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The Israelites (/ˈɪzrəlts, -riə-/;[1][2] Hebrew: בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, Bənēy Yīsrāʾēl, transl. 'Children of Israel') were a group of Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan.[3][4] They were also an ethnoreligious group.[5]

The name of Israel first appears in the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt, dated to about 1200 BCE.[6] Modern scholarship considers that the Israelites emerged from groups of indigenous Canaanites and other peoples.[7][8][4] They spoke an archaic form of the Hebrew language, which was a regional variety of the Canaanite languages, known today as Biblical Hebrew.[9] In the Iron Age, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged. The Kingdom of Israel, with its capital at Samaria, fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire around 720 BCE;[10] while the Kingdom of Judah, with its capital at Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE.[11] Some of the Judean population was exiled to Babylon, but returned to Israel after Cyrus the Great conquered the region.[12][13]

According to the Bible, the Israelites are the descendants of Jacob, a patriarch who was later renamed as Israel. Following a severe drought in Canaan, Jacob and his twelve sons fled to Egypt, where they eventually formed the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Israelites were later led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses and conquered Canaan under Joshua's leadership, who was Moses's successor. Most modern scholars agree that the Torah does not provide an authentic account of the Israelites' origins, and instead view it as constituting their national myth. However, it is supposed that there may be a "historical core" to the narrative.[14][15][16] The Bible also portrays the kingdoms of Israel and Judah as the successors of an earlier United Kingdom of Israel, though the historicity of the latter is disputed.[17][18]

Jews and Samaritans both trace their ancestry to the ancient Israelites.[19][20][21][22] Jews trace their ancestry to tribes that inhabited the Kingdom of Judah, including Judah, Benjamin and partially Levi, while the Samaritans claim their lineage from the remaining members of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Levi who were not deported in the Assyrian captivity after the fall of Israel. Other groups have also claimed affiliation with the Israelites.


The first reference to Israel in non-biblical sources is found in the Merneptah Stele in c. 1209 BCE. The inscription is very brief and says: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not". The inscription refers to a people, not an individual or nation state,[23] who are located in central Palestine[24] or the highlands of Samaria.[25] Some Egyptologists suggest that Israel appeared in earlier topographical reliefs, dating to the Nineteenth Dynasty (i.e. reign of Ramesses II) or the Eighteenth Dynasty,[26] but this reading remains controversial.[27][28]

In the Hebrew Bible, Israel first appears in Genesis 32:29, where an angel gives the name to Jacob after the latter fought with him.[29][30][31] The folk etymology given in the text derives Israel from yisra, "to prevail over" or "to struggle with", and El, a Canaanite-Mesopotamian creator god that is tenuously identified with Yahweh.[32][33] However, modern scholarship interprets El as the subject, "El rules/struggles",[34][35][36] from sarar (שָׂרַר) 'to rule'[37] (cognate with sar (שַׂר) 'ruler',[38] Akkadian šarru 'ruler, king'[39]), which is likely cognate with the similar root sara (שׂרה) "fought, strove, contended".[40][41]

Afterwards, Israel referred to the direct descendants of Jacob and gentiles (i.e. resident aliens) who assimilated in the Israelite community.[42][43] Hebrew is a similar ethnonym but it is usually applied whenever Israelites are economically disadvantaged or migrants. It might also refer to their descent from Eber, the grandson of Noah.[44][45][46][47]

During the period of the divided monarchy, "Israelites" referred to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel, but eventually, included the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage.[48]

In literature of the Second Temple period, "Israel" included the members of the united monarchy, the northern kingdom, and eschatological Israel. "Jew" (or "Judean") was another popular ethnonym but it might refer to a geographically restricted sub-group or to the inhabitants of the southern kingdom of Judah.[49][50] In addition, works such as Ezra-Nehemiah pioneered the idea of an "impermeable" distinction between Israel and gentiles, on a genealogical basis.[43] Other scholars argue that the distinction is based on religion.[51]

In Judaism, "Israelite", broadly speaking, refers to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group, as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites. In legal texts, such as the Mishnah and Gemara, ישראלי (Yisraeli), or Israelite, is used to describe Jews instead of יהודי (Yehudi), or Jew. In Samaritanism, Samaritans are not Jews יהודים (Yehudim). Instead, they are Israelites, which includes their Jewish brethren, or Israelite Samaritans.[52][53][full citation needed][54]

