A Brief Discussion of Judaism

Essay by BeDazzled2525University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Judaism is a religion that has been around for many years, since the time of Moses, ca. the thirteenth century B.C. That was the time in which God designated the Hebrews as His chosen people, brought them out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land (what is now Israel), and bestowed on them the stone tablets on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments. The book of the Bible that portrays this flight is that of Exodus. Many scholars debate on how literally this chapter of the Bible can be read. For the most part, it is considered to be a literal text, however there is some debate on the exactness of things such as the ten plagues, the 'hardening of pharaohs heart', and the Lord speaking personally with Moses.

The first four chapters of Exodus deal with Moses' upbringing, and his call by God to be His prophet.

At the time when Moses was born, the Pharaoh commanded that all male Hebrew babies must die. Moses' mother hid her son for three months before floating him down the Nile, where Pharaoh's daughter found him, and adopted him for her own son. Therefore, Moses grew up in the court of Pharaoh, along with Pharaoh's son, the one whom Moses would later speak to on the behalf of God. Chapters five and six deal with Moses' conversation with Pharaoh.

The most disputed fact in Exodus is that of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, which occurs in chapter seven. The idea that God gave Pharaoh no choice in the matter goes against a huge truth that exists in both Judaism and Christianity - that man possesses free will. The problem lies in that if man has free will, then how can God make Pharaoh obstinate? Wouldn't that make Him a dictator?...