Ancient history

The Jews

The history of the Jewish people begins with Abraham . The first patriarch was born about 1813 BC. in the city of Ur Kassdim , in Caldea .
Aware that idolatry was the fruit of the human mind and imagination, from an early age he set out in search of a true god.
According to tradition Abraham discovered the existence of D-o , that is, of a unique and inseparable otherworldly deity, at the age of three.
By order of the Creator, at the age of seventy-five Abraham left his father's house to move to a distant land, the Promised Land.

The main source of our knowledge of Jewish history is above all the Bible (Testament).
However, it is only a little over a century ago that the Bible could be used as a historical book.
Previously, for a true historical research, it was unusable:in fact, the parallel documents through which it was possible to establish the reliability of the information provided by the biblical texts were completely missing.
The knowledge acquired in the last two centuries on the history of the ancient Middle East have instead provided us with more than enough material to establish a comparison with biblical data.
In the last two centuries the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing was deciphered (Champollion 1822- 24), Akkadian writing (Grotefend 1830-40) and Ugaritic writing (last years of 1800).
It was thus possible to know the vast literary production of the Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian and Hittite-Canaanic world and compare it with the Bible.

Because of this, we now know that the Bible can be studied as a historical text, at least as early as the 13th century BC

l German M. Noth (1902-68) started from the observation that the news reported by the Bible concerning events prior to 1200 BC they became written documents only much later.
Then the facts were told only through oral tradition (also because the Jews still did not know how to write) .He therefore, using the Bible , he tried to establish which traditions about his origins brought with him that group of nomads who in 1200 he settled in Canaan and came to isolate 3 fundamental: - The migration of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen 11-15) - The movement of tribes to Egypt following a famine (Gen 41-47) - The flight from Egypt (Moses) and the covenant with God at Mount Sinai (Ex 11-14 and 19-24) He then concluded:we do not know how historical these tales are, but it is historically certain that in 1200 BC Jews thus recounted their origins. This was the inalienable and proper heritage of Israel faith that the fathers handed down to their children and that after 1200 BC was put in writing.

Moses:The Israelites become God's chosen nation

Moses he led the Israelites out of Egypt when he was struck by the tenth plague of Passover , which destroyed the country and started the Israelite exodus to the promised land. Before he died, Moses announced blessings and curses to the Israelites (the chronological line changes from green to yellow). They would have been blessed if they obeyed God and cursed if they did the opposite. These blessings and curses will forever follow the Jewish people.

David founds a royal dynasty in Jerusalem

Davide conquered Jerusalem and declared it capital. He received the promise of a “ Christ "That was to come and from that moment the expectation of the Jewish people began. Son of him Solomon he succeeded him and built the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem . The descendants of King David continued to rule for about 400 years ; This was a glorious time of Israel as it was characterized by the promised blessings. They were a powerful nation, they had an advanced society and culture and their own Temple.
But the Old Testament says that during this period their corruption increased, as did the adoration they turned to idols.
Many prophets warned them that the curses of Moses they would have fallen upon them, had they not repented, returning to God; these warnings, however, were ignored.

The first Jewish exile in Babylon

Around 600 BC the curses came true. Nebucodonosor , a mighty Babylonian king came against Israel - just as he foretold Moses 900 years earlier , when he wrote he curse him:

The Lord will make a nation move against you, from afar, from the ends of the earth ... a nation with a threatening appearance, which will have no regard for the old or the child ... He will besiege you in all your cities. (Deuteronomy 28:49-52)

Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem , he burned it and destroyed the Temple that Solomon had built.
He then exiled the Israelites to Babylon . Only the poorest remained. The prophecy pronounced by Moses was fulfilled in:

You will be snatched from the country you are going to take possession of. The Lord will disperse you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other ... (Deuterenomy 28:63-64)

So for 70 years , in the period shown in red, the Israelites they lived as exiles outside the promised land to Abraham and to his descendants.

Return from exile under the Persian Empire

Subsequently, the Persian emperor Ciro conquered Babylon and became the most powerful person on earth, allowing the Israelites to return to their land.

Once back, the Jews they were no longer an independent country, but a province within the Persian Empire .
This situation lasted for 200 years and can be seen from the red line of the chronology.
During this period the Jewish Temple was rebuilt (known as the 2nd Temple ) and the city of Jerusalem .

The period of the Greeks

Then Alexander the Great , the Great, conquered the Persian Empire making the Israelites a province within the Greek empires, for another 200 years.

The Roman period

Then the Romans they defeated the Greeks and became the greatest world power.
The Israelites became a province under this empire again, shown by the light yellow line. It is the time in which Jesus lived .
This explains the reason for the presence of Roman soldiers in the Gospels:the Romans the Jews ruled in the Land of Israel .

The Second Jewish Exile under the Romans

Since they were defeated by the Babylonians ( 600 BC ) the Israelites (i.e. the Jews , as they are called today) were no longer independent, as in the time of the rule of King David .
Instead they were ruled by other empires.
They were very annoyed by this situation and rebelled against the Roman rule. The Romans they arrived and destroyed Jerusalem ( 70 AD ), set fire to the 2nd Temple and deported them as slaves, dispersing them throughout the Roman Empire and seen his dominion, all over the world.
This was the second Jewish exile.

This is how the Jewish people lived for almost 2000 years :lost and never accepted in foreign lands. They were regularly subjected to great oppression from all nations.
The persecution of Jews was a reality in Europe that professed to be Christian.
Spain, Western Europe, Russia were kingdoms Christians, who often put the lives of Jews at risk.