Dr. David Babbitt
BIBL 105- B13
24 September 2018
Old Testament Timeline Narrative
Genesis 1-11 is the story of creation and primeval history. Genesis 1 describes how in the beginning of time God created the heavens, the earth, and all that is in the earth in six days. From earth’s creation came night, day, sky, land, oceans, birds, livestock, sea animals and most importantly mankind. An important part that sticks out in Genesis 1, is when God breathed life into man and created man in his image. Shortly after God sees “it is not good for man to be alone,” he creates a woman from one of Adam’s ribs while he was in a deep sleep (Genesis 2:18-22).
In Genesis 3 we see “The Fall.” The Fall shows us the very first-time sin entered into the world. More specifically, we see Lucifer disguises himself as a snake in the Garden of Eden. Lucifer goes on to Adam and Eve into disobeying God. Sin enters into the world and mankind is forever cursed by sin leading to death. According to a study done by James Ussher in 1650, the approximated date of Genesis 1-3 is around 4004 BC-3900 BC. During this time in history we see the First Death. The First Death happens in Genesis 4 between Cain and Abel who are the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain becomes jealous and angry at Abel because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and not his. Cain becomes so angry that he asks his brother to go out to the field where he then attacks and kills him (Genesis 4:8).
From Adams family line comes Noah who is described in the bible as a righteous man (Genesis 5). We are told in Genesis 6 that Noah was the only person on earth who was blameless and walked faithfully with God in his time. According to Genesis 6, the people in the world were all corrupted and wicked. God warned Noah that a flood was coming and would destroy all on earth. He gave Noah instructions to build an ark to protect him and his family and to preserve animal life in the future. Therefore, Noah and his three sons built the ark. Two of all land-living animals, male and female, came to the Ark and entered. Noah, his wife and his sons’ wives and families all entered the Ark as well. For 40 days and 40 nights, God sent rain to flood the earth. (Genesis 7). After the water finally receded and dried from the earth, Noah made a sacrifice to God and God made a covenant with Noah (Genesis 8-9).
According to Hindson and Yates, the editors of “The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey”, there are some correlations to ancient Near Eastern dates, events, and figures. A couple of these correlations included creation and the flood. Near Eastern flood and creation accounts were discovered in the late 19th century by archeologists (Hindson & Yates). Archeologist found similar stories between the Mesopotamians, Babylonians and Old Babylonians all having correlations between one another pertaining to creation and a great flood (Hindson & Yates). However, Moses the author of Genesis, didn’t copy these stories. In fact, these stories may have been recorded before Moses but they are all highly mythological. Genesis has much more, “depth and dignity unparalleled in any cosmogony known to us from Babylon or Assyria,” according to Alexander Heidel (Hindson ; Yates 30). The biblical records of creation and the flood are much more realistic in historical records. Genesis 4-11 is estimated to have taken place roughly from 3000BC-2100BC .
The Patriarchal Period
Genesis 12-50 is the Patriarchal Period and is said to have taken place approximately between 2100BC-1800BC. Chronologically, this period is after the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. Genesis 11 is where God comes down and new languages are bestowed upon mankind. During this time, the lord confuses the language of the whole world and scatters them all over earth. Because of this confusion, the city became known as Babel. From this comes Shem lineage to Abram, son of Terah. Abram is described as a righteous man and Gods makes many promises and covenants with Abram. One of these being Circumcision (Genesis 17), in which God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning father of many nations. God promises Abraham that he will be the father of many nations (Genesis 17). From this covenant comes the birth of Isaac (Genesis 21).
Abraham and his wife Sarah were promised a son whom they later started to doubt. However, when Abraham was 100 years old God fulfilled his promise. Abraham is tested by God “sometime later” (Genesis 22). He is told by God to take his only son Isaac, go to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on a mountain that God would show him (Genesis 22:2). Abraham being the righteous and faithful man he was, got up the next morning and made all the preparations that needed to be done. Then Abraham, his son Isaac, and two servants journeyed for three days to do as God commanded Abraham. When it came time for Abraham to kill his only son Isaac, God intervened and stopped him. Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, God allowed him to sacrifice a ram. God promised to bless him and his sons through his offspring all nations on earth would be blessed. After the Sarah died, Isaac married Rebekah, who was his second cousin. Abraham died in Genesis 25 and left everything he owned to Isaac but gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and then sent them away (Genesis 25:6).
