兰同房,夏甲便怀了孕,生了一个儿子,亚伯兰取名为以實瑪利 ( Ishmael ) 意思是“神听见”。岂不知,这并不是神的计划。亚伯兰一直认为:神计划、人执行,路始终是人走出来的。(箴169

岂不知,上帝何曾设立多妻婚姻?

当亚伯兰99岁高龄时,耶和华上帝向他显现,又重提应许一事,并以割礼为据。同时神给亚伯兰新名叫亚伯拉罕 ( Abraham ) 撒莱改为撒拉 ( Sarah ),为万国之母。亚伯拉罕不以为意。


自以为是(四) 再离迦南

迦南其实并不肥沃,崎岖不平,雨量不多。当年亚伯拉罕和罗得分家时,罗得早就知道,亚伯拉罕也不是不知。亚伯拉罕义财难全,无奈留下。上帝怎么会给他这么一块不毛之地?埃及和约旦 ( Jordan ) 才是肥田嘛!

亚伯拉罕又因某些原因迁到南地。又老计故施,认妻为妹。可见撒拉越老越漂亮,保养有方。更显出亚伯拉罕怕死、怕事,还经事不长智。此计不但不管用,还差点坏了爱妻名声,害人害己!也不难看到亚伯拉罕爱惜自己的生命,大于妻子的贞操。女人如衣服!不过,当时杀夫抢妻如此狂昌,可想而知。

岂不知,逆境就是顺服的考场?(雅各112


自以为是(五) 抛妻弃儿

亚伯拉罕100岁高龄时,撒拉生了一个儿子,取名叫以撒 ( Isaac ) 。撒拉见以实玛利日后可能跟以撒争家产,要求亚伯拉罕指使夏甲母子离开。上帝也没有反对,还说会让以实玛利的后嗣成立一国。

不过,为何让夏甲俩母子遗弃于矿野,只给了一些饼和一袋水,任他们生死由命?幸亏神保守夏甲俩母子、不让他们横死旷野,不然亚伯拉罕又犯了杀人之罪了。

岂不知,该做的而不去做,就是罪吗?(雅各417




Friday, November 1, 2013

Abraham's Faith Tested : Islam vs Christian



Quran’s Story

When Ibrahim ( Abraham ) was 99 years old, Allah decided to test his faith, in a dream Allah commanded Ibrahim to offer up 13-years-old Ismail ( Ishmael ) for sacrifice.  As Ibrahim prepared to submit to Allah’s will, Syaitan ( Satan ) tried to dissuade him from carrying out Allah’s commandment.  Yet, Ibrahim drove Saitan away by throwing pebbles at him.  Thus stones are thrown at jamrah pillars to commemorate the rejection of Saitan.

Although Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his dearest possession, he could not just bring Ismail to the place of sacrifice without Ismail’s consent.   And so Ibrahim consulted Ishmael whether he was willing to give up his life in fulfillment of Allah’s command.  This consultation would be a test of Ismail’s maturity in faith, love and commitment for Allah, willingness to obey his father, and readiness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of Allah.

Ismail without hesitation submitted to Allah’s will. 

When Ibrahim attempted to cut Ismail’s throat, Allah interfered by protecting Ismail from being harmed.  Allah too prepared a ram in replacement of the sacrifice.

As a reward for Ibrahim’s faith in Allah, he was granted with a second son, Ishak ( Isaac )
Bible’s Accord

Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born to him through Sarah, his wife.  ( Genesis 21:5 )   One day, God tested Abraham, by commanding him to bring his young son, Isaac to be sacrificed as an offering on a mountain in the region of Moriah.  Abraham obeyed God’s commandment without hesitation.   

Early the next morning, Abraham took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac, together with wood loaded on a donkey.  They reached the sacrifice site on the third day. 

Abraham had his servants waited with the donkey, while Isaac carried the wood, and himself carried the fire and the knife.  When asked by Isaac of the whereabouts of the sacrificial lamb, Abraham assured Isaac that God will provide one.   

