The Making of a "Peculiar People"

Hi Eddie,

Definitely it was in the best interest of the royal family that no single group was too large or influential. Placement of the temple in Jerusalem would have made Jews (or proto-Jews), as they existed at the time, a more "peculiar people". Their new temple in the obscure Jerusalem of Israel would also have lessened their collective status.

Apart from that motivation, it may not have been practical to build a temple for the Jews in Persia, or not acceptable to native Persians. Nor would this have been perceived as fulfilling the 70-year prophesy. Rebuilding the temple in Israel rather than Egypt must have also been a bit of a stretch and was likely rejected by many as "invalid". Resistance to the idea was overcome with time and propaganda, as usual.

The city of Babylon was given a reprieve in the early Persian Period, but after a second revolt (under Xerxes), suffered a similar fate as Thebes of Egypt, at least in terms of lost identity and prestige.