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Indeed, the Canaanites and ancient Egyptians exerted a mutual influence on each other, Garfinkel says. In fact, at some point the Canaanites ruled Egypt. It was only with the 18th Dynasty (about 1549 to 1292 B.C.E) which featured luminaries such as the super-famous King Tutankhamun and Nefertiti – that the ancient Nile kingdom rose to the height of its power and violently swept over what is today Israel.
Lachish had an intensely bloody history, as do so many towns in this region. Located in central Israel, not far from the present-day city of Kiryat Gat, Lachish may go back to time immemorial, but the powerful city of the Canaanites actually arose around 1800 B.C.E.
It survived for around 400 years, only to be destroyed in 1550 B.C.E. by the Egyptians under Pharaoh Thutmose III, as they rolled over the region in the 18th Dynasty’s massive expansion. The places where ancient Egyptian and Canaanite forces clashed include Megiddo, which was reportedly the first – and Lachish.
The Land of Israel was divided into twelve sections corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. However, the tribes receiving land differed from the biblical tribes. The Tribe of Levi had no land appropriation but had six Cities of Refuge under their administration as well as the Temple in Jerusalem. There was no land allotment for the Tribe of Joseph, but Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, received their father's land portion.
There, archaeologists had dated the earliest settlements of the Hebrews — recognized by the lack of pig bones, reflecting their pork taboo — to perhaps the 13th century B.C. Had these people really been slaves in Egypt, returning as invaders as Yadin put forth? Finkelstein found otherwise. Instead of an invasion, the archaeological evidence revealed a gradual evolution from a pastoral to an agricultural society. “There was no violent event, no entry from the outside, not one suggestion of the Exodus. The Hebrews were the Canaanites, who had never left.
For years, archaeologists investigating the time of the Bible worked with the text in one hand and a trowel in the other, hoping to confirm Scripture. “In the beginning there was the Word,” the Bible says, and archaeologists sought to prove that it was gospel.
Convinced this circular logic wasn’t providing satisfactory results, Finkelstein pioneered another way forward: using science, and science alone, to shed light on antiquity, regardless of what the Bible might say.
Ancient Israelite religion was originally polytheistic; the Israelites worshipped many deities, including El, Baal, Asherah, and Astarte. Yahweh was originally the national god of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. As time progressed, the henotheistic cult of Yahweh grew increasingly militant in its opposition to the worship of other gods. Later, the reforms of King Josiah imposed a form of strict Israeli monolatrism. After the fall of Judah and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity, a small circle of priests and scribes gathered around the exiled royal court, where they first developed the concept of Yahweh as the sole God of the world.
wikipedia - Monotheism #In_Ancient_Israel