OUTLINE OF ISRAEL'S ORIGINS
It All Begins With God
God Appears To Abram & Orders Him To Leave Home GENESIS Chapter 12
God took the initiative in appearing to Abraham - in a vision probably - and told him to leave Haran (in modern Turkey), where he and his family had been living, and go to a country God would show him when he got there! In spite of not knowing where they were going, Abraham obeyed and he, his wife Sarai, nephew Lot and their servants moved to the land of Canaan.
God's Promise To Bless Abraham & Make Him The Father Of Many Nations
When they got to Shechem God appeared to Abram again and said:
"I will give this land to your descendants."
And so in spite of the fact that Sarai was unable to have children, Abram believed God's word to him and built an altar to worship God as the One True God.
Abram's Move To Egypt Because Of Famine & Attempt To Save His Own Skin
There was a famine in Canaan which forced Abram to move down to Egypt for grain. His wife Sarai was beautiful and Abram was understandably afraid that Pharoah, King of Egypt, would kill him so he could have Sarai. So he pretended that Sarai was his sister. When Pharoah found out, he sent Abram and Sarai away back to the Negev where Abram pitched his tents near Bethel (GENESIS 13:3).
Abraham & Lot Part Company (GENESIS 13:5-18)
Quarreling broke out between Abraham's men and Lot's and so it was decided they would go separate ways - Lot chose the lush pastures to the east in Jordan while Abraham moved to Hebron. Once again God promised to give Abraham and his heirs all the land his eye could see north, south, east and west.
To read more about the origins of Israel, go to THE MYSTERY OF THE JEWS.