The conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, the King of Persia, was a turning-point in the history of the Jewish people. Cyrus' policy of religious tolerance was manifested in the return of the various people exiled by the Babylonians to the countries of their origin. By decree, which was recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder of ca. 538 B.C.E., Cyrus permitted the return of the Jews to Judea and the right to rebuild the holy Temple.
Under Persian rule from 538-332 B.C.E., the Jews enjoyed a large degree of political autonomy and religious freedom. In fact, silver coins from ca. 350 B.C.E. attest to prestige of the Judea province within the Persian Empire.
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The First Restoration
In 538 Cyrus, King of Persia, permitted the exiled Jews in Babylon to return to Judea and to rebuild the Temple. Under Persian rule, Jewish life in Judea flourished and prospered. Jewish political and religious autonomy were only threatened by the invasions of Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.E.
See the stone that launched Judean homecoming
Coin Symbolizes Jewish Power Under Persians