At some point in the 1st or 2nd millennium BC an idea began that the pagan gods were chaotic and led to a chaotic society. Better, it was assumed, to have One God. This radical new thought changed history forever.
The One God was without personality, and unlike other gods, He intervened directly in history. This was not for Himself, but for His Chosen People, with whom a Covenant was made.
The story is told in the Old Testament. It begins with the Creation, where God created the world in Six Days and rested on the seventh. Eventually, Adam and Eve realize their nakedness after eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and are cast out of the Garden of Eden. Two of their sons fight and Cain slays Abel, and man is destined to a hard life of toil.
As the generations of man come and go, God realizes their evilness and sends a Flood. Only Noah, his family, and animal pairs are saved by God ordering the building of an Ark. When man continues to thrive but know evil, God decides on more subtle actions – the ‘idea’ of His existence.
The original idea of God was given to Abraham by God Himself, who took his people away from Mesopotamia to a Promised Land, which we know of as Israel. They flourished into twelve Tribes, but were eventually taken into slavery by the Egyptians.
Eventually, a prince of Egypt, who was really Hebrew, or an Israelite, himself, led his people out of captivity. His name was Moses, and he received, from God, the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering, the Israelites invaded the Promised Land and made it their own.
An empire flowered under David and his son, Solomon, but by the 6th century BC the Israelites were exiled following a Babylonian incursion. Some prophets began speaking of a Messiah who would save them.
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