From Abraham to Joshua (Approximately: Eighteenth Century to Thirteenth Century B.C.E.)

 Theories abound concerning the origins of the Hebrews as a people.  The generally accepted view described in Genesis places the beginnings of Abraham and his family in southeastern Mesopotamia.  Other locations given for the origin of the Hebrews include northeastern Arabia and the Arabian Desert.  It is known that the names which are to be found in the Patriarchal narrative (Genesis) are similar to those found in the second millennium in both Palestine and Mesopotamia.  The Ebla texts, going back to 2500 B.C.E., also contain names similar to those mentioned in the Patriarchal accounts. 

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