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400yr Intertest

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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

    1. Because of Herod creating buildings for the pagan culture.
    2. 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.

 
I. Major Characters.
1.      Alexandra the Great

2.  Antiochus Ephapanes

3.  The Macabees Family

 

II. Books from the Period

Talk about the 12 Books Intertestatmental Called the Apocrypha.

                        The books, which are the Psudaphigripa

                        The other Books

When and why did the R.C. church declare that these 12 books were part of the Scripture?

23 reasons why the Apocrypha is not Scripture.

I. ANTIOCHUS EPHAPANES

A Gentile came to power which Daniel had predicted.

His name was Antiochus Ephapanes.

 

Antiochus IV came to throne in 175 bc. He was at one and the same time the most important and the most vacillating of his dynasty, a curious combination of intellectual ability, dementia, and charm. He had a genuine admiration for Greek art, literature, and thinking. He made Antioch a center of art in the Greek world; the artists who created statues and temples in other cities of Hellas he rewarded handsomely. He had the temple of Apollo on Delos redecorated, a temple built for Tegea, and paid for the completion of the Olympeium in Athens. Seeing that he spent fourteen years in Rome, he had a predilection for everything Roman.

He introduced gladiatorial combats into Antioch; though his subjects wanted nothing to do with these barbarous spectacles, he persisted until the people had become used to them.[1]

It was this Antiochus who was so impressed by his own powers that he had the words Theos Epiphane’s (‘the god who has been revealed’ or ‘who has appeared’) inscribed on his coins. Everything he attempted he carried to ridiculous extremes, which made the historian Polybius nickname him epimane’s (the insane) instead of epiphane’s.[2]

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.

2.   All books of the law were ripped apart or destroyed by fire.

Anyone found with any part of a copy of OT was put to death

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.

54 Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; 55 And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. [3]

1. This was prophesied in the Book of Daniel called "THE ABOMINATION THE DESOLATES DAN 11:31

12:11; cf. Mk 13:14par)

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.

 

WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE?

One of the families that God used was the family whose name was MACCABEES = HAMMER FAMILY.

One family made the difference. God used them to pound the heathen. To use a pun they really gave the gentiles a beating. They hammered them.

 

I MACCABEES

These 4 books are an excellent historical source of a family with the last name of MACCABEES. A father and his 4 sons. They became famous for their leadership and fighting with unbelievable odds against enemy armies.

It shows how God delivered these men who were faithful to Him when they stood for the truth, in the midst of paganism and idolatry.

1. They stood against many of their own people who compromised with idolatry.

2. They stood against the pagan rule of Kings of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanies.

It is exciting reading.

1 MACCABBEES. 11-16:24 HISTORY OF THE JEWS FROM 175 TO 135 BC

 

Some Jews inclined to adopt Greek customs (Greek religious, Gymnasium etc) Antiochus' aim to

conquer Egypt and to suppress the Jewish religion as a source of Jewish disloyalty. Desecration of the Jewish temple; martyrdom of many faithful Jews.

A start. A group of Jews resisted the Kings demands. The Army hunted them down. They were hiding in the wilderness. It was a Sabbath so they could not fight. The Army came in a slaughter them all, Men, women and children.

Since that day the Jews have said it is OK to fight on the Sabbath day. It is better to fight on the Sabbath than have all Jews put to death.

I Maccabbees 2:1-70 THE REVOLT OF MATTATHIAS.

MATTAHIAS, MACCABEES a priest of the first 24 courses and therefore of the noblest who dwelt at Modin, a city of Judah, was the first to strike a blow. 2:19 BUT MATTATHIAS ANSWERED AND SAID IN A LOUD VOICE; "EVEN IF ALL THE NATIONS THAT LIVE UNDER THE RULE OF THE KING OBEY HIM, AND HAVE CHOSEN TO DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, DEPARTING EACH ONE FROM THE RELIGION OF HIS FATHERS, YET I AND MY SONS AND MY BROTHERS WILL LIVE BY THE COVENANT OF OUR FATHERS...WE WILL NOT OBEY THE KING'S WORDS BY TURNING ASIDE FROM OUR RELIGION TO THE RIGHT HAND OR TO THE LEFT."

