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The Intertestamental Paper

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NBST 525 LUO (Spring 2013)
The Intertestamental Period
Instructor: Dr. Anthony Thornhill

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Shirley D. Miller
Student # 25014254
March 3, 2013

Contents Introduction 3 Alexander the Great and His Conquests (331-320 BC) 4 The Ptolemaic Period (320-198 BC) 7 The Seleucids (198-167 BC) 9 The Maccabees (167-135 BC) 11 The Hasmoneans (135-63 BC) 12 The Roman Period (63 BC-70 AD) 13 Herodian Dynasty 14 Bibliography 16


The Intertestament Period is the period between the books of Malachi and Matthew. This period is sometimes called the “quiet years” when in fact it was anything but quiet. This was a time of 400 years of war, destruction and dramatic change in the eastern ancient world. At this time, there were not any prophets that were sent by God. God was quiet and had not spoken to anyone to be a voice for His people. The changes during this time that faced the ancient world began with Alexander the Great. The Grecian or Hellenistic Period began with Alexander the Great. This paper’s significant event will focus on Alexander the Great and his crusades and how it affected the Jew. I will then focus on different kingdoms and their ruler ship during the Intertestamental Period.

Alexander the Great and His Conquests (331-320 BC)
Alexander the Great was born in 356 BCE. His father was King Phillip of Macedonia; his mother was Princess Olympia of Epirus. Alexander had always been a fearless, strong and eager to learn lad. He showed his fearlessness at seven years old while his father was away; “he cross-examined Persian envoys guests about the size and morale of the Persian army, the distance to Susa, and the condition of the roads leading there.” At nine years of age, Alexander went with his father to buy a stallion. The king’s grooms could not stable the stallion enough to him it but Alexander calmed it down he was able to ride it. The horse named, Bucephalas, was given to him as a gift and this being his favorite horse had carried Alexander into many major battles of war. In 343 BC at the age of thirteen, his father sent him to study under Aristotle who was Greek influential philosopher, studied under Plato, and a boyhood friend of Phillip. Aristotle wrote on logic, nature, psychology, ethics, politics, and art. Alexander had become very knowledgeable as a result of studying under Aristotle; these studies were to become significant strategies in Alexander’s military career.
At sixteen, Philip entrusted Alexander to control the Macedonian Heavy Cavalry; although very young, Alexander’s responsibility was to secure the entire left flank against the Theban Band who at the same time secured the Athenian right flank. Alexander was very strategic and won the battle by taking advantage of a gap in the enemy’s line. He waited until the gap opened between the Allied Greek Infantry then he and his men attacked the Theban Band.
At eighteen, Alexander became ambassador to Athens, and in the year of 336 BC at the age of twenty, after his father was assassinated by Pausanias, he became King of Macedonia. He inherited an aggressive attitude and dedication to the military from his father. “His education provided him with a deep appreciation for Hellenistic ideals, and his military training gave him the courage and skills to conquer the empire before him.”
Alexander defeated the Persian army in three major battles between the years of 334 BC and 331 and his conquest Asia in 336. He conquered the entire land of Achaia, and his army defeated the Persians at the battle of Granicus where he took control of Asia Minor. He also defeated the Persians at the battle of Issus and in this conquest; Alexander captured the wife and daughters of Darius III, the Persian king. Alexander captured the city of Tyre in January of 332 BC. In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar attacked Tyre and after destroying the city he was not able to capture the city as Alexander who was a tactical genius. The destruction and siege of the city was prophesied by Ezekiel. Ezekiel 26:3-14: * Many nations will come against Tyre (26:3). * Her walls and towers will be broken down (26:4). * The debris of the city will be removed (26:4). * Nebuchadnezzar will attack (26:7). * Stones and timbers thrown into the water (26:12). * Tyre will be a bare rock and a place for spreading of nets (26:14). * The city will not be rebuilt (26:14).

