Book of Ezekiel
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament, following Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to the book itself, it records six visions of the prophet Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, during the 22 years 593–571 BC, although it is the product of a long and complex history and does not preserve the words of the prophet; the visions, the book, are structured around three themes: Judgment on Israel. Its themes include the concepts of the presence of God, Israel as a divine community, individual responsibility to God, its influence has included the development of mystical and apocalyptic traditions in Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Ezekiel has the broad three-fold structure found in a number of the prophetic books: oracles of woe against the prophet's own people, followed by oracles against Israel's neighbours, ending in prophecies of hope and salvation: Prophecies against Judah and Jerusalem, chapters 1–24 Prophecies against the foreign nations, chapters 25–32 Prophecies of hope and salvation, chapters 33–48 The book opens with a vision of YHWH.
The book moves on to anticipate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, explains this as God's punishment, closes with the promise of a new beginning and a new Temple. Inaugural vision Ezekiel 1:1–3:27: God approaches Ezekiel as the divine warrior, riding in his battle chariot; the chariot is drawn by four living creatures, each having four wings. Beside each "living creature" is a "wheel within a wheel", with "tall and awesome" rims full of eyes all around. God commissions Ezekiel as a prophet and as a "watchman" in Israel: "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites." Judgment on Jerusalem and Judah and on the nations: God warns of the certain destruction of Jerusalem and of the devastation of the nations that have troubled his people: the Ammonites, Moabites and Philistines, the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, Egypt. Building a new city: The Jewish exile will come to an end, a new city and new Temple will be built, the Israelites will be gathered and blessed as never before.
Some of the highlights include: The "throne vision", in which Ezekiel sees God enthroned in the Temple among the heavenly host. Most scholars today accept the basic authenticity of the book, but see in it significant additions by a "school" of followers of the original prophet. While the book exhibits considerable unity and reflects much of the historic Ezekiel, it is the product of a long and complex history and does not preserve the words of the prophet. According to the book that bears his name, Ezekiel ben-Buzi was born into a priestly family of Jerusalem c.623 BC, during the reign of the reforming king Josiah. Prior to this time, Judah had been a vassal of the Assyrian empire, but the rapid decline of Assyria after c. 630 led Josiah to assert his independence and institute a religious reform stressing loyalty to Yahweh, the national God of Israel. Josiah was killed in 609 and Judah became a vassal of the new regional power, the Neo-Babylonian empire. In 597, following a rebellion against Babylon, Ezekiel was among the large group of Judeans taken into captivity by the Babylonians.
He appears to have spent the rest of his life in Mesopotamia. A further deportation of Jews from Jerusalem to Babylon occurred in 586 when a second unsuccessful rebellion resulted in the destruction of the city and its Temple and the exile of the remaining elements of the royal court, including the last scribes and priests; the various dates given in the book suggest that Ezekiel was 25 when he went into exile, 30 when he received his prophetic call, 52 at the time of the last vision c.571. The Jewish scriptures were translated into Greek in the two centuries before the birth of Christ; the Greek version of these books is called the Septuagint. The Jewish Bible in Hebrew is called the Masoretic text; the Greek version of Ezekiel differs from the Hebrew version – it is shorter and represents an early interpretation of the book we have today – while other ancient manuscript fragments differ from both. The first half of the 20th century saw several attempts to deny the authorship and authenticity of the book, with scholars such as C.
C. Torrey and Morton Smith placing it variously in the 3rd century BC and in the 8th/7th; the pendulum swung back in the post-war period, with an increasing acceptance of the book's essential unity and historical placement in the Exile. The most influential modern scholarly work on Ezekiel, Walther Zimmerli's two-volume commentary, ap
Books of Samuel
The Books of Samuel, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, form part of the narrative history of Israel in the Nevi'im or "prophets" section of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, called the Deuteronomistic history, a series of books that constitute a theological history of the Israelites and aim to explain God's law for Israel under the guidance of the prophets. According to Jewish tradition, the book was written by Samuel, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan. Modern scholarly thinking is that the entire Deuteronomistic history was composed in the period c. 630–540 BC by combining a number of independent texts of various ages. Samuel begins with God's call to him as a boy; the story of the Ark of the Covenant that follows tells of Israel's oppression by the Philistines, which brought about Samuel's anointing of Saul as Israel's first king. But Saul proved unworthy and God's choice turned to David, who defeated Israel's enemies, purchased the threshing floor, where his son, Solomon built the Temple and brought the Ark to Jerusalem.
