Old Testament Timeline Benjamin S. Heath “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Introduction This timeline was developed using primarily two different sources. Some portions were supplied by supposition or personal opinion based on the Bible. Different color text is used for each source—in dating. • A survey of the Old Testament (Hill and Walton) • The Companion Bible (Bullinger) • Supposition based on the Bible (Heath) Overview of the Old Testament Timeline •???? B.C. – 2348 B.C. From Creation to the Flood •1996 B.C. – 1491 B.C. From Abraham to the Exodus •1491 B.C. – 1000 B.C. From the Exodus to the Kingdom •1000 B.C. – 426 B.C. From the Kingdom to the Captivities •454 B.C. – 4 B.C. From Ezra—Nehemiah to the Birth of Jesus Christ From the Creation to the Flood ???? B.C.-2348 B.C. I. The creation (Genesis 1:1 KJV) millions of years ago II. The destruction of the “world that then was” (Genesis 1:2) thousands of years ago III. The replenishing of the earth (Genesis 1:3-31) approx. 14,000 years ago? IV. Noah’s Flood (Genesis 7:10) 2348 B.C. I. The Creation - millions of years ago (???? B.C.) By His Word, God created all things: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3 King James Version). The creation of the heavens and the earth are also recorded in Genesis chapter 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” When was the beginning? Well, we are not told exactly when that was. Geologists confirm that the earth is millions of years old (Young, 1988). •Notice the layers of layers of rock in the grand canyon pictures – they show that the earth is ancient. II. The Destruction of the “World that Was” – thousands of years ago (???? B.C.) Verse two of Genesis chapter one tells us that the earth became destroyed after the creation: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the water.” The word “was” in verse two should be translated as the word “became.” And the words “without form” would be better translated as “waste, or desolate” (Bullinger, 1922, p. 3). Thus, God created the heavens and the earth billions of years ago and the earth later became wasted or desolate. This desolation happened when God destroyed the world that then was because of the Satan’s rebellion in that first age (Ezekiel 28). This great destruction is also known in part as the ice ages and is recorded in the II Book of Peter 3:5-6; “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” God does not create anything void and without form (Isaiah 45:18), it became that way. III. The Replenishing of the Earth – 14,000 years ago? (???? B.C.) The creation that is described in Genesis 1:3 and on is referring to a recreation or a rejuvenation of the earth. If one day with the LORD is as a thousand years or a longer period of time (II Peter 3:8), then the earth would have been replenished over a long period of time in 6 different stages or days. •???? B.C. - ???? B.C. Days of creation 1-5. •???? B.C. 6th day of creation. The different races of mankind were created – hunters, fishers and gatherers (Genesis 1:28), and they were very good. •4004 B.C. Sometime after the 7th day of creation, the man named “Adam” was created to til the ground, i.e. the first farmer (Genesis 2:11). IV. The Flood – (2348 B.C.) “Orthodoxy has held until this day to the belief that the Deluge of Genesis was universal, covering the whole of the globe; yet such a belief, although apparently expressed by the translators, is, according to a careful analysis of certain facts of Scripture, and impossibility, to say nothing of the recorded facts of Egyptian and Chinese history, nor the impossibility presented by physical science. Once the question of the Deluge is settled, another of the obstacles over which the critics and the scientists have stumbled is removed” (Haberman, p.16). Thus, Noah’s flood only covered a certain region not the entire earth. From Abraham to the Exodus (1996 B.C. – 1491 B.C.) I. 1996 B.C. Birth of Abraham (2166 B.C) II. 1896 B.C. Birth of Isaac III. 1836 B.C. Birth of Jacob IV. 1491 B.C. The Exodus Note: Purple dates are taken from “A Survey of the Old Testament” I. Birth of Abraham (1996 