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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 (Hanukkuh)

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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