Judea, also known as the Kingdom of Judah, was a kingdom that was established in the region of Palestine, south of modern-day Israel. The kingdom lasted from 930 BCE until 586 BCE, when it was conquered by the Neo-Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar II.
The name “Judea” is derived from the name of one of its major cities, Jerusalem. The capital city of Judea was Jerusalem, which also served as the capital for the Kingdom of Israel.
The history of Judea is an incredibly rich and fascinating topic, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. The best way to get started is by exploring the biblical history of this region.
The term “Judea” refers to the southern portion of what was once Israel. It comes from the name Judah, which was one of the 12 tribes that lived in this area. In order for a person or group to be considered Judean, they had to be part of the tribe of Judah or related to it through marriage or descent.
After Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, Judeans were scattered throughout Babylon and Persia until Cyrus II allowed them to return home after his conquest in 538 BC. They rebuilt their capital city under Persian rule until Alexander the Great conquered it around 332 BC. After Alexander’s death in 323 BC, Judea became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire until 198 BC when Antiochus IV Epiphanes took control over all of Judea from Egypt through Syria – including Jerusalem!
Under Antiochus IV Epiphanes’ rule, many Jews were forced into Hellenistic culture by being forced into assimilating with other cultures such as Greek language and culture .
Judea in the bible
Judaea, also spelled Judea, or Judah, Hebrew Yehudaḥ, the southernmost of the three traditional divisions of ancient Palestine; the other two were Galilee in the north and Samaria in the centre. No clearly marked boundary divided Judaea from Samaria, but the town of Beersheba was traditionally the southernmost limit. The region presents a variety of geographic features, but the real core of Judaea was the upper hill country, known as Har Yehuda (“Hills of Judaea”), extending south from the region of Bethel (at present-day Ramallah) to Beersheba and including the area of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron.
Before the Israelite conquest of Palestine, the Canaanites dominated the region, and the town of Hebron was an important centre. When the tribes of Israel invaded the country, the tribe of Judah claimed the entire area from just south of the site of Jerusalem into the Negev region (the area south of Beersheba). The tribes of Simeon, Benjamin, and Dan also at one time or another settled some small areas of the region. When David became king of Judah (10th century BC), he captured the old Canaanite (Jebusite) stronghold, Jerusalem, and made it the capital of the united kingdom of the tribes of Israel. After the death of David’s son, King Solomon (10th century), the 10 northern tribes separated from Judah, and Jerusalem remained the capital of the kingdom of Judah, which continued until 587/586, when the Babylonians conquered it and destroyed Jerusalem. Later, however, Persian kings permitted captive Jews to return from Babylonia to their native land and to rebuild their temple and the walls of Jerusalem.
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After Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Middle East, Judah came first under the rule of the Ptolemies and later under that of the Seleucids. Opposition to the Seleucid attempt to suppress the Jewish ancestral faith led to the rise of the family of Jewish leaders known as the Maccabees, who gradually drove the Seleucids from the country and set up a revived kingdom of Judaea. Family disputes, however, led to Roman intervention in 63 BC. Under Roman control, Herod the Great was made king of Judaea in 37 BC and later of all Palestine (20–4 BC). After Herod’s death the country was ruled alternately by Herod’s direct descendants and by Roman procurators. As a result of the Jewish revolt that broke out in AD 66, the city of Jerusalem was destroyed (AD 70). The name Judaea is still used to describe approximately the same area in modern Israel.