History of Israel

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The history of Israel or the history of the people of Israel is the history of the Israelites and Judaism - as a people and as a religion - from its beginnings around 1500 BC. In the ancient Orient and its settlement in Canaan up to the destruction of the Herodian temple in 70 AD and the settlement ban for Palestinian Jews after the suppression of the Bar Kochba uprising in 135 AD Time of origin of the Tanach , the Hebrew Bible .

Prehistory and early history

People lived in the Levant as early as the Stone Age and the Bronze Age . Was this area on the east coast of the Mediterranean part of the land bridge from Africa to Eurasia and was also in the area of ​​the Fertile Crescent , where the Neolithic Revolution began. Then in this border area between Egypt and Mesopotamia the ancient oriental great powers struggled for hegemony , so that hardly a larger independent state could establish itself there, let alone maintain its position for longer, unless as a buffer state .

Bronze age

But already in the Early Bronze Age (3500 to 2200) there were settlements and even cities between the Jordan and the coast, especially in the coastal plain. At the end of the Early Bronze Age there was a breakdown in urban culture and the dominance of pastoralism. It was not until the Middle Bronze Age that began after 2000 BC. Again a city life. The archaeological analysis of Mesopotamian and Egyptian archives from the Middle (up to 1550 BC) and Late Bronze Age (1550 - 1150 BC) at sites such as Mari , Tell el-Amarna and Nuzi showed that after another upheaval and Advance of nomads again to denser settlement and more highly developed culture under the hegemony mainly through Egypt, but at times also came Hittite Empire and Assyrian Empire .

As a result of the onset of the " Sea Peoples ", another crisis time followed with increased nomadization of the population. However, the archaeologists looked in vain for traces of a major migration in this area, as would have been the features of the biblical patriarchs.

Iron Age (1150-586 BC)

For the prehistoric times of the area west of the Jordan, the Tanach is the most-noted source . However, his statement cannot be considered historically secure.

In Palestine, some city and small states were formed during the Iron Age .

In the coastal plain, it was mainly the Philistines who settled in their Pentapolis (Palestine) , consisting of Ashdod , Gaza , Ashkelon , Gat and Ekron . To the north of it the Phoenicians founded their coastal cities.

In the " Schefela " ("lowland"), known as the hill country between the mountainous country and the coastal plain, specialized agriculture with olive growing and viticulture developed . There were the cities of Lachisch , Aphek and Megiddo .

Arameans lived north of Canaan , Samaritans and Canaanites in the mountains of Samaria and Canaanites in the Judean mountains as well. Canaanite nomads temporarily moved across the Jordan to the areas of Ammon , Moab and Edom . The Canaanite mountains were only sparsely populated. Since the agricultural yields were low and uncertain, the arable farmers were forced to occasionally switch to a nomadic way of life, but kept returning to the plaice.

As the archaeological findings showed, no pigs were kept in the villages in the mountains west of the Jordan. This peculiarity is the first archaeologically secured reference to the Proto-Israelites.

Evidence for the powerful empires of David and Solomon described in the Bible or their palaces around 1000 BC The archaeologists could not find it. The early Israelites were mostly from Canaan itself. "The rise of early Israel was a result of the collapse of the Canaanite culture, not its cause."

Timeline of biblical events

16.-13. Century BC Chr. Aramaean migration, "fatherhood"
13th century BC Chr. Exodus from Egypt
around 1200 BC Chr. "Landing" of Israel in Canaan; Sea peoples
1200-1050 BC Chr. "Judge's time"


For the early days of the people of Israel, historical science largely relied on biblical representation. These narratives are supplemented by archaeological finds and non-Israeli written sources.

The self-image as the people of Israel only developed with the creation of the Covenant of the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the Palestine region . There the different traditions of the individual tribes grew together into a common ancestry legend. In these (for a long time only passed on orally) stories of the ancestors of Genesis , different topics are presented, namely cult legends and myths from the ancient oriental world of Mesopotamia and Palestine, legends of the origins of the place and individual events. Much later, these ancestral stories were arranged in chronological order and changed several times according to religious intentions. They are subject to the restrictions of oral tradition, which at that time was passed on unchanged for a maximum of 200 years. Therefore, the origin, the age and the historical evaluability of these first narratives of the Torah are in dispute. The Torah is the oldest part of the Bible and was created around 1500 BC. BC, but was only used around 700 BC. Written down and about 440 BC. BC completed. It describes (among other things) the history of the people of Israel under the leadership of Moses and Joshua from the exodus from Egypt to the beginning of the conquest of the Israelites in Canaan . Most historians question the historicity of these narratives. Nevertheless, they offer them insights into the way of life of these semi-nomads , who gradually developed into a unified people with a unified religion.

