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In origin a semi‐nomadic branch of the Semites that developed from the Khabiru‐Hebrews who, according to biblical sources, escaped from Egypt under Moses and established themselves in Palestine under Joshua during the 13th century bc. By the 10th century they had conquered the Canaanites and the Philistines to become a powerful kingdom with a capital at Jerusalem. Soon afterwards the single kingdom split into two parts, Judah and Israel, and remained so until Judah was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 bc and Israel was taken by the Babylonians in 587 bc.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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