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The patriarchs' descendants were later enslaved until the Exodus led by Moses, after which the Israelites conquered Canaan under Moses' successor Joshua, went through the period of the Biblical judges after the death of Joshua, then through the mediation of Samuel became subject to a king, Saul, who was succeeded by David and then Solomon, after whom the United Monarchy ended and was split into a separate Kingdom of Israel and a Kingdom of Judah.The Kingdom of Judah is described as comprising the Tribe of Judah, the Tribe of Benjamin, and partially the Tribe of Levi, and later adding other tribes who migrated there from the Kingdom of Israel.
Despite their long-term separation, Jewish communities maintained commonalities in culture, tradition, and language.
In 587 BCE Nebuchadnezzar II, King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, besieged Jerusalem, destroyed the First Temple, and deported the most prominent citizens of Judah.
The exile ended with the return under Zerubbabel the Prince (so-called because he was a descendant of the royal line of David) and Joshua the Priest (a descendant of the line of the former High Priests of the Temple) and their construction of the Second Temple in the period 521–516 BCE.
Jewish ethnicity, nationhood and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.
Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the Kingdom of Israel, and the Kingdom of Judah.
According to the report, about 44% of all Jews reside in Israel (6.3 million), and 40% in the United States (5.7 million), with most of the remainder living in Europe (1.4 million) and Canada (0.4 million).
The exact world Jewish population, however, is difficult to measure.
In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility.
Some people, however, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own.
In this case, it is complicated by long standing politics and religious and cultural prejudices.
The prehistory and ethnogenesis of the Jews are closely intertwined with archaeology, biology, and historical textual records, as well as religious literature and mythology.
Some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as 'Hebrews'.