Overview of early Judaism part 1 | World History | Khan Academy


– [Sal] What I’m going to
do in this video is give a very high-level history of some of the significant events in Judaism. I will use the word, history, loosely, because historians aren’t
able to really find a lot of evidence for some of
what I’m going to talk about before the First Millennium BCE. These stories we get
from the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, often
referred to as the Torah, also the first five books
of the Old Testament, also we get them from the Muslim Koran. But there isn’t a lot of
historical evidence for them. And so, many historians view it more along the lines of legend, but there are many people who
view these as historic facts and have attempted to place
them on a historic timeline. What I’m gonna do in this
video is I’m going to attempt to fit onto this historic
timeline where some of the people who believe it did happen,
when they believed it happened. Keep in mind that there’s
not a lot of strong archeological evidence,
historical record here, and these accounts were
written several hundred years after when they were purported to occur. So let’s start in the beginning. Let’s start in the Book
of Genesis, in the Torah, in the Hebrew Bible,
and the Old Testament. I’m not gonna go into detail
on the Book of Genesis. It starts, of course,
with the monotheistic God creating the heavens and Earth. And then we have the
stories of Adam and Eve, and then, several generations later, the story of the Great Flood of Noah. And then Noah’s son, Shem,
and I talk about Shem because this is where the
word Semitic comes from. You might have heard people refer to Jewish people as Semitic; but also, Arab people are
referred to as Semitic; because, according to Biblical accounts, they are both viewed as
descendants of Abraham, who is a descendant of Shem. So they are viewed as Semitic. The first real significant
patriarch of the Hebrew Bible is considered Abraham,
who I just mentioned. It has Abraham moving from the City of Ur. There’s debate on which Ur that is. It might be the ancient Sumerian
city in lower Mesopotamia. Or, some people believe that it was an Ur in upper Mesopotamia. But regardless of which
account you take… Once again, Abraham is considered by many historians as a legendary figure. So there’s not clear evidence that he existed in a historical sense. But if you take the accounts
in the Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible, he would have gone with
his family from Ur, and eventually migrated to Canaan, which is in, near, or
around modern-day Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, that general area. So it’s either from this Ur or that Ur. And Abraham is considered
the first of the three significant patriarchs
for the Jewish people; the other two are Isaac and Jacob. Once again, I could do a whole series of videos on the stories of Abraham. But Abraham’s first son is Ishmael, who he has with the
servant of his wife Sarah after they determine
that they’re not able to, or they don’t think that
they’re able to, have children. According to Biblical accounts, Ishmael is viewed as the progenitor, as the patriarch of the Arab people. But later in life, Abraham, and at this point he is
roughly 100 years old, and his wife Sarah, according
to Biblical accounts, is in her 90s, they have Isaac, who is considered a significant
patriarch in Judaism. This is a painting by Rembrandt of the famous Abraham being
willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, but then he gets
stopped at the last minute. But it’s viewed as a
sign of his willingness to his faith in God and his
willingness to follow God. Isaac’s son is Jacob, and Jacob is later named by God as Israel. And so, this is where the
word, Israelites, come from, and even the modern state of Israel. Now, one of Jacob’s son is Joseph. Once again, this is according
to Biblical accounts. There isn’t a lot of
historical evidence here. But it’s a fascinating
story, the story of Joseph, how he is sold by his
brothers into slavery, and taken from Canaan to Egypt. But Joseph, once again, fascinating story, is eventually able to
rise through the ranks, become the vizier of Egypt, and later, his family, including Jacob, come to Egypt when there
is a famine in Canaan. And that is the explanation
for the Biblical settlement of a significant fraction
of the Israelites in Egypt. But then they are enslaved. According to Biblical accounts, they are enslaved for 400
years, over 400 years, and that’s what you see in this
green line right over here. They stay enslaved in Egypt
until we get to Moses, who’s considered the most significant of the prophets in the Jewish tradition, and one of the very most
significant prophets amongst Christians and Muslims. So let’s get to Moses. Moses’ story, once again,
one of these famous stories, how the pharaoh is feeling threatened by the growing population
of the Jewish people, who, remember, are enslaved. And so, as the story goes, he orders all newborn Hebrew Jewish boys to be killed, but Moses’ mother hides Moses, and he puts him on a basket in the Nile, and the pharaoh’s daughter
discovers him, and raises Moses. And so, he’s able to get an education and is part of the royal
court of the pharaoh. But later in life, he sees
a slavemaster that’s abusing a Jewish person to death, and
then he kills the slavemaster. And so, he’s afraid for his
life, and so he runs away, fearing the penalty for
killing the slavemaster, and he goes to Mount
Sinai, or Mount Horeb, and this is where we
think the Biblical mount, this is where the current
Mount Sinai, Mount Horeb, is, and that’s where we think the
Biblical one might have been. That’s where we have the
story of the burning bush, where he is commanded by God. The angel of the Lord is
speaking through this bush, and telling Moses: “Go back, and you need “to free the Jewish
people from enslavement.” And so, he does go back, and
he is able to liberate them. Once again, this is a very famous story. The pharaoh’s armies follow him. He parts the Red Sea. The pharaoh’s army is
eventually destroyed. He takes the Jewish people back
to Mount Sinai, Mount Horeb. These are sometimes viewed
as two different mountains, sometimes the same mountains, different sides of the same mountains. We are not exactly sure. But most people view them
as the same mountain. It was at Mount Sinai, Mount Horeb, where now Moses is able to receive the famous Ten Commandments, and he’s able to receive the Jewish laws. The first five books of the
Hebrew Bible, the Torah, the Pentateuch, the first five
books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the authorship of these
is ascribed to Moses. Once again, historians really debate that, but this is according
to Biblical accounts. Now, once he receives this word of God, he then takes the Jewish people,
they set up a tabernacle, they go through the desert for 40 years, and he brings them to the promised land, and before entering, Moses dies. But he, essentially, is able to resettle the Jewish people back in Canaan.

