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Quote:"To the Israelites we owe the idea of equality before the law, both Divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of human person; of the individual conscience and of collective conscience, and social responsibility. The world without the Jews would have been a radically different place. Humanity might have eventually stumbled upon all the Jewish insights, but we cannot be sure. All the great conceptual discoveries of the human intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they had been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift." (Paul Johnson, Christian historian, author of A History of the Jews and A History of Christianity).

This was unlike idolatry, which had tended to go hand in hand with cruel, licentious and excessive behavior, since the caprices which were narrated concerning the idols were adopted as an excuse to imitate those types of behavior.

Another quote:
"I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation ... fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations" (John Adams, 2nd President of the United States).

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At the time of Abraham the Hebrew, other nations were full of pagan cults; they were polytheistic, worshiping multiple deities and lacking moral character; with their rites accompanied by things such as human sacrifice, "sacred" prostitution, and animal worship. Abraham was the first to advance the idea of ethical monotheism: the worship of One God, and the appropriate ethical code of conduct.
Link: How Abraham founded Judaism
The Israelites differed from other ancient peoples in the following ways:

  • It was the only religion in which God spoke to the entire assembled nation (Exodus ch.19) of over two million people.

  • It made a complete break from the surrounding idolatry.
Link: Israelite monotheism
  • Their belief in One God set the Israelites apart because other ancient nations did not share it. We've heard (for example) of Greek mythology and Roman mythology. What not everyone is aware of is that idolatry had no moral character whatsoever and sometimes led to aberrations in people's behavior. Compare that to God, who reveals His attributes in the Torah as wise, kind, holy, and pure. God is One, so the command to imitate His attributes (Deuteronomy 8:6) was (and is) a straightforward matter once one is even minimally familiar with the Torah.
Link: What do Jews believe God is like?
Accordingly, Judaism was:
  • The only ancient religion in which a large percentage of its adherents were literate and scholars.

  • It was the only religion in which the people were ruled by God, with no need for a king, for several centuries (see Judges 8:23 and 1 Samuel 8:4-7).

  • The concept of morality was also the work of the Hebrews' religion, including the dignity and value of a person. It is the responsibility of the community to support the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the stranger passing through.

  • Under the law of Judaism, everyone had recourse to the courts. A child, widow, wife, poor person, etc., could initiate legal action against any citizen to redress perpetrated harm. Compare this to those societies in which only mature, land-owning males had rights.

  • Government is accountable to a higher authority. In other ancient societies, the monarch was all-powerful. Among the Israelites, however, the king was under the constant scrutiny of the Divinely-informed prophets, who didn't hesitate to castigate him publicly for any misstep in the sight of God. And, other than for the crime of rebellion, the king couldn't punish any citizen by his own decision. He was obligated by the Torah-procedures like everyone else (Talmud, Sanhedrin 19a).
Link: The prophets
  • A robber repays double to his victim, or works it off. Unlike in many other ancient societies, in Judaism debtors are not imprisoned or harmed. They are made to sell property and/or work to repay what they owe. Compare this to the Roman practice by which anyone could accuse a man of owing them money and the debtor could be killed (Roman Twelve Tables of Law, 3:10).
It is important to note that every one of the above existed in Judaism thousands of years earlier than in other nations. Here's just one example: Infanticide was practiced in classical European nations until Judaism and its daughter-religions put a stop to it.

Link: European infanticide

Link: Israelite culture

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Q: What are the differences between the Israelite civilization the Assyrian Empire the Babylonian Empire and the Persian Empire?
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When did the neo-Babylonian fall?

I don't really say but I believe that neo-Babylonian fall because they had when to war with neo-Assyrian I might be right and I might be wrong

With which empires were the sister cities of Nineveh and Babylon associated?

They were associated with Assyria.

When did Babylon begin?

The Babylonian Empire was the most powerful state in the ancient world after the fall of the Assyrian empire (612 BCE). Its capital Babylon was beautifully adorned by king Nebuchadnezzar, who erected several famous buildings. Even after the Babylonian Empire had been overthrown by the Persian king Cyrus the Great (539), the city itself remained an important cultural center.

What is the correct order of The Assyrians conquered Israel King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem The Hebrew kingdom split in two after the death of King Solomon The Jewish Diaspora?

The splitting of the Israelite kingdomThe Assyrian conquest of IsraelNevuchadnezzar's siege of JerusalemThe Jewish diaspora (assuming you're not referring to the loss of the Ten Tribes)

Who created the Babylonian empire in 1787 BC?

There were many things going on in that area. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon builds a high dam that is roughly 16 mi long, joining the Tigris to the Euphrates and creating a giant lake behind it. In the Near East, the first half of this century was dominated by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean empire, which had risen to power late in the previous century after successfully rebelling against Assyrian rule. The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands. Babylonian rule was toppled however in the 540s, by Cyrus, who founded the Persian Empire in its place. The Persian Empire continued to expand and grew into the greatest empire the world had known at the time.

Related questions

What middle eastern civilization inherited many of Mesopotamia's achievements?

Assyrian, then Babylonian, then Persian.

What has the author A Leo Oppenheim written?

A. Leo Oppenheim has written: 'Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago Vol. 4E' 'Ancient Mesopotamia' -- subject(s): Civilization, Civilization, Assyro-Babylonian 'Letters from Mesopotamia' -- subject(s): Civilization 'Untersuchungen zum babylonischen Mietrecht' -- subject(s): Hire, Leases, Law, Assyro-Babylonian 'Ancient Mesopotamia: portrait of a dead civilization' -- subject(s): Civilization, Civilization, Assyro-Babylonian 'Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the Universe) (Assyrian Dictionary ... of the Oriental Institute of the Univers)'

Why did the assyrian civilization end?

When the Babylonian and Median armies attacked Nineveh, the capital city and heart of Assyria, the Assyrian empire collapsed.

Babylonian Empire in 1754 BC?

Babylonian-Assyrian cuneiform was used in writings.

What are the differences between the Israelite and the Assyrian accounts of Sargon's failed siege of Jerusalem?

The Israelite account gives the exact outcome, while the Assyrian inscriptions understandably maintain silence about the outcome. The Israelite narrative is backed up by both Berosus and Herodotus, who state that the Assyrian campaign ended in plague and defeat. (And by the way, I presume you mean to ask about Sennacherib, not Sargon, who is mentioned only in Isaiah 20:1 and who didn't attack Jerusalem.)

Who was better the Assyrian army or the Babylonian army?

The Assyrian army was much better than the Babylonian Army, because they had a tactical offensive very well planned.

Who was god of earth in Babylonian and Assyrian mythology?


What civilizations covered part of the Persian Empire?

Assyrian, Babylonian.

How many empires ruled Mesopotamia between 2300 and 539 BCE?

In this period there were the Akkadian Empire, the Old Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Middle Assyrian Empire, the Neo-Hittite Empire, the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Which empire gained the Fertile Crescent?

The Babylonian Empire , and also Assyrian

Which empire gained of the Fertile Crescent?

The Babylonian Empire , and also Assyrian

What previous civilizations did the the Persian Empire develop?

The Assyrian, Babylonian and Hellenic.