Kingdom of David: Four hour PBS documentary about Jewish history

Very interesting documentary.

First episode: Kingdom of David: Rivers of Babylon:

Watch all four parts in Youtube

Wikipedia has a page about the Documentary:

Kingdom of David was a part of the Empire Series of history documentaries for the [Public Broadcasting Service] (PBS) Public television stations produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) in joint venture with Red Hill Productions of Los Angeles, California.

The documentary chronicles the story of how the Jewish people were able to preserve their culture from being overwhelmed by other more powerful worldly kingdoms. It begins with the Babylonian Exile where the Judean scribes, realizing that they faced the same fate as their ten northern brothers of the extinct Kingdom of Israel, fought to preserve their identity and culture though the written word. From there it describes the struggles that the Jewish people faced against the materialism of the Seleucid Empire to the armed might makes right attitude of the Roman Empire. The story culminates with the triumph of individual Jewish sages such as Hillel, Yochanan ben Zakai and Akiva in preserving Jewish tradition that has survived to this day.

First aired in 2003 as a series of four 55 minute programs, the series is now available in DVD and VHS video tapes.

The 220 minute video presentation is broken down into 4 parts which, in turn, are subdivided into scene selections that are accessible in the Main Menu portion of the DVD disc.


By the Rivers of Babylon

The Hebrew Bible

In 589 B.C. the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked and destroyed Jerusalem, the main city of the Judean kingdom. After its fall, the citizens were taken into exile in Babylonia. Only a few generations earlier their 10 northern cousins in the Kingdom of Israel had suffered a similar fate and had vanished forever as they had been integrated into the neighboring societies found throughout the region.

In order to fight for their survival as a people, the Judeans decided to write a book instead of taking up armed struggle. They rewrote and edited together stories of their past and assembled them into what we today know as the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. The documentary states that it shouldn’t be taken as literal history. It then states that it was written to teach the exiled the reasons why they were in Babylon as well as being a guide as to how they should live their lives.


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