Biblical narrative

Mid-20th century mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel, from the Etz Yosef synagogue wall in Givat Mordechai, Jerusalem

The history of the Israelite people can be divided into these categories, according to the Hebrew Bible:[55]

Pre-Monarchic Period (unknown to c. 1050 BCE)
The Israelites were named after their ancestor, Jacob/Israel, who was the grandson of Abraham. They were organized into 12 tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph (or Tribe of Ephraim and Tribe of Manasseh) and Benjamin. Originally, they went to Egypt after a famine in Canaan but were enslaved by the Egyptians.[56] They escaped and organized themselves as a kritarchy,[57] where they followed laws given by Moses. Afterwards, the Israelites conquered Canaan and fought with several neighbors until they established a monarchic state.
United Monarchy (c. 1050–930 BCE)
As a monarchic state, the Israelite tribes were united by the leadership of Saul, David and Solomon. The reigns of Saul and David were marked by military victories and Israel's transition to a mini-empire with vassal states.[58][59] Solomon's reign was relatively more peaceful and oversaw the construction of the First Temple,[60] with the help of Phoenician allies.[61] This Temple was where the Ark of the Covenant was stored; its former location was the City of David.[62]
Divided Monarchy (c. 930–597 BCE)
Map of the Holy Land, Pietro Vesconte, 1321, showing the allotments of the tribes of Israel. Described by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld as "the first non-Ptolemaic map of a definite country"[63]
The monarchic state was divided into two states, Israel and Judah, due to civil and religious disputes. Eventually, Israel and Judah met their demise after the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions respectively. According to the Biblical prophets, these invasions were divine judgments for religious apostasy and corrupt leadership.
Exilic Period (c. 597–538 BCE)
Map of the twelve tribes of Israel (before the move of Dan to the north), based on the Book of Joshua
After the Babylonians invaded Judah, they deported most of its citizens to Babylon, where they lived as "exiles". Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and established the First Persian Empire in 539 BCE. [64] One year later, according to traditional dating, Cyrus permitted the Judahites to return to their homeland.[64] This homeland was re-named as the Province of Yehud, which eventually became a satrapy of Eber-Nari.[64]
Persian Period (c. 539–331 BCE)
In 537–520 BCE, Zerubbabel became Yehud's governor and started work on the Second Temple, which was stopped.[65] In 520–516 BCE, Haggai and Zechariah goaded the Judahites to resume work on the Temple. Upon completion, Joshua became its high priest.[65][65] In 458–433 BCE, Ezra and Nehemiah led another group of Judahites to Yehud, with Artaxerxes's permission. Nehemiah rebuilt the temple after some unspecified disaster and removed foreign influence from the Judahite community.[66][67] That said, some Judahites elected to stay in Persia, where they almost faced annihilation.[68][69]
Model of the Tabernacle constructed under the auspices of Moses, in Timna Park, Israel

Historical Israelites

Efforts to confirm the biblical ethnogenesis of Israel through archaeology has largely been abandoned as unproductive.[16] Many scholars see the traditional narratives as national myths with little historical value, but some posit that a small group of exiled Egyptians contributed to the Exodus narrative.[a] William G. Dever cautiously identifies this group with the Tribe of Joseph, while Richard Elliott Friedman identifies it with the Tribe of Levi.[73][74] Josephus quoting Manetho identifies them with the Hyksos.[75][76] Other scholars believe that the Exodus narrative was a "collective memory" of several events from the Bronze Age.[77][78]

In addition, it is unlikely that the Israelites overtook southern Levant by force, according to archaeological evidence. Instead, they branched out of indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the region, which included Syria, ancient Israel, and the Transjordan region.[79][80][81] Their culture was monolatristic, with a primary focus on Yahweh (or El) worship,[33] but after the Babylonian exile, it became monotheistic, with partial influence from Zoroastrianism. The latter decisively separated the Israelites from other Canaanites.[79][7][failed verification] The Israelites used the Canaanite script and communicated in a Canaanite language known as Biblical Hebrew. The language's modern descendant, modern Hebrew, is today the only surviving dialect of the Canaanite languages.[82][83]