With his own hand he slew a Jew at Modin who was willing to offer the idolatrous sacrifices ordered by the king.

He fled with His sons to the mountains 168 BC where he organized a successful resistance: but being of advanced age and unfit for the fatigue of active service, he died in 166 BC. and was buried I Maccabbees 2:70

He apparently named as his successor his 3rd Son Judas.

 

[C] 3:1-9:22 LEADERSHIP OF JUDAS MACCABAEUS after his father's death.

commonly called Judas Maccabaeus-often called in II Maccabbees " JUDAS THE MACCABEE " held strongly the opinions of his father and proved at least a very capable leader in guerilla warfare.

5 different places in the book praise is Give to God who with his divine help they defeat the enemy. 2:51 ff; 3:18; 4:10; 9:46; 16:3

They had brilliant victories over the Syrians. 

 

4:6 "AT DAYBREAK JUDAS APPEARED IN THE PLAIN WITH 3,000 MEN, BUT THEY DID NOT HAVE ARMOR AND SWORDS SUCH AS THEY DESIRED.  AND THEY SAW THE CAMP OF THE GENTILES, STRONG AND FORTIFIED, WITH CAVALRY ROUND ABOUT IT; AND THESE MEN WERE TRAINED IN WAR. BUT JUDAS SAID TO THE MEN WHO WERE WITH HIM, "DO NOT FEAR THEIR NUMBERS OR BE AFRAID WHEN THEY CHARGE. REMEMBER HOW OUR FATHERS WERE SAVED AT THE RED SEA, WHEN PHARAOH WITH IS FORCES PURSUED THEM.  10 AND NOW LET US CRY TO HEAVEN, TO SEE WHETHER HE WILL FAVOR US AND REMEMBER HIS COVENANT WITH OUR FATHERS AND CRUSH THIS ARMY BEFORE US TODAY. THEN ALL THE GENTILES WILL KNOW THAT THERE IS ONE WHO REDEEMS AND SAVES ISRAEL."

Death of Antiochus IV Epiphanies and accession of Antiochus V Eupator 164 BC Demetriius I became King of Syria, and Alcimus Jewish high priest 162 BC.

Treaty between Jews and Romans.

Defeat of Jews at Elasa and death of Judas Maccabaeus 161 BC.

He defeated

  1. Several of the generals of Antiochus-Apollonius at Beth-horon.  #. Part of the army of Lysias at Emmanus 166 BC and Lysisas himself at Bethsuura the following year.
  2. He took possession of Jerus, except the "Tower" where he was subsequently besieged and hard pressed by Lysias and the young king Antiochus Eupator in 163 B.C.
  3. But quarrels among the Syrian generals secured relief and liberty of religion to the Jews which however, proved of short duration.
  4. They recapture Jerusalem, they Clean the temple where Antiochus Epiphanies had set up his statue of Zeus, They rededicate the temple.

The cleansing of the Temple

***They brought many sacrifices and reinstated the sacrifice system.

One of the Miracles that the Jews celebrate to this day is the Feast of Lights Hanukkah festival.

They only had enough oil burning in the lamp stand for 1 day.

It takes 8 days to make the special oil.

So by a miracle of God the oil continued to burn for 8 days until they had prepare the oil.

Question?

How did Rome and its leaders come to power in Israel, when the land was under the authority of Babylon and Syria?

The attempt of Judas to negotiate an alliance with the Romans, who had now serious interest in these regions, caused much dissatisfaction among his followers; 8:1-31 and their defection at Lasa 161 BC during the invasion under Bacchides which was undertaken before the answer of the Rome Senate arrived, was the cause of the defeat and death of Judas in battle.

It was the story of letting the camel put its noise in the tent to keep it warm. Soon the camel was in the tent and the Jews were out.

[D] 9:23-12:53  LEADERSHIP OF JONATHAN

5TH son of Mattathias, elected to succeed his brother Judas.  He becomes high priest. Political independence of Judea secured.

There came a change. In the Old Testament you had 3 separate offices.

