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Hellenism and the Birth of Modern Rabbinic Judaism

Inter-Testament History

I think it is important to refresh ourselves regarding the history of the inter-testament period and the conditions leading up to and during the life of Christ. 

Very many COG people are still ignorant of this history; and of the fact that the Mosaic Pharisees were NOT the same as the modern Rabbins! 

The modern Rabbins do not and have NEVER; sat in the seat of Moses!

A Background History of Daniel 11 and its Effects on Judaism and Christianity

Hellenistic civilization (Greek civilization beyond classical Greece) represents Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BC.

The nominal start of the Hellenistic period is usually taken as the 323 BC death of Alexander the Great in Babylon. During the previous decade of campaigning ( from 334 BC ), Alexander had conquered the whole Persian Empire, overthrowing the Persian King Darius III. The conquered lands included Asia Minor, Assyria, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Media, Persia, and parts of modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and the steppes of central Asia.

Since the entry of Alexander into Jerusalem and Egypt, Greek Hellenic influence had taken deep hold on the Jews.

Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism.  This led to  a split between the Hellenizers [who became the modern Rabbins] and the Mosaic Pharisees and Sadducees who controlled the temple religion of Jerusalem and were destroyed in the Roman wars.

The Mosaic Pharisees who had descended from the teaching of Ezra, contested with the Hellenizers over who would be the High Priest, and over the interpretation of the scriptures by the Hellenizers; [Now modern Rabbins]  who used Greek logic to destroy the teachings of Moses and make the practical application of God’s commandments void.

Alexander who had conquered the Middle East right up to India had made no special preparations for his succession in his newly founded empire, dying as he did at a young age, and thus on his death-bed (apocryphally), he willed it to “the strongest”.[ The result was a state of internecine warfare between his generals (the Diadochi, or ‘Successors’), which lasted for forty years before a more-or-less stable arrangement was established, consisting of four major domains:

The religious seat of Satan was transferred from Babylon to Pergamun during the years of fighting over the empire, then to Rome by Attalus III in 133 AD..

The Hellenistic period is often considered to be 146 BC, when the Roman Republic conquered most of mainland Greece, and absorbed all of ancient Macedon. By this time the rise of Rome to absolute political prominence in the Mediterranean was complete, and this might therefore mark the start of the ‘Roman period’. An alternative date is 30 BC, when the final Hellenistic kingdom of Ptolemaic Egypt was conquered by Rome (the last remnants of the Seleucid empire having been taken over thirty years earlier). This more obviously represents the absolute end of the power of the Hellenistic civilizations.

 

 Ptolemaic-Empire_200bc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ptolemaic-Empire c200 B.C.  The King of the South, Dan 11!

King of the South: EGYPT and Palestine: In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King of Egypt. As Ptolemy I Soter (“Saviour”), he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty that was to rule Egypt.The Ptolemaic empire included Egypt, Judea and Israel up to southern Syria and bordered the King of the North which included modern Syria and Iraq.

After the division of the empire of Alexander the scripture concerns itself with the struggles of The King of the South, Egypt; and the King of the North, Babylon.

King of the North: BABYLON Syria, [later swallowed up by Rome] Seleucus Nicator was an officer of Alexander the Great, commander of the élite infantry corps in the Macedonian army, the “Shield-bearers” (Hypaspistai), later known as the “Silvershields”.

After the death of Alexander, Seleucus was nominated as the satrap of Babylon in 320 BCE. Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon, but, supported by Ptolemy, he was able to return in 312 BCE.

Dan 11 is a history the rivalries between the kingdom of Babylon [called in history Seleucid Syria; and in scripture the King of the North], which had its original capitol at Babylon; and Egypt called in scripture the King of the South.

Wherever the conquering Greeks went, they brought with them Greek culture which rapidly caught on and heavily influence the world of that day. Greek became the lingua franca of the Mediterranean region and Greek logic, reasoning style and culture permeated the western world.

During the days of Ezra the repentant Jews returned to Judea where they experienced a religious revival and eventually developed into the Mosaic Pharisees who lived at the advent of Christ. Meanwhile the Jews who chose to remain in the dispersion became centered in Alexandria Egypt, Babylon and Rome; adopting and increasingly applying Hellenic reasoning to the scriptures.

