The Uniqueness of Israel’s Religion

Biblical scholars have been jubilant over the discovery of law tablets and other literature from the ancient Near East as well as the ruins of structures such as multichambered temples. Such discoveries have done much to help us understand the cultural and literary climate in which Israel and its Scripture arose and developed.

BIBLE HISTORY: The Migrations of Abraham

According to the traditional view, Abraham began his migration from Ur in the southern Mesopotamian plain. Some scholars, however, prefer an Ur located in northwestern Mesopotamia, noting that all other references to the patriarchal homeland point to that direction.

BIBLE BACKGROUND: The Middle Bronze Age in Mesopotamia and Egypt

After the collapse of urban civilization, powerful states reappeared beginning about 2000 B.C. In southern Mesopotamia the city-state of Ur had already gained control of the surrounding territory. Ur-Nammu, greatest king of the Third Dynasty of Ur (ca. 2113–2006 B.C.), erected a great ziggurat (temple tower) and encouraged art and literature.

BIBLE BACKGROUND: Food In Bible Times

The Hebrew and Greek words rendered “food” have various literal meanings, such as “thing eaten,” “nourishment,” “bread,” and “meat," or "flesh.” After God had created Adam and Eve, he said: "'Look, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I have given every green plant for food.' And it was so.” Gen. 1:29-30.

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