Rebekah and Isaac conceived twin boys named, Esau and Jacob who were favorite by each parent. Rebekah’s favorite was Jacob and Isaac’s favorite was Esau. Isaac planned to give his blessing to Esau; however, Rebekah helped Jacob deceive his father and stole the blessing from Esau. Because Jacob was terrified of Esau’s wrath, he quickly ran away to live with his uncle Laban. He worked for Laban and married his two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Jacob only married Leah because Laban deceived him (the great deceiver) into marrying Leah and he didn’t find out until it was too late. God as he had promised Abraham and Isaac, gave the same promises to Jacob. As Jacob prepares to meet Esau in Genesis 32 he is confronted by what is described as a man or a divine being (Genesis 32). The two wrestled all night leaving Jacob with a hurt hip, “So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “it is because of I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared” (Genesis 32:20). When the wrestling match had ended, Jacob’s named was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28).
Jacob had twelve sons. Of these 12 sons, six were from Leah, two from Leah’s servant Zilpah, two from Rachel and two from Rachel’s servant Bilhah. Jacob later returned home because his father Isaac died. Esau helped Jacob bury his late father (Genesis 35). Jacob’s favorite son was Joseph whom was the son of Rachel. According to Genesis 27, Joseph had a dream that his brothers were angry and jealous of. Because of their anger and jealousy, they sold him to Midianite merchants for twenty shekels of silver and they took him to Egypt (Genesis 37:28). While in Egypt, God provided for Joseph and he became second in command of the whole land of Egypt (Genesis 41). Joseph saved all of Egypt from a sever famine including his brothers. Despite all they had done to him, Joseph did not take revenge against them (Genesis 42-47). Jacob, now called Israel, becomes ill and blesses his son’s along with Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 48-49). Jacob breathes his last breathe at the end of Genesis 49. Joseph lived a hundred and ten years according to Genesis 50. The estimated time of his death in BC terms would have 1806 BC.
The opening of Exodus shows us that the Israelites multiplied in numbers. However, a new King came to power in Egypt and ordered slave masters over the Israelites and oppressed them (Exodus 1). During this time of multiplication and the change of power it was approximately 1700 BC -1600BC according to research done by Bible Hub. Exodus 1-18 shows us the Egyptian Bondage of the Israelites how it came to be. Exodus 2 starts off with the birth of Moses and how he became Pharaoh’s daughter’s son after she found him in the Nile river. As Moses grew older, he saw one of his own people being beaten by an Egyptian. After seeing this, Moses killed the Egyptian (Exodus 2). When Pharaoh found out about Moses killing the Egyptian, he tried to kill Moses but Moses flees to Midian to escape him (Exodus 2). While in Midian, Moses marries Zipporah, daughter of Reuel. Zipporah then gives birth to their son, Gershom.
Moving forward in Exodus 3, God comes to Moses in a burning bush and tells him he has been chosen to lead the Israelites out of slavery from Pharaoh. Moses argues with God and makes many excuses of why he can’t do it. Eventually, he agrees to lead the Israelites out of Egypt after God shows him signs and appoints Aaron, Moses’s brother, to be his speaker (Exodus 4). Moses goes to Pharaoh and pleas with him to let his people go but Pharaoh rejects and gives the Israelites more work to do (Exodus 5).
Throughout Exodus 6-11, we see the 10 plagues. These plagues include: blood, frogs, Gnats, flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the firstborn sons. Pharaoh finally agrees after the killing of the firstborns, also known as the Passover, to let the Israelites go with Moses and Aaron (Exodus12:31-32). Therefore, the Israelites left Egypt. However, in Exodus 14, Pharaoh changes his mind and all of his army pursued the Israelites. As the Israelites came to the Red Sea, the power of God allows Moses to split the Red Sea in half all night so the Israelites could make it across. The Egyptians close behind were drowned in the Red sea (Exodus 14). According to Hindson and Yates, the 10 plagues were to show God’s authority over the Egyptian gods (77).
After the Israelites exit Egypt they eventually reach a place called mount Sinai (Exodus 19), where the Israelites agree to a covenant of rules to honor God. Moses then goes to the top of mountain where God tells him to give the Israelites the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). God also gives more laws to Moses to complete through the covenant (Exodus 21-23). Most noted is the Sabbath Laws starting in chapter 23 verse 10. The Sabbath Laws include working for six days and resting on the seventh. The laws also include working for six years farming fields and harvesting crop but on the seventh year leaving the land be with no farming. Exodus 24 shows that Moses and Joshua set out to the top of Mount Sinai so Moses could receive the laws, commandments, and instructions from God carved into tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12-13).
Before ascending to the mountain, Moses leaves Aaron and Hur in charge of the people who remained. Moses stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. While on top the mountain, God speaks to Moses and gives him many detailed instructions for things such as, the Ark (Exodus 25) and the Tabernacle (Exodus 26). God gives Moses detailed instructions on how to build the Ark covenant and the Tabernacle. He also shares with Moses how to use each and is very specific on who should use them. Included in these instructions was guidance on rituals, anointings, robing, sacrifices, offerings, priests, anointing of priest, priestly garments, and various other things. God finishes speaking to Moses at the end of Exodus 31 and the last thing he gives Moses is two tablets containing the covenant law written by the finger of Go (Exodus 31:18). However, while Moses is on the mountain, the Israelites become impatient and urge Aaron to create them a god in the form of a golden calf to worship (Exodus 32). Nonetheless, when Moses returns from the mountains and sees this, he is full of rage and so is God. So, Moses returns to the top of Mount Sinai and gets a new set of stone tablets. God renews his covenant, and adds a few things to it (Exodus 34-35). In Exodus 35-40, many things are constructed; however, the most significant is the construction of the Tabernacle. At the end of Exodus, God comes down and the Lord fills the Tabernacle and leads the Israelites directly (Exodus 40:34-36).
The Conquest and Period of Judges
The conquest begins in the book of Joshua right after the death of Moses in Deuteronomy 34. The conquest is God fulfilling his promise to Abraham that his descendants would possess the land of Canaan after 400 years of slavery and oppression. The conquest took about seven years and according to Hindson and Yates, it began in 1406 BC and ended in 1399 BC . Joshua is now the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses (Joshua 1). The conquest is found in Joshua 1-12. There are two parts of the conquest, the first in Joshua 1-5 and the second in Joshua 6-12. The first part is God preparing the Israelites for the conquest. Preparations included things such as, sending out two spies to see their options (Joshua 2), crossing the Jordan river (Joshua 3), studying Gods word, challenging themselves to be completely obedient, instituting memorial stones used as testimonies for future generations (Joshua 4), setting up the battle camp in Gilgal (Joshua 4), circumcising uncircumcised Israelite men, and celebrating the Passover (Joshua 5). All of these were completed because they were absolutely necessary to be successful in the Journey ahead in Joshua 6-12.
The first victory of the conquest was The Fall of Jericho. Joshua encounters the commander of the Lord’s army as he nears the city Jericho (Joshua 5). Victory over Jericho came from Joshua’s obedience of the instructions given to him by the Lord (Joshua 6). The Israelites Battle the city of Ai twice. In the first battle they were defeated because Achan the son of Zirah, had sinned against the Lord. Achan and his family were stoned to death and then burned (Joshua 7). The second battle ends with the Israelites being victorious over Ai. Their battle strategy was having one army draw them out of the city and another army of 30,000 thousand ambush them (Joshua 8). Throughout the entire conquest, Joshua lead the Israelites to conquer 31 kings (Joshua 12). Parts conquered were land east of the Jordan and land west of the Jordan. There was also some unconquered land which was to be left for future generations (Joshua 13).
According to the compelling truth the period of Judges begins shortly after the death of Joshua around 1380BC. Judges is a period of time where Israel no longer had a leader because Joshua divided out the promise land to the 12 tribes of Israel. Judges shows us how they struggled to maintain control of the land and sometimes let their enemies oppress them. So, God raises up six cycles with deliverers for those who still call out to him. The six cycles are explained throughout the book of Judges. The cycles include Othneil versus Cushan (Judges 3), Ehud versus Eglon (Judges 3), Deborah and Barak versus the Canaanites (Judges 4-5), Gideon versus the Midianites (Judges 6-10), Jephthah versus the Ammonites (Judges 10-12), and Samson versus the Philistines. However, these delivers have imperfections of their own throughout the cycles (Judges 13-16). These imperfections include Gideon’s and Barak’s cowardice, Jephthah making a foolish vow, and Samson uncontrollably chasing after foreign women. At the end of the six cycles, Samson is dead under the temple rubble of the Philistines. The final chapters of Judges are not in chronological order. Chapters 17-21 are added to show how bad things really became. At the end of Judges, we see that everything seems to be going wrong for the Israelites spiritually and morally. Instead of focusing on God, they became caught up in the chaos of doing whatever they wanted which include things such as, idolatry and immorality.
The United Monarchy is the name that the kingdom of Israel and Judah were called during the reign King Saul, David, and Solomon. It is estimated that the United Monarchy took place between 1051BC-931BC. The kingdom of Israel and Judah had three different kings during this time period. Saul is estimated to have reigned from around 1051BC-1011BC . He comes to serve as the first King in the united monarchy after the Israelites ask Samuel, a prophet of the Lord, for one. At first Samuel is reluctant but later anoints Saul as King because God told him to even though he was the people’s choice and not God’s choice (1 Samuel 8-9). Saul is later confirmed as king of the tribes of Israel (1 Samuel 11). In 1 Samuel 15, the Lord rejects Saul as king because of his jealousy, pride and ultimately, his dishonor to God and the mosaic covenant. The Lord tells Samuel that he has just the person in mind to replace Saul. The Lord calls David, a shepherd boy in Bethlehem, to be the new King of Israel.
David is estimated to have reigned as king from around 1011 to 971BC. Before David comes to power, he faces many challenges. Amongst these challenges was Goliath, a giant philistine who is 9ft tall (1 Samuel 17), and King Saul trying to kill him (1 Samuel 19-24). Ultimately, God sees him through these challenges by David killing Goliath in God’s name and then God protecting David when Saul is trying to kill him. After all this, David is finally anointed by Samuel to become the new King of the Israelites (2 Samuel 2). 2 Samuel reveals many things about King David. It shows David’s success, his faith in God, his rise to fame, his enemies, his making of the Davidic Covenant, and his adulterous faults with Bathsheba. David expanded Israel’s boundaries to great degrees. He justifies the Gibeonites against whom Saul had sinned (1 Samuel 21), he overthrows the Philistines (1 Samuel 21), sings songs of praise (1 Samuel 22), brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, makes it the capital of the nation and shows his faith in the covenant with his last words (1 Samuel 23). David was a man after God’s own heart and obeyed him in chapter 24 when he builds an altar to the lord. This altar is where Solomon would later build the temple (1 Samuel 24).
Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, becomes the next king of Israel. David succeeds his son to be king and charges him to follow the law of Moses during his reign over the kingdom (1 Kings 1-2). Solomon reigned as king from 971 to 931 BC. Solomon is well known for his wealth, wisdom, and power. He starts off on the right track as he follows what his father charges him to do and eradicated the nations of those who stood as a threat to Solomon’s reign and covenant. His obedience to the covenant led to his success in the earl chapters of 1 Kings. God bestowed upon Solomon blessings for his obedience. His blessings included his wisdom (1 Kings 3), wealth (1 Kings 4) and fame (1 Kings 4). God also allowed Solomon to expand Israel’s borders. Solomon builds the temple by hiring Hiram, the king of Tyre, for workers, and building materials. The temple is built and represents the presence of the Lord among the people of Israel. The ark of the Covenant is brought to stay in the temple (1 Kings 8). Solomon ultimately loses most of the blessings he received because of his covenant disobedience (1 Kings 11). Solomon makes a mistake and marries daughters of foreign kings and allowed them to construct altars for other gods. The downfall and splitting of the kingdom of Israel came about because of this disobedience. A nation Solomon once ruled greatly began to fall apart and was ultimately split in two parts by the time of Solomon’s death around 931 BC.
The Divided Kingdom and Exile
Israel is ultimately divided into two regions: northern region, Israel and southern region, Judah. The divided monarchy lasts from around 931 to 720 BC and is explained throughout parts of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was supposed to be the next king of Israel but the people rebel (1 Kings 12). A struggle of power occurs between Rehoboam and Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and ultimately Israel ends up dividing into two different regions under different rulers. The northern tribe abandons the holy city of Jerusalem, the temple, and mainly the Davidic line, which is the line of Christ. Rehoboam remains king of Judah and Jeroboam becomes king of Israel (1 Kings 14). Jeroboam leads the ten tribes Israel down a dark path. Instead of worshipping the Lord, they create Golden calves and other idols. This was the start of many poor choices for the northern region.
Following their poor choices, the northern region is described in the bible to have had a line of wicked rulers. A few of these rulers were: Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimiri, Omri, and Ahab(1 Kings 13-18). Most of these rulers do not last long in their reign and all fail (1 Kings 15-16). Ahab’s reign isn’t much different than the others. It’s still very wicked but a part to note from his reign is his marriage to Jezebel. Jezebel had a major influence over Ahab in pushing him towards promoting Baal worship and introducing it throughout the northern nation (1Kings 16-22). After Ahab is king Elijah, a prophet of the Lord comes to demonstrate the power of the real Lord throughout as series of events in 1 Kings; events that refuted the power of the god Baal. Baal claims to guarantee agricultural growth, to have authority over life and death, to control lightning and fire, and to have control of the rain. Each of these claims are all refuted as God demonstrates his supremacy throughout 1 Kings 17-18. The ministry of Elijah shows just how evil and wicked the kings of the north were. Time and time again God proves through Elijah he’s the true God of the universe but these actions by Elijah are unsuccessful to return the nation of Israel to be faithful to the covenant once again.
After the prophet of Elijah comes the prophet of Elisha (2 Kings). Elisha’s ministry continues to show God’s supremacy over Baal. Elisha like Elijah does miraculous things during his time. He purifies the bitter water at Jericho (2 Kings 2), he defeats the king of Moab (2 Kings 3), heals Naaman of Leprosy (2 Kings 5), and ultimately performs twice as many miracles as Elijah. Eventually, the wickedness in the Northern kingdom leads to their downfall from Assyrian rule. The southern kingdom lasts longer but eventually they too meet their downfall under the King of Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar. At this point in Old Testament history, both kingdoms have fallen because of their wickedness and disobedience to the covenants of the Lord. This time in history is known as Exile.
Exile starts with the defeat of the northern tribes. The 10 northern tribes only last for about 200 years and collapses in 722BC by the Assyrians troops destroying Samaria . The southern region however, lasts another 150 years because of the intervention of God. The southern kingdom is described in 2 Kings to have had mostly good Kings and only few wicked. God intervenes during Hezekiah’s reign of Judah and protects Jerusalem from the Assyrians by having an angel of the Lord wipe out the Assyrian army during the night (2Kings 19). God does this for Judah to keep his promise in the Davidic covenant. However, the next king of Judah Manasseh’s is very wicked. His wickedness and rebellion of the covenant in the eyes of God is so bad that Jerusalem is ultimately going to fall to the Babylonians in 586 BC (2 Kings 21-25). Now both Kingdoms have fallen because of there unfaithfulness to the covenant of the Lord and are exiled for 70 years at the hands of the Babylonians. The people who were exiled from the promise land finally start to return after the 70 years of captivity because of the Persian King, Cyrus. Cyrus takes control over the Babylonian empire in 539 BC (Hindson and Yates).