Comments 27

  • please do a video on azaor ahai

  • I hope the comments will be sophisticated on this lecture 😳😅

  • Sometimes fiction can find it's way into history. LOL Great lecture anyway.

  • loving your information❤

  • . . . WAIT A MINUTE! While it is true that since the 4th Century the mountain on the Sinai Peninsula has been called Mt. Sinai or Mt. Horeb, the bible is clear that Moses ran away from his murder to the land of Midian (Exodus 2:11-15) which is right across the Gulf of Aqaba AND Mt. Sinai or Mt. Horeb is located in ARABIA. The Sinai Peninsula was never called, "Midian," and here is your text: 25 "Now this Hagar is MOUNT SINAI *IN ARABIA* (emphasis supplied) and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children." (Ga 4:25). Further, though you personally doubt the historicity of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, apparently you don't doubt Ismael's existence??? The bible also says that after Sarah's death that Abraham married Keturah and they had six more sons together, one of whom was MIDIAN who settled the area in Arabia just across the Gulf of Aqaba. Mt. Sinai or Mt. Horeb is El Jabal Laws in north western ARABIA and in the vicinity of ancient Midian. Those people living there today claim it as the biblical Mt. Horeb/Sinai. These are not minor disagreements but very important because without them we would have as small a reason as you have to believe in Abraham's existence and thus the biblical history and promise of eternal life. Remember this, please, not even one of the historical accounts any where in the whole of the bible has ever been disproved. Personal disapproval is one thing, so is denial, but refutation by the facts is another!!! Abraham's facts STAND, AND Aristotle's Dictum "The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not assigned by the critic to himself," is a rule that you just broke. The benefit of doubt is not grace, it is a fact one is inescapably driven to by all the other details that are NOT minor.

  • Kay-nun

  • The body is the Holy Land

  • Abraham(May God be pleased with him) was willing to sacrifice Ishmael(May God be pleased with him), not Issac.

  • Abrahamic mythology is my favorite mythos although Allah/Yahweh/Jehovah is my least favorite deith.

  • The real Moses was a psychopath murderer who advocated the killing of women and children!!!

  • So… was Moses real?

