Religion of the Israelites

The Israelites fled inslavement in Egypt around 1300 led by their leader Moses. Over a period of years they established themselves in Palestine conquering many of the indigenous Caanites. The Israelites were threatened by the Philistines who had settled along the Mediterranean coast. The Israelites who had until this time been a confderation of individual tribes united in a kingdom first under King Saul and then King David. Under David the kingdom expanded to include its immediate neighbors. David also established the capital of Israelites at Jerusalem. Under his son Solomon the Kingdom lived in peace an prosperity. Solomon built a great temple in Jerusalem. When Solomon died the kingdom divided in two, that of Judea and that of Israel. In 722 the Assyrian Empire conquered the Kingdom of the Israel scattering its people. In 597 the Babyloniean king Nebucuchadnezzar conquered Judah and soon destroyed Jerusalem an the temple. In 539 Cyrus, after his conquest of the Babylonians allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.