Updated: Jul 8
God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 1:31-2:3
This is an upgrade on a 2015 article I wrote regarding the chronology of mankind reckoned mostly by the Bible, and also secular sources that are known to be historically accurate. The dates are in accordance with the B.C/A.D. system of numbering years…as per the solar/Gregorian calendar of approximately 365.2425 days. Many major historical events throughout the ages have been added, as well as Biblical ones (with scripture verses), such as the raptures of Enoch and Elijah. This chronology accounts for 5981 years of humanity thus far (AD 2021) according to my calculations and sources, with the first day of creation occurring in the year 3960 BC.
Many Bible scholars are of the belief that there will be 6000 years of recorded history for mankind before Jesus returns and establishes His millennium kingdom on planet earth. They believe that just as the original creation week took 6 days of work and 1 day of rest (for a total of 7 days), so mankind will work on the earth for 6000 years and will then rest for 1000 years during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. After 7000 years God will create a new heaven and earth for the faithful angels and redeemed man.
The Bible says that a thousand years is as one day with the Lord. “Don’t forget this fact, dear friends: with the Lord, a single day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a single day” (2 Peter 3:80). “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past. And like a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4).
The takeaway of these verses is that man’s concept of time is very different than the eternal God’s. Since God has always existed, and always will, time is meaningless to Him. Time was created for man, especially after the fall when Adam and Eve sinned. These two verses (in many translations) have the key word/s of “like” and “as” included in the sentence. So, the question becomes - is this time frame merely a semblance/approximation, or is it an exact measurement of time for God?
In other words, is 1000 years for mankind equal to one 24 hour day for God; and if so, will Jesus establish his millennium reign after exactly 6000 years of mankind? As precise and thorough as God is, it wouldn’t surprise me that He has it all planned down to the exact year, month, day, hour, minute, and second for exactly six (the number for man) millennia to elapse from the creation of Adam to the second coming of Jesus.
There have been many chronologies throughout history that have attempted to date creation and mankind. Probably the most famous one is Ussher’s chronology by James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, published in AD 1650. Ussher deduced that the first day of creation was October 23, 4004 BC. If this is the correct date, then we would now be approximately 25 years past the 6000-year benchmark. Sir Isaac Newton believed creation occurred in 4000 BC. Johannes Kepler, the great 17th-century German astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer thought the date could be 3992 BC. Both of these learned men’s dates would also overshoot the 6000-year benchmark.
A couple of religious and scientific men who are still “in the ballpark” (dates that have not yet gone beyond 6000 years of mankind) are Joseph Justus Scaliger, a 16th century French Calvinist religious leader and scholar, and Saint Bede (the Venerable Bede) an English Benedictine monk of the 7th and 8th century. Scaliger estimated creation began in 3949 BC and Bede deduced it began in 3952 BC. Bede’s date for creation comes the closest to my date of 3960 BC.
Here is my upgraded chronology (Nettles’ Chronology of Mankind) as of June 19, 2021:
According to my calculations, we are now (AD 2021) 19 years shy of reaching the 6000-year mark for man’s existence on planet earth. We know from the Bible there will be at least 7 more years that have to occur for Daniel’s 70th Week (otherwise known as the Tribulation) to be accomplished. That will put us at 5988 years or 12 years short of the 6000-year benchmark. There could also be a considerable amount of time (possibly years) after the Rapture and before the Antichrist acquires enough power to confirm the covenant with Israel, thus starting Daniel’s 70th Week.
In our article entitled The End of the Age: A Plausible Timeline, Pete Garcia and I gave a realistic (although speculative) timeline for the end times of the Tribulation as occurring in the years 2026-2033, with Jesus Christ returning to the earth for his second advent exactly 2000 years (or two days in God’s time) since his crucifixion in A.D. 33.
The Old Testament prophet Hosea had this to say about the subject, in my opinion: “After two days (2000 years) he will revive us: in the third day (3000 years) he will raise us up (in the New Jerusalem), and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Hosea 6:2-3 (my emphasis)
In my chronology, AD 2033 would be 7 years shy of six millennia. These speculative dates and theories regarding Jesus’ return are uncertain and debatable. One thing is certain, however, Jesus is coming again…and soon!
The following is a history and partial genealogy of mankind, as per the Bible and other secular records, with 19 epochs of time calculated and cumulated. These epochs of time consist of major events and births in the history of mankind with major emphasis on the Jewish people (beginning with Abraham). The chronology of mankind begins with the creation of Adam and ends with Jesus (the last Adam) at His Second Coming. And so it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being.” The last Adam, Jesus, became a life-giving spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:45
Epoch 1: Creation to flood: 3960-3959 BC to 2304-2303 BC = 1656 years
There is very little dispute of the totality of the 1656 years duration from Adam to the Flood as per the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis first records the lineage of Adam to Noah and his sons. Noah was the ninth generation from Adam. His three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth were the tenth generation from Adam. Noah was 600 years old when the great flood started. The flood and the floodwaters lasted for approximately one year.
The date 3960-3959 BC is not a random date. Later dates, such as 1446 BC and 586 BC, that have been established and proven from both secular and biblical sources allow us to work backward and arrive at this date. This will become self-evident later in this study.
The following epoch covers the time span of the genealogy of antediluvian man, starting with Adam and ending with Noah and his sons. Before the flood, during the antediluvian period, men sometimes fathered children at a much older age. Of course, they had much longer life spans (10 X our current ones) during this time period. Noah didn’t start having sons until he was “older.” He had his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, by the time he was 500 years of age.
Before Noah, the oldest antediluvian patriarch was Methuselah who fathered Lamech (Noah’s father) at 187 years old. Lamech fathered Noah at 182 years of age. Jared fathered Enoch at 162 years of age…Enos was 90, Seth was 105, and Adam was 130. Of course, Adam and his sons fathered many other children (begat sons and daughters) after these recorded ages; but our focus is on the biblical lineage of Adam’s son Seth.
The years involved within epochs 1-10 are determined by verses in the bible and are determined by the following:
Event or birth – Year from Creation – Year of Event – Biblical verse/s.
Creation of Adam – Year 0 from creation – 3960 BC – Genesis 5:1-2
Birth of Seth – Year 130 from creation – 3830 BC – Genesis 5:3
Birth of Enos – Year 235 from creation – 3725 BC – Genesis 5:6
Birth of Cainan – Year 325 from creation – 3635 BC – Genesis 5:9
Birth of Mahalaleel – Year 395 from creation – 3565 BC – Genesis 5:12
Birth of Jared – Year 460 from creation – 3500 BC – Genesis 5:15
Birth of Enoch – Year 622 from creation – 3338 BC – Genesis 5:18
Birth of Methuselah – Year 687 from creation – 3273 BC – Genesis 5:21
Birth of Lamech – Year 874 from creation – 3086 BC – Genesis 5: 25
Enoch “taken up” (raptured) by God – Year 978 from creation – 2973 BC – Genesis 5:21-24 – (Note: Adam died at the age of 930 and didn’t live long enough to witness the rapture of Enoch but the other antediluvian patriarchs did -from Seth to Lamech). For more information, go to Three Raptures.
Note: 22 years after Enoch was raptured and 56 years before Noah was born, mankind had reached the 1000 year (1st day of the Lord) mark of their existence.
Birth of Noah – Year 1056 from creation – 2904 BC – Genesis 5:28-29
Beginning of the flood – Year 1656 from creation – 2304 BC – Genesis 7:11
Epoch 2: The duration of the flood (until the earth was dry) to Abram’s (Abraham) birth = 352 years
1 year after the flood started in 2304 BC, the occupants exited the ark in 2303 BC. 1656 years (epoch 1) + 1 year (stay in ark) = 1657 years. Abram was born in 1951 BC. 2303 BC to 1951 BC = 352 years.
This epoch is recorded in the book of Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, and records the lineage from Noah’s son, Shem, to Abraham. Two years after the flood, Arphaxad was born to Shem. Seven generations later, Terah was born into this lineage. Terah. Abraham’s father, was actually 130 years old when Abraham was born. “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran” (Genesis 11:32).
“Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran” (Genesis 12:4). Subtracting 75 from 205 equals 130 years for the age of Terah at the birth of his son Abram (the name was later changed to Abraham by God Himself). This is sort of unusual in the genealogy of the patriarchs after the flood. After the flood, the usual age of reproduction for this lineage was around 30 plus; but Terah was the rule to the exception. He had his son, Abram, at the ripe old age of 130. In these olden times, the old men could still father children at an old age, as long as the wife was not beyond child birthing age. Terah lived to be 205 years old. He was the last of the patriarchs to live over 200 years.
Noah and family (and animals) exit the ark – Year 1657 from creation – 2303 BC – Genesis 8:13-16
Birth of Arphaxed – Year 1659 from creation – 2301 BC – Genesis 11:10
Birth of Salah – Year 1694 from creation – 2266 BC – Genesis 11:12
Birth of Eber – Year 1724 from creation – 2236 BC – Genesis 11:14
Birth of Peleg – Year 1758 from creation – 2202 BC – Genesis 11:16
Birth of Reu – Year 1788 from creation – 2172 BC – Genesis 11:18
Birth of Serug – Year 1820 from creation – 2140 BC – Genesis 11:20
Birth of Nahor – Year 1850 from creation – 2110 BC – Genesis 11:22
Birth of Terah – Year 1879 from creation – 2081 BC – Genesis 11:24
Birth of Abram (Abraham) – Year 2009 from creation – 1951 BC – Genesis 11:26, Genesis 11:32, Genesis 12:4
1656 years (epoch1) + 353 years (epoch 2) = 2009 years.
Epoch 3: Abram’s birth to God’s covenant with Abraham: 1952-1951 BC to 1877-1876 BC = 75 years
This is the covenant between the Lord and Abram and his seed: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will show you: and I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3). “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Genesis 12:7
Abram was born 352 years after the flood because Terah was 205 and died in Haran (Gen.11:32). Then Abram, “when his father was dead” (Acts 7:4), moved to Canaan at the age of 75 (Gen.12:4). Thus, Abram was born when Terah was 130, so Genesis 11:26 should be paraphrased, Terah lived seventy years and begot the first of his three sons (not Abram).
Abram was still 75 years old in Genesis 13:14-16 when the covenant (regarding God giving the promised land to Abram and his descendants forever) was given. 430 years later in 1446 BC, “the law” of rituals was given to Moses according to Galatians 3:16-17.