Alexander next seized Gaza. While his army was fighting in Gaza, Alexander had traveled to Jerusalem; there a high priest of Jerusalem met him with the book of Daniel (Antiquities 11:8:5). Alexander became impressed with the Jews of Jerusalem and in doing so, while he ruled the city he allowed them to continue practice of their worship, but in doing so they had to remain devoted to him. Alexander made significant changes while king. The years of Alexandra’s rule were peaceful years for the Jews. Impressed with the Greek language he made it the main language of the ancient world. “After capturing Palestine in 332 BC and defeating the Persians in 331 BC, he forced the Jews to adopt Greek language and customs. One of the most notable effects that Hellenism had upon the Jews was the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek language (Septuagint LXX).” As the Greek language became prevalent among the eastern countries, the Greek and Romans showed interest in the Old Testament because it was now translated in Greek. By the time Jesus Christ was born, Greek had become the most universal language in the ancient world.
Alexander reigned twelve years when he became ill and died in 323 B.C. Before his death he had conquered cities from Macedonia in the west to India in the east; from the mountains of Armenia in the north to the Indian Ocean the south. After his death his empire was divided by his four generals, called the Diadochi, with each one having their own domain. They tried maintaining the empire through Alexander’s son mother, Roxanne, then both were killed by Alexander’s half brother, Philip Arrhidaeus who became king, but the general’s struggled to keep dominion and began warring with one another until 301 BC.
The leaders and successors to the empire were Antigonis, known as the “Eyed,” who took control over Anatolia, Northern Syria and Mesopotamia. Ptolemy, ruled Egypt, Lysimachus ruled Asia, and Seleucus ruled Syria and Cassander succeeded the throne of Macedonia after his father’s death. He allied himself with Ptolemy and married Alexander’s half-sister, he was king from Thrace to the east of Macedonia.
The Ptolemaic Period (320-198 BC)
Palestine was conquered by Seleucus who had ruled over Syria and was later conquered by Ptolemy I Soter, one of the original successors of Alexander’s empire. Until 30 AD, all rulers of Egypt despite of their heritage bore the name “Ptolemy.” Ptolemy I conquered Egypt and made it into a successful, peaceful kingdom. During this period from 301 BC to 198 BC the Jews lived peacefully with Alexander showing them favor. . In September 281, Ptolemy Keraunos, Ptolemy 1 Soter’s son, assassinated Seleucus at the age of 73 and was buried in a city he had founded and named for himself.
The Ptolemies made Alexandria into one of the greatest cities in the ancient east. “The Library and Museum of Alexandria, the most renowned research center in the ancient world, it was founded by Ptolemy I Soter after he came to power in Egypt in 323 B.C.E. Alexandria had been founded by Alexander the Great and Ptolemy made it his capital as the first ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which gained control there following Alexander's death.” And also at this time, Judea was able to manage itself because the Ptolemaic taxation and protecting the routes in the trans-Jordan were more important to Ptolemy.
The Roman conquest began in 197 BC when the king of the Seleucid Empire, Antiochus III who was known as Antiochus the Great conquered Palestine. Ptolemy and Seleucus began warring against one another. Ptolemy held Egypt in the south and Seleucus controlled the northern lands of Syria, Mesopotamia, Media, and Persia. Judah was in the center of these two great empires.
Antiochus died in 187 BC leaving his son Antiochus IV known as Epiphanes in charge. Antiochus did not allow the Jews to practice their religion, but commanded them to worship Zeus as his main desire was to Hellenize the Jews. His quest to establish pagan rites in the Jerusalem temple in 167 is “recorded in Maccabees 1:54 which Jesus refers to it by using a phrase that comes from the LXX version of Daniel 12:11 ‘The abomination of desolation’ (Mark 13:14) to explain the future desecration of a similar kind.” Although other Jews began to rebel, Mattathias of the Hasmoneans family became priest with the Jews acknowledgement. His five sons of whom were also priests of whom Judas Maccabaeus became leader. Upon successful leadership barring of the Jewish religion was abandoned and the Jews can now practice their religion and rededicated the temple in 164 BC. The Maccabees grew in strength and now had a Dynasty and religious freedom in Judah until the Roman conquest of 63 B.C.
The Seleucids (198-167 BC)
Seleucus was one of the Macedonians successors of Alexander. Seleucus’ reign lasted from 312 to 281 and he named the empire after himself. He conquered Persia and the western part of the Indian subcontinent, from 334. While Ptolemy controlled Egypt the Seleucids took control of Syria. He became independent from Ptolemy after capturing Babylon in 311 BC. “Seleucus became king of the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, along with parts of Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The Syrians controlled Palestine for 31 years.” Hs descendents became heir to his empire and they ruled over these countries for at least two centuries.
Under Antiochus III’s rule, the Selecuid Empire was defeated at Magnesia by the Romans. Antiochus IV was taken hostage by the Romans due to his father’s poor military decision. Antiochus IV was sent to Latin schools and had a great respect for the Romans and their power. While at the Latin school his roommate was a Roman by the name of Popilius. Antiochus IV eventually took the empire from his elder brother Seleucus IV. Antiochus III was killed in 187 BC and Seleucus IV came into power until he was murdered in 175 BC.
Antiochus IV was known as “Epiphanes” meaning the “Glorious One” as he believed he was the reincarnated earthly Zeus, the Jews dubbed him “the Madman.” Antiochus IV also forced the Jews to practice the worship of Zeus. His agenda of forceful Hellenization outraged the Jews. He looked to the Jewish temple treasures with greed because of the desire to spread the Greek culture and the need to pay Rome. Jason (the brother of the High Priest Onias III) saw this as an opportunity and took advantage of requesting the removal of Onias from high priest. Jason bribed Antioch and assured him 440 talents of silver and willingness to help further Hellenization of Israel by building a gymnasium and granting citizenship and granting to the men of Israel Antioch. Jason lost the high priest title to his assistant Menelaus who was sent with 400 talents from Jason to Antiochus but instead bribed him with an additional 300 for the high priest title. Menelaus was unlike Jason and had a violent and brutal reign. The Antiochus IV Empire treated the Jews horribly. He banned the practice of Judaism in which it was prohibited to have a Torah, circumcision, festivals and offerings to Yahweh. Those who resisted were whipped and some killed. Mothers who circumcised their children were crucified with their children hung around their necks; those who held on to sacred books were put to death.
The sadistic treatment of the Jews ended In 167 BC Bacchides, and officer of Antiochus Epiphanes had gone to the village of Modin to enforce the decrees of Antiochus on the citizens. Bacchides was killed by Mattathias, an elderly priest, who fled with his five sons into the mountains. Many Jews united with them and they started a resistance movement with the Hasidim sect also joining them. It was at this time that the Maccabees revolt started.

