The period covered by the term "Hebrew and Jewish History" is taken, in this book, to extend from the beginning of Old Testament history down to the final destruction of the Jewish people as a nation in the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. To the last part of the period pertain New Testament and Early Church history. No attempt has been made to deal with this subject. Our interest as to this period is confined to Jewish history.
No serious student of Hebrew and Jewish history is willing to confine his reading to modern histories and text-books, excellent though they may be. He feels that he ought to go back of them to the original sources from which they are drawn.
Before the present century such an investigating student had, as sources, the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal and Pseudcpigraphical Books, the New Testament, Philo, Josephus, Rabbinical literature, Herodotus, Tacitus, and other Greek and Latin writers. During the present century, however, the new science of Archaeology has thrown a flood of light upon Hebrew and Jewish history. Many inscriptions have been found, and translated, but the translations are so scattered in special works and technical journals that even the specialist finds it a difficult task to gain access to all of his material.