chapter  1
The Jewish Question to Modern Times
Pages 22

The Hebrew kingdom, centered on the city of Jerusalem in the tenth century BCE, split after the death of King Solomon. Hereafter, other ancient texts provide more definitive information. The Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, named Israel, in 722 BCE. The southern kingdom, Judah (from which the word Jew comes), became the center of the developing Jewish religion. It focused on the magnificent temple built to God by Solomon in Jerusalem. In 586 BCE the Babylonians conquered Judah, destroyed the temple, and took its leaders to Babylon. The Persians under King Cyrus conquered the entire Near East and allowed Hebrew leaders to return to Jerusalem in 538 BCE.