Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Intertestamental Period

Been through a journey through the Major Events of the Old Testament.

The Patriarchs
The Exodus - under Moses
The Wandering
The Conquest - under Joshua
The Judges - "every man did what was right in his own eyes"
The Kings - Saul, David, Solomon
The Divided Kingdom - Northern 10 tribes - Israel  Southern 2 tribes - Judah
The Prophets - (the ones who prophesied during the period of the Divided Kingdom
The Exile - Israel - 722 BC, Judah - 586 BC
The Return - (the Post Exile Prophets)

Next:  New Testament - coming of the next prophet - Mark 1:1-4 - John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Christ.

Question:  What happened between the testaments?  400 years?  Anything of consequence?  importance?

400 Silent Years - The Intertestamental Period - Malachi to Matthew
(no prophetic voice - no recognized prophet rose up)

Israel returns from exile - 538 BC
Ruled by Persia - 539BC - 330 BC - allowed to go home, rebuild temple, etc.  but still under Persian rule.
Ruled by Greece - 330 BC - 166 BC
Independent Rule - 166 BC - 63 BC - basically self-governing
Roman Rule - 63 BC - Birth of Christ

There was a lot of stuff going on in the world during this time period.

430 BC - Malachi prophesied - the old testament closes

336 BC - Alexander the Great takes the throne at 20 yrs. of age after father, Phillip, is assassinated.

330 BC - Alexander defeats the Persians - 24 yrs. old - by age 30 has the largest empire in the ancient world.  Never defeated in a battle.

NOTE:  Alexander's education/world view came from Aristotle - personal tutor
A).  Aristotle had a passion for unity, ie:  all people with a common culture, language, religion, world view, etc.  so...
B.)   Alexander devoted himself to conquer and unify the world --- "Hellenization" - (Greekify the whole world)

326 BC - Alexander the Great dies - at age 30 - had no heir.
So the kingdom was divided between 4 generals

Our focus is on two generals - Ptolemy who took over area of Egypt and
                                               Seleucid who took over area of Syria

Compare:  Israel - 1)  culturally??? not excited about Hellenization - not interested in accepting Greek gods, and the Greek worldview.
                            2)  geographically?  between Egypt and Syria

So........constantly caught in the middle of:
1)  Political maneuvering (war)
2.)  Forced Hellenization - to the point of being killed if didn't comply

175 BC - (a Seleucid) - Antiochus Epiphanes came to the throne (Epiphanes = manifestation of god - claimed to be the "revealed god")   He was also referred to as "Epemines" - meaning demented/insane

Jews revolted/army came/killed 40,000 Jews/sold 40,000 into slavery
Established Laws - 1) assembly for prayer forbidden
                              2)  Sabbath observance forbidden
                              3)  possession of scripture illegal
                              4)  circumcision illegal
These were capital offenses - die publicly

Then Antiochus entered the Holy of Holies and sacrificed a pig to Zeus.

164 BC - Maccabean Revolt - Mattathias refused to sacrifice the pig on the altar, and then killed the priest who said he'd do it.  When Mattathias died, his son, Judas Maccabee, took over leadership and engaged in guerrilla warfare - won Israel's freedom - purged and rededicated the temple.  Finished this on December 25 and commemorated it with a sacred day they call Hanukkah.

So......... 166 BC - 63 BC - Israel self-ruled

63 BC - Pompey, a Roman general, takes Jerusalem and Palestine becomes part of the Roman Empire.

40 BC - Herod the Great was made a puppet king of Palestine by the Roman Senate.  (He was on throne when Jesus was born, had the infants killed, the one the Wise Men went to see.)

Herod rebuilds the temple to be greater than Solomon's ... (construction from 20 BC to 63 AD

What's going on here???

Answer:  God knows.  Dan. 2:31-45
                                   Matt. 3:1-2 - next kingdom is near - the Kingdom of God

Gal. 4:4-5 - "fullness of time" - Right time, Appointed time.  Christ will return at the right time, the appointed time.

Application for us?  today?

2 Pet. 3:1-4, 8-14, 17-18

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