1. The Israelites became a people of the covenant
-At the very foundation of this new people lay the LORD’S act of liberation from slavery in Egypt, the LORD became the heart of this new people.
-The Lord would dwell in their midst. The Lord became their life.

2. The Israelites received a code of the covenant
-The Israelites’ whole life was based on the covenant with the Lord.
-The covenant was an agreement between the Lord and the people.
-The agreement was to be lived out by keeping a code; this code is called the Law or Torah. The Torah was rather an instruction or a teaching of the Lord. If they kept this, they would be a free people.

3. The Israelites had prophets as part of their leadership.
-Moses was a prophet and a lawgiver.
-The people’s covenant with the Lord was the most important aspect of their life as a nation.
-Israelites needed leaders who could mediate between the Lord and the people.
-Spokespersons for God are known as prophets.

4. The Israelites celebrated the actions and events of the Lord
-The central celebration of the Chosen People was the Passover; was celebrated on the Sabbath after the Spring full moon.
-The celebration was centered on a meal. The people ate lamb and unleavened bread and different herbs to remember the night the Lord freed them.

  • Pharisees: well educated, influential, respected.

-defenders and teachers of the Torah
-refused to compromise beliefs
-Israel was guided by God thus no need for political rulers

  • Sadducees: wealthy upper class, chief priests, keepers of the temple

-Roman rule was accepted and adjusted
-rivals of the Pharisees in politics and religion

  • Essenes: believed they were the true Israel and heirs to the covenant
  • Herodians: these were the people who followed Herod the Great who continued to rule the Hebrew nation under the protection of the Roman Empire.

-Jews were allowed to carry on their own culture and commerce and collect taxes.

  • Romans: allowed people to continue their laws and culture even when they were defeated.

-extracted taxes and commerce when scheduled

  • Scribes: were professional writers and readers which were highly regarded skills.

-responsible for teaching the laws of Moses

  • Zealots: militaristic movement of Jews who looked for a military leader or Messiah to put them as the first nation in the world.
  • Samaritans: descendants or a part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Palestine

-seen as traitors and outcasts and were rejected and hated by other Jews, were evil and dirty

  • Apostles: the men who were members of Jesus’ closest followers, those 12 chosen by Jesus.
  • Disciples: were other followers or pupils of Christ who tried to learn from him.
  • Baptists: followers of John the Baptist.
  • Labourers: people who worked for others by farming, fishing and herding animals.


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