Copyright 1997MWSU/Jeanie C. Crain All rights reserved.

An Overview of Bible History

(Dates taken from Preface to ASV of the Bible)


Lands| Hebrew People|Kingdoms| Maccabees| Parties


Egypt: 3200-1800 Before Christ. There were 30 dynasties in Egypt.

3200 Predynastic Kingdom of Delta (Buto) and Upper Egypt (Nekhen)

2900 I Dynasty Rule of 100 years

2800 II Dynasty Memphis--Rule of 200 years

2600 III Dynasty Old Memphite Kingdom. Rule of 50 years; erects first pyramid

2550 IV Dynasty Apogee of of Memphite Empire; largest pyramids erected; Rule of 100 years

2450 V Dynasty Sun worship; Rule of 100 years

2350 VI Dynasty End of Memphite Kingdom; Rule of 150 years

2200 VII Dynasty 70 kings; 70 days

2200 VIII Dynasty Three Kingdoms

2150 IX, X, XI Dynasties; battle for unification; Middle Theban kingdom

2600 XII Dynasty Apogee of Egyptian history; invasion of Palestine and Syria; Rules for 200 years; Classic Period

1800 XIII Marks decline of Egypt

Mesopotamia: 2200-1800 Before Christ

Sumerian culture makes up first people of Ancient Middle East; Remains in power for 1000 years

3200 Jemdet Nasr period Ur8uk IV; expansion of Sumerian culture

2900 Mesilim Period; Lagash dynasties (I, II, III)

2650 I Ur Dynasty Cities Lagash and Ur struggle for power

2350 Akkadian period; Sargon I unites kingdom (Akkadians and Sumerians = one people)

2200 Gutian Period King calls himself "god"

2000 III Ur Dynasty; Most prosperous kingdom of Sumer; King Ur-Nammu

1800 Sumerian kingdom disappears; appearance of first Babylonian kingdom

1800-330 Before Christ

1750 XIV-XV-XVI Hyksos

1600 XVII-XVIII New Theban Kingdom; Ahmose I occupies Palestine; Thutmose I conquers Syria; Thutmose III wins battle of Megiddo

1315 XIX Dynasty; Seti I defeats Hittites at Kadesh; Rameses II invades Palestine and Syria; Hebrews oppressed; Exodus of Hebrews

1200 XX Dynasty Ramesses III battles "Sea Peoples"

1050 XXI Dynasty; Decline of Egypt

950 XXII Dynasty; Egypt influences Palestine (Biblical Shishak)

800 XXII Dynasty; Egypt broken up into little states

730 XXIV Dynasty; Tefnakht and Bocchoris

715 XXV Dynasty; Nubian; Empire unified

650 XXVI Dynasty; Neco conquers Mari

500 XXVII Dynasty; dynasty of Persias (Cambyses to Darius II); Egypt governed as province of Persia

450 XXVIII Dynasty; Persian domination battled

400 Dynasty Nepheritis I

360 XXX Dynasty; Prosperity until Artaxerxes III (Persians) reconquer; 332, Alexander ends Pharaonic civilization


1830-330 Before Christ

1830 Sargon I

1750 Amorite Dynasty, Part of Empire of Hammurabi

1500 Rise of Hurite Kingdom; Subjugation of Assyria

1400 Mitanni becomes vassal of Hittites

1266 Shalmaneser I

1112 Tiglath-pileser I

883 Asshurnasirpal II Empire extended into northern Mesopotamia

858 Shalmaneser III

745 Shalmaneser V besieges Syria

721 Sargon II destroys kingdom of Israel, deports inhabitants

704 Sennacherib lays siege to Jerusalem, devastates Babylonia

680 Asshurbanipal

625-612 Decline, fall of Nineveh


1830-33- before Christ

1830 Babylonian-Amorrite (Babel)

1750 Apogee of Babylonia (Hammurabi); kingdom extends over Mesopotami and part of Assyria and Elam

1700 II Babylonian Dynasty

1500 III Babylonian Dynasty

1112 New Babylonian Dynasty; Nebuchadnezzar I

900 Decline in power of Babylonia; hegemony of Assyria

745 King of Assyria assumes kingship of Babylonia

605 Nabopolassar captures Nineveh (NeoBabylonian Empire or Chaldean)

538 Nebuchadnezzar II subjugates and destroys Judah; end of Chaldean empire under Nabonida and Balthasar

Persian Empire

Cyrus the Great (559-529)

