Beginning of the Bible, Beginning of Life.
Offers two accounts of the Creation.
Primeval History (Gen 1-11) talks of the beginning of the world and civilization
Patriarchal History (Gen 12-50) talks of Abraham and his descendants.
Story of Israel, Egypt and the descendants of Jacob, which have fallen into slavery.
Escape from slavery in Egypt
Reception of God’s law at Mount Sinai (Horeb)
Focus on the laws and the new covenant between god and his chosen people.
Mostly devoted to Jews’ hardships: Rebellion, God’s Anger, and Conflict with Surrounding tribes. Having to do with the Levites – A special tribe set aside for priestly duty.
Talks of rules of Sacrifice, Purity/Impurity and Holiness Code.
Deals with laws tied in with the fact that the Levites are a special nation, and punishments for disobeying laws are also stated.
Deutero (Second); Omy (Law)
Moses’ farewell address: Re-telling of the previous four books – Recount Israel’s History,
New 0 commandments, New Legal Code.
Moses dies at the end; Israelites are ready to enter the promise land.
Called numbers because of a lengthy census/list of tribes
Continues the journey from Sinai to Canaan, deals with the bulk of Israel’s travels through the wilderness.
External and internal strife as Israel is frequently rebellious, which angers God. Hostilities with other Nations also present.
God punishes Israel – None of the 1st Generation will enter the Promise Land
Moses acts as an intermediary between God and the Israelites.
Entry into the Promise Land with Joshua as Moses’ successor
Conquest of Canaan
Division of Land among tribes
Renewal of the Covenant
Everything in Israel is good, an ideal vision.
Shows failure of Israel to live up to the covenant.
Disunity makes Israel vulnerable to its neighbors.
Successes and failures of the tribes to conquer Canaan.
Focus is on Judges, a Judge is a divinely-sanctioned warleader
Increasing stability as tribes transform into a nation
Ultimate breakdown of the Judges system
Israel asks for a king
Saul as the first king until he lost god’s support
David consolidates power as the king of Israel
Death of David, King Solomon’s reign, Israel’s split, Evil Kings, Fall of Israel and Judah to the hands of the Assyrian Empire, and latter, to the Babylonians.
Poems meant to be set to music.
Mostly a summary of the Bible from Genesis to Kings.
Early example of a re-written Bible, re-telling of Genesis through an angel who talked to
Adam & Eve
First Humans according to the second creation account, Eve eats fruit offered by serpent, offers it to Adam. Causes their expulsion from Eden.
Last son of Adam, regarded as the progenitor of the human race, as all Cain’s descendants die in the flood.
Enoch was an ancestor of Noah, father of Methuselah
Enoch walked with God until “God took him”
The text is cryptic. There are many hypotheses as to the meaning of this:
- Was Enoch taken up to God’s court? Did he become an angel? Did he simply die early? God was displeased with humanity and decided to send a flood to wipe humanity out.
Noah was chosen by God to build an ark to save his family, the only righteous family, and to save two of every living thing.
A rainbow appears after the flood, sign of a covenant between God and Humanity.
Noah invents wine and gets drunk when celebrating the end of the flood.
Ham “uncovers Noah’s nakedness”
Noah curses Ham through his son Canaan – Canaan and his offspring are enslaved
Babylonian King, said to have ordered the construction of the Tower of Babel.
Described as a hunter and might warrior
Many Ships and Britain’s warplane were named nimrod
First father of Israel, the nation of Israel derives from his family
Seen as the founder of monotheism and a fatherly figure. Portrayed in Midrash as fighting idol worship.