Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon, it was a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire but expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire, it was involved in rivalry with the older state of Assyria to the north and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran. Babylonia became the major power in the region after Hammurabi created a short-lived empire, succeeding the earlier Akkadian Empire, Third Dynasty of Ur, Old Assyrian Empire; the Babylonian Empire, however fell apart after the death of Hammurabi and reverted to a small kingdom. Like Assyria, the Babylonian state retained the written Akkadian language for official use, despite its Northwest Semitic-speaking Amorite founders and Kassite successors, who spoke a language isolate, not being native Mesopotamians.
It retained the Sumerian language for religious use, but by the time Babylon was founded, this was no longer a spoken language, having been wholly subsumed by Akkadian. The earlier Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in Babylonian and Assyrian culture, the region would remain an important cultural center under its protracted periods of outside rule; the earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 23rd century BC. Babylon was a religious and cultural centre at this point and neither an independent state nor a large city. After the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, the south Mesopotamian region was dominated by the Gutian people for a few decades before the rise of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which restored order to the region and which, apart from northern Assyria, encompassed the whole of Mesopotamia, including the town of Babylon. Mesopotamia had enjoyed a long history prior to the emergence of Babylon, with Sumerian civilisation emerging in the region c. 3500 BC, the Akkadian-speaking people appearing by the 30th century BC.
During the 3rd millennium BC, an intimate cultural symbiosis occurred between Sumerian and Akkadian-speakers, which included widespread bilingualism. The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian and vice versa is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence; this has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium as a sprachbund. Akkadian replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere around the turn of the third and the second millennium BC. From c. 3500 BC until the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BC, Mesopotamia had been dominated by Sumerian cities and city states, such as Ur, Uruk, Isin, Adab, Gasur, Hamazi, Akshak and Umma, although Semitic Akkadian names began to appear on the king lists of some of these states between the 29th and 25th centuries BC. Traditionally, the major religious center of all Mesopotamia was the city of Nippur where the god Enlil was supreme, it would remain so until replaced by Babylon during the reign of Hammurabi in the mid-18th century BC.
The Akkadian Empire saw the Akkadian Semites and Sumerians of Mesopotamia unite under one rule, the Akkadians attain ascendancy over the Sumerians and indeed come to dominate much of the ancient Near East. The empire disintegrated due to economic decline, climate change and civil war, followed by attacks by the Gutians from the Zagros Mountains. Sumer rose up again with the Third Dynasty of Ur in the late 22nd century BC, ejected the Gutians from southern Mesopotamia, they seem to have gained ascendancy over much of the territory of the Akkadian kings of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia for a time. Followed by the collapse of the Sumerian "Ur-III" dynasty at the hands of the Elamites in 2002 BC, the Amorites, a foreign Northwest Semitic-speaking people, began to migrate into southern Mesopotamia from the northern Levant gaining control over most of southern Mesopotamia, where they formed a series of small kingdoms, while the Assyrians reasserted their independence in the north; the states of the south were unable to stem the Amorite advance, for a time may have relied on their fellow Akkadians in Assyria for protection.
King Ilu-shuma of the Old Assyrian Empire in a known inscription describes his exploits to the south as follows: The freedom of the Akkadians and their children I established. I purified their copper. I established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur and Kish, Der of the goddess Ishtar, as far as the City of. Past scholars extrapolated from this text that it means he defeated the invading Amorites to the south and Elamites to the east, but there is no explicit record of that, some scholars believe the Assyrian kings were giving preferential trade agreements to the south; these policies were continued by Ikunum. However, when Sargon I s
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish religious movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme authority in Halakha and theology. It is distinct from mainstream Rabbinic Judaism, which considers the Oral Torah, as codified in the Talmud and subsequent works, to be authoritative interpretations of the Torah. Karaites maintain that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah without additional Oral Law or explanation; as a result, Karaite Jews do not accept as binding the written collections of the oral tradition in the Midrash or Talmud. When interpreting the Tanakh, Karaites strive to adhere to the plain or most obvious meaning of the text. By contrast, Rabbinic Judaism relies on the legal rulings of the Sanhedrin as they are codified in the Midrash and other sources to indicate the authentic meaning of the Torah. Karaite Judaism holds every interpretation of the Tanakh to the same scrutiny regardless of its source, teaches that it is the personal responsibility of every individual Jew to study the Torah, decide its correct meaning.
