The author draws attention to a somewhat neglected series of events that he believe set the stage for that survival and for some of those post-70 developments.The author refers to the events of 67-37 BCE. He considers the notion that the period of the loss of independence and the inception of Roman rule in Judea is when the seeds of these developments were sown, or was at least a major factor in shaping them. This chapter offers preliminary steps in this direction. First, the case will be made that the early Roman period marked the first fundamental separation between the state and religious authority in Judea. It discusses institutional innovations in this period. Finally, the chapter discusses the possible impact of developments of this period on the centrality of the Jerusalem Temple, along with possible effects that impact may have had on the development of another institution, namely, the synagogue.
The “Four Empires” scheme appears in literature from around the ancient Near East, as well as in the biblical book of Daniel. Daniel’s scheme was adopted in subsequent Jewish literature as a basic division of world history. In addition, the book of Daniel appears to have had a prominent place in the Qumran library. Scholars have identified, or suggested, the existence of the “Four Empires” scheme in two texts found among the Qumran scrolls, the “New Jerusalem” text (4Q554), and, especially, in the so-called “Four Kingdoms”(!) text (4Q552–553). This paper will examine these texts, will argue that the “four empires” scheme is not attested in the Qumran scrolls (apart from Daniel), and will suggest alternative understandings of those two texts.
The title Ethnarch appears in Second Temple sources in reference to four Judean rulers: Simon the Hasmonean, John Hyrcanus, Hyrcanus II, and Archelaus, son of Herod. This evidence is usually taken for granted. However, a meticulous analysis of the sources shows that we should not rely on the evidence pertaining to the early Hasmoneans (Simon and John Hyrcanus), and it rather seems that the title was first employed only by the Romans (probably Julius Caesar) for Hyrcanus II. The paper further asserts that this title exemplifies a unique perception of the Jewish people by the Romans. Additionally, the paper notes some ramifications that this understanding of the title Ethnarch and the view which it exemplifies may have on certain issues of the Second Temple period.<xref ref-type="fn" rid="FN0">*</xref>