The Ancient Israelites
Section 3
The Growth of Judaism
Did You Know?
 The Jewish Sabbath, or Shabbat, begins
on Friday evening at sundown and ends at
sunset Saturday evening.
 Jew commemorate the separation of
Shabbat from the rest of the week with
special ceremonies.
Exile and Return
 Exile= when people are forced to live in a foreign land.
 During the Israelites’ exile in Babylon, their religion became
 Sabbath= Jews met each week on this day for worship
and rest, in a synagogue (house of worship). At the
meetings, the Jews prayed and discussed their religion.
 After the Persians defeated the Chaldeans and took
control of Babylon, the Persian king, Cyrus, allowed the
Jews to return to Judah.
 Persian official still controlled the Jews in Judah, so Jews looked to
their religion for leadership.
 Jewish leaders became priests and scribes.
Exile and Return Continued
 The Hebrew Bible consists of 5 books of the
Torah and 34 other books.
 These books describe Jewish history.
 Book of Genesis: tells how God punished
people for their bad behavior.
 Story of Noah is in this book.
 Genesis also explains why the world has different
 Book of Daniel: reminds Jews that God will
rescue them.
 Jews, Christians, and Muslims share the
idea that good will triumph over evil.
Discussion Question
 How does the book of Genesis explain
different languages of the world?
 Genesis tells that the people Babel tried to
build a tower to heaven.
 God disapproved of the tower and made
all the people speak different languages
and scattered them across the earth.
The Jews and the Greeks
 Judah came under the control of Alexander the
Great in 331 B.C.
 He introduced the Greek language and ways to the
Jews who stayed in Judah.
 Diaspora= scattered; refers to Jews who lived
outside of Judah.
 The Greek ruler Antiochus wanted the Jews to
worship Greek gods and goddesses.
 Judas Maccabeus and his followers formed an army
known as the Maccabees to fight the Greeks.
 The Maccabees drove the Greeks out of Judah.
 They removed evidence of the gods and goddesses from
their temple.
 Each year Jews recall the cleansing of the temple when they
celebrate Hanukkah.
Discussion Question
 How did Jewish ideas spread at the time
of Alexander the Great?
 Some Jews who learned the Greek
language but were loyal to Judaism copied
the Hebrew Bible in the Greek language.
In this way, people who were not Jews
could read about and understand Judaism.
The Jewish Way of Life
 Jewish laws influenced Jews’ daily life.
 Laws applied to clothing:
 Men wore tunics, caps or turbans, and sandals.
 Women wore dresses and covered their heads with shawls. Wealthy
women wore shoes, makeup, and jewelry.
 Sons were valuable in Jewish society.
 They carried on the family name and became the head of the family after
the death of their fathers.
 They learned how to earn a living and how to worship God from their
 They learned how to read the Torah from religious leaders.
 Girls learned how to be good wives, mothers, and housekeepers.
 They also learned about Jewish laws and strong women of ancient
 Jewish laws stated that Jews could eat only certain animals, such as
beef, lamb, and certain scaly fish.
 Today, food that is prepared according to Jewish law is called
Discussion Question
 How is kosher meat prepared?
 To be kosher, the animal is killed in a
certain way. Then the meat is inspected,
salted, and soaked. Jewish laws instruct
Jews not to cook or eat milk products with
the meat.
Jews and the Romans
 In 63 B.C., the Romans conquered Judah and renamed
it Judea.
 King Herod, the most famous ruler of Judea, was known
for his cruelty.
 After Herod’s death, the Romans replaced Jewish kings with
Roman officials.
 The Jews had splintered into different groups:
 Pharisees: who were supported by the common people
 Sadducees: who did not agree with many of the Pharisees’
 Essenes
 The Dead Sea Scrolls: probably written by Essenes and were
found near the Dead Sea in A.D. 1947.
 Because the Jews had split into these groups, they were not as
powerful after the death of Herod.
The Jews and the Romans
 Jews hated Roman rule.
 Many Jews were waiting for a messiah, or deliverer
sent by God.
 Some Jews, known as Zealots, wanted to fight the
 They revolted in A.D. 66 and drove the Romans out of
 The Jews revolted again, but the Romans
stopped the revolt.
 This time, they forbade Jews to visit Jerusalem and
gave Judah the name of Palestine, referring to the
The Jews and the Romans
 Rabbis: teachers of the Torah, became
important leaders.
 They wanted to pass on teachings of the Torah.
 They combined the teachings in a book called the
 Johanan ben Zakkai: a famous rabbi, helped
Judaism survive the destruction and loss of the
 For 2,000 years most Jews lived outside
Palestine and faced persecution.
 1948 A.D., Palestine was divided, and a new Jewish
nation called Israel was created.
Discussion Question
 What was the difference between the
Pharisees and the Sadducees?
 The Pharisees were concerned with
applying the Torah to daily life and the
Jewish home and family.
 The Sadducees were concerned with how
the Torah applied to priests in the Temple.

The Ancient Israelites