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Judea, ancient name for south Palestine. Originally known as Canaan, it was called Judea after the Hebrews returning from Exodus took possession of it. The name was derived from Judah, ancestral patriarch of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the term Jews is a shortened form of Judeans. King David was the first ruler of a united Judea, with Jerusalem as the capital. After the death of his son, King Solomon, Judea split into 2 kingdoms: Israel and Judah.

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