THE HEBREW RELIGIOUS REVOLUTION
The Spiritual Ancestors of the West
As we shall see, the contributions of the Hebrews to the Western
tradition will not be war, diplomacy, inventions or art (though the
Bible would have profound a influence on the art and literature of
Western civilization), but religion and ethics.
The Hebrews' conception of God will break with the outlook of the
Near East and their ethical teaching will help fashion the Western idea
of the dignity of the individual. "The
spiritual perspective of the Hebrews evolved over time.
Early Israelites probably worshiped many gods, including nature
spirits dwelling in trees and rocks.
For some Israelites,
Yahweh was the chief god of Israel, but many, including kings of
Israel and Judah, worshiped other gods as well.
It was among the Babylonian exiles in the sixth century B.C. that
Yahweh—the God of Israel—came to be seen as the only God.
After the return of these exiles to Judah, their point of view
eventually became dominant, and pure monotheism, or the belief
that there is only one God for all peoples, came to be the major tenet
of Judaism” (Spiel.7th 36-7).
It is that revolution that we will address in this lecture, which
is based on the latest archaeological data as reported in Israel
Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman’s The Bible Unearthed:
Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and The Origin of
Its Sacred Texts (referred to henceforth as BU).
Another good source of early Israelite history is Who were the early
Israelites and Where Did They Come From? by William G. Dever.
Another good source of early Israelite history is Who were the early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? by William G. Dever.
(NOTE: Christianity & Islam will derive from Judaism)
of the Early Years
According to the Bible, the history of the Jews begins c. 1800 BC
when Abraham leads his people out of "Ur
of the Chaldees" in Sumer (where they had
wandered) and reached Canaan (Palestine).
FACTS: "Many scholars today doubt that the early books of the Hebrew
Bible reflect the true history of the early Israelites.
They argue that the early books of the Bible, written centuries
after the events described, preserve only what the Israelites came to
believe about themselves and that recently discovered archaeological
evidence often contradicts the details of the biblical account"
In fact, there is no evidence that the "patriarchs" Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob ever existed, were ever more than legendary characters of myth. Major problems with these early stories include the following
2. The repeated
references to camels (though we know through archaeology that camels
were not domesticated as
3. Isaac’s supposed encounter with
“Abimelech, king of the Philistines,” at the city of Gerar (though
the Philistines had not
addition, rather than being original to them, the early Hebrews clearly
absorbed some features of Mesopotamian
1. parallels between biblical law and the Mesopotamian legal
the obvious derivation of several biblical stories from the earlier
Mesopotamian tradition (the Creation, the Flood, the Garden of Eden)
B. JOSEPH & MOSES: c.1600-1250 BCE (according to the biblical story) as a result of famine some Hebrews followed Joseph (son of Israel/Jacob, great-grandson of Abraham) into Egypt. Joseph's high position in Egypt and the hospitality to the Hebrews is attributed by biblical scholars to the fact that the Hyksos were in power in Egypt (conquered Egypt c.1720 BC). Supposedly, after the Hyksos were expelled by the Egyptians (18th Dynasty), the Hebrews were enslaved. Later a great hero Moses would lead these people out of bondage in the famous Exodus from Egypt.
THE FACTS: there is no archaeological or historical evidence for the
Joseph or the Hebrews’ enslavement in Egypt! Remember, "The destruction of the Hittite kingdom and the weakening of
Egypt around 1200 B.C. temporarily left a power vacuum in the Near East,
allowing a patchwork of petty kingdoms and city-states to emerge,
especially in Syria and Palestine" (Spiel. 6th Ed. 32). Shortly
after 1300 BC (during the reign of pharaoh Ramses II, 1279-1213), as
biblical scholars have reckoned according to details in the biblical
story, Moses supposedly led the Hebrews out of Egypt into the wilderness
of Sinai where they wandered for years. In the Sinai Covenant (Moses’
supposed "contract" with God) they agreed to worship Yahweh
before all other gods and obey his law.
Therefore Yahweh made them his chosen people (protected them and
gave them Canaan). According
to the Israelites, then, they were united into a nation by their belief
in YHWH, the one God.
