Israelites Between Loyalty and Betrayal


The Origin of the Israelites

The Origin of the Israelites

  • The word " Amalekites " in Arabic refers to a people known for their large and imposing physical stature. They were named after the first person to inhabit this land south of Palestine, Amleek bin Lawth bin Aram bin Shem bin Noah ( peace be upon him ), who was the first to speak the Arabic language. 

  • The books of the Torah mentioned them several times, calling them " Amalekites " They witnessed the entry and exit of the Israelites to and from Egypt.

  • This land was called " Elah " ( now Aqaba in southern Palestine ) after Elah bin Hubar bin Amleek.

  • Our prophet Jacob ( peace be upon him ), the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, had twelve sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, and Joseph. He had these sons from his marriages to four women: Leah, Bilhah, Zilpah, and Rachel. He loved Benjamin and Joseph ( peace be upon him ) more than the others For their righteousness and good character.

  • Prophet Jacob's ( peace be upon him ) nickname was " Israel " which in Hebrew consists of two words ( Isr, meaning servant ) and ( ael, meaning God ), so the meaning of Israel is " Servant of God ".

  • The holy books always referred to the Israelites by this name and did not call them by their individual names, This was to constantly remind them of the esteemed position their father had with God, the trials their father endured in his faith, and what he bore in his life, It also served to remind them of the legacy and the advice their father gave them when he was on his deathbed.

  • As we all know the story of Joseph's brothers when they threw him into the well, and he was taken by the chief minister of Egypt who raised him in his house, his story with Zuleikha, the chief minister's wife, his imprisonment, until he became the chief minister of Egypt and summoned his brothers, father, and tribe to live with him in Egypt.

  • Joseph's brothers lived in Egypt in comfort, their trade flourished, and their offspring multiplied, and they became known as the " the sons of Israel " At that time, the sons of Israel were close to the king of Egypt, as Egypt was occupied, and the Egyptians worked in harsh conditions and in slave-like roles under the rule of this king.

  • Whenever the king's laborers oppressed an Egyptian, they would seek the help of the sons of Israel, who turned their faces away from the Egyptians' oppression, fearing the wrath of the king and his ministers.

  • They saw the Egyptians working all day in the service of the king and the sons of Israel and being whipped if they fell short, The sons of Israel began to enslave the Egyptians as well, tormenting them if they refused to serve.

  • Years passed, and the Egyptians managed to reclaim their land and expel the occupiers from their country, When the Egyptians ascended to the throne of Egypt, the Pharaoh of Egypt took pledges from all Egyptian tribes to support him and began to enslave the sons of Israel to serve him and the Egyptians.

  • One day, the Pharaoh of Egypt had a dreadful dream that his minister Haman and some of his magicians interpreted to mean that a man would be born among the sons of Israel who would kill the Pharaoh of Egypt and reclaim the throne of Egypt.

  • The Pharaoh of Egypt then ordered his minister Haman to kill all male infants of the sons of Israel and to leave the females alive.

The Exodus

AI visualization of the Pharaoh of Egypt and Haman

  • The sons of Israel lived in great humiliation in the era of Pharaoh of Egypt and his minister Haman.

  • We also all know the story of Prophet Moses ( peace be upon him ), and how he was born and his mother placed him in the Nile River, until the river carried him to Pharaoh's house, Pharaoh's wife, " Asiya bint Muzahim ", managed to convince Pharaoh to allow her to raise the child and adopt him as their son, Thus, Moses ( peace be upon him ) was raised in the house of his enemy, Pharaoh, and under his eye.

  • When Moses grew up, God revealed to him to go to Pharaoh and Haman and ask them to release the Israelites from this oppressive covenant and allow them to leave the land, but Pharaoh categorically refused.

  • So Moses and his brother Aaron ( peace be upon them both ) took the Israelites and attempted to leave Pharaoh's land for the land of Sinai, When Pharaoh learned of this, he mobilized his army to pursue the Israelites, When Pharaoh's army reached the Israelites, they found themselves trapped between the sea in front of them and Pharaoh's soldiers behind them.

