Their history may be divided into three great periods: (1) That covered by the Old Testament to the foundation of Judaism in the Persian age, (2) that of the Greek and Roman domination to the destruction of Jerusalem, and (3) that of the Diaspora or Dispersion to the present day.
But Samuel's fame rests on the service which he rendered in adapting the life of the Jews of the diaspora to the law of the land.
In the Diaspora admission of converts may have been made easy, circumcision being sometimes omitted, but the conditions became gradually more severe, until they reached their present form.
The one solid fact in this connexion is the translation of the Jewish Law into Greek in the 3rd century B.C., implying a Jewish Diaspora at Alexandria, so far Hellenized as to have forgotten the speech of Palestine.
It is true that they evangelized all over Germany; but this part of their work was known as the Diaspora (I Pet.
If we resort solely to Judaism for explanation, it must be a Judaism of the Diaspora type.
The .Maccabaeans used compulsion in some cases, but Judaism in the Diaspora was a missionary religion in the less militant sense.
HILLEL II., one of the patriarchs belonging to the family of Hillel I., lived in Tiberias about the middle of the 4th century, and introduced the arrangement of the calendar through which the Jews of the Diaspora became independent of Palestine in the uniform fixation of the new moons and feasts.