As a religious scholar and Christian, it is very important to know the history of the Jewish people from which Christianity descended, and in this post, we are going to look at Israel and Judah split.
King David founded the kingdom.
The kingdom of Israel was founded in about 1000 BC by King David, the son of Jesse.
David had such an impact on the kingdom and kingly office that he was seen as a symbol of Israel’s later Messianic hopes.
Israel and Judah split.
After the death of King Solomon, David’s son and successor; in about 930 BC, the kingdom established by David was split into 2 parts, Israel and Judah.
The northern part, called Israel, was taken into exile by Assyria in 721 BC and was never restored.
The southern kingdom, known as Judah, which remained loyal to the house of David, had a long history.
However, in 586 BC, it was also taken into exile by the Babylonians.
But in 539 BC, Cyrus, the Persian King, conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem.
Return from exile.
The following year, a good number of the Jews returned to their native land. And in time rebuilt the temple, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon destroyed during his captivity.
After the first return from exile, several Jews went back to Palestine. And were led by Ezra, a Jewish priest who was deeply devoted to the Mosaic law.
Ezra had a strong desire to make the Jews observe the Torah, which was Israel’s law given by God to Moses.
The Pharisee, whom we meet so often in the gospels and book of Acts, grew out of Ezra’s movement to restore the law of Moses again.
Alexander the great
Between 334 and 323 BC, Alexander, the young Macedonian king, conquered all lands east of Greece down to India and as far south as Egypt.
But when he died in 323 BC, his generals divided the empire he had established among themselves.
Ptolemy became ruler of Egypt, and his area of authority included Palestine, and remained under the authority of his house until 198 BC.
However in the same year, 198 BC, a house descended from another general, Seleucis, gained control of Palestine.
The Seleucids governed Syria, much of the Asian Minor, and all of Persia.
The change in the Government of Palestine really affected the Jewish people.