The 400 Silent Years

There were over four hundred years between the last of the Old Testament prophets and the coming of Christ.

“…those who returned from Babylon were comparatively few in number, and confessedly did not occupy the land in its former extent.”

Page 13, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Alfred Edersheim, 1876

“Malachi was the last of the prophets, and is supposed to have prophesied B.C. 420. He reproves the priests and the people for the evil practices into which they had fallen, and invites them to repentance and reformation, with promises of the blessings to be bestowed at the coming of the Messiah. And now that prophecy was to cease, he speaks clearly of the Messiah, as nigh at hand, and directs the people of God to keep in rememberance the law of Moses, while they were in expectation of the gospel of Christ.”

The Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry, 1706

“When our blessed Saviour trod the soil of Palestine, the country had already undergone many changes. The ancient division of tribes had given way; the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel existed no longer; and the varied foreign domination, and the brief period of absolute national independence, had alike ceased.” “It was nominally an independent kingdom, but under the suzerainty of Rome.”

Page 7 & 8, Edersheim, as above