2nd Century BCE
Orias II high priest, stops paying taxes to Ptolemy III in anticipation of loss in battle. However victorious Ptolemy transfers power to House of Tobias, Jerusalem supporter of Hellenism with roots in Transjordan.
Tobais maintains economic and political influence for a century.
Joseph, son of Tobais, turns Jerusalem into a commercial center, enhancing its Hellenistic character.
Simon the Just serves as last undisputed high priest in Jerusalem. Reputation as defender of Jewish faith. Fortified Jerusalem, attempted to stem flow of Hellenism.
Judean population has probably trebled under the Ptolemies.
Agricultural advance: device for planting seeds during plowing.
Antiochus III restores much of N. Israel, Jordan valley and Transjordan to his rule, only to be defeated (217) at Raffia by Ptolemy
(1. Daniel 11:10-13)
Antiochus III regains Israel from Ptolemies.
Jerusalem suffers from war between Ptolemies and Seleuicids. Antiochus III reduces taxes, plans to refurbish the Temple. He encourages the Jews to maintain ancestral law and to govern autonomously.
Jewish entrepeurnal class emerges. Foreign slaves abound.
Jerusalem high priest Orias III refuses to pay funds from Jerusalem temple to Seleucid IV.
Antiochus Epiphanies extends citizenship to Jews who adopt Greek life style (Hellenists). Some undo their circumcision in order to play in gymnasium games.
Spurred by Antiochus III, Jews settle in Kurdistan.
Jews under Antiochus III and Seleucis IV are protected from Seleucid army (Hefzibah Inscription).
Papyrus describes Judean man sued by Greek wife for dowry.
Demetrius' chronological account of Jewish History from fall of Israel and Judah to Ptolemy IV.
Ben Sira praises Simon the Just.
Ben Sira, learned scribe, composes proverbial wisdom book stressing piety and praising past heroes of Israel. He calls for gracious acts (Hesed) among people.
Book of Jubilees composed in Hebrew- elaborates narratives of Genesis and Exodus. Injects puritanical morals in a (later) midrashic style.
Alexandrian Jewish philosopher Aristobulus pioneers theory of Greek thought based on truth from Torah.
Rome acquires Sicily from Carthage.
Rome seizes Sardinia and Corsica from Cartage. Later forges alliance with several Greek cities. Hellenic League campaigns for control of independent Greek city- states. (224)
Antiochus III wrests Antioch and Mediterranean port cities from Ptolemy IV
Power struggle between Macedonia, Seleucids, & Ptolemies, upsets balance of power in Hellenistic world.
Chin dynasty dominates China. Great Wall of China (1400 miles long) built by Shi Huang-ti.
Hannibal invades Italy in continuing Carthage-Rome dispute
2nd Punic War.
Antiochus III extends dominion to Egypt.
Antiochus III now defeated by Roman army.
Antiochus III submits to Rome, surrenders son Antiochus Epiphanies as hostage: later (187) killed attempting to plunder a temple to pay tribute.
Antiocus Epiphanies released by Rome.
Seleucid IV assassinated. Power falls to Antiochus IV Epiphanies. (175-163)