Yehud, the Persian Province of Judah
In the first of four volumes on A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period, Lester Grabbe presents a comprehensive history of Judah (Aramaic Yehud) during the Persian Period. Among the many crucial questions he addresses are: What are the sources for this period and how do we evaluate them? And how do we make them “speak” to us through the fog of centuries? Grabbe argues that there is a danger of seeing everything from a Judaeo-centric point of view, or using the biblical texts and out-of-date secondary material to provide the main perspective in understanding history, whereas any scholar writing about this period should be familiar with the classical historians and the Near Eastern sources as well. This study brings together and analyzes the original sources, sifts and evaluates the secondary sources, develops a substantial historical synthesis, and points to areas where further research is needed. Yehud: A History of the Persian Province of Judah offers the most up to date and comprehensive examination of the political and administrative structures; the society and economy; the religion, temple and cult; the developments in thought and literature; and the major political events.