400 Years of Silence short vesion
WHY STUDY THE 400 YEARS BETWEEN MALICHI AND MATHEW?
1. Why talk about books that are not part of the Bible?
2. We don’t know enough about the Bible why study material not in the Bible?
3. Why talk about some books called the Apocrypha?
4. Why Talk About A Family Named Maccabees?
1. These books gives a clear insight into the spiritual, philosophical and intellectual life of Judaism in the period between Malachi and Mathew.
2. There is a period of 400 years when God did not speak by a prophet to people, what happened during that time period?
1. When the book of MALACHI closes you have a nation of people who are in love with idolatry, they want to worship the idols and gods of the heathen. They want to be as much like the world and the heathen as they can. They want to live by man’s law not the law of God.
2. But when you start the book of Matthew you find a nation of people who are worshiping one God and they are out to destroy every hint of idolatry.
1. When the book of Malachi ends you have the Jews seeking to be part of the pagan culture.
2. When you get to Matthew the Jews have rioted
- Because of Herod creating buildings for the pagan culture.
- Because of statues, and images of people on the new building.
1. When you leave Malachi there is very little or no interest in the Messiah.
2. But when you come to Matthew there is great interest & they are looking for the Messiah.
There have been a number of people who have claimed to be the Messiah.
1. When you leave Malachi you have the Babylonians taking Judah into captivity.
2. When you get to Matthew you have the Roman’s in charge.
a. How did the Roman’s get involved?
b. How did Herod get to rule?
1. With the close of Malachi there are no religious and political parties.
2. But in Matthew you find a number of Opposing political parties:
The Pharisee, Saducees, Herodians, Essens, Zelots, of which James and John were members.
Also you had your Qumram Community from which we get the Dead Sea Scrolls.
1. When you close Malachi there are no Synagogues
2. When you open Matthew there are Synagogues in almost every Jewish town. 70 in Jerusalem
In the OT all worship was centered on the Temple
In the NT the worship was centered around the Synagogue and Temple
1. With the close of Malachi you find one school of thought.
2. With Matthew you have 2 main Jewish Schools the School of Rabbi Hilial, and the School of Rabbi Shama
In Malachi the spiritual leader are PRIEST but in Matthew they are RABBIS .
1. Internally the nation was divided by different parties.
2. Externally they struggled with an old never ending war.
The Jews were descendents of Jacob - 12 tribes.
The descendents of THE 12 ARAB NATIONS , the Palestinians, refuse to live in peace with Israel.
A Gentile came to power Which Daniel had predicted.
His name was Antiochus Ephapanes.
He was an Arab and under His leadership he was determined to wipe out the Jewish religion altogether 168 BC.
Just like Hamon wanted to do 150+ yrs before during the time of Esther the Queen.
Under Antiochus Ephapanes
ALL JEWISH SACRIFICES WERE FORBIDDEN
1. The rite of circumcision was to cease;
Any mother who allowed her son to be circumcised, the baby was killed and hung around the mother’s neck. Then she was killed later.
2. The Sabbath and feast days were no longer to be observed.
Disobedience in any of these respects carried the penalty of death.
3. All books of the law were ripped apart or destroyed by fire.
4. Jews were forced to eat swine's flesh and to sacrifice at idolatrous altars set up throughout the land.
5. Then to crown his deeds of infamy Antiochus erected an altar to the Olympian Zeus with an image of the god probably bearing the features of Antiochus himself, on the altar of burn offerings within the Temple court.
6. That was not bad enough but he sacrifice a pig on the alter and sprinkled its blood and pig broth over everything in the temple.
I Maccabbees 1:54.
1. This was prophesied in the Book of Daniel called "THE ABOMINATION THE DESOLATES DAN 11:31
2. Jesus refers to the historical even as a type [picture] of what will happen in the future just before He comes again in Matt 24:15 He calls it THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.
