Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. As a painter and muralist, Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic.
Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in violent action. However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as as possible." Together with Ingres, Delacroix is considered one of the last old Masters of painting, one of the few, photographed. Eugène Delacroix was born on 26 April 1798 at Charenton-Saint-Maurice near Paris, his mother was named the daughter of the cabinet-maker Jean-François Oeben. He had three much older siblings. Charles-Henri Delacroix rose to the rank of General in the Napoleonic army. Henriette married the diplomat Raymond de Verninac Saint-Maur. Henri was born six years later, he was killed at the Battle of Friedland on 14 June 1807. There are medical reasons to believe that Eugène's legitimate father, Charles-François Delacroix, was not able to procreate at the time of Eugène's conception.
Talleyrand, a friend of the family and successor of Charles Delacroix as Minister of Foreign Affairs, whom the adult Eugène resembled in appearance and character, considered himself as his real father. Throughout his career as a painter, he was protected by Talleyrand, who served successively the Restoration and king Louis-Philippe, as ambassador of France in Great Britain, by Talleyrand's grandson, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, duc de Morny, half-brother of Napoleon III and speaker of the French House of Commons, his legitimate father, Charles Delacroix, died in 1805, his mother in 1814, leaving 16-year-old Eugène an orphan. His early education was at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen where he steeped himself in the classics and won awards for drawing. In 1815 he began his training with Pierre-Narcisse Guérin in the neoclassical style of Jacques-Louis David. An early church commission, The Virgin of the Harvest, displays a Raphael-esque influence, but another such commission, The Virgin of the Sacred Heart, evidences a freer interpretation.
It precedes the influence of the more colourful and rich style of the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, fellow French artist Théodore Géricault, whose works marked an introduction to Romanticism in art. The impact of Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa was profound, stimulated Delacroix to produce his first major painting, The Barque of Dante, accepted by the Paris Salon in 1822; the work caused a sensation, was derided by the public and officialdom, yet was purchased by the State for the Luxembourg Galleries. Two years he again achieved popular success for his The Massacre at Chios. Delacroix's painting of the massacre at Chios shows sick, dying Greek civilians about to be slaughtered by the Turks. One of several paintings he made of this contemporary event, expressed the official policy for the Greek cause in their war of independence against the Turks, war sustained by English and French governments. Delacroix was recognized by the authorities as a leading painter in the new Romantic style, the picture was bought by the state.
His depiction of suffering was controversial, however, as there was no glorious event taking place, no patriots raising their swords in valour as in David's Oath of the Horatii, only a disaster. Many critics deplored the painting's despairing tone; the pathos in the depiction of an infant clutching its dead mother's breast had an powerful effect, although this detail was condemned as unfit for art by Delacroix's critics. A viewing of the paintings of John Constable and the watercolour sketches and art of Richard Parkes Bonnington prompted Delacroix to make extensive painted changes to the sky and distant landscape. Delacroix produced a second painting in support of the Greeks in their war for independence, this time referring to the capture of Missolonghi by Turkish forces in 1825. With a restraint of palette appropriate to the allegory, Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi displays a woman in Greek costume with her breast bared, arms half-raised in an imploring gesture before the horrible scene: the suicide of the Greeks, who chose to kill themselves and destroy their city rather than surrender to the Turks.
A hand is seen at the bottom, the body having be
The Zarqa River is the second largest tributary of the lower Jordan River, after the Yarmouk River. It is the third largest river in the region by annual discharge, its watershed encompasses the most densely populated areas east of the Jordan River, it rises in springs near Amman, flows through a deep and broad valley into the Jordan, at an elevation 1,090 metres lower. At its spring lays'Ain Ghazal, a major archaeological site that dates back to the Neolithic. Archaeological finds along the course of the river indicate the area was rich in flora and fauna in the past; the river is polluted and its restoration is one of the top priorities for the Jordanian Ministry of the Environment. Geologically, the Zarqa River is about 30 million years old, it is well known for its amber deposits that date back to the Hauterivian era of the Early Cretaceous. A remarkable flora and fauna was reported from this amber reflecting tropical paleoenvironmental conditions prevailing during the time of resin deposition.
