The Years Between

Old Testament Story List

More than four hundred years passed between the latest stories of the Old Testament and the stories of the New Testament. During those years there were many changes.

Although God let the Jews return to their homeland and rebuild Jerusalem, they did not become a separate kingdom at once. Instead, they were subjects of the king of first one country and then another.

Once during those years, the Jews freed themselves and chose one of their own people to rule over them. This man was not a descendant of David, but the son of a priest. After his death his sons ruled until the Roman army conquered the little Jewish nation. From that time on the Jews were ruled by the Romans.

Because the capital of the Roman government was so far from Judah, the Roman emperor sent Herod to be king of the Jews. Herod made Jerusalem his home and governed the Jews in a way that pleased the Romans. He did not care what the Jews thought of his rule.

After eighteen years as king, Herod found out he had many enemies among the Jews. Because he wanted to make friends with them, he planned to rebuild their temple. Several hundred years had passed since Zerubbabel had built it. Herod had that old temple torn down, and in its place he put up a white marble building. Parts of it were covered with silver and gold.

It took several years to finish the new temple. During that time, Herod hired more than ten thousand men to do the work. The great temple could be seen towering above all the other buildings of Jerusalem. It reflected the dazzling glory of the morning sunlight.

This new temple pleased the Jews greatly and they were proud of it. In this temple the priest, descendants of Aaron, offered sacrifices to God each morning and evening just as God had commanded Moses on Mount Sinai.


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