Karaites may consider arguments made in the Talmud and other works without exalting them above other viewpoints. According to Rabbi Abraham ibn Daud, in his Sefer HaQabbalah, the Karaite movement crystallized in Baghdad in the Gaonic period under the Abbasid Caliphate in what is present-day Iraq; this is the view universally accepted among Rabbinic Jews. However, some Arab scholars claim that Karaites were living in Egypt in the first half of the 7th century, based on a legal document that the Karaite community in Egypt had in its possession until the end of the 19th century, in which the first Islamic governor ordered the leaders of the Rabbinite community against interfering with Karaite practices or the way they celebrate their holidays, it was said to have been stamped by the palm of'Amr ibn al-'As, the first Islamic governor of Egypt, was dated 20 AH. Historians have argued over whether Karaism has a direct connection to anti-Rabbinic sects and views, such as those of the Sadducees, dating back to the end of the Second Temple period, or whether Karaism represents a novel emergence of similar views.
Karaites have always maintained that, while there are some similarities to the Sadducees, due to the rejection of Rabbinical authority and the Oral Law, there are major differences. The ancestors of the Karaites were a group called Benei Ṣedeq during the Second Temple period. Karaites at one time made up a significant proportion of the Jewish population. Estimates of the Karaite population are difficult to make because they believe on the basis of Genesis 32 that counting Jews is forbidden. In the 21st century, some 30,000–50,000 are thought to reside in Israel, with smaller communities in Turkey and the United States. Another estimate holds that, of the 50,000 worldwide, more than 40,000 descend from those who made aliyah from Egypt and Iraq to Israel; the largest Karaite community today resides in the Israeli city of Ashdod. Arguments amongst Jewish sects regarding the validity of the Oral Law date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE. Accordingly, some scholars trace the origin of Karaism to those who rejected the Talmudic tradition as an innovation.
Judah Halevi, an 11th-century Jewish philosopher and rabbi, wrote a defense for Judaism entitled Kuzari, placing the origins of Karaism in the first and second centuries BCE, during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, king of Judaea from 103 to 76 BCE: After him came Judah b. Tabbāi and Simon b. Shētaḥ, with the friends of both. At this period arose the doctrine of the Karaites in consequence of an incident between the Sages and King Jannai, a priest, his mother was under suspicion of being a'profane' woman. One of the Sages alluded to this, saying to him:'Be satisfied, O king Jannai, with the royal crown, but leave the priestly crown to the seed of Aaron.' His friends prejudiced him against the Sages, advising him to browbeat and scatter or kill them. He replied:'If I destroy the Sages what will become of our Law?"There is the written law,' they replied, whoever wishes to study it may come and do so. He followed their advice and expelled the Sages and among them Simon b. Shētaḥ, his son-in-law. Rabbinism was laid low for some time.
The other party tried to establish a law built on their own conception, but failed, till Simon b. Shētaḥ returned with his disciples from Alexandria, restored tradition to its former condition. Karaism had, taken root among people who rejected the oral law, called all kinds of proofs to their aid, as we see to-day; as regards the Sādōcaeans and Boēthosians, they are the sectarians who are anathemised in our prayer. Abraham Geiger, a 19th-century German scholar who founded Reform Judaism, posited a connection between the Karaites and a remnant of the Sadducees, the 1st-century Jewish sect that followed the Hebrew Bible and rejected the Pharisees' notion of an Oral Torah before it was written. Geiger's view is based on comparison between Karaite and Sadducee halakha: for example, a minority in Karaite Judaism do not believe in a final resurrection or after-life, a position held by the Sadducees; the British theologian John Gill noted, In the times of John Hyrcanus, Alexander Janneus his son, sprung up the sect of the Karaites, in oppositio
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. It is not the original text of the Hebrew Bible: Urtext has never been found, it was copied and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries of the Common Era. The oldest extant manuscripts date from around the 9th century; the Aleppo Codex dates from the 10th century. The Masoretic Text defines the Jewish canon and its precise letter-text, with its vocalization and accentuation known as the Masorah; the ancient Hebrew word mesorah broadly refers to the whole chain of Jewish tradition, claimed to be unchanged and infallible. Referring to the Masoretic Text, mesorah means the diacritic markings of the text of the Hebrew Scriptures and the concise marginal notes in manuscripts of the Tanakh which note textual details about the precise spelling of words. Modern scholars seeking to understand the history of the Tanakh’s text use a range of sources other than the Masoretic Text.
