Bishop's Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy

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From early fragments embedded in some of the later biblical narratives historians can see that the Israelites believed their ancestors to have been nomads (1). Nomads are a people who lack a permanent home and who travel from place to place to find fresh pasture for their livestock and so on. In the case of the ancient Israelite nomads, Yahweh had led them to Canaan and promised them that one day their descendants would own the land. However, prior to this the Israelites had for many years lived as slaves under Egyptian rule. But later Yahweh decided to free them from this Egyptian rule through great signs and marvels such as plagues and the dividing of a sea. Yahweh them led them back to the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses and in the process assisted them in conquering the land from the indigenous tribes to the area.

In fact, each tribe…

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