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The Biblical And Historical Origins Of The Problems In The Middle East

1523 words - 6 pages

The Biblical and Historical Origins of the Problems in the Middle East

The present day situation in Israel may be the most difficult political situation in world history. It dates back to thousands of years before Christ, and deals with a large number of issues including political, religious, and cultural issues. In order to understand the current day issues, we must first understand the Biblical and historical issues. In this paper, I will first explore what the later books of the old testament, specifically the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Malachi, and than talk about the modern day issues. This was an interesting part of the Bible to research, because it is the part that most people know very little about, unless they have studied the Bible very closely.

Based on the Bible, the Jews and the Palestinian Muslims claim that they have a right to the land of Israel. According to the Book of Genesis, God promised the land to the descendents of Abraham. The Jews believe that they are the descendents of Abraham’s son Isaac; however, the Palestinians believe that they are descended from Abraham’s other son Ishmael. Because of this, both sides believe that they have been promised the land by God. This has caused many extremists on both sides to resort to violence to defend what they believe is their land. The Palestinians also feel that their land was taken away from them when the State of Israel was created.

There are two theories about God’s promise of the land to the Jews. The first is based on the unconditional covenant with Abraham, which would mean that they can never lose the land. The second is based on the conditional covenant with Moses, which would mean that the Jews could lose the land if they do not obey the covenant with God. This issue is critical to whether the Jews have a right to the land in Israel.

The first book that I will discuss is the book of Ezra. Ezra lived during the time several hundred years after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile, which would be around 400 BC. Ezra was a priest, who was an expert in the law of the Torah. The first six chapters of the Book of Ezra describe the return of the Jews from the exile in Babylon, which actually happened before Ezra was actually living. The last 6 chapters deal with the restoration of Jewish life in Israel after the exile in Babylon.

In this time period, there were two restorations going on. The first dealt with the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, even though the Temple had already been built after the return from exile. The second dealt with the rebuilding of Jewish religious life in the postexilic period. Because he was a priest and an expert in the law, Ezra was primarily responsible for the religious rebuilding. A major problem of the time was that Jewish men were taking foreign wives, and at this time, Ezra prohibited mixed marriages. The men...

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