Most people know about the nation of Isreal from two perspectives: the one you hear about in bible stories, and the things that happen there now. But there’s so much history in between that people don’t know.
Israel is a country where the story of its people is older than most known ancient empires, including Greece and Rome. All you have to do is look.
From an ancient nation of kings and priests to modern regional power, here is a brief history of the state of Israel.
Ancient History of Israel
Before the common era, the nation of Israel had already gone through several phases of its history:
Kings and Priests
It had already been a collection of local towns and cities that eventually coalesced into a unified kingdom and reached its height under the Davidic Dynasty.
After the death of the wise King Solomon who built the First Temple in Jerusalem, the nation split into two kingdoms, the kingdom of Israel governed in Samaria and the Kingdom of Judah from Jerusalem.
But the Assyrian empire destroyed the Kingdom of Israel and exiled its inhabitants. Years later, the same thing happened to Judah by the Neo-Babylonians.
Post-Babylonian Exile and The Second Temple
When the Jews were allowed to return to Israel under by order of King Cyrus of Persia, they rebuilt the Temple which ushered in the Second Temple period.
This was the temple that stood during the time of Jesus. During the Seleucid Empire, Judah became a kingdom again under the Hasmonean dynasty. They reigned for a century before Rome eventually absorbed Judaea.
However, they never had a good relationship with Rome. Most of the Jews would go into exile after the Jewish rebellions against Rome in 70 and 136 CE. Jews were even banned from living in Jerusalem.
Creation of the State of Israel
For centuries Israel came under the rule of many different empires and kingdoms. The last one was the British Empire. They had a mandate for the lands after World War I when they defeated the Ottomans.
From Mandate to Independence
Britain held Israel from 1923 to 1948, and because of mounting pressure from Zionists and anti-nation sentiment from Palestinian Arabs, Britain handed over independence to Israel on May 14, 1948.
However, the young nation had to fight for its survival when Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon invaded. The newly formed Israeli Defense Force (IDF) was able to fend them off after five months.
During the Six-Day War in 1967, four of the same countries tried to mobilize for another invasion. Israel was able to strike first and capture Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
The Modern State
Now, Israel is a regional power and a success story to many Jews who now have a homeland to look to. They have revived their Hebrew language, and now there are more than 9 million speakers worldwide.
It has the highest number of startup companies per capita which makes it a lucrative place for investment, both foreign and domestic. You can find out more about this at thejerusalemportfolio.com
Israel, the Modern Nation
The state of Israel has an illustrious history, and there’s so much more to explore. Some things you have to see to believe. Book a trip to Israel today, and you’ll be glad you did.
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