529 Cambyses

521 Darius I Hystaspia

485 Xerxes I (Ahasuerus of Esther)

464 Artaxerxes I

424 Xerxes II

424 Darius II

404 Artaxerxes

385 Artaxerxex II

385 Artaxerxes IIi

387 aRSES

335-330 Darius III

333 Kingdom of Alexander the Great


180 Ptolemy VI Philometor Son of Epiphanes

187 Seleucus IV Philopator

175 Antiochus IV Epiphanes, hostile to Hebrews, initiates persecution

164 Antiochus V Eupator, 12, rules for 2 years under Lysias

161 Demetrius I Soter, dies fighting Alexander Balas

150 Alexander Balas, usurperm killed

145 Demetrius II Nicanor

145 Ptolemy VIII Physcon

145 Antiochus VI, son of Alexander Balas

138 Antiochus VII Sidetes, despoils Jerusalem

129 Demetrius II

125 Antiochus VIII Gryphus

116 Ptolemy VIII (Soter II)

108 Ptolemy IX (Alexander I)

113 Antiochus IX

After 113 List of Seleucids goes on; Pompey eliminates last Seleucid in 65

51 Cleopatra VII ascends throne; protected by Julius Caesar and later by Antony; kills herself; Egypt becomes a Roman province

Persian Empire

Cyrus the Great (559-529)

529 Cambyses

521 Darius I Hystaspia

485 Xerxes I (Ahasuerus of Esther)

464 Artaxerxes I

424 Xerxes II

424 Darius II

404 Artaxerxes

385 Artaxerxex II

385 Artaxerxes IIi

387 aRSES

335-330 Darius III

333 Kingdom of Alexander the Great


Hebrew People

From Abraham to Moses

(Genesis 12-25)1850 Abraham: Begins in Ur--central Mesopotamia--western bank of the Euphrates, Haran. Remains in Haran until the death of his father Terah. In Canaan, Abraham and his family dig wells, erect altars, and acquire land. During a famine, Abraham goes to Egypt. Abraham returns to Canaan where he and his brother Lot separate. Lot chooses the Jordan valley as far as Sodom and the Dead Sea. Abraham remains in Mamre. He defeats the kings of the East who have sacked Sodom and carried off Lot. He is blessed by Melchizedek, priest and king of Salem (Jerusalem). Abraham migrates into Negeb, to Gerar, and Beersheba. His near sacrifice of Isaac takes place at Mt. Moriah, identified with the temple site in Jerusalem. Abraham's home is in Hebron, where Sarah dies; she is buried at Machpelah; Abraham is buried next to Sarah.

1630 House of Israel imigrates to Egypt as a result of famine. Joseph, son of Jacob, is the important patriarch. Israelites settle in the land of Goshen, the land of Raamses and remain there for about 400 years. The house increases ethnically through annexation of Asiatic Semites. Seti I and Ramesses II oppress the Israelites (1315-1224).

From Egypt to the Promised Land

(Genesis 25-50; Exodus 1-18; Numbers 33)

1230 Probable date of Exodus; probable route: Rameses, Succoth, Etham, Bitter Lakes, Desert of Etham, Marah, Elim, Dophkah, Rephidim, Mt. Sinai, Kibrath, Hazeroth, Rithmah, Rimmon-perez, Libnah, Rissah, Makheloth, Hashmonah, Kadesh-barnea, Horbaggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Ezion-geber, Punon, Oboth, Iye-abarim. Israel wanders, finally reaching Nebo. Moses sees the "promised land," his mission is accomplished, and he dies.