Yet when they reached the place, Abraham built an altar, bound Isaac and him on the wood.  As he was about to slay Isaac, an angel appeared and stopped him.  

Abraham saw and caught a ram that was caught in a nearby bush, and sacrificed it instead.

God then reassured Abraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars and the sand, and through his offspring all nations will be blessed.  ( Genesis 22:1-18)








Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aidiladha : 亚伯拉罕 的 献祭

Aidiladha 音译为献祭节、也称哈芝节 ( Hari Raya Haji ) 、古尔邦节 ( Hari Raya Korban ) 是伊斯兰教的重要节日。落于回历每年的12 10 日( Zulhijjah / Dhu al-Hijjah ) 

该节日是为了纪念亚伯拉罕  Ibrahim / Abraham ) 向真主阿拉 ( Allah ) 献祭爱子以实玛利 ( Ismail / Ishmael ),以示顺服。


亚伯拉罕老年得子。纵然家财万贯,却无子续后。眼见自己一天一天老去,爱妻亦已断经多年,老亚伯拉罕却不死心。于是纳了妻子女仆夏甲为妾。果然宝刀未老,夏甲给他生了一个儿子,名以实玛利。老亚伯拉罕视以实玛利为心肝宝贝。

岂知真主阿拉却命令老亚伯拉罕把以实玛利当祭品献上。老亚伯拉罕和幼子以实玛利也十分顺服阿拉。当亚伯拉罕举刀割以实玛利的喉咙之时,以实玛利几乎有金钟护身,刀枪不入,伤他不得。又有公羊陷在树丛里,动弹不得,便捉来献祭,成了代罪羔羊。

以实玛利是亚伯拉罕的至宝,可是还不至于大过他对阿拉的顺服。
Abraham and IsaacRembrandt, 1634

什么是排在我们生命中的第一位?
什么是我们的至宝?生命?妻儿?财富?
什么是我们的至爱?自己?父母?娇妻?独子?
什么是我们千方百计要得到的?青春?健康?名牌?名声?
什么是我们老年的保障?金钱?孩子?保险?
什么是和我们影不离身的?偶像剧?电玩?
什么是我们活着的能源?烟?酒?毒?性?
什么是我们活着的目的?旅游?美食?
什么是我们放不下的?那一口气?那一份执著?

当亚伯拉罕选择顺服阿拉,把爱子献上为祭时,已顺利通过真主阿拉得试验了。亚伯拉罕选择真主阿拉为他的生活的供应者、患难中的依靠、 生命的主宰、永生的盼望。

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jacob's Ladder (disambiguation)

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”  18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. 

Genesis 28 ( New International Version )
10 雅各出了别是巴,向哈兰走去。 11到了一个地方,因为太阳落了,就在那里住宿,便拾起那地方的一块石头枕在头下,在那里躺卧睡了。 12梦见一个梯子立在地上,梯子的头顶着天,有神的使者在梯子上上去下来(或作:站在他旁边。) 13和华站在梯子以上,说:“我是耶和华你祖亚伯拉罕的神,也是以撒的神,我要将你现在所躺卧之地赐给你和你的后裔。 14你的后裔必像地上的尘沙那样多,必向东西南北开展。地上万族必因你和你的后裔得福。 15我也与你同在,你无论往哪里去,我必保佑你,领你归回这地,总不离弃你,直到我成全了向你所应许的。”

16
雅各睡醒了,说:“耶和华真在这里,我竟不知道!” 17就惧怕,说:“这地方何等可畏!这不是别的,乃是神的殿,也是天的门。”

18
雅各清早起来,把所枕的石头立做柱子,浇油在上面。 19他就给那地方起名叫伯特利,但那地方起先名叫路斯。

创世记 28 ( 和合本 )

Jacob’s Ladder is a ladder to heaven that the biblical Jacob dreams about during his flight from his brother Esau. 



