Bar Kokhba revolt
The Bar Kokhba revolt was a rebellion of the Jews of the Roman province of Judea, led by Simon bar Kokhba, against the Roman Empire. Fought circa 132–136 CE, it was the last of three major Jewish–Roman wars, so it is known as The Third Jewish–Roman War or The Third Jewish Revolt; some historians refer to it as the Second Revolt of Judea, not counting the Kitos War, which had only marginally been fought in Judea. The revolt erupted as a result of ongoing religious and political tensions in Judea following on the failure of the First Revolt in 66−73 CE; these tensions were related to the establishment of a large Roman presence in Judea, changes in administrative life and the economy, together with the outbreak and suppression of Jewish revolts from Mesopotamia to Libya and Cyrenaica. The proximate reasons seem to centre around the construction of a new city, Aelia Capitolina, over the ruins of Jerusalem and the erection of a temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount; the Church Fathers and rabbinic literature emphasize the role of Rufus, governor of Judea in provoking the revolt.
In 132, the revolt led by Bar Kokhba spread from central Judea across the country, cutting off the Roman garrison in Aelia Capitolina. Quintus Tineius Rufus was the provincial governor at the time of the erupting uprising, attributed with the failure to subdue its early phase. Rufus is last recorded in the first year of the rebellion. Despite arrival of significant Roman reinforcements from Syria and Arabia, initial rebel victories over the Romans established an independent state over most parts of Judea Province for over two years, as Bar Kokhba took the title of Nasi. Simon bar Kokhba, the commander of the revolt, was regarded by many Jews as the Messiah, who would restore their national independence; this setback, caused Emperor Hadrian to assemble a large scale Roman force from across the Empire, which invaded Judea in 134 under the command of General Sextus Julius Severus. The Roman army was made of six full legions with auxiliaries and elements from up to six additional legions, which managed to crush the revolt.
The Bar Kokhba revolt resulted in the extensive depopulation of Judean communities, more so than during the First Jewish–Roman War of 70 CE. According to Cassius Dio, 580,000 Jews perished in the war and many more died of disease. In addition, many Judean war captives were sold into slavery; the Jewish communities of Judea were devastated to an extent which some scholars describe as a genocide. However, the Jewish population remained strong in other parts of Palestine, thriving in Galilee, Bet Shean Valley and the eastern and western edges of Judea. Roman casualties were considered heavy - XXII Deiotariana was disbanded after serious losses. In addition, some historians argue that Legio IX Hispana's disbandment in the mid-2nd century could have been a result of this war. In an attempt to erase any memory of Judea or Ancient Israel, Emperor Hadrian wiped the name off the map and replaced it with Syria Palaestina. However, there is only circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change and the precise date is not certain.
The common view that the name change was intended to "sever the connection of the Jews to their historical homeland" is disputed. The Bar Kokhba revolt influenced the course of Jewish history and the philosophy of the Jewish religion. Despite easing the persecution of Jews following Hadrian's death in 138 CE, the Romans barred Jews from Jerusalem, except for attendance in Tisha B'Av. Jewish messianism was abstracted and spiritualized, rabbinical political thought became cautious and conservative; the Talmud, for instance, refers to Bar Kokhba as "Ben-Kusiba," a derogatory term used to indicate that he was a false Messiah. It was among the key events to differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. Although Jewish Christians regarded Jesus as the Messiah and did not support Bar Kokhba, they were barred from Jerusalem along with the other Jews. After the First Jewish–Roman War, the Roman authorities took measures to suppress the rebellious province of Roman Judea. Instead of a procurator, they installed a praetor as a governor and stationed an entire legion, the X Fretensis, in the area.
