The Old Testament

General Links

Survey of Old Testament History-The Christian Resource Institute
The Bible Knowledge Accelerator #2-Brief Survey of the Old Testament
Israelite Prophets Date Chart Chart of the ministry dates of the major prophets of the Old Testament.
Israelite Kings Date Chart Chart of the reigns of the Kings
Ba'al Worship in the Old Testament Canaanite Ba'al worship and its impact on Israelite religion.
Travelers and Strangers: "Hospitality" in the Middle East
Speaking the Language of Canaan metaphors, symbols, and conceptual categories
Comparison of World Views: Perception of the Physical World
Israel's Codes of Conduct Compared to Surrounding Nations

Book Studies

Genesis: Book of Firsts - by David Griffiths
Exodus: Book of Redemption - by David Griffiths
Leviticus: Book of Service - by David Griffiths
Judges: Book of Faithlessness and Deliverance - by David Griffiths
1 & 2 Samuel: First and Second books of Monarchy - by David Griffiths
1 & 2 Kings: Third and Fourth books of Monarchy - by David Griffiths
Nehemiah: God's Businessman - by David Griffiths

The Old Testament Translations

The Complete King James Version: Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha
The Complete Revised Standard Version: Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha
Die Bibel, Martin Luther translation: Old and New Testaments

People of Israel

Internet Jewish History Sourcebook A companion sourcebook to the Ancient History Sourcebook, it covers Jewish history from its origins until the state of Israel.
Photo Gallery of Syria and Palestine [At St. Olaf]
Biblical Ancestors and Heroes [At Creighton]
Inscriptions from the Land of Isreal 330 BCE-614 CE [At Iath]
Israel from the Air [At] Pictures of archeological sites derived from the many peoples who built and ruled upon this land. Pictures of David's city, Masada, Acre, Meggido, Qumran, among others.
Timeline for the History of Judaism [At UC Davis]

Search Engines

Search the Bible (RSV)
Search the Bible (KJV)
Search Chapter and Verse (KJV)

A Chronology With Timelines and Links

• Bible and Israel Timeline in Dark Gray
• Historical Timeline in Light Gray

3761 BC - 2500 BC

  • According to Jewish tradition, the date Adam & Eve were created in the Garden of Eden. The Jewish New Year is based on this date. February 24, 1999 for example, will be 9 in Shvat, 5759 in the Jewish calendar).
  • Cain, Able and Seth are born to Adam and Eve.
  • Cain kills Able, and is exiled to forever wander the eastern 'land of Nod'.
  • The Patriarchs before the flood, including Enoch and Methuselah, all live to great ages.
  • The flood destroys Eden and all the ancient ones.
  • Noah and the ark.
  • Noah's 3 sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem repopulate the earth after the flood.
  • Destruction of the tower of Babel causes the dispersion of Babylon's population -- sending it to the ends of the earth.
  • The descendants of Japheth, populating Greece, Parthia, Russia and northern Europe.
  • The descendants of Ham populating Africa and Egypt.
  • And the descendants of Shem forming the Semetic people of the Middle East, including the Arabs and the House of Israel.

Middle Kingdom period (Egypt): 2100-1780
Old Babylonian period: ca. 2000-1750

Pre-Israelite Canaan/Palestine/Syria

Danel's Need for a Son [At Creighton]
Baal vs. the Sea [At Creighton]
The Baal Epic [At AOL-Wiccan Site]
Myth of Baal [At Geocities-Qadash Kinahu Site]
The Descent of Anath into the Underworld: [At AOL-Wiccan Site]
A Canaanite Statue: Possibly El Late Bronze Age II, Megiddo, [At Oriental Institute] "El" is short for the name Elohim (the One true God of all peoples).
Ancient Near East Texts Related to the Bible [At Brandeis]
Qadash Kinahnu An attempt to "reconstruct" a Canaanite Temple of Baal, by a current believer.
Ezekiel 27
The Middle Bronze Age 2220-1570 BCE [At Brandeis] Lots of Images
The Late Bronze Age 1570-1200 BCE [At Brandeis]
The Iron Age 1200-550 BCE [At Brandeis]
Material Cultures of the Ancient Canaanites, Israelites, and Related Peoples [At Creighton]
An alternative index, using Tables, of Abercrombie's website.
Archeology of Syria-Palestine [At Creighton]
Resources for Biblical Studies
Diotima's Guide to Biblical Studies [Lots of resources at Diotima]
List of Non Biblical Documents Relating to OT History [At Yeshua]
Old Testament Life and Literature The entire book is online at (Secular)
Composition of the Pentateuch [At Creighton]
Genesis 6-9: Flood Story J and P [At Creighton]
Exodus 14: The Exodus According to J and P [At Creighton]

The Documentary Hypothesis

(in case your'e interested)

The Documentary Hypothesis [Student Webpage: SCU]
The Creation Story in J and P Forms [At SCU]
The Flood Story in J and P Forms and as Parallel Text [At SCU]
Isaac's Birth in J and P Forms and as Parallel Text [At SCU]
History of the Development of the Documentary Hypothesis [At SCU]
Criticism of the Documentary Hypothesis [Modern Annotated Bibliography] Bible believing Jews and Christians have rejected the documentary hypothesis yet there are ongoing debates.
Hidden Messages and Bible Codes? From the Skeptical Inquirer. Discusses whether the Bible contains codes from God.


