A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

By Paul Johnson

A countrywide bestseller, this significant 4000 yr survey covers not just Jewish background yet he impression of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the international. by means of the writer of recent instances: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.

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131 Hazor was thoroughly excavated by the Israeli archaeologist-general, Yigael Yadin, in 1955-9. He found a vast and splendid town, with a lower section of 200 acres and a citadel of 24 acres, housing perhaps over 50,000 people. There were strong gates and massive walls. Here, again, the evidence of burning and destruction during the thirteenth century BC, the time of the Israelite conquest, is entirely consistent with the Biblical record. 132 Despite Joshua’s spectacular victories, however, the conquest of Canaan was by no means complete at the time of his death.

The Egyptians regarded consanguinity as relatively unimportant. 100 The Israelites seem to have derived some of their dietary laws from the Egyptians, but there were many differences. Israelites, like Egyptians, were forbidden creatures from the sea which had no fins or scales. Pious Egyptians, however, were not supposed to eat fish at all. On the other hand they could, and did, eat many kinds of water-fowl, which the Israelites were forbidden. But they, like the Egyptians, could eat doves, pigeons, geese and other domestic fowl, partridges and quail.

Joshua came to its rescue from Gilgal, ‘and all the men of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour’—he now had a small regular army—and defeated the Amorites in a hectic battle fought during a hailstorm: ‘they were more which died from hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword’. Then followed a dramatic scene, according to the Bible record. Joshua needed daylight to complete the destruction of the Amorite army, so he prayed to the Lord for the weather to clear: ‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

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