Bible chronology deals with fixing the exact dates of the various events recorded. For the earliest parts of Old Testament history we rely entirely on the scripture itself; but the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint or Greek translation, and the Samaritan Pentateuch do not agree together, so that many dates cannot be fixed with certainty. From the time of David onwards we get much assistance from secular history, such as inscriptions on monuments and other state records. Much work has still to be done in this direction. The dates found at the top of many printed English Bibles are due to Archbishop Ussher (1581–1656). Some of them have been shown to be incorrect.

Chronology of the Old Testament


 Sequence of Events in the Days of the Early Patriarchs


 Fall of Adam.

 Ministry of Enoch.

 Ministry of Noah; the Flood.

 Tower of Babel.

 Ministry of Melchizedek.

 Death of Noah (Gen. 9:28).

 (Those desiring calculated dates on these events may wish to consult published chronologies.)

 Birth of Abram.

 Birth of Isaac.

 Birth of Jacob.

 Birth of Joseph.

 Joseph sold into Egypt (Gen. 37:2).

 Joseph stands before Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46).

 Jacob and his family go down to Egypt.

 Death of Jacob.

 Death of Joseph.

 Birth of Moses.

 The Exodus when Moses was 80 years old.

 Death (translation) of Moses.

 Death of Joshua.

 In the days of Abram we meet with the names of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Amraphel, king of Shinar. Egypt was manifestly a powerful kingdom before and during the patriarchal times, but the early annals of Egypt as they have come down to us help us to few synchronisms that can be relied on.

 After the death of Joshua was the period of the Judges, of whom the first was Othniel and the last Samuel, but the arrangement and dates of the rest are very uncertain.

 The commencement of the Assyrian empire appears to have been somewhere in the period of the Judges, but much of the chronological data preserved in Assyrian tablets is of a mythical character.

 In this section approximate dates are suggested, some help being derived from synchronisms with secular history, which become more numerous with every succeeding century.


 The Undivided Kingdom

 Persons and Events of External History


 Commencement of Saul’s reign. Samuel lives for a great part of Saul’s reign.

 Nahash, king of Ammon.

 Tiglath-pileser Ⅰ, king of Assyria.

 Agag, king of Amalek.

 Achish, king of Gath.


 David anointed by Samuel.


 David king in Hebron.


 David king in Jerusalem. Nathan and Gad, prophets.

 Hiram, king of Tyre.

 Hadadezer, king of Zobah.

 Toi, king of Hamath.

 Hanun, son of Nahash, king of Ammon.


 Solomon made king. Death of David.


 Solomon begins to build the temple.

 Hiram, king of Tyre.


 Solomon begins to build his own house.


 The buildings are finished.

 Hadad the Edomite is protected in Egypt.

 Genubath, son of Hadad.

 Rezon, king of Zobah.

 Shishak, king of Egypt, shelters Jeroboam.


 Death of Solomon. The ten tribes revolt from Rehoboam.

 In the following table the first column of dates follows the books of Kings and Chronicles; the third column contains a revised chronology derived from inscriptions on Assyrian and other monuments. The kings of Judah are printed in heavy type, and the kings of Israel in capitals.


 Kings of Judah and Israel

 Rev. Chr.

 Internal History

 External History




 Jeroboam Ⅰ


 Ahijah the Shilomite prophesies, also Shemaiah.

 Penuel built (1 Kgs. 12:25).


 Shishak, king of Egypt.


 Shishak plunders Jerusalem.










 Oded and Azariah prophesy.

 Asa’s war with Zerah the Ethiopian.




 War of Israel against Judah.

 Hanani and Jehu prophesy.





 Asa’s alliance with Benhadad Ⅰ.





 Omri (at war with Tibni)



 Omri (victorious)

 Benhadad Ⅰ conquers Omri (1 Kgs. 20:34).




 Samaria built (1 Kgs. 16:24).


 Ethbaal (Eithobalus), king of Zidon.




 Elijah the Tishbite.

 Jericho rebuilt.

 Micaiah son of Imlah prophesies.

 Syrian invasion of Samaria (1 Kgs. 20:34).

