Again, Beitzel's observations are helpful:
Unquestionably during the biblical period, the destiny of this tiny but strategic land was largely one determined by outsiders... [survey of ANE Empires].
Consequently, someone living in this land unavoidably was faced with a combination of geographic and military hostility. Possessing meager physical and economic resources and being inescapably caught in a maelstrom of political upheaval, one residing in these surroundings, even under ideal circumstances, might have been able to eke out the barest of existence. Life in this land would have been simple, mystifying and precarious. In the final analysis, survival in such terrain depended upon neither military prowess nor environmental ingenuity... In a word, this was a land that fostered faith.
- Moody Atlas of Bible Lands, pp. 26-27.