Tensions continued to build up in the wake of the Kitos War, the second large-scale Jewish insurrection in the Eastern Mediterranean during 115-117, the final stages of which saw fighting in Judea. Mismanagement of the province during the early 2nd century might well have led to the proximate causes of the revolt bringing governors with clear anti-Jewish sentiments to run the province. Gargilius Antiques may have preceded Rufus during the 120s; the Church Fathers and rabbinic literature emphasize the role of Rufus in provoking the revolt. Historians have suggested multiple reasons for the sparking of the Bar Kokhba revolt, long-term and proximate. Several elements are believed to have contributed to the rebellion; the proximate reasons seem to centre around the construction of a new city, Aelia Capitolina, over the ruins of Jerusalem and the erection of a temple to Jupiter on the Temple mount. One interpretation involves the visit in 130 CE of Hadrian to the ruins of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
At first sympathetic towards the Jews, Hadrian promised to re
Carl Heinrich Bloch was a Danish painter. He was born in Copenhagen and studied there at the Royal Danish Academy of Art under Wilhelm Marstrand. Bloch's parents wanted their son to enter a respectable profession - an officer in the Navy. This, was not what Carl wanted, his only interest was drawing and painting, he was consumed by the idea of becoming an artist. He went to Italy to study art, passing through the Netherlands, where he became acquainted with the work of Rembrandt, which became a major influence on him. Carl Bloch met his wife, Alma Trepka, in Rome, where he married her on 31 May 1868, they were married until her early death in 1886. His early work featured rural scenes from everyday life. From 1859 to 1866, Bloch lived in Italy, this period was important for the development of his historical style, his first great success was the exhibition of his "Prometheus Unbound" in Copenhagen in 1865. After the death of Marstrand, he finished the decoration of the ceremonial hall at the University of Copenhagen.
The sorrow over losing his wife weighed on Bloch, being left alone with their eight children after her death was difficult for him. In a New Year's letter from 1866 to Bloch, H. C. Andersen wrote the following: "What God has arched on solid rock will not be swept away!" Another letter from Andersen declared "Through your art you add a new step to your Jacob-ladder into immortality." In a final ode, from a famous author to a famous artist, H. C. Andersen said "Write on the canvas. You will become noble here on earth." He was commissioned to produce 23 paintings for the King's Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace. These were all scenes from the life of Christ which have become popular as illustrations; the originals, painted between 1865 and 1879, are still at Frederiksborg Palace. The altarpieces can be found at Holbaek, Odense and Copenhagen in Denmark, as well as Loederup and Landskrona in Sweden. Through the assistance of Danish-born artist Soren Edsberg, the acquisition of Christ healing at the pool of Bethesda, was made possible for The Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Utah, United States.
A second work by Bloch, an 1880 grisaille version of The Mocking of Christ, was purchased by BYU in June 2015. Carl Bloch died of cancer on 22 February 1890, his death came as "an abrupt blow for Nordic art" according to an article by Sophus Michaelis. Michaelis stated that "Denmark has lost the artist that indisputably was the greatest among the living." Kyhn stated in his eulogy at Carl Bloch's funeral that "Bloch stays and lives." A prominent Danish art critic, Karl Madsen, stated that Carl Bloch reached higher toward the great heaven of art than all other Danish art up to that date. Madsen said "If there is an Elysium, where the giant, rich and noble artist souls meet, there Carl Bloch will sit among the noblest of them all!". For over 40 years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made heavy use of Carl Bloch's paintings from the Frederiksborg Palace collection, in its church buildings and printed media; the LDS church has produced films depicting scriptural accounts of Christ's mortal ministry, using Bloch's paintings as models for the colour and overall set design as well as the movement of the actors in many of the films' scenes.
The most notable example of this is the movie The Testaments of One Shepherd. Carl Heinrich Bloch - Life of Jesus Rembrandt Hans Christian Andersen Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Biography and Online Gallery of Carl Bloch, Hope Gallery and CarlBlock.com, 2007, retrieved on: July 22, 2007 www. CarlBloch.org 43 paintings by Carl Heinrich Bloch Life of Christ: The Art of Carl Bloch Carl Bloch: The Master's Hand - information about Bloch and an exhibition about him at Brigham Young University Museum of Art
Origins of Christianity
Early Christianity had its roots in Hellenistic Judaism and Jewish messianism of the first century and Jewish Christians were the first Christians. Christianity started with Jewish eschatological expectations, developed into the veneration of a deified Jesus after his earthly ministry, his crucifixion, post–crucifixion experiences of his followers; the inclusion of gentiles led to a growing split between gentile Christianity. From the latter arose "orthodox" Christianity, while the former developed into Rabbinic Judaism. Jewish Christians drifted apart from mainstream Judaism becoming a minority strand which had disappeared by the fifth century; the split of Christianity and Judaism took place during the first centuries CE. While the First Jewish–Roman War and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE were main events, the separation was a long-term process, in which the boundaries were not clear-cut; the term "Jewish Christian" appears in historical texts contrasting Christians of Jewish origin with Gentile Christians, both in discussion of the New Testament church and the second and following centuries.
