Sequence of Events in the Days of the Early Patriarchs
Fall of Adam.
Ministry of Enoch.
Ministry of Noah; the Flood.
Tower of Babel.
Ministry of Melchizedek.
Death of Noah (Gen. 9:28).
(Those desiring calculated dates on these events may wish to consult published chronologies.)
Birth of Abram.
Birth of Isaac.
Birth of Jacob.
Birth of Joseph.
Joseph sold into Egypt (Gen. 37:2).
Joseph stands before Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46).
Jacob and his family go down to Egypt.
Death of Jacob.
Death of Joseph.
Birth of Moses.
The Exodus when Moses was 80 years old.
Death (translation) of Moses.
Death of Joshua.
In the days of Abram we meet with the names of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Amraphel, king of Shinar. Egypt was manifestly a powerful kingdom before and during the patriarchal times, but the early annals of Egypt as they have come down to us help us to few synchronisms that can be relied on.
After the death of Joshua was the period of the Judges, of whom the first was Othniel and the last Samuel, but the arrangement and dates of the rest are very uncertain.
The commencement of the Assyrian empire appears to have been somewhere in the period of the Judges, but much of the chronological data preserved in Assyrian tablets is of a mythical character.
In this section approximate dates are suggested, some help being derived from synchronisms with secular history, which become more numerous with every succeeding century.
The Undivided Kingdom
Persons and Events of External History
Commencement of Saul’s reign. Samuel lives for a great part of Saul’s reign.
Nahash, king of Ammon.
Tiglath-pileser Ⅰ, king of Assyria.
Agag, king of Amalek.
Achish, king of Gath.
David anointed by Samuel.
David king in Hebron.
David king in Jerusalem. Nathan and Gad, prophets.
Hiram, king of Tyre.
Hadadezer, king of Zobah.
Toi, king of Hamath.
Hanun, son of Nahash, king of Ammon.
Solomon made king. Death of David.
Solomon begins to build the temple.
Hiram, king of Tyre.
Solomon begins to build his own house.
The buildings are finished.
Hadad the Edomite is protected in Egypt.
Genubath, son of Hadad.
Rezon, king of Zobah.
Shishak, king of Egypt, shelters Jeroboam.
Death of Solomon. The ten tribes revolt from Rehoboam.
In the following table the first column of dates follows the books of Kings and Chronicles; the third column contains a revised chronology derived from inscriptions on Assyrian and other monuments. The kings of Judah are printed in heavy type, and the kings of Israel in capitals.
Kings of Judah and Israel
Ahijah the Shilomite prophesies, also Shemaiah.
Penuel built (1 Kgs. 12:25).
Shishak, king of Egypt.
Shishak plunders Jerusalem.
Oded and Azariah prophesy.
Asa’s war with Zerah the Ethiopian.
War of Israel against Judah.
Hanani and Jehu prophesy.
Asa’s alliance with Benhadad Ⅰ.
Omri (at war with Tibni)
Benhadad Ⅰ conquers Omri (1 Kgs. 20:34).
Samaria built (1 Kgs. 16:24).
Ethbaal (Eithobalus), king of Zidon.
Elijah the Tishbite.
Micaiah son of Imlah prophesies.
Syrian invasion of Samaria (1 Kgs. 20:34).
Moab rebels against Israel.
Mesha, king of Moab.
Jahaziel prophesies (2 Chr. 20:14).
Eliezer of Mareshah prophesies (2 Chr. 20:37).
Obadiah prophesies (?).
Battle of Ramoth-gilead.
Hazael, king of Syria.
Joash buys off Hazael’s invasion (2 Kgs. 12:18).
Syrian victories over Israel (2 Kgs. 10:32).
Joel prophesies (?).
Jonah prophesies (2 Kgs. 14:25).
Amaziah subdues Edom (2 Kgs. 14:7).
Azariah or Uzziah
There is much uncertainty about the chronology of the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, and Pekah, and from 2 Kgs. 15:1–2, and 30–32, it is clear that there is some confusion in the biblical numbers. Uzziah’s name is now thought to have been discovered in an Assyrian inscription 740 B.C. If that proves correct, the commencement of Isaiah’s prophecy cannot date before that year, and the time of Jotham’s regency may have been counted as regnal years. In these tables the biblical numbers have been adhered to, as far as possible, but they require further elucidation, which we may hope for as the Assyrian chronology becomes more assured.
Pul, king of Assyria (= Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ?).
Rezin, king of Syria.
Isaiah begins to prophesy.
Era of Nabonassar, 747.
Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ, king of Assyria (747–734).
So, king of Egypt.
Pekahiah (rev. chr.)
Pekah (rev. chr.)
Shalmaneser Ⅴ, king of Assyria, 727.
End of the Northern kingdom
Merodach-baladan, king of Babylon, 722.
Death of Sennacherib, 681.
Median kingdom formed.
Psammetichus, king of Egypt, 670.
Fall of No-amon (Thebes), 660.
Nahum prophesies (?).
Huldah the prophetess.
Jeremiah begins to prophesy, 628.
Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt.
Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, 625–604.
Obadiah prophesies (?).
Fall of Nineveh, 606.
Daniel carried captive, 606.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 604–561.
Capture of Jerusalem
Jehoiachin’s captivity relaxed.
Evil-merodach, king of Babylon.
Commencement of the Persian Empire under Cyrus.
Neriglissar, king of Babylon, 559–555.
Belshazzar co-regent with Nabonidus.
Union of Media and Persia under Cyrus.
Fall of Babylon.
Decree of Cyrus for the return of the Jews.
Joshua, high priest.
Ahasuerus (Ezra 4:6).