  • I can appreciate the delicate position you are in describing the history of something that so many people consider sacred, but if you are teaching history, just teach history. Don't pretend maybe yes maybe no that this is factual. The consensus of scholars is that Judaism developed out of existing Canaanite religion and that at best the Bible draws on faint memories that turned into myths that were taken advantage of by Josiah in the Deuteronomic Reform which included re-writing history to have Judea looking powerful, to tie Judea to Israel in a fictitious unified kingdom under Sual/David/Solomon that never was and to make Judea look like a force to contend with Egypt which was important in the geopolitical context. This also included massive and at the time somewhat failed religious reform to consolidate power in Jerusalem (along the same lines of Akenaten's failed monotheistic religious reform in Egypt several centuries earlier) which did end up leading to what became Judaism when Ezra led his followers out of Babalonia to Israel and redacted most of the Hebrew Bible. This is the origin of early Judaism, as opposed to those stories which is only that culture's mythology. Read standard history textbooks, read The Bible Unearthed, look at the anachronisms and obvious signs of human authorship. Look at all the things in the Tanach that you'd expect evidence of that there isn't. Not to mention the barbarism of their primitive and violent culture that made its way into the Bible. The Torah wasn't an accurate or divine work written by Moses, scholars date the composition of various parts to between about 1000 and 400 BCE. Judaism and the Torah is a work of rewriting history and national mythology that has happened in so many cultures before. The only thing special was that a break-off religion, Christianity, happened to become the one taken as the official religion of the Roman Empire, so it became widespread and Judaism and the Bible became culturally important. But again, report the history as history like a normal textbook would and please don't try to cushion people from reality.

  • For someone who is completely new to this culture, i would have liked a more simplified and basic facts first

  • Abraham 100 years old, Sarah 90 years old and has a baby named Isaac. So much myths and legends

  • Please consider the Henry Ford books on the subject.

  • ….look into Bible codes to prove the Bible is true. Type in Chuck Missler Bible codes YouTube.

  • was expecting a hell storm in the comments. glad to see it's remained civil

  • Shem is the least popular stooge.

  • In the broadest sense, Torah is the rich tapestry of rabbinic discourse, i.e., the literature and teachings of Judaism.
    Torah has no end, it is continually unfolding and flowing. Anyone can add to it, with contributions that merge with the sea of Torah or stand out as new tributaries.
    Jews believe in a two-pronged Torah: the Written Torah (i.e., the Jewish holy scriptures = Tanakh = the Hebrew Bible) and the Oral Torah, which is the legacy of rabbinic teachings.
    Torah has two overarching types of content: halakhah (law & ethics) and aggadah (philosophical, homiletical, narrative, etc.)
    Torah covers numerous styles and genre, including midrash (Biblical exegesis), mishnah (rabbinic teachings that supplement the Biblical), piyyut (a kind of poetry or song), targum (Bible translation, perush (commentary, e.g., on the Bible), gematria (Jewish numerology), liturgies, legends, laws, and lore.
    Torah pours out in chronological order, e.g., Tannaitic period for the Mishnah, Amoraic for the two Talmuds, Geonic for early medieval, rishonim ("first" post-Geonic rabbis up to ~1570, the Shulchan Aruch), and achronim (the current period of the "later" rabbis).
    Torah documents include Biblical books, the amazing Babylonian Talmud, medieval philosophy, 100'000's of responsa (Q&A with rabbis), and endless homilies, commentaries, legal discourse, etc.
    Torah has origin(s), both as a blueprint prior to Creation and as the God's communication to Moses (both Written and Oral).
    Torah is sometimes used to refer to the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, the Jewish scriptural canon. (It can also be used to refer to the Oral Torah.)

    In the narrow sense, Torah refers to the Five Books of Moses, the first third of the Hebrew Bible. See the answer by Alon Amit.
    More narrowly, torah is a Biblical word that refers to a specific law or teaching.
    ——
    Jews are a highly literate people, so they have created countless texts and strands of intertextuality. A single page of Talmud can easily refer, explicitly, to many Biblical verses, Tannaitic writings, other pages of Talmud, a half dozen laws in medieval codes, and be cited by, in turn, myriads of later rabbinic writings.

    So, Torah is a vast interconnected web, where new strands are constantly spun inwards and outwards.

  • This Ur that

  • I wish that your family tree would include the women who were so central to the story. You mention people like Eve and Sarah, but you don't have them on the diagram. The stories of the Torah, especially in Genesis, are stories of ancestors, not just patriarchs.

  • WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWW

  • that's pretty nice you got there yep yep very yes

  • The location of Mount Sinai you show is based on the identification made by Emperor Constantine's mother, and very likely made up by tip-hungry tour guides.

  • Moses @ 5:38

  • Does it seem weird to anyone else that biblical historians had a hard time doing the maths? I mean, come on, at 90 years old Sarah has been past menopause for longer then she was able to have children. /sigh That people place so much weight on biblical texts being fact defies logic in almost every case.

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