1. Prophet

2. Priest

3. King.

Now under Jonathan you find the three combined into one office, and this continues on through the time of

Christ. Were the High Priest was the military leader and the prophet.

[E] 13:31-16:24 PEACEFUL AND PROSPEROUS RULE OF SIMON, brother of Jonathan; accession of his son John Hyrcanus 135 BC.  The author (unlike the author of 2 MACCABEES) records no miraculous interventions from heaven; he obviously sees the hand of God operative in the victories of Judas Maccabeus and his family.

175-135 B.C. Written about 100 B.C. by a Palestinian Jew.

 

II MACCABEES

This is part of an epitome or abridgment of a 5 volume history, now lost, written by a certain Jason of Cyrene.

Jason narrated the events of Jewish history from the time of the high priest Onias III and the Syrian King Seleucus IV to the defeat of Nicanor's army (from 180-161 B.C.) Thus paralleling I Macc. 1:10-7:50

THE PURPOSE OF JASON WAS TO INTERPRET HISTORY THEOLOGICALLY.

One of his favorite themes is the sanctity of the temple.  He is the first writer known to us who celebrates the deeds of the martyrs through there is a foreshadowing of such an interest in the book of Daniel. 

  1. He also seems to be the first to teach clearly that the world was created out of nothing 7:28.  
  2. He believed that the saints in heaven interceded for men on earth 15:11-16 
  3. That the living might pray and offer sacrifices for the dead 12:43-45.   His book includes accounts of marvelous portents and the miraculous intervention of angels.  Jason seems not to have been a Pharisee; he may reflect the ideas of Jews at Antioch or possibly Alexandria.

 

III MACCABEES

The title of the book known as 3 MACCABEES is a misnomer, for the contents deal not with the exploits of the Maccabean heroes, but with the struggles of Egyptian Jews who suffered under Ptolemy IV. Philopator 221-203 B.C. Half a century prior to the Maccabean period and the persecution of Palestinian Jewry under Antiochus IV Epiphanies 175-164 B.C. The book, which was written in Greek by an unknown Alexandrine Jew during the first century B.C., has been transmitted in manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint as well as of the Syriac Peshitta and in most manuscripts of the Armenian Bible.  It is not, however, included in the Latin Vulgate.  This may explain why the book has been accorded canonical status in Eastern Christendom, whereas in the Western churches, both Roman and Reformed, it is regarded as apocryphal.

The author of 3 MACCABEES describes the attempt made by Ptolemy IV Philopator to enter the HOLY OF HOLIES in the temple at Jerusalem, and his miraculous repulse 1:1-2:24. Having returned to Egypt, he determines to wreak his vengeance on the Jews of Egypt for his humiliation in Jerusalem.  He alters not only their political status but also attempts to impose upon them the pagan cult of Dionysus 2:15-33.  Unable to compel the great majority of the Jews to renounce their ancestral religion, he orders cruel and unusual punishments, and even death for all who refuse to apostatize 3:1-5:51. 

Finally, after Eleazar, an aged priest, prays earnestly for his people 6:1-25, though divine intervention the king repents and becomes the patron of the Jews, who return in safety and rejoicing to their homes 6:16-7:23

The book was obviously written to console, exhort, and teach Egyptian Jews, who during the first century B.C. were several times threatened by efforts of the Roman administration to altar their civic status.   The author intends to inspire faith in the providence of God 4:21 by recounting how the Jew had been delivered from similar tribulations in the past. The style of the book is pseudoclassical, utilizing many uncommon and poetical words, Sentences are awkwardly constructed and full of repetitions.  The author often exaggerates, wand when in descriptions he attempts to introduce purpose passages of rhetoric, he succeeds only in producing bombast and bathos.

Whether the events the author describes are fictional or real-several names, places and events can be corroborated in classical authors 3 MACCABEES is significant for its religious message.  The book represents the most orthodox type of Judaism, with its answering devotion to the Mosaic law and the temple cultus, as well as its emphasis upon the special position of the chosen people.