Gary Rendsburg argues that some archaic biblical traditions and other circumstantial evidence point to the Israelites emerging from the Shasu and other seminomadic peoples from the desert regions south of the Levant, later settling in the highlands of Canaan.[84]


Ramesses III prisoner tiles depicting precursors of the Israelites in Canaan: Canaanites from city-states and a Shasu leader.[85][86][87]

Several theories exist for the origins of historical Israelites. Some believe they descended from raiding groups, itinerant nomads such as Habiru and Shasu or impoverished Canaanites, who were forced to leave wealthy urban areas and live in the highlands.[88][24] The prevailing academic opinion is that the Israelites were a mixture of peoples predominately indigenous to Canaan, with additional input from an Egyptian matrix of peoples, which most likely inspired the Exodus narrative.[89][90][91] Israel's demographics were similar to the demographics of Ammon, Edom, Moab and Phoenicia.[90][92][page needed]

Besides their focus on Yahweh worship, Israelite cultural markers were defined by body, food and time. This included male circumcision, avoidance of pork consumption and marking time based on the Exodus, the reigns of Israelite kings, Sabbath observance etc. The first two markers were observed by neighboring west Semites besides the Philistines, who were of Mycenaean Greek origin. As a result, intermarriage with other Semites was common.[93]

The Mount Ebal structure, seen by many archeologists as an early Israelite cultic site

Genealogy was another ethnic marker. It was a matter of cultural self-identity rather than biological descent. For example, foreign clans could adopt the identity of other clans, which subsequently changed their status from "outsider" to "insider". This applied to Israelites from different tribes and gentiles.[43][93] Saul Oylan argued that foreigners automatically became Israelite if they lived in their territory, according to Ezekiel 47:21–23.[94] That said, Israelites used genealogy to engage in narcissism of small differences but also, self-criticism since their ancestors included morally questionable characters such as Jacob. Both these traits represented the "complexities of the Jewish soul".[93]

In terms of appearance, rabbis described the Biblical Jews as being "midway between black and white" and having the "color of the boxwood tree".[95] Assuming Yurco's debated claim that the Israelites are depicted in reliefs from Merneptah's temple at Karnak is correct,[96] the early Israelites may have wore the same attire and hairstyles as non-Israelite Canaanites.[97][98] Dissenting from this, Anson Rainey argued that the Israelites in the reliefs looked more similar to the Shasu.[99] Based on biblical literature, it is implied that the Israelites distinguished themselves from peoples like the Babylonians and Egyptians by not having long beards and chin tufts. However, these fashion practices were upper class customs.[100]

Early Israelite settlements

In the 12th century BCE, many Israelite settlements appeared in the central hill country of Canaan, which was formerly an open terrain. These settlements lacked evidence of pork consumption, compared to Philistine settlements, have four-room houses and lived by an egalitarian ethos, which was exemplified by the absence of elaborate tombs, governor's mansions, certain houses being bigger than others etc. They followed a mixed economy, which prioritized self-sufficiency, cultivation of crops, animal husbandry and small-scale craft production. New technologies such as terraced farming, silos for grain storage and cisterns for rainwater collection were simultaneously introduced.[101]

These settlements were built by inhabitants of the "general Southland" (i.e. modern Sinai and the southern parts of Israel and Jordan), who abandoned their pastoral-nomadic ways. Canaanites who lived outside the central hill country were tenuously identified as Danites, Asherites, Zebulunites, Issacharites, Naphtalites and Gadites. These inhabitants do not have a significant history of migration besides the Danites, who allegedly originate from the Sea Peoples, particularly the Dan(an)u.[101][102] Nonetheless, they intermingled with the former nomads, due to socioeconomic and military factors. Their interest in Yahwism and its concern for the underprivileged was another factor. Possible allusions to this historical reality in the Hebrew Bible include the aforementioned tribes, except for Issachar and Zebulun, descending from Bilhah and Zilpah, who were viewed as "secondary additions" to Israel.[101]

El worship was central to early Israelite culture but currently, the number of El worshippers in Israel is unknown. It is more likely that different Israelite locales held different views about El and had 'small-scale' sacred spaces.[32][33]

