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History of Palestine
1'ST MILLENNIUM BC

1000 BC : David, Israel's great king, finally defeated the Philistines, and they eventually assimilated with the Canaanites . The unity of Israel and the feebleness of adjacent empires enabled David to establish a large independent state, with its capital at Jerusalem.

922 BC : Under David's son and successor, Solomon, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity , but at his death in 922 BC the kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south .

722-721 BC : When nearby empires resumed their expansion, the divided Israelites could no longer maintain their independence . Israel fell to Assyria.

586 BC : Judah was conquered by Babylonia, which destroyed Jerusalem and exiled most of the Jews living there. Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem. The Temple was sacked and set fire to, and razed to the ground. The Royal Palace and all the great houses were destroyed, the population carried off in chains to Babylon. And they lamented on their long march into exile.

539 BC : Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia and he permitted the Jews to return to Judea, a district of Palestine. Under Persian rule the Jews were allowed considerable autonomy. They rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and codified the Mosaic law, the Torah, which became the code of social life and religious observance. The Jews were bound to a universal God.

333 BC : Persian domination of Palestine was replaced by Greek rule when Alexander the Great of Macedonia took the region. Alexander's successors, the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria , continued to rule the country . The Seleucids tried to impose Hellenistic (Greek) culture and religion on the population.

141-63 BC : Jews revolted under the Maccabees and set up an independent state.

132-35 BC : Jews revolts erupted, numerous Jews were killed, many were sold into slavery, and the rest were not allowed to visit Jerusalem. Judea was renamed Syria Palaistina.

63 BC : Jerusalem was overrun by Rome. Herod was appointed King of Judea. He slaughtered the last of the Hasmoneans and ordered a lavish restoration and extension of the Second Temple. A period of great civil disorder followed with strife between pacifists and Zealots, and riots against the Roman authorities.

37-4 BC : During the rule of King Herod the Great Jesus of Nazareth, peace be upon him was born. And years after, he began his teaching mission. His attempts to call people back to the pure teachings of Abraham and Moses were judged subversive by the authorities. He was tried and sentenced to death; "yet they did not slay him but only a likeness that was shown to them."

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