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Crossroads Timeline- Ancient Sojourns through the Holy Land

Based on “A Historical Survey of the Jewish Population in Palestine Presented to the United Nations in 1947 by Vaad Leumi on Behalf of the Creation of a Jewish State.”

ca. 3000 B.C.E.- The official symbol of Narmer, founder of Egypt’s 1st Dynasty and the first pharaoh to unite the country, appears on an Early Bronze Age vessel discovered in the Negev city of Arad, suggesting trade between Egypt and Israel .

ca. 2350 B.C.E.- Sargon the Great, the king of Akkad, claims to have campaigned as far north as the Mediterranean, as well as “Cedar Mountain,” which may refer to the Lebanon.

ca. 22nd century B.C.E.- A tomb inscription of a Sixth-Dynasty military officer discusses an Egyptian military campaign probably directed against cities in Israel and the destruction of vines, fig trees and fortified towns.

ca. 20th century B.C.E.- The great Egyptian tale of Sinuhe recounts how a royal attaché left the service of Sesostris I to live among the tribes inhabiting the land of Israel.

17th to 16th centuries B.C.E.- The Hyksos, a Semitic-speaking people from the Levant, invade northern Egypt, which absorbs elements of Semitic culture, language and religious beliefs.

15th century B.C.E.- Pharaoh Thutmose I claims to have campaigned as far east as the Euphrates river

15th century B.C.E.- Pharaoh Thutmose III conducts at least 16 military campaigns in the southern Levant, conquering the Canaanite city of Megiddo and demanding tributary revenue from various Canaanite city-states.

15th century B.C.E.- Amenhotep II campaigns in the southern Levant.

14th century B.C.E.- 400 cuneiform tablets at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt detail diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and Canaanite city-states.

14th century B.C.E.- The expansion of the Hittite empire into southern Syria threatens Egypt’s monopoly on vassal revenue.

13th century B.C.E.- Pharaoh Seti I campaigns in the Levant and erects a victory stela in the Canaanite city of Beit Shean, which houses an Egyptian garrison.

ca. 1275 B.C.E.- Pharaoh Ramses II battles the Hittites near the Syrian town of Kadesh.

ca. 1207 B.C.E.- Pharaoh Merneptah’s stela commemorates victories over the Libyans, Canaan and Israel, serving as the earliest extra-Biblical reference to the name Israel in antiquity.

12th century B.C.E.- Pharaoh Ramses III erects a statue of himself alongside the victory stela of Seti I in the city of Beth-shan.

ca. 1185 B.C.E.- The Philistines, “Sea Peoples” from the Aegean Sea, attack Egypt but retreat and conquer coastal areas of Canaan.

11th century- The Egyptian Report of Wen-Amon relates a trading expedition to Byblos, a port city in Lebanon.

ca. 925 B.C.E.- Pharaoh Shoshenq I, known as Shishak in the Bible, erects an inscription in Thebes that claims domination over various Israelite cities; an ancient fragment from the city of Megiddo confirms his local campaigns.

9th century B.C.E.- King Assurnasirpal II expands the Assyrian empire into Syria.

9th century B.C.E.- King Shalmaneser III of Assyria repeatedly invades southwestern Syria several times but is rebuffed by a coalition of kings, including King Ahab of Israel.

Early 8th century B.C.E.- King Adad-nirari III of Assyria campaigns near Damascus, where he compels King Joash of Israel to pay tribute.

Mid-8th century B.C.E.- King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria campaigns twice against the southern Levant, destroying Damascus and annexing a large portion of Israel.

Mid-8th century B.C.E.- Arabian Queen Samsi deals in the spice trade in northern Jordan.

727 B.C.E.- King Shalmaneser V of Assyria besieges and conquers Israel’s capital Samaria.

722 B.C.E.- King Sargon II of Assyria destroys the Northern Kingdom of Israel and deports Israelites into exile.

701 B.C.E.- King Sennacherib of Assyria destroys all walled cities outside of Jerusalem, which is fails to conquer, and deports the vast majority of the Judean population.

Early 7th century B.C.E.- King Esarhaddon of Assyria uses Arab mercenaries to help his army cross the Sinai and invade Egypt.