B.C.) (2166 B.C.) •1921 B.C. God calls Abraham and blesses him. “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). •1920 B.C. Abraham goes down into Egypt. •1921 B.C. Abraham returns from Egypt. •1897 B.C. Covenant of Circumcision. II. Birth of Isaac (1896 B.C.) •1891 B.C. Isaac becomes “the Seed” (Genesis 21:12). The name Isaac is connected to the “Anglo Saxons.” “most of the Saxons remained in Germany, Northern France, Switzerland, and Scandinavia, where their descendants still are. The term Saxon belongs to the whole house of Israel, for “in Isaac shall thy seed be called (or named),” Scripture tells us in Genesis 21:12 and Romans 9:7. They were to be called the “sons of Isaac,” and have been so through the centuries, the Beth’Sak, Saki, Sacae, Sakasani, Saxones, Sachsen, and Saxons” (Haberman, p.143). III. Birth of Jacob (1836 B.C.) •Jacob had a dream at Bethel. “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold the LORD stood above it, and said, “I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed: And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 28:12-15). IV. The Exodus (1491 B.C.) “Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My People the children of Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:9-10). •1571 B.C. Moses born. •1544 B.C. Joshua born, a slave in the Egyptian brickfields. •1491 B.C. The Exodus. Notes: Dating the Exodus “One of the greatest difficulties which chronologers have to face is, and always has been, the apparent conflict between the record in I Kings 6.1, that Solomon’s temple was commenced “in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt” ; while in Acts. 13.17-22 the same period amounts to 573 years; a difference of ninety-three years. In the majority of cases I Kings 6.1 has been adopted by chronologists as being correct, ST. Paul’s reckoning being left to take care of itself; or, they say he was “misinformed”, or “only speaking generally.” The simple fact is both are right. The solution of the difficulty is that St. Paul’s statement is according to Anno Mundi years (573)—the other on the principle of what we may call Anno Dei reckoning (480)” (Bullinger, 1922, ap.50). From the Exodus to the Kingdom (1491 B.C. – 1000 B.C.) I. 1491 B.C. – 1451 B.C. Israel in the Wilderness II. 1451 B.C. – 1444 B.C. Joshua and the Conquest III. 1423 B.C. – 1000 B.C. The Period of the Judges (Book of Judges 1300 B.C. – 1000 B.C.) Note: Purple dates are taken from “A Survey of the Old Testament” I. Israel in the Wilderness (1491 B.C. - 1451 B.C.) •1490 B.C. The Tabernacle set up. This year the people should have entered into the land. •The events recorded in the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy take place. •1452 B.C. Miriam, Aaron, and Moses died. II. Joshua and the Conquest (1451 B.C. – 1444 B.C.) “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this People, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel” (Joshua 1:1-2). 1451 B.C. The children of Israel cross Jordon and conquer the city of Jericho. 1444 B.C. The “Wars of the Lord” end. Joshua then relinquishes his leadership to “Eleazar the priest.” III. The Period of the Judges (1423 B.C. – 1000 B.C.) List of Judges •1423 B.C. •1365 B.C. •1265 B.C. •1218 B.C. •1178 B.C. •1155 B.C. •1151 B.C. •1145 B.C. •1138 B.C. •1128 B.C. •1040 B.C. Othniel 40 years Ehud 80 years Barak 40 years Gideon 40 years Tola 23 years Jair 4 years Jephthah 6 years Ibzan 7 years Elon 10 years Abdon 8 years Samuel 40 years From the Kingdom to the Captivities (1000 B.C. – 426 B.C.) I. 1000 B.C. The Kingdom Begins I. 880 B.C. The Monarchy Splits II. 611 B.C. The Captivities Begin I. The Kingdom Begins (1000 B.C.) •1000 B.C. Saul anointed king of Israel, 40 years. •960 B.C. David anointed king of Israel, 40 years. •920 B.C. Solomon anointed king of Israel, 40 years. •910 B.C. The Temple finished. II. The Monarchy Splits (880 B.C.) “So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, “What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David.” So Israel departed unto their tents” (I Kings 12:16). Kings of Israel - Judah, and the Prophets Kings of Judah 880 B.C. 863 