3. It will be fulfilled in the middle of the Tribulation period when the Anti-Christ sets up his idol in the temple in Jerusalem and demands that all people worship it. REV 13
During the 400 years of silence there was severe persecution in which many were put to death I Maccabbees 1:57-64 This was a time much like Germany under Hitler. In which the government was hunting down Jews to kill them. They wanted to stomp Judaism off the face of the earth. Many Jews had to hid in small towns and the Mountains. But even there people betrayed them.
THE 400 YRS BETWEEN THE OLD AND N.T.
At the close of the book of Malachi in the O.T. the Nation of Israel is back again in the land of Palestine after the Babylonian captivity, but they are under the domination of the great world power of that day, Persia and the Medio-Persian empire. In Jerusalem, the temple had been restored, although it was a much smaller building than the one that Solomon had built and decorated in such marvelous glory.
Within the temple the line of Aaronic priests was still worshiping and carrying on the sacred rites as they had been ordered to do by the law of Moses. There was a direct line of descendancy in the priesthood that could be traced back to Aaron.
But the royal line of David had fallen on evil days. The people knew who the rightful successor to David was, and in the book of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, his name is given to us. It was ZERUBBABEL, the royal prince. Yet there was no king on the throne of Israel, they were a puppet nation, under the domination of Persia. Nevertheless, although they were beset with weakness and formalism as the prophets have shown us, the people were united. There were no political schism or factions among them, nor were they divided into groups or parties.
1ST when you open the N.T to the book of Matthew, you discover an entirely different atmosphere-almost a different world.
2ND. Rome is now the dominant power of the earth. The Roman legions have spread throughout the length and breadth of the civilized world.
The center of power has shifted from the East to the West, Babylon to Rome. Palestine is still a puppet state-the Jews never did regain their own sovereignty- but now there is a king on the throne.
3RD. But this king is the descendant of Esau instead of Jacob, and his name is Herod the Great.
4TH Furthermore, the high priests who now sit in the seat of religious authority in the nation are no longer from the line of Aaron.
They cannot trace their descendency back, rather, they are hired priests to whom the office is sold as political patronage.
5TH. The temple is still the center of Jewish worship, although the building has been partially destroyed and rebuilt about a half dozen times since the close of the O.T.
6TH. But during this 400 year period synagogues sprung up in every city were there are families of Jews living.
A dramatic change took place: from the emphasis on the TEMPLE to the Emphases on the. = The Torah is not a lawn mower.
The Torah was in two parts, written and oral.
1st The law of Moses, & the prophets.
2nd the Oral, the Mishnah= ('Exegesis", or interpretaion) & Shanah TALMUD (lit. 'learning") is a compilation consisting of the Mishnah, or accepted body of traditional law, together with the subsequent discussions or traditions (the Gemara, Lit, "completion") concerning it which arose in the Jewish 'schools'/
There are two Talmuds, the Paleestinian and the Babylonian. In common usage reference is usually to the Babylonian Talmud which is fuller then the Palestiianian.
MIDRASH was divided into two sections.
1ST. was the halakah (Hebrew halak, to walk) regulations concerning matters of civil and religious law. It showed the way a man should walk by making clear how he could obey the Law in every detail.
It was an exegesis of biblical laws.
This Halakah forms the oral tradition or unwritten Torah of Judiasm.
2ND There was the Hagadah (Hebrew root nagad, to tell) This is anything which is not a point of law. All the bibilical stories. It also contians a grat deal of legend and odds and ends of Isrealite folk-lore.
Over time the Oral or trational law became more authoritive than the written. The written law was interpreted by the Oral law.
1000 yrs later this was repeated in the R.C. church where you have the Bible, and Tradition.
Tradition became the authority over Script.
Luther came along 1500 B.C. & Said My mind and conscience are bound by the word of God alone. Out of that came Protestatism.
3RD. The change from the leadership of the PRIEST to the RABBIS .
4TH The SYNAGOGUE became the center of Jewish life instead of the
5TH TEMPLE Instead of going up to the Temple. They would weekly go to the Synogogue. It was during that time that the order of service that we use was developed. Public prayer. The reading of Scripture, Singing, Message from the teacher as to the meaning of the Scripture.