7th century B.C.E.- King Assurbanipal of Assyria invades Egypt.

587 B.C.E.- King Nebuchadnezzar II destroys Jerusalem and deports its citizens into exile in Mesopotamia.

Roman Rule, 63 B.C.E. – 313 C.E.

132-135- Dio Cassius reports 580,000 Jewish casualties perish in the Second Roman-Jewish War, led by Simon Bar-Kokhba, confirming that a substantial Jewish population survived from the time of the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. (p. 19).

136- Origines Adamantius, the Egyptian-born Christian philosopher and scholar, states Jewish pilgrimages continue to the Holy Land (p. 25 and footnote p. 25).

Late 100s- Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (146-211) prohibits Christianity within the Holy Land and forbids conversion to Judaism (footnote, p. 22).

Byzantine Rule, 313 – 640 C.E.

Early 300s- Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea writes the

Greek Onomasticon, the first topographical dictionary of the Bible, and describes Jews residing in the Judean highlands (p. 20 and footnote, p. 22).

Early 300s- The Vita of St. Susanna recognizes the Jewish community of Caesarea, according to the Acta Sanctorum. (footnote, p. 22).

333- THE PILGRIM FROM BORDEAUX, THE EARLIEST RECORDED CHRISTIAN VISITOR TO THE HOLY LAND, STATES, “JEWS ANNUALLY RETURN TO THE WESTERN WALL TO MOURN” (FOOTNOTE, P. 26).

337- Emperor Julian permits Jews to “rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple and to resettle” in the Holy Land (p. 26 and footnote, p. 26).

337- Gregory of Nazianzus states Jews attempt to “rebuild the Temple with their own hands upon hearing Julian’s promise” (footnote, p. 26).

340- Roman historian Ammianus MarC.E.llinus (circa 330-400) describes mysterious balls of fire halting reconstruction of the Temple (footnote, p. 22).

334-407- John Chrysostom (Chrysostomus), the antisemitic Patriarch of Constantinople, describes Jews residing in the Holy Land (p. 22).

347- St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Africa notes Jews live eternally in Canaan (p. 23 and footnote p. 23).

420- Church Father Jerome, Hieronymous, translator of the Bible into Latin, documents a high Jewish birth rate (p. 23 and footnote p. 23).

351- Emperor Valens records Jews living in the Galilee (pp. 24-25).

385- Sylvia notes Jews reside in Libias (Beit Ramatah) (footnote, p. 26).

400- The Catholic Synod of Jerusalem notes Jews of the Holy Land annoy Christians (footnote, p. 26).

Early 400s- Monk Barsuma states “Jews dominate the region” (p. 22).

400s- Christian author Epiphanius documents seven synagogues on Mount Zion (p. 19).

415-423- ROMAN LEGISLATION KNOWN AS THE “THEODIAN CODE”, ISSUED BY THEODOSIUS II, EMPEROR OF THE EAST FORBIDS DESTRUCTION OF SYNAGOGUES IN THE HOLY LAND (XVI.8.25) AND CIRCUMCISION OF A NON-JEW BY A JEW (XVI.8.26) (FOOTNOTE, P. 26).

486- King Julian notes Jewish return to the Holy Land, concealing an evil plan “under the mask of goodwill” (footnote, p. 26).

560-570- Antonius Martyr documents Jewish communities in Hebron, Nazareth and Samaria (footnote, p. 26).

570- The Piacenza pilgrim describes “beautiful Jewish women in the Galilee” (footnote, p. 26).

Persian Rule, 614-629 C.E.

634- An anonymous Syrian records the slaughter of Christians, Jews and Samaritans during the Arab conquest of the Holy Land (footnote, p. 26).

637- ACCORDING TO THE PACT (DECREE) OF OMAR, JEWS MUST PRAY QUIETLY AND ARE PROHIBITED FROM ALLOWING CO-RELIGIONISTS TO CONVERT, BUILD NEW SYNAGOGUES, RIDE HORSES AND HOLD JUDICIAL OR CIVIL POSTS.

Arab Rule, 640 — 1099

670- Arculf describes Jewish life in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 30).

850- MUSLIMS FORCE JEWS TO WEAR A YELLOW PATCH.

