As we learned in Part 5: that later in life King Solomon worshiped other gods and did not keep the commandments set forth by the Lord,
The Lord informed him that He would split the kingdom into two nations after his death, 1 Kings 11:9-13.
Israel splits into Two Houses, the Northern Kingdom, the House of Israel in Samaria that had ten tribes, and the Southern Kingdom, the House of Judah with two tribes, in Judea.
The splitting into two houses, House of Israel and House of Judah occurred about 960 BCE at the beginning of the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam: 1 KINGS 12:17-26
The House of Israel, with ten tribes, started and continued worshiping false gods, so God allowed Assyria to come into Israel.
Assyria led by King Pul came against the land but was paid off by king Menahem of the House of Israel, who did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, with a thousand talents of silver, and Pul, the king of Assyria, left Israel. 2 Kings 15:17-29 (KJV)
The Kings of the House of Israel paid Assyria silver to keep them from carrying them back to Assyria, but when that didn’t work anymore with Assyria, we find that eventually, the House of Israel, the ten tribes were taken captive by Assyria and never heard from again. This occurred around 722 BC.
One country invading another one was to plunder their valuables, so it went with Assyria capturing the House of Israel; their valuables were an immense wealth.
The engagement of Assyria and the House of Israel took somewhat 3 years. What had happened in Assyria to the 10 lost tribes of Israel has been one long controversy.
Ancient Assyria in 722 BC. was known for their fierce warriors and their attacks on countries brutally annihilating them.
Three theories exist of the ten lost tribes:
1 they were eliminated, 2 they settled in other countries and 3 some may have returned to Israel.
The end of the Assyrian Empire took years to reach its demise; battles lost over time, aggressive countries capturing their territory, we see it took place over a span of time rather than all at once.
King Josiah of Assyria, with his death in 609 and Babylon coming into power, little of Assyria is left, leaving it vulnerable for attack.
The conquest of the Assyrian Empire allowed the conquerors, Babylon and the Medes, to divide the empire amongst themselves.
609 B.C. is a date that came under the control of the area of the Babylonians.
Babylon for 70 years was a formable power capturing the House of Judah and caring them away to Babylon.
According to the Old Testament, Babylon existed only 70 years, starting with King Nebuchadnezzar and ending in 539 BC when Cyrus King of Persia conquered Babylon.
These dates 609 and 539 gives us 70 years, The 70 years agrees with Jeremiah 25:9-12and Jeremiah 29:10.
After conquering the Babylonian Empire in 539 B.C, Cyrus, King of Persia, a year later, granted the Jews permission to return to their homeland and build a new temple.
Upon the return of the Jews to their homeland, one of the first important projects to get started on was the building of the second temple.
In 535 BC. the foundations of the Second Temple were laid.
But delays came about and the construction of the temple was postponed.
In 524 BC., the work of rebuilding the temple was resumed and carried forward to its completion in 516 BC, some 24 years after the return from captivity in Babylon.
The new temple was not as elegant or imposing as the first, King Solomon’s, but in King Herod’s time, he rebuilt it into a magnificent structure; it was an imposing dominating structure on the Jerusalem skyline until it was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.
The period in which the House of Judah returned from Babylon 538 B.C. to the beginning of the first century elapses, a time period in which many changes occurred.
Among some are, second temple re-built, positions occurred, Sadducees and Pharisees came about, Synagogues and Rabbis introduced from Babylon, and other things were also introduced.
When under captivity by the Babylonians the Jews had no temple to worship in and synagogue came about.
In the return to Israel synagogue came into play. There was no temple in which to worship for some 24 years.
The synagogue were a place to gather and study the law and teach.
These synagogues came to be a place in this reestablishing of Israel for meeting and studying the law and teaching. A person with the title of Rabbi (a teacher) became prominent in the synagogue. Introduced too into the priesthood were the Sadducees and the Pharisees, but some priests were Sadducees, and many were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all.
The religious role of the Sadducees included the upkeep of the Temple and oversaw many official affairs of the state. Representing a more aristocratic elite.
Pharisees Collected taxes and spoke on behalf of the mainstream Judaism representative of the classical Greek civilization Sadducees and Pharisees in the high Jewish court, Acts 23:8 (KJV)
• 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
Sadducees and Pharisees were not mentioned in the Law given on Mount Sinai and are a product later adopted by the Jews after the return from Babylon.