The Pharisees and Sadducees, were much more prominent than the Essenes Not long ago, the Essenes became famous because they had hidden scrolls in caves. These became know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
1. THE PHARISEES
The Pharisees held that the Oral Law was given orally to Mosses, to Joshua, to the Elders, the Prophets and then to the men of the great Synagogue. The Pharisees were the interpreters of the Oral Law. They were the legalist of the day.
Brused and bleeding Pharisees
2. THE SADDUCEES
The Sadducees rejected all this, holding to only "The Law," meaning the Pentateuch.
They denied the Spirit world of angels, immortality; resurrection from the dead Acts 23:8
The Pharisees affirmed all of these doctrines. They opposed each other.
The name "Pharisee" means "separatist."
The name "Sadducees" means "righteous ones."
Pharisees are mentions in Luke 7:39; Luke 15:2 Matt. 9:11
Sadducees are mentioned in Matt 16:1, 11; 22:23; Acts 23:6
3. THE SCRIBES
From the time of the Babylonian Captivity, there developed a new line of scribes who were not just transcribers or secretaries, but a new body of men who became the expounders, guardians and teachers of the Scriptures. They became a distinguished order in the nation.
They must be distinguished from the priest & the Pharisees. They are mentioned in Script. in Matt. 5:20, 12:38; 15:1 Mark 2:16; Luke 5:21
Our Lord denounces the scribes because of their corruption and outward piousness Matt. 23:13-18
4. THE HERODIANS
They were the politicians who were pro-Herod and pro-Rome.
There is another Jewish institution called the Sanhedrin, which in the N.T. times was the supreme Civil & Religious Tribunal of the Jewish nation. With that Body must lie the Real Responsibility for the Crucifying of the Lord Jesus.
Pontius Pilate was merely a "rubber stamp" of imperial Rome.
The Sanhedrin is referred to in all the following verse, even though the Greek word "Sunedrion" is translated "Council:” Matt. 16:59; Mark 14:55; 15:1; Luke 22:66: John 11:47; Acts 4:15; 5:21,27,34,41; 6:12,15; 22:30; 23:1,6,15,20,28; 24:20;
The Sanhedrin was made up of the high priest; 24 "chief Priest" who represented the 24 orders of the priesthood;
24 elders called "elders of the people Matt 21:23
22 "scribes who interpreted the law in both religious and civil matters. This made a total of 71 members of the Sanhedrin.
There is not a word about synagogues in the Old Testament, but as soon as we start the New Testament we find them everywhere. The synagogue did not exist before the captivity but it seems to have originated during that time- when the Jews totally turned away from idolatry. There was no longer a Jewish temple and they needed and longed for the reading of the Scriptures.
This is believed to be the way the synagogue came into being.
Synagogues teaching was common in our Lord's time. Matt 4:23; 9:35; Luke 4:14,44; Acts 13:5,14:1; 17:10; 18:19.
The synagogue was congregational & not priestly. The great institution of preaching had its beginning in the synagogue. It was from this background that the early Christian church, as organized by the apostles, took its main form of worship. The titles given to the New Testament church leaders Elders, bishops, Deacons are all carried over from the synagogue.
It was required that 7 men must be present to hold any service.
COMPLETE OVERVIEW OF THE 400 YRS
I. WHAT HAPPENED IN 400 YRS.?
What happened in these 400 yrs of so-called "silence" Remember there are "2", 400 yrs of so-called "silence" is in the book of Exodus, from Joseph to Moses 400 yrs in which God did not speak to His people through the prophets.
is between Malachi and Matthew, when God did not speak to His people through a prophet.
You remember there is a word in Paul's letter to the Galatians that says, ' WHEN THE TIME HAD FULLY COME, GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON, BORN OF WOMAN, BORN UNDER THE LAW." Gal 4:4 In other words, the time of our Lord's birth was God's appointed hour, the moment for which God had been long preparing. Some of the exciting preparations took place during that time of "silence," however, and you will understand your N.T much better if you understand something of the historic events during the time between the O.T. and N.T.