God promised David and his successors an everlasting dynasty. The childless Hannah vows to Yahweh of hosts. Eli, the priest of Shiloh, blesses her, a child named Samuel is born. Samuel is dedicated to the Lord as a Nazirite – the only one besides Samson to be identified in the Bible. Eli's sons and Phinehas, sin against God's laws and the people, of the priesthood and are killed in battle during the Battle of Aphek, but the child Samuel grows up "in the presence of the Lord." The Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh and take it to the temple of their god Dagon, who recognizes the supremacy of Yahweh. The Philistines are afflicted with plagues and return the ark to the Israelites, but to the territory of the tribe of Benjamin rather than to Shiloh; the Philistines attack. Samuel appeals to Yahweh, the Philistines are decisively beaten, the Israelites reclaim their lost territory. In Samuel's old age, he appoints his sons Joel and Abijah as judges, but they walked not in the ways of the Lord with perverted judgement, lucre, bribes because of the corruption the people ask for a king to rule over them instead of rejecting God and his laws, forgetting all God had done to bring them out of the Land of Egypt The Lord tells Samuel to tell the people of Israel what they have asked for.
This king says Samuel that you have asked to rule over you will take the best of all your labor your fields, crops and give them to his servants. He will take your sheep, your asses, he will take your daughters and your manservants, you will cry out but the Lord will not hear you. But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. After Samuel inquires of God he directs Samuel to grant them a king God There was a mighty man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath the son of Aphiah a Benjamin a might man of power and he had a son, Saul a choice young man a goodly, there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he. Samuel had never met God led Saul to Samuel to be anointed as King. God gave Saul a new heart 1Samuel 10:9 God was with Saul and he defeats the enemies of the Israelites, but disobeys God; the spirit of the Lord departs from Saul because of his disobedience. But the Lord has selected another godly man as King over his people, David son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, David was his youngest son a Shepard boy, he is described as "ruddy and withal of beautiful countenance and goodly to look at" and "fair" 1Samuel 16:12 God tells Samuel to anoint David of Bethlehem as king, David enters Saul's court as his armor-bearer and harpist.
Saul's son and heir Jonathan recognizes him as the rightful king. Saul plots David's death, but David flees into the wilderness, where he becomes a champion of the Hebrews. David joins the Philistines but continues secretly to champion his own people, until Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle at Mount Gilboa. At this point, David offers a majestic eulogy, where he praises the bravery and magnificence of both his friend Jonathan and King Saul; the elders of Judah anoint David as king, but in the north Saul's son Ish-bosheth, or Ishbaal, rules over the northern tribes. After a long war, Ishbaal is murdered by Rechab and Baanah, two of his captains who hope for a reward from David. David is anointed King of all Israel. David brings the Ark there. David wishes to build a temple, but Nathan tells him that one of his sons will be the one to build the temple. David defeats the enemies of Israel, slaughtering Philistines, Edomites and Arameans. David commits adultery with Bathsheba; when her husband, Uriah the Hittite returns from battle, David encourages him to go home and see his wife but Uriah declines in case David might need him.
David thus deliberately sends Uriah on a suicide mission. Nathan tells David. For the remainder of his reign there are problems. Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Absalom kills Amnon, rebels against his father, David flees from Jerusalem. Absalom is killed following the Battle of the Wood of Ephraim, David is restored as king, he returns to his palace. Only two contenders for the succession remain, son of David and Haggith, Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba; the Second Book of Samuel concludes with four chapters (chap
Baalbek, properly Baʿalbek and known as Balbec, Baalbec or Baalbeck, is a city between the Eastern Mountain Ranges of Lebanon and the Western Mountain ranges of Lebanon. Located East of the Litani River in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley, about 85 km northeast of Beirut; the capital of Baalbek-Hermel Governorate, Baalbek has a population of 82,608 Shia Muslims, followed by Sunni Muslims and Christians. It is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. A few miles from the swamp from which the Litani and the Asi flow, Baalbek may be the same as the MANBAA AL NAHREIN, the abode of El in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle discovered in the 1920s and a separate serpent incantation. Baalbek was called Heliopolis during the Roman Empire, a latinisation of the Greek Hēlioúpolis used during the Hellenistic Period, meaning "Sun City" in reference to the solar cult there; the name is attested under the Ptolemies. However, Ammianus Marcellinus notes that earlier "Assyrian" names of Levantine towns continued to be used alongside the official Greek ones imposed by the Diadochi, who were successors of Alexander the Great.
In Greek religion, Helios was both its personification as a god. The local Semitic god Baʿal Haddu was more equated with Zeus or Jupiter or called the "Great God of Heliopolis", but the name may refer to the Egyptians' association of Baʿal with their great god Ra, it was sometimes described as Heliopolis in Syria or Coelesyria to distinguish it from its namesake in Egypt. In Catholicism, its titular see is distinguished as Heliopolis in Phoenicia, from its former Roman province Phoenice; the importance of the solar cult is attested in the name Biḳāʿ al-ʿAzīz borne by the plateau surrounding Baalbek, as it references an earlier solar deity and not men, named Aziz. In Greek and Roman antiquity, it was known as Heliopolis, it still possesses some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon, including one of the largest temples of the empire. The gods that were worshipped there were equivalents of the Canaanite deities Hadad, Atargatis. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, as they vary from the classic Roman design.
The name BʿLBK is first attested in the Mishnah, a second-century rabbinic text, as a geographic epithet for a kind of garlic, shum ba'albeki. Two early 5th-century Syriac manuscripts, a c. 411 translation of Eusebius's Theophania and a c. 435 life of Rabbula, bishop of Edessa. It was pronounced as Baʿlabakku in Classical Arabic. In Modern Standard Arabic, its vowels are marked as Baʿlabak or Baʿlabekk or Bʿalbik, the latter of, pronounced in Lebanese Arabic; the etymology of Baalbek has been debated indecisively since the 18th century. Cook took it to mean "Baʿal of the Beka" and Donne as "City of the Sun". Lendering asserts that it is a contraction of Baʿal Nebeq. Steiner proposes a Semitic adaption of "Lord Bacchus", from the classical temple complex. On the basis of its similar name, several 19th-century Biblical archaeologists attempted to connect Baalbek to the "Baalgad" mentioned in the Hebrew Scripture's Book of Joshua, the Baalath listed among Solomon's cities in the First Book of Kings, the Baal-hamon where he had a vineyard, the "Plain of Aven" in Amos.
The hilltop of Tell Baalbek, part of a valley to the east of the northern Beqaa Valley, shows signs of continual habitation over the last 8–9000 years. It was well-watered both from a stream running from the Rās-el-ʿAin spring SE of the citadel and, during the spring, from numerous rills formed by meltwater from the Anti-Lebanons. Macrobius credited the site's foundation to a colony of Egyptian or Assyrian priests; the settlement's religious and strategic importance was minor enough, that it is never mentioned in any known Assyrian or Egyptian record, unless under another name. Its enviable position in a fertile valley, major watershed, along the route from Tyre to Palmyra should have made it a wealthy and splendid site from an early age. During the Canaanite period, the local temples were devoted to the Heliopolitan Triad: a male god, his consort, their son; the site of the present Temple of Jupiter was the focus of earlier worship, as its altar was located at the hill's precise summit and the rest of the sanctuary raised to its level.
