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sovereign of Babylon, in order to undo the evil deeds of Nabuna'id, and to redress the grievances of its people1.
It may be of interest to the reader to compare the account given by Berosus (who had access to native records), preserved by Josephus (c. Ap. i. 20) :—
In the 17th year of his reign Cyrus, advancing out of Persia with a great army, and having already subdued all the rest of Asia, advanced against Babylonia. Nabonnēdus, hearing of his approach, met him with his forces, but joining battle, was defeated, and fleeing with only a few companions was shut up in the city of Borsippa [the suburb of Babylon, on the S.W.]. Cyrus having taken Babylon, gave directions for the walls outside the city to be destroyed, because the city appeared to him to be very strong, and difficult to take; after which he marched against Borsippa, intending to force Nabonnēdus to surrender. As Nabonnēdus, however, did not await the siege, but delivered himself up beforehand, Cyrus treated him kindly, and giving him Carmania [the country E. of Persia] as a residence, sent him out of Babylonia. Nabonnēdus accordingly spent the rest of his life in that country, and there ended his days.
The two centuries of subjection to Persia (B.C. 538-333), which now followed, may be passed over rapidly. Cyrus continued to reign till B.C. 529,—for the first year or so after his accession in conjunction with his son Cambyses2. In his first year (Ezr. i. 1) he gave permission to the Jewish exiles to return to Palestine; and a considerable number under Zerubbabel availed themselves of the permission. The nucleus of a restored community was thus formed, which, though it did not realize the ideal glories promised by the great prophet of the exile, the author of Is. xl.—lxvi., nevertheless gave vitality again, in their
1 The inscription is translated in Ball's Light from the East, pp. 224 f.; the principal parts of it may be found also in Hogarth's Authority and Archaeology, p. 128; cf. Prince, pp. 92-104.
2 Maspero, Passing of the Empires, p. 636. Contract tablets exist dated in the first year of Cyrus king of countries, and of Cambyses king of Babylon,' or 'of Cambyses, king of Babylon, in the days of Cyrus, his father, king of countries': see KB. iv. 261-3, or more fully Prášek, Forschungen zur Gesch. des Alterthumes (1897), i. 25—29, 34-5.
ancient home, to the institutions and traditions of the past. Judah became part of a province of the Persian empire, under the authority of the governor (peḥāh) of what, spoken from the Babylonian standpoint, was called 'the other side of the river' (); and its people, provided they paid their appointed taxes, and did nothing calculated to arouse suspicion upon political grounds, enjoyed full social and religious freedom. The restoration of the Temple under Darius, son of Hystaspes (522 —485), the return of a second body of exiles under Ezra in 458, the re-building of the city-walls by Nehemiah in 444, and the reforms introduced by these two leaders, need only be alluded to in passing. The reign of Artaxerxes I (465–425) is followed by a period which, so far as the recorded history of the Jews is concerned, is almost without incident; but under Artaxerxes Ochus (359-339) a revolt of Jews is reported (c. 350), followed by reprisals on the part of the Persians, and the transportation of many captives into Hyrcania and Babylonia, which have been supposed by some recent scholars to have been the occasion of certain prophecies and psalms1. In the fourth year of Darius Codomannus (336—333), the Persian empire was brought to its close by the conquests of Alexander the Great3.
It was Alexander's ambition to build up a world-wide empire, which should be permeated in every part by the spirit and civilization of Greece. Struck down by fever in Babylon, in 323, when even the conquests that he was meditating were still incomplete, he necessarily left this design unrealized: nevertheless, the impulses which he set in motion did not cease to operate with his death, and under his successors, especially those who ruled at Antioch and Alexandria, the diffusion of Greek culture and manners was steadily maintained, and affected Palestine as well as other parts3. For the present, however, we may confine ourselves to the political history of Judah during the century and a half which now begins.
Alexander, after his seven months' siege of Tyre (333), had
1 See L. O. T.6 pp. 222, 246, 321, 389.
2 See a summary of these conquests in the note on viii. 5.
3 Cf. Ewald, Hist. v. 235–249; Schürer2, ii. 9–50 (§ 22).
marched through Palestine, on his way to Egypt, but did not come into hostile collision with the Jews: in fact, though the story of his having offered sacrifice in the Temple is doubtless apocryphal1, he treated them with favour, and, according to Josephus (c. Ap. ii. 4), settled many of them as colonists in his new city of Alexandria. The Jews formed an industrious, peaceloving community, which, except when religious fervour stirred them up into rebellion, there was no motive to assail.