The patriarchs

From Genesis ( Hebrew בְּרֵאשִׁית (b e re'šīt) Bereschit ) emerges:

The forefather of the people of Israel was Abram from the city of Ur ( Gen 11,27-31  EU ) (at the southeastern end of the Fertile Crescent a few kilometers above the mouth of the Euphrates in the Persian Gulf and an important port city since about 2600 BC). Abram moved from Ur to Charan (also: Haran) with his paternal family . Yahweh , the God of the people of Israel, said to Abram after the death of his father: “Go out of your country and from your relatives and from your father's house to the land that I will show you! … “Then Abram moved with his family and his servants from Charan to Shechem in Canaan (Palestine). According to the times of the Bible - based on the beginning of the temple construction in 957 BC. By Solomon, 480 years after the exodus from Egypt and 430 years of slavery in Egypt and an estimated 200 years for the time of the patriarchs - Abram would have to be around 2100 BC. To have set out for the land of Canaan. Yahweh later renamed Abram to Abraham and promised him numerous offspring in the land of Canaan . ( Gen 17.4-8  EU )

Abraham's grandson Jacob got into a undecided wrestling match with a messenger of Yahweh (or Yahweh himself) in Penuel on the south bank of the Jabbok River and was given the honorary name Israel (Hebrew: Yisrael = warrior with God) ( Gen 32.25- 33  EU ) Jacob had twelve sons ( Gen 29,31-35  EU ), ( Gen 30,1-22  EU ) and ( Gen 35,16-20  EU ), who became the ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel . They were called:

1. Ruben 4. Judah 7. Gad 10. Zebulun
2. Simeon 5th Dan 8. Ashtray 11. Joseph
3. Levi 6. Naftali 9. Issachar 12. Benjamin

Joseph was Jacob's favorite son and, out of envy, was sold by his brothers to Midianite merchants, who dragged him off to Egypt. ( Gen 37  EU ) Later the king of Egypt appointed Joseph his regent because of his ability to interpret dreams ( Gen 41: 37-49  EU )

Jacob's family had to move to Egypt because of the famine, which was prepared thanks to Joseph's foresight alone. Finally, Joseph revealed himself and forgave his brothers. Jacob also followed and stayed in Egypt until his death, before which he appointed Judah to be the head of the people of Israel. ( Gen 49,8-10  EU )

Any historical events behind these stories can only be guessed at. Some ethnic groups immigrated to Canaan (Palestine) from the east and north, others from the southwest. In the case of the latter, it is assumed that semi-nomads accidentally came to the fertile Nile delta because of changing pastures, but were caught there and worked as unfree construction workers e.g. B. were employed in the construction of the warehouse towns of King Ramses II .

Israelites in Egypt

In Egypt, according to the accounts of the Bible, the Israelites grew into a people. There is no extra-biblical source about the stay there in the country of Goshen (eastern Nile Delta) and the subsequent exodus from Egypt, which is why the historicity of the events is completely rejected by some historians. However, the biblical accounts reflect some historical phenomena from the late second millennium BC. BC quite authentically. The immigration of nomadic groups to Egypt took place together with other Canaanite groups, which began at the end of the third millennium and was probably economically motivated. Some of the immigrants may have reached high positions. The immigrants as a whole probably fitted into Egyptian society relatively easily. (See the later Greek-Jewish military colony, Elephantine .)

An indirect historical evidence for the stay of the Israelites in Egypt could be the mention of ethnic groups called Habiru in Egyptian documents from the 15th to the 12th century. Some researchers equate this Habiru with the Hibri, namely the Hebrews . The term Habiru probably stood less for a people and more for a social status (such as “the strangers” or “the others”) and need not have meant the Israelites or not only them. In addition, the Israelites did not call themselves Hebrews.

In all likelihood, the pharaoh described in the Bible was Ramses II. During his term of office, extensive construction projects fell, to which the Habiru as well as the common people were forcibly brought in. Because of his foreign policy orientation towards Asia, Ramses moved his residences to the eastern Nile Delta, that is, near the biblical Goschen.

Exodus and Revelation on Mount Sinai

According to Exodus 2, the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt took place under Merenptah , the successor of Ramses II. On his victory stele from around 1208 BC BC, his fifth year in office, Merenptah boasts of having defeated the Israelites. This is the first extra-biblical mention of the term Israel. The armed conflict took place on Canaanite soil. The Israelites, however, according to the biblical record, had not yet emigrated from Egypt at that time. The designation Israel cannot mean the exodus group that is still leaving, but must mean other inhabitants of Canaan. The term Israel must therefore be viewed critically here. Some historians suggest that the exodus did not happen once, but in several waves. Others assume that there was never any significant emigration from Egypt.