17. IV MACCABEES

At one time it was given the title ON THE SUPREMACY OF REASON. This describes it well, for it is a diatribe or lecture, or perhaps a panegyric, on religious reason, an exemplified by the story of the martyrdoms of Eleazar, the 7 brothers and their mother.  Its traditional title was no doubt adopted because the account is an expansion of II Macc. 6:12-7:42 and the story belongs to the maccabean period.

The book is a classic example of the interpretation of Judaism in terms of Greek philosophy. the ideas are Stoc (with some significant differences), and so is the terminology.  The treaties was written originally in Greek, and in the florid Asiatic style. Possibly it was first delivered as an oration at a festival commemorating the Maccabean martyrs or at the feast of Dedication  The author's theology is genuinely Jewish but with two special characteristics.  The martyrdoms are a substitutionary atonement that expiates the nation's sin and purifies the land 1:11, 17:21; 18:4 the martyrs are immediately immortal, received by the patriarchs and living in God. 7:19; 16:25 Message on the Book of Maccabees March 10, 1991 pm March 10, 1991

III. Religious Sects

When, following Alexander’s conquest, Hellenism challenged the thinking of the Near East, some Jews clung more tenaciously than ever to the faith of their fathers, while others were willing to adapt their thinking to the newer ideas emanating from Greece. Ultimately the clash between Hellenism and Judaism gave rise to a number of Jewish sects.

Pharisees. The Pharisees were the spiritual descendants of the pious Jews who had fought the Hellenizers in the days of the earlier Maccabees. The name Pharisee, “separatist,” was probably given them by their enemies to indicate that they were nonconformists. It may, however, have been used in scorn because their strictness separated them from their fellow Jews as well as from the heathen. Loyalty to truth sometimes produces pride and even hypocrisy, and it is this perversion of the earlier Pharisaic ideal that is denounced by Jesus. Paul reckoned himself a member of this orthodox group within the Judaism of his day (Phil 3:5).

Sadducees. The Sadducean party, probably named for Zadok, the high priest appointed by Solomon (I Kgs 2:35), denied the authority of tradition and looked with suspicion on all revelation later than the Mosaic law. They denied the doctrine of resurrection, and they did not believe in the existence of angels or spirits (Acts 23:8). They were largely people of wealth and position, and they co-operated gladly with the Hellenism of the day. In New Testament times they controlled the priesthood and the temple ritual. The synagogue, on the other hand, was the stronghold of the Pharisees.

Essenes. Essenism was an ascetic reaction from the externalism of the Pharisees and the worldliness of the Sadducees. The Essenes withdrew from society and lived lives of asceticism and celibacy. They gave attention to the reading and study of Scripture, prayer, and ceremonial cleansings. They held their possessions in common and were known for their industry and piety. Both war and slavery were contrary to their principles.

The monastery at Qumran, near the caves in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, is thought by most scholars to have been an Essene center in the Judean wilderness. The scrolls indicate that members of the community had left the corrupt influences of the Judean towns to prepare, in the wilderness, “the way of the Lord.” They had faith in the coming Messiah and thought of themselves as the true Israel to whom he would come.

Scribes. The Scribes were not, strictly speaking, a sect but rather members of a profession. They were, in the first instance, copyists of the Law. They came to be regarded as the authorities on the Scriptures, hence exercised a teaching function. Their thoughts were usually akin to those of the Pharisees, with whom they are frequently associated in the New Testament.

Herodians. Herodians believed that the best interests of Judaism lay in cooperation with the Romans. Their name was taken from Herod the Great, who sought to Romanize the Palestine of his day. The policy of the Herodians was political rather than religious, and they were more of a party than a sect.

Roman political oppression, symbolized by Herod, and the religious reactions expressed in the sectarian reactions within pre-Christian Judaism, provided the historical framework into which Jesus came. Frustrations and conflicts prepared Israel for the advent of God’s Messiah, who appeared “when the fulness of the time was come” (Gal 4:4).[4]

 

400YR INTER-TEST

THE 400 YEARS OF SILENCE

The period between Malachi & Matthew covers about 400 years.  You do not have to know this period to understand the Gospels, but it helps if you understand somewhat happened.