In Islamic mythology, the temple complex was said to have been a palace of Solomon's, put together by djinn and given as a wedding gift to the Queen of Sheba. Following Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia in the 330s BC, Baalbek formed part of the Diadochi kingdoms of Egypt & Syria, it was annexed by the Romans during their eastern wars. The settlers of the Roman colony Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Heliopolitana may have arrived as early as the time of Caesar but were more the veterans of the 5th and 8th Legions under Augustus, during which time it hosted a Roman garrison. From 15 BC to AD 193, it formed part of the territory of Berytus, it is mentioned in Josephus, Pliny and Ptolemy and on coins of nearly every emperor from Nerva to Gallienus. The 1st-century Pliny did not number it among the Decapolis, the "Ten Cities" of Coelesyria, while the 2nd-century Ptolemy did; the population varie
Bronze is an alloy consisting of copper with about 12–12.5% tin and with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability; the archeological period in which bronze was the hardest metal in widespread use is known as the Bronze Age. The beginning of the Bronze Age in India and western Eurasia is conventionally dated to the mid-4th millennium BC, to the early 2nd millennium BC in China; the Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age starting from about 1300 BC and reaching most of Eurasia by about 500 BC, although bronze continued to be much more used than it is in modern times. Because historical pieces were made of brasses and bronzes with different compositions, modern museum and scholarly descriptions of older objects use the more inclusive term "copper alloy" instead. There are two basic theories as to the origin of the word.
Romance theoryThe Romance theory holds that the word bronze was borrowed from French bronze, itself borrowed from Italian bronzo "bell metal, brass" from either, bróntion, back-formation from Byzantine Greek brontēsíon from Brentḗsion ‘Brindisi’, reputed for its bronze. Proto-Slavic theoryThe Proto-Slavic theory reflects the philological issue that in the most of Slavonic languages word "bronza" corresponds to "war metal" while at the early stages of the Bronze working it was used exclusively for military purposes; the discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were harder and more durable than possible. Bronze tools, weapons and building materials such as decorative tiles were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors. Bronze was made out of copper and arsenic, forming arsenic bronze, or from or artificially mixed ores of copper and arsenic, with the earliest artifacts so far known coming from the Iranian plateau in the 5th millennium BC, it was only that tin was used, becoming the major non-copper ingredient of bronze in the late 3rd millennium BC.
Tin bronze was superior to arsenic bronze in that the alloying process could be more controlled, the resulting alloy was stronger and easier to cast. Unlike arsenic, metallic tin and fumes from tin refining are not toxic; the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to 4500 BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik. Other early examples date to the late 4th millennium BC in Egypt and some ancient sites in China and Mesopotamia. Ores of copper and the far rarer tin are not found together, so serious bronze work has always involved trade. Tin sources and trade in ancient times had a major influence on the development of cultures. In Europe, a major source of tin was the British deposits of ore in Cornwall, which were traded as far as Phoenicia in the eastern Mediterranean. In many parts of the world, large hoards of bronze artifacts are found, suggesting that bronze represented a store of value and an indicator of social status. In Europe, large hoards of bronze tools socketed axes, are found, which show no signs of wear.
With Chinese ritual bronzes, which are documented in the inscriptions they carry and from other sources, the case is clear. These were made in enormous quantities for elite burials, used by the living for ritual offerings. Though bronze is harder than wrought iron, with Vickers hardness of 60–258 vs. 30–80, the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age after a serious disruption of the tin trade: the population migrations of around 1200–1100 BC reduced the shipping of tin around the Mediterranean and from Britain, limiting supplies and raising prices. As the art of working in iron improved, iron improved in quality; as cultures advanced from hand-wrought iron to machine-forged iron, blacksmiths learned how to make steel. Steel holds a sharper edge longer. Bronze was still used during the Iron Age, has continued in use for many purposes to the modern day. There are many different bronze alloys, but modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin. Alpha bronze consists of the alpha solid solution of tin in copper.
