The following dates (all b.c.) are close approximations based on correlating dates between the Bible and other ancient Near Eastern sources (largely from Assyrian accession lists, Babylonian king-lists, or Egyptian historical sources). Often dates can be confirmed between the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires by narratives recording contacts between these two countries.
Patriarchs to Judges (c. 2166–1030)
|1446 Date for Exodus**||1260 Date for Exodus**|
|Entrance into Canaan||1406||1220|
|Period of the judges||1375 to 1050–1030||1210 to 1050–1030|
United Monarchy (c. 1050–931)
|Saul’s reign||1050–1030 to 1010||Numerals relating to Saul’s age and length of reign may be missing in the Hebrew text (see 1 Sam. 13:1)***|
Divided Monarchy to Exile (931–586)
|Kingdom divided||931||See The Divided Kingdom: Kings of Judah and The Divided Kingdom: Kings of Israel|
|Syro-Ephraimite war||740–732||Pekah (Israel) and Rezin (Syria) pressure Jotham and Ahaz (Judah) to join their opposition to Tiglath-pileser III (Assyria)|
|Fall of Samaria (Israel)||722||Shalmaneser V (727–722) and Sargon II (722–705) of Assyria|
|Battle of Carchemish||605||Daniel and three friends exiled to Babylon|
|Jerusalem attacked||597||Nebuchadnezzar II takes exiles to Babylon including Jehoiachin and Ezekiel|
|Fall of Jerusalem (Judah)||586||Nebuchadnezzar II takes more exiles to Babylon|
Return from Exile (539–445)
|Fall of Babylon||539||Cyrus of Persia (539–530)|
|1st return of exiles to Jerusalem||538|
|Temple building begins||536|
|Temple completed||516||Darius I (522–486)|
|Esther in palace of Xerxes||478||Xerxes I/Ahasuerus (485–464)|
|2nd return of exiles to Jerusalem under Ezra||458||Artaxerxes I (464–423)|
|3rd return of exiles to Jerusalem under Nehemiah||445|
*See also Historical Books Timeline; The Divided Kingdom: Kings of Judah and The Divided Kingdom: Kings of Israel.
**See The Date of the Exodus.
***Possible dates for the beginning of Saul’s reign are calculated based on other data in the OT: e.g., David’s age at accession and length of reign (2 Sam. 5:4–5); Ish-bosheth’s age when he became king (2 Sam. 2:10); and Jonathan’s probable age in relation to both Ish-bosheth and David, presuming that Jonathan was Saul’s firstborn son (1 Sam. 14:49; 31:2) and was at least 20 when referred to as a commander of troops early in Saul’s reign (1 Sam. 13:2).