History of the Intertestamental Period

Following the conquests of Alexander the Great and his early death in 323 B.C., his empire was divided by four of his generals. Israel initially fell under the rule of Seleucus, who held authority over Syria, but soon passed to Ptolemy, who had gained authority over Egypt. This period under the "Ptolemies" from 301 to 198 B.C. was generally one of peace for the Jews. However, in 198 B.C. the Seleucid king Antiochus III, also known as Antiochus the Great, re-conquered Israel. At the death of Antiochus III, his son Seleucus IV took the Syrian throne for twelve years after which another son of Antiochus III, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (illustrious) rose to power in 175 B.C.

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