Israelites Or Hebrews?
        Canaan was a small area to live in.  It also held an important part in one of the worlds most important religions.  Canaan was also a very dangerous place to live in.  It was between 2 of the worlds most strong nations- Egypt and Assyria.
         The geography of Canaan was quite varied.  It was covered in plains, smooth hills, tall mountains, and rivers.  Canaan wasn't really ruled all under one rule.  It was just a lot of barbarian type of tribes (accept they weren't all violent).  Most of the people were herders or farmers.  These people were called the Hebrews.  Canaan was the homeland of the Hebrews, but later because of a famine, the Hebrews moved to Egypt.  After moving to Egypt they became slaves at 1700 B.C. and remained so for 430 years.  Later the Hebrews became known as the Israelites because of Abraham's(God) son was given the name Israel.  Form then on, the Hebrews were known as the Israelites.
       The Torah teaches that the Israelites bitterly resented their slavery in Egypt but did not revolt because they lacked a strong leader.  Then, in 122 B.C.'s, they found a suitable leader-Moses.  God armed Moses tried to persuade the Egyptian ruler to free the Israelites.  When the ruler of Egypt refused, Moses threatened him that disasters would happen.  Plagues happened, and frogs and insects swarmed the land.  On the 10th plague the Egyptian ruler freed the Slaves.  This journey became known as the Exodus.  In the Torah it states that this journey lasted 40 years!  At the right there is a map of the Exodus.  The Exodus is the basis of a very important Jewish festival.
       After the Exodus, Moses climbed to the top of a mountain and spoke to god.  The god said that he will protect and love the Israelites if they agreed on the laws.  Now what were mighty god's laws?  The people had to love and respect god with their hearts and souls.  The Torah states that these laws were written on 2 stone tablets.  Later these laws became known as the Ten Commandments.  Here are some examples:

        I the Lord am your god who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage:You shall have no other god besides

       You shall not...

If you would like to see more of the text, click here.

       Over time, these religious principles became the base of Judaism and Christianity.  The idea that both god and people respect each other remained.  This also formed the basis of many western world cultures.  If you can, it would be helpful if you could post a comment and/or rating.  Thanks!

If you are further interested in learning about the Hebrews, click here


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