Jacob’s Ladder may also refer to many things, among them are :
· Gholtage travelling arc, a device for producing a continuous train of large sparks.
· Crepuscular rays, rays of sunlight that appear to radiate through gaps in clouds etc.
· Polemonium , a genus of flowering plants.
· Rope ladder, specialized ladder used at sea.
· a Rope course
· an Exercise equipment
· a type of pocket knife
· a quilt block pattern
· a String figure pattern
· a Folk toy, consisting of blocks of woods held together by strings
· Short ribs in the UK
· a non-compact surface in mathematics





Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tares = Lolium temulentum

稗子的比喻 ( 和合本 CUV )
24耶稣又设个比喻对他们说:“天国好像人撒好种在田里,25及至人睡觉的时候,有仇敌来,将稗子撒在麦子里就走了。26到长苗吐穗的时候,稗子也显出来。27田主的仆人来告诉他说:‘主啊,你不是撒好种在田里吗?从哪里来的稗子呢?’28主人说:‘这是仇敌做的。’仆人说:‘你要我们去薅出来吗?’29主人说:‘不必,恐怕薅稗子,连麦子也拔出来。30容这两样一齐长,等着收割。当收割的时候,我要对收割的人说:先将稗子薅出来,捆成捆,留着烧,唯有麦子要收在仓里。’”

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares ( NKJV)
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”


Tares was translated from Greek word ζιζάνια (zizania), plural of ζιζάνιον (zizanion).  The word is thought to mean darnel ( Lolium temulentum ), a ryegrass which looks much like wheat ( Triticum aestivum ) in its early stages of growth.   The similarity between the two plants is so great that darnel is referred to as “false wheat” in some region.

The recognizable differences are apparent when the ear appears.  The spikes of darnel are more slender, with single glume, and black in colour.  Whilst the wheal will have fuller spikes, with double glume, and appear brown when ripe. 

The darnel can be infected by a fungus of the genus Neoryphodium, which will produce poison which is intoxicated and can be fatal.  Thus it is logical to sabotage the enemies’ wheat field by sowing darnel.   




  Triticum aestivum
                                                                                        


Lolium temulentum 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jesus vs Confusius

孔子曰
仲弓问仁。子曰:“出门如见大宾,使民如承大祭。己所不欲,勿施于人。在邦无怨,在家无怨。”仲弓曰:“雍虽不敏,请事斯语矣!”
《论语·颜渊篇》
 ( 仲弓问孔子如何处世才能合乎仁道?孔子回答道:“出门与同仁行礼如见贵客一般,对民如大祭一样凝重,自己不喜欢的事不要强加给别人。如此在朝上就不会招谁怨,在家中私下的交往也不招谁恨”仲弓感谢道:“我虽迟钝,但一定要牢记先生的话。”)

子贡问曰:‘有一言而可以终生行之者乎?’ 。子曰:‘其恕乎。己所不欲,勿施于人。”
《论语·卫灵公》
 (子贡问孔子:‘有一句可以终身奉行的话吗?’孔子说:‘那应该是恕吧。自己不想做的事,切勿强加给别人。’)






耶稣说:
你們願意人怎樣待你們,你們也要怎樣待人,這是律法和先知的總綱。
马太福音 7:12 ( 新译本CNV )




Israel - A Brief History : Modern Era



World War I
1914, July 28th – WW I began.
1914 – Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in WW I.
1918, November 11th – WW I ended.
1920, August 10th – Treaty of Sèvres signed between the Ottoman Empire and Allies.  Palestine placed under British mandate.


British Mandate

1917-1918 – During WWI, Palestine was governed by Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA)

1920, July 1st – Palestine governed under a civil administration

1923, September 29th – British Mandate for Palestine came into effect.  The Mandate includes Palestine and Transjordan.

1946, May 25th – Transjordan gain independence.   Officially called Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

1948, May 14th – British Mandate ended













United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine

1947, November 29th  - United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the partition plan of Mandatory Palestine.

