Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistory to Present Day


  Illustrated History of the World

First Empires - ca. 7000 B.C. - 200 A.D.

Key Ideas: Judaism

Moses with the Torah, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Key Ideas:



Judaism is the oldest of the three great monotheistic religions and provides the historical background to Christianity and Islam.

One characteristic of Judaism is an identity which involves membership in both a religion and a people.

This complex dualism is embodied by the Jewish state of Israel, founded in 1948, where secularist Zionism and Orthodox Judaism coexist.


Moses holding up his arms during the battle, assisted by Aaron and Hur, by John Everett Millais

I. Old Testament history
collection: Moses

II. Old Testament history
collection: Judith

III. Old Testament history
collection: Delilah

IV. Old Testament history
collection: Susanna-I

V. The history of Judaism
collection: Susanna-II

VI. The history of Judaism
collection: Salome-I

VII. The history of Judaism
collection: Aubrey Beardsley "Salome"

Bible Illustrations by Gustave Dore

Julius von Carolsfeld
"Das Buch der Bucher in Bildeb"

William Blake "The Book of Job"



The Covenant with God

Jewish tradition teaches that God made a covenant exclusively with the people of Israel. The covenant is a central element of the Jewish religion. God, the creator of the world and of mankind, chose the people of Israel—beginning with the patriarch Abraham—as his people. Being the "chosen people" is at once equally a mark of honor and a burden. Man is directed to follow God's commandments, but, at the same time, is called upon to behave in an ethically responsible way and is accountable for his transgressions. The relationship to God is understood as a dialogue between God and mankind. God often revealed himself to man through prophets who proclaimed his will. Moses stands out among them as the deliverer of the Law—the Torah—which is doctrine, law, and according to Jewish tradition, the complete revelation of God in 613 commandments and prohibitions. It was Moses who transformed the belief in the Jewish tribal god—"God, the Father"— into a belief in a universal god; "Yahweh" was at first only the mightiest among the gods, but then he became the only god.


The Promised Land and the Diaspora

3 Moses not only brought God's law to the people of Israel but was also called to lead them out of captivity in Egypt to the 1 "Promised Land."

Moses with the Torah


Moses sees the Promised Land


The concept of the Promised Land has played a significant role in Judaism. The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom the history of Israel begins, were nomads in the land of Canaan. Abraham received the promise that his posterity would be a great people and that God would give them the land of Canaan. The promise was fulfilled after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt. After a long trek through the desert, they occupied and settled in Palestine.

There followed the founding of the Israelite kingdom and its capital Jerusalem, and the erection of the Jewish shrine,
4 the Temple. To this day, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are the most sacred sites of the Jewish faith.

The temple of Solomon, reconstructed mode!

Judaism was also shaped and given its decisive character by the Diaspora communities living as minorities among foreign cultures. This pattern began with the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel, which saw the Jews dispersed around the empire. In parallel to this tradition in Palestine, another tradition, the Kingdom of Judah, developed further south in Babylon. It wavered between assimilation and segregation, and had its own liturgy and literature. By the time of Roman rule, this had become the dominant form.

see also:

David Roberts

"A Journey in the Holy Land"




Moses, Michelangelo

The Finding of Moses, by Frederick Goodall (1885)


Moses Found, by
Paolo Veronese


Claude Lorrain. Landscape with the Finding of Moses


Charles de La Fosse, Finding of Moses


Moses Brought before Pharaoh's Daughter,
William Hogarth, 1746