This split Judaism into two main groups; Then Mosaic Pharisees and Sadducees in Palestine who sat in Moses seat; and the Hellenized ancestors of the modern Rabbins which developed outside of Judea and used pagan Greek reasoning concerning the scriptures.

This is the history of the clash between these two Jewish groups and how the Mosaic Pharisees came to control Judea during the time of Christ; and were then destroyed when they rebelled against Rome.

The pushing back and forth between the King of the North, Babylonian Empire, and the Egypt/Judea/Israel King of the South, eventually resulted in Babylon taking control of Palestine for a brief period and the key incident of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes ( /ænˈtaɪ.əkəs ɛˈpɪfəniːz/; Ancient Greek: Ἀντίοχος Ἐπιφανής, ‘God Manifest’;c. 215 BC – 164 BC) ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithridates; he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne.

Antiochus, with the help of King Eumenes II of Pergamum, in 175 BC, seized the throne of Babylon Syria for himself, proclaiming himself co-regent for another son of Seleucus, an infant named Antiochus (whom he then murdered a few years later).

When the guardians of King Ptolemy VI of Egypt demanded the return of Coele-Syria  in 170 BC, Antiochus of Babylon launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, conquering all but Alexandria and capturing King Ptolemy and taking Judea from Egypt.

To control Judea, Antiochus then deposed the high Priest, Jason; who was of the loyal Mosaic faction and replaced him with a Hellenic High Priest, Menelaus.

To avoid alarming Rome, Antiochus allowed Ptolemy VI to continue ruling as puppet king of Egypt/Judea. Upon Antiochus’ withdrawal, the city of Alexandria, Egypt, chose a new king, one of Ptolemy’s brothers, also named Ptolemy (VIII Euergetes). Instead of fighting a civil war, the Ptolemy brothers agreed to rule Egypt jointly.

In 168 BC Antiochus led a second attack on Egypt and also sent a fleet to capture Cyprus. Before reaching Alexandria, his path was blocked by a single, old Roman ambassador named Gaius Popillius Laenas, who delivered a message from the Roman Senate directing Antiochus to withdraw his armies from Egypt, Judea and Cyprus, or consider themselves in a state of war with the Roman Republic. Antiochus said he would discuss it with his council, whereupon the Roman envoy drew a line in the sand around him and said, “Before you cross this circle I want you to give me a reply for the Roman Senate” – implying that Rome would declare war if the King stepped out of the circle without committing to leave Egypt immediately. Weighing his options, Antiochus decided to withdraw. Only then did Popillius agree to shake hands with him.

While Antiochus of Babylon was busy in Egypt, a rumor spread that he had been killed.

Responding to this rumor the deposed High Priest of the Mosaic faction in Jerusalem, Jason; gathered a force of 1,000 soldiers and made a surprise attack on the city of Jerusalem.

The Hellenized [Rabbinic] High Priest appointed by Antiochus of Babylon, Menelaus; was forced to flee Jerusalem during a riot. On the return of Antiochus of Babylon from Egypt in 167 BC enraged by his defeat, he attacked Jerusalem and restored the Hellenist [Rabbinic] Menelaus, and executed many Mosaic Jews.

When these happenings [The overthrow of the Rabbinic high priest installed by Antiochus] were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.

 

— 2 Maccabees 5:11–14

 

To consolidate his empire and strengthen his hold over the region, Antiochus decided to  outlaw Mosaic Holy Days, Sabbaths, circumcision and the commandments kept by the zealous for God as well as kept by the Hellenic compromisers like, today’s COG groups and ordered the worship of Zeus [The sun god, representing Satan to those who understand] as the supreme god (2 Maccabees 6:1–12).

The Hellenized Jews did not reject holy days etc, but rather reinterpreted them according to Hellenic logic and a thousand years [finalized in 1078 ad] later established an apostate Rabbinic calendar and many teachings contrary to scripture, by exalting their own reasoning’s above the scriptures.

The Hellenizers also kept these Mosaic teachings, but did so according to their own logic [as does the COG today] ; and this act of Antiochus, far from supporting one side against the other; brought the two sides into common resistance against Antiochus.

This command of Antiochus  was anathema to the faithful Mosaic Pharisees and also to the Hellenic Pharisees; they BOTH rejected the decree and joined together to oppose Antiochus,

Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree and because of the resistance, the city was destroyed, many were slaughtered, and a Greek [Seleucid king of the north Babylon] military citadel called the Acra was established.

