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father of



  ()  ( :, , , )
's  cousin and general of his army.   accuses   of not protecting   adequately when   has an opportunity to kill After 's  death,   crowns 's  son   king over Israel.   challenges 's  general, to a battle and Israel's soldiers get routed (losing 360 men to 's  20) although   does kill 's  brother After   accuses   of sleeping with 's  concubine   defects to 's  camp and convinces the elders of Israel to accept   as their king. Nevertheless, even though   has become 's  ally,   kills   in revenge for his brother 's  death.   is appalled at this treachery and curses   and his family for slaying a great warrior of Israel.



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Tenth   of Israel,   is from   and judges for seven years.   has 30 sons and 30 daughters. The   claims that   and   are one and the same ( .).



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Founding father of Judaism, the first of Israel's three patriarchs: Born   in he represents the tenth generation after The   reveals nothing about 's  childhood, but the   tells us stories about the patriarch intuiting the existence of God and smashing idols in his father's idol shop (see for example :   and : ). 's  wife   is barren. Led by the family sets out from   for They get as far as   where   dies ( ). God appears to   and tells him to leave his homeland and travel to a land that He will show him. This first communication of God to   is considered the first of many tests posed by the Lord to According to   faces ten challenges in his long relationship with God ( : Commentaries on this   provide different compilations of episodes to reach ten tests - see below). At this early point in 's  story, God promises to make   a great nation.   accedes to God's command and travels to   with his wife and his nephew following God's lead. Once there, God makes His second promise: to give the land to 's  descendants. These two promises:   will have many descendants, and they will inherit the land of Israel, are repeated often to   as well as to   and The promises are referred to frequently in the rest of the   (see for example :   and : ) and " and remain strong beliefs in Judaism. A famine in   sends   and   to Egypt where   pretends that his wife is his sister. Upon returning to   and   part ways since each is very wealthy and their flocks require separate grazing land.   who chooses to live in   gets caught up in a war between city states and   rushes to his rescue. In gratitude for his assistance, the king of offers the plunder to   who turns him down saying that he'd rather his wealth was attributed to God's beneficence and not the king's gifts. God again promises   that he will found a great nation and compares his descendants to the numerous stars ( : ). God and   strike a covenant known as " in which the promise of the land is again enunciated. During this episode God informs   that his descendants will be oppressed in a foreign land. Following his wife's suggestion,   marries 's  maid, so that she may bear   a child, since   remains barren.   is 86 years old when   gives birth to a son, God appears to   again, promising to give him the land and to make him the founder of a great nation. To emphasize this second point God changes His beneficiary's name from   to arguing that   signifies "father of a multitude of nations" ( : ). It is at this time that God introduces the practice of circumcision to He is commanded to circumcise himself and all future male descendants. This will be the physical sign of the covenant between God and 's  family. God also renames   in preparation for her becoming a mother, changing her name to Upon hearing that he and his wife will have a son together,   laughs. He is, after all, 99 years old at this point and   is 90. Nevertheless, God assures him that he will have a son and instructs that the boy be named The covenant that God has forged with   will find expression in   proceeds to circumcise himself,   and all of his household ( ). Three men come to visit   and during the course of the encounter   overhears the news that she will give birth to a son in a year (according to the popular interpretation of this story the three men were angels. See "   on :   which is based on the   from :) God informs   that He plans on destroying the towns of   and   due to the wickedness of their inhabitants. This leads to a lengthy dialogue between God and   wherein the latter begs God to spare the towns.   travels to   where he again presents his wife as his sister. the king, takes He is warned by God in a dream that he will die for having taken a married woman.   confronts   who defends himself by arguing that indeed   is related to him on his father's side (see "   to : ), and by claiming that he had to protect himself from the immorality of the place.   sends the couple away with many gifts and later on forges a pact with   is born and is circumcised. 's  other son   makes sport of and   demands that   banish   and saying that she will not have   inherit along with   is upset by 's  request but God tells him to grant 's  wish.   sends   and   away, and God promises him that   too will found a great nation. God gives   his greatest test when He asks him to sacrifice   on an altar - the episode known as Without hesitation,   takes his son and travels to a place indicated by God and prepares to kill his son. At the last moment   is stopped by an angel who declares that   has proven his complete faith by this act of utter submission to the will of God ( ).   dies at age 127, and after mourning her   proceeds to buy a burial plot and cave from at a location in   known as   next sends his servant to his homeland to find a wife for   refuses to let his son marry a local girl and also warns the servant against taking   out of   to settle in 's  native land.   lives to 175 and upon his death is buried in the family burial plot by his sons   and   ( ).   remains the father figure for the Jewish people and is generally called   our father. The Bible, the prayer book and Jewish culture often recall the unique relationship   had with God, sometimes referring to God as - the God of The Talmud credits   with contributing to the composition of   ( : "   suggests that this means that   and   are one and the same;   is mentioned in : .)

:   states that   passes 10 tests put to him by God. Here is one list of these trials as assembled by the "

1. Emigration to a foreign country which God commands ( : - ).

2. The famine that   encounters upon reaching his destination, though told he would prosper ( : ).

3. The treachery of the Egyptians when   is taken to the palace ( : - ).

4. The war of the five kings versus the four that   participates in ( ).

5. 's  marriage to   after despairing of   having a child ( ).