The fact that the Exodus was not reflected in contemporary sources may mean that the biblical account of the size of the Exodus group is a popular exaggeration. The exodus from Egypt may not have had the same global political significance as it had for a small people who had escaped slavery. In addition, no Israelite land grabbing has been archaeologically proven in Israel. On the contrary: the material culture remained constant. Most archaeologists therefore suspect that most of the nomads who united to form the people of Israel had already lived in Canaan for a long time and were only reinforced by small groups of returnees from Egypt, who possibly brought Yahweh as the new god from there.

A great escape, as described in the Bible, seems hardly possible - especially if the Pharaoh knew about it and tried to prevent it militarily. The land of Canaan was at least partially occupied by Egyptians; and on the route there were several Egyptian fortifications with garrisons. Such an escape would have led from the Egyptian motherland to an Egyptian colony.

The route that the Israelites supposedly took to Canaan cannot be exactly reconstructed, despite the biblical directions. The exact locations of the Jam-suf (Red Sea) and Mount Sinai are also not clear. This, too, is cited by some historians as an indication that there was no significant exodus from Egypt.

According to the biblical record, it was Moses who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. He, whose existence is also doubted by historians, is still considered the most important prophet in Judaism - hence the name “Mosaic Faith” for Judaism. The God Yahweh revealed himself to the Jews on Mount Sinai, who presented himself to them as the God of their forefathers. Here the Jews received the Torah (instruction) through Moses and made a covenant with Yahweh to keep this instruction. This covenant contains a fully developed social and moral message that is summarized in the Ten Commandments .

Belief in a single God ( monotheism ) is a novelty in the history of religion. It differs from the monolatric belief of the patriarchs, which did not negate the existence of other gods. However, both archeology and the Bible prove the continued existence of monolatric conditions in Israel well into the post-exilic period. Numerous commandments - such as the ban on pork - were apparently followed by at most a minority at the time. Whether monotheism around 1100 BC BC or centuries later in the Babylonian exile has long been a matter of dispute.

Land grabbing and settlement

The book of Exodus tells that after the Israelites settled in Egypt, they fell into slavery. Yahweh led Israel to freedom through Moses. There is no extra-biblical evidence for this. From an archaeological point of view, it is more than questionable whether the biblical story contains more than small factual cores. Many of the cities that according to the Bible are said to have been conquered by the immigrant Israelites either no longer existed at that time or did not yet exist. The stories are obviously from a later time.

According to the biblical narrative, the Israelites received the Torah (instruction) through Moses on this way and made a covenant with Yahweh to keep this instruction. According to the story, the Israelites returned to the land of Canaan, which they had to conquer under the leadership of Joshua . This epoch is also known as the land grab .

The settlement of Israelite tribes in the area of ​​today's State of Israel and the surrounding areas has been around for the time since about 1250 BC. Proven. The conquests of Canaanite city-states by Israelite nomads, who at most had immigrated from Egypt to a small extent and which are likely to form the historical core of the conquest narratives, took place successively in the decades around 1100 BC. Chr.

The time of judges

The historically somewhat verifiable time begins with the time of the judge. This epoch from around 1250 to 1000 BC BC followed the infiltration and settling of the nomadic tribes on the cultivated land of Palestine. The land was of strategic importance for the ancient oriental great powers and was the scene of many conflicts between them and the Israelites, which are already reflected in the oldest biblical traditions.

According to biblical information, the Israelites lived together for about 200 years in a loose tribal organization - in twelve tribes corresponding to the number of sons of Jacob - and were led by briefly appearing folk heroes, the so-called great judges , in cases of war . At that time, the term judge had the meaning “who help to achieve justice”. Most experts reject the fact that these folk heroes were also judges in the legal sense. Under the leadership of the judges, the country was defended against attacking peoples. There was no permanent army among the pre-state people of Israel. In the event of a war, one had to rely on the support of the majority of the men organized in clans and tribes, who voluntarily formed militia-like groups for the achievement of limited military goals and who returned home immediately after the war.

The kingship until the destruction of the first temple

Timeline of biblical events

around 1000 Kingdom of Saul (northern kingdom tribes);

Conquest of Jerusalem;

David = king over Judah + Israel

Solomon's kingdom

approx. 950 Temple construction in Jerusalem
926 Death of Solomon,

"Empire division" (end of the combined rule over Israel + Judah);

Sanctuaries in Dan + Bethel

9th century Aramaic Wars

Founding of Samaria


Revolution of Jehu against the Omrids

8th century Israel's heyday
734-732 Syrian-Fraimite War
722/720 Conquest of Samaria

Fall of the Northern Empire

approx. 705 Hezekiah's reform
701 Sieherib siege of Jerusalem
696-642 Manasseh of Judah, new dependence on the Assyrians
from 630


