history of the Jewish people goes back around 4000 years to the time of
Abraham. They have survived many wars and genocides. They were twice driven
from their land, and their center of worship was destroyed, yet they
miraculously returned twice, just as YHWH said He would do for them.
Bible includes the 24 books of the Masoretic
Text, which was probably determined at the Council of Jamnia around 90AD.
These books include the five books of Moses, historical books, wisdom books
and prophetic books. A person who hasn't read the Bible is encouraged to first
These two books describe the foundation of the Jewish people, their Law and
If a person looks carefully at the
Bible, he can see that the Jewish people are unique. The Chinese culture
and some western cultures have had similarities, but no other culture is like
the Jewish culture. The primary reason is their Law. Below is a list of
some important distinctives of the Jewish people based on the Hebrew Bible.
YHWH chose the Jews to be a
people to worship YHWH alone (Genesis 12;1-3, 15:1-7, 22:15-18;
YHWH gave the land of
Israel to the Jews to serve Him forever. (Genesis 15:7, 17:8, 28:1-4)
YHWH made a covenant of
circumcision with Abraham and his descendents. This is a sign of
belonging to YHWH. (Genesis 17:10-14) Note that on the 8th day, the blood
clots the best, since Vitamin K is the highest on this day.
The 12 tribes of Jacob (later
renamed Israel) formally became a nation when YHWH gave them their Law
at Mt. Sinai in Arabia (Exodus 19-24 and beyond). Moses was on the
mountain for 40 days and 40 nights, and around 2 million people witnessed
the event. No other nation had God give them inspired Scripture in such a
way. The Law of Israel is what makes them great. (Psalm 147:19,20). The Law of Israel is their source of wisdom
and understanding (Deuteronomy 4:5-14). The Law included civil, moral,
ceremonial, dietary and military laws and regulations, and it included
both blessings for obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) and curses for
disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
Originally, the Jews were not
to have kings, because YHWH was supposed to be their King, but the
people wanted a human king, so YHWH gave them one (1 Samuel 8:1-22,
9:15-17, 10:1,24, 12:1; Hosea 13:9-11). Nevertheless, even the king was
under the law (Deuteronomy 17:14-20).
YHWH wanted men of Israel to
be free men, not slaves (Leviticus 25;39-44).
YHWH wanted men of Israel
(except Levites) to be property owners (Leviticus 25:23-28).
YHWH wanted men of Israel to
have fair business practices, like keeping promises (Deuteronomy
23:21-23), not stealing, dealing falsely or lying (Lev. 19:11), paying
workers on time (Leviticus 19:13), not to charge interest on loans to
other men of Israel (Leviticus 25:35-37), and using honest weights and
measures (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). Note: today, this would mean using gold
and silver and not fiat currency which is unbacked by anything tangible.
YHWH wanted the people of
Israel to not mistreat weak people, like strangers, the poor,
orphans and widows (Ex. 22:21-24, Leviticus 19:9,10,14,15, 23:22).
YHWH provided a means of
atonement of sins through blood sacrifice of a goat (Lev. 16:1-34)
Jews were not allowed to
eat or drink blood (Leviticus 17:10-14).
The Jews expect a resurrection
of the dead (Job. 19:25,26; Psalm 49:15; Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 13:14;
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This page was last updated on 24 March 2013
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