Arnold J. Toynbee says that before Ezra (& Persian influence during Babylon exile), Judaism was polytheistic

- Peter Myers, March 20, 2003; update February 11, 2018.

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Arnold J. Toynbee, a sentimentalist and utopian, was one of the leading minds of the British Empire. He managed to combine deep insight into Civilizational History, with propaganda for the One-World goals of Cecil Rhodes' Round Table group, officially known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the CFR being its affiliate in the United States).

Arnold J. Toynbee (1889-1975) was the nephew of Arnold Toynbee (1852-1883). Carroll Quigley wrote of the latter,

"Toynbee was Milner's closest friend. After his early death in 1883, Milner was instrumental in establishing Toynbee Hall, a settlement house in London. ... In 1894 Milner delivered a eulogy of his dear friend at Toynbee Hall, and published it the next year as Arnold Toynbee: A Reminiscence. He also wrote the sketch of Toynbee in the Dictionary of National Biography. The connection is important because it undoubtedly gave Toynbee's nephew, Arnold J. Toynbee, his entree into the Royal Institute of International Affairs after the war." (The Anglo-American Establishment, p. 7).

More from Carroll Quigley on the Round Table: quigley.html.
Toynbee's predecessor as leading intellectual for the Round Table, Lionel Curtis: curtis1.html.

Arnold J. Toynbee says that the Judaism we know was created in Babylon among the exiles.

He writes, "Judaism is a development of the Pre-Exilic religion of Judah that was created in and by the Babylonian diaspora and was imposed by it on the Jewish population in Judaea. ... There has also been the aim of converting the gentile world to the worship of Yahweh under the aegis of a world-empire centred on Eretz Israel and ruled by 'the Lord's Anointed': a coming human king of Davidic lineage." (Reconsiderations, p. 486).

And "It needed the subsequent missions of Nehemiah and Ezra, backed by the Achaemenian Imperial Government's authority, to make them ruefully conform to the new ideals of monotheism" (p. 429).

Toynbee thus agrees on the pivotal role of the Persian Empire in the formation of Judaism, but, despite his encyclopedic knowledge, did not comprehend the influence Zoroastrianism, as the religion of the First Persian Empire, had on Judaism.

Mary Boyce has since articulated that influence; what Toynbee sees as Jewish Universalism was largly borrowed from Zoroastrian concepts. For example Boyce writes, "The particular Gatha which provides striking parallels for Second Isaiah is Yasna 44" (A History of Zoroastrianism, Volmue 2, p. 46); Second Isaiah being what Toynbee calls Deutero Isaiah.

Mary Boyce has dramatically expanded our knowledge about the Zoroastrian religion, since the time Toynbee wrote: zoroaster-judaism.html.

Arnold J. Toynbee's foreword to Robert John's book The Palestine Diary: balfour.html.

(2) Arnold Toynbee, One World and India (this small book is a promotion of World Government)

Volume 12 of A Study of History reviews and sums up Toynbee's life's work on Civilizations. In the sections included here he examines

* the formation of the Jewish religion

* the prospects for Western Civilization.

(1) ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE , A Study of History VOLUME XII RECONSIDERATIONS, Oxford University Press, London 1961.

{p. iii} He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul, but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. Prov. xv. 32

Issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs

{p. 26} When we are confronted with something that we do not understand, we try to make it intelligible to ourselves by tracing a connexion between it and something else that we believe we understand better. Explanation is essentially an act or process of reference.

One step towards explaining a phenomenon is to find its context. 'Research into meaning cannot be free from synthesis, for only by putting anything into a wider context can its meaning be seen.' A fact cannot be established or made intelligible unless it is related to other facts or is part of a larger system.

If I may venture to illustrate this point from my own work, I should say that volumes i-x of A Study of History hinge on two attempts to find 'an intelligible field of study' as a framework for a narrower field that I had found unintelligible when taken by itself without looking beyond its limits. The starting-point of the inquiry was a search for a more or less self-contained field of historical study of which the contemporary Western historians' customary national units of study would turn out to be parts. I had felt these national units to be unsatisfactory

{p. 27} because they seemed to me to be un-self-contained, which would mean that they must be fragments of something larger. I found this larger unit of study in a species of society that I labelled a 'civilization'. Civilizations proved, so it seemed to me, to be intelligible units of study so long as I was studying their geneses, growths, and breakdowns; but when I came to study their disintegrations I found that, at this stage, their histories - like those of the national subdivisions of the modern Western World - were no longer intelligible in isolation. A disintegrating civilization was apt to enter into intimate relations with one or more other representatives of its species; and these encounters between civilizations gave birth to societies of another species: higher religions. At the beginning of the inquiry I had tried to explain the higher religions, like the national and other varieties of parochial states, in terms of civilizations. The last stage of my survey of the history of civilizations convinced me that this way of looking at the higher religions did not, after all, give anything like an adequate explanatlon of them.

It was true that the higher religions had served as 'chrysalises' in which disintegrating civilizations had undergone a metamorphosis and from which new civilizations of a younger generation had emerged. It was also true that this had been the higher religions' role in the histories of civilizations. But, in the histories of the higher religions themselves this role turned out to have been not only an incidental one but actualiy an untoward accident in the sense that it had been apt to divert them from their proper task of carrying out their own missions. If I was to continue to pursue my search for some intelligible field of study that would provide an adequate context, and therefore a satisfactory explanation, for units of other species than nations and of other magnitudes - for instance, an explanation of civilizations - I now had to ask myself whether I ought not to reverse my previous plan of operations. If one species of society was to be explained in terms of another, ought not the civilizations of the first and second generations to be explained as preliminaries to the rise of the higher religions? These second thoughts about the identification of 'the intelligible field' of historical study, to which I had been led in the course of my inquiry, gave me a new point of departure; and the change of outlook, demanded by the necessity for a change of explanation, was a radical one. Christopher Dawson is right in defining it as a change from a cyclical system to a progressive system. It was indeed so radical that many critics have been struck by it and some of them have suggested that, at this point, I ought to have wound up my original comparative study of civilizations and to have started a new inquiry into the meaning of human history in terms of religion.

{p. 130} What is needed now is a ruthless demolition squad, armed with the inteilectual equivalent of atomic artillery, to batter the traditional interdisciplinary dividing walls down to the ground. This would restore the natural unity of the field that has been cut up, for so long, by these encroaching enclosures. No doubt, at all times and in all intellectual situations, the huge field of human studies needs to be parcelled out for operational purposes. But the partitions should be provisional only, and they should be demarcated by transferable hurdles, not by embedded stone walls. Or, if we think of the study of human affairs as being a house of many mansions, we should construct it, not like a Western house, but like a Japanese house, in which the internal arrangements can be glven any number of alternative configurations, interchangeable at a moment's notice, because the interior is divided up by movable screens, not by walls that are 'permanent fixtures'.

Meanwhile, among some followers of each of the existing disciplines there seems to be an increasing assertion of each discipline's claim to separateness and independence, and an increasing desire to keep their own discipline's monadic blank walls erect along their traditional alignments.

{p. 132} If the problem of quantity cannot be eluded by any device - not, for instance, by trying to narrow the field, and not by trying to subdivide it - we have to grapple with the stark difficulty of overcoming the disparity between the overwhelming mass of the data and the limited

{p. 133} capacity of a single human mind. There is no escape from the formidable requirement that we must each of us attempt to take a panoramic view of the whole field; and, considering how vast this is by comparison of our intellectual powers, we have to face the truth that our panoramic view is bound to be a superficial one. Superficiality is a defect about which we cannot afford to be complacent, because it exposes us to the risk of misconstruing Reality, and the whole purpose of intellectual inquiry is to come as near as possible to seeing Reality as it is. How are we to correct our superficiality? The defeatist remedy is to avoid it by renouncing the panoramic view that exposes us to it; but this means renouncing the endeavour to arrive at any understanding of human affairs. A more constructive remedy is, not to seek to avoid superficiality at this prohibitive price, but to try to counterbalance it by aiming at thoroughness in some fraction of the total field.

{p. 135} This means that the panoramic and myopic approaches do not only benefit, both alike, by being made concurrently, but need each other's complementary services so much that no inquirer can afford to neglect either of them. ...

This, in turn, means that inquirers who concentrate on the bird's-eye view and those who concentrate on the fly's-eye view are, not natural enemiest but natural, and indeed indispensable, allies. ...

{p. 143} 'There is as yet no history of humanity, since humanity is not an organised society with a common tradition or a common social consciousness. All the attempts that have hitherto been made to write a world history have been in fact attempts to interpret one tradition in terms of another, attempts to extend the intellectual hegemony of a dominant culture by subordinating to it all the events of other cultures that come within the observer's range of vision.' {Chr. Dawson, The Dynamics of World History, p. 273}

This has certainly been true up to now. It is true, for instance, of the presentation of world history in the Old Testament, in Hellenic literature, in the Chinese dynastic histories, and in Western historians' works. If a Western historian does not fall into the egocentric error of making all history lead up to the point reached in the West in his own generation, he is likely to fall into another error, only one degree less egocentric, with which I, for instance, have been charged, with some justice, by a number of my critics. He is likely to use Hellenic history, which lies in the background of his own Western history, as an exclusive 'model', not just as one out of a number of alternative possible models, for elucidating the configuration of history in general in the current age of the civilizations.

Since the World is now being unified as a result of Western inventions, and therefore, initially, within a Western framework, one or other or both of these characteristic Western distortions of the true picture of world history are likely to persist for some time and to die hard. Nevertheless, it is already possible to look forward to a time when these Western distortions of the true picture, and all other distortlons of the kind, will be replaced by a new vision of the past seen from the standpoint, not of this or that nationality, civilization, or religion, but of a united human race. If mankind does respond to the challenge of its present self-imposed ordeal by saving itself from self-inflicted genocide, this will have been the reward of a common effort to transcend all the traditional divisions and to live as one family for the first time since mankind made its first appearance on this planet. This union sacree in the face of imminent self-destruction will be, if it is achieved, Man's finest achievement and most thrilling experience up to date. From the new position of charity and hope which Man will thereby have won for himself all the past histories of the previous divisions of the human race wiil be seen, in retrospect, to be so many parts of one common historic heritage. They will be seen as leading up to unity, and as opening out, for a united human race, future prospects of which no human being could have dreamed in the age of unfettered parochialism.

{p. 404} The power of Rome, much greater than that of the Macedonian successor-states of the Achaemenian Empire into whose shoes Rome stepped and, after Rome had ousted Tigranes and Mithradates, no opposition in the Levant was a match for her till, 500 years later, in the fifth century of the Christia Era, the struggle here was transferred to the religious plane. Yet Rome did not go unchallenged in the Levant during these five centuries of her overwhelming supremacy there. The Palestinian Jews, who had shaken off the Seleucid Monarchy's control in the second century B,C. and had then lost their independence to Rome in 63 B.C., dared to measure their strength against Rome, though this with disastrous consequences for themselves, in A.D. 66-70 and again in A.D. 132-5. And, from the third century of the Christian Era onwards, Rome's hold on the portion of Alexander's conquests that she had salvaged for Hellenism was challenged repeatedly during the next four hundred years, though this without any ultimate success, by the sluggish Parthian Empire's dynamic Sasanid Persian successors.

Thus the Hellenic ascendancy in South-West Asia and Egypt met with constant opposition throughout all but the first ninety years of its millennium. Opposition implies the existence of an opponent, and, since the opposition to Hellenism extended, at one time or another, over most of the area over which the Syriac Civilization had previously expanded, this opposition is presumptive evidence that the Syriac Society was still in existence throughout this period.

On the strength of these indications that the Syriac Civilization had survived the Hellenic intrusion, long-drawn-out though this had been, I analysed the structure of Syriac history in terms of my Hellenic model though with an allowance for the difference in the course of Syriac history that the Hellenic intrusion had made. Looking back to the earlier chapters of the story, I found the beginning of a Syriac 'time of troubles' in the intensification of the fratricidal warfare between the local states of the Syriac World after the break-up, at Solomon's death, of the South Syrian Empire that David had built. Even after Assyria had cast her shadow over the Syrian states west of the Euphrates, these continued to fight each other during the ever-shortening intervals between the successive Assyrian attacks; and, by weakening each other in this way, they facilitated the Assyrian and subsequent Babylonian conquest of them all. I found the end of the Syriac Civilization's 'time of troubles' in the establishment of the Achaemenian Empire {the First Persian Empire}. This, as I saw it, served the Syriac World as its universal state. And I saw a resumption of this universal state in the Caliphate. The Achaemenian Empire had been overthrown by Alexander before it had had time to complete the social and cultural unification of its people and to enable a higher religion to make headway in converting them. If the Achaemenian

{p. 405} Empire had been allowed to reach the term of its natural expectation of life, either Zoroastrianism or Judaism might perhaps have played the part that was played later by Christianity and Islam. But, after the establishment of the Hellenic ascendancy over South-West Asia, Judaism and Zoroastrianism were diverted to serving as militant anti-Hellenic movements. Thus Alexander's conquest had overtaken the Achaemenian Empire before its historical task had been accomplished. And, after the expulsion of Hellenism from Syria and Egypt by the Arabs and the reunion of most of the dominions of the Achaemenian Empire in the Caliphate, this avatar of the Achaemenian Empire had (so it looked to me) taken up and completed the Achaemenian Empire's uncompleted work. The re-established Syriac universal state had provided a political framework for the development and spread of a Syriac universal church in the shape of Islam. The subsequent decline of the Caliphate had been followed by a Volkerwanderung.

{p. 406} The civilization (whether unitary or multiple) that we find in Syria in the last millennium B.C. was not only contemporary with the Hellenic Civilization; it also displays some striking resemblances to it. In contrast to the irrigational civilizations in the lower Tigris-Euphrates basin, the lower valley and the delta of the Nile, and the Indus basin, the Syriac World resembled the Hellenic World in depending on rain for the watering of its rare fields and in eking out its scanty agricultural resources by long-distance maritime enterprise. (Even the landlocked highland canton of Judah took the Phoenicians into partnership for opening up sea-borne trade with countries on the Indian Ocean as soon as Judah had acquired a south-sea port at Elath at the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah.) The Syriac World in this age also resembled the Hellenic World in its political configuration. It too presents itself, when the curtain rises on its history, as a mosaic of small sovereign independent states. These Syriac statelets, like their Hellenic counterparts, were perennially at war with each other; and, though they occasionally made common cause against formidable aggressors from outside, they too were eventually extinguished, as the Hellenic statelets were, by empire-builders on the grand scale.

Was the relation between the Syriac and Hellenic civilizations even closer than this? Was it a relation, not only of resemblance, but of affinity ? In previous volumes of this book I suggested that the Syriac Civilization might prove to be the Hellenic Civilization's 'sister', in the sense of being affiliated, as the Hellenic Civilization was, to the antecedent Minoan-Helladic-Mycenaean Civilization in the Aegean area. Indisputably the Minoan-Helladic-Mycenaean Civilization was one of the Syriac Civilization's sources. From at least half-way through the second millennium B.C. onwards, until the Mycenaean Civilization

{p. 407} foundered, Minoan-Helladic-Mycenaean cultural influences had been playing on the coast of Syria with increasing intensity; and, after that, the Volkerwanderung of the 'Sea Peoples', which had been set in motion soon after the beginning of the twelfth century B.C. by the Mycenaean Cilization's last convulsions, had deposited two peoples from the Aegean or from its hinterlands, the Zakkaru (Teucrians) and the Philistines, along the southernmost stretch of the Syrian coast, from the south side of Mount Carmel to the north-east frontier of Egypt. These historical facts are impressive, and, when I was writing volume i of this book, I was also impressed by Sir Arthur Evans' conjecture that the linear Minoan scripts might turn out to be parents of the Phoenician alphabet. At that time the Minoan, like the Mayan, Civilization stood at the zenith of its prestige, and it was easy to fall into the mistake of attributing to it a greater role in history than is attributed to it today in the light of the additional knowledge gained through the continuing progress of archaeological discovery. On reconsideration, I now think that I over-estimated the importance of the Minoan-Helladic-Mycenaean contribution to the civilization or civilizations that arose in Syria towards the end of the second millennium.

{But Cyrus Gordon later showed that Minoan Linear A was a semitic language (like Phoenician): gordon.html}

{p. 425} 'The Book of Judges makes it clear that it was not by defeating

{p. 426} the Canaanites, but by defending them, that Israel obtained a dominant position in Palestine.' The common enemy in this chapter of history was the Nomad peoples who were now trying to force their way into Palestine at the Israelites' heels. In the period following the end of the Hebrew-Aramaean Volkerwanderung the Israelites were in danger of suffering the fate of being invaded and overrun that they had inflicted on the Canaanites - the more so because the domestication of the camel had given the Israelites' successors on the North Arabian steppe a new weapon that the Israelites themselves had never possessed. The Israelites, before becoming peasants, had been mere ass-nomads without prestige. The first recorded eruption of camel-nomads out of the desert into the sown is a Midianite raid on Palestine in the early eleventh century B.C. In the next chapter of history in Syria the pressure from the Philistines, that fused Judah into a unity and pushed her into association with Israel, led her war-lord David to make an alliance with Tyre. In the ninth century the pressure from the Assyrians moved Tyre and the Kingdom of Israel to make a similar alliance and to cement it by a royal marriage (Ahab and Jeebel). The extensive, though ephemeral, coalitions of Syrian states against Assyria have been noticed already.

In these conducive circumstances the intercourse between the different local peoples in Syria became both more intensive and more intimate in all the main fields of social and cultural activity. The local princes and their professional officials and officers might go to war with each other besides fighting side by side against common enemies; but all the time they were evidently on familiar terms with each other, and this familiarity was not confined to the diplomatic level. Before David made his political treaty with Tyre, the north-western Israelite tribes in the highlands of Galilee may already have been finding an economic outlet in Phoenicia. The Song of Deborah chides Dan for staying on board ship and Asher for sitting on the sea-shore instead of responding to the call to arms against Sisera. Solomon and Hiram went into partnership in maritime ventures in the Indian Ocean. In ninth-century treaties between the states of Damascus and Israel it was stipulated by the state which momentarily had the upper hand that the weaker contracting party should assign a quarter in its capital city to the stronger party's merchants. Solomon's temple at Jerusalem and the works of art with which it was adorned were made for him by Phoeni-

{p. 423} cian craftsmen lent by Hiram. And 'Israelite art, from the ninth to the early sixth century B.C., reflects a stage of Phoenician art during which the latter was diffused throughout the Mediterranean, transforming Greek art completely.'

We can follow the process of fusion in the field of language and literature too. The Hebrews (including the Moabites) adopted not only the Canaanite language but also the Phoenician alphabet for writing it. The Aramaeans kept their own language; but they too borrowed the Phoenician alphabet and adapted it to Aramaic by using four of the Phoenician consonants to stand for vowels as well. The discovery of the Ugarit texts shows that the Biblical Psalms, whatever their date, are indebted to a Phoenician hymnology that had a long tradition behind it. The Phoenicians also seem likely to have been the intermediaries through whom some of the Egyptian proverbs of Amenemope found their way into the Biblical Book of Proverbs almost verbatim. And the Canaanite origin of chapters viii-ix of the Book of Proverbs, on the theme of Wisdom, is attested by echoes here of themes in the Phoenician literature disinterred at Ugarit. The Sumero-Akkadian story of the creation of the World must have found its way to Palestine long before the Israelites' advent there, and must have been learnt by them from the Canaanites on whom they imposed themselves. Canaanite elements have not been detected in the eighth-century B.C. prophetic literature of Israel and Judah. But they reappear thereafter. 'There is a veritable flood of allusions to Canaanite (Phoenician) literature in Hebrew works composed between the seventh and the third century B.C.: e.g. in Job, Deutero-Isaiah, Proverbs, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Jubilees, and part of Daniel. Albright sees in this a a consequence of a Phoenician literary renaissance associated with the name of Sanchuniathon - a Phoenician historian whose date, in Albright's belief, is either the seventh or the sixth century B.C.

Robinson holds that the Israelites also acquired the 'Mosaic' Law from the same source at the same stage in their history.

'Not only are many of the laws designed for an agricultural and commercial community, and none of them confined to a nomad tribe, but they

{p. 424} closely resemble that type of code which we know to have been general current in Western Asia. Four forms are known a fragmentary Sumerian code, that of Hammurabi, proper to Babylonia, an Assyrian code and a Hittite code. ... A comparison of these with the Israelite code shows that they cannot be independent of each other. ... [But] none of them i directly derived from one of the others. ... As compared with the other codes, those of Israel were closely adapted to an agricultural community rather than to a commercial people.'

This brings us to the crucial and controversial question whether the religion of Israel and Judah, in the age between the immigrant peoples settlement on the land as cultivators and the rise of the revolutionary prophets about half-way through the eighth century B.C., differed in any significant way from the religion of the other contemporary communities in Syria. If a pilgrim from Ya'udi or Hamath or Damascus had visited a tenth-century or ninth-century rural shrine in Israel, or a fortiori, the temple at Jerusalem that had been built and furnished for Solomon by Tyrian artificers, would he have been conscious of any striking contrast with the shrines of his own country? The accounts, in the Second Book of Kings, of the successive purges of Solomon's Temple by Hezekiah in 705 B.C. and by Josiah in 621 B-C show that down to Hezekiah's time, the brazen serpent Nehushtan had held its own in the sanctuary of Jerusalem side by side with Yahweh's ark, and that in Josiah's time Yahweh shared the temple with the god Baal, the goddess Asherah (whose symbol Hezekiah was said to have cut down) and the heavenly bodies - in particular the Sun, to whom chariots and horses were dedicated there as votive offerings. In 621 B.C. the temple at Jerusalem also housed consecrated prostitutes, male as well as female; and in the valley of Hinnom, below Jerusalem on the city's south side, was a 'tophet' where children were sacrificed by being burnt alive - a cult to which the Carthaginians, too, were addicted.

Ritual prostitution was an agricultural fertility rite which was common to Syria and the Sumero-Akkadian world; and it may have come to Syria from there. Human sacrifice was an atrocity of Syria's own. If it had ever been practised in Sumer and Akkad or in Egypt, it was extinct there in historical times. The Assyrians were innocent of it. The slaughter and torture of which they were guilty had no religious sanction or excuse. In the Syriac World, both at home and overseas, human sacrifice was practised as a last resort in a public crisis. In the ninth century B.C. King Mesha of Moab sacrificed his eldest son on the wall of his capital city when the combined forces of Israel, Judah, and Edom were at the gates. In similar circumstances King Ahaz of Judah 'caused his son to pass through the fire' when Jerusalem was being besieged by the combined forces of Damascus and Israel in the eighth century. King Manasseh of Judah - Hezekiah's son and Josiah's

{p. 425} grandfather - 'made his son to pass through the fire' without, as far as we know, having Mesha's and Ahaz's occasion for performing the rite.

{Toynbee's description of how the Torah was created by editors, below, should be supplemented by Richard Friedman's exposition: bible.html}

The Torah as we have it today has been edited and re-edited to make it conform with successive phases through which religion passed in Judah and in the subsequent Jewish diaspora in and after the eighth century B.C. Hence the recorded identification of Yahweh with other gods, and association of other gods with him, are represented in retrospect as having been lapses from a previous strict Mosaic monotheism, while purges such as Hezekiah's and Josiah's are represented as having been reformations. Considering that syncretism and polytheism seem to have been the normal practice in Israel and Judah, as well as in other Syriac communities, in this age, it might be nearer to the historical truth to think of Hezekiah and Josiah as having been iconoclastic innovators, and of Manasseh and Amon as having been pious conservatives. At any rate, this is how these posthumously anathematized religious reactionaries must have appeared to themselves, and they had history on their side. Among the theophoric names given to members of Saul's and David's families, there were names compounded with 'Baal' as well as names compounded with Yahweh. On the other hand, 'Yahweh', not 'Baal', was the god-compound in the names of all the three children of Ahab, the King of Israel who tolerated his Tyrian wife's propagation in his kingdom of the cult of her own national god. Ahab evidently did not agree with Elijah that, in showing this tolerance to Melkart, he was being disloyal to Yahweh. Of the personal names inscribed on ostraka found at Samaria and dating from the years 778-770 B.C., the ratio of personal names compounded with 'Yahweh' to those compounded with 'Baal' is 11:7. Conversely, names compounded with 'Yahweh' appear in kingdoms in which Yahweh was not the national god. An Azriyahu king of Ya'udi, who figures in the Assyrian records in the years 740-738 B.C., is an Azariah, but his kingdom is not Judah but Sam'al. A king of Hamath who was flayed alive by Sargon in 720 B.C. bore the name of Yahu-bi'di (alias Ilu-bi'di). Azriyahu's contemporary and neighbour King Bar-Ga'yah of Katka, may also have borne the mark of Yahweh in the second half of his name. Already in the tenth century B.C. the son of David's friend King To'i of Hamath had borne the name I Joram.

At this stage of religious development it was natural that the peoples of Syria, including those that were Yahweh-worshippers, should each tolerate and even welcome the association of its neighbour's gods with its own national god, so long as the national god's primacy on his own

{p. 426} ground was not challenged. Subject to this, it was felt to be prudent to conciliate the neighbours' gods since all agreed in believing, not merely in the existence of each local god, but in the potency of each of them in his own national domain. The Yahweh-worshipping besiegers of Qir-Hareseth evidently believed in the potency of Chemosh within the frontiers of Moab; for Mesha's counter-move of conjuring Chemosh by the sacrifice of his eldest son caused them to beat a hasty retreat in the belief that Mesha's action had heen efficacious in calling down on them Chemosh's wrath. This is surely the light in which we have to interpret Elijah's opposition in Israel to the Tyrian queen Jezebel's attempt to impose her national god Melkart on her husband's Yahweh worshipping subjects, and the subsequent revolution in which Jehu stamped out the Tyrian cult by ruthless massacres. Seen in retrospect through Jewish eyes, this counter-movement was interpreted as a return to a temporarily compromised Mosaic monotheism. Probably it would be nearer the truth to see in it an outbreak of national chauvinism of the kind that, at Athens in 399 B.C., inspired the prosecution of Socrates on a charge of addiction to new gods, and that repeatedly inspired the Roman Government to purge Rome and her territory of foreign cults. If an Israelite queen, married to a Tyrian king, had tried to impose the cult of Yahweh on her husband's Melkart-worshipping subjects, we may guess that she would have roused a Tyrian Elijah and a Tyrian Jehu to action.

Moreover, the issue that was fought out in Israel on this historic occasion was not simply one between Yahweh and Melkart; it was also an issue between Yahweh and Yahweh. The Yahweh of Jezreel might perhaps have co-existed amicably with Melkart, for this Yahweh, like Melkart, was the god of an agricultural and urban people. He and Melkart alike were defeated by a Yahweh from Israel's still semi-nomad desert fringe, which was the homeland of both Elijah and Jonadab. The struggle between the contending gods was an expression of the semi-nomad Gileadites' revolt against the process of settlement on the land and in the cities that had been transforming Israel west of Jordan at an accelerating pace. The Gileadite form of Yahweh-worship that now temporarily triumphed was provincial, fanatical, and archaistic; but there is no evidence that it was monotheistic in the eventual Jewish sense of the word.

In Jewish and Christian minds today prophets are associated particularly with Israel and Judah, but this is not warranted by the evidence In the history of Israel prophets make their first recorded appearance about half-way through the eleventh century B.C. as bands of devotees falling into infectious ecstasies. Saul caught the infection from a band with which he fell in on the first day of his political career, and he remained prone to prophetic fits for the rest of his life, but the phenomenon was not just a local one. At about the same date an Egyptian envoy

{p. 427} Wen Amon, came across the same phenomenon at Byblos. Anatolia may have been the source from which Syria acquired the institution of congregational ecstatic prophesying. At any rate, in Anatolia this institution has a long history. In the Hellenic Age it is represented there by the bands of 'galli' who were devotees of the goddess Cybele; in the Christian Age by the Montanists; in the Islamic Age by the Mevlevi dervishes who carried on this ancient Anatolian tradition on its native ground tili A.D. 1925, when the Islamic religious orders were suppressed in Turkey.

In Syria in the ninth century B.C. we find ecstatic prophets still operating in bands - by this date more or less under royal control. Ahab has his band of prophets of Yahweh; Jezebel has her band of prophets of Baal. But at this stage individual prophets stand out from the mass - for instance, Micaiah, Elijah, and Elisha in Israel - and these engage in politics as independent and redoubtable powers. Was this second phase in the evolution of the prophet confined to Israel? We do not hear, in the Israelite scriptures, of individual prophets who were Tyrians or Damascenes. But the argumentum ex silentio is hazardous, where one party has monopolized the telling of the story. It is more prudent to suspend judgement in the expectation that the Israelite scriptural monopoly may one day be broken, in this chapter too, by the progress of archaeological discovery. The Israelite scriptures themselves testify that Elisha, at any rate, did not confine his activities to his own country. According to this testimony, Elisha engineered a political revolution in Damascus before engineering one in Israel. The usurper Hazael as well as the usurper Jehu is said to have committed his act of high treason at Elisha's instigation. In the next phase, too, the prophets played their parts on an international stage. When Amos of Tekoa made his pronunciamiento circa 760 B.C., he made it in Israel, which was a bigger forum than his native Judah.

Prophets, as well as courtiers, craftsmen, and traders, felt themselves at home in any of the statelets among which the Syrian World was divided politically.

{p. 428} Thus in the Syriac World during its five centuries of political independence the prevailing social and cultural tendency was already the movement towards fusion that subsequently went with a run after the local political barriers to it had been swept away by the Assyrians. The subsequent process of standardization, in which the most impressive single development was the triumphal progress of the Aramaic koine had already been foreshadowed in the tendency of the preceding age, and it merely carried this tendency towards its logical conclusion.

The deportees from the Kingdom of Israel went the whole way. In exile they lost their distinctive communal identity completely and once for all. So too, we may guess, did those Judahite refugees in Egypt who saw in the liquidation of the Kingdom of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar a retribution for their neglect, not of Yahweh, but of the Queen of Heaven. They sharply rejected Jeremiah's thesis that their apostasy from Yahweh had been the cause of Judah's national disaster, and they vere unmoved by the prophet's threat that, if they remained obdurate, another stroke of Yahweh's vengeance would overtake them in their Egyptian asylum. The lesson that these Judahites had learnt from the disaster was to beware of ever neglecting the Queen of Heaven again. In this case we have no information about the sequel; but the Aramaic documents dating from the fifth century B.C., which give us a glimpse of the life and outlook of a Judaeo-Aramaean military colony at Elephantine in Upper Egypt under the Achaemenian regime, enable us to catch another expatriated Syriac community at a point part way along the road that the deportees from Israel undoubtedly travelled to the end. This colonial Jewish community followed Solomon, Ahab, Athaliah, and Manasseh in feeling it no disloyalty to Yahweh to associate other gods with him. Out of a fund of 628 (or 626) shekels collected by the colonists in 419 B. C., 246 shekels were allocated to Yahweh, 140 to Eshem Bethel, and 240 to 'Anath Bethel. Here we see a new cult arising within Yahweh's own domain. Archaeological investigation has shown that the sanctuary at Bethel was prosperous in the sixth century B.C. and, though it was burned down towards the end of the Neobabylonian period, the cult, which found a secondary focus in Babylonia, attained its maximum diffusion in the fifth century B.C. Theophoric names containing 'Bethel as one of their components begin to appear about 600 B.C. They are

{p. 429} all either Aramaic or Neobabylonian, and none are earlier than the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.

In the former territory of Judah the peasantry, whom Nebuchadezzar had not uprooted, started on the same road, and their drift towards fusion was not reversed by the return of a batch of exiles immediately after the fall of the Neobabylonian Empire. It needed the subsequent missions of Nehemiah and Ezra, backed by the Achaemenian Imperial Government's authority, to make them ruefully conform to the new ideals of monotheism and nationalism that had been conceived in adversity by the diaspora in Babylonia. An effective agency of religious fusion between the un-uprooted Judaeans and their Palestinian neighbours had been intermarriage. The foreign wives were carriers of their ancestral religions. The Babylonian Jewish innovators closed this avenue to fusion by insisting on the dissolution of mixed marriages and prohibiting them for the future. This was a high price to pay for satisfying the requirements of a new-fangled orthodoxy; and the Judaean peasantry's reluctant submission did not save these authentic heirs of the defunct Kingdom of Judah from being written off by the Babylonian Jewish puritans as 'the people of the land' ('am ha-aretz) - a label which carried the contemptuous connotation of the English word 'natives'.

The revolutionary social and religious ideals that the Babylonian Jewish diaspora thus imposed on Judaea were partly the product of an unusual response that this particular uprooted community had made to the experience of deportation. Other deported Syriac communities had bowed to fate and had reconciled themselves to being assimilated. The Jewish diaspora had been peculiar in determining to maintain its distinctive communal identity in circumstances in which most of its fellow deportees had felt assimilation to be inevitable. This exceptional Jewish reaction is partly accounted for by the exceptional history of Judah in the preceding age of Assyrian and Neobabylonian militarism. The states of Damascus and Israel had been wiped off the map, and the social structure of their people had been broken up, within thirty or forty years of the first appearance of prophets of a new kind, whose first representative had been Amos. The state of Judah had survived for nearly a hundred and fifty years longer, and a succession of great prophets had arisen within her borders before she, in her turn, was gleichgeschaltet.

The prophets of this third kind were politicians, like Elijah and Elisha. Unlike these predecessors of theirs they were also social reformers. But their distinctive and revolutionary new departure was their new vision of the nature and the potency of Judah's national god Yahweh. They started a spiritual and intellectual revolution which was to end in a conception of this national god of Judah and Israel as being also the only true god in the Universe, and as being righteous and loving, not capricious and violent-tempered. While the prophets of Amos' line

{p. 430} lived and while the Kingdom of Judah lasted, these prophets' words - political, ethical, and religious - mostly fell on deaf ears. But, unlike their predecessors, they put their oracles in writing; and the written word made its effect posthumously. The sixth-century Jewish deportees to Babylonia had to leave behind them the ruins of the temple at Jerusalem, as well as their houses and fields. Their chief portable treasure was their books, and these, including the books of the Prophets, fructified in exile.

Thus, from the time of the loss of political independence onwards, the Syriac Civilization did divide into two streams. There was a stream heading towards nationalism and monotheism, and a stream heading towards social and cultural fusion and religious syncretism. Both streams flowed from a common fount. Their common source was the unitary culture which had developed in Syria during the preceding five centuries. In the subsequent Achaemenian Age the stream represented by the Jewish diaspora was a mere trickle, while the stream represented by the Aramaic koine was a flood. Yet at the present day the only surviving representatives of the Syriac Civilization of the first half of the last millennium B.C. are the Jews and the Samaritans. This historical fact confronts us with the questions: How widely did the flood of the cosmopolitan Syriac Civilization spread, and when and why did it lose itself in the sands?


In a previous section of this chapter we have noticed that, after the states of the Syriac World had been overthrown, and their territories annexed, by the Assyrian and Neobabylonian empires, the Aramaic language and alphabet rapidly gained ground at the expense of cunei-

{p. 431} form and Akkadian. The cuneiform script had fallen completely out of use before the end of the first century of the Christian Era, and, long before that, the Akkadian language conveyed in it must have passed out of ordinary currency and have lingered on only as a learned language mastered by a few specialists. In fact the Syriac Civilization had absorbed and supplanted the 3,000-years-old civilization of Sumer and Akkad and Babylon and Assyria.

This was an impressive feat of cultural assimilation; but there are several obvious factors that, between them, go some way towards accounting for it. Aramaic-speaking peoples had encircled Babylonia as long ago as the time of the Volkerwandering at the turn of the second and the last millennium B.C. The Aramaeans themselves, as we have noticed, had pushed their way into the steppe-country, north-east of Babylonia between the River Tigris and the Iranian plateau; their Chaldaean kinsmen had established themselves on Babylonia's southern fringe. And this Aramaic-speaking population in the Sumero-Akkadian World was reinforced, from the ninth century B.C. onwards, by Assyrian conquests and deportations of Aramaean peoples. Moreover, the Akkadian language, which had driven Sumerian out of ordinary currency, even in Sumer itself, before the age of Hammurabi, was a language of the same Semitic family as Aramaic, so that it was comparatively easy for Akkadian-speakers to acquire a sister Semitic dialect. As for the Aramaic alphabet, it was attractive because of its enormous superiority over cuneiform in both simplicity and clarity.

These propitious circumstances go far towards explaining the Syriac Civilzation's success in swamping and assimilating the Sumero-Akkadian Civilization. Its feat of drawing the Iranian peoples, too, into its sphere of influence is more remarkable. The Iranian languages - belonging, as they do, not to the Semitic, but to the Indo-European family - were no more akin to Aramaic than the Sumerian language was. The Iranian plateau and the Oxus-Jaxartes basin, which were the homelands of the non-Nomadic Iranian peoples, were more remote geographically from the heart of the Syriac World than Babylonia and Assyria were. Moreover, Babylonia and Assyria lay between Iran and Syria, and therefore the Sumero-Akkadian Civilization of these countries was the first civilization with which the Iranians came into contact while they were still impressionable semi-barbarians. Both the geographical proximity of the Sumero-Akkadian Society and the prestige that it had acquired in virtue of its antiquity gave it a unique opportunity for converting the Iranians and so perhaps saving itself, through this eastern reinforcement from succumbing to the Syriac Civilization that was expanding at its expense from the west. The Sumero-Akkadian Civilization did impress and influence the Iranians at their first contact with it. But they afterwards transferred their cultural allegiance to the more vital and more convenient Syriac Civilization in its Post-Assyrian Aramaic dress; and this change in the Iranians' cultural orientation expanded the

{p. 432} Syriac Civilization's cultural domain eastwards as far as Western India and Central Asia.

{p. 475} Islam ... came to maturity within the framework of alien

{p. 476} civilizations - in this case, not the Hellenic Civilization but the Nestorian Christian, the Monophysite Christian, and the Zoroastrian Iranian. It is true that the Christian minority in the Roman Empire lived in the catacombs, whereas the Muslim minority in the Islamic world-state lived in the camps and the palaces. But this Muslim minority was in the same position as the Christian minority in the essential point that it was living in a world that it had not created and in which it was not at home.

After the epiphany of Islam, as after the epiphany of Christianity, centuries had to pass before the new religion could mother a new civilization; for the necessary pre-condition for that was that the minority should have become the majority. In the circum-Mediterranean world this happened in the course of the three centuries ending in the seventh century of the Christian Era; in South-West Asia and Egypt it happened in the course of the three centuries ending in the thirteenth century of the Christian Era. Before that, the Muslims - including the Arabs' converted non-Arab subjects as well as the Arabs themselves - had been only a minority in the dominions of the Islamic world-state. The Islamic state's Zoroastrian subjects in Iran and in the Oxus-Jaxartes basin had gone over to Islam more quickly, in larger numbers, than its Christian subjects west of Zagros. But the mass-conversions to Islam did not begin to take place in any of the Islamic world-state's dominions till the Islamic state was harried by barbarian invasions. It was the Crusades and the subsequent irruption of the Mongols that moved the mass of the population of South-West Asia and Egypt to rally to Islam as a spiritual force that might perhaps hold society together in a cataclysm in which 'Earth's foundations fled'.

I therefore continue, on reconsideration, to maintain that the Islamic Civilization - or civilizations - arose after the thirteenth century of the Christian Era, when the last remnant of the 'Abbasid world-state had been extinguished by the Mongol war-lord Hulagu. In order to locate the place of Islam in history, we have to distinguish clearly between three different things: the Islamic religion that was founded and compromised by the Prophet Muhammad and was then salvaged by his political successors' converted non-Arab subjects; the Islamic state that was founded by the statesman Muhammad and that swiftly grew, like the proverbial grain of mustard-seed, into a tree that overshadowed the Earth; and the Islamic Civilization (or civilizations) that has been a cultural by-product of Islam in the same sense in which the Christian civilizations have been cultural by-products of Christianity. If we do not keep these three different things clearly distinct in our minds, we are likely to go astray in our interpretation of Islam and of its political an cultural by-products.



THE interpretation of Jewish history is a classic illustration of the relativity of an observer's report to his personal relation with his human subject.

The Jews have told their own story from the standpoint of a self-proclaimed 'Chosen People' in whose eyes all other human beings are gentiles (i.e. 'lesser breeds without the law', in Kipling's paraphrase).

In the Christian-Muslim half of the present-day world this Jewish standpoint has been accepted by the present-day non-Jewish gentile majority in regard to Jewish history in the Pre-Christian, or, alternatively, the Pre-Muslim, Age.

The Christian Church, for instance, has taken over uncritically the Jewish version of the history of the Jews' predecessors, the peoples of Judah and Israel, as this is presented in the written Torah (in Christian terminology, 'the Old Testament'). Christians, and ex-Christians too, see the Phoenicians, Philistines, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Damascenes as these are portrayed in the historical books of the Torah; and they see the Seleucid King Antiochus IV and his policy as these are portrayed in the First and Second Books of Maccabees. If the Tyre and Gaza of the last millennium B.C had living representatives to speak for them today, as Israel and Judah have, they would, no doubt, give a version of the story of their relations with the two highland communities in their hinterland which would hardly be recognizable as being an account of the events that, in the highlanders' version, are familiar to Christians from the Bible. Yet in the established Christian version of this chapter of history the Jews have things all their own way - pending the discovery, by archaeologists, of documents written in the Syriac World, outside Judah and Israel, in the last millennium B.C. that might be of comparable historical value to the documents written in the fourteenth century B.C. that have already been unearthed at Ras ash-Shamrah.

In the established Islamic version of Old-Testament history the Jews have not come off quite so well. Muhammad did follow the lead of the Christian Church in accepting the Jewish thesis that the written Torah is the word of God, but, when the Jews pointed out that some of Muhammad's renderings of Old-Testament stories had got these stories wrong in important particulars, Muhammad accounted for the discrepancy by saying that the Jews had falsified their own holy scriptures. The Quranic version was a restoration of the original, and Islam was 'the pure religion of Abraham'. Thus Muhammad's concession to Jewish claims was partly discounted, even in regard to the age before the new dispensation by a serious imputation on the Jews' good faith. Yet Muhammad, like the Christian Church, recognized the authority of the written Torah, as being a book inspired by God, in so far as its text

{p. 478} might be endorsed by Muhammad as being authentic; and the charge that he made against the Jews did not implicate their forefather Abraham. Like the Jews themselves and like the Christians, Muslims trace their own religious origins back to the revelation that Abraham received from God according to the Jewish tradition. Like Christianity, Islam presupposes Judaism and could never have come into existence if Judaism had not been in existence already.

Thus the Muslims, as well as the Christians, accept, in principle the Jews' belief in the divine inspiration of the Torah and the consequent belief in the Jews' special status as the recipients of this divine revelation. On the other hand the tables have been turned on the Jews by the Christians and the Muslims in their appraisal of Jewish history since the beginning of the Christian or, alternatively, the Islamic Era.

Christians - and Muslims too, subject to Muhammad's reservation - accept the Jewish account of Jewish history, and of its antecedents in the histories of Judah and Israel, down to the respective beginnings of the Christian and Muslim eras, with the proviso that Judaism was designed, in the Jewish god Yahweh's providence, to be the preparation for Christianity or, alternatively, for Islam, and that the Israelites and their successors the Jews were 'chosen' by God to be the forerunners of His eventual 'Chosen People' the Christians or, alternatively, the Muslims. Upon the advent of Christianity or, alternatively, of Islam, the 'mandate' of Judaism and the Jews 'was exhausted' (to use an apt Chinese formula). Now, in God's own good time, the true 'Chosen People' had arrived on the scene, and the Jews' duty was clear. They ought to have accepted Jesus or, alternatively, Muhammad, at the valuation placed on him in the official doctrine of the Judaic religion of which he as the founder. In declining to accept him on these terms, the Jews were failing to respond to the supreme challenge in their history, and were thereby putting themselves permanently in the wrong and on the shelf. Jewish history and its Israelitish antecedents down to the beginning of Jesus's or, alternatively, Muhammad's ministry still has validity and value as the prelude, arranged by God, to the Christian or, alternatively, to the Muslim, dispensation. Jewish history since one or other of those two climacteric dates is without significance except as a classic example of perversity on the part of a people that, of all peoples, ought to have known better.

It is difficult for anyone brought up in the Christian tradition to shake himself free from the official Christian ideology. He may have discarded Christian doctrine consciously on every point; yet on this particular point he may find that he is still being influenced, subconsciously, by the traditional Christian view in his outlook on Jewish history. Voltaire's outlook is a classic case. I am conscious that my own outlook has been affected in this way. If I had happened to be brought up in the Muslim tradition instead of the Christian one, no doubt my outlook would have been affected correspondingly.

This Christian-Muslim reading of Jewish history is irritating to Jews

{p. 479} partly because of the grain of truth that it contains, and partly because of the larger measure of misrepresentation that there is in it.

The grain of truth lies in the fact that the advents of Christianity and Islam, and the subsequent histories of these two religions, are unquestionably two major events in the main course of mankind's history - at least in that half of the Oikoumene that lies to the west of India. Israel, Judah, the Jews, and Judaism did not play major parts in the history of mankind before they gave birth to the two 'deviationist' Judaic world-religions. If Christianity and Islam had never been generated by Judaism's involuntary but undeniable paternity, Judaism would be surviving today in an environment of Hellenic 'paganism', as Zoroastrianism does survive today in an environment of Hindu 'paganism'. We may guess that, in that event, the Jews' position in the World today would have been more like the actual position of the Parsees than like the actual position of the Jews themselves. The Jews would have been more obscure than they now are, but they would also have been more comfortable. The Jews' present-day importance, celebrity, and discomfort all derive from the historic fact that they have involuntarily begotten two Judaic world-religions whose millions of adherents make the preposterous but redoubtable claim to have superseded the Jews, by the Jewish god Yahweh's dispensation, in the role of being this One True God's 'Chosen People'.

The Jews are also genuinely 'a back number' in another sense. Like the Samaritans, they are surviving representatives of a Syriac civilization that otherwise became extinct as long ago as the third or second century B.C., if the disuse of the Aramaic koine may be taken as a criterion of the date at which the Syriac Civilization faded out of existence. The Syriac Civilization as a whole, like its contemporary the Hellenic Civilization, is otherwise 'dead' today except in so far as it still lives in its legacy to the present-day Christian and Islamic civilizations. If it is true - as it seems to be true - that at the western end of the Old World, in contrast to its eastern end, there has been a series of successive 'generations' of civilizations since the species of human society that we call 'civilization' made its first appearance, then it is true that the Jews and Judaism are a relic of a 'generation' that, except for the Samaritans and the Parsees, is otherwise extinct. This is the historical fact that I had in mind when, in volume i of this book, I docketed the Parsees and the Jews (among other present-day communities) with the label 'fossils'. My choice of this particular word may not have been a felicitous one for conveying the historical fact that I wanted to describe. But the fact is a fact, and some name or other for describing it is needed.

At the same time it is, of course, untrue that Jewish history since the advent of Christianity or, alternatively, of Islam is of no account. In refusing to be gleichgeschaltet by either of the two 'deviationist' Judaic world-religions and in surviving as a persistent minority in a Christian

{p. 480} and a Muslim environment, the Jews have made a deep mark on both Christian and Islamic history as living Jews and not merely as dead Jewish forerunners of Christianity and Islam. Thus the Jews have not ceased to count, even in terms of Christian and Islamic history, and a fortiori, they have not ceased to count in terms of their own history. While the Jews' relations with their gentile environment have been notably affected by the advents of Christianity and Islam, these two world-shaking events have had hardly any perceptible effect on the inner life of Jewry or on the evolution of Judaism. In and after the first century of the Christian Era the stream of Jewish religious literature flowed more copiously than ever before. For this period of Jewish religious history we are abundantly documented, and one remarkable feature of this contemporary Jewish documentation is the faintness of the marks that have been made on it by Jesus and by Christianity

The main source of the impetus that transformed the primitive religion of Israel and Judah into Judaism was the 'traumatic twist' that 'the Jewish psyche received when the Jewish belief in chosen-ness sustained the terrible shock of national disaster and exile'. This shock was administered to the Jews several times over: by Nebuchadnezzar in the second decade of the sixth century B.C., by Antiochus IV in the fourth decade of the second century B.C.; by the Romans in the Romano-Jewish wars of A.D. 66-70 and A.D. 132-5. The Jews' disastrous conflict with the Romans in the first two centuries of the Christian Era had far more effect on the history of Judaism than the advent of Christianity had. It set Judaism hard. It precipitated the closing of the canon of the written Torah, the codification of a commentary on the Torah (the Mishnah), and the production of a commentary (the Gemara) on this commentary, which, together with it, constitutes the Talmud. The period from the time of Herod the Great (regnabat 40 B.C.-4 B.C.) to the generation of the Patriarch Jehudah, who codified the Mishnah circa A.D. 220, was the age of the Tannaim. Judaism assumed its definitive form during the 150 years beginning with the generation of Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, who established his school at Jamnia, with the Romans' leave, in A.D, 70. The canon of the written Torah seems to have been fixed by the Sanhedrin (a non-political body, not to be confused with the pre-war Sanhedrin) that Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai had set up at Jamnia. The codification of halachoth (agreed interpretations of the injunctions contained explicitly or implicitly in the written Torah) was started by Rabbi Akiba, who met his death in A.D. 135, and its completion by the Patriarch Jehudah was attained circa A.D. 220. The Mishnah was the Pharisees' answer to the disasters of A.D. 70 and A.D. 135. As for the shock administered by Nebuchadnezzar, this had

{p. 481} inspired Ezekiel, Deutero-Isaiah, and eventually also Ezra. The shock administered by Antiochus IV had inspired the Pharisees. The development of Judaism under the impetus given by these successive shocks was in process for nearly a thousand years (sixth century B.C. to fifth century of the Christian Era). But the advent of Christianity did not administer one of the propelling shocks.

It is 'a mistake to suppose that the rabbis took much interest in Jesus, or cared to know much about him'. The Mishnah does not contain the name Jesus or even the disparaging synonyms Ben Stada and Ben Pandira. The rabbinical tradition about Jesus, such as it is, seems to have begun with Rabbi Eliezer ben Horqenos, who was a pupil of Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, and whose working life therefore fell in the generation following the Romano-Jewish War of A.D. 66-70. The rabbinical tradition hardly implies knowledge of the Gospels, and 'gospel teaching had no influence upon rabbinic teaching'. 'It is remarkable how very little the Talmud does say about Jesus.' According to the Talmud, Jesus was born out of wedlock. His mother Miriam was a ladies' hairdresser. Her husband was Pappos ben Jehudah. Her paramour was Pandira. Jesus mocked at the words of the wise. He called himself God and said that he would ascend into Heaven. He was tried and executed, by stoning, at Lydda. The guilt - or merit - of having put Jesus to death is ascribed in the Talmud to the Jews, not to the Romans.

There is no mention of any claim, on Jesus's part, to be the Messiah.

The Talmud does display some anxiety for fear that Judaism might be undermined from within by an heretical sect labelled 'the Minim', which seems to have been a disparaging nickname for the Jewish Christians.

From circa A.D. 80 onwards anyone who volunteered, at the sabbath service in a synagogue, to read a passage of the Torah and expound it was required, as a precaution against covert indoctrination of the orthodox by a crypto-Min, to recite the formula, drafted by Rabbi Shemuel ha-Qaton: 'May there be no hope for the Minim.' The rabbis' anxiety about the Minim subsided as the Jewish Christian Church faded out. Considering that this unfortunate community was looked askance at by gentile Christians as well as by orthodox Jews, its prospects had been bleak since the date of Paul's first mission to the gentiles. The rabbinical literature ignores gentile Christianity; and indeed the Jewish religious authorities could feel sure that the Jewish people would be impervious to an heretical form of Judaism when its representatives and advocates were not their fellow Jews, as the Minim were, but were gentiles whose religion would be ruled out of consideration automatically by Post-Exilic

{p. 462} Jewish minds simply by reason of its gentile provenance. In short neither Jewish nor gentile Christianity made any mark on Judaism.

Thus, if one looks, as one ought to look, at the history of Judaism from inside as well as from outside, it is evidently absurd to imagine that its history has ceased to be significant since the moment of Christianity's advent. During the early centuries of the Christian Era the development of Judaism was still in full swing. The Palestinian Talmud was not completed till the last quarter of the fourth century of the Christian Era, the Babylonian Talmud not till about one hundred years later. This contrast between the historical facts and the conventional Christian and ex-Christian view of the history of the Jews and Judaism shows how difficult it is for anyone brought up with a Christian background to look at Jewish history objectively. An observer with an Islamic background is no less badly placed. An observer with a Jewish background is at an equal disadvantage, since the bias with which he will have to contend will be no less great, though it will, of course, incline him towards the opposite side. Among both Jewish and gentile scholars there have, it is true, becn souls that have risen above the prejudices of their ancestral tradition. C. G. Montefiore, J. B. Agus, and G. F. Ioore are notable examples. The requisite degree of broadmindedness and generosity is, however, rare in the human race. And, in order to obtain a fully objective and illuminating study of Jewish history, we may have to wait for the appearance of some Hindu or East Asian scholar who has mastered this difficult subject under the spur of a disinterested intellectual curiosity. For the majority of mankind, which lives east of the Sutlej, the Jews and Judaism are not a practical problem, so a scholar from somewhere in this major part of the Oikoumene would not have imbibed any anti-Jewish prejudice from his social and cultural environment - nor any pro-Muslim or pro-Christian

{p. 483} prejudice either, since, east of the Sutlej, the two 'deviationist' Judaic world-religions have been aggressive and disturbing spiritual forces by reason of their missionary zeal.


The Jews may be defined as being the conscious and deliberate heirs and representatives of the people of the Kingdom of Judah, which was extinguished by the Neobabylonian Emperor Nebuchadnezzar in the second decade of the sixth century B.C. Ever since that fearful national disaster the paramount aim of the Judahites deported to Babylon and their Jewish descendants has been to preserve, unbroken, their distinctive national identity. In this they have been brilliantly successful. The Jewish people has managed to survive, as a people, a long series of successive ordeals: the extinction of the Kingdom of Judah and the deportation of the skilled and literate elite of its population to Babylon; the attraction, in Babylonia, of the Sumero-Akkadian Civilization which was superior to the Judahite variety of the Syriac Civilization in everything except its religion and its script; Antiochus IV's attempt to merge Jewry - by force, after persuasion had failed - in an Hellenic Society with a standardized ideology and way of life; the deracination of Palestinian Jewry by the Romans in and after the two great Romano-Jewish wars of A.D. 66-70 and A.D. 132-5; the attraction of the Hellenic Civilization, which was felt even by Palestinian Jews in the third and fourth decades of the second century B.C., and which had a far greater effect on the Jewish diaspora in the cities of the far-flung Hellenic World, particularly in Alexandria-on-Nile; the successive pressures brought to bear on the Jews by Christianity and (more mildly) by Islam to merge themselves in one or other of these two gigantic 'deviationist' Judaic religious communities; the attraction of the Islamic, Byzantine and Western civilizations. This record is recognized, by friendly and hostile observers alike, as being an extraordinary monument of steadfastness or obstinacy - whichever of the two words the observer may feel inclined to use. The achievement has been possible only because the Jews have always consistently given priority over other aims of theirs to this aim of preserving their distinctive national identity. A Jewish observer has called it 'the stiff-necked Jewish insistence on remaining Jewish under all circumstances'.

One of these other aims has been to return to the country of Judah and to re-establish there a state which should embrace, not only the historic domain of the Kingdom of Judah, but the whole of Eretz Israel, meaning the combined domains of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel up to the frontiers of the short-lived empire of the two Judahite kings David and Solomon. The aim of re-establishing the state of Judah, at any rate, was a natural corollary of the Jews' paramount aim of preserving their distinctive national identity. Since the invention of agriculture

{p. 484} first rooted the peoples who adopted it to particular patches of the Earth's surface, the possession of a distinctive national identity has, so far, usually been accompanied by the possession of a local national territory. This territorial substructure for the support of a distinctive national identity has, however, been progressively proved not to be indispensable ever since the dawn of civilization brought with it an accelerating improvement in all kinds of means of communication (mental as well as material), and also the establishment of cities, which have been growing in size at an accelerating pace. Looking back on the course of the history of civilization during the last 5,000 years, and paying particular attention to its history in 'the Fertile Crescent', where it made its first appearance, we can see, in retrospect, that communities of a new, non-agricultural, type have been arising. These new-model communities are post-agricultural in their means of livelihood; they live by urban trade and industry; but they resemble the pre-agricultural food-gathering communities in not being bound to some particular patch of the Earth's surface and in being held together socially and culturally by bonds that are not territorial but are cultural and ideological - a distinctive common way of life and common religion. Communities of this new type, capable of preserving their identities in diaspora, made their first appearance, as was to be expected, in the region in which civilization itself made its first appearance. Gradually they have been increasing in numbers and have been spreading, with civilization, over the face of the Earth. The Post-Exilic Jewish diaspora has been one of the most successful of them. The vitality of the Jewish diaspora, and its significance, for mankind as a whole, as being the probable 'wave of the future', is brought out by the contrast between the steady success of the diaspora in surviving - in spite of penalizations, persecutions, and massacres - and the unsatisfactoriness of all attempts up to date, since the Babylonish Captivity, to re-establish a Jewish state on Palestinian soil.

The first of these attempts was made - with the permission and good will of the founder of the Achaemenian {First Persian} Empire, Cyrus - within less than half a century after Nebuchadnezzar had extinguished the Kingdom of Judah and had deported its notables to Babylonia. The latest attempt is being made in our day. It is noteworthy, however, that at all times when it has been open to the Jews in diaspora to emigrate to a Jewish state in Palestine, a great majority of them have invariably preferred to remain in diaspora. This was so in the year 539-538 B.C.; it is so today; and it has always been so all through the intervening twenty-five centuries. At any time between 538 B.C., when Cyrus gave the Babylonian diaspora leave to return, down to, at any rate, the outbreak of the first Romano-Jewish War in A.D. 66, it was open to any member of the Jewish diaspora in Babylonia to return to Palestine. But the number that returned ith Zerubbabel in 538 B.C., with Ezra in 458 or 397 B.C., and with Nehemiah in 445 or 384 B.C., was insignificant compared with the total numbers

{p. 485} of the diaspora in Babylonia, which was the diaspora's centre of gravity throughout the Achaemenian, Macedonian, and Roman ages of South-West Asian history. Within the half-century of the Babylonish Captivity, the Jewish exiles had not only created a new way of life and a new set of institutions for themselves in diaspora; they had become so strongly attached to these and so confident that they had discovered effective means for preserving their distinctive national identity in diaspora, that they could not bring themselves to pull up the new roots that they had struck in Babylonian soil, recent though these new roots were. Indeed, so far from the Jewish diaspora in Babylonia re-emigrating en masse to Judaca, there was a fresh emigration of Jews from Judaea - this time into the cities, old and new, of the Hellenic World with which the Judaean Jews were brought into contact as a result of the establishment of the Achaemenian Empire's Hellenic successor-states. The Jewish community in Alexandria-on-Nile was merely the most important and conspicuous among a number of new Jewish communities that seeded themselves as far westwards as Rome inclusive. This new Greek-speaking Jewish diaspora in the Hellenic World west of Palestine came to rival in numbers and importance, the older Aramaic-speaking diaspora in Babylonia. And the emigrants from Judaea into the Hellenic world were, for the most part, not deportees but voluntary settlers.

The present-day Jewish diaspora in the United States, which is the living counterpart, in importance, of the Jewish diaspora in Babylonia from the sixth century B.C. to the thirteenth century of the Christian Era, is reacting in just the same way towards the state of Israel that has been in existence in the former Philistine, Teucrian, and Jebusite districts of Palestine since A.D. 1948. Like their Babylonian predecessors and counterparts, the American Jews today are zealous in fostering a Jewish state in Palestine by contributing money and exerting political influence; but only an insignificant minority of American Jews, and of European Jews in European countries west of Germany, has been showing itself willing to emigrate to Israel. There is also already a perceptible trickle of re-emigration out of Israel into the Western World.

Thus the situation as it was in the Kingdom of Judah before the year 586 B.C. has never been restored in effect, in spite of the repeated efforts - which started within half a century of that date - to re-establish a Jewish community and Jewish state on Palestinian soil. Before 586 B.C. the Judahite community in the World was identical with the population of the Kingdom of Judah. Since then there has never been a Jewish community in Palestine that has been co-extensive w ith the Jewish community in the world or has even been the most important part of it. The Jewish community re-established in Palestine in and after 539-538 B.C., like its successor in our own day, was a child, protege, and pensioner - in fact, a by-product - of the Jewish diaspora. Ever since the beginning of the Babylonish Captivity, the diaspora has been Jewry's citadel and

{p. 486} arsenal. In A.D. 70 and in A.D. 135, as in 586 B.C. the diaspora survived triumphantly, the destruction of a Jewish community on the soil of Judah. There has been no time since then - not even the eighty years of the Maccabaean Kingdom's sovereign independence (142/1 B.C.-63 B.C.) or the 37 years of Herod the Great's reign (40 B.C.-4 B.C.) by grace of Rome - when a Jewish community in Palestine could have stood on its own feet without financial and diplomatic support from the diaspora. Even in the field of religion the diaspora's role has been dominant. Judaism is a development of the Pre-Exilic religion of Judah that was created in and by the Babylonian diaspora and was imposed by it on the Jewish population in Judaea. The Babylonian Jew Ezra gave Judaism in Palestine the decisive impulse that eventually produced the Pharisaic movement and the rabbinical system. The survival and vitality of the diaspora has been a tour de force; but, just on this account, the diaspora has been, and still is, the supreme and characteristic instrument and monument of the Jewish people's persistent will to maintain its distinctive communal identity.

This will to survive as a community anywhere and under any conditions has, since 586 B.C., been paramount over the will to survive as a community on the Palestinian soil once occupied by Judah and Israel. By comparison with survival itself, Zionism has been a secondary Jewish aim. There has also been the aim of converting the gentile world to the worship of Yahweh under the aegis of a world-empire centred on Eretz Israel and ruled by 'the Lord's Anointed': a coming human king of Davidic lineage. This third aim has, hitherto, been half-hearted. The hope of it has been dubious and the pursuit of it has been spasmodic - in contrast to the persistence of the effort to secure the Jewish people's survival. All the same, the expectation of the Messianic Kingdom seems to have been one of the sources of the eventual Jewish belief in the resurrection of the body - a belief that became an obligatory doctrine, and was taken over, as such, from Judaism by Christianity.

{p. 487} Throughout, the Jews have concentrated on their paramount aim of preserving their distinctive national identity. This focusing of Jewish efforts has been rewarded by success for more than two thousand five hundred years up to date. And this success, in turn, has had revolutionary religious and psychological consequences. It has produced a radical change in the Jews' concept of the character of their national god Yahweh and a radical reinterpretation of the Pre-Exilic literature of Israel and Judah. These two religious changes - especially the change in the concept of the character of Yahweh - have set up a psychological tension in Jewish souls between the nationalism to which they are devoted heart and soul, and a universalism that has been a by-product of their nationalism - a by-product that has been unintended and undesired but has at the same time been the inescapable price of their maintaining their faith in their nationalism in spite of the trauma inflicted by the experience of losing their political existence and being carried away captive. The tension - which is still unresolved today - is a spiritual struggle between the conflicting claims of two incompatible objects of worship. Which of the two is finally to win the Jews' allegiance? Their worship of their own community, served by and symbolized by their Pre-Exilic ancestors' national god? Or their worship of the One True God - absolute spiritual Reality in its personal aspect - into whom their national god has been transfigured, in their vision of Him, as a result of the revolutionary change in their concept of Him in the light of their harrowing experiences? 'Decisive in the psychological make-up of the individual is the question whether the group was selected for the sake of universal ideals, or whether those ideals were important because t they emerged out of the life of the group.'

If the Jews' worship of Jewry were finally to prevail over their worship of God then their extraordinary feat of preserving their distinctive national identity in diaspora for 2,000 years would have been unprofitable

{p. 488} as far as the Jews themselves were concerned. Self-worship in the first person plural - nahnlyah ('nosism') as it is called in Arabic - has been one of the commonest - indeed, most commonplace - of all mankind's religions ever since Man learnt how to mobilize his collective power by means of political organization. This has been the paramount religion of the Egyptiac and Andean worlds; of Umma and Uruk and Ur; of Sparta and Athens and Rome; of Venice and Milan and Florence of France and England and Germany. If the Jews were finally to put their treasure in this familiar idol, they would be justifying the Christians' and Muslims' judgement on them. The vision of the One True God would have been an involuntary product of Jewry's tribulations as a pearl is an involuntary product of some irritant that has lodged itsel inside the shell of an oyster. The Jewish soul would be a spiritually barren field; and the Christians and Muslims would have been, as they claim to be, the spiritually alert and enlightened seekers after God who had discovered the pearl of great price and had made this neglected treasure their own. This issue has been confronting the Jews for some two thousand five hundred years, since the date when the full vision of the One True God was attained by Deutero-Isaiah. 'Judaism, in one of its aspects, was, and is, a universal religion, while in another aspect it was, and is, a national religion.' The Jews have not yet made their choice between these two incompatible alternatives.


A radical change in the concept of the character of Yahweh is recorded in the religious literature that the Jews inherited from Israel and Judah and supplemented by their own commentaries on this Pre-Exilic heritage. This literature was precipitated over a period of fourteen hundred years or more, if the oldest strata of the historical books of the Torah are to be dated as early as the tenth century B.C. since the compilation went on till the completion of the Babylonian Talmud in the latter part of the fifth century of the Christian Era. It is not surprising that a radical change should have taken place over a period of this length, in the course of which the worshippers of Yahweh met with a series of momentous experiences and underwent far-reaching changes in the social and cultural conditions of their life. In the accompanying changes in their concept of the character of Yahweh there was not a revolutionary break at any point; and, though the cumulative change in the picture was radical, there were at least two features, and these both important that remained constant throughout. From the date of our earliest evidence down to the present day, the Israelite, Judahite, and Jewish worshippers of Yahweh have seen him in the form of a person, and they have believed that this divine person demands exact and unquestioning obedience from his human associates. This view of Yahweh is common

{p. 489} to the crudest Israelite and to the most sublime Jewish conceptions of his nature. The Jews did not come to think of him in impersonal terms when they came to identify him with absolute spiritual Reality. The transfiguration of the national war-god of Israel into the One True God of all mankind and the whole Universe left the antique deity's imperious personality intact - in contrast to the depersonalization that overtook Zeus the sky-god of the Hellenes and T'ien the sky-god of the Post-Shang Chinese when he was identified with absolute Reality by the philosophers. Jewish monotheism was not metaphysical. It was moral and therefore personal.

In the evolution of the concept of Yahweh there was this important element of permanence which persisted throughout the radical changes in the rest of the picture of Yahweh's nature. In the course of the formative fourteen or fifteen centuries there was, however, a great divide. The decisive changes took place within a span of not more than two centuries running from the generation of the prophet Amos in the eighth century B.C. to the generation of Deutero-Isaiah on the eve of the conquest of the Neobabylonian Empire by Cyrus. This 'axis age' in the history of the concept of Yahweh is an exemplification of Aeschylus's insight that 'learning comes through suffering'. This period of rapid and creative change in the outlook of the leading spirits in the religious life of Israel and Judah was also a period in which these two peoples went through three harrowing experiences: the economic and social : revolution of the eighth century B.C.; the loss of their political independence and the destruction of their state, which overtook Israel in 722 B.C. and Judah in 586 B.C.; and the deportation of the leading elements in the population which followed in either case - a turn of the screw to which the Israelite diaspora succumbed but which the Jewish diaspora survived. Each of these experiences had its effect on the concept of the character of Yahweh.

Yahweh, as he is presented in the strata of the Torah that are older than the books of the eighth-century prophets, is a national war-god of a familiar type. He is the local god of three communities of Hebrew origin - Israel, Judah, and Edom - and he has his counterparts in Chemosh of Moab, Milcom of Ammon, Athene Poliuchus of Athens, Athana Chalcioecus of Sparta, and for that matter also in those unavowed but zealously worshipped deities Britannia, France, Deutschland and the other collective idols of the Post-Christian West. Yahweh's origin is obscure. It is clear that he was not originally a god of agricultural fertility. Perhaps he may have been the smithy-god of the Midianites, Kenites, or some other Nomad people of the North Arabian desert. His recorded history begins when he becomes the political divinity of Israel. How and when this happened is also obscure. The story of the covenant made between him and Israel at Sinai, which eventually became the orthodox account of the beginning of his associa[ tion with this people, is not the only account given in the Torah. Alternatively the covenant is said to have been made between Yahweh and

{p. 490} Joshua at Shechem; and at Shechem the god of the covenant may, in truth, have ante-dated the Israelite occupation. In any case, Yahweh comes on to the stage of history as a political god worshipped by three of the Hebrew communities that had lodged themselves in Canaan in or before the thirteenth century B.C.

In the pre-eighth-century books of the Torah, Yahweh is presented as a divinity of a well-known barbaric type. In the traditional account of the making of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel, his quid pro quo in return for Israel's allegiance to him, is to give Israel possession of a land that uas neither his to give nor Israel's to take. The Hebrew invaders of Canaan had to lodge themselves there by force of arms and Yahweh's supreme value to them lay in his military prowess. 'The Lord is a man of war.' {Exod. xv. 3} 'The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.' {Ps. xxiv. 8} 'Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight.' {Ps. cxliv. 1} This potency of Yahweh's was, however double-edged. He was as vindictive in punishing his adherents for acts of disobedience as he was effective in giving them military victory at times when they had not incurred his displeasure. The common theme running through the series of incidents in the book of Judges, in the edition in which this has come down to us, is that Yahweh has repeatedly delivered a disobedient Israel into the hands of its enemies, and has then sent the Israelites a rescuer each time that they have repented of their offence. But this primitive Yahweh is worse than vindictive, he is moody, capricious, and impulsive. Many of his acts are so arbitrary as to be unaccountable. He is also physically dangerous to human life, like some blind material force - for instance, a present-day high-tension electrified cable. If this Yahweh had chosen to swoop from Mount Sinai on to Mount Olympus, he would have been a match for the whole war-band of Homeric gods. His character, as depicted at this stage, is, no doubt, a reflection of the temper and outlook then prevalent among his worshippers. If so, the subsequent changes in the picture will be reflections of changes in his worshippers' temper and outlook - spiritual changes that were, themselves, responses to the challenge of harrowing experiences.

The first of these experiences was the economic and social revolution that overtook Israel and Judah in the eighth century B.C. The money economy that had previously established itself in the Phoenician and Philistine cities along the coast of Canaan, and the urban way of life that had been practised there for ages past, now invaded - or reinvaded - the highland cantons in the maritime cities' hinterland. This revolution was comparable to the one that overtook Attica in the net century, when the

{p. 491} same more sophisticated way of life came in from Ionia and from the commercial cities clustered round the Isthmus of Corinth. In the Syriac World the social consequences of this economic revolution were the same as in the Hellenic. The countryside now had to carry the load of a growing capital city: Samaria in Israel and Jerusalem in Judah. The rich minority of the population, which now gathered in the capital to enjoy its amenities, became richer, partly through usury, while the poor rural minority became poorer. The community was now morally divided, and this raised a question about Yahweh's judgement that had not arisen as long as he had been the war-lord of a community that was held together internally by hostile relations with its neighbours. Now that Yahweh's people was divided against itself on a moral issue, Yahweh must take a line as between one faction and the other; and the eighth-century prophets confidently and eloquently declared Yahweh's judgement in his name. They declared that he stood for justice (as the sun god already stood in Egypt and was to stand in Anatolia, 600 years later, when Aristonicus called the oppressed to arms in Helios' name). The Prophets predicted that, if the oppressors in Israel and Judah did not repent and mend their ways, Yahweh would requite their injustice ith a punishment that would involve the community as a whole. At the time, these prophecies fell on deaf ears. The subsequent calamities - the extinction of the state and the deportation of the oppressive notables - recalled the eighth-century prophecies to mind and branded them indelibly on the memories of the conscience-stricken deportees and their descendants. From the time of the Babylonish Captivity onwards, Yahweh, in the Jews' conception of him, was an all-powerful dispenser of justice instead of being an all-powerful tyrant giving rein to his whims.

The eighth century B.C, also saw the beginning of the end of the independence, and indeed of the existence, of the states of the Syriac World. The fourth and last, but also the most virulent, bout of Assyrian militarism was started by King Tiglath-Pileser III (regnabat 747-727 B.C.), After he had decisively defeated the united forces of Urartu, Assyria's most formidable rival at the time, and her East Anatolian and North Syrian allies, the whole Syriac World lay at his and his successors' mercy. Israel was obliterated by his immediate successor Sargon in 722 B.C. and the Assyrian sword hung suspended over Judah's head for a century, before Judah, in her turn, suffered Israel's fate in 586 B.C. at the hands of Assyria's Neobabylonian successor-state. Nor was this the end of the story of political disaster. From the date of Tiglath-Pileser III's accession onwards the peoples of Israel and Judah and the Judahites' Jewish heirs found themselves politically impotent in face of a series of overwhelming imperial powers, and, as far as the Jews were concerned the situation remained the same when one empire gave way to another. The Assyrian Empire was followed successively by the Neobabylonian, the Achaemenian, the Ptolemaic, the Seleucid, the Roman. The imperial regimes varied from time to time in their treatment of the Jews, there were alternating periods of relative leniency and relative oppressiveness; but, throughout the age that saw the progressive change in the Jewish conception of Yahweh, the Jews were always at

{p. 492} some empire's mercy - and this not only in Palestine but also in the vast regions, east and west in which they came to be scattered as a local minority in diaspora.

The reduction of Yahweh's worshippers to a condition of permanent political nullity raised, for them, an agonizing question about the status of their god. In a world of political gods each symbolizing the collective human power of some local community, the gods' fates were implicated in the fates of their local adherents. A war behveen Israel and Assyria was at the same time a war between the god Yahweh and the god Asshur and, when Assyria annihilated Israel, the logical inference was that this human military decision also signified that Asshur had overthrown Yahweh. The common-sense conclusion to be drawn from this was that the discomfited god's former worshippers should now transfer their allegiance to the victor god, either abandoning the worship of their own ancestral god altogether or, short of that, continuing to worship him as merely a subordinate member of a pantheon on which the victor god had imposed his supremacy. This was, indeed, the line taken by the defeated and uprooted peoples of Judah's neighbour states: for instance by the deported Israelites. This was also the reaction of the Judahite refugees in Egypt after the liquidation of the Kingdom of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. In spite of the prophet Jeremiah's protests they refused to re-transfer their allegiance to Yahweh from the Queen of Heaven. Was it not, indeed, mere common sense for the Jews, now that they had felt the full power of Babylon's arm, to become worshippers of Babylon's puissant gods Ishtar and Marduk-Bel?

Here was a crux for worshippers of Yahweh who, in spite of all, could not bear to abandon the worship of their ancestral god. There was, however, one way out of these straits. If Yahweh as not to be written off as having ceased to be mighty in battle, he must be credited with a far greater might and a far longer arm than the defeated Jews' ancestors had dreamed of attributing to him. In the Pre-Exilic Age, Yahweh's kingdom, as his contemporary worshippers had conceived of it, had been confined to the territories of these worshippers' states. The Pre-Exilic peoples of Israel and Judah, including their prophets, had recognized the existence of other gods with political domains of their own in which, presumably, they were not less potent than Yahweh was in his domain. Moab, Ammon, and Tyre, like Israel, Judah, and Edom, might each have been more or less loyal to its own national gods, but worshipping only the god of one's own country is not the same thing as believing that he is the only god in the World. But suppose that one's national god did, in truth, have dominion, not only over one's own nation and national territory but also over other nations with whom one's own nation had come into disastrous collision. Then one's own nation's defeat and humiliation at foreign hands would leave one's national god's power intact and would, indeed, be a demonstration that his power was greater than one had

{p. 493} previously imagined. Israel's and Judah's overthrow would have been brought about, not by the Babylonian conqueror's god Marduk-Bel, but by the conquered people's god Yahweh himself. The Babylonian conquerors would then be unintentional and unconscious instruments that been used by Yahweh for his purpose. Yahweh's omnipotence 'is interlocked ith the teleology of history'.

This novel belief in Yahweh's potency beyond the confines of his worshippers states, which had been forced on these worshippers by the experience of political disaster inflicted by foreign powers, was confirmed and reinforced by the experience of exile. However far the Jews might be deported from the temple at Jerusalem, which had recently becomc for them the only shrine anywhere in the World where the prescribed ritual worship of Yahweh could be performed legitimately, they still found themselves in Yahweh's presence. When Yahweh had thus proved to he omnipresent as well as almighty, was it any longer conceivable that the gods worshipped by the gentile peoples had any real existence? By the end of the fifty years of compulsory exile under the regime of the Neobabylonian Empire, Deutero-Isaiah had moved on from henotheism - the belief that Yahweh had an exclusive claim on Israel's allegiance - to monotheism: the belief that he was the One True God whose kingdom included all mankind and was coextensive with the Universe itself. But, if it was in truth this almighty god Yahweh himself, not Asshur or Marduk-Bel, ho had afflicted Israel and Judah, how could it be that a god who as still the god of Israel and Judah, and who was bound to them by a covenant, had brought himself to inflict these crushing calamities on his own peoples? It was true that they had now recognized that he was a just god, and also true that at least a minority among them had committed injustices which deserved punishment. But the chastisement that they had now received was so disproportionately heavy by comparison with the degree of their offence that it would be a shocking injustice on Yahweh's part if this were the end of the transaction. Therefore it could not be the end. Yahweh must have punished his people, not for his satisfaction, but for their good. He must have punished them in order to give them a chance of repentance; and, if they did repent, he would surely remit their penalty and restore them to their former state of relative well-being. On this interpretation of the motive of Yahweh's acts, he was not only just but was merciful, besides being all-powerful. The classical formulation of this Post-Exilic Jewish theodicy was to be made, centuries later, by a Christian Jewish 'deviationist':

{p. 494} 'Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.'

It may be true that, for the Jews, justice, not love, is Yahweh's predominant characteristic. But, in the Jews' vision of him, there is a harmony, not a tension, between the two. 'Justice and mercy were not attributes of a divine being, but the character of a personal god, who they could not imagine as either unjust or unmerciful.' Mercy and above and beyond mercy, love were ascribed to him in the eighth century B.C. by the Prophets; and both these qualities were proclaimed with ever-growing insistence and confidence, during the next 1,400 years, in the successive accretions to the corpus of Jewish religious literature. This vision of Yahweh's nature was expressed by thinking of him as being like a father and a mother, and by calling him 'Father in Heaven'. This phrase was coined by the Pharisees, who made their appearance before the end of the second century B.C. It is a familiar rabbinical term. It became an increasingly common form of address, and this always with a personal reference.

This mature Jewish picture of God as our Father in Heaven, misericors et miserator, ar-rahman ar-rahim, is at the opposite pole from the primitive Israelite picture of a wild, capricious, vindictive Yahweh. 'An ancient civiliation was transmuted into a universal religion.' In Jewish minds, under the stress and stimulus of Jewish experiences, the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has become transfigured in Deutero-Isaiah's vision into the god of Ikhnaton, Jesus, and Muhammad. One consequence of this transfiguration was that this god lost his name - at least in the sense that the utterance of it became tabu in Jewish mouths. To be called by a personal name implies being a representative of a class, from whose other representatives one needs to be distinguished. The name 'Yahweh' implies the names 'Milcom', 'Chemosh', and the rest; and this consecration of their names, through their being put on a par with Yahweh's, implies a recognition of these neighbour gods' reality. When the god of Israel, Judah, and Edom came to be thought of, by Jews, as being the One True God, he also came to be referred to by epithets and periphrases.

The transfiguration also had another consequence which was more momentous. In the Jews' own changed conception of Him, God had become too great, too just, too sublime, too benign for it to be possible to confine Him any longer to His traditional task of serving as the national god of a 'Chosen People'. If He is the creator and lord of the

{p. 495} Universe all His creatures must be His concern. If He is good as well as almighty, He cannot have limited His loving care to a tiny minority of His human creatures and have turned His back on the rest. If the whole World is His and is embraced in His plans, the supreme objective of these plans cannot be the re-establishment of a Jewish state on Palestinian soil. This could be the supreme objective only for a god who was merely a national god, and had therefore lost his kingdom, vocation, and raison d'etre when the nation on whose worship he had depended had lost its political existence and had been scattered to the four winds. The One True God into whom the god of Israel and Judah had been transfigured could, at will, restore both kingdoms in a trice, and would, no doubt restore them in His own good time But, if and when He did perform this provincial act of justice and mercy, it would be incidental to the execution of a universal plan in which such details would be insignificant.

Thus the Jews' theodicy had led them into an impasse. In justifying the ways of Yahweh to Jewry, they had discovered a spiritual treasure of inestimable value for the whole human race. Their god, as He had been transfigured in their hearts and minds as a result of their sufferings, could no longer be their god exclusively; and His transfiguration could not be kept secret from the gentiles, since it was implied in new Jewish forms of worship and was explicitly proclaimed in new Jewish books. How, then, in face of this transfigured godhead, were the Jews to pursue their paramount aim of maintaining the Jewish community's distinctive national identity in a state of exile and political nullity?

There was no possibility of their making a spiritual retreat. It might be tempting, on first thoughts, to reduce the One True God again to the minor dimensions of the national god of Judah that had been His embryo. But this could not be done without at the same time depotentiating Yahweh redivivus; for if, after all, the Jews' god was no more than a national god, then he was not even one who was any longer mighty in battle. He was the prostrate adversary of Asshur and Marduk-Bel - at best, defeated; at worst, proved non-existent by the verdict of military history. The only way in which the Jews could save their national god was to lose their national monopoly of him, and, if they were now bound - to lose this monopoly, they were faced with a choice between two alternative ways in which this inevitable result might be brought about. Either the Jews themselves might take the initiative in voluntarily sharing their new-found spiritual treasure with the rest of mankind; or they might leave it to the rest of mankind to take the initiative by snatching the treasure out of Jewish hands and running away with it. If the first of these two alternativc courses were not taken, the second was bound to he. The treasure brought to light by the Jews was so inestimably valuable that sooner or later, by one means or another, it was sure to become the common treasure of mankind.

This spiritual crux has beena greater challenge to the Jews than the

{p. 496} challenges of loss of independence and deportation to which the change in the Jews' conception of their god's character was a response. There is only one solution for the antinomy between the nationalism which is the Jews' will and the universalism which is an involuntary but inevitable corollary of their nationalism. The Jews must constitute themselves the One True God's missionaries to the rest of mankind, and must make it their paramount aim to convert the World to the vision that has been vouchsafed to the Jews themselves. But the pursuit of this aim by the Jews would require them to unite with their gentile converts in a world-wide religious community of followers of the pure religion of Deutero-Isaiah, and this transformation of a closed national community into an open religious community would run counter to the Jews' hitherto paramount aim of preserving their community's distinctive identity in the form of a nation. The Jews have been racked by this crux for 2,500 years up to date, and they have still to make the choice with which it has confronted them. Happily the way is still open for them. It has not been closed by the advents of Christianity and Islam, as Christians and Muslims severally maintain. For the Jews, these gentile homages to the Jews' transfigured god may be portents and warnings; but they are not more than that; they are not irrevocable cancellations of the Jews' own manifest destiny. This is still intact, for the Jews to embrace, if they will. ...


Moore truly describes Judaism as being 'the first great missionary religion of the Mediterranean World'. Zoroastrianism and Buddhism were perhaps no later than Judaism in starting on their missionary careers and Zoroastrianism's mission-field overlapped with Judaism's in South-West Asia. But, at the western end of the Old World, Judaism was certainly the earliest missionary religion in the field. Some of its more notable missionary achievements have been noticed at an earlier point in this volume. It was bound to become a missionary religion when Deutero-Isaiah had seen in the national god of the Jews the One True God of all mankind and the whole Universe.

{p. 516} The treasure that the Jews have to give is not the Talmud or the written Torah or the Jewish diaspora or a Jewish national state in Palestine. It is the Prophets' vision of God's character; the relation of human souls to God as the Prophets have seen Him; and the ideals of human conduct that follow from this.

In equipping itself for its universal mission, Judaism might have something to learn from two great Jews whom it has disowned hitherto. It might recall that, at the zenith of the Pharisaic Age, one Pharisee, Paul, was singular in already anticipating the change of outlook that is perceptible among Jews today on a broader front. Paul perceived that the Torah, which had once been a spiritual panoply for the preservation of Judaism, had latterly become a spiritual impediment to the propagation of the Jewish faith, and that therefore the time had come for the Torah to be reinterpreted again. Present-day Jews could recognize in Paul a forerunner of theirs in this field, without having also to accept Paul's belief that Jesus was a divine being. The Jews might also at last lay claim to Jesus, whom they have allowed the Christians to appropriate without any Jewish protest. Jesus was not a Christian; he was a Jew in belief and practice, though, being a Galilaean, he may have been a gentile by descent. There is no evidence that he was not an orthodox Jew. The claims to divinity that are put into his mouth in the Gospels are not evidence of this; they are evidence only of what his Christian adherents in the next generation believed about him. This belief is blasphemous in terms of Judaism; but the blasphemy is Christian: Jesus himself cannot be convicted of it. Jesus was not a Pharisee; but a Jew could be an orthodox Jew without being a Pharisee in Jesus's time, as he can today. On this point, Jesus's Sadducee and Zealot contemporaries were in the same position as Jesus. Moreover, the quarrel between Jesus and the

{p. 517} Pharisees is progressively losing its meaning as the halachoth, after having been kept frozen for so many centuries, are being at last progressively transmuted. To accept Jesus as a Jewish teacher who taught as one having authority does not involve acceptance of the Christian belief in Jesus's divinity.

{Toynbee's espousal of Christianity limited his popularity with Jews}

The Jewish religion is meant for all mankind. So far from its being unthinkable without the 'Chosen People', it cannot fulfil its destiny of becoming a universal religion unless and until the Jews renounce the national form of their distinctive communal identity for the sake of fulfilling their universal religious mission. To accept Judaism without accepting the Mosaic Law is not 'a contradiction in terms', if by 'the Mosaic Law' one means the Torah as reinterpreted by the Pharisees' method. A new Jewish reinterpretation of the Torah - this time as being a symbolic epression of the religious ideals of Judaism - is a necessary condition for Judaism's achievement of its destiny. Judaism's destiny is to be accessible to, and accepted by, the gentiles.


THE subject of this chapter is a big one, but the chapter need not be long, since the history and prospects of the West have been discussed at some length in a previous volume. Critics of what I haVe written about the West there, and in other passages, have dealt, not only with the substance of the subject, but with my views about it. These are of minor interest in themselves, but, since my critics have paid attention to them, and in some cases have apparently misunderstood them, I have dealt briefly with this personal aspect of the subject too in the Annex to Chapter II of the present volume. I therefore need not say much in this chapter about the discussion of my own views.

Unlike the histories of a majority of the civilizations known to us, the history of the West is to-day still an unfinished story. It is therefore hazardous to try to forecast its prospects, even in the form of suggesting a number of alternative possibilities. Even if we were satisfied that the pattern of Western history, up to date, has been more or less the same as that of some other civilization - say, the Hellenic or the Sinic - whose history is over and is therefore known to us from beginning to end, we should have no warrant for forecasting that the future course of Western history will follow Hellenic or Sinic lines, if I am right - as I believe I am - in holding that patterns in the course of human affairs are not predetermined or inevitable, and that therefore past patterns afford no basis for predictions about the future. If this is the truth, we cannot foretell whether or not the Western Civilization is ever going to enter into a universal state, as both the Hellenic and the Sinic did. Still less can we foretell whether, if the future course of Western affairs were to follow the pattern that is a common Helleno-Sinic one up to that point, the West's universal state would be as short-lived as the Hellenic Civilization's was in the western provinces of the Roman Empire, or as longlived as the Sinic universal state has been.

In the Atomic Age, into which the West - and, with it, the World - has entered in our lifetime, it now looks as if a universal state could not be established again - at any rate not in the standard way, and therefore not in the standard form w hich that way produced. In the past, universal states have been established as the result of successive wars ending in the overthrow of all great powers except one surviving victor. Even in the age of pre-atomic veapons this way of arriving at political unity was so destructive - psychologically still more than materially - that civilizations which had passed through this harrowing experience usually emerged from it incurably damaged. In the age of atomic weapons no

{p. 519} power would reach the final round. There would be no victor, all belligerents alike would be vanquished; and even the first round of atomic warfare might wipe out, not only the belligerent states, but civilization, the human race, and perhaps all life on this planet. It does not follow that mankind cannot and will not attain unity. Now that, for the first time in history the whole human race has been united on the military plane, the choice confronting us may be one between going all the way to unity or going under. What seems improbable is that a society can ever again be united by force. This seems improbable because the force used in future warfare would be atomic force, and this would annihilate the society, leaving nothing in existence to unite.

{p. 527} On the spiritual plane the Western Civilization had not been embraced, so far, by more than a minority of the human race. And, since the Communist Revolution in Russia in 1917, the West had been rapidly losing the technological, military, political and economic ascendancy over most of the rest of the World which it had enjoyed, before that, since the failure of the 'Osmanlis' second siege of Vienna in 1683. By the year 1961 the West's former ascendancy was manifestly passing away. Yet during the preceding quarter of a

{p. 528} millennium this temporary ascendancy of the West had set a stamp on the rest of the World which seemed likely to last long after the West's ascendancy had disappeared.

During its brief period of ascendancy the West had unified the World on the technological plane, and the process of unification could not remain confined to this plane, since technology included military technology, and military technology had now produced the atomic weapon. Technology seems to be difficult to invent but relatively easy to acguire from its inventors by mimesis. An ascendancy based on superiority in technology is therefore a wasting asset. The reason why the West's ascendancy was ebbing away was that the non-Western peoples, beginning with the Russians but not ending with them, had been learning to rival the West in the mastery and use of weapons and other tools of Western origin. But Western technology was not the only element in the Western Civilization that non-Western peoples had been appropriating. Most of them had realized that they could not master Western technology without also mastering Western science. But the Westernizers had not limited their borrowings from the West to Western science and its practical applications. Some of them had also become converts to Western ideologies. The Communist ideology that had been adopted by the Russians and the Chinese, as well as the parliamentary ideology that had been adopted by the Indians, had been made in Britain. (The workshop in which Karl Marx had manufactured Communism had been the British Museum.) Parliamentarism and Communism are political systems, but they are also something more than that. Just as Western technology involves Western science, so Western political systems imply Western moral ideals - conflicting ideals reflected in conflicting systems. Ideologies and ideals cannot be understood or appraised without taking some account of their history. The spiritual history of the West had therefore to be taken into consideration in any twentieth-century estimate of the prospects of the World as a whole.

By the middle decades of the twentieth century the Western Society had passed through a number of revolutions on a number of different planes since it had emerged out of the social and cultural interregnum that had followed the preceding Hellenic Civilization's dissolution. Among all these successive Western revolutions the spiritual revolution during the closing decades of the seventeenth century had been perhaps the most decisive and the most significant up to date. At any rate, this was certainly the revolution that, in the twentieth century, was exerting the greatest continuing influence, not only on the West itself, but on the

{p. 529} rest of the World as well. The seventeenth-century revolution had given the Western Civilization a new form, and, above all, a new spirit, which for the first time in history, had made the heirs of non-Western civilizations willing to embrace the Western Civilization in exchange for their ancestral heritages. The seventeenth-century Western revolution had thus opened the way for a cultural development of world-wide importance: the Westernization of the World. This, in turn, had opened the way for the transformation of the post-seventeenth-century Western Civilization into a common civilization for the whole human race. This coming oecumenical civilization would necessarily start its career within a Western framework and on a Western basis, by reason of its Western origin; and it seemed likely that this initial Vestern contribution to it wou!d continue to be important for a long time to come. It also seemed lilely, however, that, as time went on, the contributions made by the other pre-oecumenical civilizations would come to be increasingly important. It might be hoped that eventually the ex-Western oecumenical civilization would appropriate and assimilate and harmonize all that was best in all the heritages of all the civilizations that had preceded it.

The seventeenth-century Western revolution that promised to produce such a far-reaching positive result had begun as a negative movement. It had started as a moral reaction against the wickedness, destructiveness, and senselessness of the Catholic-Protestant Wars of Religion, and against the barrenness and inconclusiveness of the accompanying theological controversies that had been fanning political rivalries into military flames. The fathers of the seventeenth-century revolution were not anti-religious, as some of their eighteenth-century successors were. So far from that, one of their objectives was to save religion from being wholly discredited and abandoned. They sought to save it by putting an end to the abuse of it for non-religious purposes. They therefore stood for religious toleration, and, as one means towards this end, they set themselves to divert people's interest from pernicious theological controversy to harmless scientific research and to the useful application of scientific discoveries for the practical purpose of improving technology.

As against my emphasis on the original negativeness of the seventeenth-century Western revolution, Hans Kohn emphasizes the positiveness of the virtues that it developed. On this point I agree with Kohn. I ought to have done more justice to this revolution's positive side. In the light of Kohn's critique I will try to make amends now. Toleration spelled freedom of conscience, and the new respect for this spelled a respect for the rights and dignity of human beings. This brought with it t a nev standard of social responsibility, social justice, and humane feeling. Noble monuments of this new ideal of human fraternity have been the abolition of the slave-trade and of slavery itself and the legislation for the

{p. 530} protection of the poor and weak that has eventually been consolidated in 'the welfare state'. This has had the beneficent positive effect of spreading the amenities of civilization more widely, and that has been made practically possible by the increase in wealth resulting from progress in technology. But Kohn is maintaining that there is something more in the modern Western Civilization than just its technological prowess. The West's technological triumphs have been 'a by-product of the Western freedom of inquiry and the Western sense of personal initiative. They are unthinkable without respect for individual liberty and tolerance of diversity.' Non-Westerners have not always been alive to the spiritual causes of the West's technological success.

Moreover, this success has had an intellectual as well as a moral cause. Intellectually, the progress of Western technology has been due to the application of science to it. And the modern Western cultivation of science, which had started negatively as a diversion from the cult of theology, bred a heightened sense of curiosity and a new spirit of critical inquiry. Neither the Renaissance nor the Reformation had liberated Western minds from their medieval subservience to external authority. The Renaissance had abrogated the intellectual authority of the Christian religion in favour of that of the Greek and Latin classics. The Reformation had substituted the intellectual authority of the text of the Bible and the ecclesiastical authority of the local secular governments (cuius regio, eius religio) for the authority of the Catholic Church. Perhaps the most fundamental and radical feature of the seventeenth-century Western revolution as that now, for the first time, Western minds dared consciously and deliberately to think for themselves. In the Battle of the Ancients and Moderns, Westerners made a declaration of their independence from their Hellenic cultural heritage; and this time they did not exchange one mental servitude for another as their forefathers had done in the Renaissance. Truly 'there is in modern Western Civilization a vital spiritual force which, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has helped to revitalise other civilizations and to enhance their self-awareness'.

It may also be true that I 'underestimate the newness, the greatness, and the originality of the modern West', and this because I lack 'sympathy with the secular ideals which our modern world inherited from

{p. 531} the enlightenment of the eighteenth and the liberalism of the nineteenth centuries'. It may also be true that I am flogging a dead horse in putting the West in its place, as Kohn finds that I am constantly doing. The West, Kohn holds, has already been cured of its hybris. Certainly I am perpetually on guard against the danger of myself succumbing to the insidious vice of 'nosism'. This, no doubt, inclines me to 'lean over backards'. I am drawn farther in this direction by the effects of a fiftcenth-century Italian education in the Greek and Latin classics, since this puts my heart, though not my head, on the side of 'the Ancients' in the Battle of the Books. There may therefore be some justification for Kohns and Geyl's charge that I depreciate the West unduly. I shall be well advised to take their criticism to heart. At the same time I venture to suggest to them that, in their attitude to the West, they, too, perhaps, lean too far their inclination being in the opposite direction to mine.

Kohn and Geyl seem to me to flinch from facing the truth that, in the course of the quarter of a millennium that has now passed since the seventeenth-century Western revolution, the modern Western Civilization has displayed not only a bright side but a dark one, and that in our time this dark side has been darker than the darkest stain on the pages of Western history in the Middle Ages or even in the Age of the Wars of Religion. Modern Western technology has now acquired the power to wipe out the human race, simultaneously with the power to bring the amenities of civilization to the whole of it. The advance in humane feeling has been offset by the degeneration of war into an indiscriminate assault on civilians, after it had been reduced in the eighteenth century to a conflict confined to professional combatants and conducted according to agreed rules. The advance in the recognition of the rights and dignity of human beings has been offset by the imposition of the worst tyrannies that the Western Society has ever yet produced. In fact, the history of the Western Civilization during the last quarter of a millennium bears out Shinn's suggestion that 'perhaps ... the main effect of progress in history is to heighten the possibilities both for achievement and for disaster'. Geyl maintains that the German National Socialist movement ought not to be debited to the West's account. Kohn likewise maintains that Fascism and Communism are not products of the modern Western

{p. 532} Civilization; they are rejections of it - a return to the Middle Ages. This is surely just a refusal to face painful but undeniable facts. If these ideologies that are so abhorrent to modern Western liberals such as Kohn, Geyl, and me are not products of the modern Western Civiliation, as our liberalism is, where have they come from? They have not come from Russia or India or China or the Islamic World or a no longer darkest Africa. Hitler was a Sudetenlander, Mussolini was a Romagnol; Marx and Engels were Rhinelanders who settled in England and did their life-work there. The Russians and Chinese would never have invented Communism for themselves. The reason why they are living under Communist regimes today is because Communism was invented in the West and was lying there, ready-made, for non-Westerners to take over. Moreover, the modern ideologies bear the unmistakable stamp of the modern West in some of their most characteristic and most repulsive features: for instance, their cold-bloodedness and their high-powered organization. They do, however, combine cold-bloodedness with fanaticism, in Robespierre's vein. And the second element in this incongruous combination can perhaps properly be described as a return to the spirit of the age of Western history that preceded the seventeenth-century Western revolution.

{p. 533} The rising gale of scientific discovery has blown away the chaff of traditional religion, and in doing this it has done mankind a service; but it has blown so hard that it has blown away the grain with the husk; and this has been a disservice, since neither science nor the ideologies have grain of their own to offer as a substitute. Their horizons, unlike those of the higher religions, fall far short of the bounds (if there are bounds) of the Universe, and what lies hidden beyond these restricted horizons is the heart of this mysterious and formidable Universe - the very part of it that is of the greatest moment to human beings. Science's horizon is limited by the bounds of Nature, the ideologies' horizon by the bounds of human social life, but the human soul's range cannot be confined within either of these limits. Man is a bread-eating (and rice-eating) social animal; but he is also something more. He is a person, endowed with a conscience and a will, as well as with a self-conscious intellect.

This spiritual endowment of his condemns him to a life-long struggle to reconcile himself with the Universe into which he has been born. His inborn instinct is to try to make the Universe revolve round himself; his spiritual task in life is to overcome his self-centredness in order to put himself in harmony with the absolute spiritual Reality that is the true centre of everything in the phenomenal world. This 'flight of the alone to the alone' is the goal of Man's endeavours. His yearning to reach this goal is the only motive strong enough to break through the barrier of self-centredness that stands in the way. Neither science nor the ideologies have anything to say about this spiritual crux. On the other hand, all the

{p. 534} higher religions and philosophies are concerned with it. Their visions may be partly delusions; their counsels may be partly misguided; their very concern with the soul's ultimate problem and task may be almost smothered under a heap of irrelevant accretions: ritual observances, social regulations, astronomical theories, and what not. Yet in spite of all their manifest weaknesses the higher religions are the only ways of life known to Man so far, that do recognise what is the soul's true problem and true quest, and do offer Man some guidance for reaching his spiritual goal.

This means that, however grievously the trustees of the historic higher religions may have abused these religions' mandate, the mandate itself has not been forfeited. It cannot be forfeited unless and until mankind is presented with some new way or ways of life that offer to human souls more effective spiritual help than the historic higher religions can give them. Kohn is unwilling to concede that the Western Civilization is now in decline and that a return to religion is the remedy for this. On this my comment would be that these two theses, both of which Kohn rejects, are not interdependent. The Western Civilization may or may not be in decline in our time; contemporary Westerners are not in a position to diagnose their own civilization's prospects. But, whatever this particular civilization's present prospects may be, a recovery of the essence of religion, if this has been lost, is needed at all times and in all social situations. It is needed because human beings cannot live without it. In order to recover the essence we have to distinguish it and to disengage it from non-essential accretions. This is a task that we undertake at our peril. It is also a task that we dare not shirk on that account. To shirk it is the one course that is undoubtedly more dangerous than to attempt to carry it out. This sifting is a task that can never be accomplished once for all. Each successive generation has to repeat the attempt on its own account. In setting our hand to this perennial human task in our day, we can find some light in modern science; but this glimmer is faint, and may be misleading. Like our predecessors, we have to work in the twilight. We should be fortunate if our gropings were to lead us to the Buddha's approach to Nirvana or to Deutero-Isaiah's vision of the One True God.

The struggle with self-centredness and the quest for harmony with God are issues between a human soul and God. These personal encounters between God and human beings are religion's true concern; and it is a misuse of religion to try to turn it to account for secular social purposes, even when these are innocent and expedient in themselves. All the same, mankind's collective history does have a bearing on the spiritual demands that are made on individual men and women. It is true that actions, right or wrong, are the acts of individuals and that, through all changes in social circumstances, right and wrong continue to be what they always are. But one social change that seems to have been continuing steadily in one unchanging direction since the beginning of

{p. 535} human history is the cumulative increase in mankind's collective pwoer. This brings with it a cumulative increase in the magnitude of the consequences of doing either wrong or right; and, since doing wrong or right has consequences for other people besides the doer, this social change increases each individual's personal load of moral responsibility. The more portentous the consequences of his acts, the greater the demand upon him to act righteously. In an age in which mankind's collective power has suddenly been increased, for good or evil, a thousand-fold through the tapping of atomic energy, the standard of conduct demanded from ordinary human beings can be no lower than the standard attained in times past by rare saints.

{p. 601} Spengler's first concern in approaching a civilization is to divine its distinctive 'style' or character. In this particular civilization, what Is the dominant activity? How do the other activities relate themselves to this one? What is the dominant activity, and the corresponding configuration of culture, in that other civilization over there? What does the dominance of different activities in different cultures tell us about the qualitative differences between those cultures? Spengler ... had the insight of genius ...

{p. 633} On the question of specialization I do not dispute the argument that, in the present-day world, the accumulated and still fast accumulating store of knowledge is so great by comparison with the capacity of one mind in one lifetime that specialization has become an indispensable intellectual tool. But being indispensable is not the same thing as being self-sufficient; and the target of my criticism is an apparent unwillingness to recognize that specialization alone is not enough to give us the knowledge and understanding that we are seeking. The further that specialization is carried, the more of the meaning of the phenomena is left unplumbed in the unexplored gaps between the specialists' deep but narrowly constricted borings. This method leaves critical questions not only unanswered but unasked. And they will remain unasked if the microscopic approach is not supplemented by a panoramic one. Without

{p. 634} a combination of the two, there can be no stereoscopoic vision.

{p. 641} {footnote 2} I did not get my vision of a dialectical universe from Marx and Engels; I got it from a source to which their philosophy can be traced back. In fact, I got it from the Old Testament. ... a constantly recurring dialectic of encounters between a series of human beings and God.


In the following speech, Toynbee put the case for World Government. One must remember his position as a leading spokesman for the Royal Institute of International Affairs - the Round Table and its affiliate the CFR.

(2) Arnold Toynbee, One World and India, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (Orient Longmans), Calcutta 1960.

{p. 1} Everyone bears some responsibility for what is done by the Government of his own country. One remains responsible in some degree for one's ovn Government's acts, even if one is opposing them. low here am I, an Englishman, speaking to this Indian audience, at your invitation, as your second Maulana Azad Lecturer. And I am a citizen of a country whose public authorities in India put in prison your fellow-countryman in whose memory this lectureship has been founded. They did the same to your other fellow-countryman who gave the Inaugural Address last year. So my first thought on reading Shri Humayun Kabir's letter was: 'This could only have happened in India.' And of course, its having happened, and happened to me, has touched me deeply. What I know of India and the Indian people makes me think that this invitation of yours to me was a characteristically Indian act. It was also an act that gave me my cue for my subject. Shri Humayun Kabir's letter had generously left the choice of subject entirely to me. I quickly decided to offer the subject which you have accepted, and which is therefore going to be my theme during these three days. The spirit that inspired your invitation to me is, I believe, the special Indian contribution to the great enterprise on which men and women of good will, all over the World, are engaged in our ffme.

I am speaking, as you will realise, of the movement, now astir in all mankind, to live together, for the first time in human history, as a single family. This enterprise is as ambitious as it is imperative. To carry it to success, many contributions will be needed - contributions of different kinds from different quarters. One can see, for instance, what some of the West's contributions will have been. The West will have provided the coming world-community with the technological framework without which it would be impossible to establish and maintain a community on this unprecedentedly large scale. This Westem gift of technology has been one of the fruits of the Western scientific method and outlook, and this, in turn, has been one of the fruits of a liberal spirit that began to make itself felt in the West about

{p. 3} three hundred years ago. India's special contribution, as I see it, will have been her large-heartedness and broad-mindedness. This will have been a gift of priceless value to mankind in the new age into which mankind has now been launched by the West's special contribution to the unification of the World. The West's prowess in technology has, as we put it poeticaUy, 'annihilated distance' and has at the same time armed human hands, for the first time in history, with weapons capable of annihilating the human race. With these terrible new weapons in our hands, we, the still un-unified fractions of the human race, now find ourselves within point-blank of each other. We have fallen into this plight at a stage at which we are still more or less strangers to each other, notwithstanding our common humanity. Mankind has never been in such danger of destruction since the date, part way through the Palaeolithic Age, at which our ancestors once and for all gained the upper hand over all non-human nature on this planet except bacteria. No non-human living creatures - not lions and tigers, and not even bacteria and viruses - have ever been so dangerous to Man as Man himself has now come to be at this moment at which Man has got the better of bacteria too. Man has got the better of bacteria, but not yet of himself, and he has now armed himself with weapons that make bacteria and tigers seem almost innocuous by comparison. In this perilous situation, a spirit of reconcilialion is mankind's most urgent need; and this, I believe, is going to be recognised by future generations, in retrospect, as having been India's characteristic gift to a united human race.

I have mentioned, in passing, the West and its possible gifts. I want to add a further word about the West in parenthesis, before I pass on to my main subject. I have spoken of modern Western liberalism. This is, I should say, a gift of which the West can properly be proud, and it has some fine deeds to its credit. For instance, it moved my countrymen in the end to give up their rule over India and to hand the government of India over to the Indian people's chosen leaders whom their

{p. 4} British predecessors had previously imprisoned. I feel proud of this act of Western liberalism, though I recognise that the happy ending of an unhappy chapter of relations between our two countries was due to an interplay between Westem liberalism and an Indian spirit of freedom from hate which was given a consummate expression, in the crucial generation, by the Mahatma Gandhi. The liberal spirit on our part chimed in with the Gandhian spirit on India's part. And you yourselves have signified your appreciation of Western liberalism by the biggest political decision that you have taken, so far, since you recovered your political independence. You have chosen to adopt the democratic parliamentary constitutional Western system of self-government.

This is certainly the characteristic political expression of Western liberalism. But Westerners have to face the truth that liberalism has never been the sole and exclusive Western philosophy of life. Western liberalism was born in the seventeenth century as a moral reaction against the spirit of violence and hatred that had previously broken out in the West in a bout of atrocious Western civil wars: the Catholic-Protestant Wars of Religion. And, from the time of its birth till now, liberalism has never gone unchallenged in the West itself. Westerners of my age have lived through another atrocious bout of Western civil wars - the two wars that each started in Europe and each grew into a devastating world-war. In both those wars, Western liberalism came within an ace of being forcibly suppressed by anti-liberal Western hands. So the West is Janus-faced, and its double face is the expression of a conflict in its soul between two incompatible outlooks and sets of values. This is a truth that makes liberal Westerners wince. We find it hard to face up to it. But I realise that it is patent to the great non-Western majority of mankind. The West's two incompatible faces have, both of them, long been familiar to the Jews, and more recently they have become familiar to the peoples of Asia and Africa too.

{Toynbee, an anti-Zionist, wrote the above before Israel's aggressive policy in the Middle East became obvious. He is unable to see the Jews as anything but victims. Note that he implies that the Kaiser's Germany was an Oriental Despotism - that WW1 was a struggle for liberty no less than WW2. This depiction of the British Empire as the upholder of liberty was initiated by Toynbee's uncle, Arnold Toynbee (1852-1883): quigley.html}

{p. 5} The reason why we need unity so urgently now is both sensational and commonplace. It has been put curtly in the epigram 'One world or none'. It is obvious to every politically conscious man and woman in the world today that, in the Atomic Age, if we do not now abolish war, war is going to abolish us. ...

{p. 6} Abolishing war would involve setting up at least a rudimentary world-government. The first world-authority that it would

{p. 7} be necessary for us to establish - and, of course, also to endow with effective power - would be a central agency for controlling the production and the use of atomic energy. ...

{The Baruch Plan of 1946, for World Government, was about just such a body: baruch-plan.html}

Till recently, mankind did not possess the power to regulate the size of the human population of the planet in accordance with our human ideas and ideals. We human beings place an absolute value on each one of us that is bom into the World. ... But Nature treats all specimens of her various species as being lavishly expendable ... Nature lets the specimens of a species be destroyed

{p. 8} in myriads, before they have lived out their lives to their natural terms; and she keeps the species going by making it breed in a still larger number of myriads.

For keeping down mankind's numbers, while at the same time making mankind breed like rabbit-kind, up to the limit, Nature has had in her armoury three lethal weapons: famine, disease, and war. And one of these, war, has been provided for Nature by human perversity.

{p. 9} If we achieve this double victory over Nature, we shall have entirely upset the natural balance between births and deaths in the case of the human race. Though we have made two worldwars in one life-time, and though the second of the two ended less than fifteen years ago, our recent success in reducing the toll of premature deaths by disease has already been enough to set human population increasing explosively, and this at a fast accelerating rate. ... We can choose to complete our victory over Nature in this field by taking control over our human birth-rate. That is to say, we can deliberately reduce and limit the birth-rate to the extent required in order to bring this back into balance with the death-rate, now that the death-rate has been sensationally reduced by human action.

{p. 12} So I have merely to make the point that a union of mankind in a single world-community is called for by our need to solve the problem of food and population, as well as by our need to abolish war. The limitation of the birth-rate in one country or in one continent only will not solve mankind's population pro-

{p. 13} blem. Limitation has already been achieved in a number of Western countries, yet the size of the World's population continues to grow, and this at a menacing rate. To be effective, the movement for limiting the birth-rate must be world-wide. Again, for a scientific increase of food-production to be effective, the whole food-producing surface-layer of the planet must be managed as a single economic unit, and food produced at any place in the World must be brought to the mouths of any hungry people at any other place in the World. ...

{p. 24} This becomes clear when we shift our attention from the negative to the positive aspect of present-day nationalism. In its negative aspect it is a revolt - a natural and a healthy one - against the political abnormality of being under foreign rule. At the same time it is, in its positive aspect, a movement for entering into a world-wide modern society based on a common allegiance to a new world-wide modern civilisation.

As this new world-civilisation develops, it will no doubt be enriched progressively by receiving and absorbing major cultural contributions from all the historic regional civilisations. But what we might perhaps call the paid-up capital with which this new world-civilisation has set up business has been mainly contributed, at this initial stage, by one particular regional civilisation, namely the Western. The historical reason for this is transparent. In the Modern Age the West has taken the initiative in bringing mankind together. It is therefore natural that the framework of the new world-civilisation should be predominantly Western at the start.

{p. 25} On the political plane, the liberated peoples' nationalism has been directed against Western political domination, but it has been directed against this in the name of Western political ideals. These Western political ideals (I am referring, of course, to Western democracy, not to its grim competitor, Western totalitarianism) are derived from ethical principles that are common to all men; and, in the name of these same principles, the national movements of the non-Western peoples have been directed, on the cultural plane, against incompatible elements in their own cultural heritages.

The current revolution in non-Western countries is, in fact, a double one; and, of these two simultaneous revolutions, the political revolt against Western rule is a mild and superficial movement by comparison with the Western-inspired ethical revolt in domestic legacies from the past. On this plane, the newly independent peoples have immediately started to make radical changes ip their traditional ways of life - changes that are far more radical than any that the foreign rulers of these countries under the previous colonial regime ever dreamed of attempting to introduce. This break with a number of local ethical and cultural traditions is the great upheaval of our time; and this radical revolution is leading mankind in the opposite direction to the tendency of the preliminary political revolution. It is leading, not away from unity, but towards it.

{p. 26} In an age in which the World as a whole has become the effective field for human activities, even states of the calibre of the United States

{p. 27} and the Soviet Union will find that, for them too, interdependence is one of the necessities of life.

Even in a world in which technology has 'annihilated distance', there will, no doubt, continue to be a role, and an important one, for local states to play. There are municipal services that, by their very nature, must always be administered locally. Minding and-mending the drains is a humble but vital service of the kind. But, in a world-community, the constituent local states will also have a cultural part to play, and this will be more important than it ever was in the old days when local states were man-eating goddesses. For the sake of mankind's self-preservation, we have to draw these goddesses' teeth. We have, I mean, to deprive local states of their traditional prerogative of making war. ...

On the level of world organisation, standardisation and unifority will be part of the price of unity. The payment of this price is going to be forced upon us not only by our invention of lethal weapons that we cannot afford to use, but also by the tendency, on which I have dwelt already, for all important human activities to expand to a world-wide scale. On the ethical plane, in contrast to the technological, world unity will, of course, be not depressing, but inspiring.

{p. 47} ... it looks as if the Aryan invaders of India must have been less civilised, as well as less numerous, than the heirs of the Indus Culture whom the Aryan conquerors reduced to the status of an inferior caste. The vast majority of the present population of this sub-continent must be descended from the Aryans' predecessors and victims, and can have in its veins few drops, or none, of the Aryans' barbarian blood.

I happen myself to be of doubly barbarian origin. My family comes from one of those eastern counties of England that received a double dose of barbarian invasion after the col-

{p. 48} lapse of the Roman Empire in the West. As if the English barbarian invasion had not been enough of a calamity, this unfortunate derelict fragment of the Roman Empire suffered a second barbarian invasion at the hands of the Danes. I am a bit of jetsam from the Danish second wave of barbarian invasion. My surname gives tell-tale evidence of my Danish barbarian lineage. Any members of this audience who happen to be Panjabis will have a fellow-feeling for me, because the Panjab, like Lincolnshire, has been drenched by more than one wave of Aryan-speaking and Iranian-speaking barbarian invaders.

The Aryan-speaking and the Teutonic-speaking peoples are the two extreme wings of the huge Indo-European-speaking horde that has invaded the Oikoumne within the last three or four thousand years. Why is it that these two groups, in particular, have been so acutely race-conscious?

{p. 49} What is the origin of the Spanish and Portugese-speaking peoples' relative freedom from race-prejudice? Perhaps it is a legacy from the centuries during which most of what is now Spain and Portugal was under Muslim rule. Ccrtainly the ruling Muslim minority there showed no race-prejudice in its dealings with its Latin subjects, and this liberality in matters of race is surely characteristic of Muslim everywhere. If I am right, it is the influence of Islam that has moved the Sikhs to ignore caste-distinctions. The Spaniards and Portuguese may have learnt the same lesson from the same source. Would it be fair to draw the following distinction between the social effects of Hinduism on the one hand and of Islam and Roman Catholic Christianity on the other? Islam and Catholicism break down the barriers of race-feeling when peoples who differ in race become co-religionists. By contrast Hinduism does not divide its

{p. 50} adherents so militantly as Islam and Christianity divide their adherents from the followers of other religions. But Hinduism also does not unite Indians of different castes, as Islam, Christianity, and Sikhism do.


One notes many similarities with H. G. Wells' exposition of the Open Conspiracy for World Government. It all sounds so ideal, yet the machinations behind the scences are not revealed to us, the people they're trying to convince: : opensoc.html.

Toynbee fails to see that various factions of Jews have their own ideas of "One World"; that the Jews allied to Round Table "internationalism" have their own agenda: tmf.html.

Toynbee seems innocent of Judaism's secret hatred of Christianity, as revealed by Israel Shahak: shahak1.html.

Toynbee drew on Spengler:

"Spengler's first concern in approaching a civilization is to divine its distinctive 'style' or character. In this particular civilization, what Is the dominant activity? How do the other activities relate themselves to this one? What is the dominant activity, and the corresponding configuration of culture, in that other civilization over there? What does the dominance of different activities in different cultures tell us about the qualitative differences between those cultures? Spengler ... had the insight of genius ... " (A Study in History Volume XII: Reconsiderations, p. 601).

But Toynbee adopted a "progressive" view of history rather than a "cyclic" one:

"This break with a number of local ethical and cultural traditions ... is leading mankind in the opposite direction to the tendency of the preliminary political revolution. It is leading, not away from unity, but towards it." (One World and India, p. 25 - see above)

Spengler feared for the survival of Western civilization; Toynbee, being in the bosom of the Anglo-American Establishment, envisaged Western civilization swallowing all those that still remained outside it.

I see a Hegelian element in Toynbee; but he rejects this claim. In Reconsiderations, p. 130, footnote 3 (continued on p. 131), he quotes some criticisms of himself by L. Stone, and replies to them:

'When Mr Toynbee discusses questions about the meaning and point of the historical process as a whole, he writes, not as an historian or even a sociologist, but as a metaphysical philosopher. If in the early volumes he is in effect a successor of Comte, his models here [i.e. in vols. vii-x] are such writers as Vico, Herder, and Hegel' (Walsh, ibid., p. 127). ...
Critics of this school are, it seems to me, paying too much attention to labels ... Fortunately there are other critics who rate labels at their true zero value and see human affairs as the unity that they really are. ...
{endquote} (Reconsiderations, p. 131n).

Instead he claims to get his idea of dialectical process from the Old Testament:

"I did not get my vision of a dialectical universe from Marx and Engels; I got it from a source to which their philosophy can be traced back. In fact, I got it from the Old Testament. ... a constantly recurring dialectic of encounters between a series of human beings and God" (Reconsiderations, p. 641n2).

Didn't Zoroaster posit the same? And did not Ezra fashion Judaism in the shadow of Zoroastrianism? zoroaster-judaism.html.

At p. 255 note 9 Toynbee rejects the idea that his notion of dialectic comes (historically) from the Chinese idea of yin & yang, as suggested by Joseph Needham (implying that Heraclitus' idea of the interplay of opposites came from China: needham-anthony.html).

Instead, he says of his concept of dialectical process, "My image is not biological and not physical either; it is anthropomorphic" (Reconsiderations, p. 255).


Arnold J. Toynbee was one of the leading intellectuals of the British Empire. He combined deep insight into Civilizational History, with propaganda for the One-World goals of Cecil Rhodes' Round Table group. Here he writes about the formation of Judaism, and argues the case for World Government: toynbee.html

Arnold J. Toynbee's foreword to Robert John's book The Palestine Diary: balfour.html.

Toynbee on Trotsky and the Bolshevik Revolution: toynbee2.html.

The differences between Karl Popper and Arnold Toynbee over the interpretation of Karl Marx's philosophy. Should Karl Marx be viewed as a social scientist, or as the prophet of a religion? Did the Totaliarianism of the Soviet Union derive from Plato's Republic, or from Judaism? popper-vs-toynbee.html.

Arnold J. Toynbee on the Aryan invasions, and the transmission of Civilization across the Silk Roads: toynbee-history-of-civ.html.

Cyrus H. Gordon on the East Mediterranean Culture Common to Greek and Hebrew Civilisations; Phoenician/Babylonian influence on the Greeks: gordon.html.

Write to me at contact.html.