Birth of Abram – Year 2009 from creation (Note: 9 years past the 2000 year mark of civilization or 2nd day of the Lord) – 1951 BC – Genesis 12:4
Abram departs for Canaan (settles in Beersheba near Bethel). The Lord makes a covenant with Abram – Year 2084 from creation – 1876 BC – Genesis 12:7
2009 years (epoch 1-2) + 75 years (epoch 3) = 2084 years
Epoch 4: Abram’s covenant to Exodus: 1877-1876 BC to 1447-1446 BC = 430 years
God’s covenant with Abram – Year 2084 from creation – 1876 BC – Genesis 13:16-17
Birth of Ishmael (Abram was 86 years old) – Year 2095 from creation – 1865 BC – Genesis 16:3-4; Genesis 16:16
God confirms a covenant with Abram – Year 2108 from creation – 1852 BC – Genesis 15:9-21; Genesis 17 - God promised once again the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession to Abram and his seed (to come). Abram’s part of the covenant was to circumcise all male children of his household eight days after their birth. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. God’s part of this confirmation of the covenant was the birth of Isaac the very next year. For more information, see: Confirming the Covenant
Birth of Isaac – (Abram was 100 years old. Isaac was the child of promise/covenant) – Year 2109 from creation –1851 BC – Genesis 21:5
Death of Sarah (age 127) – Year 2146 from creation – 1814 BC – Genesis 25:26
Birth of Jacob and Esau – Year 2169 from creation – 1791 BC – Genesis 25:26
Death of Abraham (175 years old) - Year 2154 from creation – 1776 BC - Genesis 25:7
Jacob relocates to Haran in 1715 BC, marries Leah and Rachel in 1708 BC, and returns to Canaan in 1695 BC.
Birth of Joseph – Year 2260 from creation – 1700 BC – Genesis 30:22-24 - Joseph is sold as a slave in 1684 BC and sentenced to prison in 1673 BC.
Death of Isaac (180 years old) – Year 2291 from creation – 1671 BC – Genesis 35:27-29
Joseph stands before Pharaoh and interprets his dream – Year 2291 from creation – 1671 BC – Genesis 41:46 - Note: God sends 7 years of bumper crops and then 7 years of famine to Egypt and surrounding area from 1671-1657 BC. Joseph sends 10 sons to buy food in Egypt in 1663 BC.
Jacob and his family (70 people) move to Egypt and settle in Goshen – Year 2299 from creation – 1661 BC – Genesis 47:28
This is the point where many chronologists differ in regards to the length of time that the children of Israel spent in the land of Egypt. Many believe the duration was for 430 years, others believe it was for 400 years; while some, such as myself, believe it was for only 215 years. This is due to the wording difference of the many translations of 3 Bible verses.
1. Genesis 15:13-14: And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
2. Exodus 12:40-41: Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.
3. Acts7:6-7: And God spoke likewise on this, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.
The 430 years must begin in Abraham’s lifetime, not Israel’s or Jacob’s because the 400 years which ends also at the exodus specifically starts at Isaac’s affliction by Ishmael (Gen.15:13; 21:8-12; Acts 7:6) which therefore began 30 years after Abraham entered the land.
Exodus 12:40-41 says, “Now the sojourning (traveling strangers) of the children of Israel, who (also) dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years (215 years in Canaan and 215 years in Egypt). And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” The Exodus, which took place on the 14th day of Nisan (on the Feast of Passover) in 1446 BC, occurred on the exact anniversary of the giving of the Abrahamic covenant, 430 years earlier in 1876 BC.
Josephus says the same thing: “They left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the lunar month (Num. 33:3), four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan” (Antiquities of the Jews, 2:15:2)
Both the Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint add “and in Canaan” in verse 40. Some translations say Israel dwelt in Egypt for 430 years which contradicts Galatians 3:17. The Septuagint, quoted by Paul in Galatians, says “the sojourning of the sons of Israel who dwelt in the land of Egypt and Canaan was 430 years” because they dwelt in Canaan before they dwelt in Egypt.
If you are of the opinion that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt for 400 or 430 years, then the theory regarding 6000 years for mankind (before Jesus’ second coming) is no longer valid as it exceeds the mark by several centuries. The 215-year duration in Egypt fits perfectly within the time frame of the following epoch (5) according to 1 Kings 6:1.
Death of Jacob (147 years old) – Year 2316 from creation – 1644 BC – Genesis 49:33
Death of Joseph (110 years old) – Year 2370 from creation – 1590 BC – Genesis 50:22,26
Birth of Moses – Year 2434 from creation – 1526 BC – Exodus 7:7 - Moses flees to Midian in 1486 BC and is called by God to return to Egypt in 1446 BC.
Exodus from Egypt (led by Moses and Aaron) – Year 2514 from creation – 1446 BC – Exodus 12, 13
2084 years (epochs 1-3) + 430 years (epoch 4) = 2514 years
Epoch 5: Exodus to Israel’s temple foundation: 1447-1446 BC to 967-966 BC = 480 years
Moses, the man of God, led the children of Israel out of Egypt in about 1446 BC. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died (at 120 years of age) after viewing the Promised Land from a distance. Deuteronomy 34:1-8. “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12). This ending of Deuteronomy was most likely written by Joshua.
Joshua replaced Moses as the leader of the newly formed nation of Israel and entered the Promised Land in 1406 BC. After 40 years in the wilderness, the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River and ate the Passover Supper on the 14th day of Nisan. On the 17th day of Nisan (Feast of Firstfruits), with no more manna to eat, the people began to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year – the first fruits of the Promised Land. Joshua died at 110 years of age.
After Joshua’s death, God raised up judges to lead and deliver his people from slavery. The total time of the judges was about 326 years, from 1376 BC to 1050 BC. Israel’s first king was Saul, who ruled for 40 years, from 1050 until 1010 BC.