THE PERSIAN PERIOD 538-332

At the close of the Old Testament about 430 B.C. Judah was a Persian Province.  Persia had been a World Power for about 100 years.  Babylon had been defeated & merged with Persia. It remained a nation for another 100, years but declined.  The Persian rule was for the most part, mild & tolerant influential Jews during that period were Daniel and Esther.

 

THE GREEK PERIOD 331-167 B.C

The beginning of Greek history is veiled in Myth.  It is though to have started about 12 Th. Cent B.C. at the time of the Biblical Judges.

The beginning of authentic Greek history has usually been reckoned from the first Olympiad 776 B.C. Then came the formation of Hellenic States 776-500 B.C.

The brilliant era of Periciles 456-429  & Socrates 469-339. They were contemporary with Ezra and Nehemiah.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Another More Important Character is Alexander the Great.

Why study about Alexander the Great?

If you want to take the Good news to the ends of the earth and preach it to all men everywhere

You need 4 essential.

  1. You need a road system.
  2. You need a universal language to write the Bible in a language all people can understand Greek
  3. You need safety in travel, An army to protect the roads and shipping lane from Pirates.

 You need one government so that you can travel without losing your life.

336 B.C. at the age of 20 transformed the face of the world in 10 years.

He assumed the command of the Greek army & like a meteor, swept eastward over the lands that had been under the control of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon & Persia.

By 331 the whole world lay at his feet, on his invasion of Palestine 332 B.C. he showed great consideration to the Jews because they showed him from Script. that he had been prophesied.  He spared Jerusalem, & offered immunity to the Jews to settle in Alexandria in Egypt.  Alexandria Egypt became the Jewish Religious center.

He established Greek Cities all over the land, & brought with that Greek culture & more important Greek Language, & Greek built roads = Interstate highways. He provided protection so the people could travel with relative safety.

After a short reign he died in 323 B.C.

Four generals took over his empire

1. Syria to Seleucus

2. Egypt to Ptolemy

3. Cassander

4. Lysimacus

Palestine laying between Syria & Egypt went first to Syria But then to Egypt 301 & Remained under their control till 198 B.C. Under the Kings of Egypt called the PTOLEMIES, the condition of the Jews was meanly peaceful & happy.  They built synagogues in all their settlements.

THE EGYPTIAN RULE 323 B.C.

This was the longest of the 6 periods in the Inter-Testament Period. The Ptolemies were the line of Greek kings over Egypt, Ptolemy Soter.  The 2nd Ptolemy (Philadelphus) founded the Alexandrian library & the famous Septuagint translation of the OLD TESTAMENT was made from the Hebrew to the Greek during this reign = LXX

Palestine became the battle ground between Egypt and Syria = Seleucidae vs. the Ptolemy's

THE SYRIAN RULE 204 B.C.

This was the most tragic part of the Inter-testament period for the Jews.  With the coming to power of Antiochus Epiphanes in 175-164 B.C. a reign of terror fell on all Jews.  He was violently bitter against the Jews, & he made furious & determined effort to exterminate them & their religion.

He devastated Jerusalem 168 B.C.

He defiled the Temple, offered a PIG on its alter erected an alter to Jupiter.

He prohibited Temple worship forbade circumcision on pain of death sold 1,000's of Jewish families into slavery.

He destroyed all copies of the Script. that he could find, & killed everyone who had a copy of Script.

He used every torture conceivable to force Jews to renounce their religion.

THE MACCABEAN PERIOD 165-63 B.C.

This was one of the most heroic periods in all history.  The excesses of Antiochus Epiphanes provoked the movement by the aged priest Mattathias, and carried on by his son, Judas Maccabeus. 

He had 5 sons, Judas, Jonathan, Simon, John & Eleazar.

Judas Maccabeus became General.  He was a warrior of amazing military genius.  He won battle after battle against unbelievable & impossible odds. He re-conquered Jerusalem in 165 B.C. He restored the temple and orthodox services were reinstituted after the desecration by Antiochus. Judas Maccabeus was killed in one of the battles with the Syrians.

Jonathan became leader & high Priest, uniting the civil & priestly authority in one person, this commencing the Hasmonean line of High Priest, which ruled for the next 100 years governing an independent Judah. (From Hashman, great grandfather of the Maccabee brothers).  Jonathan was killed.

