Ancient Palestine: A Historical Introduction
The history of Ancient Palestine, and most of the Middle East, is dominated by religious events and figures. Archaeological digs and ancient architecture dot a region where documented fact and religious tradition have commingled to form a fascinating tangle of myth and history. With this in mind, the lesson plan given here is meant to introduce students to the land of Canaan where modern day Israel, Jordan and Lebanon now sit.It deals with Abraham, the Exodus, and the exile in Babylon. While it is true that the Exodus was never empirically proven and there is only one artifact that points to the Jewish people being in Egypt at all, it’s a great story that includes the ancient cultures and geography of the area.
Lesson focus: To introduce students to the history of the area in the Middle East that holds modern day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon. It is intended to familiarize students with the area's past so as to help them understand the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Educational Standards Met:
NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies) Thematic Standard: III People, Places, and Environment.
NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies) Thematic Standard: IV Individual Development and Identity.
NSS (National Social Sciences) -WH.5-12.1 ERA 2: Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples, 400-100 BCE.
1) In ancient times the nations of Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan did not exist. The area where these countries now are was known as Canaan.
a) According to the Bible, the Israelites were led into Canaan by Abraham.Abraham was believed to have come from Ur, a city in Mesopotamia.
b) Canaan was already occupied by Phoenicians, Canaanites, and Philistines.
2) Israelites were the only monotheists.
3) Abraham’s Grandson Jacob had twelve sons.
a) Each became the head of one of The Twelve Tribes of Israel.
b) Famine drove the tribes into Egypt
c) Around 1200 BC the Exodus from Egypt is believed to have occurred.It is the tale of the Jewish people fleeing Egypt and slavery. It is celebrated by Jews each year at Passover.
d) Moses was the Prophet who led them out of Egypt.
e) Moses did not live to reach Canaan.His successor Joshua led the people across the Jordan River and finishes the journey.
4) For about 200 years the Jews clash with the Philistines and Canaanites.
5) Era of Judges.
a) The effort to rule Canaan was hindered by disagreement among the tribes.
b) Each tribe was governed by leaders known as judges. The judges held both military and judicial authority.