David was the next king and he also ruled for 40 years; until about 970 BC. He died at 70 years of age. David was a descendant from the lineage of Jacob’s son, Judas. David’s son, Solomon, became king of Israel after his father’s death. He began the temple building project that his father had desired in the fourth year of his reign in 966 BC.
“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month; that he began to build the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1).
The exodus from Egypt occurred in 1446 BC, 480 years later (966 BC), the construction of the first temple of the Jewish nation began according to 1 Kings 6:1.
Exodus from Egypt – Year 2514 from creation – 1446 BC – Exodus 12,13 – God confirms the covenant with the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai in 1446 BC and Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus sometime between 1446 BC and 1406 BC.
The Tabernacle of meetings construction is completed – Year 2516 from creation – 1444 BC – Exodus 25-27 – God’s presence dwelt in the Most Holy Place over the Ark of the covenant in the Tabernacle. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34-35).
Also, in the same year, 1444 BC, the 12 Hebrew spies surveyed the land of Canaan. Only Caleb and Joshua gave a good report and were the only two of the older generation to enter the Promised Land. – Numbers 13:30, 14:6, 14:30
Moses completes the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy – Year 2553 from creation – 1407 BC – Numbers 27-36
Crossing of Jordan River and entering of the Promised land of Canaan – Year 2554 from creation – 1406 BC – Joshua 4:9
The dividing of the Land of Canaan – Year 2559 from creation – 1401 BC – Joshua 13
Joshua dies and Judges begin leading Israel – Year 2584 from creation – 1376 BC – Judges 2:7-9; Judges 2:16
Saul (the first king of Israel) begins reign – Year 2910 from creation – 1050 BC – 1 Samuel 10, Acts 13:21
Death of Saul and David begins reign – Year 2950 from creation – 1010 BC – 2 Samuel 5:4
King David’s death – Year 2990 from creation – 970 BC – 2 Samuel 5:5
Solomon begins reign – Year 2990 from creation – 970 BC – 1 Kings 6:1
Solomon begins construction of the temple in the 4th year of his reign – Year 2994 from creation (note: only 6 years shy of 3000 years of creation according to my reckoning – 3rd day of the Lord) – 966 BC – 1 Kings 11:42
2514 years (epochs 1-4) + 480 years (epoch 5) = 2994 years
Epoch 6: From temple foundation (in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign) to the death of Solomon: 967-966 BC to 931-930 BC = 36 years
Solomon begins construction to build the temple – Year 2994 from creation – 966 BC – 1 Kings 11:42.
The Temple of God in Jerusalem is finished and dedicated after 7 years of construction on the 15th day of Tishri, on the Feast of Tabernacles in the year 959 BC. – 2 Chronicles 2-3 – “Then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
Death of Solomon and Rehoboam begins reign – Year 3030 from creation – 930 BC – 1 Kings 14:21.
Solomon ruled for 40 total years and then died. Saul, David, and Solomon all reigned for 40 years (Acts 13:21; 1 Chr. 29:27; 2 Chr. 9:30).
2994 years (epochs 1-5) + 36 years (epoch 6) = 3030 years.
Epoch 7: The death of Solomon to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple: 931-930 BC to 586-585 BC = 345 years
By adding all the reigns of each of the kings of Judah (after Solomon’s death) mentioned in Kings and Chronicles we have a total of 345 years. The year in which a king came to the throne was known as his accession year. His first regnal year, i.e. the first full year of the king’s reign began on the first day of the new year following his accession.
The period between his actual accession and the next New Year’s Day was known as the beginning of the reign. Israel, in common with other near eastern nations, commenced the new year on the first of Nisan (our March – April), it's first king, Jeroboam, having come from Egypt (1 Kings 12:2-3) where the new year began in the spring. Judah, however, commenced the new year on the first of Tishri (our September-October). Where two dates overlap, a coregency is indicated. Regnal years are used.
[Note: Read Edwin R. Thiele’s excellent book, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, regarding the chronology of the kings of Judah and Israel.] It is deemed the definitive work and reckoning of the calendar years on this topic. The following kings of Judah list are from his calculations. I have added notes regarding some of the prophets of God and their writings.
Rehoboam – 930-913 BC - 1 Kings 14:21-31; 2 Chr. 9:31
Abijam (Abijah) – 913-910 BC - 1 Kings 15:1-6; 2 Chr.13:1-22
Asa – 910-869 BC - 1 Kings 15:9-24; 2 Chr.14-16
Jehoshaphat – 872-848 BC (includes co-regency time) - 1 Kings 22:41-50; 2 Chr.17-20
Jehoram (Joram) – 853-841 BC - 2 Kings 8:16-24; 2 Chr.21:1-2; he reigned concurrently with his father four years - 2 Kings 8:16; 2 Chr. 21:1-5; 2 Kings 9:29; 8:25
The prophet Elijah was “taken up” (raptured) in approximately 853-852 BC. See: Three Raptures, Vol. II: Elijah: By Pete Garcia and Randy Nettles - Rapture Ready
Ahaziah – 841 BC - 2 Kings 8:25-9:29; 2 Chr.22:1-2
Queen Athaliah – 841-835 BC - 2 Kings 11:1-20; 2 Chr.22-23
Joash – 835-796 BC - 2 Kings 11-12; 2 Chr.24:1-27
Amaziah – 796-767 BC - 2 Kings 14:1-20; 2 Chr.25:1-28
Azariah (Uzziah) – 792-740 BC (includes overlap reign time with Amaziah - 2 Kin.15:1-7; 2 Chr. 26:1-23 - Note: Amos writes his prophecy in approximately 754 BC. Rome is founded in 753 BC.
