Between The Testaments Studies

Welcome To The Between The Testaments Studies

It may come as a surprise to many that God was still working and prophecy was being fulfilled in what is the called ‘The 400 years of silence’.

During this period we see the Coming of Alexander and Hellenism, the arrival of the Ptolemies And the Seleucids, we learn about the the Maccabees, the Jews under Rome and the Herods and the building of Herod’s temple. We also learn about the introduction to the Synagogue, the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees and the Sadducess.

The Old Testament Period Comes To An End

When we come to the book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, the pen of inspiration and the voice of prophets cease to exist for a period of around 400 years (430 BC – AD 27). Not until the coming of Christ will they reappear again. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem in 605 B.C. Daniel and others of the royal family were taken captive to Babylon. The Old Testament Period Comes To An End

The Coming of Alexander And Hellenism

The story of the Old Testament ends around 430 B.C. with the prophet Malachi but the Persian Empire under which he lived would continue on until 332 B.C.  The great Persian army had reached as far as the Aegean Sea and crossed over into Greece.  This is as far as they ever advanced for the Greeks drove them out.  This would mark the beginning of a period in history known as ‘Hellenism’. The Coming of Alexander And Hellenism

The Ptolemies And The Seleucids

When Alexander died in 323 B.C. he left no heir.  He had many able generals, but there was not one that arose as his logical successor.  By 315 B.C., after seven years of struggle, four leaders appeared.  Alexander’s empire was divided between the four.  The Jews found themselves sandwiched between the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids in Syria. The Ptolemies And The Seleucids

The Maccabees’ Struggle For Independence

This period, which lasted from 167 to 63, B.C. might be designated as the ‘Era of the Maccabees.’ Much of what happened during this time centres around the famous Maccabees family.

The oppression of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes, (the king of Syria who had had profaned the Temple by offering a sow on the altar of burn offerings) produced a reaction which stunned Antiochus and surprised many of the Jews themselves. The Maccabees’ Struggle For Independence

The Jews Under Rome And The Herods

It was inevitable that Rome would rule over Palestine. Their power had increased since 147 B.C. as they added piece by piece to their territory.

In the year 63 B.C. Pompey attacked the city of Jerusalem. It was besieged for three months. Twelve thousand Jews are said to have been slaughtered in the battle which followed. The Jews Under Rome And The Herods

The Sanhedrin

The Sanhedrin was composed of 70 members plus the president, who would be the present high priest. The members of the Sanhedrin came from three classes of men: the acting chief priests including those who had been high priest in the past, the scribes and the elders. Most of these people were from aristocratic families of that time. The scribes were primarily from the Pharisees and the elders were primarily from the family heads of the people. They were, for the most part the secular nobility of Jerusalem which would include many Sadducees. What Was The Sanhedrin?


We have to remember that nothing that was done in the Synagogue could be condemned as a violation of the Law of God. Since the Law commanded worship, benevolence and obedience to God’s Word, it could be argued that the Synagogue encouraged and assisted the Jews to understand and obey the Law. The Synagogue

The Pharisees

The party known as the Pharisees is first mentioned by name during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 B.C.). The influence of Hellenism (Greek culture) was particularly strong in Palestine at that time. Greek culture was considered immoral and opposed to the Law of Moses by many Jews. When the Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes tried to do away with the Jewish religion by forcing Greek culture on them the Pharisees joined the Maccabees in their revolt against him. Who Were The Pharisees?

The Sadducees

The Sadducees were a religious sect in the time of Jesus. Their origin is not known for sure. Some think they date back to Zadock, a high priest during the time of David and Solomon. However, in all probability they came into existence during the period between the Old and New Testaments.

We do know that they came from the leading families of the nation such as the priests, merchants, and the rich. Who Were The Sadducees?


"Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;'"

John 11:25