I myself am not Jewish but was talking to a Jewish friend of mine about the second temple destruction by Titus and the imperial policies of Ancient Rome, Persia, Greeks, etc…
Overall, we came to the conclusion that the ancient Israelites were not a warlike imperial people. The Jews never established an expanding empire that cut down other civilizations to erect their own temples. Jews never killed all the battle hardy men, and took the women, children and elderly into slavery. There was no vicious depravity of empire among the ancient Jews.
Even today, we have the IDF. The Israeli Defense Forces. Why? Why not the IOF? The Israeli Offensive Forces.
It’s a question that really gets to me. Why weren’t the Jews imperial and colonial?
Granted this is not exceptional to Jews. There are other ancient peoples who thrived on self defense only and not a bloodthirsty quest for more. Many people in Britannia, Illyrians, some in Asia Minor, others in Egypt and subsaharan Africa, some even in North America. Some tribes were more imperialistic than others. An example of this would be the Comanche and the Navajo or the Mayans and the Aztecs.
But why would this be the case with Jews? Why were they and still are today, a relatively peaceful and non imperial people?
Xi Jinping buys up properties everywhere and sets his men to convert Buddhists and Muslims in the frontiers of his nation. Putin sends his jets to Syria, to Georgia and fosters a rebellion in Ukraine. Germany swallows up all of Europe and is the de facto leader of the European Union.
Why doesn’t Israel do this? Why is Israel more content in existing through a pacifist and self defensive lifestyle rather than be conquering lands and riches? Is it against Judaism or something?