Social class system is a group of terms and concepts followed to incorporate divisions that are made in society according to various rules made by the society people just for the purpose of diving people in certain groups. Such groups are referred to as social classes. Some social classes were considered superior while some inferior. Superior class people obviously enjoyed special rights, power and favors as compared to the inferior class people.
Ancient Israel social hierarchy incorporates certain groups, classes divided on the basis of power and authority. All these classes of ancient Israel social hierarchy are described below in brief with a little description. The arrangement is done in a descending order means the social class with utmost power and authority are arranged at the top and then proceeding further. Just have a quick look at the hierarchy:
- Upper Class
- Middle Class
- Lower Class
- Slaves and Servants
Pharaoh – The highest rank or class in the ancient Israel social hierarchy was considered the Pharaoh, that refers to the king of the kingdom. No man possessed more power or authority more than that of the king. Pharaoh’s decision was considered the final one and no man possessed authority to question that decision. Everyone in the kingdom was supposed to abide by the orders of the Pharaoh. He was responsible for overall overlooking of the kingdom.
Upper Class – The next rank in the ancient Israel social hierarchy is of the people from the upper class. These were the people who owned land in Israel and quite wealthy persons, the army officials and the government officials. Mostly these were the people who were born in the Israel.
Middle Class – The middle class is next in the ancient Israel social hierarchy. These were the group of the people including merchants and artisans. They were provided with some rights and authority but quite less as compared to the upper class. But undoubtedly they led a better life than the lower class and quite far better than the servants and slaves.
Lower Class – This is the second highest level in the ancient Israel social hierarchy and incorporates unskilled laborers as well as farmers. These people were involved in all non-administrative work and possess few rights or authorities.
- Slaves and Servants – The lowest level of the ancient Israel social hierarchy is of slaves and servants. These people were allowed to do just one thing in their life and that was to serve their owner. They were provided with little rights and that was like of zero value. Slaves had worse life style even than that of servants. They did not possess a life and will of their own. These were people bought by their owners same as a person buying an animal.
Social class system has greatly influenced the ancient era of our world. Israel was also greatly affected by this social system.