900s- Arab writer Al-Biruni describes Jews celebrating Sukkot on the Mount of Olives (footnote, p. 36).

985- The Arab writer Muqaddasi states that, “The mosque is empty. The Jews constitute the majority of Jerusalem’s population” (footnote p. 36).

1047- Nasir-i-Khusraw records Jews coming in great numbers to visit Jerusalem’s synagogues (footnote, p. 36).

Crusader Rule, 1099 — 1291

Early 1100s- Crusaders decimate Jewish communities in Acre, Caesarea, Haifa and Jerusalem. Inhabitants of Jaffa and Ramleh flee. Rural Jewish settlements in the Galilee evade destruction. (pp. 37-38).

1120- A Christian manuscript states Jews assist Arabs conquering Hebron, for which the Jews receive permission to dwell near the Cave of Machpelah, the ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah and Joseph (footnote, p. 38).

1120s- Crusaders ban Jews from Jerusalem, yet a few Jewish families return (p. 39).

1218- SALADIN REPEALS THE BAN OF JEWS IN JERUSALEM, (P. 42 AND FOOTNOTE, P. 44).

Early 1300s- Church officials, including William, Bishop of Tyre, and Jacob, Bishop of Acre, rally against increased Jewish freedoms (p. 41).

Mamluk Rule, 1291 — 1516

1306- France expels the Jews. “How many are they who are rousing themselves and voluntarily immigrating to the Land of Israel; and many are they who think that we are coming close to the arrival of the Savior,” writes anonymous author (footnote, p. 47).

1333- Wilhelm von Boldensele of Germany records Jews regularly visiting graves in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 50).

1335- Monk Jacob of Verona records a Jewish community in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 49).

1336- Sir John Madenville attests to Jews traveling to visit the Cave of Machpelah, the ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah and Joseph (footnote, p. 50).

1341- Lydolph von Suchems notes a Jewish place of worship in Hebron (footnote, p. 50).

1377- Arab historian Ibn Khaldun attests to Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extending for more than 1400 years. (footnote, p. 47).

1384- Leonardo Frescobaldi and Gorgio Gucci records Jews worshipping in Hebron and living in Gaza, respectively (footnote, p. 50).

1391- Christian travelers record the number of Jews in Gaza as approximately equal to that in Jerusalem (p. 50).

Early 1400s- WHITE-TURBANED MUSLIM LEADERSHIP FORCES JEWS TO WEAR YELLOW TURBANS. (pp. 48-49).

1422- John Poloner attests to a “Jewish street” in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 51).

1474- A fanatic Muslim judge, a Kadi, leads a mob to destroy Jerusalem’s only synagogue.

1479- Johann Tuchers von Nuremberg records frequent Jewish pilgrimages to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron, the ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah and Joseph (footnote, p. 50).

1484- Bernharts Von Breitnbach attests to a Hebrew-speaking community of 500 Jews in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 50).

1489- Approximately 200 Jewish households reside in Jerusalem, according to an anonymous letter (footnote, p. 51).

1492- The Bohemian pilgrim Martin Kabatnik records a large Jewish population in Jerusalem(footnote, p. 51).

1499- Arnold von Harff, a knight from Cologne, records a Jewish community in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 51).

Turkish/Ottoman Rule, 1517 — 1917

Early 1500s- The condition of Jews in Jerusalem is dismal, writes Fra Fancesco Suriano (footnote, p. 60).

1533-1534- The Turkish tax register, Tahrir, documents approximately 80 Jewish households exist in the Acre area, 54 in Peqiin, 10 in Kefar Yasif and 10 in Shafaram (footnote, p. 56).

1538-1539- The Tahrir, the Turkish tax register,

documents 1,630 Jews in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 56).

1546-1547- Voldrich Defat describes a community of “many Jews” in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 59).

1547- The French traveler, Pierre Belon, records Jews resuming settlement of the Galilee (p. 59).

1556- The Tahrir tax register documents 115 Jewish households in Gaza, 2,350 Jews in Jerusalem, 719 Jewish households and 63 bachelors in Safed and 38 Jewish households in Acre (footnote, p. 56).