  • God revealed to Moses to strike the sea with his staff, and when he did, the sea split into two. The Israelites ran through the sea in an astonishing scene, with water on their right and left, and Pharaoh and his soldiers behind them, As soon as the Israelites reached the other shore, the sea returned to its natural state, drowning Pharaoh and his soldiers, and God saved Moses and the Israelites.

  • The Israelites faced several tests from God Almighty and failed all of them, such as worshiping the calf, rejecting the teachings of the Torah, and being obstinate in many matters, including the slaughter of the cow.

  • Moses had promised the Israelites entry into the Holy Land ( Palestine ) to live there in honor, far from Pharaoh's oppression, However, when the final test came for the Israelites to rise and fight the Amalekites to enter the Holy Land, they refused categorically, as mentioned in the Quran, They said to Moses ( peace be upon him ), "O Moses, indeed within it is a people of tyrannical strength, and we will never enter it until they leave it.", They even said, "Go, you and your Lord, and fight, Indeed, we are remaining right here."

  • They were willing to enter the Holy Land only if it was easy and without any effort or hardship, Undoubtedly, their statement indicates that they were extremely cowardly and weak because they did not want to achieve victory through their physical and intellectual abilities, but only through miracles and supernatural events.

  • A nation with such a disposition does not deserve a dignified life because they did not provide the work that qualifies them for that life.

  • In their call to their prophet by his name alone, saying "O Moses," there was a lack of respect, as they disregarded the prophetic status by addressing him by name, urging him to stop calling them to jihad.

  • So Moses ( peace be upon him ) prayed to his Lord, saying, " My Lord, indeed I do not possess except myself and my brother, so part us from the defiantly disobedient people.".

  • God Almighty answered Moses' prayer and decreed that the Israelites would wander in the land of Sinai for 40 years until that generation perished and their descendants came forth and became more righteous.

Israelites Enter Palestine

AI visualization of Talut and Goliath

  • After the death of Moses and Aaron ( peace be upon them ), the Israelites wandered for 40 years, Whenever they traveled miles in any direction, they would end up back where they started, leading them to believe they would remain in that land for the rest of their lives, They continuously sought God's forgiveness for their actions until God sent them another prophet three days before the end of the 40 years. His name was Joshua bin Nun, the young man who had accompanied Prophet Moses on his journey to meet " Khidr ".

  • When they realized that God had forgiven them and lifted the punishment of wandering in the land, Joshua bin Nun called upon them to fight the Amalekites and enter the Holy Land, He chose righteous individuals from among the Israelites, not all of them, and they responded immediately, fearing that God might punish them again.

  • Joshua bin Nun marched with the faithful Israelite army, followed by the women, children, and the remaining men of weak faith, until they reached Jericho on Friday, The battle began, and the Israelites had the upper hand.

  • As the sun was about to set, Prophet Joshua bin Nun prayed to God not to let the sun set until they could defeat the Amalekites and achieve victory, God answered his prayer, and the sun did not set until the Israelites finished the battle, won, and expelled the Amalekites from Jericho. The reason for Joshua's prayer was that the Israelites were forbidden to fight on the Sabbath.

  • After their victory in the battle and the flight of the Amalekites, God commanded them to enter the village humbly and gratefully for the great conquest He had promised them, However, they disobeyed what they were commanded in both word and deed, Consequently, God punished them again by sending a plague that killed around 20,000 of them.

  • After Joshua bin Nun's death, internal conflicts ignited among the tribes of the Jews living in Jericho, weakening their structure due to their weak faith, The Amalekites were able to overpower them once again, subjecting the Israelites to various forms of persecution and torment.

  • The Israelites spread throughout the region of the Levant, and God sent many prophets to them, Among them was the Prophet Elijah, whom God sent to the region of present-day Lebanon to a people who worshipped an idol in the form of an animal called Baal.