The Arabic name, Nahr az-Zarqa' means "the blue river", where nahr means river and zarqa' means blue. The name is of Akkadian origin which mean the Place of Water, hence at the Dead Sea is the Zara springs and Also in the heart of Amman an area locally called which comes from Wadi Zara which mean the Valley of Water The Zarqa River is identified with the biblical river Jabbok. Biblical Jacob crossed the Jabbok on his way after leaving Harran, it leads west into the Sukkot Valley, from where one crosses over the Jordan and can reach Shechem, as Jacob did. The biblical cities of Zaretan and Adam are at the mouth of the valley; the river is first mentioned in the Book of Genesis in connection with the meeting of Jacob and Esau, with the struggle of Jacob with the angel. It was the boundary separating the territory of Reuben and Gad from that of Ammon, the latter being described as lying along the Jabbok; the territory of Sihon is described as extending "from Arnon unto Jabbok", it was reclaimed by the King of Ammon.
Eusebius places the river between Philadelphia. The headwaters of the Zarqa begin just northeast of Amman; the river flows to the north before heading west. Rising on the eastern side of the mountains of Gilead, it runs a course of about 105 kilometers in a wild and deep ravine before flowing into the Jordan River between Gennesaret and the Dead Sea, at a point 1,090 meters below its origin. At its higher reaches, the river banks are steep and canyon-like. Near Ain Ghazal, two tributary wadis join the river, it opens up into a shallow basin, it forms the border between the Jordanian administrative regions of Balqa Governorate. The river is perennial, but with a low base flow of about 2 million to 3 million cubic meters per month during the summer months, as much as 5–million to 8 million cubic meters per month during the rainy winter months; this makes it the second largest tributary of the lower Jordan River, after the Yarmouk River, the third largest river in the region by annual discharge. Irregular floods after rain storms may increase the flow to as much as 54 million cubic meters.
The median annual flow is 63.3 million cubic meters. The total basin area is 3,900 km2 the largest in Jordan. A small dam, Al-Rwyha dam, near the village of Dayr Alla, marks the end of the upstream portion of the river, where it is natural and fast flowing with clear water. There is little agriculture along the banks of the river in this region, which are rocky. Downstream from this dam, the water level is low, the river banks are intensively used for agriculture, as well as grazing by sheep and goats The King Talal Dam was built across the lower Zarqa in 1970, created a reservoir with a capacity of 55 million cubic meters, increased in 1987 to 86 million cubic meters; when built, it was expected that the reservoir would supply water for municipal use in the Amman region. However, the current levels of pollution in the lake make the water unfit for human consumption, it is used for irrigation only; the new Jerash Bridge crosses the Zarqa upstream of King Talal reservoir, on the road from Amman to Jerash.
The bridge is the site of a gauging station. In the city of Zarqa, several bridges and pedestrian, cross the river; the earliest of these was built by the Chechen founders of the city. Current bridges include the Zawahreh Bridge, a vehicular bridge connecting Baha' al-Din Street with al-Zuhur Street and another connecting Baha' al-Din Street with King Talal Street. Two pedestrian bridges connect al-Zuhur Street and Baha' al-Din Street, Wasfi al-Tal Street and Petra Street; the geological origins of the Zarqa river are about 30 million years old, when the Jordan Rift Valley was formed. A ripple effect of its formation was the creation of side-wadis; the Zarqa river carved into the western edge of one of these side wadis. The earliest exposed formations in the area date from the Triassic and early Jurassic periods, have been named Zerqa and Kurnub formations; the rock formations are marine sediments, remnants of the prehistoric Tethys Sea, which used to cover the area running east–west, halfway across the present Dead Sea.
