My guess is that Israel looked liked the land of Milk and Honey only in comparison to where the Israelites really came from, Mesopotamia.
That's my hunch, and I'll be glad to explain why tomorrow, since this is my last post for tonight.
I've heard a similar theory: the end of the ice age resulted in an increase in the human population in the middle-east. Though these hunter-gatherers knew about plants and may have cultivated them as a sideline, the hunter-gatherer life was fairly easy (you needed to hunt/gather about 4 hours a day to feed your family), so they had no reason to become farmers. However, a long drought came along and there were too many humans around to be supported by hunting and gathering, so humans were gradually forced to turn to farming to survive.
Early farming was NOT an improvement in the quality of life for those involved- farming at that point took a lot more work and led to a less-varied diet, but humans were forced to farm out of necessity.