Intertestamental History – B.C.E. 539-4
By Mark MooreI.
Nehemiah to Antiochus IV, 539-168 B.C.A.
Introduction--Four basic periods (Read Daniel 2 & 7-8;
Persian Rule; 539-331 B.C.2.
Hellenistic Kingdoms; 331-167 B.C.a.
Independence (Maccabean) 167-63 B.C.4.
Herodian & Roman--63 B.C.-A.D. 70.B.
Significance of the Exile (Jer 29:10; 25:12; Dan 9:2 = 70)1.
B.C. 605-536, Resettlement, or B.C. 586-516, Zerubbabel's Temple.2.
Destruction of the Temple (B.C. 587)--Interpreted by some as God's impotence,showed a difference in God's relationship with man since sacrifice was no longerpossible.3.
The Synagogue represented personal piety and responsibility.4.
Cessation of Idolatry.5.
Demonstrated that God would annul a broken covenant (Jer. 3:8).6.
Canonical form of the OT.C.
Persian Period (Read Ezra)1.
Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 605-562), (cf. 2 K. 24-25 & Daniel)a.
Succeeded by his son Evil Merodach (Amel Marduk) in B.C. 562. He wasassassinated in c. B.C. 560 in a palace revolt. (2 Kings 25:27-30; Jer 52:31-34)b.
Evil Merodach was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Nergal-sharezer(Neriglissar) (c. B.C. 560-556; cf. Jer. 39:3, 13). He was succeeded by hisinfant son, Labashi-Marduk, who was quickly assassinated becauseBabylon was threatened by the rising power of Media and needed strongleadership.c.
One of the Assassins, Nabonidus, was appointed as king of Babylon.2.
Cyrus--Ancestry unknown; Called “Father” by Persians, "Shepherd by Jews" (cf.Isa 44:28; 45:1;
11.1.1). Apparently he was the grandson of Astyages whotried to kill him (cf. Herodotus,
In 559 B.C. at age 40 he inherits the small kingdom of Anshan, a tributaryof Media.b.
Medes and Babylonians were brief allies in 612 B.C. when defeating theAssyrians.c.
Cyrus was in power when the unpopular Nabonidus was in power inBabylon. The Abu Habba Cylinder, Col. 1, 11. 8-31 predicts theadvancement of Cyrus over all the Medes. Yet it did not include hisoverthrow of Babylon as well (See Pfeiffer, p. 12).d.
In 550-549 B.C. Cyrus revolted against Astyages, his Median overlord andgrandfather, through the prompting of Harpagus who hated Astyages forhaving killed his son (Herodotus,
, 1:119-130). During this time