Without doubt, the emergence of the monarchy in Israel precipitated a dramatic shift in Yahwist religion. Under the Davidic kingship, the previously tribal-based religion was transformed into an increasingly systematized state cult that formed the basis of monarchial legitimization. Continue reading ““The sins of Jeroboam”: The Religious Responsibility of the Israelite Kings”
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.