Alpha bronze alloys of 4–5% tin are used to make coins, springs and blades. Historical "bronzes" are variable in composition, as most metalworkers used whatever scrap was on hand; the proportions of this mixture suggests. The Benin Bronzes are in fact brass, the Romanesque Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège is described as both bronze and brass. In the Bronze Age, two forms of bronze were used: "classic bronze", about 10% tin, was used in
Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft and ductile metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement. Copper is one of the few metals; this led to early human use in several regions, from c. 8000 BC. Thousands of years it was the first metal to be smelted from sulfide ores, c. 5000 BC, the first metal to be cast into a shape in a mold, c. 4000 BC and the first metal to be purposefully alloyed with another metal, tin, to create bronze, c. 3500 BC. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, the origin of the name of the metal, from aes сyprium corrupted to сuprum, from which the words derived and copper, first used around 1530.
The encountered compounds are copper salts, which impart blue or green colors to such minerals as azurite and turquoise, have been used and as pigments. Copper used in buildings for roofing, oxidizes to form a green verdigris. Copper is sometimes used in decorative art, both in its elemental metal form and in compounds as pigments. Copper compounds are used as bacteriostatic agents and wood preservatives. Copper is essential to all living organisms as a trace dietary mineral because it is a key constituent of the respiratory enzyme complex cytochrome c oxidase. In molluscs and crustaceans, copper is a constituent of the blood pigment hemocyanin, replaced by the iron-complexed hemoglobin in fish and other vertebrates. In humans, copper is found in the liver and bone; the adult body contains between 2.1 mg of copper per kilogram of body weight. Copper and gold are in group 11 of the periodic table; the filled d-shells in these elements contribute little to interatomic interactions, which are dominated by the s-electrons through metallic bonds.
Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in copper are lacking a covalent character and are weak. This observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of copper. At the macroscopic scale, introduction of extended defects to the crystal lattice, such as grain boundaries, hinders flow of the material under applied stress, thereby increasing its hardness. For this reason, copper is supplied in a fine-grained polycrystalline form, which has greater strength than monocrystalline forms; the softness of copper explains its high electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity, second highest among pure metals at room temperature. This is because the resistivity to electron transport in metals at room temperature originates from scattering of electrons on thermal vibrations of the lattice, which are weak in a soft metal; the maximum permissible current density of copper in open air is 3.1×106 A/m2 of cross-sectional area, above which it begins to heat excessively. Copper is one of a few metallic elements with a natural color other than silver.
Pure copper acquires a reddish tarnish when exposed to air. The characteristic color of copper results from the electronic transitions between the filled 3d and half-empty 4s atomic shells – the energy difference between these shells corresponds to orange light; as with other metals, if copper is put in contact with another metal, galvanic corrosion will occur. Copper does not react with water, but it does react with atmospheric oxygen to form a layer of brown-black copper oxide which, unlike the rust that forms on iron in moist air, protects the underlying metal from further corrosion. A green layer of verdigris can be seen on old copper structures, such as the roofing of many older buildings and the Statue of Liberty. Copper tarnishes when exposed to some sulfur compounds, with which it reacts to form various copper sulfides. There are 29 isotopes of copper. 63Cu and 65Cu are stable, with 63Cu comprising 69% of occurring copper. The other isotopes are radioactive, with the most stable being 67Cu with a half-life of 61.83 hours.
Seven metastable isotopes have been characterized. Isotopes with a mass number above 64 decay by β−, whereas those with a mass number below 64 decay by β+. 64Cu, which has a half-life of 12.7 hours, decays both ways.62Cu and 64Cu have significant applications. 62Cu is used in 62Cu-PTSM as a radioactive tracer for positron emission tomography. Copper is produced in massive stars and is present in the Earth's crust in a proportion of about 50 parts per million. In nature, copper occurs in a variety of minerals, including native copper, copper sulfides such as chalcopyrite, digenite and chalcocite, copper sulfosalts such as tetrahedite-tennantite, enargite, copper carbonates such as azurite and malachite, as copper or copper oxides such as cuprite and tenorite, respectively; the largest mass of elemental copper discovered weighed 420 tonnes and was found in 1857 on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, US. Native copper is a polycrystal
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant. Related biblical and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, Palestine; the definitions of the limits of this territory vary between passages in the Hebrew Bible, with specific mentions in Genesis 15, Exodus 23, Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47. Nine times elsewhere in the Bible, the settled land is referred as "from Dan to Beersheba", three times it is referred as "from the entrance of Hamath unto the brook of Egypt”; these biblical limits for the land differ from the borders of established historical Israelite and Jewish kingdoms. Jewish religious belief defines the land as where Jewish religious law prevailed and excludes territory where it was not applied, it holds that the area is a God-given inheritance of the Jewish people based on the Torah the books of Genesis and Exodus, as well as on the Prophets. According to the Book of Genesis, the land was first promised by God to the descendants of Abram.
