From Babylon to Bethlehem – Prelude to the Maccabean Revolt

November 23, 2009

At the time of the Greeks, the Davidic line passes into obscurity, and
the political power in Israel is held by the high priests. One such
high priest, Onias II, refuses to pay taxes to the Ptolemaic empire.
The Tobiad family steps in to cover the debt, and winds up becoming
responsible for the tax collection in Israel. The Seleucid Empire takes
over Israel, and gives the Jews certain concessions for their

Onias III becomes high priest, and owing to a dispute with the governor
of the Temple, receives a favorable preliminary ruling from the
Seleucid Empire. Onias tries to confirm the ruling, but while he seeks
out this confirmation, a new emperor takes power, Antiochus IV

In Jerusalem, a new group of rulers also takes over, and a man named
Jason becomes high priest. Jason was not a particularly pious man, and
allows certain Hellenistic influences into Israel, most notably a
gymnasium. In this gymnasium, the men exercise naked, and in order to
appear more like the Greeks whom they exercise with, some Jews begin to
have cosmetic surgery to reverse their circumcisions.

Meanwhile, a man named Menelaus convinces the Seleucids to assassinate
Onias III and remove Jason to have himself named high priest. Menelaus
starts selling off temple vessels, and the people riot. Menelaus seeks
help from the Seleucids, who put down the riots bloodily. To keep the
peace, the Seleucids conscript some Jews to build a garrison near the
temple, and decide to begin construction on a Sabbath to prevent riots.
This backfires and there are even more riots. The pro-Greek populace
moved into the garrison and only left to enforce the edicts of the
empire. People fled Jerusalem, since it was not safe for either
orthodox or liberal.

Antiochus wages a preemptive war on Egypt and wins, but the cost of the
war causes him to despoil the Temple. As Antiochus attempts to
completely conquer Egypt, Rome intervenes and turns Antiochus back, who
now places the blame for this failure on the disunity in the empire
caused by the nonconforming Jews.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian’s Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees.

  • /
Update Required
To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Download MP3 (36:19; 20 MB)

Acts Lecture 10 – The First Deacons

June 15, 2021

Acts Lecture 9 – The Growing Church

June 8, 2021

Acts Lecture 8 – The Sanhedrin

June 1, 2021

Acts Lecture 7 – The Temple

May 25, 2021

Acts Lecture 6 – Babel and Pentecost, Part II

May 18, 2021

Acts Lecture 5 – Babel and Pentecost, Part I

May 11, 2021

Acts Lecture 4 – The Infant Church, Part II

April 20, 2021

Acts Lecture 3 – The Infant Church, Part I

April 13, 2021

Acts Lecture 2 – A Book of Bridges, Part II

April 6, 2021

Acts Lecture 1 – A Book of Bridges, Part I

March 30, 2021

Job – Part 2

March 23, 2021

Job – Part 1

March 16, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 22 – Isaiah’s Complaint

March 9, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 21 – For Zion’s Sake

March 2, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 20 – Restoration

February 23, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 19 – Transgression

February 16, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 18 – Awake, O Zion

February 2, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 17 – Song of the Redeemer King, Part II

January 26, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 16 – Song of the Redeemer King, Part I

January 19, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 15 – The Symphony of God

January 5, 2021

Isaiah Lecture 14 – Who Is Like God?

December 29, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 13 – Comfort My People

December 22, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 12 – Trust in the Lord

December 8, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 11 – Signs for Unbelievers

December 1, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 10 – The Study of Prophecy

November 24, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 9 – Historicity of Prophecies

November 10, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 8 – The Oracle Against Babylon, Part II

November 3, 2020

Isaiah Lecture 7 – The Oracle Against Babylon, Part I

October 27, 2020