From Joshua to Judges

1200 Transjordan is conquered by Moses and Joshua, who crosses the Jordan into Jericho; Joshua extends the Israelite conquest to the territory between Gaza and Kadesh-barnea, conquering central and nothern Palestine.

1190 The Transjordan has already been divided by Moses among Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe Manesseh; Joshua partitions CisJordan. Joshua dies at 120 years. Israel is divided into twelve tribes, and harassed by Philistines, Moabites, and Ammonites.

Twelve Judges

(Judges 1-21)


1. Othniel-delivers from oppression of Edom; lands rests for 40 years.

2. Ehud--slays Eglon, king of Moab; land has peace for 80 years.

3. Shamgar-active at time of Sampson; saves from Philistines.

4. Barak-driven by prophetess Deborah to defeat Sisera, general of the Canaanites.

5. Gideon-delivers from the Midianites

6. Abimelech-son of Gideon, cruel, kills brothers and sisters, proclaims himself king at Shechem, perishes after three years; tyranically seeks to introduce monarchy.

7. Tola-rules 23 years.

8. Jair-rules 22 years.

9. Jepthah-conquers Ammonites and rules 6 years.

10. Ibzan-ruls 7 yars.

11. Elon-judges for 10 years.

12. Sampson--famous for his feats, defeats Philistines, rules 20 years.

13. Samuel--from tribe of Levi, leads his people to worship of true God, fights and defeats Philistines, annoints Saul as first king of Israel, then David.

Three Kings of Israel: Monarchy

(I Samuel 13-31; 2 Samuel 1-24; I Kings 1-11)

1020 Saul first king of Israel, wars against Moabites, Edomites, Ammonites, kings of Zobah, the Philistines; dies by own hand at Mt Gelboa after reigning 20 years.

1000 David king of Judah and Hebron; becomes king of all Israel, makes Jerusalem his capital; wars against Philistines, reconquers all of the territory of Canaan, subjugates Ammonites, Edomites, and Moabites, reigns 40 years.

970 Solomon provides for safety of throne; builds temple-palace united to city of David; life signals a progressive moral decline; at his death, kingdom splits; Israel has capital at Shechem, and Judah has capital at Jerusalem.


Kings 1

Kings 2


From the Babylonian Exile to Judas Maccabeus

587-538 Babylonian captivity

538-515 Return from captivity; reconstruction of temple

445 Nehemiah reconstructs walls of Jerusalem.

458-398 Ezra reestablishes observance of Mosaic law.

332 Alexander the Great conquers Palestine.

305-285 Ptolemies (Egypt) rule Palestine.

199 Seleucid Kingdom (Syra) occupies Palestine.

168 Antiochus IV Epiphanies establishes hellenizing policy: tries to abolish Judaic religion for ecumenical one worship, one religion with temple dedicated to Olympian Zeus.

Judas Maccabeus revolts; from family of Mattathias; revolt is righteously against foreign domination and favors rigorism with respect to Jewish law.

167-165 Mattathias lead Jewish revolt against Antiochus IV.

165-160 Judas, third born, wages war after death of Mattathias.

160-142 Jonathan, fifth son of Mattathias, acknowledged as high priest and leader of the Jews. Stuggles against Bacchides and combats Appolonius. Attracted by peace proposals , Jonathan goes to Ptolemais to meet Trypho but is taken prisoner and killed.

142-134 Simon Maccabeus, brother of Jonathan and Judas, becomes leader of Jews, gains independence of Judea from Demetrius II. Combats Antiochus VII, defeats him by means of his son John. Simon is betrayed and slain during a banquet by Ptolemy, governor of Jericho.