Post Exilic Period
The Post Exilic Period is a explained throughout the bible in five different books: Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Some explaining certain events that took place and others prophesizing. Ezra contains the returning of the Israelites (Ezra 1), Joshua and Zerubbabel leading the people into rebuilding of the Lord’s Temple (Ezra 3-6), and the struggles of the construction of the temple (Ezra 4). The estimated time period of the exiles return and rebuilding of the temple is around 537BC to 516 BC . Ezra also contains Ezra leading the second wave of exiles back to Jerusalem around 456 BC (7-10). Ezra’s journey with the people deals with the people’s intermarriage sin and how he dealt with it (Ezra 9-10). We then move to the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah hears of the vulnerability of Jerusalem and prays to God to for the Nation (Hindson and Yates). In response God allows Nehemiah to rebuild the destroyed wall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah rallies the people and is able to get supplies and construction teams (Nehemiah 2-7). He completes the wall in a record time of 52 days (Nehemiah 2-7). The next section of Nehemiah begins with Ezra back on the scene reading the law to the Israelites (Nehemiah 8). The people respond and confess their sins and the covenant is renewed (Nehemiah 9-10). The wall of Jerusalem is celebrated and there are new residences in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11-12). However, in Nehemiah 13 Nehemiah comes back to keep the people accountable and issues final reforms (Nehemiah 13).
Next in the book of Haggai we see Haggai, a prophet of the Lord, deliver four messages. The four message topics were rebuke, recharging, ruling and reigning (Hindson and Yates). These messages were prophesied to hopefully motivate and encourage the people to rebuild the temple. These messages occurred during the second year of King Darius’s reign which is estimated to be around 520 BC.
The next book in order of the Bible is Zechariah. Zechariah is a prophet of the lord during the post exilic period. Throughout Zechariah’s ministry he calls the people to repentance to the Lord (Zechariah 1:1-6). He has 8 visions during the night each a little strange. These eight visions consist of the four horsemen (Zechariah 1), the four horns (Zechariah 1), a man with a measuring line (Zachariah 2), Joshua the high priest (Zachariah 3), the gold lampstand and the two olive trees (Zechariah 4), the flying scroll (Zechariah 5), the woman in a basket (Zechariah 5), and the four chariots (Zechariah 6). The next part Zechariah takes place in chapters 7-14. Zechariah 7-8 contains Zechariah’s call to righteousness about justice, mercy and fasting and then ultimately the blessings a Jerusalem to come. Zechariah 9-14 however includes messages about the coming Messiah through the Davidic line, false Shepherds, the future of God’s kingdom, and the future of Jerusalem. All 8 visions and future prophecies have been estimated to have taken place around 519BC-520BC . Chronologically the eight visions took place first in the ministry of Zechariah and the prophecies later in his ministry.
The last book of the Old Testament is Malachi. The book of Malachi consists of four chapters and is estimated to have taken place around 430BC. Malachi describes himself as a messenger of the Lord (Malachi 1). Malachi is the last of the three prophets during the post exilic period. Malachi 1 includes Malachi confirming Gods love for the people, exposing the sins of the priests by dishonoring God through their sacrifices and not teaching the law of the Lord correctly and consistently (Malachi 1-2). Malachi also, preaches how the people have been unfaithful to God through breaking the covenant of marriage through divorce and through injustice (Malachi 2). Another matter of concern Malachi addresses is the peoples withholding of tithes and explains how there’s faithfulness in tithing (Malachi 3). However, the most important part of Malachi’s ministry is the promises made for the coming of John the Baptist and ultimately the coming of the Messiah, the savior of the world.
“Bible Timeline.” Matthew 6:24 “No One Can Serve Two Masters. Either You Will Hate the One and Love the Other, or You Will Be Devoted to the One and Despise the Other. You Cannot Serve Both God and Money., biblehub.com/timeline/#1.
Hindson, Edward E., and Gary E. Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament: a Survey. B ; H Academic, 2012.
Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2015.
“What Is the Basic Timeline of the Old Testament?” CompellingTruth.org, Got Questions Ministry, www.compellingtruth.org/Old-Testament-timeline.html.
Pierce, Larry. “The World: Born in 4004 BC?” Answers in Genesis, 28 Apr. 2006, answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/the-world-born-in-4004-bc/.