The image above is a good reminder for how small was the world of the Ancient Near East people in general, and the Hebrews in particular, because they were a little bit to the left of the little red bulb of Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia (Greek for "Between the Rivers") and Egypt are two of the most ancient "human cradles of civilizations", including urban centers, culture, specialization and more. The little green patch in between the Moesopotamian and Egyptian rivers was mostly populated by Philistines, Pheonicians and others, while to the south of them lived the Hebrews. The upside: they were right next to where the real shit was going down.
Uruk was once upon a time the biggest city in the world. It was probably founded around 4500 BCE and reached its peak ar around 3200 BCE. The city was made of monumental mud-brick buildings, and included extraordinary art, huge sculptures and relief carvings. They also came up with the first known writing system, cuneiform, which spread far and wide in the region. Uruk was a strong political and geopolitical player until around 2500 BCE, even though it remained inhabited until about the 4th century BCE.
The Bronze Age saw the rise of several political powers and cultures in the Ancient Near East, most notably Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, the Hittites and Mycenean Greeks. There were also several other peoples in Troy, Canaan and Elam. In the Arabian peninsula, lived rival nomadic tribes that will later be called Arabs.
The Bronze Age "officially" ended around 1200 BCE, when almost all of the biggest kingdoms collapsed suddenly and violently, leaving behind archeological remnants and ancient myths.
The vacuum created by the Late Bronze Age Collapse opened up options for an endless array of smaller players and peoples. And once the Phoenicians invented the phonetic alphabet it allowed those said smaller players and peoples to cement their place in the world through written stories in their own specific (albeit similar) languages. That is when the Arameic people rose to prominence through their language, the Greeks started writing their epics and the Hebrews put together their biblical stories.
And here come the Hebrews! For the first time, they step onto the regional stage, with two kingdoms sandwiched between several others. Much is debated and little is definitively known about all these ancient peoples shown in this map, how different or similar they were and where they went. Well, they didn't have a book.
As of now there is no archeological or historical evidence that confirms the biblical story of a united Hebrew kingdom of the line of David. It remains a myth.
The Assyrian empire came in in the 9th and 7th centuries BCE and destroyed the somewhat successful Kingdom of Israel and the House of King Omri (no relations). This event was a driving force in the formation of the biblical project, including the culture and religious traditions of both the Judeans and the Israelites who immigrated to Judah once their homeland was decimated. This shapes much of the biblical perspective. During this time it seems that Judah was not incorporated into the Assyrian fold.
Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II led a revolt against the Assyrians and replaced it as the regional superpower in 626–539 BCE. The Jews were exiled after their Jerusalem temple was destroyed. This is another defining moment in the biblical perspective and the Jewish experience for the two millennia to come.
The heavy-handed Babylonians were supplanted by the Persian Achaemenid Empire, who ruled between 550-330 BCE. Cyrus the Great established was then the strongest and largest empire the world has ever seen, based more so on trade and cooperation than the violent repression of its predecessors. King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and was thus portrayed in the bible in the most glowing terms imaginable.
The Persian empire was abruptly discarded into the dustbin of history by the forces for Alexander the Great in the 330s BCE, but his empire was short-lived and did not survive his death in 323 BCE.
After Alexander's sudden death, his newly conquered empire was divided among his top generals, initiating a Hellenistic Golden Age throughout the Ancient Near East, when local customs were incorporated and negotiated under a mostly Macedonian elite.
The Roman General Pompeus Magnus conquered Judea, Julius Caesar brought Egypt into the fold, the Hellenistic Mediterranean was put to heel, as was Syria. Once the Jews revolted a couple of times, Rome destroyed the Jewish temple and exiled the Jews for good.