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Israel’s Religious Precedent For Conquering Palestine

2595 words - 10 pages

When the Hebrew state of Israel took over land that was known as Palestine, one of the chief political movements pushing for the return of Jewish people to the Holy Land was the Zionist movement. The Zionist movement was motivated by religious beliefs. Zionist leaders claimed it was the destiny of the Jewish people and the Jewish people’s right to populate the lands of Palestine. The Israelites identify themselves as not only an ethnicity but a religious group chosen by God to be the only true followers of his will on Earth. This belief has played a particular role in the people of Israel’s sense of ownership to the Holy Lands. It is this connection to their religious tradition and desire to find a home promised by God that inspired many people to found the nation of Israel.
This religious tradition starts first with Abraham. Born Abram from Ur, he heard the voice of God and was called to found a new nation. Abram left his homeland and traveled west until he discovered the lands that would eventually become known as Israel . Abram, a nomadic herder, is credited with military victories, respected by local kings and eventually witnesses the destruction of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah . Abram rejected the multiple gods of the people who lived in the Jordan Valley. This caused strife between him and the local kingships “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’” Abram had been promised by God that he would father nations, his first son through his concubine Ishmael is originally seen as the fulfillment of this promise. Yet, after she has passed child bearing age his wife Sarai became pregnant. Abram was given the name Abraham by God, his new name means father of nations . This is when the Jewish bloodline becomes separate from that of the rest of humanity. With this promise to Abraham the Jewish people are now meant to be everlasting kings of the Canaanite lands .
Abraham only had the two sons, it is his grandson in which God fulfilled the promise of numerous descendants who will form the tribes of Israel. Abraham’s grandson Jacob inherited Abraham’s covenant with God from Isaac. Jacob’s older brother threatens Jacob’s life which forced him to flee, during these years of exile Jacob fathered many children from his two wives and multiple concubines. Jacob finally decides to return home with his large family. On the journey home, the night before Jacob is meant to face his brother, Jacob is challenged to a wrestling match from a mysterious stranger. The outcome of this match is that Jacob is faced with the knowledge that the challenger was a messenger of God, who having been defeated by Jacob renames the young patriarch Israel . Israel means to triumph with God. Each of the tribes of Israel are named after Jacob’s sons. The lands of Israel are...

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