Israeli History

The Israeli people trace their lineage back to Abraham and the belief in one, single, omnipotent God, the Creator of the Universe. It is the only nation that has continued to believe in the same God for over 3,000 years. The scripts used in basic Hebrew are quite similar to the Torah scripts, having changed very little through the millennia.
The patriarchs of the Israelites, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel), and their wives all moved into and lived in the present day land of Israel. Their remains were buried in Hebron at Ma’arat HaMachpelah, The Tomb of the Patriarchs. The Jewish people derive from Israel, who had twelve sons. Each of these sons later became the 12 tribes of the Israeli nation. The term “Jew” literally comes from the name Judah, the fourth son of Israel.

Israel became a nation after it was redeemed out of Egyptian slavery by the leadership of Moses. It was also Moses who served as a conduit for the people to receive the Ten Commandments and the holy Torah. He led the people up to the promised land of God, a land said to be “flowing with milk and honey.” After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Israeli nation. At God’s command, he led them through many battles of conquest, gaining the land for Israel. When peace reigned finally, the established nation had a long “period of kings” ranging from 1000-587 BCE. While there were many kings in that time frame, the ones that are remembered most today are: King David, who fought many victorious battles, had steadfast faith in his God, and established Jerusalem as the nation’s capital city and his son, Solomon, who, according to God’s promise to David, built the First Temple for God’s name. The nation was captured by Babylon in 587 BCE. During this time, Nebuchadnezzar's army destroyed the Temple and took all its possessions captive to Babylon. After 587 BCE, Israeli land rapidly and repeatedly switched hands between foreign rulers.

Israel from 587 BCE –1948 CE

After being exiled by the Romans, the Jewish people dispersed into many regions of the world. They enriched the communities in which they lived, yet kept their identity intact. During the 1900’s, there was a major immigration of Jewish people from Europe and Arab nations to Israel. The British government ruled during this period of time and Jews were subjected to sudden onslaughts from itinerate Arab civilians and neighboring Arab forces. Under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion, the Jewish community reestablished jurisdiction over their homeland. When the British Forces relinquished control and left, Independence Day was declared - May 14, 1948. Israel’s hostile Arab neighbors did not like these developments and, in the following decades, declared 4 full-fledged wars. In fact, the day after Israeli independence was declared, armies from the nations of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Transjordan (5 nations!) declared war on Israel. It was the beginning of the “1948 War of Independence.” The other wars were the 1956 Sinai War, the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Despite the greater forces of their enemies, Israel defended itself every time and brought victory and security home. Israel withdrew from most of the places it captured, which was and is still unheard of in international history.
Despite coming from many different nations, the people of present day Israel have the same language and share similar culture. Their common culture is shaped by the same Jewish heritage and faith that began in the early generations. This is why Jews have had continuous presence in the land of Israel for the past 3,300 years. They are part of the Land and the Land is part of them.



Impact on Israel

587 BCE


Captivity in Babylon, the First Temple is destroyed.

538-333 BCE


Construction of the Second Temple by the returning Jews who were taken captive to Babylon.

333-63 BCE


Alexander the Great captures the nation and the following leaders try to change the culture of the Jewish people. The Maccabees protest and the holiday Chanukah is born.

63 BCE-313 CE


Rome decimated Jewish communities and dispersed the Jews all over the world. They also renamed Israel Palestine to degrade and erase the memory of the Jews.

636-1099 CE


636-1099 CE


On the grounds of the destroyed Jewish Temple, the Dome of the Rock was built by Caliph Abd el-Malik.



Crusaders came from Europe and massacred anyone they encountered who was non-Christian. Many, many died.





The walls of old Jerusalem were rebuilt and the Jewish population increased.



Curtailed entry of Jews into their own state, while admitting Jewish rights to establish a “national home in Palestine.”