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The Old Testament is full of prophetic indictments against Israel. Their tenure under the Roman Empire was one of exile. That’s why Zechariah was “longing for the restoration of Israel” according to Luke’s birth narrative.

Of course, all we have to know about Israel “on the ground” at the time is from these writings that for the most part came much later than the events they describe, but midrashim and Jewish apocalyptic literature seems to bear out this self-consciousness.

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