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".

Its Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to any Jew who requests it.

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with it being reframed as constituting the Israelites' inspiring national myth narrative.

The Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatristic—and later monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh.

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.

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

The modern State of Israel was established as a Jewish state and defines itself as such in its Declaration of Independence and Basic Laws.Some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as 'Hebrews'.the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian Captivity and Exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, and the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history, identity and memory.The etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g., يَهُودِيّ yahūdī (sg.), al-yahūd (pl.), in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" (m.)/"Juive" (f.) in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc., but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are also in use to describe a Jew, e.g., in Italian (Ebreo), in Persian ("Ebri/Ebrani" (Persian: It is widely recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and highly offensive.In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility.Generally, in modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage (sometimes including those who do not have strictly matrilineal descent), and people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion.