They wandered for 40 years in the Sinai desert, where they were forged into a nation and received the Torah (Pentateuch), which included the Ten Commandments and gave form and content to their monotheistic faith.
The exodus from Egypt (c.1300 BCE) left an indelible imprint on the national memory of the Jewish people and became a universal symbol of liberty and freedom. Every year Jews celebrate Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost) and Succot (Feast of Tabernacles), commemorating events of that time.
During the next two centuries, the Israelites conquered most of the Land of Israel and became farmers and craftsmen; a degree of economic and social consolidation followed. Periods of relative peace alternated with times of war during which the people rallied behind leaders known as 'judges', chosen for their political and military skills as well as for their leadership qualities.
The weakness inherent in this tribal organization in face of a threat posed by the Philistines (sea-going people from Asia Minor who settled on the Mediterranean coast) generated the need for a ruler who would unite the tribes and make the position permanent, with succession carried on by inheritance.
(Source- Archive of Foreign Ministry)