c. 167–63 b.c. The Maccabean kingdom of Israel had its beginnings when the priest Mattathias and his family refused to obey the Seleucid rulers’ order to sacrifice to the pagan god Zeus at Modein. They led a revolt that initially controlled only the territory of Judea in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Over the next hundred years, […]
c. 198–133 b.c. By the second century b.c., the Seleucid Empire was losing its grip on much of its territory, and the Roman Empire was rapidly expanding throughout the Mediterranean world. In an attempt to unite his empire and shore up his defenses against these pressures, Antiochus IV Epiphanes imposed a strict policy of Hellenization over his […]
c. 323–198 b.c. The two most powerful successors to Alexander, Ptolemy and Seleucus, continued to expand their domains into territory claimed by other generals of Alexander, and they repeatedly clashed with each other over land along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, including the land later called Palestine.
c. 335–303 b.c. The ascension of Alexander the Great to the throne of the Macedonian kingdom (in northern Greece) spelled the end for the mighty Persian Empire. After gaining the loyalty of the other city-states of Greece, Alexander’s astounding military prowess and success enabled him to systematically overtake virtually all of Persia’s former territory within 12 […]
c. 538–331 b.c. After Cyrus the Great united the Median and Persian empires, he overthrew the Babylonians and established the greatest power the world had ever known. Under later rulers the Persian Empire eventually extended from Egypt and Thrace to the borders of India, and Cyrus himself declared, “theLord, the God of heaven, has given me […]
c. 605–538 b.c. Though their empire was short-lived by comparison with the Assyrians before them and the Persians after them, the Babylonians dominated the Near East during the early days of Daniel, and they were responsible for his initial exile to Babylon. Daniel himself, however, outlived the Babylonian Empire, which fell to the Persians in 538 b.c.
c. 571 b.c. Ezekiel’s final vision describes the boundaries of a restored Israel, including the allotment to each tribe and the temple. Rather than following the boundaries traditionally occupied by the Israelites, which included Gilead east of the Jordan River and excluded land north of Tyre, Ezekiel’s new boundaries generally follow those described by Moses in Numbers […]
c. 571 b.c. Ezekiel prophesied that even the great nation of Egypt and its allies would fall to the Babylonians, who already occupied the land of Israel and Judah. The rule of the Babylonians would eventually extend as far as the borders of Cush, referred to elsewhere as Ethiopia. None of the great cities of Egypt […]
c. 587 b.c. During Ezekiel’s time, the city of Tyre had grown very wealthy due to its strategic island location in the middle of the ancient Near East. Tyre served as a sort of international commodities exchange for the surrounding nations, and Ezekiel’s extensive list of various nations who traded or collaborated with Tyre (shown here) […]
c. 593 b.c. Ezekiel recorded his visions and prophecies while living in the vicinity of Babylon, where he had been exiled years earlier. By Ezekiel’s time, the Babylonian Empire had engulfed virtually all of the area along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and would eventually subdue even the land of Egypt, where many other […]