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  • Print publication year: 1984
  • Online publication date: March 2008

4 - The Persian empire and the political and social history of Palestine in the Persian period

With the conquest of the Babylonian empire in the days of Cyrus, the satrapy of Abar Nahara, which was at that time an integral part of the Babylonian empire, was annexed as a whole to the young Persian empire. Cyrus inherited from the Babylonian kings the unstable organization of this large region on the south-west border of the empire, which included many kingdoms, nomadic tribes and commercial towns. A new wave of Jews from Babylon left to resettle in Palestine, this time headed by a strong religious and political leadership. This chapter discusses the establishment of the province of Judah. The predominant characteristic of the province of Judah as reflected in the Bible and archeological finds is the connection between the province of the Persian period and that of the Judean kingdom of the pre-exilic period. In the south, the Judean state was re-established first by the descendants of the royal family and later by a dynasty of local governors.
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The Cambridge History of Judaism
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