 Moab rebels against Israel.

 Mesha, king of Moab.




 Jahaziel prophesies (2 Chr. 20:14).

 Eliezer of Mareshah prophesies (2 Chr. 20:37).




 Elisha prophesies.

 Obadiah prophesies (?).

 Battle of Ramoth-gilead.

 Hazael, king of Syria.














 Joash buys off Hazael’s invasion (2 Kgs. 12:18).

 Syrian victories over Israel (2 Kgs. 10:32).

 Sardanapalus dies.



 Joel prophesies (?).









 Shalmaneser Ⅱ.


 Jeroboam Ⅱ


 Hosea prophesies.

 Jonah prophesies (2 Kgs. 14:25).

 Amaziah subdues Edom (2 Kgs. 14:7).

 Shalmaneser Ⅲ.


 Azariah or Uzziah


 Amos prophesies.






 First Olympiad.








 There is much uncertainty about the chronology of the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, and Pekah, and from 2 Kgs. 15:1–2, and 30–32, it is clear that there is some confusion in the biblical numbers. Uzziah’s name is now thought to have been discovered in an Assyrian inscription 740 B.C. If that proves correct, the commencement of Isaiah’s prophecy cannot date before that year, and the time of Jotham’s regency may have been counted as regnal years. In these tables the biblical numbers have been adhered to, as far as possible, but they require further elucidation, which we may hope for as the Assyrian chronology becomes more assured.

 Pul, king of Assyria (= Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ?).






 Rezin, king of Syria.




 Isaiah begins to prophesy.

 Rome founded.

 Era of Nabonassar, 747.

 Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ, king of Assyria (747–734).

 So, king of Egypt.

 Pekahiah (rev. chr.)


 Pekah (rev. chr.)













 Shalmaneser Ⅴ, king of Assyria, 727.


 End of the Northern kingdom


 Micah prophesies.


 Merodach-baladan, king of Babylon, 722.

 Death of Sennacherib, 681.


 Median kingdom formed.





 Psammetichus, king of Egypt, 670.

 Fall of No-amon (Thebes), 660.




 Nahum prophesies (?).

 Assurbanipal (667–626).




 Huldah the prophetess.

 Jeremiah begins to prophesy, 628.

 Zephaniah prophesies.

 Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt.

 Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, 625–604.




 Obadiah prophesies (?).


 Fall of Nineveh, 606.




 Daniel carried captive, 606.


 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 604–561.




 Habakkuk prophesies.




 Ezekiel prophesies.


 Capture of Jerusalem



 Jewish History

 External History


 Jehoiachin’s captivity relaxed.


 Evil-merodach, king of Babylon.



 Commencement of the Persian Empire under Cyrus.

 Neriglissar, king of Babylon, 559–555.




 Belshazzar co-regent with Nabonidus.



 Union of Media and Persia under Cyrus.

 Fall of Babylon.


 Decree of Cyrus for the return of the Jews.


 Joshua, high priest.


 Ahasuerus (Ezra 4:6).

 =Cambyses, king of Persia, 529–521.




 Egypt conquered by Cambyses. Birth of Aeschylus.


 Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:7).



 Darius Ⅰ (Ezra 4:5).

 =Darius Hystaspes.


 The hindered temple building resumed. Haggai and Zechariah prophesy.


 Sophocles born, 495.




 Battle of Marathon.


 Ahasuerus (Esth. 1:1).

 =Xerxes, 486–465.

 Egypt revolts from Persia for 2 years.


 Joiakim, high priest.


 Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis, 480.


 Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:1).

 =Artaxerxes Longimanus.


 Commission of Ezra.


 Eliashib, high priest.


 Nehemiah appointed governor of Judea.


 Nehemiah’s second mission to Jerusalem. Prophecy of Malachi.


 Plato born, 429.


 Darius Ⅱ. …

 =Darius Nothus.




 Egypt and Media both revolt from Persia.


 Joiada, high priest.



 Artaxerxes Mnemon.




 Battle of Cunaxa.

 Demosthenes born, 382.


 Johanan, high priest.




 Philip, king of Macedon.