These include early Greek and Syriac translations, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Dead Sea Scrolls and quotations from rabbinic manuscripts. Most of these are older than the oldest surviving Masoretic text and contradict it. Which of the three known versions is closest to the original text is not determined.) The Dead Sea Scrolls have shown the Masoretic Text to be nearly identical in consonant text to some texts of the Tanakh dating from 200 but different from others. Although the consonants of the Masoretic Text differ little from the text accepted in the early 2nd century, it has many differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to the manuscripts of the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, in popular use by Jews in Egypt and the Holy Land. A recent finding of a short Leviticus fragment, recovered from the ancient En-Gedi Scroll, carbon-dated to the 3rd or 4th century AD, is identical with the Masoretic Text; the Masoretic Text was used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles such as the King James Version and American Standard Version and for some versions of Catholic Bibles, replacing the Vulgate translation, although the Vulgate had itself been revised in light of the Masoretic text in the 1500s.
The Talmud and Karaite manuscripts state that a standard copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem for the benefit of copyists. This copy is mentioned in the Letter of Aristeas, in the statements of Philo, in Josephus. A Talmudic story referring to an earlier time, relates that three Torah scrolls were found in the Temple court but were at variance with each other; the differences were resolved by majority decision among the three. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, dating from c. 150 BCE-75 CE, shows that in this period there was not the scrupulous uniformity of text, so stressed in centuries. According to Menachem Cohen, the Dead Sea scrolls decided these issues'by showing that there was indeed a Hebrew text-type on which the Septuagint-translation was based and which differed from the received MT'; the scrolls show numerous small variations in orthography, both as against the Masoretic text, between each other. It is evident from the notings of corrections and of variant alternatives that scribes felt free to choose according to their personal taste and discretion between different readings.
However, despite these variations, most of the Qumran fragments can be classified as being closer to the Masoretic text than to any other text group that has survived. According to Lawrence Schiffman, 60% can be classed as being of proto-Masoretic type, a further 20% Qumran style with bases in proto-Masoretic texts, compared to 5% proto-Samaritan type, 5% Septuagintal type, 10% non-aligned. Joseph Fitzmyer noted the following regarding the findings at Qumran Cave 4 in particular: "Such ancient recensional forms of Old Testament books bear witness to an unsuspected textual diversity that once existed. Thus, the differences in the Septuagint are no longer considered the result of a poor or tendentious attempt to translate the Hebrew into the Greek. On the other hand, some of the fragments conforming most to the Masoretic text were found in Cave 4. An emphasis on minute details of words and spellings used among the Pharisees as bases for argumentation, reached its height with the example of Rabbi Akiva.
The idea of a perfect text sanctified in its consonantal base spread throughout the Jewish communities via supportive statements in Halakha and Jewish thought. Few manuscripts are said to have survived
Moses ben Maimon known as Maimonides and referred to by the acronym Rambam, was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In his time, he was a preeminent astronomer and physician. Born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135 or 1138, he worked as a rabbi and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt, he died in Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in Tiberias. During his lifetime, most Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on Jewish law and ethics with acclaim and gratitude as far away as Iraq and Yemen. Yet, while Maimonides rose to become the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, his writings had vociferous critics in Spain. Nonetheless, he was posthumously acknowledged as among the foremost rabbinical decisors and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprises a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship, his fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law.
