During the past decade, the period from the 7th century B.C.E. and later has been a major focus because it is thought to be the era when much of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was formed. As a result, there has also been much interest in the historical developments of that time and specifically in the status of Judah and its neighbors. Three conferences dealing roughly with a century each were organized, and the first conference was held in Tel Aviv in 2001; the proceedings of that conference were published as Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period. The second volume was published in early 2006, a report on the conference held in Heidelberg in July 2003: Judah and the Judeans in the Persian Period.
Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C.E. is the publication of the proceedings of the third conference, which was held in Muenster, Germany, in August 2005; the essays in it focus on the century during which the Persian Empire fell to Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic kingdoms came to the fore.
Participants whose contributions are published here are: R. Achenbach, R. Albertz, B. Becking, E. Ben Zvi, J. Blenkinsopp, E. Eshel, H. Eshel, L. L. Grabbe, A. Kloner, G. N. Knoppers, I. Kottsieper, A. Lemaire, O. Lipschits, Y. Magen, K. Schmid, I. Stern., O. Tal, D. Vanderhooft, J. Wiesehöfer, J. L. Wright, and J. W. Wright.
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