The Patriarchs of Ancient Israel

Now that we have concluded our unit on ancient Egypt, we have moved into our final unit of the semester: ancient Israel. The primary historical source for the history of the Israelites is the Bible (what Jews call the Tanakh and what Christians call the Old Testament), and thus much of our reading has been concentrated on the Bible. This last week the students learned about the patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and their relation to the overarching story of the Israelites as well as Jacob’s son Joseph and his time in Egypt. As we progress through the history of ancient Israel, non-biblical archaeological sources from the ancient world will be used to shed light on the biblical narrative.