He is sometimes known as "ha Nesher ha Gadol" in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah. Aside from being revered by Jewish historians, Maimonides figures prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences and is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by Al-Farabi and his contemporary Averroes, he in his turn influenced other prominent Arab and Muslim philosophers and scientists, he became a prominent polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds. His full Hebrew name is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, whose acronym forms "Rambam", his full Arabic name is Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī, or Mūsā bin Maymūn for short. In Latin, the Hebrew ben becomes the Greek-style patronymic suffix -ides, forming "Moses Maimonides". Maimonides was born in Córdoba during what some scholars consider to be the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula, after the first centuries of the Moorish rule. At an early age, he developed an interest in sciences and philosophy.
He read those Greek philosophers accessible in Arabic translations, was immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture. Though the Gaonic tradition in its North African version, formed the basis of his legal thought, some scholars have argued in the 21st century that Muslim law, including Almohad legal thought had a substantial influence. Maimonides was not known as a supporter of mysticism, although a strong intellectual type of mysticism has been discerned in his philosophy, he expressed disapproval of poetry, the best of which he declared to be false, since it was founded on pure invention. This sage, revered for his personality as well as for his writings, led a busy life, wrote many of his works while travelling or in temporary accommodation. Maimonides studied Torah under his father Maimon, who had in turn studied under Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash, a student of Isaac Alfasi. A Berber dynasty, the Almohads, conquered Córdoba in 1148, abolished dhimmi status in some of their territories.
The loss of this status left the Jewish and Christian communities with conversion to Islam, death, or exile. Many Jews were forced to convert, but due to suspicion by the authorities of fake conversions, the new converts had to wear identifying clothing that set them apart and made them subject to public scrutiny. Maimonides's family, along with most other Jews, chose exile; some say, that it is that Maimonides feigned a conversion to Islam before escaping. This forced conversion was ruled invalid under Islamic law when brought up by a rival in Egypt. For the next ten years, Maimonides moved about in southern Spain settling in Fez in Morocco. During this time, he composed his acclaimed commentary on the Mishnah, during the years 1166–1168. Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he sojourned in the Holy Land, before settling in Fustat, Egypt around 1168. While in Cairo, he studied in a yeshiva attached to a small synagogue. In the Holy Land, he prayed at the Temple Mount, he wrote that this day of visiting the Temple Mount was a day of holiness for him and his descendants.
Maimonides shortly thereafter was instrumental in helping rescue Jews taken captive during the Christian King Amalric's siege of the Egyptian town of Bilbays. He sent five letters to the Jewish communities of Lower Egypt asking them to pool money together to pay the ransom; the money was collected and given to two judges sent to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were released. Following this triumph, the Maimonides family, hoping to increase their wealth, gave their savings to his brother, the youngest son David ben Maimon, a merchant. Maimonides directed his brother to procure goods only at the Sudanese port of ‘Aydhab. After a long arduous trip through the desert, David was unimpressed by the goods on offer there. Against his brother's wishes, David boarded a ship for India, since great wealth was to be found in the East. Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime between 1169 and 1177; the death of his brother caused Maimonides to become sick with grief.
In a letter, he wrote: The greatest misfortune that has befallen me during my entire life—worse than anything else—was the demise of the saint, may his memory be blessed, who drowned in the Indian sea
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed; the term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa
Tiberias is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 CE, it was named in honour of the second emperor of the Roman Empire, Tiberius. In 2017 it had a population of 43,664. Tiberias was held in great respect in Judaism from the middle of the 2nd century CE and since the 16th century has been considered one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem and Safed. In the 2nd–10th centuries, Tiberias was the largest Jewish city in the Galilee and the political and religious hub of the Jews of Israel, its immediate neighbour to the south, Hammat Tiberias, now part of modern Tiberias, has been known for its hot springs, believed to cure skin and other ailments, for some two thousand years. See Diocese of Tiberias for ecclesiastical history Jewish tradition holds that Tiberias was built on the site of the ancient Israelite village of Rakkath or Rakkat, first mentioned in the Book of Joshua. In Talmudic times, the Jews still referred to it by this name. Tiberias was founded sometime around 20 CE in the Herodian Tetrarchy of Galilee and Peraea by the Roman client king Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great.