Decline of Assyria

Conquest of Nineveh

622 Joschiah's cult reform
597 1. Conquest of Jerusalem by the New Babylonians
587/6 Destruction of Jerusalem, beginning of exile

The Kingdom of David and Solomon

Around 1000 BC According to the biblical report, the Israelite tribes had to unite to form a kingdom because of the increasing military pressure from the Philistines . The Bible almost certainly recalls the Jerusalem tradition that the first king was Saul . His successors David and his son Solomon founded an independent empire with Jerusalem as its capital. Historically, the actual formation of noteworthy kingdoms in Israel and Judah , which are larger than the size of a city-state and its surrounding area, could be set much later. The barren and populous Judea in particular appears to be particularly late, possibly not until the 8th century BC. Chr. To have received a functioning, centrally controlled state apparatus. The northern kingdom of Israel, on the other hand, was far more fertile and more populous in its vast plains and soon rose to a local size that attracted the interests of the neighboring empires. A unified north-south empire, to which Jerusalem also belonged under the leadership of the Davidids, probably did not exist.

Map according to biblical tradition on the territorial situation of the kingdoms of Israel (blue) and Judah (orange) in the 9th century BC Chr.
Model of an Israeli four-room house with columns on both sides of the middle “room” (courtyard) and the floor, approx. 900 BC. Chr. (Scale 1 cm = 1 m)

The time of the two kingdoms

The biblical tradition now reports of a split after Solomon into the two small states of Israel and Judah - which probably also means that there had been no unity before. As a result, the northern empire was an economically and politically strengthening buffer state that was able to prosper in the time of political weakness in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Only the strengthening of the Assyrian great power ended this situation.

Destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel

The northern kingdom of Israel was established between 722 and 721 BC. Conquered by Assyria and transformed into a vassal state . Some of the residents were forcibly relocated and replaced by deported residents from other parts of the Assyrian Empire. Jerusalem and Judah were too insignificant to arouse Assyria's interest.

Fall of the southern kingdom of Judah

After the Assyrians destroyed the northern empire, the state around Jerusalem, the southern empire of Judah, which had been spared by the Assyrians, was able to gain strength. The kings then endeavored to expand the power of Judah to the northern regions and cities of the north. The beginnings of canonization lay in the pre-exilic royal times of the Kingdom of Judah : 1 Kings 22  EU reports of the "discovery" of a "code of law" in the Jerusalem temple, that is, the priesthood party that was loyal to the king and leaned towards the raison d'etat in religious matters Deuteronomy , which the Judean King Josiah 621 BC , wrote the existing traditions to underpin political and religious reforms . To a Yahwist cult reform (concentration on the Jerusalem temple) and abolition of syncretism should have caused. YHWH's monotheism and claim to power were enforced with great energy. An attempt was made to unite the entire people under the Tanach , including the non-Jewish tribes, some of whom had immigrated and deported under the Assyrians, in Palestine. This period ended with the attack of the New Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar II. Under King Jehoiakim , Judah also became a vassal state of the Babylonians. But this tried to gain independence by taking advantage of a defeat Nebuchadnezzar. Under his brother Zedekiah , who succeeded Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin on the throne, Nebuchadnezzar conquered 597 and 587/586 BC. BC Jerusalem. After the two conquests, part of the upper class of the Jewish people was abducted and so came into exile in Babylon . The policy begun under Josias was continued in exile and afterwards by the Deuteronomists with the Deuteronomistic History .

From exile to the end of Hasmonean rule

Timeline of important events

539 Conquest of Babylon by the Persians under Cyrus
538 Cyrus dictate allows the deportees to return
520 Beginning of the new temple construction
515 Inauguration of the 2nd temple
458 Mission of Ezra (or 398?)
445-433 Mission of Nehemiah
333-322 Alexander the Great,

after that:

Diadoch rule

301-200 Ptolemaic rule over Palestine
198-141 / 129 Seleucid rule over Palestine
167-164 Maccabees Rising: desecration of the temple; Hanukkah festival
64 Beginning of Roman rule in Syria / Palestine

Babylonian exile

In Babylonian exile, it began in 597 BC. Chr. With the conquest of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II. And lasted until the conquest of Babylon 539 v. BC by the Persian king Cyrus II , the Jews were able to preserve their national and religious identity despite the Babylonian cultural pressure. Ironically, the Babylonian exile became one of the most fertile times in Jewish theology. With the lack of a temple at home in Jerusalem, the Jews' fixation on the temple as the sole place of prayer ended and the first synagogues came into being .

Return of the exiles, rebuilding of the temple and canonization of the Torah

Cyrus II conquered in 539 BC BC Babylon and ended the New Babylonian Empire. He ordered 538 BC. The rebuilding of the temple and the return of the stolen temple equipment , but - contrary to Esr 1,2ff  EU - not yet the return of the exiles ( Esr 5,14ff  EU ; Esr 6,3ff  EU ). His successors, the Achaemenids, maintained his tolerant religious policy.

