Intertestamental Period

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The intertestamental period (inter between + testamental pertaining to testament) is a term usually applied in Bible studies to the period in history between the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible.

For Catholics and Orthodox this is the historical period of approximately 130 years between the accession of John Hyrcanus to the Jewish high priesthood at the end of the First Book of Maccabees "in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat" 134 B.C. (1 Maccabees 16:14), and the Birth of Jesus Christ at the beginning of the Gospel According to Matthew.

For Protestants the intertestamental period is that period of history of approximately 450 years between the Book of Malachi at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah during the "thirty-second year" of the reign of Artaxerxes II[1] c. 372 B.C. (Ezra 4:7 and Nehemiah 13:6), and the Birth of Jesus Christ at the beginning of Matthew.


  1. Artaxerxes II reigned from 404 to 358 B.C. approximately. (Source: The New American Bible, Introduction to the Book of Ezra.)