The Maccabees (167-135 BC) The Maccabees was named after the third son of Mattathias, Judas. His nickname was “Maccabeus,” meaning “the hammer.” Judas fought in a guerilla was against the Seleucids in which the Maccabeus Empire was originally priesthood and defeated the metropolitan aristocracy and replaced it with their own. As the Maccabees begun warring with the Seleucid, many of the people in the villages joined the movement. Judas first attacked patrols after they left the Seleucid’s compound in Jerusalem. The Maccabees defeated Apollonius, and Seron. The ban on Judaism was lifted by Lysias in 167 BC after this Judas began cleansing and rededicated the temples, the Jews can now practice their religion. The rededication is known today as a Jewish holiday in December called the Feast of Lights which is an eight day feast known has Hanukkah. The Jews sought freedom at the death of Antiochus in 163 BC when Demetrius took control of Syria soon afterwards. In 160 BC, Judas was killed in battle by a friend of Demetrius named Nicanor. Jonathan, Judas’ brother, continued to win freedom from Syria by political gamesmanship to make safe a better arrangement for Israel. He violated Scripture and accepted the office of high priest from another claimant to the Syrian throne in 153/152 BC. Jonathan was executed by Trypho in 143 BC even though a ransom was paid for his freedom. Simon was the youngest brother and he continued the resistance, and gained freedom for Judea. This was the first political freedom for Judea since their exile from Babylon. Simon was given the high priesthood by the Jews which gave him full control of the entire government, military and religious privileges. Simon was assassinated in 134 BC by his son-in-law Ptolemy, who also killed Simon’s wife and two of his sons.
The Hasmoneans (135-63 BC)
In 134 BC, John Hyrcanus became the first Hasmoneans ruler since the Babylonian exile. During his rule, he tried to come together with the Pharisee but his own politics kept them apart so instead Hyrcanus aligned himself with the Sadducees who had the same interest in Hellenization as himself. Hyrcanus died in 105 BC and his son, Aristobulus, came to power. Under Aristobulus after siege of Galilee he started Jewish settlements in the land; he died a sudden death in 103 BC.
Alexander Jannaeus, Aristobulus’ brother, appointed by Aristobulus’ wife Solame Alexandra whom later married Alexander, ruled until 76 BC. Under his rule violence, cruelty, civil uprising and the growth of Hellenization became rampant. “He cared nothing for the responsibilities of high priest but his main interest was foreign mercenaries.” Alexander was about to be defeated by rebels who rose up against him and Demetrius III’s army when at the last minute the 6,000 Jews help fight in the battle. In retaliation Alexander’s army killed his opponent’s wives and children and continued with his plan to expand Hellenization policies until his death.
After Alexander’s death, Alexandra assumed the kingship. She was the only queen of the Hasmoneans line and reigned from 76 BC to her death in 69 BC. At this time, the Pharisees political influence and power in Alexander’s government began to increase. In the book Josephus Complete Works, Josephus writes “She reigns nine years; during which time the Pharisees were the real rulers of the nation.” At this time the Pharisees dominated the Sanhedrin. She made her oldest son Hyrcanus II high priest and repaired the relationship with the Pharisees, while her youngest son, Aristobulus II commanded the army.
The Roman Period (63 BC-70 AD)
Romulus and Remus founded Rome in 753 BC and the city became a republic in the fifth century. North African Carthage was defeated by Rome in 146 BC. Under Pompey, Roman rule extended to Palestine in 63 BC. To the people, the Roman rule just as the Syrian’s rule. Antigonus (the heir of Aristobulus II) Hyrcanus II, Antipater (the Idumean) and Antipater’s sons Phasael and Herod were striving for power. Antigonus was not a strong leader of Jerusalem and because of his failure to act the Roman government changed their political policies and removed him as high priest.
Galilee was ruled by Herod, Phasael ruled Judea and Antigonus fought to keep his reign. He used ruthless acts remain high priest, he killed Phasael, captured Hyrcanus II and bit off his off so he could not continue in the high priesthood. Antigonus self-reigned for three years in which he was the last of the Hasmoneans.