After Malachi had ceased his prophesying and the canon of the O.T. closed-that is, the number of the books in the O.T. was fulfilled and the inspired prophets ceased to SPEAK - God allowed a period of time for the teaching of the O.T. to penetrate throughout the world. During this time, He rearranged the scenes of history, much as a stage crew will rearrange the stage sets after the curtain has fallen, and when the curtain rises again there is an entirely new setting. In about 435 B.C. when the prophet Malachi ceased his writing, the center of the world power began to shift from the East to the West. Up to this time.
(IRAQ) had been the major world power, but this was soon succeeded by the Medio-Persian empire. This shift had been predicted by the prophet Daniel, who said that there would rise up a bear who was high on one side than the other, signifying the division between Media and Persian, with the Persians the predominant ones.
Dan. 7:5 At the height of the Persion power there arose in the country of Macedonia (which we now know as Greece) north of the Black Sea, a man by the name of Philip of Macedon, who became a leader in his own country. He united the islands of Greece and became their ruler. His son was destined to become one of the great world leaders of all time,
ALEXANDER THE GREAT In 330 B.C. a tremendous battle between the Persians and the Greeks entirely altered the course of history. In that battle, Alexander as a young man only 20 yrs old, led the armies of Greece in victory over the Persians and completely demolished the power of Persia. The center of world power then shifted father west into Greece, and the Grecian empire was born. A year after that historic battle, ALEXANDER THE GREAT led his armies down into the Syrian world toward Egypt. On the way, he planned to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem. As the victorious armies of the Greeks approached the city, word was brought to the Jews in Jerusalem that the armies were on their way.
The high Priest at that time, who was a godly old man by the name of Juddua (who, by the way, is mentioned in the Bible in the book of Nehemiah) took the sacred writings of Daniel the prophet and, accompanied by a host of other priests dressed in w hite garments, went forth and met Alexander some distance outside the city.
All this is from the report of Josephus, the Jewish historian, who tells us that
ALEXANDER left his army and hurried to meet this body of priest. When he met them, he told the high priest that he had had a vision the night before in which God had shown him an old man, robed in a white garment, who would show him something of great significance to himself. According to the account, the high priest then opened the prophecies of Daniel and read them to Alexander.
In the prophecies Alexander was able to see the predictions that he would become that notable goat with the horn in his forehead, who would come from the West and smash the power of Medio-Persia and conquer the world. He was so overwhelmed by the accuracy of this prophecy and, of course, by the fact that it spoke about him, that he promised that he would save Jerusalem from siege, and sent the high priest back with honors. How true that account is, is very difficult at this distance in time to say; that, at any event is the story.
ALEXANDER died in 323 B.C. when hew as only about 33 yrs old. He had drunk himself to death in the prime of his life, grieved because he had no more worlds to conquer. After his death, his empire was torn with dissension, because he had left no heir. His son had been murdered earlier, so there was no one to inherit the empire of Alexander.
God used this period of Greek rule to prepare the world for the Gospel.
1. Universal language. instead of 100's
2. Road system to travel everwhere.
3. Soldiers stationed on the road to make it safe to travel.
4. Safty on the sea, no pirotes
After some time, however, the 4 generals that had led Alexander's armies divided his empire between them.
2 of them are particularly noteworthy to us. One was PTOLEMY , who gained Egypt and the northern African countries; the other was SELEUCUS , who gained Syria, to the north of Palestine.
During this time Palestine was annexed by Egypt, and suffered greatly at the hands of Ptolemy. In fact, for the next 100 yrs. Palestine was caught in the meat-grinder of the unending conflicts between Syriaon the north and Egypt on the south.
Now if you have read the prophecies of Daniel, you will recall that Daniel was able, by inspiration, to give a very accurate and detailed account of the highligths of these years of conflict between the king of the North (Syria) and the king of the South (Egypt).