Monarchic period

United Monarchy

Part of the gift-bearing Israelite delegation of King Jehu, Black Obelisk, 841–840 BCE.[103]

The historicity of the United Monarchy is heavily debated among archaeologists and biblical scholars: biblical maximalists and centrists (Kenneth Kitchen, William G. Dever, Amihai Mazar, Baruch Halpern and others) argue that the biblical account is more or less accurate, biblical minimalists (Israel Finkelstein, Ze'ev Herzog, Thomas L. Thompson and others) argue that Israel and Judah never split from a singular state. The debate has not been resolved but recent archaeological discoveries by Eilat Mazar and Yosef Garfinkel show some support for the existence of the United Monarchy.[17]

From 850 BCE onwards, a series of inscriptions mention the "House of David". They came from Israel's neighbors.[104][105]

Kingdoms of Israel and Judah

"To Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, king of Judah" – royal seal found at the Ophel excavations in Jerusalem

Compared to the United Monarchy, the historicity of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah is widely accepted by historians and archaeologists.[106]: 169–195 [107] Their destruction by the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively is also confirmed by archaeological evidence and extrabiblical sources.[10][108][109][110][111][106]: 306  Christian Frevel argues that Yahwism was rooted in the culture of the Kingdom of Israel, who introduced it to the Kingdom of Judah via Ahab's expansions and sociopolitical cooperation, which was prompted by Hazael's conquests.[112]

Frevel has also argued that Judah was a 'vassal-like' state to Israel, under the Omrides.[112] This theory has been rejected by other scholars, who argue that the archaeological evidence seems to indicate that Judah was an independent socio-political entity for most of the 9th century BCE.[113]

Avraham Faust argues that there was continued adherence to the 'ethos of egalitarianism and simplicity' in the Iron Age II (10th-6th century BCE). For example, there is minimal evidence for temples and complex tomb burials, despite Israel and Judah being more densely populated than the Late Bronze Age. Four-room houses remained the norm. In addition, royal inscriptions were scarce, along with imported and decorated pottery.[114]

The Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire around 720 BCE.[115] The records of Sargon II of Assyria indicate that he deported part of the population to Assyria. This deportation became the basis for the Jewish idea of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Some Israelites migrated to the southern kingdom of Judah,[116] while those Israelites that remained in Samaria, concentrated mainly around Mount Gerizim, came to be known as Samaritans.[117][118] Foreign groups were also settled by the Assyrians in the territories of the conquered kingdom.[118]

The exiled Israelites from non-Judean regions faced assimilation into the Assyrian population, unlike their counterparts from Judea.[119] While historical records indicate the disappearance of Israelite tribes from Galilee and Transjordan, it's plausible that many Israelites from Samaria survived and remained in the region.[120] These survivors, contrary to Jewish tradition,[121] are believed to have become the ancestors of the Samaritans, who followed Samaritanism. Research indicates that only a portion of this population intermarried with Mesopotamians settlers.[122][123] In their native Samaritan Hebrew, the Samaritans identify as "Israel", "B'nai Israel" or "Shamerim/Shomerim" (i.e. "Guardians/Keepers/Watchers").[124][125][126][127]

Towards the end of the same century, the Neo-Babylonian Empire emerged victorious over the Assyrians, leading to Judah's subjugation as a vassal state. In the early 6th century BC, a series of revolts in Judah prompted the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II to lay siege to and destroy Jerusalem along with the First Temple, marking the kingdom's demise. Subsequently, a segment of the Judahite populace was exiled to Babylon in several waves.[128] Judeans were progenitors of the Jews,[129] who practiced Second Temple Judaism during the Second Temple period.[130][131]

Later history

With the fall of Babylon to the rising Achaemenid Persian Empire, king Cyrus the Great issued a proclamation known as the Edict of Cyrus, encouraging the exiles to return to their homeland after the Persians raised it as an autonomous Jewish-governed province named Yehud. Under the Persians (c. 539–332 BCE), the returned Jewish population restored the city and rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem. The Cyrus Cylinder is controversially cited as evidence for Cyrus allowing the Judeans to return.[132][133] The returnees showed a "heightened sense" of their ethnic identity and shunned exogamy, which was treated as a "permissive reality" in Babylon.[134][135] Circumcision was no longer a significant ethnic marker, with increased emphasis on genealogical descent or faith in Yahweh.[136][137]

