What events occurred between
the Old and New Testaments?
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Question: What happened BETWEEN the time the Old Testament ended and the New Testament began? What PROPHECIES were fulfilled? What major wars were fought?
Answer: In order to figure out what wars or fulfilled prophecy occurred during this period, we should first know the approximate dates for it. Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament, was most likely written roughly around 400 B.C. A reasonable date for the beginning of John the Baptist's ministry, considered the beginning of the New Testament period, is the early part of 26 A.D. (shortly before Jesus' ministry began in the Fall).
So then, what wars occurred during the period roughly between the Old and New Testaments? A key war, famous even today, broke out between Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire, during which he defeated them in several major battles from 333 to 331 B.C.
After Alexander died in 323 B.C. various wars broke out among his generals for control of his empire, which was eventually split it into four parts. These wars and their outcome were predicted by Daniel (see Daniel 11:3 - 4; 8:3 - 8, 20 - 22). Daniel 11 is largely about the continuing conflicts between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kingdoms (verses 5-39), which were ruled by successors of Alexander's generals. The King of the North is the Seleucid kingdom, which roughly corresponds to Iran, Iraq, and Syria today. The King of the South refers mainly to Ptolemies, who ruled over Egypt. (Cleopatra, so famous for her dealings with the later Roman generals and politicians Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony in the first century B.C., was the last of these Greek rulers of Egypt). These two kingdoms fought back and forth over Palestine, Judea and the Holy Land. The land of Palestine fell under the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, ruled by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, in about 175 B.C.
The Jews even today commemorate at Hanukkah the result of wars that gave them at least temporarily effective national independence against the Seleucid. This war was is also mentioned in Daniel 8:9 - 14; 11:31, and is covered in the two books of the Maccabees. (These two books are found in the Old Testament in Catholic Bibles and are part of the Apocrypha, which Protestants and Jews don't recognize as part of the canon of Scripture but Catholics do).