coming Saviour would be born among the descendants of his son Isaac. Of Isaac's two sons, God selected Jacob, whom He named Israel,1 and with him He renewed His covenant and His promise to Abraham that all the families of the earth should be blessed in him and his seed.2 In fulfilment of this promise, God afterwards raised up the Prophets from his seed, as the Qur'an admits,3 so that they might with true wisdom reveal God's will, and by Divine Inspiration might write "the Book", bearing witness to the promised Messiah.

Before the accomplishment of God's promise, however, it was necessary that the sons of Israel should be properly trained to become the religious teachers of the human race. The Torah tells us how they went down into Egypt, how they resided there for hundreds of years and became a numerous nation. When at last the King of Egypt cruelly oppressed them, God raised up Moses, and by his hand led His people out of Egypt (about 1320 B.C., or, as the Jews say, 1314 B.C.). Then at Mount Sinai God exhibited His glory to the Children of Israel and gave them the Ten Commandments,4 along with many other injunctions, all of which are recorded in the Torah. One object of the Mosaic Law was to enable the people to grow in the knowledge of God's Holiness, a doctrine then unknown to all but Israel, and now not realized by any but Jews and Christians. Another object of that Law was to prevent the Israelites from becoming mixed with the surrounding heathen, lest the light of the truth and the doctrine of the Divine Unity should be lost in heathen darkness. This separation was to last until the coming of the Saviour of the world, unto whom the nations were to be obedient.5

After forty years' wandering and residence in various parts of the wilderness now called At Tih (النِّيةُ), God led the children of Israel to the borders of the Promised

1 Gen. xxxii. 28.
2 Gen. xxviii. 14.
3 Surah xlv. 15.
4 Exod. xx.
5 Gen. xlix. 10.

Land of 1 Canaan. The Book of Joshua tells us of the conquest of Canaan and of the partial destruction of the idolatrous nations there, whom God Most Holy had condemned because of their fearful wickedness. They used to burn their children alive as offerings to false gods, and to indulge in licentious abominations 2 in Honour of the evil beings whom they worshipped. We are told that Israel took possession of Canaan in accordance with God's promise to Abraham.3

The Books of Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles tell us the main facts in the history of the Children of Israel from that time forward until the Babylonian Captivity. During the first few centuries of their residence in Canaan, the Israelites many times fell into idolatry, and were punished by God, who on that account permitted the heathen rulers of the surviving Canaanites and other neighbouring nations to oppress them. But whenever His people repented and turned to God, He mercifully forgave them and interposed to save them from their enemies, by raising up among them some brave warrior to be their champion. After the reign of their first king, Saul (who is called Taluth, طَالُوتُ, in the Qur'an),4 God appointed David5 king over all the Children of Israel, about 1020 B.C. He was succeeded by his son Solomon,6 who reigned from 980 to 938 B.C. The Biblical History goes on to tell how ten of the tribes rebelled against Solomon's son Rehoboam, and formed the Kingdom of Israel, leaving only the Kingdom of Judah to the family of David. The Kingdom of Israel soon fell away into idolatry, as did later the Kingdom of Judah. Hence the Israelites were conquered by the Assyrians, and many of them were carried away captive to Media, Persia, and other lands in 730 B.C. Judah followed the same evil course, and was subjected to

1 Num. xxxvi. 13; Deut. xxxi. 1-8.
2 Lev. xviii. 24-30; Deut. ix. 4, 5; xviii. 9-14.
3 Gen. xiii. 14-17.
4 Surah ii, ver. 248.
5 Cf. Surah ii, ver. 252.
6 Cf. Surah vi, ver. 85.