Israel had 3 temples during its Old & Testament time period. The original temple was built by Solomon. After the exile, a second temple was built under Zerubbabel. Finally, Herod the Great expanded and enlarged the temple during his reign.
The Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great who conquered Babylon in 536 BC. Cyrus issued the decree for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Under Darius the second Temple of Zerubbabel was completed; and under Xerxes, or Ahasuerus, the events recorded in the Book of Esther in the Bible happened; under Artaxerxes the Jewish state was reformed by Ezra, and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by Nehemiah. The capital of the Persian Empire was Shushan. The Empire lasted a little more than 200 years, and came to an end in 330 BC.
Sometimes it’s helpful to know the approximate distance between the New Testament cities. For example, consider the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), from a Bible Atlas you can learn that the road between Jericho and Jerusalem is a 17-mile trek through the desert. Only the poor walked it. Everyone else rode – particularly the upper-class and priests were members of the upper class. Jesus’ audience would assume the priest is riding a donkey or a mule.
The Babylonian Empire became a world power in 625 BC after the fall of Assyria. Babylon continued its reign until 536 BC. Nebuchadnezzar, its greatest king, reigned in the days of Daniel and took the southern Kingdom of Judah into captivity after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Babylon was finally captured by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus as predicted by the prophet Daniel, and the Babylonian Empire came to an end in 536 BC.
What does the first watch mean? What is the “third hour”? The Jewish day ran from sunset to sunset and was divided in 8 equal parts called watches and hours. Here’s what they mean.
The Assyrian Empire is important to biblical history for devastation the kingdom of Israel and taking the 10 northern tribes into captivity in 722 BC.
A listener asked for help with word studies. These resources pages give you links to tools to help your word studies.
Contrasting the way of the wicked and the righteous is a very common theme in the Old Testament. Here are a few Psalms where we find this theme.
Tools and resources you need to do a word study on the Greek word for righteousness: dikaiosunē
Tools and resources you need to do a word study on the Greek word for righteous: dikaios