B.C. 860 B.C. 819 B.C. 796 B.C. 782 B.C. 743 B.C. 701 B.C. 647 B.C. 632 B.C. 617 B.C. 588 B.C. 533 B.C. 531 B.C. 500 B.C. 499 B.C. 489 B.C. 488 B.C. Rehoboam Abijam Asa Jehoshaphat Jehoram Jehoash Amaziah Uzziah Jotham Ahaz Hezekiah Manasseh Amon Josiah Jehoahaz Jehoiakim Jehoiachin Zedekiah Kings of Israel 880 B.C. 858 B.C. 857 B.C. 834 B.C. 833 B.C. 833 B.C. 822 B.C. 802 B.C. 801 B.C. 788 B.C. 759 B.C. 745 B.C. 728 B.C. 662 B.C. 651 B.C. 649 B.C. 620 B.C. Jeroboam Nadab Baasha Elah Zimri Omri Ahab Ahaziah Jehoram Jehu Jehoahaz Jehoash Jeroboam II Zechariah Pekahiah Pekah Hoshea The Prophets 690 B.C. 689 B.C. 689 B.C. 649 B.C. 632 B.C. 603 B.C. 518 B.C. 518 B.C. 518 B.C. 495 B.C. 488 B.C. 484 B.C. 482 B.C. 410 B.C. 410 B.C. 374 B.C. Jonah Amos Hosea Isaiah Micah Nahum Jeremiah Habakkuk Zephaniah Daniel Joel Ezekiel Obadiah Haggai Zechariah Malachi III. The Captivities Begin (611 B.C.) 611 B.C. Samaria taken and the ten tribes of Israel taken into captivity by the Assyrians. 497 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon’s first siege of Jerusalem. (597 B.C.) 489 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar’s second siege of Jerusalem. 478 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar’s third siege of Jerusalem begins. 477 B.C. Jerusalem taken by Nebuchadnezzar and the Temple destroyed—Judah and Benjamin are taken into captivity. (586 B.C.) Babylonian Captivities – According to Hill & Walton “A Survey of the Old Testament” “Not content with being a vassal, Judah repeatedly became mired in conspiracies doomed to failure, leading in 586 B.C. to the final destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar, who deemed the city politically unreformable. Judah had already proven itself unreformable spiritually. During this whole tragic period, Jeremiah was continuing to proclaim the word of the Lord. (More on the military and political struggles is given in chapter 26, “Ezekiel.”) Besides the destruction of the city and the temple, the state of Judah was dismantled by means of deportation of the populace. The first stage of deportation took place in 597 B.C., when Jehoikim rebelled. Jehoikim’s son, Jehoiachin, was taken to Babylon at that time, as was the prophet Ezekiel. Despite the claims by some prophets in Judah that this was the full extent of the Lord’s punishment and that thereafter the situation would improve, Jeremiah contended that the worst was yet to come. Sadly, this proved true when Zedekiah’s rebellion in 589 brought the Babylonians back to Jerusalem with intent to destroy. Though deportation was used politically to obliterate national and ethnic identities, the Lord planned to use it to preserve a remnant for himself” (Hill & Walton, 2000, p. 426-427). From Ezra–Nehemiah to the birth of Jesus Christ (454 B.C. – 4 B.C.) I. 454 B.C. The Commandment to rebuild Jerusalem. II. 426 B.C. Cyrus issues the Decree to rebuild the Temple. III. 405 B.C. The Temple finished and dedicated. IV. 4 B.C. The Birth of Jesus Christ. I. The Commandment to Rebuild Jerusalem (454 B.C.) “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king…Then the king said unto me, “For what dost thou make request?” So I prayed to the god of heaven. And I said unto the king, “If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it” (Nehemiah 2:1-5). II. Cyrus Issues the Decree to Rebuild the Temple (426 B.C.) “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah (Ezra 1:1-2). III. The Temple Finished and Dedicated (405 B.C.) “And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of GOD with joy” (Ezra 6:15-16). IV. The Birth of Jesus Christ (4 B.C.) “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy People and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself” (Daniel 9:24-26). References Bullinger, E. (1922). The Companion Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications. Haberman, F. Tracing Our Ancestors. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Publishers. Hill, A. & Walton J. (2000). A Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Young, (1988). Christianity and the Age of the Earth. Thousand Oaks, CA: Artisan Sales.