(The struggle of Judea has been largely against Greek hellenizing influences; the Mattathias family is aroused by pagan sacrifices in their own temple. The family revolts in an effort to return emphasis to Jewish laws and customs. Emphasis is on the Torah and rigorism. Jews returning from exile look with some disdain at Jews who have remained behind and Jews who have intermarried with foreign cultures; recall Ezra's reform. The 400 silent years between the Old Testament and the New Testament is the time when the canon is established: the Maccabeus books are an important history written, but generally, emphasis is on establishing and interpreting the canon, with emerging books being excluded. This is a time of Jewish expansion; although only about fifty thousand Jews return from exile, thay have now grown to about 120, 000. The Persian rulers had been very tolerant towards the Jewish religion; under Greek pressure to adopt their culture, Jews reacted by revolt, withdrawal, and simply intermingling. The various sects begin to shape themselves.


Jewish Parties

Until the Maccabean revolt, Jewish groups were united in their support of the traditional religion; after the revolt, diagreements about correct interpretations of the Torah and who was to interpret it began to emerge. Previous leadership had been provided by the priests, descened from Zadok, from the line of Aaron; now, the priestly family had become Hasmonean. Ezra had been a Zadokite priest and a "scribe."

During the Persian period, two forms of religious leadership co-existed:

bulletHereditary--priests presided over the political administration of the community, and the Temple.
bulletScribes--studied and taught the Torah.

Sadducees--priests and aristocrats, supported former leadership; they favored hellenism, opposed usurpation of priesthood by non-Zadokites; believed in free will, but not angels and not afterlife. They were literalists in their interpretations and did not permit the Oral Torah; calendar was luni-solar.

Pharisees--came from the common people, were called "Disciples of the Wise," opposed expansion of priestly authority, especially any usurpation of the House of David; were selective in their acceptance of hellenism; believed in free will, angels and the Resurrection; created sophisticated, scholarly interpretations and accorded Oral Torah equality with written; applied priestly laws (tithes and purity rules) to non-priests; used luni-solar calendar.

Essenes--knows as "teachers of righteousness," and opposed hellenism; they were personally opposed to Jonathan, known as the "wicked priest"; did not believe in free will, questionable beliefs about angels and afterlife; believed in "inspired exegesis" of scripture and held to a solar calendar.

Scribes--teachers of Torah.


Hasmonean Dynasty: Seven Rulers Who Are Also Priests

135-104 John Hyrcanus I, Son of Simon Maccabeus
104-103 Aristobulus I Judah, first born of John. Annexes Judah to Iturea.
103-76 Alexander Jannaeus, son of John Hyrcanus, succeeds brother Aristobulus, uses title of king, dies in battle.

76-67 Alexander Salome, wife of Aristobulos II, ideal ruler.

67-73 Aristobulus II, son of Alexander, poisoned; undertakes civil war against Hyrcanus II, provokes intervention of Pompey (63) after the conquest of Syria for the Romans.

63-40 Hyrcannus II, son of Alexander Jannaeus, forced to resign in favor of his brother Aristobulus II; he is, though, named ethnarch of the Jews by the Romans.

40-36 Antigonus, son of Aristobulus II, last Hasmonean king, lives in continuous fighting with the pretender to the throne, Herod. Herod becomes king by will of Antony and Cleopatra, and brings about decapitation of Antigonus.


From Herod the Great to Hadrian

39 B.C.- 4 B. C. Herod the Great, proclaimed king of the Jews by Rome; captures Jerusalem after a 3 month siege, occupies Samaria, and has temple rebuilt; dies at Jericho and is buried at the fortress Herodium.

Year of Rome 747-748 Birth of Jesus Christ

Year of Rome 754 Beginning of the Christian Era

4 B.C.- 6 A.D.- Archelaus, son of Herod, succeeds his father as ethnarch of Judea, Idumea, and Samaria; deposed by Romans after tens years and sent into exile.

