The Birth of Ancient Israel
The chapter “Imagining the Birth of the Ancient Israel” describes the concept of the Israelites as ‘people’ or ‘Nation’ as depicted in the Hebrew Bible. The article further analyses the culture of the Israelites by relating it to the Canaanite groups that existed by then. Consequently, it discusses the Jewish cultures that dominated in the Greco-Roman world, Babylonia, Palestine, and Arabia at the formative period of Islam (Biale 30). In other words, the article is composed of a biblical narrative-critical reading of the origin of the Israelites that the author considers being imaginations.
The author describes several stories and metaphors relating to the biblical readings and more especially in the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Ezekiel. The narrated stories explain the origin of nationality among the Israelites. For instances, the author metaphorically considers the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites as the rebirth of a new generation. Subsequently, the article surmises that the stories of the Israelites in these books contained the people’s national biography (Biale 22). The stories are narrated in comparison with the ancient mythological literature thereby identifying the article’s goals. It is from these books that the Israelites can ascertain their national identity.
The entire behavior of Israel is therefore depicted in the biblical context as a character. The biography of Israel aligns to that of individual character such as Moses and Abraham throughout the biblical stories. The history of Israel, therefore, replete with significant repetitions implying that there is no random event. Each and every event is linked to the entire story of the Israelites. It is from this imagination that one can identify the origin of the Israelites and identify them as a nation.
Biale, David. Cultures of the Jews: Volume 1. New York: Schocken Books, 2006. Print.