Abram's name was changed to Abraham, with the promise refined to pass through his son Isaac and to the Israelites, descendants of Jacob, Abraham's grandson. This belief is not shared by most adherents of replacement theology, who hold the view that the Old Testament prophecies were superseded by the coming of Jesus, a view repudiated by Christian Zionists as a theological error. Evangelical Zionists variously claim that Israel has title to the land by divine right, or by a theological and moral grounding of attachment to the land unique to Jews; the idea that ancient religious texts can be warrant or divine right for a modern claim has been challenged, Israeli courts have rejected land claims based on religious motivations. During the League of Nations mandatory period the term "Eretz Yisrael" or the "Land of Israel" was part of the official Hebrew name of Mandatory Palestine. Official Hebrew documents used the Hebrew transliteration of the word “Palestine” פלשתינה followed always by the two initial letters of "Eretz Yisrael", א״י Aleph-Yod.
The Land of Israel concept has been evoked by the founders of the State of Israel. It surfaces in political debates on the status of the West Bank, referred to in official Israeli discourse as the Judea and Samaria Area, from the names of the two historical Jewish kingdoms; the term "Land of Israel" is a direct translation of the Hebrew phrase ארץ ישראל, which occurs in the Bible, is first mentioned in the Tanakh in 1 Samuel 13:19, following the Exodus, when the Israelite tribes were in the Land of Canaan. The words are used sparsely in the Bible: King David is ordered to gather'strangers to the land of Israel' for building purposes, the same phrasing is used in reference to King Solomon's census of all of the'strangers in the Land of Israel'. Ezekiel, though preferring the phrase'soil of Israel', employs eretz israel twice at Ezekiel 40:2 and Ezekiel 47:18. According to Martin Noth, the term is not an "authentic and original name for this land", but instead serves as "a somewhat flexible description of the area which the Israelite tribes had their settlements".
According to Anita Shapira, the term "Eretz Yisrael" was a holy term, vague as far as the exact boundaries of the territories are concerned but defining ownership. The sanctity of the land developed rich associations in rabbinical thought, where it assumes a symbolic and mythological status infused with promise, though always connected to a geographical location. Nur Masalha argues that the biblical boundaries are "entirely fictitious", bore religious connotations in Diaspora Judaism, with the term only coming into ascendency with the rise of Zionism; the Hebrew Bible provides three specific sets of borders for the "Promised Land", each with a different purpose. Neither of the terms "Promised Land" or "Land of Israel" are used in these passages: Genesis 15:13–21, Genesis 17:8 and Ezekiel 47:13–20 use the term "the land", as does Deuteronomy 1:8 in which it is promised explicitly to "Abraham and Jacob... and to their descendants after them," whilst Numbers 34:1–15 describes the "Land of Canaan", allocated to nine and half of the twelve Israelite tribes after the Exodus.
The expression "Land of Israel" is first used in a book, 1 Samuel 13:19. It is defined in detail in the exilic Book of Ezekiel as a land where both the twelve tribes and the "strangers in midst", can claim inheritance; the name "Israel" first appears in the Hebrew Bible as the name given by God to the patriarch Jacob. Deriving from the name "Israel", other designations that came to be associated with the Jewish people have included the "Children of Israel" or "Israelite"; the term'Land of Israel' occurs in one episode in the New Testament, according to Shlomo Sand, it bears the unusual sense of'the area surrounding Jerusalem'. The section in which it appears was written as a parallel to the e
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in