Monotheism is a belief in one god alone. Polytheism is a belief in many gods. Around 2000 BC.E., most peoples in the Mediterranean region believed in many gods. They saw each force of nature – the wind, the sun, the rain – as a separate deity. This was a way of explaining the world in which they lived.
Unlike most of their neighbours, the Jews believed in one god, not many. Think about what you know about the history and geography of the region. How do you think the Jewish belief in one god affected their interactions with the other people?