Israel’s neighbors were powerful leaders in the ancient world: Egypt to the south, Greece and Rome to the west, and the nations of Bablyon, Assyria, and Persia to the east.
Israel stood as a natural land bridge between them, and millions of foreign traders passed through their land each year. In this position, God’s people had a tremendous opportunity to impact their powerful neighbors.
God’s people also interacted with smaller nations that surrounded their land: Philistia, Edom, the Decapolis, and others.
Unfortunately, the Israelites often turned to the pagan gods of their neighbors rather than honoring the one true God. As a result, God sometimes allowed Israel’s neighbors to invade and destroy the land.
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