... Jerusalem ... 22 Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure ... Isaiah 66 (GNT), 18 ... Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its PALACE restored. Jeremiah 30:18 (GNT)


Israel part 2 Jewish Diaspora

Iudaea Province in the first century

The free State of Israel, a Jewish state, was reestablished in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion with other Jewish leaders and in 1967 Jerusalem became the undivided capital city of Israel.

But, how was the state of Israel's affairs before 1948?

Diaspora = exile

Jewish Diaspora: a gradually forced expulsion of Israelites out of the land of Israel - in our days that is the State of Israel, Jordan and parts of the Lebanon - recorded in the history of Israel.

The Jewish diaspora was caused by conquests of the free kingdoms of Israel by the Assyrians and the Babylonians in ancient times. After a period during which some of those exiled returned to Israel and joined the Israelites who were still living there, led  eventually to the establishment of a free kingdom of Israel, the Roman Empire conquered Israel, and named it the Provence of Iudaea (see map, source: Wikipedia). The Jews wanting their freedom set up revolts which the Romans defeated and caused again a Jewish diaspora.


In a nutshell:

  • 8th to 6th century BC, pre-Roman diaspora

Conquest of the ancient kingdoms of first Israel and later Judah, which were free states in the land of Israel.

722 BC Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel (the 10 tribes), the northern part of the land of Israel. Israelites deported to Khorasan. A group of Jews, Persian Jews have lived for over 2700 years since then in those territories of today Iran.

586 BC Babylonian conquest of the kingdom of Judah with Jerusalem as its capital city. Israelites were deported to Mesopotamia. The destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem.

  • 1st to 2nd century AD

The Roman occupation started circa 63 BC when Romans invaded the at that time free state of Israel established after the Maccabean - a Jewish rebel army who took control of Judea which had been a client state of the Seleucid Empire - revolt in 165 BC. A free state that lasted 103 years ruled by the Jewish kings of the Hasmonean dynasty, whom reasserted the Jewish religion and expanded the boundaries of the land of Israel. There were Jewish revolts both in the first and the second century against the Roman occupation.

66 - 70 AD the Romans defeated the Jews in the Great Jewish revolt.
This resulted in the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple in Jerusalem. The siege of Masada - today a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a mountain fortress in the Judean dessert overlooking the Death Sea that was occupied by a group of Jewish rebels called the Sicarii, also took place during this revolt.
Greek and Roman settlement were encouraged by the Roman leaders, with the intention to prevent the political regeneration of the Jewish nation. Nevertheless the Jews managed again to set up revolts.

115 - 117 AD Kitos War.
The Romans defeated the Jews in the diaspora who set up this revolt in other territories of the Roman empire.

132 - 135 AD the Romans defeated the Jews in the Bar Kokhba's revolt.
After this revolt Jerusalem was given the name Aelia Capitolina, became a Roman colony and a pagan city. The former Roman name given to Israel, the province of Judaea or Iudaea was also changed into the province of Syria Palestina.
All in an attempt to erase the historical ties of the Jewish people to to the region.The name Palestine for the territory of Israel became wide spread also in the international community. Just like the word Palestinian - not to be confused with Philistine, which referred to other peoples the Israelites dealt with in the past in ancient Israel. - which has been derived from Palestine, has been used later especially since the nineteen sixties as a name for certain peoples of Arab origins that in the more recent past came to live in the land of Israel while the Jews have continuously populated it for more than 3000 years and with, by intervals, centuries of governess over Israel.

The Romans transported Jews as captive or sold them as slaves while others joined the already existing Jewish diaspora, but still other Jews remained in Judah. Although Jews were forbidden entrance to Jerusalem on a death penalty, except for the day of Tisha B'av which commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temple. Some of those who remained in Judah began work on the Jerusalem Talmud also known as the Talmud de Eretz Yisrael. Which is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the second century Mishna (Jewish oral tradition) that was compiled in the land of Israel (4th-5th century).

