Alexander the Great is dead. His glorious empire has fractured. Jerusalem is ruled by the Ptolemies. Spanning the fourth and third centuries BC (approximately 301 to 200 BC), the Ptolemaic dynasty in Judaea is fraught with conflict.
The Old Testament dwindles to silence so innocuously, so subtly, that it almost closes without notice. The year is circa 430 BC and all has been set aright: the children of Israel have begun to return from Persian exile; the Temple has been rebuilt, albeit ingloriously; the Law has been reestablished; and a portion of Jerusalem’s wall has been reconstructed.
Welcome to the Second Temple period, where the Old Testament ends and the blank page begins.
The tears of Jerusalem and the blood of her liberators stain the pages between Malachi and Matthew. If only there was more than a single page to stain… if only it wasn’t blank. Indeed, what if I told you that this so-called blank page separating the Old from the New Testament spans from the Hellenistic period under the Greeks to the pinnacle of the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus: four hundred years of absolute silence?Continue reading “Blank Page: The Silent Years Between Testaments”