Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Time Between Time-Conforming to Popular Trends

By Mary Vee
Between the Old and New Testament

From the Historical records

The time in between time. 

Four hundred years are in the process of passing since God last spoke through a prophet to His people.

The Persians have been conquered by the Greeks. Alexander the Great, the leader of the Greeks died. His two general fought over who would rule the empire. The two men, Ptolemy and Seleucus chose to divide the territory. Ptolemy ruled over Egypt and Seleucus ruled Syria and Asia minor. A problem rose when both wanted to rule Judea to have the key position. 

Many years later, kings took over the rule of these generals. The Seleucus king forced the Ptolemy king to give up control of Judea. Antiochus III became the new king of the Judea.

Antiochus III continued efforts to bring the Greek culture into every home. He ordered Greek statues to be placed in all Jewish synagogues and the temple in Jerusalem. When the Jews protested, he backed down, as long as efforts to make the Greek culture the main culture continued.

Antiochus IV wasn't as kind. The Jews called him a madman. In order to conquer Egypt as he wanted, everyone in his realm had to be 100% behind the Greeks in culture, language, fashion, everything.

Many Jews didn't have a problem changing. In order to run a good, successful business in the cities, the owner had to speak Greek, wear Greek clothing, celebrate Greek festivities or his business would fail. These Jews didn't even hide their own heritage. Instead they walked away from it in exchange for wealth and success.

Still there was a remnant of Jews who held to their heritage. To win these people over and want to live a Greek life, a high priest was put into power. Jason, a Jew, was a man who supported the Greek way. Over twelve months, he gently persuaded many Jews to conform. His lenient rule was frowned upon. The governing people forced Jason to flee the country. 

Menelaus, a Jew who didn't care at all about living the life of a Jew, asked to be appointed to the high priest position. He didn't have enough of his own money to pay those he bribed for the position. He sold precious Temple pieces to pay the price. 

While most of Judea lived a Grecian life, a group of Jews banded together to fight. These men called themselves Hasideans. They didn't like having the Jewish way squeezed out of Judea or seeing brothers and friends caught up in Greek fashions, speaking only Greek, or teaching their children only Greek ways. 

The Hasideans grew in number waiting for the right time to revolt.

Remember we are counting backwards to year 0. The year is near 200 BC.

    400 BC                           300 BC                        200 BC                        100 BC                          Birth of Christ

Come back next time, because some really exciting events happen in Jerusalem in days to come.

*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981

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