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primary function: glorify Yaweh(God)overarching theme: glory of God, and his plan for mankindrelationship of will and purpose of God to designs of mangeneral principles that underlie old testament concept of historywill and purpose of god; the designs of manin harmony: man prosperscollide: man gets in troubleinteraction between the divine plan and mortal actions historygod is at work through historical eventsTerminology: 3 terms designate the same people: Hebrews; Israelites; and Jews. not exact equivalents, Hebrew(ethnicity, language); Israelites(geographical, national term); Jews(religious term) but often used interchangeably. God of the Jews: Yaweh—later became god of Jews and the MuslimsOld testamnet’s theme: Law, Prophets, WritingsPentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)Chronicles, Kings, Samuelvare not history in the modern sense of the world; they are doctrines of causation: why do things happenin Old T., causation is mostly due to the will of god; this is theology in modern sense, not history
nonetheless, the information about early history shown in the Old T., makes is valuable. In using the bible as historical evidence, we must examine it in a historical point of viewin historical reading of the bible is fundamentally different than a religious reading; for a historian, it’s just like an ancient text; subject to rigorous rules of evidencereligions have sacred books; history does notEarlier history is very uncertain, but according to Old. T., Abraham and the “Patriarchs”Came from the city of Ur in Mesopotamia, he met his god Yaweh in Haran, north of Mesopt. Semitic arrival in Palestine (ca. 2000-1750)Mesopotamian originsevident in several passages of the Old. TStory of the Flood very likely that the legend of the Flood originates in Mesopotamia. (Gilgamesh)Jacob and his sons suffer a famine decides to move to Egypt possible that some of the Hebrews formed a part of the Hyksos invasion during the 2ndintermediate periodHyksos came from Syria and Palenstine, just like the JewsThey clearly had Semitic names; Hyksos worshiped the Semitic godsproblem: in Exodus, the Hebrews are being enslaved by the Pharaoh in Egypt., how does the successful invasion force end up as slaves? freedom of status resulted from the expulsion of the hyksos rulers, at the begin. Of 18the dynasty. Those that were left behind were in slaveryaccording to exodus, these Jews are delivered from slavery by Mosesno record in the Egyptian history, but it’s understandable in the Egyptian view point; possibly exaggerated the event, of getting out of Egypt, since it was such a huge deal Slavery in Egypt and Exodusrelation to Hyksos?Moses and the Ten Commandmentshuge step in the development of Judaisminaugurates a new covenant (Sinai covenant)changes to monotheism: 1stcommandment implies that other gods exists; Yahweh becomes the first god of the HebrewsMoses comes to know god’s name: YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah = God