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Chapter 4
The Troubled World into Which
Jesus Was Born
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Key Topics/Themes
• The division of Alexander’s empire after
his death
• The influence of Rome in Palestine
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Alexander and His
• The conquests of Alexander
• The Diadochi: Alexander’s successors
– The Ptolemies (descendants of Ptolemy I)
– The Seleucids (descendants of Seleucus)
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Antiochus’s Persecution and
the Maccabean Revolt
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Palestine and the Hellenistic
• The Seleucids gain control of Palestine
from the Ptolemies (199 B.C.E.)
• The rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes
(175-163 B.C.E.)
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
The Rule of Antiochus IV
Epiphanes (175-163 B.C.E.)
• Forced Hellenization upon the Jews
• Outlawed the traditions of Judaism
• Made Jerusalem Temple into shrine to
Greek god Zeus
• The martyrdoms endured by the
Hasidim (“pious ones”)
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Torah Loyalism, Martyrdom,
and the Reward of Future Life
• Torah loyalism and martyrdom in 2
• Torah loyalism and martyrdom in the
Book of Daniel
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
The Maccabean Revolt (166142 B.C.E.)
• The defiance of Mattathias
• Judas Maccabeus (the “Hammer”)
• Rededication of the Temple, December
164 B.C.E.
• The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah)
• The Hasmonean dynasty (142-40
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
The Domination of Rome
• Roman general Pompey marches on
Palestine (63 B.C.E.)
• Jewish Hasmonean kings reduced to
client rulers by Roman power
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
The Career of Herod the
Great (37-4 B.C.E.)
• Herod’s political expansion
• Herod’s building projects
– Fortresses (Masada)
– Port city of Caesarea
– Refurbishment of Jerusalem Temple
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Herod’s Successors
• Herod’s three sons
– Herod Philip (4 B.C.E.-34 C.E.)
– Herod Antipas (4 B.C.E.-39 C.E.)
– Herod Archelaus (4 B.C.E.-6 C.E.)
• Judea ruled by procurators after 6 C.E.
• Other significant descendants
– Herod Agrippa I (41-44 B.C.E.)
– Herod Agrippa II
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
The Roman Emperors
• Augustus (27-14 C.E.)
• Tiberius (14-37 C.E.)
• New Testament attitudes toward Rome
– Jesus’ criticisms of Roman power
– Key roles of Roman soldiers in Jesus
– Paul’s accommodating stance
– Revelation: Rome an evil “harlot”
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Jewish Revolts Against Rome
• First revolt (66-73 C.E.)
– Incited by Jewish nationalists
– Crushed by Vespasian and Titus
– Jerusalem and Temple destroyed (70 C.E.)
– Chief historical source: Flavius Josephus
• The bar Kochba revolt (132-135 C.E.)
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education
• Jesus’ life framed by Jewish wars for
– Maccabean revolt (166-142 B.C.E.)
– First Jewish revolt (66-73 C.E.)
– Bar Kochba revolt (132-135 C.E.)
• Jesus’ words and deeds to be
interpreted in the context of seething
Jewish nationalism
©McGraw-Hill Higher Education