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Jerusalem in the Achaemenid Period

The Relationship between Temple and Agriculture in the Book of Haggai

Jieun Kim

This is the first book to explore the importance of agriculture in relation to the restoration of the Jerusalem temple in the Book of Haggai during the Achaemenid period. Scholars discussing the rebuilding of the temple have mainly focused on the political and social context. Additionally, the missions of Ezra and Nehemiah have been used as a basis for analysing the economy of postexilic Judah. This has, however, understated the wider socio-economic significance of the temple by disregarding the agricultural capacity of Judah.
The Book of Haggai is primarily concerned with agriculture and the temple. This analysis of Haggai includes an examination of the temple’s reconstruction from a historical and economic point of view, with agriculture playing a central role. Archaeological records are examined and show that prized commodities such as olives and grapes were produced in and around Jerusalem in large quantities and exported all over the ancient Near East.
This book is intended to shed new light on the value of agriculture for the people of Judah and the whole imperial economy. It also presents a new interpretation of the Book of Haggai and a new perspective on the temple economy in Jerusalem.

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Chapter 2. Darius and the Achaemenid Empire

Extract

Chapter 2 Darius and the Achaemenid Empire Background The purpose of this chapter is to explore the extent to which, in the political, military, and economic aspects, Darius I (522–486 BCE)’s policies devel- oped and were imposed on all his subordinates. The necessity of historical survey on Darius and his empire is that Judah formed a part of Darius’s empire and was obliged to submit to Darius’s administrative policies. Also, the Book of Haggai speaks to the historical reconstruction of political and economic systems during Darius’s reign. Very soon after Darius ascended the Persian throne, he was faced with a series of revolts by subordinates within his territories. Those revolts which broke out on Darius’s accession seriously threatened the fundamental cohesion of the empire, and the crisis in Darius’s kingship might provide an opportunity for subjugated peoples to make a bid for independence. The numerous revolts against Darius were due to a suspicion at the time of accession to the throne. Accordingly, it is necessary to investigate Darius’s seizure of the Persian throne. Throughout the unrest, Darius needed ideological legitimacy for his authority in order to put down rebellions and any resistance. In relation to territorial expansion, the imposition of his propaganda needed to be suf- ficient to ensure the successful pacification of subordinates. This is because the ability to expand the territory rested in secure military power. Thus, I look at how Darius set in motion his propaganda to gain full control over subordinates among the various...

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