The United Nation Partition Plan for Palestine would, after the termination of the British Mandate, lead to the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and the Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem.  The Plan sought to address the conflicting objectives and claims of two competing movements : Arab nationalism and Jewish nationalism.

It was accepted by the Jewish  but rejected by leaders of the Arabs.

1947, November 30th – Civil War started between Arabs and Jewish.









Independent State of Israel

1948, May 14th – Declaration of Independence of State of Israel.

1948, May 15thFirst Arab-Israel War began with invasion of Arab States

1949 – Armistice Agreements signed between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

The Armistice Agreements saw Israel had control of Galilee, Jezreel, Negev, West Jerusalem and the Costal Plain.  The Gaza Strip and West Bank were occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively.

1949, May 11th – Israel admitted as a member of the UN.

1967, June 5th  – Third Arab-Israel War (Six-Day War) began with Israel bombing Egyptian air-fields.

Israel took control of West Bank (from Jordan), Gaza Strip (from Egypt), East Jerusalem, Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsular.

West Bank remained under military occupation.  Gaza Strip remained independent of Israel.  Golan Heights and East Jerusalem occupied by Israel.  Sinai Peninsular has returned to Egypt in 1979 as part of Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.



Today

Today’s State of Israel is divided into 6 administrative districts : Northern, Haifa, Center, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Southern.   Districts are further divided into 15 sub-districts.

East Jerusalem and Golan Heights considered part of Israel territory.  East Jerusalem has been included in the Jerusalem District as of 1967.  Golan Heights aligned into Northern District.

West Bank and Gaza Strip remained Israeli-occupied territories.  Israel control the airspace, territorial waters and border crossings.  Administration is under Palestinian Authority. 

Israel - A Brief History : Classical Period



Hasmonean Dynasty

538 BC - Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered the Babylon and took over its empire.  The Achaemenid Empire spanned from Asia to Africa and Europe. 

538–518 BC - Israelites were allowed to return to Judah and rebuilt the Temple ( Ezra 1:1-4 ; 6:13-18).
456 BC - a second group led by Ezra and Nehemiah returned.

334 BC - Alexander the Great defeated the Persian and conquered the empire.  After the death of Alexander, his generals divided the empire among themselves.  Judah became part of the Seleucid Empire.


Maccabees Revolt

During the 2nd century BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes ruler of the Seleucid Empire pursued a zealous Hellenizing policy.  Jewish religious practices were forbidden.  Mattathias , a rural Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean killed a Hellenistic Jew who offered a sacrifice to an idol.  Then Mattathias and his five sons then fled to wilderness of Judah.

After Mattathias death, his son Judas Maccabee led guerrilla attacks against Seleucid army.  Jerusalem was recaptured and the Temple cleansed.  The celebratory festival of Hanukkah instituted.  ( 1 Maccabees ;  2 Maccabees ; The Wars of the Jews )

160 BC - Judas died in a battle.  His brother Jonathan succeeded as army commander and High Priest. 

Autonomy

142 BC - Jonathan was assassinated, and was succeeded by Simon.  Simon came to terms with Demitrius II Necator, the Seleucid king.  Maccabees won autonomy, yet the region remained a province of the Seleucid Empire.  Simon led the people in peace and prosperity, until he was assassinated. 

129 BC - Judea was freed from Seleucid rule on the death of Antiochus VII Sidetes, the last Seleucid king. 

63 BC - Judea became a protectorate of Roman Empire, coming under the administration of a governor.  Judea was allowed a king.




Herodian Dynasty


During the time of the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus conquered Madaba, Sehechum, Transjordan, Samaria, Galilee and Idumea ( Edom ).  Edomites were forced to convert to Judaism.  The Edomites were gradually integrated into the Judean nation, and some of them reach high ranking positions.

During the time of Hasmonean ruler Alexander Jannaeus, Edomite Antipas was appointed governor of Edom.  Antipas’ son,  Antipater was the chief adviser to Hasmonean ruler Hyrcanus II.

