The Torah contains two groundbreaking sagas of wanderings from the early history of Israel. The two stories were combined into the kleines geschichtliches Credo Deut. 26:5–9 (Gerhard von Rad), which Israelites and Judeans were to recite at their harvest festival when offering the fruit of the land to their God.
The surviving accounts of the wanderings of the patriarchs of Israel from the 6th – 5th century BC in the Book of Genesis are not to be understood today as historical reflections, but rather as stories from a later period about landholding and land claims. Nevertheless, it may be the case that traditions from the proto-Israeli/Judean settlement period have been preserved in the stories of the patriarchs. Accordingly, appropriate emphasis is placed on the predominant cultural influence from the North, on the nearness of the kingdoms of Eastern Jordan (Jacob-Esau story circle; Abraham-Lot story circle), the establishment of common bonds among Israeli tribes (regal period) and the dissociation from overly powerful seafaring nations and Phoenicians, as well as from the Canaanites dwelling in Shfela and in the coastal plains.