The 11th Ch of Daniel with the historical record of what actually occurred during that time. During this time Grecian influence was becoming strong in Palestine. Two things changed peoples lives.
1st. The GYMNASIUMS which sprang up in every town.
Place to teach Greek idea of beauty of body and use of mind.
2nd. The THEATRE was used to change the Jews to think like greeks.
3rd. People dressed in Greek FASHION
Today we have the same 3 forces at work to change us.
What are they?
1st. The Public School system in every town with a gym.
2nd. TV. and Movies in every town to change you to think like they want you to think.
3rd. The fashion industray trying to force everyone to be modern.
There was resistance to what is called Hellenism. (Greek idea)
This forced a split into two major parties.
4TH. A party arose among the Jews called the HELLENISTS, who were very eager to bring Grecian culture and thought into the nation and to liberalize some of the Jewish laws.
5TH. There were those who were strong Hebrew nationalist, who wanted to preserve everything according to the Mosaic order. They resisted all the foreign influences that were coming in to disrupt the old Jewish ways. This party became known as the PHARISEES , which means " TO SEPARATE"
They were the separationists who insisted on preserving traditions.
They believed in angels, the resurrection, and life after death. They grew stronger and stronger, becoming more legalistic and rigid in their requirements, until they became as some describe a RELIGION
They went to the extreme on almost every issues.
*** There was a group know as the blind and bleeding pharisees. Because if they saw a woman coming at a distance they would close their eyes, so they would not look upon a woman and lust after her. But with their eyes closed they ran into walls, fell down steps and tripped over rocks.
They were a group of men who really fell for the women.
Tradition, the Oral law became the authority, That is why you find Jesus saying " YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT IS SAID." "THE TRADITION OF THE FATHERS"
MAT 15:2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" MAR 7:3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the TRADITION OF THE ELDERS.
MAR 7:5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the TRADITION OF THE ELDERS instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?" MAR 7:13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your TRADITION that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
They would tithe the mint that grew wild in their back yards, but they would steal a widows house, and not care for their own parents because they had promised the money (by corban) to the synagogue.
The Pharisees became the target for some of the most scorching words our Lord ever spoke. They had become religious hypocrites, keeping the outward form of the law, but completely violating its spirit.
On the other hand, the Hellenists- The Greek lovers - became more and more influential in the politics of the land. They formed the party that was know in N.T. days as the SADDUCCESS, the Liberals. They turned away from the strict interpretation of the law and became the rationalists of their day,
1st. They were the Liberals, the Rationalist who ceasing to believe in the supernatural in any way. We are told in the N.T. that they came again and again to the Lord with questions about the supernatural, like "What will happen to a woman who has been married to 7 different men? In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? Matt 22:23-33.
1st. They did not believe in a resurrection,
2nd. They did not believe in angels or life after death, - That is why they are sad you see. They tried to trap Jesus, because if He answered one way the Pharisees would stone him for heresies, and if he answered another the Sadducees would condemn him.
Now there was also a young rebel Jewish priest who married a Samaritan, went down to Samaria, and in rebellion against the Jewish laws, built a temple on Mount Gerizim that became a rival of the temple in Jerusalem. This caused intense, fanatical rivalry between the Jews and the Samaritans, and this rivalry is also reflected in the N.T.
Also during this time, In Egypt, under the reign of one of the Ptolemies, the Hebrews scriptures were translated for the first time into another language. In about 284 B.C. a group of 70 + scholars were called together by the Egyptian king to make a translation of the Hebrew scriptures. Book by book they translated the O.T. into Greek. when they had finished it was given the name the SEPTUAGINT , which means 70, because of the number of translators. This became the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. From it many of the quotations in the new Test are derived. That is why N.T. quotations of the O.T. verses are sometimes in different words- because they came from the Greek translation. The SEPTUAGINT is still in existence today, and is widely used in various parts of the world. It is still a very important document.
