400 - 300 BC, the Holy Land

Under Persian tolerance Judah began to prosper. The Davidic line became politically irrelevant under the Persian control, though Judah had a modicum of self-rule through its priests. The center of the Jewish faith was the Temple in Jerusalem, but its center of Theology and scholarship was in Babylon. Some time near the beginning of the fourth century, the scribe Ezra had been sent from Babylonia to help the Jews re-establish purity of culture and faith in their promised land. Most of the Old Testament had by this time been written down. Jerusalem was being restored to its traditional place as the center of the Jewish faith.

The passage of Alexander's armies had little immediate effect on Judah, engrossed as it was with its own life and worship.

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