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11/10/2022 02:24:57 PM

Nov10

Continuing our Journey: The Jews of Judea are also caught up in the power struggles between Egypt and Mesopotamia

In our continued dive into the history of the Jewish people we have reached the historical dark era of the early second temple period.

Little is known about the activities of these years, during the last few centuries of before the common era. We do know that during this period Alexander the Great swept through the Middle East and encouraged a marriage between the local customs and Greek culture and technology.

The infiltration of Hellenistic language, institutions, materialism, and beliefs was more organized than earlier cultural influences. The Jewish people were caught up in all this profound change.

Unfortunately, the Jews of Judea were also caught up in the power struggles between Egypt and Mesopotamia. After Alexander’s death and several decades of war three kingdoms were left standing, led by his former generals or their successors: Ptolemy in Egypt, Seleucus in Syria, and Antigonus in Macedon. Egypt and Syria maintained a war between them, and Judea was right in the middle.

The priesthood in Judea were considered the titular leaders but the oligarchs wielded much power and were interested in adapting Hellenistic ways.

Eventually this civil division would lead to a war and the Hasmonaeans would learn how to fight.

Sun, February 5 2023 14 Sh'vat 5783