Old Testament historical events

Search in the Old Testament historical events.

1. Identify the events mentioned in this module.

2. Create a list of the events.

3. In your list, including where in the Bible they are found.

4. Find a non-biblical source in the library where they talk about the same events.

5. Place the lists parallel in a table.

6. Write a short paragraph on your findings.


Be sure to review the  academic expectations  for your submission.

Submission Instructions:

· Submit your assignment by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday.

· Contribute a minimum of 1 page. It should include at least two academic sources, formatted and cited in APA.



Hebrew History

Originated in Mesopotamia and migrated to Canaan. Although the Canaanites already inhabited the land of Canaan, Abraham thought that God had promised the land to him. Scholars are not sure today how the taking of Canaan came about, but we do have the accounts from the Bible. And although the Bible is a historical book, it is not a historical document. The Hebrews wrote the Bible not to keep track of historical events, but to teach lessons and lift the spirit of the Hebrews in hard times.

According to the Bible, the Hebrews migrated to Egypt because of drought and famine in the land of Canaan sometime after 1700 B.C.E., where they were enslaved. During this time, Moses is tasked with liberating the Hebrews from Egypt. In the Hebrew tradition, the Hebrews returning to Canaan from Egypt is called the Exodus.

The Hebrews then structured their leadership with 12 tribes. Each tribe had elders known as Judges under God for around 200 years. Eventually, the Hebrews felt the threat of the Philistines, which made the Hebrews elect a king for the first time, named Saul. This first king was charismatic, but did not live up to the expectations of the Israeli people. Along came king David, who was very popular. David was also a writer and a brilliant politician. Scholars attribute the creation of this Israeli kingdom to David. David also turned Jerusalem into the kingdom’s center and brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  The Ark of the Covenant was an elaborately crafted, gold-covered, wooden chest containing the two tablets bearing the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God.  It also included Mana (the food provided by God to the Israelites in the desert) and Aaron’s rod (Moses’ walk stick that had miraculous powers).  The Ark of the Covenant is considered the most sacred relic to the Israelites.

When David died, his son Solomon became king of Israel and further developed the kingdom. One of his major achievements was building a Temple for God. Now Jerusalem was complete. It had a king, a city, and a temple. This was the only temple for worshiping the Hebrew God.  But, to accomplish this, Solomon had to increase taxes. Lots of construction meant that money was needed for the projects. “Old tribal patterns weakened as urban life expanded and some people gained wealth. A large measure of economic equality had distinguished tribal society. Still, disparity grew between the rich and the poor, between those who considered themselves aristocrats and the common people (Perry et al., 2007).” The growth of the city turned into a division of society.

Solomon favored treatment to Judah. When Solomon died, the north, Israel, and the south, Judah, divided the kingdom in 922 B.C.E. The Northern kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 722 B.C.E. Most of the Hebrews were deported within the Assyrian empire. These became the 10 lost tribes of Israel. In 586 B.C.E., the Chaldean’s conquered Judah, destroyed Solomon’s Temple, and sent most of the Hebrews as captives to Babylon. This is known as the Babylonian Captivity. The prophets sprang up as interpreters of all this and warned the people of Israel that their actions were causing all these tragedies. The prophets then became the messengers or interpreters of the events affecting the Hebrews.

Around 538 B.C.E., the Persians conquered Babylon, and Cyrus permitted exiles to return to Judah. Many of the exiled Jews returned to Judah, but many stayed back in Babylon because they had built their lives there. In 515 B.C.E., the ones who returned, now called Jews, dedicated the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


The Torah

The Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament, but is not recognized by the Jewish people as so. The Torah (as called by the Jews) or Pentateuch (as called by Christians) are the first five books of the Old Testament in the Bible. They are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and they became the law for the Jewish people.

The Bible is not a history book, although it includes historical events. The purpose of the Bible was not the same as the purpose of the historians of today.  According to Perry et al. (2004), the Bible was “compiled by religious devotees, not research historians, …understandably contain factual errors, imprecision, discrepancies, legends, and folklore.”

Part of the merit of what the Bible does is the fact that “[i]ts heroes are not demigods, but human beings (Perry et al., 2004).” We see real people confronting the challenges of being human.

According to Perry (2004), “[t]he Hebrews most likely were not monotheists.” This is a very interesting idea. Scholars think that the Hebrews were henotheists who recognized other gods’ existence but thought that their God, Yahweh, was “the most high.” This was a God that was fully sovereign. “Nature was God’s creation, but it was not itself divine (Perry et al., 2004).” The approach of the Hebrews toward reality and truth was not necessarily scientific. God required them to worship instead of scientific curiosity.

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