=Cambyses, king of Persia, 529–521.
Egypt conquered by Cambyses. Birth of Aeschylus.
Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:7).
Darius Ⅰ (Ezra 4:5).
The hindered temple building resumed. Haggai and Zechariah prophesy.
Sophocles born, 495.
Battle of Marathon.
Ahasuerus (Esth. 1:1).
Egypt revolts from Persia for 2 years.
Joiakim, high priest.
Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis, 480.
Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:1).
Commission of Ezra.
Eliashib, high priest.
Nehemiah appointed governor of Judea.
Nehemiah’s second mission to Jerusalem. Prophecy of Malachi.
Plato born, 429.
Egypt and Media both revolt from Persia.
Joiada, high priest.
Battle of Cunaxa.
Demosthenes born, 382.
Johanan, high priest.
Philip, king of Macedon.
Plato dies, 348.
Jaddua, high priest.
Darius Ⅲ (Neh. 12:22).
Philip of Macedon slain.
Jaddua goes out to meet Alexander.
Alexander in Syria and Egypt.
Battle of Arbela.
Darius slain. End of the Persian power.
Ptolemy Lagides obtains Egypt.
Death of Alexander the Great and dismemberment of his empire.
Onias Ⅰ, high priest.
Ptolemy (Lagides) Soter takes Jerusalem.
Antigonus conquers Palestine from Ptolemy.
Palestine by treaty assigned to Antigonus.
Palestine retaken by Ptolemy.
During this disturbed period many Jews migrated from Palestine and settled in Egypt and in parts of Asia Minor; they were held in much esteem by the rulers of those countries in which they settled.
Battle of Ipsus. Antigonus defeated by Seleucus.
Simon the Just, high priest.
Eleazar, high priest.
About this time the Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures appears to have been commenced in Alexandria, though it was not finished for more than a century after.
Manasseh, high priest.
Onias Ⅱ, high priest.
Tribute due to Egypt not paid by Onias.
Antiochus the Great.
Simon Ⅱ, high priest.
Ptolemy’s outrage in the Jewish temple.
Battle of Raphia.
Treaty between Antiochus and Ptolemy.
Onias Ⅲ, high priest.
Heliodorus sent to plunder the temple.
Onias deposed by Antiochus. Jason, high priest.
Cleopatra, guardian of Philometor, dies.
Menelaus, Jason’s brother, nominated high priest.
Onias Ⅲ murdered about this time.
Antiochus defeats the Egyptians.
Jason seizes Jerusalem, which Antiochus attacks on his return from Egypt and pollutes the temple.
Second invasion of Egypt.
Daily sacrifice interrupted.
Ptolemy Physcon set up for a time in Egypt but soon makes common cause with his brother Philometor.
Third attack on Egypt.
Mattathias the Hasmonean revolts.
Battle of Emmaus. Victory of Judas Maccabaeus.
Dedication of the temple.
Lysias defeated by Judas at Bethsura. Alcimus, high priest. Menelaus put to death.
Nicanor defeated at Capharsalama. Death of Judas Maccabaeus at Eleasa.
Contests between Philometor and Physcon. Appeals to Rome.
Decree of the Roman Senate in favor of the Jews.
Death of Alcimus.
Jonathan, brother of Judas, ruler of Judea.
Jonathan made high priest by Balas.
Alexander Balas set up against Demetrius.
Jonathan honored by Philometor and Balas.
Alexander Balas, king of Syria.
Onias, son of Onias Ⅲ, made commander-in-chief in Egypt.
Ptolemy Philometor opposes Alexander Balas.
Ptolemy Physcon (Euergetes Ⅱ).
Jonathan put to death by Tryphon. Simon, high priest.
Simon, “Prince of the Jews.” Jews allowed to coin money.
Antiochus Sidetes. Tryphon put to death.
Murder of Simon. John Hyrcanus, high priest.
Ptolemy Lathyrus (Soter Ⅱ).
Hyrcanus wars on Samaria and destroys the temple on Gerizim.
Cleopatra and Alexander.
Hyrcanus dies. Aristobulus (his son), first king of the Jews.
Alexander Jannaeus made king of the Jews.
Jannaeus captures Gaza.
Ptolemy, king of Cyrene, bequeaths his kingdom to the Romans.
Seleucus succeeds his father Grypus.
The Pharisees hostile to Jannaeus.
War of Jannaeus in Gilead and Moab.
Philip, brother of Seleucus, gains the throne.
Jannaeus defeated at Shechem.
Ptolemy Lathyrus recalled.
Tigranes, king of Armenia, set over Syria.
Death of Jannaeus. Alexandra, his widow, rules after him. Hyrcanus Ⅱ, high priest.
Aristobulus Ⅱ seizes the government.
Pompey conquers Syria for the Romans.
Disputes between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus.
Jerusalem taken by Pompey. Hyrcanus again high priest.
Palestine divided into five districts.
Crassus defeated by the Parthians at Carrhae, 53.
Crassus plunders the temple.
Antipater made a governor over Judea.
Battle of Pharsalia.
Battle of Thapsus, 46.
Hyrcanus, “Prince of the Jews.”
Assassination of Caesar.
Battle of Philippi.
Herod and Phasael, joint tetrarchs of Judea.
Herod flees to Rome. Antigonus set up in his stead.
Herod marries Mariamne.
Herod takes Jerusalem.
Battle of Actium.
Augustus, emperor, 31 B.C.–A.D. 14.
Cleopatra dies. Egypt becomes a Roman province.
Mariamne put to death.
Herod rebuilds Samaria.
Herod restores the temple.
Alexander and Aristobulus put to death.