Your Trip and the History Israel
is Famous for

A major part of your travel is involved with the history Israel has been part of. Especially the history of ancient Israel, which is the time frame I’m going to tell you about (very) briefly.

The history of Israel begins with the Hebrews – these people are the ancient Israelites. The Hebrews are the backbone of the Israel history and they go back to Abraham the biblical patriarch. Isaac - Yitzhak in Hebrew - was the son of Abraham, and his son was Jacob – Yaacov in Hebrew. Jacob’s other name is Israel which means “he who struggled with G-d” the name was given to him after wrestling with an angel (and staying alive…).

Jacob a.k.a Israel versus the angel (round 1...)

Jacob Wrestles with the Angel
Jacob Wrestles...
Eugene Delacroix
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Jacob had twelve sons. The Israelites, or Hebrews, which were divided into the 12 tribes of Israel, are traced back to the twelve sons of Jacob. The Israelites migrated to Egypt and became enslaved by Pharaoh. Their exit from Egypt – called the Exodus – back to the land of Israel is the point most agree made them into a nation. This piece of history Israel went through is described in the bible and is the story of Moses leading the tribes from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land.

The history Israel was developing as a unique group of people began with returning to the land of Israel, at that time known as Canaan, and dividing the land between the tribes. For a while the tribes were led by "Judges" and then a monarchy came into being with the first king of Israel – Saul. Saul reigned between 1047-1007 BC. After Saul came David – this king established Jerusalem as his capital. Solomon was David’s son and he was the one who built the first temple. The kingdom was divided following the reign of Solomon into 2 kingdoms: Israel and Judah. Judah was one of the tribes and the Jews came out of this tribe!

The kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC, and the kingdom of Judah was taken by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC. When the Persians conquered Babylonia they allowed the exiled Jews to return to Israel and build the second temple.

The Persians were later defeated by the Romans, who then took control of the land of Israel. The Romans were not very hospitable to their Jewish subjects and the Jewish religion – which ended in a Jewish revolt. The major battles of the revolt were fought in Gamla and in Masada.

Later on in the 2nd century the Jews were banished from Jerusalem – that act caused the Jewish population to center in the Galilee area.

Following the Roman rule came a period of rule by Byzantines that was also characterized by a few revolts. In 638 CE the Byzantines lost control of the land to the Islamic Empire. The land was under different Islamic rulers (including the Mamluks and the Ottomans) until the 20th century (pretty much), and this rule was only interrupted by the Crusaders in 1099 CE.

During that whole period - going all the way back to the 12 tribes of Israel - there was a continuous presence of Jews living in the land - right up to the present day.

The British took over control of the territory following World War I. In 1948, after the British mandate (document affirming British rule over the territory), the modern State of Israel was established.

And that, in a nutshell, is the history Israel is famous for.

Check out the 12 tribes of Israel page

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