Old Testament Timeline
Benjamin S. Heath
“To every thing there is a
season, and a time to every
purpose under the heaven”
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
• The Companion Bible (Bullinger)
• Supposition based on the Bible (Heath)
Overview of the Old Testament
•???? 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
•1000 B.C. – 426 B.C. From the Kingdom to the
•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.
The creation (Genesis 1:1 KJV)
millions of years ago
II. The destruction of the “world that then
was” (Genesis 1:2) thousands of
III. The replenishing of the earth
(Genesis 1:3-31) approx. 14,000
IV. Noah’s Flood (Genesis 7:10) 2348
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
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
•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.)
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.)
•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”
•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
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
•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
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.)
1491 B.C. – 1451 B.C. Israel in
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
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.)
1000 B.C. The Kingdom Begins
880 B.C. The Monarchy Splits
II. 611 B.C. The Captivities Begin
I. The Kingdom Begins
•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
“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
Kings of Israel
III. The Captivities Begin
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.)
454 B.C. The Commandment to
II. 426 B.C. Cyrus issues the Decree
to rebuild the Temple.
III. 405 B.C. The Temple finished and
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
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
“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).
Bullinger, E. (1922). The Companion Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel
Haberman, F. Tracing Our Ancestors. Muskogee, OK: Artisan
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.