After Darius I had allowed some of the Judeans in Babylon to return and they had arrived in Jerusalem under the Davidid Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua , the temple was closed in 520 to 515 BC. Newly built ( Esr 5,1  EU ). The prophets Haggai and Zechariah then promoted messianic hopes for the imminent end of Persian foreign rule and worldwide recognition of YHWH based on the new temple cult. Haggai saw only the returnees as the church of God commissioned to build the temple, which excluded the Jews who remained in Palestine. The Samaritans, on the other hand, held fast to their sanctuary on the Gerizim next to the temple . From this conflict developed from 450 BC Under Ezra and Nehemiah the final canonization of the Torah as the only valid law of God, which solidified the division between Judeans and Samaritans.


When Alexander the Great from 333 BC When Asia Minor conquered, Palestine also became part of his great empire. This was accompanied by the spread of Greek education and culture - Hellenism - throughout the Orient and the Mediterranean. This increasingly shaped Judaism, especially in the now growing diaspora .

In the Diadoch Wars , Palestine fell to Ptolemy I. Judea remained from 301 to 198 BC. Under the Ptolemies a relatively autonomous province. Many Jews immigrated to Egypt as traders and adopted the Hellenistic culture there, as shown by the Zenon papyri .

198 BC The Seleucid conquered Antiochus III. Palestine. He left Jerusalem religious autonomy based on the Torah. While the priestly class adapted to the prevailing culture, the Hellenization led to growing tensions between Jews and immigrant population groups in Judea (cf. Jesus Sirach 50: 25f).

With Hellenism, Judaism entered the consciousness of the upper classes in Greece, Egypt and Rome. Cultural and religious encounters took place particularly in Alexandria . A Hellenistic Judaism was formed that tried to reconcile Jewish and Greek traditions. The most important project for this was the Greek translation of the Bible of the Septuagint , which was made around 250 BC. Was started. While Greek polytheism was largely rejected in Judea, the Hellenistic culture and philosophy found benevolent acceptance in the Jewish bourgeoisie, especially the diaspora ( Philo ). Since the 2nd century BC However, an increasingly aggressive anti-Jewish attitude ( Strabo ) became apparent in Alexandria : An ancient hostility towards Jews found its first literary expression here.

The Maccabees Revolt and the Establishment of the Hasmoneans

The high priest Jason allowed 175 BC. The construction of a Greek grammar school as an educational center and even the pagan ruler's cult of the Agon in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the even more radical Hellenist Menelaus, supported by the rich bourgeoisie, overthrew him in 172 BC. This triggered a civil war between the supporters of both directions, in which Antiochus IV Epiphanes finally intervened in favor of Menelaus. In doing so, he provoked the rural population, who saw their monotheistic religion and existence in danger. When Antiochus in 167 BC When a decree issued a decree that provided for a regular sacrifice for the ruler and dedicated the Jerusalem temple to Zeus , there was an open revolt against the Seleucid rule in Israel under the leadership of the Maccabees .

Judas Maccabeus succeeded in 164 after the surprising death of Antiochus in driving the Seleucid army out of Judea and restoring the Torah as a theocratic constitution. But he left Menelaus in high priesthood out of consideration for the opposing Jewish party. Not until 161 did he defeat the general Nikanor and thus regain Judea's full autonomy. With a treaty he secured the support of the Romans against the Seleucids, who were now fighting again for succession to the throne.

With the appointment of Jonathan as high priest at the temple in Jerusalem, his political and military leadership role was widely recognized. The Hasmonean dynasty began with Simon , Jonathan's brother . With skillful shuttle diplomacy, he achieved that the Seleucids officially recognized Judea's independence. 141 decided a large assembly of the people ( 1 Makk 14,27-49  EU ) to unite the sacred, civil and military leadership of Judea to Simon in a prince and priesthood. His son Johannes Hyrcanus (134-104 BC) succeeded him and achieved the greatest increase in power of the Hasmoneans when the Seleucid Antiochus VII succumbed to the Parthians in 129 and died. He cared for the Zwangsjudaisierung Idumean to unite religiously to his territory.

Under the Romans until the end of statehood

Pompey and Caesar

Map of Palestine around the birth of Christ

In 66 BC Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus conquered Asia Minor for the expanding Roman Empire . In 65 he ended the Seleucid rule in Syria, 63 that of the Hasmoneans in Jerusalem. He took Aristobulus and his sons captive to Rome. But he left the priest John Hyrcanus II in office and allowed him religious autonomy over Judea , Idumea , Galilee and Perea , but without the Hellenistic cities of the East Bank ( Decapolis ) and Samaria .

