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Old Testament Life and Literature (1968)

Gerald A. Larue


PART 2 - Before There Was an Israel


All human events occur within dimensions of space and time. Prerequisites for adequate evaluation of happenings are knowledge of the physical environment or stage-setting and comprehension of historical antecedents or factors preceding the event. Because biblical history is centered in the Near East in general,1 and in Palestine2 in particular, it is important to know the geographic features of the total area. Less than 2,000 years are encompassed in the biblical period, so to understand the history of the area prior to the arrival of the Hebrews, archaeological and historical knowledge of the pre-Hebrew eras is necessary.


  1. The area encompassed by the Near East has been defined by H. W. Hazzard, Atlas of Islamic History (Princeton Oriental Series, Princeton: University Press, 1951) as extending from 25 degrees East (the western border of Egypt) to 63 degrees East (the eastern border of Iran), and from 42 degrees North (north of European Turkey) to 13 degrees North (the south coast of Arabia).
  2. Palestine includes land on both sides of the Jordan River extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and from the Leontes River in the North to the Wadi el Arish and Ezion Geber in the South.

Old Testament Life and Literature is copyright © 1968, 1997 by Gerald A. Larue. All rights reserved.
The electronic version is copyright © 1997 by Internet Infidels with the written permission of Gerald A. Larue.