The Hebrew Civilization
The Hebrew community formed around the desert is a branch of the Semitic race. According to a popular theory, the name Hibu is derived from the name Khabiru or Habiru. According to another, the word comes from Ivar. These mean low-caste or nomadic nomadic groups. However, the Hebrews occupy a prominent place among the modern civilizations.
Country and society: In the beginning, the Hebrews were established in Palestine and Syria, but their ancestors settled in Mesopotamia under the leadership of Abraham. Later the leadership of his son (Yaqub A.) took place. Jacob’s other name is Israel. Immediately after Yaqub, around 1330-50 BC, Prophet Moses (PBUH) reunited the Hebrews. He freed them from the shackles of slavery and opened the door to a better civilization in Palestine. In addition to commerce, Palestine’s economy is dominated by agriculture and animal husbandry. As a result, the society was divided into urban farmers and herders. Another section was entirely nomadic or Bedouin. They lived in the fringes of the eastern and southern deserts. Among the Hebrew rulers, David (Dawood a.) and his son Solomon (Solaiman a.) established a great empire by occupying Jerusalem. Slavery became widespread during the Hebrew period. The king and the ministers were forced to work in groups with the slaves through torture. Slavery came to an end during the reign of Dawood (A.S.). Hindu nationalism and national unity began under his leadership. He played a special role in building an orderly and cooperative society by uniting people of different races. As a result, a well-organized society based on justice is formed. The special contribution of the Hebrew nation in the history of human civilization is the development of their religious thought. The Hebrew religion was established through various evolutions. As a result of the establishment of monotheistic ideology among them, light appeared as a beacon even in the dark ages. Hebrews places the highest importance on moral standards. They considered ‘Zheba’ as the symbol of the monotheistic lawgiver and moral ideal. They believe that a great man will appear in the future. He will save the entire mankind. Gradually they believe in doomsday and the hereafter. Christianity and Islam emerged following the straight lines of doomsday and monotheism. Steward Easton said, “Both Christianity and Islam have adopted a considerable portion of the Hebrew religious insights as their OWTL.” The name of the Hebrew religious book is known as the Torah.
Economic Life: The economy of the Hebrews was concerned with natural resources, animal husbandry, or pastoralism. The water irrigation system in Palestine was very complex and problematic. Because most of the country is mountainous and there was a lack of surface water. But in some areas, wheat and barley and other food grains and crops were cultivated by using rainwater. Sheep and goats were grazed on an extensive basis in the highlands. Trade, agriculture, and animal husbandry improved considerably. The introduction of taxation was a significant event in the development of the Hebrew financial system. There the rich regions had to pay more and the poorer regions had to pay labor taxes.
Governance: The Hebrews, accustomed to a law-and-order lifestyle, were well governed by laws. Their law was better than the famous law of Hammurabi. Emancipation of slaves, protection of the interests of the destitute, condemnation of gluttony, and encouragement of the abolition of usury were the themes of their laws. The Talmud, a continuous collection of Hebrew laws, is a notable literary masterpiece.
Literature and Philosophy: The contribution of Hebrews to literature and philosophy is significant. The essence of religious philosophy was rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. Besides, religion, heroism, polygamy, etc. were the themes of Hebrew literature. The unique sign of their literature is the ‘Book of Job’. In the book, the characters and roles of man, Satan, and God are very dramatically discussed. The next book of hymns (The Book of Psalms) is a very good literary example. Before the Greeks, the Hebrews were able to give rise to wonderful philosophy. This philosophy incarnates new ideas about the universe, people, and life. The structure of the universe, engineering, idealism, skepticism, sadism refinement, etc. were considered subjects of their philosophies.
Paintings and Crafts: Painted seals are unique examples of paintings from the Hebrew civilization. The Sumerian and Hittite influences of these engraved works of art gave prominence to the Hebrew civilization.
Architecture and Art: The contribution of Hebrew civilization to architecture and art is undeniable. The Hebrews left numerous monuments of architectural and artistic achievements. The beautiful palaces, buildings, and streets of the city of Jerusalem were the wonders of the world at that time. The Dead Sea School or Desert Documents, written in Hebrew on leather on fifty potsherds inside a cave, indicate the depth and character of the artwork of the Hebrew civilization. The influence of Hebrew civilization exists in the creation of modern civilization. Their systems of government, rule of law, and recognition of individual autonomy and individual rights have encouraged the development of modern democracy.