Palestine and Syria were united in the Roman province of Syria and placed under the governor Scaurus . His successor Gabinius put down a revolt of the Hasmonean supporters, destroyed their fortresses and strengthened the rights of the high priest as head of the Sanhedrin , who was responsible for religious and, in some cases, secular jurisdiction.

In the period that followed, the Jewish parties rivaled in the power struggle between Julius Caesar and Pompey with changing alliances. Caesar released Aristobulus from Roman captivity in order to weaken Pompey in Syria. But when his followers poisoned Aristobulus and beheaded his son, the priest Hyrcanus and the Idumean Antipater changed to Caesar's side and helped him defeat Pompey in Alexandria . For this he rewarded Hyrcanus with the hereditary office of high priest and made Antipater to ruler of Judea. The port city of Joppa (now part of Tel-Aviv) fell to Judea, and Jerusalem was allowed to be re-fortified. The temple retained its own jurisdiction over Judea, Idumea, Perea, and Galilee.

After Antipater 43 BC Was poisoned by his son Herod the Great , who had been poisoned since 47 BC. Was governor of Galilee. As 40 BC When Antigonus and the Parthians invaded Judea, Herod fled to Rome. There he was appointed king of Jerusalem under the so-called second triumvirate , consisting of Octavian , Marcus Antonius and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus . From 39 BC BC to 37 BC Herod waged war against Antigonus. After the conquest of Jerusalem and the victory over Antigonus, he was executed on the orders of Mark Antony.

In the conflict between the triumvirs, Herod decided in good time against his patron Antonius and in favor of Octavian, who later became emperor Augustus. In the year 30 BC He was therefore confirmed as king on Rhodes by Octavian. He also got other areas to his domain. In celebration of 27 BC Great festivals took place in Jerusalem, where Herod had a theater and an amphitheater built. Herod let himself be 23 BC. Establish a royal palace in Jerusalem and the residence "Herodeion" in Judea. From the Roman emperor he got the landscapes of Trachonitis, Batanäa and Auranitis to his dominion. Around 20 BC The splendid renovation and expansion of the second Israelite temple began , which was then named Herodian temple . Two years later, Herod went to Rome for the second time.

Herod's last years were marked by varied family strife about the succession. The older sons were convicted of high treason and executed. Already marked by serious illness, Herod now appointed his son Herod Antipas from his fourth marriage to be his heir to the throne, but then changed his will again in favor of a division between three sons. In the year 4 BC Herod died. Since Augustus did not confirm his will, none of his sons got the title of king, but they received the territories intended for them.

The Jewish uprisings

An uprising against the Roman Empire that began in AD 66 expanded into the Jewish War , described by Flavius ​​Josephus in his work De bello Judaico . When Jerusalem was destroyed in 70, the Herodian Temple was also destroyed, which is depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome . Jews could continue to live in their land until the Bar Kochba uprising was ended by orders of Emperor Hadrian , with most of the population either killed or enslaved .

See also


Introductions to the history of Israel

  • Manfred Clauss : The old Israel. Society, culture. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-44573-X .
  • Georg Fohrer : History of the Israelite Religion. Herder Verlag, Freiburg i. Br. 1992.
  • Dirk Kinet: History of Israel. (New Real Bible, Supplementary Volume 2), Würzburg 2001.
  • Martin Metzger : Outline of the history of Israel. Neukirchener Verlag, 11th edition, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2004, ISBN 3-7887-0463-2 .
  • Juan-Peter Miranda: Brief Introduction to the History of Israel. Catholic Biblical Works, Würzburg 2002, ISBN 3-460-33038-4 .
  • Wolfgang Oswald , Michael Tilly : History of Israel. From the beginning to the 3rd century AD (history compact). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2016, ISBN 978-3-534-74165-6 .
  • Hans Schmoldt: Biblical History. Reclam publishing house, Stuttgart 2000.

Archeology and regional studies of Palestine

  • Yohanan Aharoni : The Land of the Bible. A historical geography. Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1984.
  • Herbert Donner : Introduction to biblical geography and antiquity. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1976.
  • Israel Finkelstein : The Archeology of the Israelite Settlement. Jerusalem 1988.
  • Hans-Peter Kuhnen : Palestine in Greco-Roman times. Handbook of Archeology II / 2, Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1990.
  • Amihay Mazar: Archeology of the Land of the Bible 10,000-586 BCE New York 1990.
  • Ephraim Stern: Archeology of the Land of the Bible, Vol. 2: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods 732-332 BCE. New York 2001.
  • Dieter Vieweger : Archeology of the Biblical World. UTB, Göttingen 2003.
  • Helga Weippert : Palestine in pre-Hellenistic times. Handbook of Archeology II / 1, Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1988.
  • Wolfgang Zwickel : Introduction to biblical geography and antiquity. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002.