Simon, his brother, was made leader.  Simon was killed & his able son John Hyrcanus reigned 29 years.

Mattathias       167-166

Judas               166-161

Jonathan          161-144

Simon              144-135

John Hycranus 135-106

Aristobulus 106-63 he was unworthy the Macc. name.

After changes among the Hasmonean leaders, the Herod family appears on the scene, leading to the Roman Period.

THE ROMAN PERIOD 63 B.C.

Roman was asked to help to defeat the Syrians.  But Rome conquered Judah by bribery & support of Aristobules they then took control  and set up a High Priest.

Antipater was appointed over Judah by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C. Antipater appointed Herod, his son, governor of Galilee.  

Antipater, was an Indumean ( Edomite, descendant of Esau)

He was appointed king of the Jews by Rome in 40- 3 B.C. He murdered almost all of his own family including his wife & sons.  To obtain favor of the Jews he rebuilt the Temple with great splendor.

He was brutal cruel man.

He killed all the baby boys 2 years old down.

This was the Herod the Great" who was king when Our Lord was born.

THE RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND DURING THE 400 YEARS.

Because of the changes in Jewry, the period between Malachi & Matthew is important.

The ORAL Law, after being given orally for generations was committed to writing about the end of the second cent. A.D. into the TALMUD and it remains the authority for Jews to this day.  In our Lord's Day the Oral Law was still mainly Oral.  He contradicted its obstacles in Matt. 15:1-9 & in the Sermon on the Mt.  He said 6 times "YE HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID- BUT I SAY UNTO YOU.

His way of referring to the Script. was, "It is written."

 

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.

 

THE SANHEDRIN

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.

THE SYNAGOGUE

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

THE POLITICAL PERIODS

At the close of the O.T. about 430 B.C. Judea was a Persian Province.  Persia had been a World Power for about 100 yrs.

Babylon had been defeated & merged with Persia.

It remained a nation for another 100, yrs but declined.  The Persian rule was for the most part, mild & tolerant Influential Jews during that period were Dan. & Esther.

THE PERSIAN 538-332

The beginning of Greek history is veiled in Myth.  It is though to have started about 12 th. Cent B.C. at the time of the Biblical Judges.

The beginning of authentic Greek history has usually been reckoned from the first Olympiad 776 B.C. Then came the formation of Hellenic States 776-500 B.C.

The brilliant era of Periciles 456-429  & Socrates 469-339. They were contemporary with Ezra and Nehemiah.

Alexander the Great 336 B.C. at the age of 20 transformed the face of the world in 10 yrs.  He assumed the command of the Greek army & like a meteor, swept eastward over the lands that had been under the control of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon & Persia.

By 331 the whole world lay at his feet, on his invasion of Palestine 332 B.C. he showed great consideration to the Jews because they showed him from Script.

That he had been prophecied.  He spared Jerusalem, & offered immunity to the Jews to settle in Alexandria in Egypt. 

His greatest weaknesses were that he never learned to recognize his own faults and limitations and that he allowed his judgement to be swayed by adulation. He lived in the intoxicating atmosphere of excitement and renown, and was so obsessed with waging war that his spirit never knew an hour of rest. His overwhelming ambition warped his personality. In his passionate desire for attainments, he tackled every possible task, braved every danger. Another weakness was, of course, his superstitious attitude: he had great faith in soothsayers and astrologers, having a large number of them accompany him on his wars of conquest.[5]

Alexandria Egypt became the Jewish Religious center.

He established Greek Cities all over the land, & brought with that Greek culture & more important Greek Language, & Greek built roads = Interstate highways. He provided protection so the people could travel with relative safety.

After a brief reign he died in 323 B.C.

Four generals took over his empire

Syria to Seleucids

Egypt to Ptolemy

Palestine laying between Syria & Egypt went first to Syria But then to Egypt in 301 & remained under their control until 198 B.C.

Under the Kings of Egypt called the PTOLEMIES, the condition of the Jews was meanly peaceful & happy.  They built synagogues in all their settlements.