Along the Zarqa, crystalline limestone alternating with shale was found. The next layer is a 20-30 meter high layer of gypsum, argillaceous marly lime and iron-rich stone and sandstone; this layer is rich in fossils. Arc
. Vayishlach or Vayishlah is the eighth weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. In the parashah, Jacob reconciles with Esau after wrestling with a "man"; the prince Shechem rapes Dinah. In the family's subsequent flight, Rachel dies in childbirth; the parashah constitutes Genesis 32:4–36:43. The parashah has the most verses of any weekly Torah portion in the Book of Genesis, it is made up of 7,458 Hebrew letters, 1,976 Hebrew words, 153 verses, 237 lines in a Torah Scroll. Jews read it the eighth Sabbath after Simchat Torah, in December. In traditional Sabbath Torah reading, the parashah is divided into עליות, aliyot. In the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh, Parashah Vayishlach has six "open portion" divisions; the first open portion is further subdivided by two "closed portion" divisions. The first open portion spans the first four readings and part of the fifth reading; the two closed portion divisions occur in the fourth reading. The second and third open portion divides the fifth reading, extends into the sixth.
The fourth and fifth open portion extends into the seventh. And the fifth and sixth open portion divisions divide the seventh reading. In the first reading, Jacob sent a message to Esau in Edom that he had stayed with Laban until had oxen, donkeys and servants, hoped to find favor in Esau's sight; the messengers returned and frightened Jacob with the report that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. Jacob divided his camp in two, reasoning that if Esau destroyed one of the two the other camp could escape. Jacob prayed to God, recalling that God had promised to return him whole to his country, noting his unworthiness for God's transformation of him from a poor man with just a staff to the leader of two camps, prayed God to deliver him from Esau, as God had promised Jacob good and to make his descendants as numerous as the sand of the sea; the first reading ends here. In the second reading, Jacob assembled a present of hundreds of goats, camels and donkeys to appease Esau, instructed his servants to deliver them to Esau in successive droves with the message that they were a present from his servant Jacob, who followed behind.
As the presents went before him, Jacob took his wives, handmaids and belongings over the Jabbok River, remained behind that night alone. Jacob wrestled with a "man" until dawn, when the "man" saw that he was not prevailing, he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh and strained it; the man asked Jacob to let him go, for the day was breaking, but Jacob would not let him go without a blessing. The man asked Jacob his name, when Jacob replied "Jacob," the man told him that his name would no more be Jacob, but Israel, for he had striven with God and with men and prevailed. Jacob asked the "man" his name, but the "man" asked him why, blessed him; the second reading ends here. In the third reading, Jacob named the place Peniel, saying that he had seen God face to face and lived, and at sunrise, Jacob limped from the injury to his thigh. Because of this, the Israelites do not eat the sinew of the vein, the hollow of the thigh, because the man touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh; when Jacob saw Esau coming with 400 men, he divided his family, putting the handmaids and their children foremost and her children next, Rachel and Joseph at the back.
Jacob went before them, bowed to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, kissed him, they wept. Esau asked who the children were; the third reading ends here. In the fourth reading, Jacob told Esau that the women and children were his, they all came to Esau and bowed down. Esau asked what Jacob meant by all the livestock, Jacob told him that he sought Esau's favor. Esau said that he had enough, but Jacob pressed him to accept his present saying that seeing Esau's face was like seeing the face of God, Esau took the gifts. Esau suggested that Jacob and he travel together, but Jacob asked that Esau allow Jacob's party to travel more so as not to tax the young children and the flocks, until they came to Esau in Seir. Esau offered to leave some of his men behind with Jacob. So Esau left for Seir, Jacob left for Sukkot, where he built a house and made booths for his cattle, thus explaining the place's name. A closed portion ends here. In the continuation of the reading, Jacob came to Shechem, where he bought a parcel of ground outside the city from the children of Hamor for a hundred pieces of money.
Jacob erected an altar there, called the place El-elohe-Israel. The fourth reading and a closed portion end here with the end of chapter 33. In the fifth reading, in chapter 34, when Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land, the prince of the land, Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, saw her and lay with
Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Kingdom of Israel was one of two successor states to the former United Kingdom of Israel and Judah. Historians refer to the Kingdom of Israel as the "Northern Kingdom" or as the "Kingdom of Samaria" to differentiate it from the Southern Kingdom of Judah. For their parallel history see History of ancient Judah. Modern scholarship, incorporating textual criticism and archaeology, has challenged the biblical account that the northern kingdom of Israel broke off from a united monarchy with the southern kingdom of Judah, suggesting instead that the northern civilization of Israel developed independently of Judah, that it first reached the political, economic and architectural sophistication of a kingdom under the Omride dynasty around 884 BCE; the Kingdom of Israel existed from 930 BCE until 720 BCE, when it was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The major cities of the kingdom were Shechem and Shomron. In the Hebrew Bible, the Kingdom of Israel has been referred to as the "House of Joseph".