In 332 BCE, the Achaemenid Empire fell to Alexander the Great, and the region was later incorporated into the Ptolemaic Kingdom (c. 301–200 BCE) and the Seleucid Empire (c. 200–167 BCE). The Maccabean Revolt against Seleucid rule ushered in a period of nominal independence for the Jewish people under the Hasmonean dynasty (140–37 BCE). Initially operating semi-autonomously within the Seleucid sphere, the Hasmoneans gradually asserted full independence through military conquest and diplomacy, establishing themselves as the final sovereign Jewish rulers before a prolonged hiatus in Jewish sovereignty in the region.[138][139][140][141] Some scholars argue that Jews also engaged in active missionary efforts in the Greco-Roman world, which led to conversions.[142][143][144][145] Several scholars, such as Scot McKnight and Martin Goodman, reject this view while holding that conversions occasionally occurred.[146] A similar diaspora existed for Samaritans but their existence is poorly documented.[147]

In 63 BCE, the Roman Republic conquered the kingdom. In 37 BCE, the Romans appointed Herod the Great as king of a vassal Judea. In 6 CE, Judea was fully incorporated into the Roman Empire as the province of Judaea. During this period, the main areas of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel were Judea, Galilee and Perea, while the Samaritans had their demographic center in Samaria. Growing dissatisfaction with Roman rule and civil disturbances eventually led to the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), resulting in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, which ended the Second Temple period. This event marked a cataclysmic moment in Jewish history,[148] prompting a reconfiguration of Jewish identity and practice to ensure continuity. The cessation of Temple worship and disapperance of Temple-based sects[149] facilitated the rise of Rabbinic Judaism, which stemmed from the Pharisaic school of Second Temple Judaism, emphasizing communal synagogue worship and Torah study, eventually becoming the predominant expression of Judaism.[150][148][151][152] Concurrently, Christianity began to diverge from Judaism, evolving into a predominantly Gentile religion.[153] Decades later, the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135 CE) further diminished the Jewish presence in Judea, leading to a geographical shift of Jewish life to Galilee and Babylonia, with smaller communities scattered across the Mediterranean.

Jews and Samaritans share a connection with the biblical Land of Israel.[154][155][156] Other groups claim continuity with the Israelites, including Pashtuns,[157][158] British,[159] Black Hebrew Israelites,[160] Mormons,[161] and evangelical Christians that subscribe to covenant theology.[162] Some argue that some Palestinians descend from Israelites who were not exiled by the Romans.[163][164]


A Samaritan elder participates in Passover prayer services held on Mount Gerizim

As of 2024, only one study has directly examined ancient Israelite genetic material. The analysis examined First Temple-era skeletal remains excavated in Abu Ghosh, and showed one male individual belonged to the J2 Y-DNA haplogroup, a set of closely-related DNA sequences thought to have originated in the Caucasus or Eastern Anatolia, as well as the T1a and H87 mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, the former of which has also been detected among Canaanites, and the latter in Basques, Tunisian Arabs, and Iraqis, suggesting a Mediterranean, Near Eastern, or perhaps Arabian origin.[165]

Studies on the genetic composition of the diasporic Jewish populations show significant amounts of shared Middle Eastern ancestry,[166][167] and several Jewish groups show genetic proximity to Arabs.[168][169]

A 2004 study (by Shen et al.) comparing Samaritans to several Jewish populations (including Ashkenazi Jews, Iraqi Jews, Libyan Jews, Moroccan Jews, and Yemenite Jews) found that "the principal components analysis suggested a common ancestry of Samaritan and Jewish patrilineages. Most of the former may be traced back to a common ancestor in what is today identified as the paternally inherited Israelite high priesthood (Cohanim), with a common ancestor projected to the time of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel."[dubiousdiscuss][170]