Not long after this the king [Antiochus] sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested…They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew. At the suggestion of the citizens of Ptolemais, a decree was issued ordering the neighboring Greek cities to act in the same way against the Jews: oblige them to partake of the sacrifices, and put to death those who would not consent to adopt the customs of the Greeks. It was obvious, therefore, that disaster impended. Thus, two women who were arrested for having circumcised their children were publicly paraded about the city with their babies hanging at their breasts and then thrown down from the top of the city wall. Others, who had assembled in nearby caves to observe the sabbath in secret, were betrayed to Philip and all burned to death.
  — 2 Maccabees 6:1–11

The First and Second Book of Macabbees painted the Maccabbean Revolt as a national resistance to a foreign political and cultural oppression.

Modern scholars accept that the king was intervening in a civil war between the Mosaic Pharisees in the country and the Hellenized Jews in Judea. According to Joseph P. Schultz:

“Modern scholarship on the other hand considers the Maccabean revolt less as an uprising against foreign oppression, than as a civil war between the orthodox [Mosaic Pharisees and Sadducees] and reformist [Hellenized apostate] parties in the Jewish camp.”

The actions of Antiochus resulted in a joint alliance against him by both Jewish groups.

Taking advantage of Antiochus’ problems in Egypt and Palestine , King Mithridates I of Parthia attacked from the east and seized the city of Herat in 167 BC, disrupting the direct trade route to India and effectively splitting the Greek world in two.

Recognizing the potential danger in the east, but unwilling to give up control of Judea, Antiochus sent a commander named Lysias to deal with the Maccabees, while the King himself led the main Seleucid army against the Parthians. After initial success in his eastern campaign, including the reoccupation of Armenia, Antiochus died suddenly of disease in 164 BC.

In Judea the fall of Antiochus resulted in the defeat of Antiochus agent senator Lysias and the establishment of the Hellenized Hasmonean dynasty until the Mosaic Pharisees and Sadducees sent for help from Rome in 63 BC..

Consequently, the Jews united in revolt against the Greek ruler, leading to the formation of an independent Hellenic dominated Jewish kingdom, known as the Hasmonaean Dynasty, which lasted from 165 BCE to 63 BCE.

The Hasmonaean Dynasty eventually disintegrated in a civil war between the Hellenized Jews and the Mosaic Jews. The people, who did not want to continue to be governed by the Hellenized Hasmonaean Dynasty, appealed to Rome for intervention, leading to a total Roman conquest and annexation of Palestine. 

The Romans set up the Mosaic Pharisees, defeating the Hellenizers [the modern Rabbins] and set the conditions of Mosesism for the advent of Christ.

By the time of Christ, Judea was the center of the Mosaic Pharisees who taught the scriptures as re-established by Ezra; even though they had become self righteous and lacked understanding themselves.  It was these Mosaic Pharisees who Christ said sat in Moses seat, until after his resurrection; when Christ was raised to sit in that seat of authority; sitting on the very throne of the Father in heaven!.

Meanwhile the Hellenizers controlled most of the Jewish world outside Judea in the dispersion.

When the Jews rebelled against Rome, Jerusalem and Judea along with the Mosaic Pharisees were destroyed; leaving the Hellenized Pharisees to control Judaism, and develop into Modern Rabbinic Judaism.

Modern Rabbinic Judaism is NOT the religion of Moses: It is an apostasy from Moses through Hellenic logic and the reasoning’s of men about the scripture: In exactly the same way that modern “Christianity” is a perversion of the teachings of Christ.

This history sets the conditions for the advent of Christ and his true followers as the only remaining true religion, which adheres to the same religion that God gave to Moses and the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Modern Rabbinic Judaism claims to cloak itself in Moses; while claiming that their traditions are holier than Moses words [Talmud being greater than Tanakh].

An apostate Rabbinic Calendar, the wrong day of Passover and the wrong day for the Feast of Weeks and multiple other errors from Moses;  sets modern Rabbins, descended religiously from the Hellenized unrepentant apostates of old, apart from Moses.

Today there is a groundswell of brethren repenting of this error and turning back to the teachings of Moses and Christ concerning the Sabbath, Calendar and other matters.

May the Mighty Master Builder bring a revival of true religion and pour out his Spirit on his people like a refreshing rain!

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