96:2.1 The Semites of the East were well-organized and well-led horsemen who invaded the eastern regions of the fertile crescent and there united with the Babylonians. The Chaldeans near Ur were among the most advanced of the eastern Semites. The Phoenicians were a superior and well-organized group of mixed Semites who held the western section of Palestine, along the Mediterranean coast. Racially the Semites were among the most blended of Urantia peoples, containing hereditary factors from almost all of the nine world races.
96:2.2 Again and again the Arabian Semites fought their way into the northern Promised Land, the land that "flowed with milk and honey," but just as often were they ejected by the better-organized and more highly civilized northern Semites and Hittites. Later, during an unusually severe famine, these roving Bedouins entered Egypt in large numbers as contract laborers on the Egyptian public works, only to find themselves undergoing the bitter experience of enslavement at the hard daily toil of the common and downtrodden laborers of the Nile valley.
96:2.3 It was only after the days of Machiventa Melchizedek and Abraham that certain tribes of Semites, because of their peculiar religious beliefs, were called the children of Israel and later on Hebrews, Jews, and the "chosen people." Abraham was not the racial father of all the Hebrews; he was not even the progenitor of all the Bedouin Semites who were held captive in Egypt. True, his offspring, coming up out of Egypt, did form the nucleus of the later Jewish people, but the vast majority of the men and women who became incorporated into the clans of Israel had never sojourned in Egypt. They were merely fellow nomads who chose to follow the leadership of Moses as the children of Abraham and their Semite associates from Egypt journeyed through northern Arabia.
96:2.4 The Melchizedek teaching concerning El Elyon, the Most High, and the covenant of divine favor through faith, had been largely forgotten by the time of the Egyptian enslavement of the Semite peoples who were shortly to form the Hebrew nation. But throughout this period of captivity these Arabian nomads maintained a lingering traditional belief in Yahweh as their racial deity.
96:2.5 Yahweh was worshiped by more than one hundred separate Arabian tribes, and except for the tinge of the El Elyon concept of Melchizedek which persisted among the more educated classes of Egypt, including the mixed Hebrew and Egyptian stocks, the religion of the rank and file of the Hebrew captive slaves was a modified version of the old Yahweh ritual of magic and sacrifice.