Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Middle East, Judaism, God, Religion, Egypt, People, Kingdom, Belief

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/06

Questions and Answers

Explain the cause(s) for the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt.Explain the cause(s) for the collapse of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt
First long period of stable and effective central government in Egypt accounted for during the reign of the third - sixth dynasty, a period of so-called Old Kingdom. During the reign of the third and fourth dynasties, Egypt entered a period of prosperity. Unlimited power of the pharaohs that successfully run the state. The stability of the government and successful foreign policy promote economic rise of Egyptian society. This period is mostly known for the pyramid building. However, it had ended in a true chaos. Historical sources do not tell us much about what really happened, but we know that the development of the country gradually fell into decay during the next dynasties. Maybe it was due to not proper governance. As we know, there have been dramatic changes in climate that led to the drying up of the Nile and lakes and led to further not yield, and reduced the rainfalls, which led to famine (Fekri, 2005). Egypt suffered from armed uprisings and disease. Local officials were responsible for preserving and storing food supplies were not able to cope with their work. Kings clearly neglected its responsibility and authority as the main duties were in the central government. During the next 100 years, Egypt had split apart (Fekri, 2005). War broke out between the Kings near Memphis and rival kings at Thebes. Moreover, even governors tried to challenge the Kings. Famine continued, and the government was not able to do anything about it. Finally, King Mentuhotep II of Thebes reunited Upper and Lower Egypt in the 2055 B.C. His new dynasty launched a new era in Egyptian civilization that was called the Middle Kingdom. The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom were able to stabilize Egyptian society. The state was thriving, and all pharaohs conducted a consistent policy. The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom, restore damaged irrigation system of canals, build new mines and mining fortress on the borders of the state, and restore the tradition of building the pyramids (although it was not such a scale and scope). Decline of the Middle Kingdom begins with the reign of Amenemhet IV 1798-1790 BC and continued until the reign of his sister, Queen Sobekneferu in 1789-1786 BC (Knight, 2009). After her death, the throne falls into the hands of inexperienced kings. There followed a long period of revolts and civil wars that lasted for about eighty years. This period is known permanent change of government, bureaucracy and slow decline, that weakened the Egyptian army, and when dealing with serious opponent it did not resist (Knight, 2009). This eventually collapsed the Middle Kingdom.

Second part

Describe and discuss three aspects of the Hebrew religious tradition that affected their conception of God. Describe three characteristics of the Hebrew religion that made it unique among the religions of the ancient Near East.
Hebrew religion or Judaism is the first truly monotheistic religion. Guideline of Judaism - belief in one God. Historically, this belief has identified isolation of Jews from neighboring mythological cultures. Jews believe that God created the universe out of nothing. With this faith, it follows that God created the world in strict accordance to His plan. The human mind is not available to understand the mechanism of the process of creation out of nothing fully. Creation - is not an isolated act, but an ongoing process. That is why in prayers Jews celebrate God as the one who "of the goodness of His constantly, every day renews creation." Idolatry is equally forbidden to Jews and non-Jews. Jews believe idolatry as even attempt to present God as an image. Judaism prohibits blasphemy, which means the curses of God. At a higher level, Judaism requires individuals to develop respectful and meticulous attitude to everything connected with God (Neusner, 1992, p. 3).
Judaism with the passage of time has undergone significant changes, although this religion originated long before the birth of Christ, under Judaism properly be understood faith of the Jewish people over the past two thousand years. The ancestor of the Jewish people became Abraham. Spiritual experience that Abraham received, he gave his people, Israel. This name was given to the patriarch Jacob after his mysterious struggle with God (Genesis 32:28). Subsequently, it obtained a wider value: under this name refers to the Jewish people as descended from the 12 sons of Jacob.
Abraham passed the experience of communion with God to his descendants, of which actually originated the people to keep the faith of Abraham. This belief was then the world's only monotheistic religion, that is, one in which the worship of the one God, the Person, the Creator of the world. After Israel through Moses on Mount Sinai took Testament (the Ten Commandments), concluding with God alliance mutual fidelity, he was called "the people of God."
The history of the relationship of the Jewish people with God, and the revelation of God through the prophets was imprinted for centuries in the sacred books that made up the Old Testament. In Judaism, these books are called the Tanakh and divided by the Law (Torah), the Prophets and the Writings (Neusner, 1992, p. 3).
In the Old Testament tells us that Abraham's descendants were slaves in Egypt. God commanded Moses to lead the people out of slavery and bring into the land which he promised to Abraham's descendants. On the way from Egypt to the promised land the Law was given to the people. In the new land originally God Himself was the ruler of his people. However, the people, as the impoverishment of faith in him, wanted to have an ordinary earthly king, in the likeness of devices neighboring kingdoms. The third king Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, and the service was performed only there. The main form of worship was sacrificing animals.
The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar (604 - 562 BC) destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and led the Jewish people in captivity. During the Babylonian captivity, when the Israelites lost the opportunity to gather in the temple of Solomon to serve God, they were only able to perform the main precepts of the Old Testament. After the year 538 BC, when the Persian king Cyrus permitted them to return to their homeland, they built a new temple on the site of the demolished. In the IV century BC Israelites were conquered by the Greeks, and in the I century BC - by Romans.
Later among the Jews were extremely strong messianic expectations. They hoped for the coming of the Messiah as an earthly king who will restore the power of their people. Therefore, the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and the kingdom is "not of this world."


Fekri A. H. (2005) A River Runs Through Egypt: Nile Floods and Civilization. Geotimes. Retrieved from: http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/apr05/feature_NileFloods.html
Knight C.S. (2009) A Short History of Egypt Part II: The Middle Kingdom and the Intermediate Periods. 2009. Retrieved from: https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/course/98-030/hist2.pdf
Neusner J. (1992) A Short History of Judaism: Three Meals, Three Epochs. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress. p. 3-9

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