In 721 Israel was conquered by Assyria, and in 586 it was taken over by Babylonia.
The Israelites were slaves in Egypt from about 1750 to , when Moses led the Jewish people in Exodus. Moses died, and Joshua took the helm and led the people into the land of Canaan, or the Promised Land.
The epoch that followed was known as the period of the judges, when Israel was ruled by judges and priests.
Each group identifies as part of a larger, international religious and cultural community, and each has a history in the region that goes back to ancient times. Israel is in the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank.
Its total area is 8,019 square miles (20,770 square kilometers), slightly smaller than New Jersey. Mountains rise in the central region from the low coastal plain along the Mediterranean.
According to the Bible, Israel is the name given by God to Jacob.
The modern country of Israel includes two distinct nationalities, the Palestinian and the Jewish.Byzantines ruled the area from 313 to 635, although toward the end of this period, from 614 to 629, the Jews ruled Jerusalem under Persian jurisdiction.The years 622 to 632 saw the founding of Islam by Muhammad.In 538 Babylon was conquered by the king of Persia, who allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, where they rebuilt the Temple and began what became known as the Second Jewish State.In 322 , the land of Israel changed hands several times under various Greek and Syrian rulers.Each nationality is inextricable from its religious identity.