THE GREEK PERIOD 331-167 B.C.

This was the longest of the 6 periods in the Inter-Testament Period. The Ptolemies were the line of Greek kings over Egypt, Ptolemy Soter.  The 2nd Ptolemy (Philadelphus) founded the Alexandrian library & the famous Septuagint translation of the OLD TESTAMENT was made from the Hebrew to the Greek during this reign = LXX Palestine became the battle ground between Egypt and Syria \= Seleucidae vs. the Ptolemy's

THE EGYPTIAN RULE 323 B.C.

This was the most tragic part of the Inter-testament period for the Jews.  With the coming to power of Antiochus Epiphanies in 175-164 B.C. a reign of terror fell on all Jews.  He was violently bitter against the Jews, & he made furious & determined effort to exterminate them & their religion.

He devastated Jerusalem 168 B.C.

He defiled the Temple, offered a sow on its alter erected an alter to Jupiter.

He prohibited Temple worship forbade circumcision on pain of death sold 1,000's of Jewish families into slavery.

He destroyed all copies of the Script. that he could find, & killed everyone who had a copy of Script.

He used every torture conceivable to force Jews to renounce their religion.

THE SYRIAN RULE   204 B.C.

This was one of the most heroic periods in all history.  The excesses of Antiochus Epiphanies provoked the movement by the aged priest Mattathias, and carried on by his son, Judas Maccabeus. 

He had 5 sons, Judas, Jonathan, Simon, John & Eleazar.

Judas Maccabeus became General.  He was a warrior of amazing military genius.

He won battle after battle against unbelievable & imposable odds. He re-conquered Jerusalem in 165 B.C. He restored the temple and orthodox services were reinstituted after the desecration by Antiochus. Judas Maccabeus was killed in one of the battles with the Syrians.

Jonathan became leader & high Priest, uniting the civil & priestly authority in one person, this commencing the Hasmonean line of High Priest, which ruled for the next 100 yrs governing an independent Judea. (From Hashman, great grandfather of the Maccabee brothers).

Jonathan was killed. Simon, his brother, was made leader. 

Simon was killed & his able son John Hyrcanus reigned 29 yrs.

Mattathias      167-166

Judas              166-161

Jonathan        161-144

Simon             144-135

John Hycranus 135-106

Aristobulus 106-63 he was unworthy the Macc. name.

After changes among the Hasmonean leaders, the Herod family appears on the scene, leading to the Roman Period.

THE MACCABEAN PERIOD 165-63 B.C.

Roman was asked to help to defeat the Syrians.  But Rome conquered Judea by bribery & support of Aristobules they then took control and set up a High Priest.

Antipater was appointed over Judea by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C.

Antipater appointed Herod, his son, governor of Galilee.  

Antipater, was an Indumean ( Edomite, descendant of Esau)

He was appointed king of the Jews by Rome in 40- 3 B.C. He murdered almost all of his own family including his wife & sons.

To obtain favor of the Jews he rebuilt the Temple with great splendor.

He was brutal cruel man.

He killed all the baby boys 2 yrs old down.

This was the Herod the Great" who was king when Our Lord was born.

 THE ROMAN PERIOD 63 B.C.

THE RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND DURING THE 400 YRS

Because of the changes in Jewry, the period between Malachi & Matthew is important.

The ORAL Law, after being given orally for generations was committed to writing about the end of the second cent. A.D. into the TALMUD and it remains the authority for Jews to this day.  In our Lord's Day the Oral Law was still mainly Oral.  He contradicted its obstacles in Matt. 15:1-9 & in the Sermon on the Mt.  He said 6 times "YE HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID- BUT I SAY UNTO YOU.

His way of referring to the Script. was, "IT IS WRITTEN."


----

[1]du Toit, A. 1998. The New Testament Milieu. Orion: Halfway House

[3]The Apocrypha : King James Version. 1995 (1 Mac 1:54-56). Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor, WA

[4]Pfeiffer, C. F. 1962. The Wycliffe Bible commentary : New Testament. Moody Press: Chicago

[5]du Toit, A. 1998. The New Testament Milieu. Orion: Halfway House

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