A 2020 study (by Agranat-Tamr et al.) stated that there was genetic continuity between Bronze Age and Iron Age southern Levantines, which included the Israelites and Judahites. They could be "modeled as a mixture of local earlier Neolithic populations and populations from the northeastern part of the Near East (e.g. Zagros Mountains, Caucasians/Armenians and possibly, Hurrians)". Reasons for the continuity include resilience from the Bronze Age collapse, which was mostly true for inland cities such as Tel Megiddo and Tel Abel Beth Maacah. Elsewhere, European-related and East African-related components were added to the population, from a north-south and south-north gradient respectively. Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans and Somalis were used as representatives.[171]

See also


  1. ^ "While there is a consensus among scholars that the Exodus did not take place in the manner described in the Bible, surprisingly most scholars agree that the narrative has a historical core, and that some of the highland settlers came, one way or another, from Egypt ..." "Archaeology does not really contribute to the debate over the historicity or even historical background of the Exodus itself, but if there was indeed such a group, it contributed the Exodus story to that of all Israel. While I agree that it is most likely that there was such a group, I must stress that this is based on an overall understanding of the development of collective memory and of the authorship of the texts (and their editorial process). Archaeology, unfortunately, cannot directly contribute (yet?) to the study of this specific group of Israel's ancestors."[72]


