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THE INTERTESTAMENTAL PERIOD

Samaritans: II Kings 17:24-41 – Assyria conquers and re-peoples Israel (the
                      northern kingdom); and they become the mongrel Samaritans.
                   Nehemiah 4 – It was these Samaritans that opposed the building
                      of the wall.
                   John 4 – The Jews still despised the Samaritans in Jesus' time,
                      though Jesus did not despise the Samaritan women at the well.

Synagogue:  They probably originated during the Babylonian captivity when the
                    Jews were unable to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.
        1. Established in towns where there were 10 Jewish heads of families.
        2. The Synagogue service contained five parts: 1) Shem (the reading of             Deut. 6:4-9, 11:13-21, & Numbers 15:37-41).  2) Prayer.  3) Reading of             the Law.  4) Reading of the Prophets.  5) Translation and instruction.
        3. Anyone that the president of the Synagogue felt was qualified could             give the instruction (see Acts 13:15)

Sanhedrin (Great):  The Supreme court of Israel (there were smaller Sanhedrins                              in the smaller towns).

  1. 71 members (the High Priest, 24 chief priests, 24 elders of the people –      Matthew 21:23, 26:23, and 22 scribes) (all mentioned together in      Matthew 16:21)
  2. They elected their own president.
  3. There was a strong emphasis on justice and they bent over backwards      not to convict an innocent person (that is why their conviction of Christ is      even more heinous!)

Septuagint:

  1. A Greek translation of the Old Testament.
  2. This translation of the Old Testament is found in quotes of the Old      Testament found in the New Testament.
  3. The name comes from the legend that 72 elders (6 from each tribe of the      12 tribes) completed it in 72 days. (Pfeiffer, p. 86)

Sects:
Pharisees:

  1. The name means the "Separated One."
  2. They raised Jewish tradition to the level of the Bible (They believed the      "Oral Law" was given to Moses right along with the Bible.)
  3. Their main influence was with the people.
  4. They believed in the resurrection from the dead and in a spirit world.
  5. They "added to" the Scriptures.
  6. They ruled in the Synagogue.

Sadducees:

  1. The high priestly family (the aristocracy, the social upper crust of Israel)
  2. They believed in only the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).
  3. Their main influence was with whatever country was in power at the time.
  4. They did not believe in the resurrection from the dead or in the spirit      world.
  5. They "took away" from the Scriptures (that which was not reasonable to      the human mind).
  6. They ruled in the Temple

Essenes:

  1. The monastics or ascetics of their time (The left the everyday world of      their time to form separated communities where they could live more      devout lives.)
  2. The "Dead Sea Scrolls" had been stored by one of these communities at      Qumran.

Herodians:

  1. A political group that supported King Herod.
  2. They were Herod's KGB or his secret police.

Zealots:

  1. The nationalists of Jesus' time (They had a goal to gain Israel's      independence from the Romans.).
  2. They were responsible for the upraising against Rome that led to Israel's      destruction in 70 A.D.

Alexander and Hellenism:

  1. Alexander – He conquered the world of his time in 11 years and died at      33 years of age.
  2. Hellenism – Alexander spread the Greek culture over the world of his day      (This prepared the world for the rapid spread of the gospel.)

Antioches Epiphanes:

  1. A Syrian ruler who attempted to force the Greek culture on all of Judea      (He massacred thousands and sought to destroy every vestige of the      Jewish religion.)
  2. He committed the "Abomination of Desolation" when he defiled the "Holy      of Holies" by placing a statue of Jupiter there and had pigs sacrificed to      it.
  3. He is a type of the Anti-Christ (Compare Daniel 11:21-35 and Daniel      11:36-45.  The later verses describe he who will commit the ultimate      "Abomination of Desolation.).

 

Maccabees:

  1. Mattathias, a priest, began the Maccabean revolt when he killed one of      Antioches' commissioners because he had erected a pagan altar in his      home town of Modin and was demanding that his town's people worship      at it.
  2. Judas Maccabees (Mattathias' son) continued the revolt that came to be      named after him.  Maccabees means the "hammer."
  3. The statue of Jupiter was ground to dust on December 25th (the Jewish      Hanukkah).

Hasmoneans:

  1. Jonathan (the younger brother of Judas Maccabees) replaced his brother      as ruler.  When he established himself also as the High Priest, he began      the Hasmonean line of the High Priesthood.
  2. Simon (another brother of Judas Maccabees) took over the leadership      when Jonathan died.  He won independence for Judea.
  3. John Hyrcanus (Simon's son).  He ruled for 29 years and greatly extended      Judea's borders.
  4. Hasmonean – From Hashmon, the great-grandfather of the Macabee      brothers. (Baxter p. 20)

Herod:

  1. A son of Antipator who was the governor of Idumea (which once was      Edom)
  2. The Herod who was ruling when Jesus Christ was born.
  3. He was am opportunist who seemed to be able to benefit no matter      which Roman ruler was in power.
  4. He married Mariamne a descendent of the Hasmoneans to improve his      position with the Jews.
  5. He was an intensely jealous man and as a result killed his wife Maramne,      her mother, and three of his sons.
  6. His greatest achievement was undoubtedly the Temple he built at      Jerusalem.

The Oral Law, the Mishna, and the Talmud                

  1. The Oral Law: the Scribe's interpretations and applications of the biblical      law contained in the first five books of the Bible.  They had developed      incredibly minute detail how this Law applied to every detail and      circumstance of life.
  2. The Mishna: the Oral Law in written form.
The Talmud: it contains the Mishna and another section called the Gemara is a lengthy commentary on the Mishna.