Translated texts on the history of Israel

  • Kurt Galling (Ed.): Text book on the history of Israel. Verlag Mohr Siebeck, 3rd edition, Tübingen 1979, ISBN 3-16-142361-5 .
  • William W. Hallo, K. Lawson Younger (Ed.): The Context of Scripture. Canonical Compositions, Monumental Inscriptions, and Archival Documents from the Biblical World. Leiden 1997ff.
  • Bernd Janowski, Gernot Wilhelm: Texts from the environment of the Old Testament. New episode. Gütersloh publishing house, Gütersloh 2004ff.
  • Otto Kaiser (Hrsg.): Texts from the environment of the Old Testament. 3 vols., Mohn Verlag, Gütersloh 1982–1997.
  • Johannes Renz; Wolfgang Röllig (Hrsg.): Handbook of ancient Hebrew epigraphy . 3 vol., Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1995/2003.
  • James B. Pritchard (Ed.): Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament. Princeton University Press, Princeton 1969.

Older accounts of the history of Israel

  • Albrecht Alt : Small writings on the history of the people of Israel. Vol. I-III, Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1959.
  • Martin Noth : History of Israel. Verlag Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 10th edition, Göttingen 1986.
  • Roland de Vaux : Histoire ancienne d'Israel. Études bibliques, 2 vol., Gabalda publishing house, Paris 1971–1973 (1978).

Recent accounts of the history of Israel

  • Gösta W. Ahlström: The History of Ancient Palestine from the Paleolithic Period to Alexander's Conquest. (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series 146), JSOT Press, Sheffield 1993.
  • Biblical encyclopedia. Edited by Walter Dietrich and Wolfgang Stegemann, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1996ff (detailed description in several volumes up to the time of Jesus, albeit with varying quality).
  • John Bright: A History of Israel. (Publisher?), 3rd edition, Philadelphia, PA 1981 (1st edition 1959) (comprehensive work of the Albright School).
  • Michael D. Coogan (Ed.): The Oxford History of the Biblical World. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1998.
  • Herbert Donner : History of the people of Israel and its neighbors in basic features, Part 1. From the beginnings to the time of state formation. (Outlines of the Old Testament, ATD supplementary series 4/1), Verlag Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 4th, unchanged edition, Göttingen 2007; Part 2. From the royal era to Alexander the great. With a view of the history of Judaism to Bar Kochba. (Outlines of the Old Testament, ATD supplementary series 4/2), Verlag Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 4th edition 2008. (widespread but partially outdated representation of the history of Israel).
  • Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 978-3-406-55531-2 (easily readable new approach to research into the history of Israel and Judas by well-known Israeli archaeologists; English title "The Bible Unearthed").
  • Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman: David and Solomon. Archaeologists decipher a myth. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2006 (New approach to the history of the Israelite-Judean royal period on the basis of archaeological research; only the sensational title irritates again).
  • Georg Fohrer : History of Israel. From the beginning to the present. UTB, 6th edition, Stuttgart 1995.
  • Antonius H. Gunneweg : History of Israel. From the beginning to Bar Kochba. Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne 1989.
  • Antonius H. Gunneweg: Theological Science, Vol. 2, History of Israel. Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 6th edition, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-17-010511-6 .
  • Reinhard Gregor Kratz : Historical and Biblical Israel. Three reviews of the Old Testament . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2nd, reviewed and expanded edition 2017, ISBN 978-3-16-155125-3 .
  • Mario Liverani: Israel's History and the History of Israel. Equinox, London 2005.
  • Eugene H. Merrill: The History of Israel. A kingdom of priests. Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2006, ISBN 3-7751-4529-X .
  • Shlomo Sand : The Invention of the Jewish People. Israel's founding myth put to the test. Propylaea, Berlin 2010, ISBN 3-549-07376-3 ,
  • Original: מתי ואיך הומצא העם היהודי? [Matai ve'ech humtza ha'am hayehudi ?, When and how was the Jewish people invented?]. Resling, Tel Aviv 2008.
  • Markus Sasse: History of Israel in the Second Temple Period. Historical events, archeology, social history, religious and intellectual history. Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2004 / 2nd edition 2009 (material-rich and good workbook about a research-historically rather neglected but very important epoch of the Old Testament period, which is only reduced in quality by partially outdated secondary literature and the annoyingly high number of typing errors will), ISBN 3-7887-1999-0 .
  • Barbara Schmitz: History of Israel. utb 3547, Paderborn 2014, 2nd edition, ISBN 3-8252-4358-3 .
  • Jan A. Soggin: Introduction to the history of Israel and Jude. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1991, ISBN 978-3-534-10870-1 .

