By Paul Johnson
A countrywide bestseller, this significant 4000 yr survey covers not just Jewish heritage yet he impression of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the international. via the writer of Modern occasions: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.
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Additional info for A History of the Jews
The episode which saved the Israelites from pharaoh’s fury, and which they saw as divine redemption, was so stupendous as to become for them and their progeny the dynamic of their whole spiritual existence. ’ In Exodus, Moses has God himself point to the stupendous wonder of his acts, and show how they relate to his plans for them as a people: ‘Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice in deed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.
Hecataeus of Abdera (fourth century BC), who wrote a history of Egypt (now lost), accused him of secluding his followers from other men, and encouraging xenophobia. 80 The notion of the rebellious Egyptian priest, leading a revolt of outcasts including lepers and negroes, became the fundamental matrix of anti-Semitism, the Ur-libel, embroidered and repeated through the centuries with extraordinary persistence. 82 Wherever else Moses got his ideas, whether religious or legal (and the two, of course, were inseparable in his mind), it was certainly not Egypt.
The Decalogue was the basis of the covenant with God, first made by Abraham, renewed by Jacob and now renewed again, in a solemn and public manner, by Moses and the entire people. Modern research shows that the Mosaic covenant, set out briefly in Exodus 19-24 and again more elaborately in the Book of Deuteronomy, follows the form of an ancient Near Eastern treaty, such as those drawn up by the Hittites. 96 But the Mosaic covenant is unique in being, not a treaty between states, but a God-people alliance.
A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson