This song was written by Desmond Dekker and Leslie King. It was first recorded by Desmond Dekker in 1968. It was first released as a single on the JJ label in 1968 with The Man by Beverley’s All Stars on the B-side. The single was later re-released on the Pyramid label in March 1968. That version was credited to Desmond Dekker And The Aces. It reached number one on the UK Singles chart. Israelites was released as a single in America in 1969. The B-side was My Precious World (The Man). It reached number nine on the Billboard chart. Paul McCartney owned a copy of the single and it was on his jukebox in 1994.