It is a term used for Jews who converted to Christianity but kept their Jewish heritage and traditions. Christianity arose in the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century CE, dominated by Roman law and Greek culture. Hellenistic culture had a profound impact on the customs and practices of Jews, both in the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora; the inroads into Judaism gave rise to Hellenistic Judaism in the Jewish diaspora which sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. Hellenistic Judaism spread to Ptolemaic Egypt from the 3rd century BCE, became a notable religio licita after the Roman conquest of Greece, Syria and Egypt, until its decline in the 3rd century parallel to the rise of Gnosticism and Early Christianity. According to Burton Mack, the Christian vision of Jesus' death for the redemption of mankind was only possible in a Hellenised milieu. During the early first century CE there were many competing Jewish sects in the Holy Land, those that became Rabbinic Judaism and Proto-orthodox Christianity were but two of these.
There were Pharisees and Zealots, but other less influential sects, including the Essenes. The first century BCE and first century CE saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders contributing to what would become the Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism. Although the gospels contain strong condemnations of the Pharisees, Paul the Apostle claimed to be a Pharisee, there is a clear influence of Hillel's interpretation of the Torah in the Gospel-sayings. Belief in the resurrection of the dead in the messianic age was a core Pharisaic doctrine. Most of Jesus's teachings were acceptable in terms of Second Temple Judaism. While Christianity acknowledges only one ultimate Messiah, Judaism can be said to hold to a concept of multiple messiahs; the two most relevant are the traditional Messiah ben David. Some scholars have argued that the idea of two messiahs, one suffering and the second fulfilling the traditional messianic role, was normative to ancient Judaism, predating Jesus. Jesus would have been viewed by many as both.
Jewish messianism has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE, promising a future "anointed" leader or Messiah to resurrect the Israelite "Kingdom of God", in place of the foreign rulers of the time. According to Shaye J. D. Cohen, Jesus's failure to establish an independent Israel, his death at the hands of the Romans, caused many Jews to reject him as the Messiah. Jews at that time were expecting a military leader such as Bar Kohhba. Jesus was a pious Jew, worshipping the Jewish God, preaching interpretations of Jewish law and accepted as the Jewish Messiah by his disciples. Proponents of higher criticism claim that regardless of how one interprets the mission of Jesus, that he must be understood in context as a 1st-century Palestinian Jew. There is widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, on the meaning of his teachings. Scholars draw a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, two different accounts can be found in this regard.
According to Christian denominations the bodily resurrection of Jesus after his death is the pivotal event of Jesus' life and death, as described in the gospels and the epistles. According to the gospels, written decades after the events of his life, Jesus preached for a period of one to three years in the early 1st century, his ministry of teaching, healing the sick and disabled and performing various miracles culminated in his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman authorities in Jerusalem. After his death, he appeared to his followers, resurrected from death. After forty days he ascended to Heaven, but his followers believed he would soon return to usher in the Kingdom of God and fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment. Critical scholarship has stripped away most narratives about Jesus as legendary, the mainstream historical view is that while the gospels include many legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the accounts of a historical Jesus, crucified under the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in the 1st-century Roman province of Judea.
His remaining disciples believed that he was resurrected. Five portraits of the historical Jesus ar
The tradition that 613 commandments is the number of mitzvot in the Torah, began in the 3rd century CE, when Rabbi Simlai mentioned it in a sermon, recorded in Talmud Makkot 23b. Although there have been a lot of attempts to codify and enumerate the commandments contained in the Torah, the most traditional enumeration is Maimonides'; the 613 commandments include "positive commandments", to perform an act, "negative commandments", to abstain from certain acts. The negative commandments number 365, which coincides with the number of days in the solar year, the positive commandments number 248, a number ascribed to the number of bones and main organs in the human body. Though the number 613 is mentioned in the Talmud, its real significance increased in medieval rabbinic literature, including many works listing or arranged by the mitzvot. Three types of negative commandments fall under the self-sacrificial principle yehareg ve'al ya'avor, meaning "One should let oneself be killed rather than violate it".
These are murder and forbidden sexual relations. The 613 mitzvot have been divided into three general categories: mishpatim. Mishpatim include commandments that are deemed to be self-evident, such as not to murder and not to steal. Edot commemorate important events in Jewish history. For example, the Shabbat is said to testify to the story that Hashem created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day and declared it holy. Chukim are commandments with no known rationale, are perceived as pure manifestations of the Divine will. Many of the mitzvot cannot be observed now, following the destruction of the Second Temple, although they still retain religious significance. According to one standard reckoning, there are 77 positive and 194 negative commandments that can be observed today, of which there are 26 commands that apply only within the Land of Israel. Furthermore, there are some time-related commandments; some depend on the special status of a person in Judaism, while others apply only to men or only to women.
According to the Talmud, Deut. 33:04 is to be interpreted to mean that Moses transmitted the "Torah" from God to the Israelites: "Moses commanded us the Torah as an inheritance for the community of Jacob". The Talmud notes that the Hebrew numerical value of the word "Torah" is 611, combining Moses's 611 commandments with the first two of the Ten Commandments which were the only ones heard directly from God, adds up to 613; the Talmud attributes the number 613 to Rabbi Simlai, but other classical sages who hold this view include Rabbi Simeon ben Azzai and Rabbi Eleazar ben Yose the Galilean. It is quoted in Midrash Shemot Rabbah 33:7, Bamidbar Rabbah 13:15–16. Many Jewish philosophical and mystical works find allusions and inspirational calculations relating to the number of commandments; the tzitzit of the tallit are connected to the 613 commandments by interpretation: principal Torah commentator Rashi bases the number of knots on a gematria: the word tzitzit has the value 600. Each tassel has eight threads and five sets of knots, totalling 13.
The sum of all numbers is 613. This reflects the concept that donning a garment with tzitzit reminds its wearer of all Torah commandments. Rabbinic support for the number of commandments being 613 is not without dissent and as the number gained acceptance, difficulties arose in elucidating the list; some rabbis declared that this count was not an authentic tradition, or that it was not logically possible to come up with a systematic count. No early work of Jewish law or Biblical commentary depended on the 613 system, no early systems of Jewish principles of faith made acceptance of this Aggadah normative; the classical Biblical commentator and grammarian Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra denied that this was an authentic rabbinic tradition. Ibn Ezra writes "Some sages enumerate 613 mitzvot in many diverse ways but in truth there is no end to the number of mitzvot and if we were to count only the root principles the number of mitzvot would not reach 613". Nahmanides held that this particular counting was a matter of rabbinic controversy, that rabbinic opinion on this is not unanimous.
Nonetheless, he concedes that "this total has proliferated throughout the aggadic literature... we ought to say that it was a tradition from Moses at Mount Sinai". Rabbi Simeon ben Zemah Duran rejected the dogma of the 613 as being the sum of the Law, saying that "perhaps the agreement that the number of mitzvot is 613... is just Rabbi Simlai's opinion, following his own explication of the mitzvot. And we need not rely on his explication when we come to determine the Law, but rather on the Talmudic discussions"; when rabbis attempted to compile a list of the 613 commandments, they were faced with a number of difficulties: Which statements were to be included amongst the 613 commandments? Every one of God's commands to any individual or to the entire people of Israel? Would an order from God be counted as a commandment, for the purposes of such a list, if it could only be complied with in one place and time? Else, would such an order only count as a commandment if it could be followed at all times?
Mosaic authorship is the Jewish and Muslim tradition that Moses was the author of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The books do not name any author, as authorship was not considered important by the society that produced them, it was only after Jews came into contact with author-centric Hellenistic culture in the late Second Temple period that the rabbis began to find authors for their scriptures; the tradition that Moses was this author began with the law-code of Deuteronomy, was gradually extended until Moses, as the central character, came to be regarded not just as the mediator of law but as author of both laws and narrative. By the 1st century CE it was common practice to refer to the five books as the "Law of Moses", but the first unequivocal expression of the idea that this meant authorship appears in the Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of Jewish tradition and scholarship composed between 200–500 CE. There the rabbis noticed and addressed such issues as how Moses had received the divine revelation, how it was curated and transmitted to generations, how difficult passages such as the last verses of Deuteronomy, which describe his death, were to be explained.
This culminated in the 8th of Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith, establishing belief in Mosaic authorship as an article of Jewish belief. Mosaic authorship of the Torah was unquestioned by both Jews and Christians until the European Enlightenment, when the systematic study of the five books led the majority of scholars to conclude that they are the product of many hands and many centuries. Despite this, the role of Moses is an article of faith in traditional Jewish circles and for some Christian Evangelical scholars, for whom it remains crucial to their understanding of the unity and authority of Scripture; the Torah is the collective name for the first five books of the Bible - Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. It forms the charter myth of Israel, the story of the people's origins and the foundations of their culture and institutions, it is a fundamental principle of Judaism that the relationship between God and his chosen people was set out on Mount Sinai through the Torah; the development of the Torah began by around 600 BCE when unconnected material began to be drawn together.
It seems that the tradition of Mosaic authorship began with Deuteronomy, which scholars agree was composed in Jerusalem during the reform program of King Josiah in the late 7th century. In books such as Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah the meaning had expanded to include the other laws such as Leviticus, by Hellenistic times Jewish writers referred to the entirety of the five books and laws, as the Book of Moses. Authorship was not considered important by the society that produced the Hebrew Bible, the Torah never names an author, it was only after c. 300 BCE, when Jews came into contact with author-centric Greek culture, that the rabbis began to feel compelled to find authors for their books, the process which led to Moses becoming identified as the author of the Torah may have been influenced by three factors: first, by a number of passages in which he is said to write something at the command of God, although these passages never appear to apply to the entire five books. The Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of Jewish scholarship composed between 200–500 CE, states that "Moses wrote his own book and the section concerning Balaam."
The medieval sage Maimonides enshrined this in his Thirteen Principles of Faith, the 8th of which states: "I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah presently in our possession is the one given to Moses." The rabbis explained that God wrote the Torah in heaven before the world was created, in letters of black fire on parchment of white fire, that Moses received it by divine dictation, writing the exact words spoken to him by God. The rabbis explained how the Torah was handed down to generations: "Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets transmitted it to the men of the Great Assembly," who in turn transmitted it to the rabbis.. Orthodox rabbis therefore say that thanks to this chain of custodians the Torah of today is identical with that received by Moses, not varying by a single letter; the rabbis were aware that some phrases in the Torah do not seem to fit with divine dictation of a pre-existent text, this awareness accounts for a second tradition of how the divine word was transmitted: God spoke and Moses remembered the divine words and wrote them down afterwards, together with some explanatory phrases of his own.
This explanation is a minority one, but it explains, for example, why every step in the description of the construction of the Tabernacle is followed by the phrase, "As the Lord commanded Moses."There were passages which seemed im
The Ten Commandments known as the Decalogue, are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and Christianity. The commandments include instructions to worship only God, to honour one's parents, to keep the sabbath day holy, as well as prohibitions against idolatry, murder, theft and coveting. Different religious groups follow different traditions for numbering them; the Ten Commandments appear twice in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. Modern scholarship has found influences in Hittite and Mesopotamian laws and treaties, but is divided over when the Ten Commandments were written and who wrote them. In biblical Hebrew, the Ten Commandments are called עשרת הדברים and in Mishnaic Hebrew עשרת הדברות, both translatable as "the ten words", "the ten sayings", or "the ten matters"; the Tyndale and Coverdale English biblical translations used "ten verses". The Geneva Bible used "tenne commandements", followed by the Bishops' Bible and the Authorized Version as "ten commandments".
Most major English versions use "commandments."The English name "Decalogue" is derived from Greek δεκάλογος, the latter meaning and referring to the Greek translation δέκα λόγους, deka logous, "ten words", found in the Septuagint at Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 10:4. The stone tablets, as opposed to the commandments inscribed on them, are called לוחות הברית, Lukhot HaBrit, meaning "the tablets of the covenant". Different religious traditions divide the seventeen verses of Exodus 20:1–17 and their parallels at Deuteronomy 5:4–21 into ten "commandments" or "sayings" in different ways, shown in the table below; some suggest. All scripture quotes above are from the King James Version. Click on verses at top of columns for other versions. Traditions: LXX: Septuagint followed by Orthodox Christians. P: Philo, same as the Septuagint, but with the prohibitions on killing and adultery reversed. S: Samaritan Pentateuch, with an additional commandment about Mount Gerizim as 10th. T: Jewish Talmud, makes the "prologue" the first "saying" or "matter" and combines the prohibition on worshiping deities other than Yahweh with the prohibition on idolatry.
A: Augustine follows the Talmud in combining verses 3–6, but omits the prologue as a commandment and divides the prohibition on coveting in two and following the word order of Deuteronomy 5:21 rather than Exodus 20:17. C: Catechism of the Catholic Church follows Augustine. L: Lutherans follow Luther's Large Catechism, which follows Augustine but subordinates the prohibition of images to the sovereignty of God in the First Commandment and uses the word order of Exodus 20:17 rather than Deuteronomy 5:21 for the ninth and tenth commandments. R: Reformed Christians follow John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, which follows the Septuagint; the biblical narrative of the revelation at Sinai begins in Exodus 19 after the arrival of the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. On the morning of the third day of their encampment, "there were thunders and lightnings, a thick cloud upon the mount, the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud", the people assembled at the base of the mount. After "the LORD came down upon mount Sinai", Moses went up and returned and prepared the people, in Exodus 20 "God spoke" to all the people the words of the covenant, that is, the "ten commandments" as it is written.
Modern biblical scholarship differs as to whether Exodus 19-20 describes the people of Israel as having directly heard all or some of the decalogue, or whether the laws are only passed to them through Moses. The people were afraid to hear more and moved "afar off", Moses responded with "Fear not." He drew near the "thick darkness" where "the presence of the Lord" was to hear the additional statutes and "judgments", all which he "wrote" in the "book of the covenant" which he read to the people the next morning, they agreed to be obedient and do all that the LORD had said. Moses escorted a select group consisting of Aaron and Abihu, "seventy of the elders of Israel" to a location on the mount where they worshipped "afar off" and they "saw the God of Israel" above a "paved work" like clear sapphire stone, and the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, be there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, a law, commandments which I have written. 13 And Moses rose up, his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
The mount was covered by the cloud for six days, on the seventh day Moses went into the midst of the cloud and was "in the mount forty days and forty nights." And Moses said, "the LORD delivered unto me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God. Before the full forty days expired, the children of Israel collectively decided that something had happened to Moses, compelled Aaron to fashion a golden calf, he "built an altar before it" and the people "worshipped" the calf. After the full forty days and Joshua came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone: "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, he cast the tablets out of his hands, brak
The Israelites were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah, through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, their son Jacob, called Israel, whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah. Modern archaeology has discarded the historicity of the religious narrative, with it being reframed as constituting an inspiring national myth narrative; the Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the Southern Levant, ancient Israel, the Transjordan region through the development of a distinct monolatristic—later cementing as monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
The outgrowth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites. In the Hebrew Bible the term Israelites is used interchangeably with the term Twelve Tribes of Israel. Although related, the terms Hebrews and Jews are not interchangeable in all instances. "Israelites" refers to the direct descendants of any of the sons of the patriarch Jacob, his descendants as a people are collectively called "Israel", including converts to their faith in worship of the god of Israel, Yahweh. "Hebrews", on the contrary, is used to denote the Israelites' immediate forebears who dwelt in the land of Canaan, the Israelites themselves, the Israelites' ancient and modern descendants. "Jews" is used to denote the descendants of the Israelites who coalesced when the Tribe of Judah absorbed the remnants of various other Israelite tribes. Thus, for instance, Abraham was a Hebrew but he was not technically an Israelite nor a Jew, Jacob was both a Hebrew and the first Israelite but not a Jew, while David was all three, a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Judahite.
A Samaritan, on the contrary, while being both a Hebrew and an Israelite, is not a Jew. During the period of the divided monarchy "Israelites" was only used to refer to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel, it is only extended to cover the people of the southern Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage; the Israelites are the ethnic stock from which modern Jews and Samaritans trace their ancestry. Modern Jews are named after and descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Many Israelites took refuge in the Kingdom of Judah following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel. In Judaism, the term "Israelite" is, broadly speaking, used to refer to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group, as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites. In texts of Jewish law such as the Mishnah and Gemara, the term יהודי, meaning Jew, is used, instead the ethnonym ישראלי, or Israelite, is used to refer to Jews. Samaritans refer to themselves and to Jews collectively as Israelites, they describe themselves as the Israelite Samaritans.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, derived from the Greek Ισραηλίτες, used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either "sons of Israel" or "children of Israel". The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29, it refers to the renaming of Jacob, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", el, "God, the divine"; the name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not"; the inscription refers to a people, not to a nation-state. In modern Hebrew, b'nei yisrael can denote the Jewish people at any time in history. From the period of the Mishna the term Yisrael acquired an additional narrower meaning of Jews of legitimate birth other than Levites and Aaronite priests.
In modern Hebrew this contrasts with the term Yisraeli, a citizen of the modern State of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The term Hebrew has Eber as an eponymous ancestor, it is used synonymously with "Israelites", or as an ethnolinguistic term for historical speakers of the Hebrew language in general. The Greek term Ioudaioi was an exonym referring to members of the Tribe of Judah, which formed the nucleus of the kingdom of Judah, was adopted as a self-designation by people in the diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem; the Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria, but until modern times many Jewish authorities contested their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners w