Oxted  District History Society - Article
Oxted  District History Society

David Skitt gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘

The pilgrimage of the tribes of Israel from slavery in Egypt to the Promised land is the traditional story of the Exodus.  There is a theory that during the pilgrimage the Israelites developed their society.  In another theory, considerable numbers of people from the same ethnic group never went to Egypt. Bruggeman’s theory was that those who remained in Canaan were city dwellers, whereas the Israelites were nomadic country people.  The Hebrew for ‘salvation’ means a ‘safe open space’.

In the rural culture, justice was administered by itinerant judges.  Rural groups joined together when threatened by enemies.  After the Canaanites were subdued, the cultured and town-dwelling Philistines were the enemy.  However the Israelites eventually decided that they need a king, involving centralisation of government in a city, Jerusalem.  The urban/rural clash within society compromised the original rural ideal.

One of the chief victims of urbanisation was the shepherd, excluded from society by the time of Christ.  There is some evidence that Jesus liked the rural ideal but he was generally neutral.  He spiritualised Israelite ideas, teaching that spirit matters, rather than property.


‘The Promised Land’ a talk by David Skitt