Judaism's founder was Abraham Ben Terah. Terah was a pagan in Mesopatamia. Terah and Abraham traveled thru The Fertile Crecent starting out in Ur. They went thru the cities of Larsa, Erech, Babylon, Mari, and settled in Haran. Then God told Abraham to go from his father's house and go into Canaan. He then went with his wife Sarah, and travled thru Carchemish, Aleppo, Qatna, near Damascus and Tiberias, and then crossed the Jordan River into Canaan. He then went to Shechem and Zoan which is in Egypt. He was not impressed by the horrible, pagan Egyptians, so he went back to Canaan and settled in Beer Sheva. Sarah couldn't produce any babies for him, so he had a son, Ishmael, with Hagar, an Egyptian handmaid. One day God told Abraham that Sarah was going to have a baby. Then she gave birth to Isaac. Ishmael would be the father of The Arabs, and Isaac would be the father of Israel and Edom. One day, God told Abraham to bring his Isaac as an offering at the spot where The Temple would later be built on Mount Moriah, to see if Abraham feared Him. Isaac asked his father where the ram was. Abraham said that God would supply it. Just when Abraham was about to slaughter Isaac, Abraham got a message from God telling him not to do it. A ram suddenly appeared for the offering in place of Isaac and Abraham offered it to God. Now God saw that Abraham feared Him. He was just testing him to see if he feared Him enough. Before Abraham died, he looked for a wife for his son. No Caananite women were good to be Isaac's wife, so Abraham sent a servant back to Abraham's hometown and he brought back Rebekah. Isaac married Rebekah. Rebekah gave birth to twins, Jacob and Esau. Esau had red hair all over his body. He would be the father of Edom, a great nation located in what is now Jordan. It was called Edom because adom means red in Hebrew. Jacob would be the father of Israel. When he grew up, he went to Abraham's hometown, to find a wife, just like his father Isaac got his wife from there. When he got there he met Rachel. He instantly fell in love with her. He went to her father, Lavan, to ask permission to marry her. He said that if he worked for him for 7 years, then he could marry Rachel. Jacob worked for Lavan for 7 years. Then Lavan tricked him into marrying Rachel's sister, Leah. He slept with her that night and in the morning he was surprised to see it wasn't Rachel. He then went to work for Lavan another 7 years so he could marry Rachel. Meanwhile, he married Rachel a week after he married Leah. Jacob had 12 sons. Leah bore him Reuben, Levi, Issachar, Shimon, Judah, and Zebulun. Rachel bore him Joseph and Binyamin. Jacob also had babies with Leah and Rachel's handmaids so he could have more babies than Leah and Rachel could bare him. Leah's maid Zilpah bore him Gad and Asher. Rachel's maid Bilhah bore him Dan and Naphtali. Jacob made Joseph a coat of many colors because he was his favorite son. His brothers got jealous and sold him into slavery in Egypt. They all came to Egypt to the fertile land of The Nile River when there was a famine in Canaan. Joseph had 2 sons, Ephraim and Menashe. The descendants of Reuben, Issachar, Shimon, Judah, Zevulun, Binyamin, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naphtali, Ephraim, and Menashe, each are their own tribe. They are all Yisraelim. The descendants of Levi are The Levi'im. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah, are all burried at The Cave of The Machpelah in Hebron. Rachel, who died giving birth to Binyamin, is burried in Bethlehem. This occured around 1720 B.C.E., when The Hyksos, a warlike tribe from Syria swept into Egypt and ruled Egypt until 1600 B.C.E.. Under The Hyksos, Joseph became second in command only to their Pharaoh. The Jews lived in Egypt in peace for many years. Eventually The Hyksos were defeated and Egyptian Pharaohs once again ruled Egypt. It says in The Torah, that the new Pharaohs "did not know Joseph". The Jews were no longer respected and were made slaves. Egypt was a growing empire and the new Pharaohs had a great need for slaves. Pharaoh feared an uprising and declared that all male children born to The Jews must be killed. By this, Pharaoh hoped to keep The Jews from growing in numbers.
Here are some pictures having to do with The Book of Genesis.
Here is the outside of The Cave of The Machpelah in Hebron. It is the burial site of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah. It was liberated during The Six Day War in June, 1967 from Jordanian occupation.
Here is the outside of Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. Rachel died here while giving birth to Binyamin and was buried here by Jacob. It was also liberated in The Six Day War.
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