  • During this period, another prophet, Uzair ( Ezra ), appeared; God caused him to die for 100 years and then brought him back to life, He renewed the faith of the Israelites and taught them what they had lost of their religion, Then God sent them His prophet Elisha ( Elisha ).

  • Prophets continued to come to the Israelites, to the extent that three prophets were present at the same time, They were ruled by kings after prophecy was separated from governance following the time of Prophet Joshua, The Israelites then became divided and were subjected to invasions, The Ark of the Covenant, which contained the tablets of the Torah and the sacred relics of Moses and Aaron, was taken from them.

The end of Goliath

A slingshot or arrow similar to the one used to kill Goliath

  • Approximately 500 years after the death of the Prophet Moses ( peace be upon him ) and after enduring much humiliation and disgrace, the Israelites gathered before their prophet Samuel and asked him to appoint a king from among them so they could fight under his command, drive out their enemies, protect their children, and reclaim their sacred land.

  • Their prophet feared their disobedience, but after they insisted, he chose Talut ( As mentioned in the Holy Quran ) ( or Saul as mentioned in the Torah ), to be their king, Talut was strong and knowledgeable, but the Israelites refused to obey him because he was not wealthy like them and was merely a shepherd.

  • The Israelites doubted their prophet, so Samuel told them that the sign of God's choice of Talut would be that he would bring them the sacred Ark carried by angels, When they saw the Ark descending from the sky, they complied.

  • Talut then led them to fight their enemies, the Amalekites, under the command of a powerful tyrant named Goliath, At that time, Goliath ruled the Holy Land " Palestine " and his seat of power was in Jerusalem, The Israelites had never set foot in Jerusalem until that time.

  • On the way, Saul wanted to test their obedience and patience, so he forbade them from drinking from a river they passed by, and ordered that anyone who drank must leave the army, Most of them drank, and only a few remained with Talut.

  • The two armies faced each other: the Israelites led by Talut and the Amalekites led by Goliath, The number of Talut’s army was small, while the enemy’s army was large and powerful. 

  • The Israelites felt they were weaker than Goliath and his army and said, "How can we defeat this mighty army?" When the battle was imminent, the Israelites were afraid and said they had no strength to fight Goliath and his soldiers, Talut encouraged them and explained that victory comes through faith, not just through numbers and equipment.

  • Before the battle began, Goliath, clad in iron armor and wielding his weapon, shouted mockingly, “Who among you has the courage to Joust me?”, None of the Israelites stepped forward.

  • Goliath then confidently and mockingly announced that whoever fought me and killed me would  inherit the kingdom after me.

  • Talut told his soldiers that whoever could fight Goliath and kill him would marry his daughter to him.

  • Isha, the father of the prophet of Allah David ( peace be upon him ), was one of those who crossed the river with Talut and had with him his thirteen sons.

  • At that moment, a young man from the Israelites, a believer in God, with a weak and frail body named David, stepped forward. David was not interested in the incentives of marrying Talut’s daughter or becoming king after Goliath, he simply wanted to kill Goliath because Goliath was a tyrant and did not believe in God, then Talut allowed David to fight Goliath.

  • When Goliath saw David, he mocked and insulted him, laughing heartily at his appearance, saying, " Is this the strongest among you? ".

  • David stood firm, wearing only his tunic, barefoot, and holding a sling—a tool used by shepherds, He placed a strong stone in his sling, swung it three times in the air, Then he threw the stone with a slingshot with force, aiming at Goliath's forehead.

  • The stone struck Goliath's forehead, killing him instantly in front of his soldiers, Fear gripped Goliath's soldiers, and Talut’s army attacked them, defeating them as some of them killed each other and others fled.

  • The Israelites triumphed and entered Jerusalem, Several years later, David became one of God's prophets, He married Talut's daughter and became the king of the Israelites, Thus, both kingship and prophethood were united in his person once again.

  • The Israelites lived in glory during the reign of David ( peace be upon him ) and also during the time of the wise Prophet Solomon ( peace be upon him ).


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