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The ancient Middle East and Mesopotamia was largely a multicultural society composed of small often insignificant kingdoms that were regularly torn between the forces of powerful empires from Babylon to Egypt to Greece to Rome One of these small kingdoms through its religion philosophy and law became one of the most important cultures in Middle Eastern and Western history The word Hebrew appears to have been derived from the world Hiberu which was found in writing sent to Egypt by one of the small states that Egypt had left behind when it withdrew from Canaan in the 1300s BC These states were distressed by the arrival of nomadic tribes that came in waves across generations Hiberu meant outsider and probably referred to a great variety of migrants Beginning as a closely-knit war-like group of wandering tribes this culture enjoyed for a short period one of a histories greatest empires but it soon fell into a small and feeble state The Hebrews would surface as one of the most significant culture of the West and Middle East giving us monotheism law and a new history for the west For the first hundred years the Hebrews wandered and roamed the region of Mesopotamia Palestine and northern Egypt From about 1950 BC to 1500 BC they rambled around the ancient Near East Around 1500 BC they settled in the fertile land of northern Egypt called Goshen It was here that these drifting tribes developed a national identity Around 1200 BC the Hebrews also called The children of Israel left Egypt in an event called the Exodus This historical event was lead by Moses The Old Testaments Book of Exodus describes an unnamed pharaoh ordering the slaughter of all male Hebrew infants and it describes a Hebrew woman trying to save her infant son Moses by putting him adrift on the Nile in a tiny boat of reeds caulked with tar pitch Moses was credited with introducing
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