  • Return from exile

Biblical history:

Out of the Assyrian exile by groups of Jews while others remained in the diaspora and the second Temple rebuilt, the book of Ezra.

Out of the Babylonian exile by groups of Jews, while others remained in the diaspora, the book of Nehemiah.

Recent history:

The first Aliyah, modern Zionist wide spread immigration of Jewish people to Palestine was at the end of the 19th century, starting from 1881 with the First Aliyah, mainly with Othodox Jews, until the Fifth Aliyah in the 1930s. Even during and after WW II to this day Jewish people have continued to immigrate to their homeland, Israel.

After the Ottoman Empire was defeated during WW I, the British got control over the territory of Palestine through the British Mandate for Palestine issued by the League of nations in 1922. The mandate would last until 1948. In 1948 the free State of Israel was reestablished by David Ben-Gurion with other Jewish leaders and in 1967 Jerusalem became the undivided capital city of Israel. Even before the State of Israel was reestablished Jewish people have been returning to Israel, while others for whatever reason choose to remain in the diaspora.

Jewish claim on the land of Israel

Despite the Jewish diaspora, Israelites have always lived in the land of Israel since Abraham a Hebrew who's father was from Ur left Haran and went to live in Canaan nearly three thousand years ago, Genesis 11:27-32 and 12:1-9. The Jewish continuous presence in the land of Israel (Canaan), the Israelite free kingdoms and states, their kings, the Jewish history has been well recorded not only in biblical scripture but also in various extra biblical sources.

In ancient times when there was famine some people often went to Egypt to by food, or to live elsewhere to sustain themselves and after that period they returned to Israel. Examples: Abraham in Genesis 12 and 13, Naomi and Ruth in the book of Ruth, Abraham's grandson Jacob - who's name was changed by God into Israel, Genesis 32:28, meaning "persevere with God" - went to Egypt leaving other Hebrews who preferred to stay in Canaan, Genesis 46 and 47.
After four generations the Israelites who were the descendants of Jacob's twelve sons whom became the twelve tribes of Israel, returned to Canaan after their exodus out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob. Under the leadership of Joshua they established themselves in Canaan, the land of Israel.

Also when Israelites were exiled to other nations and the influx of people of other nations into Israel was stimulated. Mainly the nobility, well to do and educated were exiled, the poorest people were always left behind with a Jewish governor to take care of the land. A substantial numbers of Jews remained in these communities. An example is at the time of the Babylonian conquest of Judah when amongst others Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon, Jeremiah 40 and Daniel 1.

At times when the Jewish people got the chance to return to Israel out of the diaspora to join those who remained in Israel, not all Jews went back. To this day even with the free State of Israel reestablished and while many are returning, some prefer not to. Their view is that they don't need to seek return for Jews as a culture have evolved into a new worldly entity to stay wherever they are. Obviously they underestimate the antisemitism under certain people and leaders in the nations of the world as happened before during the twentieth century. Although there won't be a second Holocaust, Shoah, the collective antisemitic sentiment is still present in the world of today and directs itself both to individual Jewish people and those who support them as to the State of Israel. The existence in itself of the Sate of Israel is an unsurpassed miracle of the twentieth century.

The Jewish diaspora had a decisive influence on the dispersion of Jewish people through out the world. And because the Temple was destroyed, the center of worship shifted from the Temple with the priests to the synagogues with Rabbinic Judaism. Nevertheless ever since the new State of Israel has been established and even more when Jerusalem again became its undivided capital city, there are Jewish people who want to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

From a point of view based on recorded and proven history including Israel's history written in biblical scripture, the Jewish people is the only people who has been living continuously in the land of Israel for nearly three thousand years while governing the land as a free nation several times for long periods of time (ages), also in our recent history. So the claim of the Jewish people on the land of Israel which is recognized by the international community is genuine and remains.

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Author: © Mrs A. vd Laan-LeitoPosted in: History