  1. ^ "Israelite". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Israelite". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary.
  3. ^ Shaw, Ian (2002). "Israel, Israelites". In Shaw, Ian; Jameson, Robert (eds.). A Dictionary of Archaeology. Wiley Blackwell. p. 313. ISBN 978-0-631-23583-5.
  4. ^ a b Faust, Avraham (2023). "The Birth of Israel". In Hoyland, Robert G.; Williamson, H. G. M. (eds.). The Oxford History of the Holy Land. Oxford University Press. pp. 5–33. ISBN 978-0-19-288687-3.
  5. ^ Sparks, Kenton L. (1998). Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Israel: Prolegomena to the Study of Ethnic Sentiments and Their Expression in the Hebrew Bible. Eisenbrauns. pp. 146–148. ISBN 978-1-57506-033-0.
  6. ^ Rendsburg, Gary (2008). "Israel without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press. pp. 11–12.
  7. ^ a b Mark Smith in "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" states "Despite the long regnant model that the Canaanites and Israelites were people of fundamentally different culture, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and Canaanites in the Iron I period (c. 1200–1000 BCE). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture ... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period." (pp. 6–7). Smith, Mark (2002). The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel. Eerdmans.
  8. ^ Frevel, Christian. History of Ancient Israel. Atlanta, Georgia. SBL Press. 2023. p. 33. ISBN 9781628375138. “Israel developed in the land and not outside of it (in Egypt, in the desert, etc.).”
  9. ^ Steiner, Richard C. (1997). "Ancient Hebrew". In Hetzron, Robert (ed.). The Semitic Languages. Routledge. pp. 145–173. ISBN 978-0-415-05767-7.
  10. ^ a b Broshi, Magen (2001). Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls. Bloomsbury. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-84127-201-6.
  11. ^ Faust, Avraham (29 August 2012). Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period. Society of Biblical Literature. p. 1. doi:10.2307/j.ctt5vjz28. ISBN 978-1-58983-641-9.
  12. ^ Stökl, Jonathan; Waerzegger, Caroline (2015). Exile and Return: The Babylonian Context. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 7–11, 30, 226.
  13. ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica. Vol. 3 (2nd ed.). p. 27.
  14. ^ Faust 2015, p.476: "While there is a consensus among scholars that the Exodus did not take place in the manner described in the Bible, surprisingly most scholars agree that the narrative has a historical core, and that some of the highland settlers came, one way or another, from Egypt ...".
  15. ^ Redmount 2001, p. 61: "A few authorities have concluded that the core events of the Exodus saga are entirely literary fabrications. But most biblical scholars still subscribe to some variation of the Documentary Hypothesis, and support the basic historicity of the biblical narrative."
  16. ^ a b Dever, William (2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It?. Eerdmans. pp. 98–99. ISBN 3-927120-37-5. After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible 'historical figures' ... archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit.
  17. ^ a b Thomas, Zachary (22 April 2016). "Debating the United Monarchy: Let's See How Far We've Come". Biblical Theology Bulletin. 46 (2): 59–69. doi:10.1177/0146107916639208. ISSN 0146-1079. S2CID 147053561.
  18. ^ Lipschits, Oded (2014). "The history of Israel in the biblical period". In Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi (eds.). The Jewish Study Bible (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 2107–2119. ISBN 978-0-19-997846-5. Archived from the original on 9 April 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2022. As this essay will show, however, the premonarchic period long ago became a literary description of the mythological roots, the early beginnings of the nation and the way to describe the right of Israel on its land. The archeological evidence also does not support the existence of a united monarchy under David and Solomon as described in the Bible, so the rubric of 'united monarchy' is best abandoned, although it remains useful for discussing how the Bible views the Israelite past. ... Although the kingdom of Judah is mentioned in some ancient inscriptions, they never suggest that it was part of a unit comprised of Israel and Judah. There are no extrabiblical indications of a united monarchy called 'Israel'.
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  23. ^ Greenspahn, Frederick E. (2008). The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press. pp. 12ff. ISBN 978-0-8147-3187-1. Archived from the original on 1 July 2023. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
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  27. ^ Romer, Thomas (2015). The Invention of God, Harvard. p. 75.
  28. ^ Dijkstra, Meindert (2017). "Canaan in the Transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age from an Egyptian Perspective". In Grabbe, Lester, ed. The Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age. Bloomsbury. p. 62, n. 17
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  32. ^ a b Lewis, Theodore J. (2020). The Origin and Character of God: Ancient Israelite Religion through the Lens of Divinity. Oxford University Press. pp. 73–118. ISBN 978-0190072544.
  33. ^ a b c Cross 1973.
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  126. ^ "The Samaritan Identity". The Israelite Samaritan Community in Israel. Retrieved 15 September 2023. Our real name is, 'Bene- Yisrael Ha -Shamerem (D'nU- -D'7nU) - in Hebrew , which means 'The Keepers', or to be precise, the Israelite - Keepers, as we observe the ancient Israelite tradition, since the time of our prophet Moses and the people of Israel. The modern terms, 'Samaritans' and 'Jews', given by the Assyrians, indicate the settlement of the Samaritans in the area of Samaria, and the Jews in the area of Judah.
  127. ^ "The Keepers: Israelite Samaritan Identity". Israelite Samaritan Information Institute. 26 May 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2023. We are not Samaritans; this is what the Assyrians called the people of Samaria. We, The Keepers, Sons of Israel, Keepers of the Word of the Torah, never adopted the name Samaritans. Our forefathers only used the name when speaking to outsiders about our community. Through the ages we have referred to ourselves as The Keepers.
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  137. ^ Lau, Peter H.W. (2009). "Gentile Incorporation into Israel in Ezra - Nehemiah?". Peeters Publishers. 90 (3): 356–373. JSTOR 42614919 – via JSTOR.
  138. ^ Helyer, Larry R.; McDonald, Lee Martin (2013). "The Hasmoneans and the Hasmonean Era". In Green, Joel B.; McDonald, Lee Martin (eds.). The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts. Baker Academic. pp. 45–47. ISBN 978-0-8010-9861-1. OCLC 961153992. The ensuing power struggle left Hyrcanus with a free hand in Judea, and he quickly reasserted Jewish sovereignty... Hyrcanus then engaged in a series of military campaigns aimed at territorial expansion. He first conquered areas in the Transjordan. He then turned his attention to Samaria, which had long separated Judea from the northern Jewish settlements in Lower Galilee. In the south, Adora and Marisa were conquered; (Aristobulus') primary accomplishment was annexing and Judaizing the region of Iturea, located between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains
  139. ^ Ben-Sasson, H.H. (1976). A History of the Jewish People. Harvard University Press. p. 226. ISBN 0-674-39731-2. The expansion of Hasmonean Judea took place gradually. Under Jonathan, Judea annexed southern Samaria and began to expand in the direction of the coast plain... The main ethnic changes were the work of John Hyrcanus... it was in his days and those of his son Aristobulus that the annexation of Idumea, Samaria and Galilee and the consolidation of Jewish settlement in Trans-Jordan was completed. Alexander Jannai, continuing the work of his predecessors, expanded Judean rule to the entire coastal plain, from the Carmel to the Egyptian border... and to additional areas in Trans-Jordan, including some of the Greek cities there.
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