Key Events in Hebrew History

The events that took place in the history of the Hebrews had a significant role in the shaping of western civilization.

Abraham, as a majority of people know, was a crucial figure in the history of the Hebrews.  Through a series of events, Abraham chose to take up his life and devote himself to God.  Because of the strength of his faith, he was prepared to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, to God, but God angelically prevented him from going through with this sacrifice (this was the end of the period of time that people were convinced a blood sacrifice was the highest level of worship).  Because of his great faith and works, God promised a land to Abraham and his sons.

Abraham’s son Isaac, had two sons Esau and Jacob.  Esau was older, and therefore possessed the birthright, which meant he would receive the blessings of being the older son, from his father.  Jacob did not like this, so he chose to deceive his elderly father.  Jacob fled because he feared the anger of his brother, which he had stolen from.

Jacob had 10 sons with a woman named Leah, after the death of Leah, he marries her sister, Rachel, the woman whom he initially wanted to marry from the start.  With Rachel, he has two more sons, Joseph, and Benjamin.  Jacob favors Joseph.  On a level, he spoils Joseph, by clothing him in nicer garments than his older brothers, and giving him lighter work.  His brothers are angered by this and they grow jealous.  Joseph builds on their jealousy by telling them of dreams he had, where he was above them.  They became so envious, that they sold him into slavery.

Joseph was then transported to Egypt, where he was bought by the Captain of the Pharaoh’s men.  He was treated well, until he was falsely accused of an offense, and sent to prison.  While in prison, he interpreted the dreams of a couple of inmates, and he interpreted them accurately.  Pharaoh heard of this, and sent for Joseph, for he had been troubled with dreams of his own.  Joseph interpreted Pharaohs dream, and predicted a 7 year famine.  Egypt was able to preserve their resources and prepare for this famine.  When the famine finally did come, Egypt was prepared and survived because of the warning Joseph interpreted from the dream.

During this famine, Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt seeking provisions for their families.  Other Hebrews came as well.  Joseph reached out to his brothers, and forgave them for their offense.  Joseph had political power in Egypt, he made it possible for the Hebrews to live in Egypt.  After the death of Joseph, The Egyptians worried that the Hebrews would overpopulate and take over their land, so they enslaved the Hebrews.

Time passed, and the Egyptians still feared the growing population of the Hebrews, so the Pharaoh passed a law that all boys under the age of 2, must be put to death.  During the duration of this law, there was one important baby boy that was spared, this was Moses.  Moses was left by the river and eventually adopted by the pharaoh’s daughter.  Moses was raised in the household of the pharaoh; an unlikely fate for a Hebrew baby.

As Moses approached manhood, he took interest in the fate of the Hebrews, and related to them in different ways.  He once saw an overseer severely beat a slave, this angered Moses to the extent that he killed the overseer.  He feared the consequences of the offense so he fled to the desert.  While he was in the desert, he was instructed by God that he must lead his people from their bondage in Egypt and back to the land promised to Abraham by God.

Through a series of events, Moses succeeds in leading his people from Egypt.  Pharaoh changed his mind and went after the Hebrews, but God provided.  The Hebrews walked through the Red sea that was parted by the power of God and a path was made through it.  However, when Pharaoh and his men attempted in passing through it, it swept them up.

Moses succeeded in delivering the Hebrews from their bondage, to the promised land.  and there, after the death of Moses, they continued to shape Western civilization.

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