Dates for Old Testament Events – Part 4
Dates for the Old Testament can be hard to find and controversial, but that should not stop us from looking at the dates others have set. However, I am often asked about dates since we do not include them in the Grapevine curriculum. So, today, I am going to give you my personal notes on the Old Testament Timeline Part 4 dates I use when I teach a class.
I primarily use the book, Annals of World History by Bishop James Ussher for these dates. Dates can be added to our Old Testament Overview studies or our Timelines.
Old Testament Part 4 Dates
- 975 BC – The Divided Kingdom: Because of Solomon’s sins, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two countries, Israel and Judah, during the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son.
- Israel: The country of Israel consisted of ten tribes: Rueben, Gad, Manasseh, Simeon, Ephraim, Dan, Naphtali, Asher, Zebulun, and Issachar and was led by Rehoboam.
- Judah: The country of Judah consisted of two tribes: Judah and Benjamin, as well as some of the Levites, and they were led by Jeroboam.
- The Prophets: During the time of the kings and the divided kingdom, God sent prophets to deliver messages to the kings, cities, and countries. God never judged a king, city, or country without first warning them of the coming judgment and giving them an opportunity to repent and return to the ways of the Lord.
- 975 BC to 721 BC – Kings of Israel: Israel had nineteen kings, all of whom did evil before the Lord. The kings of Judah reigned 378 years and 6 months total.
- 721 BC – Captivity of Israel: Despite the warning sent from God through the prophets, the kings and people of Israel continued in their sinful ways. God sent Israel into captivity under the Assyrians, who deported and spread the tribes of Israel throughout the Assyrian kingdom. God promised Israel that one day He would bring them from all over the earth back to their land. We are just beginning to see this promise fulfilled. We place the three question marks above the arrows coming out of Assyria to indicate that the time of Israel’s captivity is unknown.
- 975 BC to 586 BC – Kings of Judah: Judah had twenty kings: eleven did evil before the Lord, seven did what was right before the Lord, and two did both good and evil before the Lord. The kings of Judah reigned 378 years and 6 months total.
- 605 BC to 856 BC – Captivity of Judah: Judah failed to learn from what happened to Israel, and Babylon took Israel captive. God promised Judah that they would be in captivity for seventy years, and then He would return them to their land. We place the “seventy years” above the arrows going into Babylon to indicate that the time of Judah’s captivity would be seventy years. Babylon took Judah captive in three separate groups.
- 605 BC Daniel
- 593 BC Ezekiel
- 586 BC Temple Destroyed
- 515 BC – Esther: During this time the story of Esther occurred. Esther was a young Jewish woman who became queen of Persia. After becoming queen, she learned of a plot to kill all the Jews in the kingdom. Through her bravery, she was able to save her people from death. The events from the book of Esther take place over an eight year period of time and between chapter 6 and 7 of the book of Ezra.
- 516 BC – Second Temple: When the seventy years of captivity in Babylon were complete, Zerubbabel led the first of three groups of captives back to Israel. This first group, would correspond with the first group to leave Judah including Daniel. With the permission of King Cyrus of Persia and under the leadership of Zerubbabel, the first group of returning captives returned to Jerusalem. It would be another 19 years before the Temple was rebuilt. The 1st Temple was destroyed in 586 BC, 70 years later the 2nd Temple was built.
- 467 BC Ezra: The second group of captives from Babylon returned with Ezra. Ezra was a priest and teacher of the Law who taught the people in Israel how to serve and worship God and to live with one another.
- 455 BC – Nehemiah: The third group of captives from Babylon returned with Nehemiah. Under the leadership of Nehemiah, the walls and gates around Jerusalem were rebuilt.
- Intertestamental Period: Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the walls and gates around Jerusalem was the last chronological event of the Old Testament. The first recorded event of the New Testament takes place approximately 400 years after Nehemiah. During this time, God continued to prepare His people and the world for the coming of the Messiah.
If you missed the dates for the Old Testament Part 1 or Old Testament Part 2 or Old Testament Part 3, be sure to grab them before you begin teaching.