A major problem with the whole story is that “the Israelites emerged
only gradually as a distinct group in Canaan, beginning at the end of
the thirteenth century BCE” (BU 57).
Furthermore, the fact is that there is no recognizable archaeological
evidence of Israelite presence in Egypt for this period.
The border between Canaan and Egypt was so closely controlled
that “If a great mass of fleeing Israelites had passed through the
border fortifications of the pharaonic regime, a record should exist.
Yet in the abundant Egyptian sources describing the time of the
New Kingdom in general and the thirteenth century in particular, there
is no reference to the Israelites, not even a single clue….we have no
clue, not even a single word, about early Israelites in Egypt:
neither in monumental inscriptions on walls of temples, nor in
tomb inscriptions, nor in papyri. Israel
is absent—as a possible foe of Egypt, as a friend, or as an enslaved
nation” (BU 59-60). In
addition, the Egyptians controlled Canaan at this time and had
strongholds built in various places in the country, and Egyptian
officials administered the affairs of the region! (BU 60).
Neither is there evidence for the myth of Israelite wandering in the
archaeological surveys in all regions of the peninsula, including the
mountainous area around the traditional site of Mount Sinai…have
yielded only negative evidence: not
even a single sherd [sic], no structure, not a single house, no trace of
ancient encampment. One may
argue that a relatively small band of wandering Israelites cannot be
expected to leave material remains behind. But modern archaeological techniques are quite capable of
tracing even the meager remains of hunter-gathers and pastoral nomads
all over the world….The conclusion—that the Exodus did not happen at
the time and in the manner described in the Bible—seems irrefutable
when we examine the evidence” (BU 63).
According to the biblical authors, the Israelites arrived in Palestine around 1220 B.C. and were joined by other Hebrews already in Palestine, and the Israelites formed a confederacy of twelve tribes. They became an agricultural nation and eventually, after several generations, conquered the Canaanites (who had a material culture superior to the Hebrews). They were led by "judges" (war leaders), who were distinguished by their courage and empowered by the "spirit of Yahweh." The problem is that this story again contradicts the archaeological evidence.
1. cities that the Bible says were conquered by Joshua, such as Jericho and Ai, were uninhabited at the time of Joshua (BU 82)!
2. Another major discrepancy in the Biblical story is the fact that “Canaan was an Egyptian province, closely controlled by Egyptian administration” (BU 77).
It appears that the Israelites were actually originally
Canaanites themselves. These
highland villagers eventually began to distinguish themselves from other
Canaanites by dietary practice: a
ban on pork. “As we now
know…the Bible’s stirring picture of righteous Israelite
judges—however powerful and compelling—has very little to do with
what really happened in the hill country of Canaan in the Early
Iron Age (BU 118-122)!
II. Stage of the Monarchy
II. Stage of the Monarchy
A. David (1000-971): By c.1000 the Philistines who had arrived from Asia Minor with iron weapons had become such a threat that the Israelites decided they needed a king to survive. Saul (1020-1000) became the 1st king of Israel but committed suicide after a defeat by the Philistines (Palestine = “Philistine country”). After a brief period of anarchy, David supposedly reunited the Hebrews and pushed the Philistines back to become the ruler of the largest states in this area.
FACTS: The truth is
that “As far as we can see on the basis of the archaeological surveys,
Judah remained relatively empty of permanent population, quite isolated,
and very marginal right up to and past the presumed time of David and
Solomon, with no major urban centers and with no pronounced hierarchy of
hamlets, villages, and towns….tenth century Jerusalem was rather
limited in extent, perhaps not more than a typical hill country village
(BU 133). In fact,
though he did exist, David was no more than a tribal chief and there was
NEVER a united monarchy!
1. According to the Bible, it was under Solomon that Israel reached its peak of power and splendor. He supposedly built a palace complex, a temple at Jerusalem, had a standing army (including 1400 chariots and 12,000 horses), and enjoyed a harem of 700 wives and 300 concubines.
FACTS: “A close reading of the biblical description of the days of
Solomon clearly suggests that this was a portrayal of an idealized past,
a glorious Golden Age. The
reports of Solomon’s fabulous wealth (making ‘silver as common in
Jerusalem as stone,’ according to I Kings 10:27) and his legendary
harem (housing seven hundred wives and princesses and three-hundred
concubines, according to I Kings 11:3) are details too exaggerated to be
true. Moreover, for all
their reported wealth and power neither David nor Solomon is mentioned
in a single known Egyptian or Mesopotamian text.
And the archaeological evidence in Jerusalem for the famous
building projects of Solomon are non-existent” (BU 128).
“[N]o trace of the Solomonic Temple and palace in Jerusalem has ever
been identified” (BU 135).
So Solomon, David’s son, was also in actuality no more than a
2. According to the biblical account, after Solomon's death there were two kingdoms: Israel in the north (10 tribes) with a capital at Damascus, Judah in the south (2 tribes) with a capital at Jerusalem.
FACTS: The truth is that “there were always two distinct
highland entities, of which the southern was always the poorer, weaker,
more rural, and less influential—until it rose to sudden, spectacular
prominence after the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel” (BU
“As far as we can see on the basis
of the archaeological surveys, Judah remained relatively empty of
permanent population, quite isolated, and very marginal right up to and
past the presumed time of David and Solomon, with no major urban centers
and with no pronounced hierarchy of hamlets, villages, and towns” (BU
132). “The land was
overwhelmingly rural—with no trace of written documents, inscriptions,
or even signs of the kind of widespread literacy that would be necessary
for the functioning of a proper monarchy….it is hard to see any
evidence of a unified culture or centrally administered state.
The area from Jerusalem to the north was quite densely settled,
while the area from Jerusalem to the south—the hub of the future
kingdom of Judah—was still very sparsely settled.
Jerusalem itself was, at best, no more than a typical highland
village. We can say no more
than that” (BU 142). “Archaeologically
we can say no more about David and Solomon except that they
existed—and that their legend endured” (BU 143).
C. characteristics of early Israelite religion:
“The existence of high places and other forms of
ancestral and household god worship was not—as the books of Kings
imply—apostasy from an earlier, purer faith.
It was part of the timeless tradition of the hill country
settlers of Judah, who worshiped YHWH along with a variety of gods and
goddesses known or adapted from the cults of neighboring peoples.
YHWH, in short, was worshiped in a wide variety of ways—and
sometimes pictured as having a heavenly entourage….
the clearest archaeological evidence of the popularity of this type of
worship throughout the kingdom is the discovery of hundreds of figurines
of naked fertility goddesses at every late monarchic site in Judah….
“…The condemnations of various Judahite prophets make it abundantly clear that YHWH was worshiped in Jerusalem together with other deities, such as Baal, Asherah, the hosts of heaven, and even the national deities of the neighboring lands” (BU 241-2).
Stage of Prophetic Revolution (750-538 BC)
worship of local fertility deities led to the rise of prophets ("speak for") who
condemned the growth of idolatry, social injustice, and greed.
intensive archaeological surveys in the central hill country in the
1980s opened new vistas for understanding the character and origins of
the two highland states of Judah and Israel.
The new perspectives differed dramatically from the biblical
accounts. The surveys
showed that the emergence of the Israelites in the highlands of Canaan
was not a unique event, but actually just one in a series of demographic
oscillations that could be traced back for millennia…the surveys (and
the fragmentary historical information) indicated that in each wave of
highland settlement, there always seemed to have been two
distinct societies in the highlands—northern and southern—roughly
occupying the areas of the later kingdoms of Judah and Israel” (BU
153). Israel (northern
kingdom) was booming (thanks to Omri, not David and Solomon, cf. BU
169ff.) and reached its peak under Jeroboam II (BU 212) while
Judah (southern kingdom) was still economically marginal and backward.
750 and 550 BC prophets began writing down their messages:
Micah 6:8: "He has
shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your
2. They interpreted the victories of Assyrians and Chaldeans as
punishment from Yahweh.
3. They began to speak of a
oracles of the prophets Amos and Hosea are the earliest preserved
prophetic books, containing material that reflects the heyday of
Jeroboam II. Their scathing
denunciations of the corrupt and impious aristocracy of the north serve
both to document the opulence of this era and to express for the first
time ideas that would exert a profound effect on the crystallization of
the Deuteronomistic ideology” (BU 212).
After destroying Damascus in 802 and thereby threatening the kingdom of Israel, in 722 BC the Assyrians took the northern (Israel) capital of Samaria ("10 lost tribes"--27,290 Israelites were taken captive and foreign peoples settle there: Samaritans= 1/2 breeds. Judah was still too poor and backward for the Assyrians to bother with: “Israel was destroyed and Judah survived because in the grand scheme of Assyria’s imperial designs, Israel—with its rich resources and productive population—was an incomparably more attractive target than poor and inaccessible Judah” (BU 224). Indeed, it is only after the destruction of Israel that a southern kingdom of Judah begins to emerge: “But beginning in the late eighth century BCE, something extraordinary happened. A series of epoch-making changes, beginning with Israel’s fall, suddenly altered the political and religious landscape. Judah’s population swelled to unprecedented levels. Its capital city became a national religious center and a bustling metropolis for the first time. Intensive trade began with surrounding nations. Finally, a major religious reform movement—focused on the exclusive worship of YHWH in the Jerusalem Temple—started cultivating a revolutionary new understanding of the God of Israel” (BU 230).
Now with Judah no doubt cooperating with Assyria and prospering, a new “YHWH-alone” movement takes shape and will be read back into the history of the Israelites, as the Deuteronomists will now write it. “Yet there is no question that by the reign of King Hezekiah, a profound change had come over the land of Judah. Judah was now the center of the people of Israel. Jerusalem was the center of the worship of YHWH. And members of the Davidic dynasty were the only legitimate representatives and agents of YHWH’s rule on earth” (BU 250). This would falter at one time but during the reign of Josiah, “the ‘YHWH-alone’ camp would once more come into power” (BU 273). “Josiah’s messianic role arose from the theology of a new religious movement that dramatically changed what it meant to be an Israelite and laid the foundations for future Judaism and for Christianity. That movement ultimately produced the core documents of the Bible—chief among them, a book of the Law, discovered during the renovations to the Jerusalem Temple in 622 BCE, the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign (BU 276). That book was probably Deuteronomy. “The very fact that a written law code suddenly appeared at this time meshes well with the archaeological record of the spread of literacy in Judah” (BU 280). “Embellishing and elaborating the stories contained in the first four books of the Torah, they wove together regional variations of the stories of the patriarchs, placing the adventures of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob in a world strangely reminiscent of the seventh century BCE and emphasizing the dominance of Judah over all Israel. They fashioned a great national epic of liberation for all the tribes of Israel, against a great and dominating pharaoh….It is impossible to know if earlier versions of the history of Israel were composed in the time of Hezekiah or by dissident factions during the long reign of Manasseh, or if the great epic was composed entirely during Josiah’s reign” (BU 283-4).
"The Chaldeans first demolished Assyria and then, under King
Nebuchadnezzar II, conquered Judah and completely destroyed Jerusalem in
586 B.C. Many upper-class people from Judah were sent to Babylonia in
exile..." (Spiel.5th Ed. 32
The greatest prophets were probably Jeremiah & second Isaiah:
1. He saw events that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the
Temple and to the Babylonian Captivity.
2. He prophesied
that Yahweh would forgive their sins & restore a "remnant"
with a "new covenant": the
Old Covenant was with a nation that no longer existed.
3. INDIVIDUALISM: Religion
had become ritualized and centered in the Temple, but Jeremiah
proclaimed that religion was a matter of one's own heart and conscience
(i.e., the nation and Temple were superfluous).
This promotes the belief in the worth and dignity of the
individual out of the concept of human moral autonomy.
This religious individualism of Jeremiah will under gird the
intellectual individualism and political freedom of Greece!
B. Second Isaiah (chapters
40-55 were clearly written by a second author, as the Anchor Bible
Dictionary states, "The historical context of chaps. 40-55 differs
entirely from that of chaps 1-39.")
B. Second Isaiah (chapters
40-55 were clearly written by a second author, as the Anchor Bible
Dictionary states, "The historical context of chaps. 40-55 differs
entirely from that of chaps 1-39.")
Israelite monotheism comes to its finest expression in the
prophecy of Second Isaiah. The
downfall of the Israelite nation, far from spelling the death of
Israel's God, brought the opportunity for faith to perceive Yahweh's
sovereignty in the widest possible dimensions. Yahweh is God alone,
unique and incomparable in wisdom, majesty, and power, the Lord of all
human history and the Creator of heaven and earth (Isa. 41:28-29; 42:17;
43:10-11; 44:7-8; 45:5-6, 14-17, 21-22; 46:1-2, 8-11, etc.).
E-J, "God, OT view of," p.428.
lived at the end of the Babylonian Captivity.
2. UNIVERSALISM: He
proclaimed Israel to be Yahweh's "righteous servant," purified
and enlightened by suffering--ready to lead the world to the one true
God, i.e., all people are equally precious to God.
This is a significant break from their former parochialism to a
3. Therefore, the Jews returning from the Exile are provided with
(1) renewed faith in their destiny and (2) a new comprehension of their
religion that would sustain them through the centuries.
Therefore, the prophets caused belief in social justice,
universalism and individualism (worth of individual), i.e., religion is
now not based on fear but on commitment!
1. Progressive: the
prophets did not demand a return to some age of simplicity in the past
but taught that the religion should be infused with a new philosophy and
a new conception of the ends it was supposed to serve
2. Three basic doctrines summarize their teaching:
rudimentary monotheism--YHWH was Lord of the universe; the gods of other
peoples were false.
was a God of righteousness exclusively--evil comes from man, not God)
3. These doctrines, therefore, are a repudiation of everything
the older religion had stood for! BUT
the Hebrew religion still contained little spiritual character or the
mystical, i.e., it was not otherworldly, but oriented toward this life
(social and ethical purposes).
Stage of Persian Influence (538-331 BC)
1. 586 BC Nebachadnezzar (Chaldean ruler of Babylon) destroyed
Jerusalem (Judah) & took 10,000 captives which
resulted in what is called the Babylonian Captivity
of the Jews.
538 BC Cyrus the Persian conquered Babylon and let them return to
Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
“Events that took place when the successive waves of exiles
returned to Jerusalem are reported in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah and
by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. This is also the moment in our story when we must change our
terminology: the kingdom of Judah becomes Yehud—the Aramaic name of
the province in the Persian empire—and the people of Judah, the
Judahites, will henceforth be know as Yehudim, or Jews” (BU
B. Zoroaster (660-583 BC) (this name by which the Europeans refer
to him is a Greek corruption of the old Iranian word
He supposedly had a vision in which a figure "nine times a
large as a man" appeared before Zoroaster, the archangel Vohu Manah
(Good Thought) who bade him to lay aside his material body and, as a
disembodied soul, mount to the presence of Ahura Mazda.
1. Zoroaster attempted to replace the polytheistic,
idol-worshiping, ritualistic religion of the Persians with its temples
and Magi priests with the worship of Ahura-Mazda, the god of justice,
wisdom, goodness and immortality.
dualism: "Here, for
the first time in the history of religion, we encounter this view of one
being, Angra Mainyu (Ahriman), who is the source of all evil" (McCasland,
Cairns & Yu Religions of the World,
p. 133). Satan (Ahriman or
Angra Mainyu) becomes the great adversary of God & the author of
evil in a great battle between light and darkness as respectively good
and evil. The world is
divided into two kingdoms, the kingdom of the good against the kingdom
of evil; a good God reigns over one, an evil God rules the other.
messiah (a spiritual
savior): resurrection from the dead & a divine judgment and the
making of a new purified earth when a messiah, Sayoshoant,
c) otherworldly: the
concept of paradise (a Persian word), an ideal heavenly realm with a
divine court and abode of the blessed.
In turn, these ideas have impelled religion in Persia and
elsewhere toward monotheism, ethics, and a sense of the religious
meaning of history. These Iranian contributions have done much to move Western
religion away from mystical identification with the forces of nature or
states of consciousness and toward "ethical monotheism."
NOTE: The fullest statement
of eschatology in the OT is Daniel, probably written in the 2nd c. B.C.
(125 B.C.) under the pseudonym.
"Zoroastrians said that on the fourth day after death, a deceased
person had to cross the bridge called Chinvat [a bridge which spans the
awful abyss of Hell] which connects humanity with the unseen world.
The righteous will find it broad as a highway, and they will take
it to enter the House of Song where they will await the Last Day. Yet to
the wicked the bridge will seem narrow as a razor, and they will fall
off it into hell.
But on the
Last Day, Ahura Mazda will defeat evil.
He will purify the entire world and reign over it.
All persons will be raised in a general resurrection; the souls
of the wicked, having been purified along with the earth, will be
brought out of hell with their sentences terminated.
All together will enter a new age in a new world free from all
evil, ever young and rejoicing.
the Last Day, it was said, Zoroaster would return in the form of a
prophet conceived of a virgin by his own seed, stored in a mountain
lake. A prophet would in
fact appear in this way at thousand-year intervals during the three
thousand years between Zoroaster and the renovation of the world.
NOTE: "Indeed, while
the ancient Hebrews believed in one God who judged and punished those
with whom he was angry in this life, it was not until after they had had
some contact with Persia
A. Hebrew View of God
It began as a very
primitive view with God having a body. He got tired and had to
rest: Gen. 2.2, "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had
made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had
made." He walks: "Gen. 3.8, "They heard the sound of the Lord God
walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and
his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the
trees of the garden." More evidence of the anthropomorphic concept
of the divine being: Exodus 33.18-23, ""Then Moses said, 'Now show me
your glory.' And the Lord said, 'I will cause all my goodness to pass in
front of you, and you will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.
But,' he said, 'you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.'
Then the Lord said, 'There is a place near me where you may stand on a
rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the
rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I
will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be
Hebrew v. Near Eastern View of God
Hebrew v. Near Eastern View of God
View of God
other words, they basically invented
Yahweh is sovereign (Hebrew v. NE gods), transcendent (not localized, not
a part of nature), good (a God that makes ethical demands on his people.
This removal of divine from nature is a prerequisite for scientific
thought. The Hebrew concept of a
transcendent God and an orderly universe would, through Christianity, provide
support for Greek philosophy and science in Western civilization. Although the Hebrews were geniuses at law, literature,
philosophy, NOT a single important discovery in any scientific field has ever
been traced to the ancient Hebrews. Furthermore,
they are almost totally devoid of artistic skill.
The Hebrews were too interested in religion and morality to create
theoretical science, in feelings of the heart not power of the mind.
Nature, for them, involved worship of god instead of scientific
curiosity: God controlled nature, not impersonal natural law.
Epistemology for them was revelation and feeling NOT reason.
But this concept of
transcendent theology will have a major impact on
future Western concepts of God.
But this concept of transcendent theology will have a major impact on future Western concepts of God.
Hebrew view of history
The Hebrews viewed history as a divine drama filled with sacred meaning
and moral significance. They interpreted events accordingly (cf. Spaniards and
English; American pioneers). The
Exodus was God's salvation from slavery; the Babylonian Captivity was
interpreted as retribution for violating the law of God and as punishments for
their stubbornness, sinfulness and rebelliousness.
God's purpose is known through events in history.
Hebrew view of man
The Hebrew belief that human beings were created in the image of God
was changed from an anthropomorphic
vision to mean that they were morally free agents able to choose between right and wrong.
This moral autonomy paved the way for belief in human dignity and the
worth of the individual. This will
develop after the breakdown of Hebrew society and communal existence when the
prophets begin to emphasize individual responsibility and a new understanding of
God's law as a command to conscience (an appeal to the inner person); i.e., not
ritual but inner commitment is of supreme importance.
The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
"The Hebrew Scriptures represent Jewish oral and written tradition
dating from about 1250 to 150 B.C. Compiled
by religious devotees, not research historians, they understandably contain
factual errors, imprecisions, and discrepancies.
However, there are also passages that offer reliable history, and
historians find the Old Testament an indispensable source for studying the
ancient Near East.
"The Old Testament is the record of more than a thousand years of
ancient Jewish history. Containing Jewish laws, wisdom, hopes, legends, and literary
expressions, it describes an ancient people's efforts to comprehend the ways of
God" (Perry,5th 37).
Torah is the Hebrew word "law"
or "teaching" denoting the first five books of Hebrew Bible (Gk.=Pentateuch).
E. Hebrew influence on the West: