By George Konig and Ray Konig
Below is a list of some historical events that are important to the study of the Bible and its prophecies. The research for this Biblical history timeline was done by George Konig and Ray Konig, authors of the book, 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies. Scholars vary in the dates that they assign to ancient events. The dates shown below are approximations.
Abraham lived around 2100 BC in what is now Iraq. God told him to move to Canaan, which later became Israel. Unlike many people, Abraham believed in the one true God. God rewarded Abraham's faith, making him the father of a great nation (Israel), and an ancestor to the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Jacob, the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham, is born in Canaan. Jacob's name is changed to Israel. (Canaan is later renamed Israel, after Jacob). He has 12 sons, for whom the 12 Tribes of Israel are named.
Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel), is sold into slavery by his brothers, who are jealous of him. Joseph ends up in Egypt, where he rises to power as a trusted assistant of a pharaoh. His father and his brothers later leave Canaan, because of a famine, and move to Egypt. They are later saved from harm by Joseph.
The Hebrews, or Israelites (descendants of Jacob), are enslaved for 400 years in Egypt until Moses leads them out of Egypt. They wander the desert for 40 years. Moses then brings them to the border of Canaan, the land that God had previously promised to their forefather Abraham.
After Moses dies, Joshua leads the Israelites into Canaan and begins conquering the land, establishing a sovereign country of Israel for the first time in history.
From about 1400 BC to about 1050 BC, Israel was not ruled by kings. The people think of God as their King. Instead of an earthly king, Israel is led by judges who settled disputes.
After about 350 years of being ruled by judges, the people of Israel demand to have a king, like the neighboring countries. By demanding a king, the people are turning away from their faith in God as their king. Saul become king and reigns about 40 years.
David becomes king of Israel in about 1010 BC and reigns for 40 years. David, unlike Saul, follows the commands of God. He makes mistakes, but he repents for them. He seeks to please God. He expands the size of Israel and rules over surrounding territories.
Solomon, son of David, becomes king in about 970 BC. He too reigns for about 40 years. Solomon builds the Temple in honor of God. The work is completed in about 960 BC. But, Solomon eventually turns away from God and worships false gods.
Shortly after the reign of Solomon, Israel becomes a divided kingdom. The southern kingdom, called Judah, includes the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. The northern kingdom continued to be called Israel. The two often war with each other.
The Assyrian Empire conquers the northern kingdom of Israel in about 721 BC. The Assyrians torture and decapitate many. They force many Israelites (10 of the 12 Tribes of Israel) out of Israel and bring in foreigners.
The Assyrian Empire's capital city - Nineveh - is attacked by coalition of Babylonians and others. As explained by the prophet Nahum in the Bible, Nineveh was to be destroyed because of the Assyrian Empire's treatment of Israelites and other people.
The neo-Babylonian Empire, under the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar, begins forcing Judah into submission. Nebuchadnezzar takes many Jews as captives to Babylon to ensure Judah's obedience.
Babylonian army attacks Judah and takes more Jews as captives to Babylon. Ezekiel, one of the captives, becomes a prophet of God. Ezekiel explains that God is allowing Babylon to punish Judah because the people have been unfaithful to God.
Babylon attacks Judah again. This time, the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple that Solomon had built. More Jews are taken as captives to Babylon.
Babylon begins a 13-year siege of the mainland of the Phoenician city of Tyre.
After the death of Nebuchadnezzar, the neo-Babylonian Empire begins to lose power. Cyrus the Great conquers Babylon in 539 BC, establishing the Medo-Persian Empire.
After conquering Babylon, Cyrus offers the Jews their freedom to leave Babylon and to return to Judah. Cyrus' kingdom rules over Judah and many other parts of the Middle East, but Cyrus allows people more cultural and religious freedom than did the neo-Babylonian Empire.
Some of the Jews in Babylon return to Judah and begin work in about 536 BC to rebuild the Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
The Temple is consecrated for worship, 70 years after the Babylonians had destroyed it in 586 BC.
The Greeks, under the leadership of Alexander the Great, defeat Persian armies in Macedonia in 333 BC. This marks the fall of the Medo-Persian Empire and the rise of the Grecian Empire.
Alexander wars against the island fortress of the Phoenician city of Tyre. He takes rubble from the mainland of Tyre and builds a walkway to the island. Alexander's forces then conquer the island fortress, bringing an end to the Phoenician Empire.
A Greek ruler asks the Jews to translate all or part of the Old Testament into the Greek language. The translation is called the Septuagint.
Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes rules Syria from about 175 BC to about 164 BC. He reigns over Judah and tries to destroy the Jewish religion. He also defiles the Temple.
The Maccabees, a group that fought for Jewish independence, stage a revolt against the Greeks and establish the Hasmonean royal dynasty, as well as sovereignty over all or part of the land of Israel for about 100 years, from about 164 BC to 63 BC.
After the death of Alexander the Great, the empire of the Greeks is divided up and becomes weaker. During this time, the Roman Empire becomes increasingly powerful. The Roman general named Pompey seizes control over the land of Israel.
Jesus is born in the town of Bethlehem. The Apostle Matthew later points out that Jesus' birth in Bethlehem fulfilled a prophecy delivered by the prophet Micah, about 700 years beforehand. (See Micah 5:2).
Jesus is about 30 years old when he begins his ministry. He preaches, delivers prophecies and performs miracles. He announces that he is the Messiah (the Christ) who was promised by the prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus promises salvation and eternal life to those who believe in him (See John 3:16, as an example).
Jesus is falsely accused and is sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of the land of the Jews, to be crucified. Jesus is later resurrected, meaning he is brought back to life, and his followers began evangelizing him to others, allowing Christianity to spread very quickly throughout the Roman world and to eventually become the first religion to spread throughout the world.
In 70 AD, the Roman Army, under Titus, destroys Jerusalem and the Temple, to suppress an uprising of the Jews. According to the historian Josephus, about 1.1 million Jews were killed. Others were taken as slaves.
During the first century of this era, the New Testament, which describes the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, is completed. The writing of the Bible (the Old Testament and the New Testament) comes to an end. It began during the time of Moses, about 3400 years ago. Jesus becomes, and remains, the final subject of the Bible.
Copyright © George Konig, Ray Konig and 100prophecies.org
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