By Paul Johnson
A countrywide bestseller, this really good 4000 12 months survey covers not just Jewish heritage yet he effect of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the global. by way of the writer of Modern instances: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.
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Additional info for A History of the Jews
He may not have commanded all the Israelites, at any rate at the beginning. Nor did he conduct a full-scale invasion. Much of the settlement was a process of infiltration, or reinforcement of affiliated tribes who, as we have seen, already held such towns as Shechem. But there were numerous skirmishes and several spectacular sieges. The Canaanites were a higher material civilization than the Israelites and must have had much better weapons as well as strongly built stone cities. There is an air of desperation about the Israelites’ conquest and this helps to explain why they were so ruthless when they took a town.
The bulk of the Exodus narratives, covering some thirty-seven years, centre on the conquest of Kadesh or Qadesh, which was rich and well-watered and was taken from the settled Amalekites. Some other sites mentioned in Exodus have been tentatively identified. 122 One interesting theory is that the Levite tribe, to which Moses himself belonged and which soon claimed the exclusive right to the priesthood, was the first to settle in Kadesh and there elaborated the new religion. The other tribes were already in Canaan.
92 Moreover, not only is human life sacred, the human person (being in God’s image) is precious. Whereas, for instance, the Mid-Assyrian code lists a fierce series of physical punishments, including facial mutilation, castration, impalement and flogging to death, the Mosaic code treats the body with respect. Physical cruelty is reduced to the minimum. 93 The fact is, the Mosaic code was far more humane than any other, because, being God-centred, it was automatically man-centred also. The core of the Mosaic code was the Decalogue, the statements of God related by Moses (Deuteronomy 5:6-18) and entitled ‘the ten words or utterances’ (Deuteronomy 4:13).
A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson