The Birth of Judaism
Taken from the Bible (New International Version)
Bible , also called the Holy Bible, the
sacred book or Scriptures of Judaism and of Christianity. The
Bible of Judaism and the Bible of Christianity are different,
however, in some important ways. The Jewish Bible is the Hebrew
Scriptures, 39 books originally written in Hebrew, except for
a few sections in Aramaic. The Christian Bible is in two parts,
the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. The
Old Testament is structured in two slightly different forms by
the two principal divisions of Christendom.
The term Bible is derived through Latin from the Greek biblia,
or “books,” the
diminutive form of byblos, the word for “papyrus” or “paper,” which
was exported from the ancient Phoenician port city of Biblos. By the time of
the Middle Ages the books of the Bible were considered a unified entity.
Genesis: Chapter 13 (excerpt)
God tells Abram about the “Promised
14 The LORD said to Abram …, "Lift up your eyes from where
you are and look north and south, east and west. 15 All the land that
you see I will give to you and your offspring 
forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so
that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.
17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving
it to you."
Genesis: Chapter 15 (excerpt)
God’s covenant with Abram
(who later is called Abraham – the “ah” is
added to his name because it is the breath of God, and
God was with Abram now. The splitting of an animal and
walking between the halves was a symbol of covenant between
people. The blazing torch passing between the pieces was
God’s way of formalizing the covenant.
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to
Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield, 
your very great reward.  "
7 He also said to him, "I am the LORD , who brought you out of Ur
of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
8 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD , how can I know that I will
gain possession of it?"
9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram,
each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves
opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then
birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick
and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know
for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not
their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.
14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they
will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your
fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation
your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has
not yet reached its full measure."
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with
a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day
the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants
I give this land, from the river 
of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- …"
Exodus: Chapter 2 (excerpt)
The Israelites, taken captive by
the Egyptians, are forced to work as slaves in Egypt. The
Israelite population in Egypt grows to the point that the
Pharoah becomes concerned. He decrees that the male Israelites
will be killed to keep the population down. A baby boy
Israelite is born, but the mother sets him afloat in a
basket down the Nile river. An Egyptian princess rescues
him and raises him as her son. The baby is named Moses.
1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a
Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a
son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for
three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she
got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch.
Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds
along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance
to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants
were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds
and sent her slave girl to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby.
He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew
babies," she said.
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people
were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating
a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing
no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day
he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why
are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?"
14 The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you
thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was
afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known."
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled
from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian
Exodus: Chapter 3 (excerpt)
God appears to Moses in a burning
bush, telling Moses that he will deliver the Israelites
out of Egypt.
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro
his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock
to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain
of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames
of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush
was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I
will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him
from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am."
5 "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals,
for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he
said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God
of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because
he was afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in
Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and
I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue
them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that
land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey-the
home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the
way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you
to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."
11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh
and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
12 And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign
to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people
out of Egypt, you 
will worship God on this mountain."
Exodus: Chapter 14 (excerpt)
Moses goes back to Egypt to demand
that the Pharaoh release the Israelites from their captivity.
Pharaoh refuses and ten different plagues (blood, frogs,
gnats, flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness,
and finally the firstborn son). After each of the fist
nine plagues, the Pharaoh refuses to free the Israelites.
However the tenth plague (which kills his firstborn son)
changes his mind, and he lets the Israelites go. Later,
he sends his army out to destroy the fleeing Israelites.
13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and
you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians
you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you;
you need only to be still."
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell
the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand
over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through
the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so
that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh
and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians
will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots
and his horsemen."
19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's
army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from
in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt
and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one
side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night
the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into
dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through
the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their
23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh's horses and chariots
and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of
the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the
Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He made the wheels of their
chariots come off 
so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, "Let's
get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt."
26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the
sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots
and horsemen." 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and
at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing
it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and
covered the chariots and horsemen-the entire army of Pharaoh that had
followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall
of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the LORD saved
Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians
lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the great power
the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD
and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.