God is still active,  even in the silence


 The Intertestamental Period

“Look among the nations!

Observe! Be astonished!  Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days

—You would not believe if you were told.”

The Intertestamental Period

333 BC -----------------------------------70 AD

The rise of the Greek Empire

Under Alexander the Great

(following the return
 of the Jewish Exiles) 

                                             The destruction of

                                             the Jerusalem Temple    

                                             (The end of the nation

                                             of Israel until 1948)


Writings and the “Voice of God”

The Apocrypha

      Documents of questionable authorship and origins

      14 books regarding the events and history of Judaism

      All these books lack evidence of the “prophetic voice.”

      Appeared as part of the Septuagint (Greek OT) 132 BC

      Not included in the Hebrew Bible since about 100AD


      Writings falsely attributed to renown historical authors
                  and figures (Writings excluded from OT and NT)


The History of Israel in thi era


Suzerainty – A dominant state controlling the foreign
relations of a subservient state but allowing it to
maintain authority in its internal affairs. Most often
setting up puppet rulers, and exacting tributes and
taxes from the region.

Medes & Persia (Iran)




   Asia Minor (Turkey)

   Parthians (Iran)



Foreign Influence


Hellenism:  The effort to establish Greek culture in every
conquered region.

     Common language (Greek the language of the empire)

     Common culture  (Governance through the city-state)

     Making the existing cities “Greek cities”

     Gymnasiums, Stadiums, Marketplace (agora),
                      Hippodrome (races)

    Sexual liberty and perversions, gross licentiousness

    Religious Liberty

        All gods accepted

        All manner of ‘worship’ accepted


Jerusalem: A city of resistance and compromise



Rulers, priests and authorities were changed under each
    new dominant nation.

        Even the High Priest was determined by pagan conquerors.

        Local rulers and priests were put in power based on their

              promises of returning a greater tribute.

        Collecting taxes was profitable, and permission to tax the

             citizenry was awarded based on how much the

             collector guaranteed to give to the alien ruler.


Jerusalem: A Divided City

Accommodation: The well-connected and politically astute: 
   the forerunners of the Sadducees

Religious Resistance: Those determined to uphold the Law:
   The forerunners of the Pharisees and the Hasidim

Revolution: Those who sought national sovereignty, freedom:
   The Zealots, Essenes, and Qumram Community


The Maccabean Revolt   167-142 BC

Mattathias 167 BC

The influence of the belief in life after death

The grassroots populace had had enough

Judas the Maccabee and his offspring

Temple Rededication: December 25, 165 BC

Religious and Political Independence 142 BC


Civil War and the Rise of Rome

Corrupt Jewish Leaders

Civil War under Alexander Jannaeus (95-88 BC)

Hyrcanus II & Aristobulus II (67-63 BC)

     Both appealed to Rome to intervene

     Pompey showed up in 63 BC

     He settled the dispute, BUT now Rome was there
                          to stay

Antipater the Idumean rises in power, beholden to Rome

     Son: Herod the Great governor of Galilee (47 BC) later
                       “king” of Judea (37 BC - 4 AD)

     Herod’s son: Herod Archelaus (4 - 6 AD) Tetrarch of Judea

     Herod’s Son: Herod Antipas (4 – 39 AD) Tetrarch in Galilee


God was active in the silence


     The rise of belief in the resurrection and eternal life

     The disillusionment with political kings and political priests

     The spread of a common language throughout the known world

     The writing of the Old Testament in Greek

     The broad acceptance of differing religious views

     The rising cry for a prophet—priest — and king:  A MESSIAH

     The spread of Jews throughout the Greek and Roman empires




                          When you cannot hear God,
                            Know that He is still there

                     When you cannot see God’s hand,
                          Know that He is still working

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