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There are two things that really stand out in relation to your question. The first of the Hebrews' views to influence their development was the belief in one God. This ideology stood in stark contrast to their polytheistic contemporaries and was a driving force in their society. The ancient Hebrews were a true theocracy, in that their society was ruled by the laws of God (10 Commandments) and their leaders were accountable to a higher authority, not just their own desires.
The second is the idea that their land was given to them by God. The "Promised Land" drove their military actions, their society and thoughts, and in many ways gave them a sense of hope in times of despair.
The belief in these two core ideas (God, and a homeland) gave the Hebrews a sense of continuity which allowed them to survive even as they were enslaved and dispersed.
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