Jotham – 750-732 BC (Includes coregency time with Uzziah - 2 Kings 15:32-38; 2 Chr.27:1-9 – Note: Isaiah is commissioned as a prophet in 740 BC.
Ahaz – 735-715 BC (includes overlap reign time with Jotham) - 2 Kin.16:1-20; 2 Chr.28:1-27 – Note: Jonah goes to Nineveh in 725 BC. The same year Assyria invades the northern nation of Israel and begins a three-year siege ending with the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel and the relocation of the remaining population in 722 BC. For more information on the kings of Judah (from Rehoboam to Ahaz) see my article The Fullness of Sin: Part 4
Hezekiah – 715-686 BC - 2 Kin.18-20; 2 Chr.29-32; Isa.36-39 – Note: The prophet Hosea writes his book in approximately 715-710 BC. Micah writes his prophecy in 700 BC. The prophet Isaiah writes his book in approximately 700–685 BC.
Manasseh – 696-642 BC (includes coregency time with Hezekiah - 2 Kings 21:1-18; 2 Chr.33:1-20
Amon – 642-640 BC - 2 Kings 21:19-26; 2 Chr.33:21-25
Josiah – 640-609 BC - 2 Kings 22, 23:1-30; 2 Chr.34-35 – Note: Zephaniah writes his book in approximately 635 BC. Jeremiah is called by God to be a prophet in 626 BC and writes his book in approximately 626-580 BC. Nahum writes his prophecy in 615 BC.
Jehoahaz (Shallum) – 609 BC - 2 Kings 23:31-34; 2 Chr.36:1-4; Jer.22:1-12
Jehoiakim (Eliakim) – 609-598 BC - 2 Kings 23:34-37; 2 Chr36:4-8. Jer. 22:13-23, 26:36 – Note: Habakkuk writes his prophecy in 605 BC and Jeremiah prophesies a 70 year captivity the same year. The first group of Jews are deported to Babylon in this year.
Jehoiachin (Coniah) – 598-597 BC - 2 Kings 24:8-17; 2 Chr.36:9-10; Jer.22:24-30, 52:31-34 – Note: The second wave of Jews are deported to Babylon in 597 BC.
Zedekiah (Mattaniah) 597-586 BC - 2 Kings 24:17-20, 25:1-7; 2 Chr.36:11-21; Jer.39:1-10, 52:1-11 – Ezekiel receives a glorious vision of God and is commissioned to be a prophet in 593 BC. For more information on the kings of Judah (from Hezekiah to Zedekiah) see my article The Fullness of Sin: Part 5.
The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple occurred on the 9th day of Av in 586 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. Many tragic events took place on the 9th day of Av in the history of the Jewish people. For more information go to The Dog Days of Summer.
Zedekiah was the last king of Judah. He reigned for 11 years. The people of the southern kingdom of Judah were killed or removed to Babylon. Only the very poor remained behind in Judah.
3030 years (epochs 1- 6) + 345 years (epoch 7) = 3375 years
Epoch 8: The destruction of the first temple to the finished construction of the second temple: 586-585 BC to 516-515 BC = 70 years
The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple occurred in 586 BC. The third group of Jews was deported to Babylon in 586 BC. Jeremiah writes Lamentations in 580 BC. Ezekiel receives a vision of a glorious future temple in 573 BC (Ezekiel 40). Daniel receives a vision of four kingdoms/beasts (Daniel 7) in 553 BC. The construction of the second temple was finished in 516 BC. Both dates are well established in secular histories as 586-585 and 516-515 BC. There were 70 years from the destruction of the first temple (Jer. 52:12-13) in the “nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar” (Jer. 52:12) and “eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign” (2 Kings 25:2); to the building of the second temple “in the sixth year of the reign of Darius” (Ezra 6:15).
Destruction of the first temple – Year 3375 from creation – 586 BC – Jeremiah 52:12-13, 25:1, Daniel 2:1
Babylon falls to the Medes and Persians (led by Cyrus II/the Great) – Year 3422 from creation – 539 BC – Daniel 5 – Note: Thus the 1st Babylonian kingdom/beast (of Daniel’s vision) falls before the might of the 2nd Medo-Persian Kingdom/beast.
Sheshbazzar, the prince of Israel, leads the Jewish exiles from Babylon back to Jerusalem – Year 3424 from creation – 537 BC – Ezra 1
Reconstruction of Jewish Temple begins – Year 3425 from creation – 536 BC – Ezra 2 – Note: After several years they stopped construction due to opposition from surrounding nations. The work on the temple remained dormant for well over a decade until God called the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to urge the people to complete the project. Haggai wrote his book in 520 BC…the same year Zechariah began to preach. The work on the Temple resumed under Darius, the king of Persia in 520 BC. The foundation of the Second Temple was laid on Kislev 24, 520 BC.
The second Temple is rebuilt in the 6th year of King Darius – Year 3445 from creation – 516 BC – 2 Chronicles 36:21, 23
3375 years (epochs 1-7) + 70 years (epoch 8) = 3445 years
Epoch 9: From the sixth year of King Darius the Mede (when the second temple was finished) to the Persian king Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem: 516 BC to 444 BC = 72 years
There were three different decrees issued by the Medes/Persian kings regarding rebuilding Jerusalem and/or the Tempe. Cyrus issued a decree in 538 BC regarding the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-2). This wasn’t the decree we’re looking for because Dan. 9:25 speaks of the rebuilding of the city, Jerusalem, including the streets and walls, not merely the temple. The people resisted this decree and stopped work on the temple until the second year of Darius (See Ezra 4:4-5, 24.)
Darius issued a decree in 520 BC and ordered the construction of the temple to continue (Ezra 6:11-12). Again, this decree was for the temple, not the city. The temple was completed by the sixth year of Darius (Ezra 6:14-15) so this could not be the decree spoken of by Daniel. Counting the prophecy from these dates would place us well before Christ’s life.
When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, everybody was already at work building Jerusalem (Neh. 2:16) under the authority of the decree they had received thirteen years earlier from Ezra. Nehemiah finished his work in 52 days (Neh.6:15). The city and walls had been rebuilt much earlier, and Nehemiah merely repaired some recent damage to the gates and walls.
Actually, once you determine the date of the decree of Artaxerxes (in his seventh year), then it is easy to determine the date of Nehemiah’s commission since it was in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (Neh.2:1). Nehemiah 1:1-2 shows that Nehemiah’s brother came from Susa in December (Chislev) to report the sad situation in Jerusalem. Four months later (Nisan), in the spring of 444 BC, Artaxerxes’ 20th year, the king gave permission for Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem (Neh.2:1-8).
The second temple was rebuilt in the sixth year of King Darius – Year 3445 from creation – 516 BC – Ezra 6:15
Esther becomes Queen of Persia by marrying King Ahasuerus (Xeres) – Year 3482 from creation – 479 BC – Esther 1-2
Xeres allows the Jews to defend themselves against the plot of Haman – Year 3487 from creation – 474 BC – Esther 1-8. The first Purim celebration is observed the next year in 473 BC.
Ezra arrives in Jerusalem to be in charge of Jewish affairs (teaching the law of God to the Jews and setting up judges) on behalf of King Artaxerxes and the Persian government, Ezra read the Law to the returning exiles on the 1st day of the 7th month, on the Feast of Trumpets, and the people understood and believed. This marked a new beginning for Israel as they accepted God’s covenant once again. – Year 3503 from creation – 458 BC – Ezra 7
King Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah– Year 3517 from creation – 444 BC – Nehemiah 2:1
3445 years (epochs 1-8) + 72 years (epoch 9) = 3517 years.
Epoch 10: Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem to “Palm” Sunday before Jesus’ crucifixion: 444 BC to AD 33 = 476 years (Daniel 9:24-26)
The decree was given by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 BC (Neh. 2) was the starting point of Daniel’s 70th Week/Sevens prophecy recorded in the book of Daniel. “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 (49 years), and threescore and two weeks (434 years): 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: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined”(Daniel 9:25-26). The end of this part of the prophecy occurred in AD 33 when Jesus was “cut off” from being King of the Jews, This occurred on Nisan 10, on a Sunday (now known as Palm Sunday), fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel 9:25-26. Daniel 9:24 (Jesus’ second coming to establish His millennium kingdom) and Daniel 9:27 (the last 7 years of the “Tribulation” before Jesus returns) have yet to be fulfilled.
Four days later (Thursday) AD 33 Nisan 14, the Lord Jesus was crucified on a Feast of Passover. Three days later (Sunday) AD 33 Nisan 17, Jesus was resurrected back to life on a Feast of Firstfruits fulfilling His prophecy of Matthew 12:39-40.
The first part of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:25-26) consists of 483 total years of 360 days per year…not our current solar calendar of 365.2422 days per year. The 360-day per-year calendar (called the prophetic calendar) was the one that Daniel was referring to when he gave his prophecy. The only other time/s in the Old Testament that this 360-day calendar was referred to was during the flood of Noah, Genesis 7 and 8 and possibly Genesis 29:27-30.
Daniel 9:24-26 and Genesis 29: 27-30 are the only two times in the Bible that the word “weeks” is used as a term for 7 years (360 days per year). However, when reckoning cumulative years for Bible chronology, we use the solar calendar and thus the 476 years. For more details, see my article Ancient Calendars, Feast Days, & Daniel 12:11: Part 3: By Randy Nettles (raptureready.com)
King Artaxerxes decrees rebuilding Jerusalem -Year 3517 from creation – 444 BC – Nehemiah 2:1 – Note: Nehemiah, the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia, approached the king regarding rebuilding the walls and gate in Jerusalem. Ezra, the Jewish priest, led the people to pray and repent; the people responded with a will to accomplish the task. The wall was completed in 52 days.
1 and 2 Chronicles are written (possibly by Ezra) were written in 440 BC. The books of Nehemiah and Malachi were written in 430 BC.
Alexander the Great conquers Palestine (the new name for the land of Judah) and becomes a province of the Greek Empire– Year 3629 from creation – 332 BC – Note: Alexander defeats Darius at Gaugamela in 331 BC, thus the 3rd Greek kingdom/beast (of Daniel’s vision) defeats the 2nd kingdom/beast of the Persians. The Greeks go on to defeat most of the known world. Alexander’s reign is short-lived as he dies in 323 BC. The kingdom is divided up into four parts by his generals. The same year (323 BC) Ptolemy I controls Palestine and in 319 BC conquers Jerusalem. In 311 BC Seleucus I Nicator conquers Babylon and begins the Seleucid dynasty.
Scriptures of the Hebrew and Aramaic Pentateuch are translated into Greek Septuagint translation – Year 3711 from creation – 250 BC
Antiochus III of the Seleucid dynasty of Syria gains complete control of Palestine – Year 3763 from creation - 198 BC – verified by the Jewish historian Josephus
Antiochus Epiphanes ends the Jew's “sacrifices and atonements” in the Temple of God on Kislev 24 167 BC. The first abomination of desolation occurs on December 25 167 BC by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes – Year 3794 from creation – 167 BC – Book of Maccabees
Judas Maccabeus, a Jewish priest, leads a revolt against the Syrians – Year 3795 from creation – 166 BC
Recapture of the Jewish Temple and cleansing of the sanctuary led by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev 24, 164 BC, This great event took place on the 24th day of the ninth month (Jewish calendar) exactly 3 years to the day after Antiochus IV had forced the ending of the daily sacrifice. – Year 3797 from creation – 164 BC
A brief history of the Maccabean dynasty: Judas Maccabeus defeats the Seleucid general Nicanor in 161 BC, and dies the same year. Judas’ son Jonathan becomes the leader. In approximately 142 BC, Simon Maccabeus succeeded his brother Jonathan as the high priest and ruler of Judea. After the death of Simon, his son, John Hyrcanus came to power in 134 BC. John Hyrcanus died in 104 BC and was succeeded by his son Aristobulus I who ruled for 1 year and died in 102 BC. His brother Alexander Janneus succeeded him as high priest and proclaimed himself king. He married Salome Alexandra, the widow of Aristobulus.
Janneus was an excellent military commander and at the end of his reign, he ruled more territory than any Judean king had since Solomon. He died in battle in 76 BC and his wife ascended to the throne. Salome Alexandra ascended to the throne as queen of Judea and peace marked her 10-year reign. Upon Salome’s death in 67 BC, civil war over the throne began between her sons Aristobulus II and Hyrcanus II. The civil war lasted for several years until the Roman general Pompey conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC after a 3-month siege and reinstated Hyrcanus II as a high priest. Julius Caesar is assassinated on March 15, 44 BC. His grandnephew, Gaius Octavian, eventually overcame Mark Anthony and consolidated his power in 30 BC. He was later called Caesar Augustus. It was under his reign that Jesus Christ was born.
Hyrcanus II ruled Palestine, along with the Idumean (Edomite) regent, Antipater, until 40 BC when he was removed by Aristobulus’s son, Antigonus, with help from the Parthians. Herod, the son of Antipater, was governor of Palestine at this time and had to flee to Rome to seek help from Octavian and Mark Antony who declared Herod the rightful (puppet) king.
Herod returned to Jerusalem with two legions of Roman soldiers in 37 BC and laid siege to Jerusalem for six months until Jerusalem fell to Rome. The Romans beheaded Antigonus, and Herod married Hyrcanus’s granddaughter to strengthen his right to the throne in the eyes of the Judeans. He became King of Judea in 37 BC.
In 30 BC, Herod charged Hyrcanus with treason and executed him in order to prevent the Roman emperor Octavian Caesar “Augustus” from placing any descendants of the Maccabees in charge of Palestine (Judea).
Herod (called the Great) began his restoration and renovation of the Temple in 19 BC.
Caesar Augustus issues a decree for all Judeans to return to their homelands for the purpose of a census in 6 BC.
Birth of Jesus Christ – Year 3956 from creation – 5 BC – Mathew 2; Luke 2:1-20
Herod the Great dies in the year 4 BC and his son, Herod Agrippa I, becomes the new king.
Tiberius Caesar begins his official reign (not co-reign) in the fall of AD 14 as emperor of Rome.
John the Baptist and Jesus’ ministries begin – Year 3990 from Creation – AD 29 – Luke 3:21-38 – Luke 3:1-6 says that John the Baptist’s ministry began in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, so that would be in the fall of AD 29/30.
Jesus’ death by crucifixion on the day of the Passover Feast, Nisan 14, 33 AD. He was resurrected back to life 3 days later on the Feast of Firstfruits, Nisan 17, 33 BC – Year 3993 from Creation (note: only 7 years shy of 4000 years of mankind by my reckoning – 4th day of the Lord) – AD 33 – Luke 23:32-49
Note: Joseph, Jesus’ step-father, was a descendant of King David and his son Solomon. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was a descendant of King David and his son Nathan.
3517 years (epochs 1- 9) + 476 years = 3993 years
Epoch 11: The New Testament era – giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles during Pentecost to the last books of the Bible written by John: AD 33 to AD 100 = 67 years
The Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles during Pentecost – Year 3993 from creation – AD 33 – Acts 2:1-42
Here are a few major events of this time of the New Testament era: Stephen, an early church elder, (full of faith and power who did great wonders and miracles among the people) was martyred in AD 35. Paul is converted the same year.
Herod martyrs James the apostle, the brother of John the apostle in AD 44. James, Jesus’ step-brother writes the first New Testament book in AD 45. Paul and Barnabas (and John Mark initially) embark on the first missionary journey in AD 48. In AD 49, James leads a council of Christians in Jerusalem to discuss the new Gentile converts and the sufficiency of grace for salvation free of the law. Paul writes Galatians the same year.
Herod Agrippa II becomes king of the Jews in AD 50 after his father is struck down by God. He was the last in the line of Roman-appointed Herodian kings. Paul embarks on his 2nd missionary journey. Paul writes 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians in AD 51 and embarks on his 3rd missionary journey in AD 53. In the same year, the Jews are expelled from Rome until AD 54, when Nero ascended to the Roman throne.
Paul writes 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans in AD 56. He makes his final visit to Jerusalem in AD 57. Mark writes his Gospel book in AD 58. Matthew and Luke write their Gospels in AD 60. Paul writes Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon from prison in Rome in AD 60. He then writes Philippians and 1 Timothy in AD 62. Luke the physician writes Acts in AD 62. James, the Lord’s brother and leader of the church in Jerusalem is martyred by the high priest of the Jews.
Peter writes his first epistle in AD 63. It is believed the Hebrews was written in the same year; the author is unknown but many believe it was authored by Paul. Peter writes his second epistle in AD 64. The same year fire ravages Rome for 6 days and destroys half the city. Nero blames the Christians in Rome and they are persecuted in great numbers. Peter is one of the martyred Christians and is killed in AD 65.
Paul writes Titus in AD 66. A Jewish revolt against the Romans occurs in Jerusalem in AD 66 and lasts for 3 years. In AD 67, the church at Jerusalem adheres to a divine revelation (Luke 21:20-21) that was given to Jesus’ disciples and escape the city and flee to Pella. Paul is arrested and brought back to Rome where he writes 2 Timothy. He is martyred in AD 68.
The Roman general Vespasian and his son Titus conquers Galilee in AD 67. Vespasian is proclaimed emperor in AD.69 and turns the war over to his son Titus.
Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed in AD 70 on the 9th day of Av (Jewish calendar) – Year 4030 from creation – AD 70. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus was an eyewitness to the tragedy.
The Roman army plowed the Temple Mount and the city of Jerusalem on the 9th Day of Av (on the 1 year anniversary of the destruction of the Temple and the city) – Year 4031 from creation – AD 71
The remnant Jewish soldiers and some women and children who had fled Jerusalem in AD 70 were “holed up” at the rock fortress at Masada. In AD 73 the Roman army built a ramp and was about to break through, so the Jews committed mass suicide rather than face enslavement under the Romans.
In AD 79 Vespasian dies and Titus becomes emperor of Rome. His reign was short-lived as he died in AD 81. Titus’ brother, Domitian, then becomes emperor the same year. In AD 87 Domitian issues a decree that he was to be worshiped as lord and god. Of course, the Christians were unwilling to submit to this decree and were subject to great persecution under Domitian’s rule. John was exiled to the island of Patmos during this persecution.
John writes the book of Revelation and the Gospel of John – Year 4055 from creation – AD 95
Domitian is assassinated in AD 96 and Nerva replaces him as emperor. Nerva issued a recall of all of Domitian’s exiles the same year, and John returned to Ephesus. John writes 1, 2, 3 John between the years' AD 96 and AD 100.
3993 years (Epochs 1-10) + 67 years (Epoch 11) = 4060 years
Author’s Note: The rest of this chronology is adequately recorded in history, I will just add some of the more important events
Epoch 12: Catholic Christianity Era: AD 100 – AD 312 = 212 years
Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch is martyred – Year 4070 from creation – AD 110 – Persecution of Christians by the Roman government and the emperor Trajan began about this time.
The Jewish revolt against the Roman occupation of Palestine began in AD 132 and ended in AD 135. The entire Jewish population of Judea was deported and replaced with Gentiles. The provinces’ name was changed from Judea to Syria-Palestine.
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of the apostle John is martyred in AD 156. Justin, one of Christianity’s first apologists is martyred in AD 165.
Septimius Severus, a man of African descent, became emperor or Rome in AD 192. In AD 202, he established a law forbidding new conversions to Christianity. One could worship other gods, but they had to acknowledge the Roman sun god was supreme. Persecution ensued and many were martyred during this time.
Origen, a scholar from Alexandria, Egypt begins his writings in approximately AD 205. Origen wrote extensively on theological matters with more than 2000 works, including commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible. Origen was one of the first (and greatest) theologians who made allegorical interpretation of the Bible (especially eschatological writings) the standard hermeneutic from his time through the Middle Ages. He included many concepts from Plato into his writings, merging philosophy with spiritual matters.
Trajanus Decius becomes emperor of Rome in AD 249 and begins the persecution of Christians in AD 250. He died in battle the following year.
Emperor Diocletian issues four edits in AD 303 which results in the most vicious and horrific persecutions upon the Christians of the empire. He ordered the destruction of church buildings and the prohibition of Christian worship, as well as the burning of Bibles. Thousands of Christians were tortured and killed. Diocletian abdicated the throne in AD 305.
Diocletian’s son-in-law, Galerius assumes the throne in AD 303 and persecutes Christians even more than Diocletian did. On his deathbed in AD 311, Galerius issued the Edict of Toleration, which pardoned Christians and allowed them to resume their faith in Jesus. He died 5 days after issuing his edict. Perhaps he saw “the writing on the wall” before his death.
Constantine was the western co-emperor of the Roman Empire beginning in AD 306. In AD 312, he defeats his rival for the throne, Maxentius, in front of the Tiber River near Rome. Constantine then becomes sole emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
4060 years (Epochs 1-11) + 212 years (epoch 12) = 4272 years
In part II we will review epochs 13-19, which will cover 1709 years of recorded history.