After Alexander's death, the fiction of a united empire was still for a while maintained, the generals who ultimately became his heirs being at first administrators of particular provinces under Perdikkas, who acted as regent on behalf of Alexander's feeble brother, Aridaeus. As it happened, an ambiguous position was taken, almost from the beginning, by Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine; and this, coupled with the fact that these provinces lay on the debateable border-land between the two powerful kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, caused Judah repeatedly to change hands during the century and a half which followed. On the whole, however, except during some brief intervals, Palestine remained subject to Egypt till Antiochus the Great, in 198, defeated the forces of Ptolemy Epiphanes at Paneion (under the foot of Hermon); after this date it passed permanently into the power of Syria. In the preliminary distribution of provinces arranged between Alexander's generals on the day after his death, Syria was assigned to Laomedon, and Egypt to Ptolemy Lagi. In 321 Perdikkas, having quarrelled with Ptolemy, led an army against him through Palestine, and advanced as far as Pelusium, where, however, he met with a repulse and was defeated. At the convention of Triparadisus, held shortly afterwards in the same year, Laomedon's title to Syria was confirmed. Ptolemy, however, in direct contravention of this agreement, sent in 320 an expedition through Palestine, and annexed Syria by force of arms. But Ptolemy did not hold it long. Antigonus, the general who had obtained Phrygia, Syria, and Pamphylia, cherished ambitious projects, and in 315
1 Ewald, v. 214 f.
invaded Syria. Ptolemy's garrisons had to withdraw; and Syria and Palestine remained for the greater part of the next 14 years in the hands of Antigonus, Ptolemy only recovering them for a few months after his victory at Gaza in 312. In the course of the following years a coalition was formed between Seleucus (the satrap of Babylonia), Lysimachus, Cassander, and Ptolemy, for the purpose of checking the advances of Antigonus; and in 302 Ptolemy took possession of Coele-Syria. In the next year (301) Antigonus met his antagonists at Ipsus (in Phrygia), where he was totally defeated and slain. As a result of the victory, Seleucus became master of Syria; but upon his proceeding to occupy Coele-Syria, Ptolemy remonstrated, averring that he had only joined the coalition on the understanding that Coele-Syria was to be his. Seleucus denied this, declaring that not only had he contributed to the victory far more than Ptolemy (who had not been present at the battle at all), but that after the battle it had been agreed by his colleagues, Lysimachus and Cassander, that he should have the whole of Syria. He consented, however, for the present to waive his claim1. The dispute thus remained an open one; but, for the time, the rights of possession remained with Ptolemy.
These repeated occupations of Palestine by foreign armies seem to have been not unaccompanied by hardships for the Jews. On one occasion Ptolemy captured Jerusalem by a sudden attack on the Sabbath, because the Jews refused to fight on that day: he also transported numbers, either as slaves or as compulsory settlers, to Egypt, where, however, recognizing their honesty and fidelity, he employed many in his garrisons, giving them equal rights with the Macedonians in Egypt: after the battle of Gaza, also, many Jews migrated to Egypt voluntarily, attracted partly by the advantages which the country offered them, partly by the kindliness shewn towards them by Ptolemy2. These settlements of Jews in Egypt (which, as we have seen, appear to have begun under Alexander) were the nucleus of
1 See Mahaffy, Empire of the Ptolemies, p. 66 (an extract from Diod. xxi. 5), p. 254 f. (from Polyb. v. 67).
2 Jos. Ant. XII. i.; c. Ap. i. 22, ii. 4; cf. Mahaffy, pp. 85-90.
what ultimately became an extensive and important Jewish colony 1,
The successors of Ptolemy Lagi were Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247) and Ptolemy Euergetes I (247-222). Ptolemy Euergetes I, an active, enterprising ruler, in revenge for his sister Berenice's murder (see on xi. 6), began his reign with a war against Syria, attacking it, however, from the sea, and not by land. Among his successes (cf. Dan. xi. 7, 8), he took in 246 Seleukeia, the port of Antioch, which remained in the possession of Egypt for some 26 years. Under both these Ptolemies CoeleSyria and Palestine appear to have continued provinces of Egypt. The same two rulers were also favourably disposed towards the Jews: Philadelphus figured in Jewish tradition— rightly or wrongly-as the royal patron, at whose instance the Law was translated into Greek; and Euergetes, after a successful campaign in Syria, was reported to have offered sacrifices of thanksgiving in the Temple at Jerusalem3.
Under Ptolemy (IV) Philopator (222—205), the prosperity of Egypt began to decline. Philopator, who was aged only 24 at his accession, was a dissolute and indolent king, who thought solely of his own pleasures, and was the prey of intriguing courtiers. His great rival was Antiochus (III), the Great (223-187), who almost as soon as he came to the throne, began taking steps to secure Coele-Syria and Palestine (cf. Dan. xi. 10). First, he recovered Seleukeia, which since 246 had been held by an Egyptian garrison. Next Theodotus, the Aetolian, governor of Coele-Syria, 'despising Ptolemy Philopator for his vices, and mistrusting his court,' betrayed CoeleSyria and Phoenicia to Antiochus (219). An army sent by
1 Cf. Schürer2, ii. 499 ff. (§ 31); more fully ed. 3, iii. 19 ff.
2 For Philadelphus cf. the lines of Theocritus (xviii. 86 f.).
Ναὶ μὴν Φοινίκας ἀποτέμνεται ̓Αραβίας τε,
Cf. Mahaffy, p. 130 f.
3 Ewald, Hist. v. 283 ff.; Jos. c. Ap. ii. 4. 5. Philo, in a passage (Vit. Mos. § 5) quoted by Cheyne, Origin of the Psalter, p. 146, passes a warm encomium on Ptolemy Philadelphus.