1563- The Tahrir tax register documents 1,720 Jews in Jerusalem, 81 Jewish households in Gaza and 45 in Acre (footnote, p. 56).

1568- An Ottoman survey records 1,160 Jews live in Jerusalem and 670 Jewish households in Safed (footnote, p. 56).

1573- The Tahrir tax register documents 79 Jewish households in Acre (footnote, p. 56).

1576- Sultan Selim II deports 1,000 Jewish families from Safed to Cyprus.

1577- Selim II deports another 500 Safed families.

1578- Selim II recalls exiled Jews because of economic decline in Safed (footnote, p. 58).

1579- Ottomans persecute Jews of Jerusalem (p. 59).

1584- Sultan Selim II is alarmed by Safed’s 32 active synagogues due to Muslims complaints. Arab Bedouin and Druze repeatedly raid Safed, causing an exodus of Jews (p. 58 and footnote p. 58).

1586- Governor Abu Sifyan seizes the synagogue founded by Nachmanides in Jerusalem in 1272 (p. 59).

1593- Suleiman ben Yaish Duke of Mitylene permits Jewish settlement in Tiberius (p. 58).

1596-1597- The Tahrir tax register documents

904 Jewish households in Safed (footnote, p. 59), 73 Jewish households in Gaza (footnote, p. 60) and 11 in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 59).

1598- AN OTTOMAN EDICT CONFIRMS CONFISCATION OF THE NACHMANIDES SYNAGOGUE IN JERUSALEM BECAUSE “THE NOISY CEREMONIES OF THE JEWS IN ACCORDANC.E. WITH THEIR ‘FALSE RITES’ HINDER [MUSLIM] PIOUS DEVOTION AND DIVINE WORSHIP” (FOOTNOTE, P. 59).

1625- Jewish Jerusalem is destroyed by the Turkish District Governor, Ibn Farukh, according to an eyewitness report in Hurvot Yerushalayim/The Ruins of Jerusalem (pp. 63-64).

1640s- French traveler, Roger, describes 4,000 Jews in Jerusalem, 4,000 in Safed and numerous others in Caesarea and elsewhere (pp. 62-63).

1649- The Turkish traveler, Evlia Chelebi (Eveliya Tsheleby), describes a secure housing that protects Safed Jews (pp. 56-57, p. 62 and footnote, p. 57).

1658- Minister Henry Jessie describes Jerusalem’s impoverished Jews (footnote, p. 63).

1658- French traveler, Le Blanc, describes Jews residing in Gaza and Hebron (p. 64).

1700-1723- Approximately 2,000 Jews inhabit Jerusalem, according to Christian travelers, Johann Aegidius Van Egmont and John Heyman (footnote, p. 65).

1726- A Christian traveler notes 12 Jewish households in Tiberius (footnote, p. 65).

1741-1743- Sheikh Daher el-Omar conquers Acre, Haifa, and Tiberius and invites Rabbi Haim Abboulafia to found a new community in Tiberius (pp. 66-67).

1754- An anonymous Christian traveler notes 200 Safed Jews (footnote, p. 70).

1767- A Christian traveler notes more than 100 Jews inhabit Tiberius (footnote, p. 66).

1799- Napoleon Bonaparte conquers a major part of the Holy Land. To rally Jews behind his struggle against Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire, Napoleon issues a manifesto urging Jews to conquer the Land and re-establish a Jewish state. The French and Turks inflict terrible hardships on Palestinian Jews (pp. 69-70).

Early 1800’s- Jewish settlements are concentrated in the Galilee, Acre, Tiberius, Safed and villages (p. 71).

1819- Ahmad Abdallah Pasha, local Turkish potentate, persecutes Safed Jews (p. 72).

1838-39- Jews are massacred and Safed is looted by the Arab Druze (p. 72).

1850- Approximately 20,000 Jews live in Palestine, including 13,800 Jews in Jerusalem, 4,000 in Safed and 2,000 in Tiberius and 700 in Hebron, According to the Anglo-Jewish Association C.E.nsus (p. 74).

1887- The Russian Consul to the Holy Land reports that 1,500 immigrate annually from Germany, parts of North Africa, Turkey and Russia. Some 4,000 families live in the Holy Land (p. 74).

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