Israel/Palestine is a land bridge located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Desert that provided an important connection between Egypt and Mesopotamia in ancient times. It has been described as an area the size of New Jersey with the geographical diversity of California. This paints a very accurate picture. In a single day, a visitor can experience the hot desert of the Negev in the south, then make the drive north to ski the slopes of Mount Hermon. In between is a mixture of both arid and fertile lands. Areas that are generally north and/or at higher elevations receive the most rainfall, whereas areas generally south and/or at lower elevations receive little to no rainfall. Elevations vary greatly throughout the region. Jerusalem sits atop the hills of Judah at 2,474 feet above sea level, whereas the surface of the nearby Dead Sea is 1,378 feet below sea level (the lowest point on Earth). On the east side of the Dead Sea, the elevation quickly rises back up to 2,680 feet at Mount Nebo. From Jerusalem to the west, the elevation drops more gradually through foothills, called the Shephelah in Hebrew, to the coastal plains and the shores of the Mediterranean. From Jerusalem to the north are the areas that are generally the most fertile, through Samaria and the Jezreel Valley, to the tree-covered mountains of Carmel and Upper Galilee. These landscapes provide the canvas on which the biblical texts are painted. Produced by RiddleMaps.com.
Another name often used for the area of Israel and Judah, derived from the Latin term for the Roman province of Palaestina; ultimately, the name derives from the name of the Philistine people.
A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.