Summarize the first thousand years of Hebrew ethical monotheism.

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This is a very broad question, and there are many ways to answer it.

You want to examine "the first thousand years," which means you have to be specific about what period you are talking about. The Hebrew Bible dates Judaism to about 1500 BCE. The first mention of Judaism as a religion, as opposed to the nation of Israel, isn't found in non-Jewish sources until more than a thousand years later. There are other meaningful "start of Judaism" dates in between. Scholars disagree on this question, so you will have to decide on a position and explain why. If your course did not explore this topic, you should have a starting date to work from.

Your answer to that question will have a lot to do with the actual substance of your answer.

Monotheism was unique, at first, in a polytheistic world. The Hebrews interacted with a succession of dominant cultures over time. There was a notable connection with Babylon when large numbers of Hebrews were taken there in captivity. Once returned to their homeland, the Hebrews traded with many nations, including ancient India. Later, cultural cross-pollination took place between the Hebrews and the Hellenes; if your starting date is late enough, the Roman Empire could also be mentioned.

Your answer should identify which of these interactions you think were meaningful and why. I can suggest organizing your answer in a timeline form, working your way from the earliest sub-topic to the one nearest the end of your thousand years.

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