Herod Antipas made it the capital of his realm in the Galilee and named it for the Roman Emperor Tiberius. The city was built in immediate proximity to a spa which had developed around 17 natural mineral hot springs, Hammat Tiberias. Tiberias was at first a pagan city, but became populated by Jews, with its growing spiritual and religious status exerting a strong influence on balneological practices. Conversely, in The Antiquities of the Jews, the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus calls the village with hot springs Emmaus, today's Hammat Tiberias, located near Tiberias; this name appears in The Wars of the Jews. In the days of Herod Antipas, some of the most religiously orthodox Jews, who were struggling against the process of Hellenization, which had affected some priestly groups, refused to settle there: the presence of a cemetery rendered the site ritually unclean for the Jews and for the priestly caste. Antipas settled many non-Jews there from rural Galilee and other parts of his domains in order to populate his new capital, built a palace on the acropolis.
The prestige of Tiberias was so great that the Sea of Galilee soon came to be named the Sea of Tiberias. The city was governed by a city council of 600 with a committee of 10 until 44 CE when a Roman procurator was set over the city after the death of Herod Agrippa I. Tiberias is mentioned in John 6:23 as the location from which boats had sailed to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee; the crowd seeking Jesus after the miraculous feeding of the 5000 used these boats to travel back to Capernaum on the north-western part of the lake. Under the Roman Empire, the city was known by its Greek name Τιβεριάς, an adaptation of the taw-suffixed Semitic form that preserved its feminine grammatical gender. In 61 CE Herod Agrippa II annexed the city to his kingdom. During the First Jewish–Roman War, the seditious took control of the city and destroyed Herod's palace, were able to prevent the city from being pillaged by the army of Agrippa II, the Jewish ruler who had remained loyal to Rome; the seditious were expelled from Tiberias, while most other cities in the provinces of Judaea and Idumea were razed, Tiberias was spared this fate because its inhabitants had decided not to fight against Rome.
It became a mixed city after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. There is no direct indication that Tiberias, as well as the rest of Galilee, took part in the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–136 CE, thus allowing it to exist, despite a heavy economic decline due to the war. Following the expulsion of Jews from Judea after 135 CE, Tiberias and its neighbor Sepphoris became the major Jewish cultural centres, competing within the Jewish world for status and recognition with Babylon, Alexandria and the Persian Empire. In 145 CE, Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai, familiar with the Galilee, hiding there for over a decade, "cleansed the city of ritual impurity", allowing the Jewish leadership to resettle there from the Judea Province, where they were fugitives; the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court fled from Jerusalem during the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome, after several attempted moves, in search of stability settled in Tiberias in about 150 CE. It was to be its final meeting place before its disbanding in the early Byzantine period.
When Johanan bar Nappaha settled in Tiberias, the city became the focus of Jewish religious scholarship in the land. The Mishnah, the collected theological discussions of generations of rabbis in the Land of Israel – in the academies of Tiberias and Caesarea – was compiled in Tiberias by Rabbi Judah haNasi around 200 CE; the Jerusalem Talmud would follow being compiled by Rabbi Jochanan between 230–270 CE. Tiberias' 13 synagogues served the spiritual needs of a growing Jewish population. In the 6th century Tiberias was still the seat of Jewish religious learning. In light of this, a letter of Syriac bishop Simeon of Beth Arsham urged the Christians of Palaestina to seize the leaders of Judaism in Tiberias, to put them to the rack, to compel them to command the Jewish king, Dhu Nuwas, to desist from persecuting the Christians in Najran. In 614, Tiberias was the site where, during the final Jewish revolt against the Byzantine Empire, parts of the Jewish population supported the Persian invaders.