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Who ruled 50 years before Jesus’ birth?
From a small kingdom centered in Rome, the Roman Empire grew until it became one of the most powerful empires in the world. It systematically conquered one kingdom after the other.
In 63 B.C. Pompey, commanding Rome’s army, marched into Jerusalem and entered the Temple. Jewish leaders aligned them with the stronger Rome to gain favor.
50 Years Before Jesus’ Birth
Internal politics in Rome lead to Julius conquering Pompey. He gave himself the title of Caesar.
The senate, who had ruled the republic until then, gave Julius Caesar all the authority. He became Rome’s emperor.
Julius Caesar was murdered about 50 years before the birth of Jesus.
30 Years Before Jesus’ Birth
The drama continued in Rome. The alliance between Octavia and Anthony didn’t last long.
During that time, Cleopatra of Egypt visited Herod in Israel and demanded tribute from Herod. When Octavia defeated her lover, Anthony, in battle, Herod was very quick to change sides.
Anthony and Cleopatra committed suicide in 27 B.C.
That same year, Octavia changed his name to Augustus Caesar and ruled Rome until 14 B.C.
The family of Augustus ruled Rome throughout the New Testament timeline.
King Herod Ruled Judea
Herod, who was half-Jewish, was ambitious.
He befriended Rome and received the kingship of Judea for his efforts.
He ruled from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. over Judea, Galilee, Samaria, Perea and Idumea.
The Jewish citizens of Judea never accepted Herod as their king.
Herod the Great
Herod became known as Herod the Great because of his extensive building projects.
During the same time that Octavia re-established worship of Jupiter, King Herod began the 46 year project of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. The dimensions of the Temple were 15 meters long, wide and high. It was about 16-20 stories tall.
The Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 the Roman army under command of Titus conquered Jerusalem.