6. God's command to   to circumcise himself ( : - ).

7. The treachery of the king of   when   is taken by him ( ).

8. The banishment of   after she bore him a son ( : - ).

9. The banishment of   from the household ( : - )

10. the binding of   ( ).




the former name of



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's  third son whose mother is When 's  sister   is raped by their half brother   takes   into his house. Two years after that,   gets his revenge when he kills   at sheep shearing festivities.   then escapes to   to his maternal grandfather with whom he stays for three years. Thanks to the intervention of   ( 's  cousin)   is persuaded to allow   to return to Nevertheless,   is not allowed in the palace but remains unseen by   for two more years. In order to get 's  attention,   sets his field on fire;   then agrees to get   an audience with   embraces   but is soon betrayed by him. Chapters 15 through 19 in   tell the story of 's  rebellion against   first builds up popular support among the people and then declares himself king in   flees   when he realizes that the nation is with his son. He takes with him soldiers and loyalists all weeping at their misfortune.   follows 's  advice and sleeps with 's  concubines who have remained in a sign of 's  usurpation of his father's throne. But God forces   to accept 's  battle plan over 's  which was objectively sounder. When   finally sends out an army to confront 's  forces, 's  men are victorious and 20,000 men of Israel are killed. riding a donkey under a terebinth tree, gets his hair caught in the branches and is stuck there.   hears that   is trapped and he kills the prince while he hangs in the tree. Before his death,   had set up a monument to himself called " ".



father of



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King of   whom   fails to kill, leading to 's  dethronement. According to the midrash,   is the ancestor of   ( .).



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A contributing author to the book of According to the the name   is a pseudonym for the accepted author of the book ( ).



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A son of .



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The head of the Jewish community at During his journey to Israel,   realizes that his company lacks   to serve in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. He sends messengers to   asking him to supply the necessary men for the group heading towards the homeland.   complies and sends along roughly 40   to fill the Levite jobs in the Temple.



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's  ten sons are hanged following his downfall.   is one of them.



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The world's first human. Created by God on the sixth day of creation,   and his counterpart,   (later named ) are placed in   and commanded to populate the earth.   is given rule over all of nature and is permitted to subjugate the animal kingdom and to eat from all the plants he sees save from the The woman he is with is persuaded by the snake to eat this forbidden fruit and she then tempts   to partake as well. As punishment for their disobedience the couple is expelled from   and given individual punishments as well.   is told that his sustenance will from now on be secured only through toil.   has three sons:   and   and lives for 930 years ( ). The Talmud credits   with contributing to the composition of   ( : "   suggests that :   is his work.).



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One of King 's  closest advisors. Following the slight of Queen he is among those consulted when the king seeks an appropriate response to his wife's disobedience.



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A Canaanite king captured and killed during 's  conquest of its territory.   is a wicked king who severs the thumbs and big toes of his captured foes and forces them (70 in all) to scrounge for scraps of food under his table. The men from   disfigure him in like manner.



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King of   from the nation of Upon hearing of 's  conquest of   and   as well as the submission of the   forges a pact with other local Amorite kings:   and Together the five attack   for making peace with Israel. The outmanned   call   for assistance.   and his army arrive and defeat the five armies with two miracles thrown in by God to make the job easier.



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A leader of the people during the time of   is a signatory to a pledge - an affirmed by the leaders of the community. Those who sign the declaration promise to observe the commandments of the Torah, to refrain from intermarrying, to avoid commerce on Shabbat, and to make regular donations to the Temple.



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The Judean king   is a righteous leader who walks in the ways of God. He sends a delegation of religious authorities on a circuit throughout the cities of   to teach Torah to the people. a is one of the instructors in that group.



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's  fourth son. His mother is When   becomes old and weak,   decides that he will be the next king. He assembles chariots and runners and gathers some of his father's advisors-   and   to support him, spurning and of course While celebrating 's  imminent coronation,   arrives with news that   has chosen   as Israel's next leader. The party breaks up suddenly and fearing runs and seizes the horns of the   believing that he will be safe there.   sends word that if   behaves, no harm will come to him. After   dies   asks   to appeal to   to grant him 's  concubine, as a wife.   sees this as a challenge to his throne and he has   killed by The story of 's  attempt to seize Israel's throne and 's  selection of   to succeed him ( ) is read as the   for .



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666 (or 667) of this man's descendants return to   with   following the edict of Other descendants of his accompany   to Israel from .



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Labour minister under   and under his son responsible for enlisting people to work for the state.   is put in charge of organizing and dispatching labourers to cut timber in Lebanon for 's  construction of the After 's  rise to the throne, the king announces that he will be tougher on the people than his father was.   was the first casualty of this policy.   sends   to quell the rebellion against him, and the people of   stone him to death.



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A grandson of .



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's  tax collector.



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Son and assassin of .



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The third-born son of .



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A descendant of .



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The second of the this judge from   leads a rebellion against the   king,   is left-handed which allows him to sneak a double-edged sword into the palace on his right thigh. At the right moment,   stabs the king in the stomach and escapes to lead the Jews in battle against the oppressors. Following this victory, the land is peaceful for 80 years.



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A son or grandson of   and hence either a great-grandson or great-great-grandson of the nineteenth king of .



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The name given to the kingdom of   (represented by its capital ) by the prophet   when the land is portrayed as an unfaithful woman. Her sister kingdom   is called .



  ( :, :, :, : )
This craftsman from   is appointed by God to assist   in the construction of the   utensils ( ).


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