47 BC - Julius Caesar appointed Antipater as procurator of Judea.  Antipater’s sons, Phasael and Herold as governors of Jerusalem and Galilee respectively.

40 BC - Herod made king of the Jews by the Roman Senate.
19 BC - Herod commissioned expansion of the Temple.
4 BC - Herod the Great died.  Judea made a Roman province.  Judea was divided among his three sons.  Herod Archelaus ruled Judea, Edom and Samaria.  Herold Philip I ruled Decapolis. Trachonitis and Iturea.  Herod Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea.

6 AD - Judea made a Roman province.

34 AD - Agrippa I ruled Galilee and Perea.  In 41 AD Judea added to his rule.
70 AD - Herod’s Temple destroyed by Roman troops during the Seige of Jerusalem, ending the Great Jewish Revolt.
92 AC - Herodian Dynasty ended.  Judea fully incorporated into Roman province.


Roman Imperial
131 AD - Roman emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina”, Judea renamed “Palaestina
285 AD - Roman emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire’s administration into eastern and western halves.
324 AD - Roman emperor Constantine I transferred the eastern capital from Nicomedia to Constantinople.
395 AD - following the death of Roman emperor Theodosius I, Roman Empire divided politically
476 AD - fall of Western Roman Empire.


Byzantine Empire
480 AD - Western Empire emperor Zeno separated himself from Roman Empire.
614 AD, Jerusalem conquered by Persian, Jews were left to self-govern.
617 AD, Byzatine recaptured Jerusalem, Judaism banned, Jews fled to Baltic.




Arab Caliphs
636 AD - Palestine conquered by the Arab
691 AD - Dome of the Rock constructed on Temple Mount.
705 AD - Al-Aqsa Mosquue constructed on Temple Mount.

Crusader States Vs Ayyubid Dynasty
1071 AD - Muslims of Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantine army in Manzikert. Byzantine emperor Alexis I plead Pope Urban II of Roman Catholic in Rome to the aid to free Jerusalem from Muslim rule.

Crusader states were created in the Levant during the crusades :
1098–1149 : County of Edessa
1098–1268 : Principality of Antioch
1099–1291 : Kingdom of Jerusalem
1104–1289 : County of Tripoli

1187 - Egyptian Muslims of Ayyubid Dynasty concurred Jerusalem.
1193 - civil war within Ayyubid Dynasty
1250 - Mamluk overthrew Ayyubid Dynasty in Egypt
1260 - Mongols overthrew Ayyubid Dynasty in Aleppo
1341 - fall of Ayyubid Dynasty

Mamluk Dynasties
1260 - Mamluk Sultan Qutuz defeated Mongols in Battle of Ain Jalut, conquered Palestine
1291 - Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil conquered Acre, capital of Kingdom of Jerusalem




Ottoman
1516 - Turkish Ottoman Empire Sultan Selim II conquered Palestine
1799 – Napoleon briefly occupied Palestine
1878 – First modern Jewish settlement founded in Petah Tikva.

Large scare return of Jew from the diaspora back to Israel began in 1882.
1882-1903 : First Aliyah – 35,000 Jews returned
1904-1914 : Second Aliyah – 40,000 Jews returned
1919-1923 : Third Aliyah – 40,000 Jews returned
1924-1929 : Fourth Aliyah – 82,000 Jews returned
1929-1939 : Fifth Aliyah – 250,000 Jews returned

1909 – First Hebrew-speakng city, Ahuzat Bayit ( later Tel Aviv ) established.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Israel - A Brief History : Biblical History


The Twelve Tribes

The Transjordan Tribes

After defeating the Amorites, the Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock.  So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and asked for allocation of the land.  As the Reubenites and Gadites promised to join in battles with the rest of the Israelites in the Promised Land, Mosses agreed to their request. ( Numbers 32:1-38 ; Deuteronomy 3:12-13, 16-17 ; Deuteronomy 3:15-28 )

