Our knowledge of the political history of ancient Israel is almost exclusively dependent on the information that may be gleaned from biblical writings, which reflect a historiosophical perspective very different from that employed in modern historical writing. Nonetheless and despite all the problems encountered in dealing with the biblical texts, the history of the ancient Israelite states that can be derived from them has much to offer a student of politics.
Instead of the critical literary analysis common to contemporary biblical studies, Sicker constructs a plausible political history of the ancient Israelite states that takes into consideration the geopolitical realities that directly conditioned much of that history as well as the religious dimensions of Israelite political culture that played a critical role in it. He demonstrates that the ancient Israelite states were confronted by virtually every political dilemma, domestic and international, encountered by states and governments throughout the subsequent history of the world. The way they dealt with the issues, successfully or otherwise, is highly instructive and relevant to the complex issues faced by states and governments today.
Specially designed to assist learning, Judaism:
• Introduces texts and commentaries, including the Hebrew Bible, rabbinic texts, mystical literature, Jewish philosophy and Jewish theology
• Provides the skills necessary to understand these step-by-step with the help of a companion website
• Explains how to interpret the major events in nearly four thousand years of Jewish history
• Supports study with discussion questions on the central historical and religious issues, and includes key reading for each chapter, an extensive glossary and index
• Illustrates the development of Judaism, its concepts, observances and culture, with maps, photos, paintings and engravings
• Links each chapter to a free companion website at www.routledge.com/cw/cohnsherbok which provides things to think about, things to do and tips for teachers as well as other online resources
Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap. The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth's crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world. A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.
The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago. But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning. They settled at key locations - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru and across the Pacific where a huge pyramid has recently been discovered in Indonesia. Everywhere they went these 'Magicians of the Gods' brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price. A memory and a warning to the future...
For the comet that wrought such destruction between 12,800 and 11,600 years may not be done with us yet. Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide 'dark' fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within its debris stream and threatens the Earth. An astronomical message encoded at Gobekli Tepe, and in the Sphinx and the pyramids of Egypt,warns that the 'Great Return' will occur in our time...