Great analysis of the text. I agree with your statement. Like you, I never gave great importance to the spiritual significance of the Near East until the last couple of years as I became more serious in my biblical studies. However, it is almost impossible to ignore the significance the further you get into the text because it is so present–just as your analysis proves. If we want a better understand of what the Bible is teaching, we must first get to know the area and the people groups that surrounded ancient and present day Israel. Once we take this into account, the Bible will just become more alive and applicable to us today.