Between the Testaments

The Not So Silent Time

by Ron Holton

The “intertestamental period” is the time period of approximately 400 years between the end of Malachi and the writing of the gospels. Many have labeled this, “the silent period,” for two reasons. First, there is not a trustworthy record of a biblical prophet reclaiming “thus saith the Lord” in these years. Second, there is a 400-year gap between the last words of Malachi and the appearance of Jesus on the scene. While it may be correct to label this period as “silent” for those two reasons, the period was actually not so silent. In fact, it was a period of rapid world change, especially in Israel and among the Jews. The religious, cultural, and political landscape underwent dramatic shifts that paved the way for Jesus and the gospel.

To feel some of the impact of this “silent period,” try this: Imagine reading the first few chapters of a book, turning a page, and discovering that someone has ripped out a good chunk of the middle section of the book. In order to find out where you were in the narrative, you would most likely read the next several pages. However, you quickly discover that you have no idea what’s going on in the story because a whole lot happened between the first few chapters you read, and the pages you are now reading. However, you don’t know what, because those pages detailing what happened were ripped out and are nowhere to be found! Download complete booklet.