It is frequently referenced as Ephraim, the tribe whose territory housed the capital cities and the royal families. It has been referred to as "Israel in Samaria". According to the Hebrew Bible, the territory of the Kingdom of Israel comprised the territories of the tribes of Zebulun, Asher, Dan, Ephraim and Gad, its capital was Samaria according to the Book of Isaiah. The United Kingdom of Israel and Judah is said to have existed from about 1030 to about 930 BCE, it was a union of all the twelve Israelite tribes living in the area that presently approximates modern Israel and the other Levantine territories including much of western Jordan, western Syria. After the death of Solomon in about 931 BCE, all the Israelite tribes except for Judah and Benjamin refused to accept Rehoboam, the son and successor of Solomon, as their king; the rebellion against Rehoboam arose after he refused to lighten the burden of taxation and services that his father had imposed on his subjects. Jeroboam, not of the Davidic line, was sent forth from Egypt by the malcontents.
The Tribe of Ephraim and all Israel raised the old cry, "Every man to his tents, O Israel". Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem, in 930 BCE, Jeroboam was proclaimed king over all Israel at Shechem. After the revolt at Shechem at first only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David, but soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined Judah. The northern kingdom continued to be called the Kingdom of Israel or Israel, while the southern kingdom was called the Kingdom of Judah. 2 Chronicles 15:9 says that members of the tribes of Ephraim and Simeon fled to Judah during the reign of Asa of Judah. Both Eusebius and Josephus place the division in 997 BCE – lunar dates of Venus can be mistaken as 64 years later. Shechem was the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel. Afterwards it was Tirzah. King Omri built his capital in Samaria, which continued as such until the destruction of the Kingdom by the Assyrians. During the three-year siege of Samaria by the Assyrians, Shalmaneser V died and was succeeded by Sargon II of Assyria, who himself records the capture of that city thus: "Samaria I looked at, I captured.
Thus, around 720 BCE, after two centuries, the kingdom of the ten tribes came to an end. Today, among archaeologists, Samaria is one of the most universally accepted archaeological sites from the biblical period At around 850 BCE, the Mesha Stele, written in Old Hebrew alphabet, records a victory of King Mesha of Moab against king Omri of Israel and his son Ahab. For the first sixty years, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, there was perpetual war between them. For the following eighty years, there was no open war between them, for the most part, they were in friendly alliance, co-operating against their common enemies against Damascus; the conflict between Israel and Judah was resolved when Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, allied himself with the house of Ahab through marriage. Jehosophat's son and successor, Jehoram of Judah, married Ahab's daughter Athaliah, cementing the alliance. However, the sons of Ahab were slaughtered by Jehu following his coup d'état around 840 BCE.
In c. 732 BCE, Pekah of Israel, while allied with Rezin, king of Aram, threatened Jerusalem. Ahaz, king of Judah, appealed to the king of Assyria, for help. After Ahaz paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser Tiglath-Pileser sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aram and territory of the tribes of Reuben and Manasseh in Gilead including the desert outposts of Jetur and Nodab. People from these tribes including the Reubenite leader, were taken captive and resettled in the region of the Khabur River system. Tiglath-Pilesar captured the territory of Naphtali and the city of Janoah in Ephraim and an Assyrian governor was placed over the region of Naphtali. According to 2 Kings 16:9 and 15:29, the population of Aram and the annexed part of Israel was deported to Assyria. Israel continued to exist within the reduced territory as an independent kingdom until around 720 BCE, when it was again invaded by Assyria and the rest of the population deported; the Bible relates that the population of Israel was exiled, becoming known as the Ten Lost Tribes, leaving only the Tribe of Judah, the Tribe of Simeon, the Tribe of Benjam
Jeroboam I was the first king of the northern Kingdom of Israel after the revolt of the ten northern Israelite tribes against Rehoboam that put an end to the United Monarchy. Jeroboam reigned for 22 years. William F. Albright has dated his reign from 922 to 901 BC, while Edwin R. Thiele offers the dates 931 to 910 BC; the name Jeroboam יָרָבְעָם is held to have been derived from riyb רִיב and ʿam עַם, signifying "the people contend" or "he pleads the people's cause". It is alternatively translated to mean "his people are many" or "he increases the people", or "he that opposes the people". In the Septuagint he is called Hieroboam. Jeroboam was the son of a member of the Tribe of Ephraim of Zereda, his mother, named Zeruah was a widow. He had at least two sons and Nadab, who succeeded him on the throne. While still a young man, King Solomon made him superintendent over his tribesmen in the building of the fortress Millo in Jerusalem and of other public works, he became conversant with the widespread discontent caused by the extravagances which marked the reign of Solomon.
Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah, he began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten northern tribes. After this event he returned and participated in a delegation sent to ask the new king Rehoboam to reduce taxes. After Rehoboam rejected their petition, ten of the tribes withdrew their allegiance to the house of David and proclaimed Jeroboam their king, forming the northern kingdom of Israel. Only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained to form the new kingdom of Judah, loyal to Rehoboam. Jeroboam rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of the northern kingdom, fearing that pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem prescribed by the Law might be an occasion for his people to go back to their old allegiance, he built two state temples with golden calves, one in Bethel and the other in Dan. Although criticised for his cultic activities in 1 Kings 12:25–33, calf worship was not new in Israelite ritual, but a reintroduction of earlier ritual. Bethel and Dan were established cultic sites.
According to 1 Kings 13:1–6, while Jeroboam was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a "man of God" warned him that "a son named Josiah will be born to the house of David", who would destroy the altar. Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, Jeroboam's hand was "dried up", the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At the entreaty of the man of God, his hand was restored to him again, but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. Jeroboam offered hospitality to the man of God but this was declined, not out of contempt but in obedience to the command of God; the prophecy is fulfilled in 2 Kings 23:15–16. This "man of God" who warned Jeroboam has been equated with a seer named Iddo; the wife of Jeroboam is a character in the Hebrew Bible. She is unnamed in the Masoretic Text, but according to the Septuagint, she was an Egyptian princess called Ano: And Sousakim gave to Jeroboam Ano the eldest sister of Thekemina his wife, to him as wife. In 1 Kings 14, Jeroboam's son Abijah gets sick, he sends his wife to the prophet Ahijah.
Ahijah's message, however, is which he does. Jeroboam was in "constant war with the house of Judah". While the southern kingdom made no serious effort militarily to regain power over the north, there was a long-lasting boundary dispute, fighting over which lasted during the reigns of several kings on both sides before being settled. In the eighteenth year of Jeroboam's reign, Rehoboam's son, became king of Judah. During his short reign of three years, Abijah went to considerable lengths to bring the Kingdom of Israel back under his control, he waged a major battle against Jeroboam in the mountains of Ephraim. According to the Book of Chronicles Abijah had a force of 400,000 and Jeroboam 800,000; the Biblical sources mention that Abijah addressed the armies of Israel, urging them to submit and to let the Kingdom of Israel be whole again, but his plea fell on deaf ears. Abijah rallied his own troops with a phrase which has since become famous: "God is with us as our leader"; the biblical account states that his elite warriors fended off a pincer movement to rout Jeroboam's troops, killing 500,000 of them.
