The Silent Time--What Happened in History Between Malachi and Matthew?

On this page, you will find several resources, from college lectures to brief overviews, which will fill in the history and activities of nations in those 400 years when the prophets did not hear the voice of God speaking to His people, when God was preparing the world for the birth of the promised Savior, and when the people of Israel and Judah looked forward to the coming kingdom foretold through the prophets from Genesis to Malachi...

From Malachi to Matthew ~The Historical Background of the New Testament by Dr. John Stevenson

This study of the Historical Background to the New Testament begins with the close of the Old Testament era and traces the history of the ancient world and Israel in particular to the time of the New Testament. 

400 Years of Silence, a 5 minute history overview from the time of the Bablylonians to the domination by Rome and the hope for the promised Messiah...

From "Stuff They Didn't Teach You In Sunday School" (7+ minute overview)~ When the Old Testament curtain closes we're in the Persian Empire. By the time we get back from intermission we're speaking Greek in the Roman Empire? Are we in the wrong theater?

"It's Intermission--Scenery Change!"

  Ancient History Timeline, from 500 BC to 1     by K. E. Karr

All over the world, this was a time of unification,

both by trading with each other and by building empires.


In China, first the Chin Dynasty and then the Han Dynasty united

China and built strong trade networks both inside China and

abroad, trading with India, South-East Asia, and across Central

Asia to the Persian Empire along the Silk Road.


                       In Central Asia, someone invented camel saddles 

                       about 200 BC, which made the trading easier.


           Across the Pacific Ocean in Central America, the Maya 

           and the Zapotec were also building strong empires,  

           running from Mexico down to Venezuela.

                                        Further north, the Hopewell culture 

                                        united people from Louisiana all the

                                        way north to Ohio and Wisconsin,

                                        trading in canoes up and down the

                                        Mississippi and other rivers.


                                                    Across the Atlantic, in Africa, some Bantu people

                                                    from West Africa began to spread out across Africa,

                                                    bringing their language & their iron tools with them.


                                             North of the Sahara, the Carthaginians built another

                                             empire all along the coast of North Africa and Sicily. 

                                             In East Africa, Meroe  (Cush) got ore and more

                                             involved in trade with West Asia and India.


  Still further north, in Europe, Athenian Empire united Greece,

  only to be conquered in turn by Alexander the Great, who

  took over the Persian Empire to unite GreeceEgypt and

  West Asia. Under Greek rule, Eratosthenes discovered that

  the earth was a sphere, and how big it was, and people

  argued about whether the earth went around the sun.


                                                          At the same time, the Romans conquered first the Etruscans, then

                                                          the Carthaginians in North Africa and theGreeks, then Gaul (France),

                                                          and finally united the whole Mediterranean Sea with the conquest 

                                                          of Cleopatra's Egypt.

                       Finally, in India the great general Chandragupta also formed

                       the Mauryan empire beginning in the 300s BC, and it got

                       even bigger under Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka.


All over the world, this was a time of growth

and connections among peoples.

The Silk Road is red; the Spice Route is blue.