Explore the Period: Judah during Persian Rule: 538 BCE - 332 BCE

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In 539 BCE, the Persians defeated the Babylonians, and many of the exiles returned home, while others remained in Babylon and elsewhere, shifting Jewish self-understanding from being defined politically and geographically, but ethnically and especially religiously. Those who returned to Palestine rebuilt the temple. Much of the Old Testament was composed and/or finalized during this period, in which the people wrestled with their new reality.

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