Jeroboam was crippled by this severe defeat to Abijah and posed little threat to the Kingdom of Judah for the rest of his reign. He lost the towns of Bethel and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. Bethel was an important centre for Jeroboam's Golden Calf cult, located on Israel's southern border, allocated to the Tribe of Benjamin by Joshua, as was Ephron, believed to be the Ophrah, allocated to the Tribe of Benjamin by Joshua. Jeroboam died soon after Abijam; the account of Jeroboam's life, like that of all his successors, ends with the formula "And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, how he reigned, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel". "The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel" compiled by or derived from these kings' own scribes, is the source for the basic facts of Jeroboam's life and reign, though the compiler of the extant Book of Kings made selective use of it and added ho
Shechem spelled Sichem, was a Canaanite city mentioned in the Amarna letters, is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an Israelite city of the tribe of Manasseh and the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel. Traditionally associated with Nablus, it is now identified with the nearby site of Tell Balata in Balata al-Balad in the West Bank. Shechem's position is indicated in the Hebrew Bible: it lay north of Bethel and Shiloh, on the high road going from Jerusalem to the northern districts, at a short distance from Michmethath and of Dothain; these indications are substantiated by Josephus, who says that the city lay between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, by the Madaba map, which places Sychem called Sikima, between the "Tour Gobel" and the "Tour Garizin". The site of Shechem in patristic sources is invariably identified with, or located close to, the town of Flavia Neapolis; the old city of Shechem dates back to about an estimated four thousand years. Shechem is mentioned in the third-millennium Ebla tablets found at Tell Mardikh in the context of a city of which Rasap is the patron deity.
Shechem was a commercial center due to its position in the middle of vital trade routes through the region. It traded in local grapes, wheat and pottery between the Middle Bronze Age and the Late Hellenistic period. Shechem had been a Canaanite settlement, first mentioned in Egyptian texts on the Sebek-khu Stele, an Egyptian stele of a noble at the court of Senusret III. In the Amarna Letters of about 1350 BC, Šakmu was the center of a kingdom carved out by Labaya, a Canaanite warlord who recruited mercenaries from among the Habiru. Labaya was the author of three Amarna letters, his name appears in 11 of the other 382 letters, referred to 28 times, with the basic topic of the letter, being Labaya himself, his relationship with the rebelling, countryside Habiru, it may be identical to the Sakama mentioned in an account dated to the 19th Egyptian dynasty.. Shechem first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 12:6–8, which says that Abraham reached the "great tree of Moreh" at Shechem and offered sacrifice nearby.
Genesis, Deuteronomy and Judges hallow Shechem over all other cities of the land of Israel. According to Genesis Abram "built an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him... and had given that land to his descendants" at Shechem. The Bible states that on this occasion, God confirmed the covenant he had first made with Abraham in Harran, regarding the possession of the land of Canaan. In Jewish tradition, the old name was understood in terms of the Hebrew word shékém – "shoulder, saddle", corresponding to the mountainous configuration of the place. On a sojourn, two sons of Jacob and Levi, avenged their sister Dinah's rape by "Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land" of Shechem. Shimon and Levi said to the Shechemites that, if "every male among you is circumcised we will give our daughters to you and take your daughters to ourselves." Once the Shechemites agree to the mass circumcision, Jacob's sons repay them by killing all of the city's male inhabitants. Following the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan after their Exodus from Egypt, according to the biblical narrative, Joshua assembled the Israelites at Shechem and asked them to choose between serving the God who had delivered them from Egypt, the gods which their ancestors had served on the other side of the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land they now lived.
The people chose to serve the god of the Bible, a decision which Joshua recorded in the Book of the Law of God, he erected a memorial stone "under the oak, by the sanctuary of the Lord" in Shechem. The oak is associated with the Oak of Moreh where Abram had set up camp during his travels in this area. Shechem and its surrounding lands were given as a Levitical city to the Kohathites. Owing to its central position, no less than to the presence in the neighborhood of places hallowed by the memory of Abraham, Jacob's Well, Joseph's tomb, the city was destined to play an important part in the history of Israel. Jerubbaal, whose home was at Ophrah, visited Shechem, his concubine who lived there was mother of his son Abimelech, she came from one of the leading Shechemite families who were influential with the "Lords of Shechem". After Gideon's death, Abimelech was made king. Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, made an allegorical speech on Mount Gerizim in which he warned the people of Shechem about Abimelech's future tyranny.
