Our Jewish history is documented.
1. Genesis- till the 17th century BCE; creation and patriarchal history till descent into Egypt
2. Exodus-till the 13th century BCE; bondage, exodus, revelation and laws
3. Leviticus; mainly priestly legislation
4. Numbers-till the 13th century BCE; history of the trek from Egypt to Canaan
5. Deuteronomy-legal recapitulation, Moses' ethical testament
The Prophets records our ancient history
1. Joshua 13th century BCE; conquest, settlement of Canaan until death of Joshua
2. Judges 13th-11th century BCE; invasions repulsed by tribal leaders; until King Saul
3. I Samuel 11th century BCE; prophet anoints Saul, first king of Israel
4. II Samuel 10th century BCE; internal and international strife, reign of King David
5. I Kings 10th century BCE; reign of Solomon; the Temple, division of the kingdom
6. II Kings
7. Isaiah 8th century BCE; ethics, admonition, prophecy of ultimate redemption
8. Jeremiah 7th-6th century BCE; indictment of sin; fall of Jerusalem foretold and recounted
9. Ezekiel 6th century BCE; prophecies of Israel's doom; consolation to Babylonian exiles
The Twelve Prophets
10. Hosea 8th century BCE; Israel's infidelity, future repentance
11. Joel (date uncertain) retribution, Israel's restoration at the end of days
12. Amos 8th century; prophecies against the nations; reproof, visions
13. Obadiah (date uncertain) oracle of doom on Edom
14. Jonah (date uncertain) message of repentance to Nineveh
15. Micah 8th century BCE; moral rebukes, vision of the universal reign of peace
16. Nahum 7th century BCE; prophecy of the downfall of Nineveh
17. Habakkuk 7th-6th century BCE; problem of injustice, prayer for compassion
18. Zephaniah 7th century BCE; condemnation of idolatry, vision of Zion restored
19. Haggai 6th century BCE; encouragement to build 2nd Temple, its role
20. Zechariah 6th century BCE; visions of rebuilt Jerusalem and Divine rule of Universe
21. Malachi 6th-5th century BCE moral exhortations
1. Psalms; poetic devotional literature, a main source of the liturgy
2. Proverbs; wisdom literature in the form of short maxims
3. Job; problem of evil discussed in narrative form
4. Five Scrolls-Song of Songs; allegorical love-song between G-d and his people
5. Ruth; narrative and social history of period of the Judges (13th-11th century BCE)
6. Lamentations; descriptive dirge of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem (597-586 BCE)
7. Ecclesiastes; wisdom, literature on worldly vanities
8. Esther-the Purim story, salvation of Jews in ancient Persia (Iran).
9. Daniel 6th century BCE; episode of martyrdom and prophecy in Babylonian exile
10. Ezra 5th century BCE; return of Babylonian exiles and rebuilding of Temple
11. Nehemiah 5th century BCE; rebuilding of Walls of Jerusalem, religious and communal legislation
12. Chronicles I until 965 BCE, genealogical lists and other historical information to period of King David.
13. Chronicles II 965-638 BCE, history of the monarchy from King David to decree of Cyrus II, who died in 529 BCE, King of Persia, overran the Babylonian empire including Eretz Yisrael (Palestine) granted permission in 538 to exiles of Judah to return to homeland and rebuild the Temple as written in Ezra 1:1-44 and Chronicles 36:22-3. Jews thought he was a divine agent.
Life in Eretz Yisrael
13th-11th century BCE Settlement and Tribal Autonomy
11th -6th century BCE 1st Temple: Kings and Prophets
516 BCE-70 CE Exile and Return; 2nd Temple
1st century -20th century CE; Foreign Rule of 1878 years -- from 70 CE to 1948 CE
1. Roman; 70 CE-395 CE changed name of Israel, Judah to Palaestina (for Philistines) Jerusalem changed to Aelia Capitolina.
2. Byzantine; 395-636 CE ; Jews became minority, Christians majority
3. Arab; 636-1072 CE; divided land into Filastin(Palestine) and Urdun (Jordan), built Ramla; population converted to Islam, spoke Arabic, Arab tribes from Arabia and Egypt immigrated here
4. Seijuk; 1072-1099 CE
5. Crusaders'; 1099-1291; named land "the Kingdom of Jerusalem" , 30,000 crusaders lived here
6. Mamluk; 1291-1516; divided land into 3 districts; Safad, Gaza and Damascus; destroyed cities, towns in coastal plain to deter foreigners, remained empty till Jewish re-settlement 19th century CE
7. Ottoman Rule (Turkey) (1516-1917; Beduin tribes came in, villages reduced by half, population small, did not go over 250,000 till 1914, land west of Jordan had 680,000; 85,000 were Jews. November 1894 Dryfus Affair in France caused Zionist meetings about returning to Eretz Yisrael , Pogroms in Russia, Pale of Settlement, anti-Semitism all over world.
8. British Rule; 1918-1948; held mandate, renamed land Palestine. Partitioned into Palestine (west of Jordan) and Transjordan (east of Jordan) in 1922.
Reference: Facts About Israel, division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, 1973