The First Israelites
Get Ready to Read
Section Overview
This section discusses the early history of
the ancient Israelites, including their
relationship with God, their escape from
slavery, and their conflicts with the
Canaanites over land.
The First Israelites
Get Ready to Read (cont.)
Focusing on the Main Ideas
• The Israelites believed in one God
who set down moral laws for his
people. They recorded their history in
the Bible.
• The Israelites had to fight the
Canaanites to return to their promised
land.
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites
• The Israelites built a kingdom in
Canaan, along the Mediterranean Sea
in southwest Asia, in 1000 B.C.
• Today, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan
occupy the land that was once Canaan.
• Israelites believed in one God.
• The belief in one god is called
monotheism.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• The Israelite faith became the religion of
Judaism.
• Judaism influenced Christianity and Islam
and helped shape the beliefs of European
and American societies.
• Israelites spoke Hebrew and wrote their
history and beliefs in what later became
the Hebrew Bible.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• The Israelites believed they were
descended from a man named Abraham.
• The Israelites believed God
told Abraham to
settle in Canaan
and worship the
one true God.
• Abraham’s
grandson, named
Jacob, raised 12
sons in Canaan.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• Their families became the 12 tribes of
Israel.
• After 100 years in Canaan, the Israelites
suffered a long drought.
• To survive, some Israelites went to Egypt.
• The Egyptian pharaoh enslaved the
Israelites.
• To prevent the Israelites from rebelling,
the pharaoh ordered all baby boys to be
thrown into the Nile River.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• The pharaoh’s daughter found a baby
boy in a basket on the riverbank.
• She named the baby Moses.
• When Moses grew up, he herded sheep
in the hills outside Egypt.
• In those hills, he saw a burning bush
and heard a voice.
• He believed it was God telling him to
lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• The Hebrew Bible says that God sent
10 plagues to trouble Egypt.
• The last plague killed all the first-born
children, except for those Israelites who
marked their doors with lamb’s blood.
• The plague convinced the pharaoh to let
the Israelites leave Egypt.
• After the Israelites left, the pharaoh
changed his mind.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• He sent soldiers after the Israelites.
• The Hebrew Bible says that God parted
the Red Sea, so the Israelites could pass.
• The water flowed back when the
soldiers
tried to
cross,
and they
drowned.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Early Israelites (cont.)
• On the way back to Canaan, Moses
went to the top of Mount Sinai and
received laws from God.
• These laws were known as the Torah,
which became the first part of the
Hebrew Bible.
• The Ten Commandments—what God
believes to be right and wrong—are an
important part of the Torah.
• The Ten Commandments helped form
the basic moral laws of many nations.
(pages 81–83)
The First Israelites
The Promised Land
• It took the Israelites about 40 years to
reach Canaan.
• Along the way, Moses died, and Joshua
took over.
• When the Israelites reached Canaan,
they found a group of people, the
Canaanites, living there.
• The Israelites believed it was God’s will
to conquer the Canaanites.
(pages 84–85)
The First Israelites
The Promised Land (cont.)
• Joshua led the Israelites into battle.
• They marched around the walls of the
city of Jericho for six days.
• On the seventh day, the Israelites let out
a great
shout,
and the
wall of
Jericho
crumbled.
(pages 84–85)
The First Israelites
The Promised Land (cont.)
• Joshua led the Israelites in three more
wars.
• The land they seized was divided
among the 12 tribes.
• After Joshua’s death, the Israelites
looked to judges for leadership.
• Judges were usually military leaders
who led one or two tribes.
(pages 84–85)
The First Israelites
The Promised Land (cont.)
• Eventually, the Israelites won the hilly
region of Canaan, and the Canaanites
kept the coastal areas.
• The Israelites built walled towns to
protect themselves.
• The Phoenicians were a group of
Canaanites who developed an
alphabet.
• An alphabet is a group of letters that
stands for sounds.
(pages 84–85)
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The Early Israelites