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.
: 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 .
BC : When nearby empires resumed their expansion, the divided
Israelites could no longer maintain their independence . Israel fell
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
BC : Jews revolted under the Maccabees and set up an independent
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.
: 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.
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."