The historical period between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament is often called the 400 years of silence. During those years there were no prophets declaring God’s word to the people. God was not showing up in clouds or burning bushes to get the people’s attention. It was a time of silence from heaven. It was a time of waiting.
Though God was silent, He was still working. Final preparations were being set in place for the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to bless the world through their descendants.
During those 400 years, the world changed drastically. As Alexander the Great’s empire spread throughout most of the known world, Greek became a common language. When the Roman Empire took over, roads were built and travel became much easier than it had ever been before. The things that happened in the world during these 400 years of silence paved the way for the coming of the promised Messiah.