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What happened during the 400 years between the Old Testament and New Testament?

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“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD; make his paths straight.’” – Matthew 3: 1-3

Matthew 3: 1-3 Bible Verse Audio
Matthew 3: 1-3 Bible Verse Audio Minute

After reading about the last prophet in the Old Testament, we question what exactly happened during that time between the prophet of the Old Testament and New Testament. There was close to 400 years of time that we do not have word from a prophet about the word of GOD. There are other writings that are historical that talk about what happened during that time. The book of the Maccabeans describe the battles that the people of GOD fought against the Hellenists or Greeks as well as the yoke of the Romans that began prior to the arrival of John the Baptist.

This could have several interpretations since the prophets that GOD had sent in the form of Malachi attempted to get the people ready to return to GOD. Instead the people held to their own beliefs and did not want to believe in the words of Malachi seeing that they had the roots of bitterness in their hearts. They held to their own interpretations of the scriptures professing their own beliefs. Each attempted to do what was right within their own eyes and not choosing to follow the words of Malachi. We see that historically, after the reign of the Persian Empire, the Greeks, and finally we see the Romans keeping order in the region.

Through this instances we see three empires attempt to conquer GOD’s people which occurs momentarily. The Persians eased their yoke on the people of GOD by allowing a return from the exile and the ability to build their temple signifying the ability to worship. While not in their strongest and unified form following the exile, the Israelites attempted to hope for a better tomorrow that would restore the glory of the past. Different religious beliefs were beginning to form due to the harshness of the exile. They fought against the Greeks and defeated them in battles which was prophesied in previous books. This occurred all in the time span between prophet and prophet. Rome would defeat its enemies and rule the surrounding areas forming an alliance with Jewish authorities while remaining vigilant of the actions of its subjects. The Jewish people were tired of being surrounded by those who oppressed them. They longed for the days of liberty and freedom and strength that had characterized their empire days.

While empires were destroyed and new ones began, they expected the day when they would be lead to become a strong empire that could establish itself and free itself from those surrounding nations that wanted to keep it captive. Through history we see that these events only intensified with the arrival of the new prophet John the Baptist and the arrival of Jesus Christ. These events described a spiritual renewal that had an impact in the political world. We see that when John preaches there is a contention that exists between those that had been priests through the time of the exile and into the time of the new prophets with the prophet John. They had grown rigid in the interpretations of scripture and verbal teachings and wanted to keep the commandments and interpreted the statutes of Moses in order to keep with tradition and their faith.

Even within the priests, there were divisions between different manners of belief. In the Bible we are reminded of two different groups that contended for the ability to guide Israel through the events that occurred. GOD allowed these groups to teach the people since they did not want to follow the previous prophets words send by GOD. This only led to a greater instance that works was the most important point in belief. Malachi preached faith, honoring the commandments of Moses, and repentance which is consistent with the words of John. John is the prophet that is also prophesied in Malachi to preach the steadfast love of GOD. These two points of view seem to create a rift in what it meant and means to honor and believe in GOD.

“En aquellos dias llego Juan el Bautista predicando en el desierto de Judea, diciendo: Arrepentios, porque el reino de los cielos se ha acercado. Porque este es aquel a quien se refirio el profeta Isaias, diciendo: Voz del que clama en el desierto: Preparad el camino del SEÑOR, haced derachas sus sendas.” – Mateo 3: 1-3

Mateo 3: 1-3 Pasaje de la Biblia Audio
Mateo 3: 1-3 Pasaje de la Biblia Audio Minuto

Despues de leer sobre el ultimo profeta del Viejo Testamento, cuestionamos que fue lo que paso durante el tiempo del Viejo Testamento y el Nuevo Testamento. Hay cerca de 40 decadas de tiempo que no tenemos palabra de algun profeta sobre la palabra de DIOS. Hay escritos que describen lo que sucede durante ese tiempo historicamente. El libro de los Macabeos describe las batallas que suceden entre los Israelitas contra los Helenistas o Griegos y tambien sobre los Romanos antes de la llegada de Juan el Bautista.

Esto puede tener varias interpretaciones porque los profetas que DIOS habia mandado como Malaquias trataban de hacer que las personas regresaran a DIOS. En vez de esto, las personas creian lo que querian creer y no querian oir las palabras de Malaquias por las raizes de las amarguras. Ellos empezaron a tener propias interpretaciones de las escrituras profesando su propias creencias. Cada uno trataba de hacer lo corecto en sus propios ojos y no seguian las palabras de Malaquias. Vemos que historicamente, despues de que los Persas, Griegos, y Romanos tratan de conquistar a Israel, pero siguen adelante.

Con estas instancias podemos ver que tree imperios tratan de conquistar al pueblo de DIOS y sucede momentaniamente. Los Persas dan libertades a el pueblo de DIOS y los dejan que regresen del exilio y puedan construir la gran ciudad y el templo para que puedan orar y adorar a DIOS. Aunque no habia la unidad y fuerza para unificar el estado despues del exilio, los Israelitas trataron de seguir esperando un mejor dia en el que pudieran tener la gloria del pasado. Diferentes creencias religiosas empezaron a formar por la dificultad del exilio. Pelearon en contra de los Griegos y ganaron batallas que fueron profesias en otros libros. Todo esto ocurria entre el tiempo del Viejo Testament y Nuevo Testamento. Roma se consolidaria crearia una aliancia con las autoridades Judias. Todo esto causaba que las personas Judias esperaran a un tiempo donde tubieran libertad y no fueran oprimidos. Esperaban los dias de la libertad y fuerza que tenian antes.

Aunque los imperios eran destruidos y nuevos fueron creados, esperaban los dias donde fueran lidereados a un imperio donde serian libres de las naciones alrededor. Vemos que los eventos de la historia se intensificaron con Juan el Bautista, el profeta, que llegaria para anunciar la llegada de Jesus el Redentor. Estos eventos describen una renovacion espiritual que tenian impacto en la vida politica. Vemos que Juan el Bautista predica la necesidad de renovacion y arrepentimiento del pecado y esto causa un punto de contencion con los sacerdotes. Las interpretaciones eran rigidas y estrictas y habian crecido a dar importancia a las escrituras y la tradicion hablada.

Aun entre los sacerdotes habian divisiones en diferentes creencias. En la Biblia sabemos que habian dos grupos diferentes que contendian para liderear a Israel durante los eventos hablados y tambien durante los eventos del Nuevo Testamento. DIOS dejo que estos grupos pudieran predicar de cierta manera por que no querian oir a los profetas que DIOS mandaba. Esto creo la creencia en la necesidad de que uno mismo tenia que honrar todos los mandamientos y era uno mismo quien podia obtener justificacion a traves de las acciones. Malaquias predicaba fe y la necesidad de honrar los mandamientos de Moises y la necesidad del arrepentimiento que era lo que Juan el Bautista predico. Juan el Bautista que era de llegar segun la profesia de Malaquias para predicar el amor eterno de DIOS. Estos dos puntos de vista creean preguntas y discusiones sobre que significa honrar y creer en DIOS.

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