 Darius Ochus. …

 Plato dies, 348.


 Jaddua, high priest.





 Darius Ⅲ (Neh. 12:22). …

 =Darius Codomannus.

 Philip of Macedon slain.


 Jaddua goes out to meet Alexander.


 Alexander in Syria and Egypt.




 Battle of Arbela.



 Darius slain. End of the Persian power.



 Ptolemy Lagides obtains Egypt.

 Death of Alexander the Great and dismemberment of his empire.


 Jewish History




 Onias Ⅰ, high priest.


 Ptolemy (Lagides) Soter takes Jerusalem.


 Antigonus conquers Palestine from Ptolemy.




 Seleucus (Nicator).


 Palestine by treaty assigned to Antigonus.


 Palestine retaken by Ptolemy.

 During this disturbed period many Jews migrated from Palestine and settled in Egypt and in parts of Asia Minor; they were held in much esteem by the rulers of those countries in which they settled.


 Battle of Ipsus. Antigonus defeated by Seleucus.


 Simon the Just, high priest.


 Eleazar, high priest.



 Ptolemy Philadelphus.



 About this time the Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures appears to have been commenced in Alexandria, though it was not finished for more than a century after.

 Antiochus (Soter).


 Manasseh, high priest.



 Antiochus (Theos).


 Onias Ⅱ, high priest.



 Ptolemy Euergetes.




 Seleucus Callinicus.


 Tribute due to Egypt not paid by Onias.


 Seleucus Keraunus.




 Antiochus the Great.



 Ptolemy Philopator.


 Simon Ⅱ, high priest. …

 Ptolemy’s outrage in the Jewish temple.


 Battle of Raphia. …

 Treaty between Antiochus and Ptolemy.



 Ptolemy Epiphanes.


 Onias Ⅲ, high priest.




 Seleucus Philopator.



 Ptolemy Philometor.


 Heliodorus sent to plunder the temple.


 Onias deposed by Antiochus. Jason, high priest.


 Antiochus Epiphanes.



 Cleopatra, guardian of Philometor, dies.


 Menelaus, Jason’s brother, nominated high priest.


 Onias Ⅲ murdered about this time.




 Antiochus defeats the Egyptians.


 Jason seizes Jerusalem, which Antiochus attacks on his return from Egypt and pollutes the temple.


 Second invasion of Egypt.


 Daily sacrifice interrupted.

 Ptolemy Physcon set up for a time in Egypt but soon makes common cause with his brother Philometor.

 Third attack on Egypt.


 Mattathias the Hasmonean revolts.


 Battle of Emmaus. Victory of Judas Maccabaeus.


 Dedication of the temple.




 Antiochus Eupator.


 Lysias defeated by Judas at Bethsura. Alcimus, high priest. Menelaus put to death.




 Demetrius Soter.


 Nicanor defeated at Capharsalama. Death of Judas Maccabaeus at Eleasa.

 Contests between Philometor and Physcon. Appeals to Rome.


 Decree of the Roman Senate in favor of the Jews.


 Death of Alcimus.


 Jonathan, brother of Judas, ruler of Judea.


 Jonathan made high priest by Balas.


 Alexander Balas set up against Demetrius.


 Jonathan honored by Philometor and Balas.


 Alexander Balas, king of Syria.



 Onias, son of Onias Ⅲ, made commander-in-chief in Egypt.



 Ptolemy Philometor opposes Alexander Balas.



 Ptolemy Physcon (Euergetes Ⅱ).

 Demetrius Nicator.


 Jonathan put to death by Tryphon. Simon, high priest.


 Simon, “Prince of the Jews.” Jews allowed to coin money.




 Antiochus Sidetes. Tryphon put to death.


 Murder of Simon. John Hyrcanus, high priest.




 Demetrius Nicator.








 Antiochus Grypus.



 Ptolemy Lathyrus (Soter Ⅱ).


 Hyrcanus wars on Samaria and destroys the temple on Gerizim.

 Cleopatra and Alexander.


 Hyrcanus dies. Aristobulus (his son), first king of the Jews.


 Alexander Jannaeus made king of the Jews.


