The Birth of a *Saviour
Part 1 of an EasyEnglish Bible Study Course on the Life of Christ
Words in boxes are from the Bible.A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
*Israel in the time of Christ
The history of *Israel
Jews lived in *Israel at the time of Christ. They probably did not feel very safe. Once their countryhad been very powerful. David and Solomon had been their kings. That was 1000 years ago. Nowthey were not powerful. The people had done wrong things. They had not obeyed God. God hadspoken to Abraham and Moses. He had given them a Covenant (made a special agreement withthem). But the people did not obey God's rules. God punished them. He made them leave their country. He had told them that he would do this. In 586 BC, enemies burned down the *Temple of Solomon. This *temple was one of the most wonderful buildings in the world. The enemies tookaway everything that was inside the *Temple.After 70 years, some of the Jews returned to *Israel. But it was very difficult to live there. While theJews were away, many foreigners had come to live there. After some time the Jews did build the*Temple again. This was much smaller than Solomon’s *Temple. It was not so beautiful.At this time, there were very strong rulers in the world. There were very strong countries. Peoplefrom Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and Greece were very powerful. Their armies marched intomany countries.
Armies from Greece enter *Israel
Alexander the Great (from Greece) entered *Israel and many other countries. Alexander was notonly a military leader. He also introduced new ideas to these countries. He made the Greeklanguage and customs popular. Some Jews began to serve false Greek gods. After Alexander'sdeath, his Generals (important officers) fought against each other. Each one wanted to rule parts of his lands. Some of these battles were in *Israel. Then one General spoilt the *Temple, which theJews had rebuilt. This General did some evil things in the *Temple. He killed people who would notserve his false Greek gods. So, some Jews became very angry.
The Maccabees were a family. They wanted the Jews to serve the true God only. And theyopposed the false Greek gods. The Maccabees encouraged the Jews to fight their enemies. TheMaccabees ruled *Israel for a short time.
The Jews began to argue with each other. Then the *Romans came and ruled *Israel. They werevery strict. The Jews wanted to be free. But the Roman *Empire became very strong. The*Romans ruled many countries. Their power was very great. It seemed impossible for the Jews tobe free.
Life-of-jesus.rtf - 05/01/05 - Page 3