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§Middle East


Seventy years of Babylonian captivity were over for the Jews. Babylonian conqueror Cyrus, king of Persia, was letting the Jews return home. But once back in the Promised Land (537 BCE), their hope of enjoying self-determination as a free nation went unrealized. They had no king, and the political authority of their governors was soon eclipsed by the religious authority of the high priest, who came to be viewed as head of the nation. The Jews begin rebuilding the Second Temple seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple, from 520–516 BC; This account is noted in the Old Testament of the Bible at 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 and Ezra 1:1-5. A few months before 537 BCE.

Zerubbabel laid the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


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