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One way that religion was important in the Near East during this time period is that it corresponds with the entrance of the Israelites--a religious group who worshiped Jehovah whom Melchizedek called the Most High God--into the Promised Land that their covenant with Jehovah had set aside for them. Their entrance into Canaan, the Promised Land, also corresponds with the destruction of some cities and cultures that worshipped other gods than the Most High God, like the city of Jericho that was destroyed at that time, as supported by archaeological evidence.
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