Read e-book online A History of the Jews PDF

By Paul Johnson

ISBN-10: 0060915331

ISBN-13: 9780060915339

A countrywide bestseller, this remarkable 4000 12 months survey covers not just Jewish historical past yet he impression of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the international. by means of the writer of Modern instances: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.

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If the motions of the sun and moon and stars can be predicted and measured, and thus obey regular laws, how can they be the source of unnatural authority, since they too are plainly part of nature? Whence, then, comes the power? Just as man learns to lord it over nature, animal and inanimate, must not divine power, a fortiori, be living and personal? And if God lives, how can his power be arbitrarily and unequally divided into a pantheon of deities? The idea of a limited god is a contradiction.

They preferred tribal levies serving without pay. The Book of Judges, covering the first two centuries of the settlement, gives the impression that the Israelites had more leadership than in fact they were prepared to tolerate. The ‘judges’ were not national rulers, holding power in succession. Normally they ran only one tribe each, and some may have been contemporaries. ’136 The Book of Judges, though undoubted history and full of fascinating information about Canaan in the Late Bronze Age, is flavoured with mythical material and fantasy and presented in a confused fashion, so that it is difficult to work out a consecutive history of the period.

Joshua needed daylight to complete the destruction of the Amorite army, so he prayed to the Lord for the weather to clear: ‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. ’130 Joshua then went on to achieve a still more important victory over Jabin, King of Hazor, who had tried to create a coalition in the northern part of Canaan to keep out the Israelite intruders. He collected an enormous army, ‘even as the sand that is upon the seashore in multitude’, but the Lord ‘burnt their chariots with fire’.

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A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson


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