Download e-book for kindle: A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

By Paul Johnson

ISBN-10: 0060156988

ISBN-13: 9780060156985

ISBN-10: 0060915331

ISBN-13: 9780060915339

ISBN-10: 0061159271

ISBN-13: 9780061159275

A countrywide bestseller, this magnificent 4000 yr survey covers not just Jewish historical past yet he influence of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the global. through the writer of recent occasions: the realm From the Twenties to the Eighties.

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Sample text

The excavations of Kathleen Kenyon and carbondating show that it goes back to the seventh millennium BC. It had enormous walls in the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, and the strength of its defences produced one of the most vivid passages in the Bible. ’126 Owing to erosion, the Kenyon researches threw no light on how the walls were destroyed; she thinks it may have been an earthquake which the Israelites attributed to divine intervention. ’127 Joshua did not storm a city if he could avoid it. He preferred to negotiate a surrender or better still an alliance and peaceful settlement.

Joshua came to its rescue from Gilgal, ‘and all the men of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour’—he now had a small regular army—and defeated the Amorites in a hectic battle fought during a hailstorm: ‘they were more which died from hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword’. Then followed a dramatic scene, according to the Bible record. Joshua needed daylight to complete the destruction of the Amorite army, so he prayed to the Lord for the weather to clear: ‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Foreigners frequently rose high at the Egyptian court. In the fourteenth century BC, Joseph’s career was paralleled by a Semite with the name of Yanhamu, Egyptian high commissioner in the empire under the Pharaoh Akhenaten. 65 Most of the Egyptian detail in the Joseph narrative appears to be authentic. That West Semites came into Egypt in large numbers is certain. They began to penetrate the Nile Delta as early as the end of the third millennium BC. These immigrants usually came peacefully; sometimes willingly in search of commerce and work; sometimes driven by hunger—for the Nile was much the most regular provider of grain ISRAELITES / 25 surpluses—and sometimes as slaves.

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A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

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