Intertestament Period

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Exploring the Bible
3 October, 2011
Inter-Biblical Period: 400 Years
The Old Testament focuses on God’s covenant with his people and the stories of men of great faith and also men of prophecy, foretelling Christ coming. The New Testament, however, focuses on the redemption side. The Redemption side is Christ’s story here on Earth and his ministry to other people. Malachi, the last book written in the Old Testament, was written around 424 B.C. Then 418 years after, the book of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, was written. The Intertestamental Period is the period of history between the two testaments. Since God did not speak to his people directly through prophets, this period is also known as the 400 years of silence. Now, what happened in those four hundred years? The Intertestamental Period was a time where many empires came along, new religious groups formed, and where theological and literature pieces were developed that molded Israel going into the time of Christ.

Politics in a nation help dictate and run the people, in Israel’s case, they had to deal with many empires coming in. During the Intertestamental Period, they had five key periods of leaders and kingdoms. The Persian Empire arrived around 430 B.C. and they ruled until 332 B.C. The Persian rule was recorded as being mild and tolerant. (Scott, 1783) The Persians were taken over by the Greeks. The Greek period went from 331 B.C. to 167 B.C. (Scott, 1783) Alexander the Great, son of King Philip of Macedonia, was given the control of the Greek army around the age of 20. (Halley, 402) With the control of the army, he was able to sweep over and take over Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. Alexander the Great was very compassionate towards the Jews and he spared the city of Jerusalem. He established Greek cities in his conquered places and he did it with the plan to spread Greek culture and language throughout the world including Israel. After Alexander’s death, his empire was...
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