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I am the Lord your God


For centuries it was true that what is in the Bible happened that way. Then one began to wonder how Moses could describe one's own death in such detail. Where did the stories come from?

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Troops of King Nebuchadnezzar burn Jerusalem down (oil painting by Juan de la Corte, 17th century).

Photo: akg images

This text first appeared in SPIEGEL HISTORY 6/2014

It must have been a terrible slaughter and rage: Conflagrations swept through the streets.

Arrows bored into houses and human bodies.

Thousands were dragged off into enemy territory or killed.

When the army of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in the summer of 587 BC

When he finally abandoned the kingdom of Judah and its capital Jerusalem, there was not much left of the proud mountain state: Jerusalem's houses, the royal palace and the temple of the national god Yahweh were destroyed, the fields around it devastated, the king's sons murdered, priests and politicians deported .

This is what the second book of kings tells about, and archaeological finds confirm it.

The king himself was blinded and starved in captivity in Babylon.

"With this great catastrophe," writes the Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, "the religious and national existence of the people of Israel could have come to an end."

But the Israelites survived and from their experience in exile created important parts of the work that shapes the world to this day: the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, adopted in Christianity with a slightly different canon as the Old Testament.

A font full of beliefs and laws, but also adventurous stories and poetry.

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Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2020-12-15

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