When the city rose in rebellion three years Abimelech took it, utterly destroyed it, burnt the temple of Baal-berith where the people had fled for safety. The city was rebuilt in the 10th century BC and was the capital of Ephraim. Shechem was the place appointed, after Solomon's death, for the meeting of the people of Israel and the investiture of his son Rehoboam as king. After the kings of Israel moved, first to Tirzah and on to Samaria
Religious texts are texts which religious traditions consider to be central to their practice or beliefs. Religious texts may be used to provide meaning and purpose, evoke a deeper connection with the divine, convey religious truths, promote religious experience, foster communal identity, guide individual and communal religious practice. Religious texts communicate the practices or values of a religious traditions and can be looked to as a set of guiding principles which dictate physical, spiritual, or historical elements considered important to a specific religion; the terms'sacred' text and'religious' text are not interchangeable in that some religious texts are believed to be sacred because of their nature as divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired, whereas some religious texts are narratives pertaining to the general themes, practices, or important figures of the specific religion, not considered sacred by itself. A core function of a religious text making it sacred is its ceremonial and liturgical role in relation to sacred time, the liturgical year, the divine efficacy and subsequent holy service.
It is not possible to create an exhaustive list of religious texts, because there is no single definition of which texts are recognized as religious. One of the oldest known religious texts is the Kesh Temple Hymn of Ancient Sumer, a set of inscribed clay tablets which scholars date around 2600 BCE; the Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer, although only considered by some scholars as a religious text, has origins as early as 2150-2000 BCE, stands as one of the earliest literary works that includes various mythological figures and themes of interaction with the divine. The Rig Veda of ancient Hinduism is estimated to have been composed between 1700–1100 BCE, which not only denotes it as one of the oldest known religious texts, but one of the oldest written religious text, still used in religious practice to this day, though no actual evidence of this text exists prior to the 13th century AD. There are many possible dates given to the first writings which can be connected to Talmudic and Biblical traditions, the earliest of, found in scribal documentation of the 8th century BCE, followed by administrative documentation from temples of the 5th and 6th centuries BCE, with another common date being the 2nd century BCE.
Although a significant text in the history of religious text because of its widespread use among religious denominations and its continued use throughout history, the texts of the Abrahamic traditions are a good example of the lack of certainty surrounding dates and definitions of religious texts. High rates of mass production and distribution of religious texts did not begin until the invention of the printing press in 1440, before which all religious texts were hand written copies, of which there were limited quantities in circulation. A religious canon refers to the accepted and unchanging collection of texts which a religious denomination considers comprehensive in terms of their specific application of texts. For example, the content of a Protestant Bible may differ from the content of a Catholic Bible - insofar as the Protestant Old Testament does not include the Deuterocanonical books while the Roman Catholic canon does. Protestants and Catholics use the same 27 book NT canon, as well as the same 39 book OT protocanon shared by Jews.
The word "canon" comes from the Sumerian word meaning "standard". The terms "scripture" and variations such as "Holy Writ", "Holy Scripture" or "Sacred Scripture" are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as terms which apply to Biblical text and the Christian tradition. Hierographology is the study of sacred texts; the following is an in-exhaustive list of links to specific religious texts which may be used for further, more in-depth study. A Course in Miracles The writings of Franklin Albert Jones a.k.a. Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj Aletheon The Companions of the True Dawn Horse The Dawn Horse Testament Gnosticon The Heart of the Adi Dam Revelation Not-Two IS Peace Pneumaton Transcendental Realism The Nine Freedoms Havamal Eddur Great Hymn to the Aten The Akilathirattu Ammanai The Arul Nool The Borgia Group codices Books by Bahá'u'lláh The Four Valleys The Seven Valleys The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh Gems of Divine Mysteries The Book of Certitude Summons of the Lord of Hosts Tabernacle of Unity Kitáb-i-Aqdas Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh Bon Kangyur and Tengyur Theravada BuddhismThe Tipitaka or Pāli Canon Vinaya Pitaka Sutta Pitaka Digha Nikaya, the "long" discourses.
Majjhima Nikaya, the "middle-length" discourses. Samyutta Nikaya, the "connected" discourses. Anguttara Nikaya, the "numerical" discourses. Khuddaka Nikaya, the "minor collection". Abhidhamma PitakaEast Asian Mahayana The Chinese Buddhist Mahayana sutras, including Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra Shurangama Sutra and its Shurangama Mantra Great Compassion Mantra Pure Land Buddhism Infinite Life Sutra Amitabha Sutra Contemplation Sutra other Pure Land Sutras Tiantai and Nichiren Lotus Sutra Shingon Mahavairocana Sutra Vajrasekhara SutraTibeta