The descendants of Makir son of Manasseh captured Gilead form the Amorites, and they settled there.  Jair, another descendant of Manasseh, captured their settlements and named them Havvoth Jair.  Nobah captured Kenath and its surrounding settlements and called it Nobah.  ( Numbers 32:39-42 ; Deuteronomy 3:13-15 ; Deuteronomy 3:29-31 )


The Two and Half Tribes

After the death of Moses, Joshua was installed as leader.  Joshua lead the Israelites into the Promise Land, as commanded by the Lord.   The land the Israelites conquered were divided among the nine and half tribes.

The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the Desert of Zin in the extreme south. ( Joshua 15:1 )

The allotment for Joseph ( Ephraim and Manasseh ) began at the Jordan, east of the springs of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel. It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz), crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth, descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. ( Joshua 16:1-3 )


The Seven Tribes

The remaining seven tribes divided the rest of the land by casting lots.

The tribe of Benjamin allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph. ( Joshua 18:11 ) The tribe of Simeon’s land lay within the territory of Judah. ( Joshua 19:1-8 )   The Zebulun get a land between Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea.  The Issachar occupied south of Zebulun, west boundary to the Jordan River. The Asher’s territory laid along the northern shore of Mediterranean Sea.  The Naphtali settled between the Asher and the Lake Samechonitis.  The tribe of Dan’s inheritance sandwiched between the Ephraim and Judah, west to the Benjamin’s and east to the Mediterranean  ( Joshua 18:11 - 19:46 )




United Monarchy

Around 1000 BC, under extreme threat from foreign powers, the Israelites feels that they need a king to lead them, so they pressurized Samuel to appoint them a king ( 1 Samuel 8:1 - 21 ).  Samuel anointed Saul from the tribe of Benjamin as the first king.  However, it was David who created a strong unified Israelite monarchy.  Under David, Israel grew into a regional power.  The kingdom’s boarder stretch from the Mediterranean sea to the Arabian Desert, from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River.

David was succeeded on his death by his son, Solomon.  Under the rule of Solomon, kingdom of Israel knew unprecedented peace.

832 BC– King Solomon commissioned construction of the Temple.









Divided Kingdom
Kingdom of Israel

Following Solomon’s death in circa 926 BC, all the Israelite tribes except for Judah and Benjamin refused to accept Rehoboam, the son of Solomon as their king.  The rebellion against Rehoboam arose after he refuse to lighten the burden of taxation and services that his father had imposed on his subjects.  Thus the kingdom was split into two kingdoms : the northern Kingdom of Israel, and the southern Kingdom of Judah. 

The territory of the Kingdom of Israel comprised the territories of the tribes of Zebulum, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben and Gad.  Its capital was Samaria.

In circa 732 BC, Tiglath-Pileser III king of Assyria sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aram and territory of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.  People from these tribes were taken captive and resettled in the Khabur region ( 2Kings 16:9 ).

During the reign of Hosea, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Kingdom of Israel.  In circa 722 BC, Assyria conquered Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria ( 2Kings 17:1-6), becoming known as the “Lost Tribes of Israel”.

The Samaritans claim to be descended from survivors of the Assyrian conquest.   


Kingdom of Judah

The capital of Kingdom of Judah was Jerusalem.

During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded Judah.  Jehoiakim became Babylon vassal for three years.   Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin succeeded as king of Judah in circa 597 BC, only reigned for 3 months, Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and raided the Temple. Israelites were taken hostages and exiled. Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon, where he lived and died. ( 2Kings 24:8-16)

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jeoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah as king of Judah ( 2Kings 24:17-18)

586 BC - second rebellion erupted against Nebuchadnezzar.  Jerusalem was captured, the Temple destroyed, the Israelites exiled.  Zedekiah blinded and taken into exile.  Judah reduced to a province of the Babylonian Empire. Gedaliah was appointed governor of the Yehud province ( 2Kings 25:1-22)