A little later on, about 203 B.C. a king named Antiochus the Great came into power in Syria, to the north of Palestine. He captured Jerusalem from the Egyptians and began the reign of Syrian power over Palestine. He had two sons, one of whom succeeded him and reigned only a few years. When he died, his brother took the throne. This man, named ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, became one of the most vicious and violent persecutors of the Jews ever known. In fact, he is often called the Antichrist of the O.T. since he fulfills some of the predictions of Daniel concerning the coming of one who would be "a contemptible person" and a "VILE KING." HIS NAME (WHICH HE MODESTLY BESTOWED UPON HIMSELF) mans "Antiochus the Illustrious" Nevertheless, some of his own courtiers evidently agreed more with the prophecies of Daniel, and they change two letter in his title, from Epiphanes to Epipames, which means " THE MAD MAN."
His first act was to dispose the high priest in Jerusalem, thus ending the long line of succession, beginning with Aaron and his sons through the many centuries of Jewish life. Onias the 3rd was the last of the hereditary line of priest.
Sold the priesthood to, who was not of the priestly line. Jason, in turn, was tricked by his younger brother Menelus, who purchased the priesthood from him and then sold the golden vessels of temple in order to make up the tribute money. Epiphanes overthrew the God-authorized line of priests, then, and under his reign the city of Jerusalem and all the religious rites of the Jews began to deteriorate as they came fully under the power of the Syrian king.
Antiochus determined to wipe out the Jewish religion altogether (168 B.C.) I Macc. 1:41ff
. All Jewish sacrifices were forbidden; The rite of circumcision was to sease. The Sabbath and feast days were forbidden to be observed. ANY ONE WHO DID ONE OF THESE 3 WAS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.
1. All the books of the bible were destroyed.
2. All Jews were forced to eat swine's flesh and sacrifice at idolatrous altars set up throughout the land.
3. He set an altar to Zeus bearing the feature of Antiochus himself, on the altar of burnt offerings within the temple court. I Macc. 1:54
**In 171 B.C. Antichus invaded Egypt and one again Palestine was caught in the nutcracker of rivalry. Palestine is the most fought over country in the world, and Jerusalem is the most captured city in all history. It has been pillaged, ravished, burned and destroyed more than 27 times in its history.
While Antiochus was in Egypt, it was REPORTED that he had been KILLED in battle, and Jerusalem rejoiced. The people organized a revolt and overthrew Menelaus, the pseudo-priest. When report reached Antiochus (who was very much alive in Egypt) that Jerusalem was delighted at the report of his death, he organized his armies and swept like a fury back across the land, falling upon Jerusalem with terrible vengeance.
He overturned the city, regained his power, and guided by the treacherous Menelaus, interuded into the very Holy of Holies in the TEMPLE itself. Some 40,000 people were slain in three days of fighting during this terrible time. When he forced his way into the Holy of Holies, he destroyed the scrolls of the law and, to the absolute horror of the Jews, took a sow and offered it upon he sacred alter. Then with a broth made from the flesh of this unclean animal, he sprinkled everything in the temple, thus completely defiling and violating the sanctuary. It is impossible for us to grasp how horrifying this was to the Jews. They were simply appalled that anything alike this could ever happen to their sacred temple.
It was that act of defiling the temple which is referred to by the Lord Jesus as the 'DESOLATING SACRILEGE " which Daniel had predicted Matt. 24:15 and which also become a sing of the coming desolation of the temple which Antichrist himself will enter the temple, call himself God, and thus defile the temple in that time. As we know from the N.T. that still lies in the future.
During the Tribulation the Anti-Christ will set up his own image in the Temple in Jerusalem. & make everyone worship it. And kill any who do not.
Daniel the prophet had said the sanctuary would be polluted for 2300 days. Dan 8:14 In exact accordance with that prophecy, it was exactly 2300 days - 6 and 1/2 years before the temple was cleansed.