 Jannaeus captures Gaza.

 Ptolemy, king of Cyrene, bequeaths his kingdom to the Romans.

 Seleucus succeeds his father Grypus.


 The Pharisees hostile to Jannaeus.


 War of Jannaeus in Gilead and Moab.




 Philip, brother of Seleucus, gains the throne.


 Jannaeus defeated at Shechem.



 Ptolemy Lathyrus recalled.




 Tigranes, king of Armenia, set over Syria.



 Ptolemy Alexander.


 Death of Jannaeus. Alexandra, his widow, rules after him. Hyrcanus Ⅱ, high priest.


 Aristobulus Ⅱ seizes the government.




 Pompey conquers Syria for the Romans.

 Roman Affairs



 Ptolemy Auletes.


 Disputes between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus.


 Jerusalem taken by Pompey. Hyrcanus again high priest.


 Palestine divided into five districts.


 Crassus defeated by the Parthians at Carrhae, 53.


 Crassus plunders the temple.



 Antipater made a governor over Judea.


 Battle of Pharsalia.

 Battle of Thapsus, 46.


 Hyrcanus, “Prince of the Jews.”


 Assassination of Caesar.




 Battle of Philippi.


 Herod and Phasael, joint tetrarchs of Judea.


 Herod flees to Rome. Antigonus set up in his stead.


 Herod marries Mariamne.


 Herod takes Jerusalem.




 Battle of Actium.

 Augustus, emperor, 31 B.C.A.D. 14.



 Cleopatra dies. Egypt becomes a Roman province.


 Mariamne put to death.


 Herod rebuilds Samaria.


 Herod restores the temple.


 Alexander and Aristobulus put to death.

Chronology of the New Testament


 Christian History

 Jewish History

 Contemporary Events

 Birth of Jesus Christ.

 Death of Herod the Great. Archelaus obtains Judea, Samaria, and Idumea; Herod Antipas, Galilee; Herod Philip, Iturea, Trachonitis, etc.


 Banishment of Archelaus.


 Coponius prefect of Judea; Ananus high priest.

 Jesus at Jerusalem in the temple.

 Cyrenius completes “the taxing.”


 Marcus Ambivius, prefect.


 Annius Rufus, prefect.



 Death of Augustus.


 Valerius Gratus, prefect.


 Caiaphas, high priest.

 Beginning of the ministry of the Baptist.

 Pontius Pilate, prefect.

 The Crucifixion.



 Death of Herod Philip.


 Conversion of Paul. …

 Pontius Pilate exiled.



 Jonathan, high priest. Herod Agrippa obtains the tetrarchy of Herod Philip.

 Marcellus, prefect.

 Death of Tiberius.



 Josephus born.


 The churches have rest.

 Antipas deposed. Agrippa made tetrarch of Galilee.



 Agrippa receives Judea.

 Death of Caligula.


 Death of James the brother of John.

 Death of Herod Agrippa Ⅰ.

 Cuspius Fadus, procurator.


 Paul’s first missionary tour.



 Tiberius Alexander, procurator.



 Ventidius Cumanus, procurator.


 Council of Jerusalem.


 1 and 2 Thessalonians written.


 Jews banished from Rome by Claudius.



 Claudius [or Antonius (?)] Felix, procurator.




 Death of Claudius.


 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans.


 Paul a prisoner at Caesarea.


 Paul sent to Rome.

 Porcius Festus, procurator.


 Paul leaves Melita for Rome.

 Joseph, son of Simon, high priest.


 Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon.

 Albinus, procurator.


 Close of the history of the Acts of the Apostles.



 Gessius Florus, procurator.

 Completion of the temple.

 Burning of Rome. Persecution under Nero.


 Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy.

 Jewish war commences.


 Martyrdom of Peter and Paul.

 Capture of Jotapata by Vespasian.




 Death of Nero. Galba proclaimed.




 Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, emperors.


 Christians retire to Pella.

 Siege and capture of Jerusalem.




 Death of Vespasian.




 Death of Titus.


 Persecution of Christians by Domitian.




 Death of Domitian.