In Jerusalem, during the reign of the Roman Empire, before the birth of Christ, there was turmoil and restlessness in the land among the Jewish people. The heavy hand of the Roman government was making life almost unbearable for the people of Judah. There was little work, and the ordinary family lived in poverty in very meager conditions. And yet, the king was increasing taxation on the Jewish people, and so there was constant conflict, confusion and pressure in the society of that day. There seemed to be hopelessness among God's people, and life was very depressing.