Israel's Relations with Its Neighbors

  • Manfred Görg : Relations between ancient Israel and Egypt. From the beginning to exile , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1997.
  • Bernd Ulrich Schipper : Israel and Egypt in the royal era. The cultural contacts from Solomon up to the fall of Jerusalem (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, Volume 170), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 978-3-525-53728-2 .

Social and Economic History of Israel

  • Frank Crüsemann : The Torah. Theology and social history of Old Testament law , special paperback edition, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2005.
  • Rainer Kessler : Social history of ancient Israel. An introduction , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2nd, reviewed edition, Darmstadt 2008 (overdue complete presentation of a social history of ancient Judah / Israel).

Religious history of Israel

  • Rainer Albertz : Religious history of Israel in the Old Testament period , Vol. 1–2 (Outlines of the Old Testament, ATD supplementary series Vol. 8 / 1–2), Verlag Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1996 (more recent standard work, which describes the religious history of Israel [and Judas]) comprehensively in two volumes and places a strong emphasis on socio-historical aspects [prophethood]).
  • Walter Dietrich, Martin A. Klopfenstein (ed.): One God alone? YHWH worship and biblical monotheism in the context of the Israelite and ancient oriental religious history (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 139) , Friborg 1994. PDF 24 KB, 611 pages on Zora.uzh.ch
  • Alexander Achilles Fischer: Death and Beyond in the Old Orient and Old Testament , Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2005, ISBN 3-7887-2104-9 .
  • Georg Fohrer: History of the Israelite religion , Verlag de Gruyter, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 1992 (first edition 1969, today in many ways obsolete).
  • Othmar Keel : The history of Jerusalem and the emergence of monotheism , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-50177-1 (On 1384 pages, this Swiss Old Testament scholar offers the gradual emergence of biblical monotheism in the context of the city history of Jerusalem and leads In doing so, archaeological, epigraphic and iconographic sources are increasingly combined in a new approach).
  • Othmar Keel, Christoph Uehlinger: Goddesses, gods and god symbols. New insights into the religious history of Canaan and Israel based on previously unexplored iconographic sources (Quaestiones Disputatae, Vol. 134), Verlag Herder, Freiburg, Basel, Vienna 2001 (groundbreaking hard work that based the iconography of ancient Palestine on a new religious history of Israel [and Judas ] offers).
  • Klaus Koch : The God of Israel and the Gods of the Orient. Studies in the history of religion II. On the 80th birthday of Klaus Koch (research on religion and literature in the Old and New Testaments, vol. 216), ed. by Friedhelm Hartenstein and Martin Rösel , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-525-53079-5 .
  • Klaus Koch : Die Profeten I. Assyrische Zeit , Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 3rd edition, Stuttgart, Berlin Cologne 1995.
  • Klaus Koch: Die Profeten II. Babylonian-Persian Era , Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 2nd edition, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne, Mainz 1988.
  • Oswald Loretz: God's uniqueness. An ancient oriental argumentation model for the >> Schma Yisrael << , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1997.
  • Herbert Niehr: The Rise of YHWH in Judahite and Israelite Religion. Methodical and Religio-Historical Aspects , in: Diana V. Edelmann (Ed.): The Triumph of Elohim. From Yahwisms to Judaisms (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 13) , Pharos Verlag, Kampen 1995, 45-72.
  • Helmer Ringgren: Israelitische Religion (Die Religionen der Menschheit 26), Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 2nd edition, Stuttgart 1982.
  • Werner H. Schmidt : Old Testament Faith (Neukirchener Studienbücher 6), Neukirchener Verlag, 8th edition, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1996.
  • Fritz Stolz: Introduction to Biblical Monotheism , Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1996.
  • Michael Tilly , Wolfgang Zwickel : Religious history of Israel. From prehistoric times to the beginnings of Christianity , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-534-15927-7 .
  • Manfred Weippert : Yahweh and the other gods. Studies on the religious history of ancient Israel in its Syrian-Palestinian context (FAT 18), Verlag Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1997.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, p. 28 f.
  2. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, p. 47.
  3. ( https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Vorgeschichte )
  4. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, p. 92.
  5. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, pp. 129-134.
  6. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, pp. 134-136.
  7. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, p. 134.
  8. Martin Rösel: Biblical Studies of the Old Testament . 8th edition. 2013, p. 188 .
  9. Genesis 12.1 sentence 2; Compromise between the Zurich and Elberfeld translations
  10. ^ Israel Finkelstein; Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, p. 46.
  11. ^ Transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age
  12. ^ Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible.
  13. Klaus-Dietrich Schunck: Maccabees / Maccabees books . In: Gerhard Krause, Gerhard Müller (Hrsg.): Theologische Realenzyklopädie . Study edition. Part 2, volume 21 . Walter De Gruyter, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-11-016295-4 , p. 736 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed July 24, 2011]).