4 B.C. - 39 A.D.Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, becomes tetrarch of Galilee and Perea with his capital at Sepphoris, 4 miles from Nazareth; called a "fox" by Jesus, reproached repeatedly by John the Baptist for his adultry, sent into exile by Caligula, dies there.

4 B. C. -34 A. D. Philip, son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra of Jerusalem; after 37 years, dies childless.

6-41 Judea becomes part of Roman province of Syria but is ruled by Roman procurator.

41-44 Herod Agrippa I, nephew of Herod and Marianne, by favor of Claudius, becomes king of Judea and the lands that had belonged to Herod the Great.

44-46 All of Palestine becomes at the death of Agrippa I a Roman province, administered by a Procurator.


From the Birth of Jesus to the Jewish War

7-6 B.C.- Jesus Christ is born during the time of Herod the Great at the census of Querinius.

5-6 A.D.- At age of 12, Jesus is taken to the Temple in Jerusalem.

27- John the Baptizer; Jesus is baptized.

28 - Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the Passover.

29- John the Baptist is imprisoned. He donounced Herod Antipas' marriage to Herodias, his half-brother's wife.

Shortly before the Passover, Jesus multiplies loaves and promises Eucharist.

Jesus goes to Jerusalem for feasts of the Tabernacles and Dedication.

30 - Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem; a public demonstration proclaims Him as Messiah. At time of Passover, Jesus is betrayed; arraigned as pretender to the Jewish throne and instigator of revolt against Rome; condemned by Pontius Pilate to be crucified. Rises again on the third day.

Holy Spirit is poured out on the disciplies of Christ, and the first community of the church is born.

35 - Martydom of Stephen, one of the first Hellenist deacons.

37- Conversion of Saul on the Damascus road; retreats to Arabia and then Damascus.

45 - Paul's first missionary journy: Cyprus, Antioch, Lystra, Antioch.

49 - Council of Jerusalem; at Paul's insistence, converts from paganism are exempted from Mosaic law.

50-52 Paul's second missionary journey: Lystra, Phrygia, Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens

53-38 Paul's third missionary journey: same cities as second journy, stays at Ephesus for three years.

61-63 Paul is imprisoned at Rome, set free; possibly visits Spain.

63 or 67 Martydom of Peter at Rome.

67 - Martydom of Paul at Rome


The Jewish War

After the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44, Judea is ruled by Roman procurators. Their cruelties and excesses stimulate fervent nationalism and messianic expectation and revolt against Rome.

The war in Galilee

66-70 The Jewish War. Nero entrusts Vespasian with bringing Jews into subjection. Titus, from Alexendria, goes to meet his father at Ptolemais; in 67, the Roman army under Trajan and Titus occupies Sepphoris and other cities, and in 67, Galilee is conquered.

The War in Perea and Judea

June of 67 Roman legion goes to Mount Gerizim to put down Samaritan rebellion.

68 Vespasian conquers Perea.

69 Vespasian occupies cities around Jerusalem; elected Emperor of Rome (the turbulent year which sees three emperors succeed Nero--Galba, Otho and Vitellius. Entrusts his son Titus with ending the war in Judea and returns to Rome.

Conquest of Jerusalem

70 Titus surrounds Jerusalem; battle begins, and after 15 days of fierce fighting, on May 25 of 70, Romans batter Third wall to ground; Titus places his command at Gareb. Titus attacks the Fortress Antonia. On August 9 of 70, Temple goes up in flames; banners of Rome go up, and Titus is proclaimed "emperor."

The upper city is conquered in September of 70.

The Second Revolt

135 The Jewish revolt is put down with blood (132-135), and Emperor Hadrian rebuilds Jerusalem as a Roman colony. A statue of Jupiter is erected; Luke 21, 24 has predicted Jerusalem will be trampled on by Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The ancient name of Judea is changed to Palestine Syria.