Herodian Dynasty
The Herodian Dynasty began with Antipater who governed all of Idumea in 67 BC. He was given Roman citizenship in 48 BC and appointed procurator of Judea by Julius Caesar as a reward for assisting Caesar in civil war against Pompey (Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC). After Herod fled to Rome, Roman Senate named him “king of Judea” in 40 BC. He was known as Herod the Great who was a cruel, jealous, and paranoid king amongst his family and the people. Although named king, Herod did not rule until Antigonus’ death in 37 BC. He had ten wives and had each of them killed, he also murdered his two sons Alexander and Arisobulus IV and their mother Mariamne because he thought they were conspiring to take his kingdom. It was this Herod in Matthew chapter two that had all infants boys Bethlehem killed. He had forts built from Galilie to as far as Masada and as administrator, he developed agricultural and commercial ventures that brought wealth to the region. He began expansion of the temple, which was considered one of the eighth wonders of the ancient world. After his death in 4 BC, his three sons Archelaus, Antipas, and Phillip ruled his kingdom. Only Herod Antipas found to be proficient to rule was made tetrarch over Galilee and Perea. He married his half-brother’s and martyred John the Baptist for his denunciation of this act (Mark 6:14-29).
“Caesar Augustus ruled from 31 BC- 14 AD in which he defeated Marc Antony and the queen Cleopatra in a naval battle of the coast of Actium Greece in 31 BC and became the first Roman emperor.” “From 26-37 AD Pontius Pilate was the fifth governor of Roman Judaea. In this time period, although Roman Judaea was strategically positioned in the Near East, close to Arabia and North Africa, it was not viewed as a critically important province by the Romans.”
Judea became a Roman province in AD 6 and now was under the Roman rule. The only time that the governors came to Jerusalem was on feast days but they kept military presence in the land. They built fortresses to look down on the Jews in the temples courts. At the time the Romans were highly tolerant of other religions and allowed the Jews to practice their faith, although, the Jews were allowed to mint coins but could not have images or descriptions of their deity presented on coin or elsewhere.
Herod Antipas who was given rule over Galilee and Perea martyred John the Baptist and who Jesus Christ who, was born in this kingdom, stood before his crucifixion was looked upon with contempt by the Jews. The Herodians are mentioned in the gospel (Mark 3:6; 12:13; Matt 22:16). Not much is written or known about the Herodians but it is believed they were in union with the Sadducees and just as the Sadducees were also hostile to Jesus.

Bibliography Ancient/Classical History. (Accessed February 27, 2013). Ancient/Classical History (accessed February 27, 2013).

Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009).

David C. Carson. Articles: A Brief History of The Intertestamental Period and Beyond. (accessed February 21, 2013).

Kregel Publications. The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus. (Porter & Coates: Philadelphia, PA, 1974), 431.

John Stevenson. The Intertestamental Period. (accessed February 21, 2013.)

The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. (accessed February 21, 2013.

The Seleucid Empire (Syria). (accessed February 26, 2013).

Spotlight Ministries. In What Way Does a Knowledge of Intertestamental History and Literature Shed Light on the New Testament Gospels, which a Knowledge of the Old Testament Books Alone could Not? (accessed February 21, 2013).

Standford, Eyncoclopeia of Philosophy. (accessed February 21, 2013).

Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistoric to Present. (accessed February 26, 2013).

Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistoric to Present of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem. (accessed March 2, 2013).

[ 1 ]. The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 2 ]. The Intertestamental Period. (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 3 ]. Ibid.
[ 4 ]. Ancient/Classical History. (accessed February 27, 2013).
[ 5 ]. Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009).
[ 6 ]. John Stevenson. The Intertestamental Period, (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 7 ]. Ibid.
[ 8 ]. David C. Carson. Articles: A Brief History of The Intertestamental Period and Beyond. (accessed Februay 21, 2013).
[ 9 ]. Spotlight Ministries. In What Way Does a Knowledge of Intertestamental History and Literature Shed Light on the New Testament Gospels, which a Knowledge of the Old Testament Books Alone could Not? (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 10 ]. John Stevenson, The Intertestamental Period,
(accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 11 ]. Ibid.
[ 12 ]. Ancient /Classical History.
[ 13 ]. Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistoric to Present. (accessed February 26, 2013).
[ 14 ]. John Stevenson, The Intertestamental Period, (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 15 ]. Spotlight Ministries. In What Way Does a Knowledge of Intertestamental History and Literature Shed Light on the New Testament Gospels, which a Knowledge of the Old Testament Books Alone could Not? (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 16 ]. Ancient/Classical History (accessd February 27, 2013).
[ 17 ]. The Seleucid Empire (Syria). (accessed February 26, 2013).
[ 18 ]. John Stevenson, The Intertestamental Period, (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 19 ]. Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009), 68.
[ 20 ]. Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009), 69.
[ 21 ]. Ibid, 69.
[ 22 ]. Ibid, 70.
[ 23 ]. Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009), 70.
[ 24 ]. Ibid, 71.
[ 25 ]. David C. Carson. Articles: A Brief History of The Intertestamental Period and Beyond. (accessed February 21, 2013).
[ 26 ]. Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009), 71.
[ 27 ]. Kregel Publications. The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus. (Porter & Coates: Philadelphia, PA, 1974), 431.
[ 28 ]. Spotlight Ministries. In What Way Does a Knowledge of Intertestamental History and Literature Shed Light on the New Testament Gospels, which a Knowledge of the Old Testament Books Alone could Not? (accessed February 28, 2013).
[ 29 ]. Andreas J Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the
Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Company, 2009), 74.
[ 30 ]. Ibid, 76.
[ 31 ]. Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistoric to Present of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem. (accessed March 2, 2013).

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...WAYLAND BAPTIST UNIVERSITY HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT SYNAGOGUE PAPER PRESENTED TO PROFESSOR LANE OLSON IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR RLGN 1301 SCHOOL OF RELIGION BY MICHAEL S. FIA ANCHORAGE, ALASKA MAY 2012 CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. THE NAME: “SYNAGOGUE” 1 III. ORIGIN 2 IV. ORGANIZATION 2 Judicial 3 Liturgical 3 V. LITURGY 4 VI. BUILDING 5 VII. CONCLUSION 6 BIBLIOGRAPHY 7 HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT SYNAGOGUE Introduction The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines a synagogue as the local meeting place and assembly of the Jewish people during the late intertestamental and New Testament times. While Jewish tradition claims the synagogue was begun by Moses, there is little in the Old Testament to support this claim. One reason it is hard to pinpoint the exact origin of the first synagogue is because God had commanded that the Jewish people to worship only where God would put His name. You must not worship the Lord your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go. The original center for the Jewish ritual and worship was first the Tabernacle and later the Temple built in Jerusalem by Solomon. If the Jewish people were to build a place of worship other than the Temple they would have been breaching the......

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