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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Discussions of Israelite identity focus overwhelmingly on two periods: the emergence of Israel sometime around the tenth century and the experience of Babylonian exile in the sixth century. Scholarly histories of Israel and Judah all but ignore the question of Israelite identity in the intervening four hundred years. Lang reflects the majority opinion when he declares that 'isolation from foreigners or xenophobia does not appear in Israel during the monarchy but is first documented in the period of early Judaism, when the people were living under foreign domination and were concerned for their identity'. During this period, referred to here as the long seventh century, the southern Levant witnessed significant political, economic and social change. This chapter also gives a brief overview of how other chapters in this book are organized.

Keywords: Israel; Israelite identity; Judah; Judaism; Lang; southern Levant

10.1163/9789004274693_002
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