IV. THE MACCABAEUS ( The Hammer)
It was cleansed under the leadership of a man now famous in Jewish history, Judas Maccabaeus. He was one of the priestly line who, with his father and four brothers, rose up in revolt against the Syrian king. They captured the attention of the Israelites, summoned them to follow them into battle, and in a series of pitched battles in which they were always an overwhelming minority, overthrew the power of the Syrian kings, captured Jerusalem, cleansed the temple. The day they cleansed and rededicated the temple was named the DAY OF DEDICATION, and it occurred on the 25 OF DECEMBER.
On that date Jews still celebrate the Feast of Dedication each year. You know it as Festival of Lights. Or the Festival of HANUKKAH (Dedication) The Maccabees, who were of the Asmonean family, began a line of high priests known as the Asmonean Dynasty. Their sons, for about the next 3 or 4 generations, ruled as priest in Jerusalem, all the time having to defend themselves against the constant assaults of the Syrian army who tried to recapture the city and the temple. During the days of the Maccabbees there was a temporary overthrow of foreign domination, which is why the Jews look back to this time and regard it with such tremendous veneration.
**During this time, one of the ASMONEAN priests made a league with the rising power in the West, Rome. He signed a treaty with the Senate of Rome, providing for help in the event of Syrian attack. Though the treaty was made in all earnestness and sincerity, it was this pact which introduced Rome into the picture and history of Israel.
As the battles between the two opposing forces waged hotter and hotter, Rome was watchful.
Finally, the Governor of Idumea, a man named Antipater and a descendant of Esau, made a pact with two other neighboring kings and attacked Jerusalem to try to overthrow the authority of the Asmonean high priest. The battle raged so fiercly that finally Pompey, the Roman general, who happened to have an army in Damascus at the time, was besought by both parties to come and intervene. One side had a little more money than the other, and persuaded by that logical argument, Pompey came down from Damascus, entered the city of Jerusalem-again with terrible slaughter-overthrew the city and captured it for Rome. That was in 63 B.C. From that time on, Palestine was under the authority and power of Rome.
Now Pompey and the Roman Senate appointed Antipater as the Procurator of Judea, and he in turn made his two sons kings of Galilee and Judea. The son who became king of Judea is know to us as Herod the Great.
"NOW WHEN JESUS WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDEA IN THE DAYS OF HEROD THE KING, BEHOLD, WISE MEN FROM THE EAST CAME TO JERUSALEM SAYING, 'WHERE IS HE WHO HAS BEEN BORN KING OF THE JEWS?'" Matt 21:1,2
Meanwhile, the pagan empires around had been deteriorating and disintegrating. Their religions had fallen upon evil days. The people were sick of the polytheism and emptiness of their pagan faiths. The Jews had gone thought time of pressure and had failed in their efforts to re-establish themselves, and had given up all hope. there was a growing air of expectancy that the only hope they had left was the coming at last of the promised Messiah. In the East, the oriental empires had come to the place where the wisdom and knowledge of the past had disintegrated and they too were looking for something.
When the moment came when the star arose over Bethlehem, the wise men of the East who wee looking for an answer to their problems saw it immediately and came out to seek the One it pointed Old Testament Thus 'WHEN THE TIME HAD FULLY COME, GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON." It is amazing how God utilizes history to work out his purposes. Though we are living in the days that might be termed "THE SILENCE OF GOD.' When for almost 2,000 yrs there has been no inspired voice from God, we must look back-even as they did during those 400 silent years- upon the inspired record and realize that God has already said all that needs to be said, through the O.T and N.T. God's purposes have not ended, for sure; he is working them out as fully now as he did in those days. Just as the world had come to a place of hopelessness then, and the One who would fulfill all their hopes came into their midst, so the world again is facing a time when despair is spreading widely across the earth. Hopelessness is rampant everywhere and in this time God is moving to bring to fulfillment all the prophetic words concerning the coming of his Son again into the world to establish his kingdom. How long? How close? Who knows? but what God has done in history, he will do again as we approach the end of "the 3rd silence of God." 400 YRS OF SILENCE FEB. 17 PM