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It requires examining at least 3,000 years of ancient human history using documents in vast quantities and variety written in at least ten near Eastern languages.As archaeological discovery relies upon researchers and scholars from diverse disciplines, the goal is to interpret all of the factual data, focusing on the most consistent theory.Some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as 'Hebrews'.

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In addition to issues with census methodology, disputes among proponents of halakhic, secular, political, and ancestral identification factors regarding who is a Jew may affect the figure considerably depending on the source.

Israel is the only country where Jews form a majority of the population.

The Cyrus Cylinder, an ancient tablet on which is written a declaration in the name of Cyrus referring to restoration of temples and repatriation of exiled peoples, has often been taken as corroboration of the authenticity of the biblical decrees attributed to Cyrus, Professor Lester L.

Grabbe asserted that the "alleged decree of Cyrus" regarding Judah, "cannot be considered authentic", but that there was a "general policy of allowing deportees to return and to re-establish cult sites".

The Twelve Tribes are described as descending from the twelve sons of Jacob.

Jacob and his family migrated to Ancient Egypt after being invited to live with Jacob's son Joseph by the Pharaoh himself.

The growth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices, gradually gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites.

a book in the Ketuvim, the third section of the Jewish Tanakh.

The modern State of Israel was established as a Jewish state and defines itself as such in its Declaration of Independence and Basic Laws.

Its Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to any Jew who requests it.‎, Yehudim (pl.), in origin the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah.

Since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, most Jews have lived in diaspora.

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