The region was under control of the Achaemenids until the fall of their empire in c. Jews were also politically independent during the Hasmonean dynasty spanning from 140 to 37 BCE and to some degree under the Herodian dynasty from 37 BCE to 6 CE.
Since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, most Jews have lived in diaspora.
Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, and halakhic conversions.
These definitions of who is a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral Torah into the Babylonian Talmud, around 200 CE. Cohen, the status of the offspring of mixed marriages was determined patrilineally in the Bible.
In 587 BCE Nebuchadnezzar II, King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, besieged Jerusalem, destroyed the First Temple, and deported the most prominent citizens 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.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 growth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices, gradually gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites.as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.