Early Mesopotamia: The Jews

Mesopotamia was located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, now known as the Middle East. One civilization that established its domain in this area was the Jewish civilization. The Jewish culture was founded from Abraham, who was born in a Sumerian city-state known as Ur around 2,000 B.C. He believed in one true God. Abraham was instructed by God to leave his home, take up residence in Canaan, and father the Jewish nation. Egypt eventually enslaved Abraham’s descendants. After years of enslavement, Moses liberated the Jews and reconquered Canaan. Moses then led the Jewish people and received the Ten Commandments, which were the laws God established to rule over the Jewish people. Around 1,020 B.C. the Jewish people wanted a formal leader and Saul became the first King of Israel, which was a part of Canaan. King David reigned after Saul, and was responsible for the conquering of Jerusalem. Jerusalem would eventually become a very important city in the Jewish faith, as King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple there in 960 B.C. The temple held the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Ten Commandments as well as other important religious artifacts. Israel would eventually be taken over by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians. When Israel was under the rule of the Persian King Cyrus, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. Israel would continue to be taken over and was under control of the Greeks as well as the Romans for a period of time.


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Last updated: 12/29/2017
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