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Israel in History
—  A  PERSPECTIVE  —
 
  The Beginning  
When the earth shrugged, mountains moved, and the long river turned toward the north.  
  From feeding the inland lakes it found its way northward to the Great Green that later generations would call the Mediterranean.  
  Further north, the land cracked, tearing open the earth barrier that had long protected the great basin of the Black Lakes, swamping its villages and sweeping its herds away. People fled in terror or died.  
  But in the south where the long river had once flowed, the lakes soon began to die. Roaming herds continued to follow their shrinking shores until the lakesí swampy graves dried away and became the dust bowl dunes of today. In their death Africaís greatest desert was born.  
Along the long riverís new northward course, its waters pushed their way onward toward the sea, the Great Green.  
  Subduing sand and stone in their path, the waters fed new life into forgotten seed and root. Seasons passed, and along the riverís path spread sycamore and persea, palm and acacia. Its verdant flanks invited a myriad of life forms to make their home and flourish. Along its grassland edges antelope outwitted lion, as birdcalls competed with the chatter of monkeys under the warm sun.  
The people came – hunting and fishing at first. Their camps became villages and boats began to share the riverís shining path.  
  Families grew into tribes and their merchants travelled to trade surplus wares and spread the products of the riverís new societies.  
  Tools developed from rock and bone, fire-hardened stick and chipped stone – to the finest flint, mined and carefully flaked to an incisive line. Even prized obsidian knives came to the valley in trade from Anatolian highlands of the distant north and from the mountains of Kush in the far south.  
But, the pressures of growing communities along the valley raised new issues of health. Sickness and disease took a greater toll. The words of the wise began to count for more than justice to the injured and conflict resolution. Behaviour that reduced the spread of disease became important.  
  Washing the body became a moral function. More than good neighbourliness, it became an act of reverence for those qualities that made life honourable. For those who led the people in worship, the priests, even their body-hair was to be shaved and washing was made yet more frequent.  
  It was in this time of the development of finer flints and public hygiene that the wise ones also began insisting on the special preparation of boys for adult life and marriage. Cleansing the body for marriage now meant circumcision, the removing of the place where uncleanness could hide. The flint knife of circumcision now marked male puberty.  
Then they found the Nubian treasure, the sun-bright metal that did not lose its shine. Those who polished the pretty stones from the dry mountains found it first. Soon all who had something to trade sought it. It became the most popular of all trade goods. Merchants from very far places came to barter for it.  
  There had been wars before, as tribes had grown larger and competed for territory. Usually it was over fishing or hunting rights, or a grievance between families; even perhaps a fight to pillage the goods of a passing merchant. But now the aggressor came from much further away, for gold.  
The Easterners  
  No one could have anticipated that their pleasant valley and its access to the Nubian gold would invite people to come from the rising of the sun to rule them. The mountain route of the merchants from the eastern sea now became a gateway to the invaders. They dragged their ocean boats through the mountains Ė upward from the eastern sea and then down onto the long river. Once there, no one could stop them.  
  They were powerful Ė conquering those who resisted and systematically established themselves as lords of the upper valley, doorway to the desertís riches. Initially it was from the immediate vicinity of the tradersí desert route, but they came to trust local knowledge and eventually became part of the valley and its ordered communities. With them came greater knowledge of the stars and the arts of record keeping, measurement and construction. (Horus)  
However, no external influences could take away from the people of the river their moral understanding of order, right thinking and justice (Maat).  
  Rulership was responsibility  
  The Great House
Rulership is Responsibility
 
One Nation
Unification of Valley and Delta
 
The First Kingdom
Canaanite alphabet develops
Abram arrives in Canaan; enriched by Egypt's pharaoh; accepts Egyptian circumcision as God's land-covenant sign.
 
 
The Nation's Womb
 
The Second Kingdom
Joseph's administrative restructuring of Egypt and the Family Implantation
 
  Labour Pains  
The
Third Kingdom
Moses: the Holy Covenant on the Mount
Crisis
 
The
New Generation
Joshua: national circumcision with flint knives specially made for the unique event.
 
 
Toddler Time
 
A
Land Redeemed
Occupation, conflict and wobbles
 
A
Kingdom
Saul, David, Solomon
 
 
Division:
Jerusalem and Samaria
 
 
Prophets:
The Word grows
 
  Scattering:
Exiled
 
A
New Beginning:
Ezra, Nehemiah
 
A
Kingdom Again
Hasmonean
 
  Division Again:
Rome
 
The Prophet:
Jesus of Nazareth
 
Scattered Again:
Rebellion and destruction
 
  Minority Matters:
Accumulated Traditions and ghettos in mind and place
 
Hope and Conflict Today  

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