Memories of early contacts between Israel and the Midianites (a people that occupied southern Transjordan) and Kenites (a people of the desert near Sinai) appear in various Biblical traditions, such as the reports of Moses’ marriage to a daughter of Hobab, who is called a Midianite in Numbers 10:29 and a Kenite in Judges 4:11.


The so-called Deuteronomic school was responsible for the composition and editing of the Book of Deuteronomy, the Former Prophets and possibly some of the prophetic books. This school flourished from the time of Josiah until the Babylonian Exile (late seventh century to mid-sixth century B.C.E.). Its main doctrines include centralization of the cult, a total ban on idols and religious practices considered Canaanite, and recognition of the Temple as the main locus of divine presence.


The Priestly school composed much of the Pentateuch (other than the Book of Deuteronomy) and Joshua. The date of this school’s activity is still the subject of scholarly controversy. Most authorities place it during the Exile or in the early post-Exilic period (sixth to early fifth century B.C.E.), while others date it to the time of Hezekiah (late eighth century B.C.E.). Its main concerns were the proper performance of the cult, the purity of the nation and Land of Israel, and the maintenance of the Temple.