Land of Israel and Jewish heritage – 32

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Land of Israel and Jewish heritage

A series from the book written by Naveed Anjum

Jewish Life in the Land of Canaan, cont’d

The Promised Land, cont’d

The Monarchy

Israel’s first king was King Saul (1020 BCE). He functioned as the intermediate leader in the transition between the era of loose tribal affiliations and the creation of a full monarchy under his successor, King David.

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King David (1004-965 BCE) established his kingdom as a major power in the region through his successful military expeditions, which included the final defeat of those seagoing people known as Philistines. In addition, King David established a network of friendly alliances with nearby kingdoms. Consequently, his authority became recognized from the borders of Egypt to the Red Sea and the bank of the Euphrates. Within Israel, he united the 12 tribes into one kingdom and established Jerusalem as his capital, and his monarchy became the center of the country’s national life. Traditions portray David as a poet and musician and ascribe most of The Psalms to him.

Fig 1.6. The United Monarchy.

Fig 1.6. The United Monarchy.

Fig 1.7. King David’s Kingdom.

Fig 1.7. King David’s Kingdom.

King David’s youngest son, Solomon (965-930 BCE), succeeded him as king. King Solomon further strengthened the kingdom through treaties with neighboring kings, which he reinforced with political marriages. In this way, King Solomon ensured peace for the Kingdom of Israel and established it as an equal among the great powers of the age. He also expanded foreign trade, promoted domestic prosperity through the development of major enterprises such as copper mining and metal smelting, and built new towns and fortified old ones of strategic and economic importance.

King Solomon’s crowning achievement was the temple that he built in Jerusalem. It became the center of the Jewish people’s national and religious life. The Bible also attributes The Book of Proverbs, The Book of Ecclesiastes, and The Song of Songs to King Solomon.

(To be continued…)

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