the religion of the HEBREW BIBLE which proclaims a COVENANT between GOD and the PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. From ABRAHAM the JEWISH People develop as a distinct nation who experience the SALVATION of God and were given His laws by MOSES during the EXODUS. In Sinai, the Covenant is renewed and the Israelites enter Canaan. A new state occurs during the second half of the fifth century B.C. when EZRA reorganizes the community and reinstitutes the Covenant. Slowly HELLENISM influenced Jewish thought and the theocratic State gave way to a Commonwealth. At the same time a more liberal interpretation of the TORAH emerged as Persian and Greek ideas influenced Jewish thought. Various schools, about which we really know little, such as the PHARISEES, SADDUCEES, ZEALOTS and the QUMRAN COMMUNITY developed until the religion was brought to an abrupt end with a revolt against Roman rule and the destruction of JERUSALEM in 70 A.D.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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