Who Where the Hebrews? [At][Modern Account] Useful maps.
The Hebrews [Modern Account][At WSU] The "Children of Israel"

1850 - 1750 BC

  • Abraham and his family arrive in Canaan.
  • Hagar, Abraham's slave mistress gives birth to Ishmael.
  • Hagar and Ishmael banished from Abraham's camp and return to Euphrates river area.
  • Ishmael's blood descendants form the Arabs, but all Moslem's, including the Persians, trace ancestry to Abraham through Ishmael as well.
  • In her 90's, Sarah gives birth to Issac.
  • Issac's wife gives birth to Esau and Jacob.
  • Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils.
  • Jacob wrestles with an angel so God changes his name to 'Israel' (A rebel allowed to survive).
  • Jacob (Israel) has 12 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamine.

Abraham and the Patriarchs (2000-1700 BCE)

Book of Genesis Abraham, Genesis 12-24 The Binding of Isaac, Genesis 22:1:19 Jacob, Genesis 25-36 Joseph, Genesis 37-50
The Gezer Calender 925 BC [At St. Olaf] The oldest example of written Hebrew.

1720 - 1250 BC

  • Joseph, Jacob's youngest son, sold into slavery (to Egypt) by his brothers.
  • Joseph has two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
  • Joseph saves his father and his 10 brothers from famine -- making a home for them in Egypt.
  • Joseph elevated to Patriarch, removing him from the other tribes of Israel.
  • Jacob elevates Ephraim and Manasseh to same status as his sons, creating the 12 tribes of Israel (13 tribes, actually, but Levi was elevated to status of priesthood, leaving 12 to divide up the land).
  • Hebrew captivity in Egypt (Lasts about 500 years).

Old Assyrian period: ca. 1900-1400
Hammurabi: ca. 1792-1750
Hittite empire: ca. 1750-1200
Hyksos in Egypt: ca. 1700-1550
Kassite period (Babylonia): ca. 1600-1150
New Kingdom period (Egypt): ca. l570-1085
Ugaritic texts: ca. 1500-1200
Middle Assyrian period: ca. 1400-900
Amarna period (Egypt): ca. 1400-1300
Mosaic period (Israel); ca. 1300-1200


(around 1300-1200 BC)
Book of Exodus Exodus 1-15, The Exodus (1250 BC), Exodus 1-15 The Covenant, Exodus 20:22-23:33
Exodus 14: The Exodus According to J and P [At Creighton]
The Exodus and Sinai Covenant [At CUA]

1250 BC - 1040 BC

  • Moses leads the exodus.
  • The 12 tribes of Israel reach the Promised Land.
  • Joshua invades Palestine.
  • The time of the Judges (This period lasts 200 years).
  • The temple at Shiloh (The first Hebrew temple in the Promised Land).
  • The birth of Samuel the prophet.

Exodus from Egypt, Sinai Torah, Canaan Entry: ca. 1250-1200
Sea Peoples invade Egypt and Syro-Palestine: ca. 1200
Period of the Judges (Israel): ca. 1200-1050/1000

Conquest of the Land (around 1200-1050 BC)

Ronald A. Simkins: Traditional Models of the Israelite Settlement [At Creighton]
Stele of Merneptah [text] and Image of Mernetaph c. 1220 BCE [At ANET]
First non-biblical evidence of Israel in the Land, and only mention of Israel in Egyptian documents. See commentary [At Illuminations]
Stele of Merneptah c. 1220 BCE [At Christian Answers][Image and Discussion]
Joshua 1-12 - aggressive account
Judges 1-2 - peaceful account

The Judges (c.1200-1050 BCE)

Middle Babylonian period: ca. 1150-900
Hebrew prophets (Samuel-Malachi): ca. 1050-450
Monarchical period in Israel: ca. 1000-587
Saul (transitional king): ca. 1030-1010
David, making Jerusalem his capital: ca. 1010-970
Solomon, and building of the Temple: ca. 970-931
Secession of Northern Kingdom (Israel) from
Southern Kingdom (Judah): ca. 931
Neo-Assyrian period: 900-612
Israelite Prophets Amos, Hosea, Isaiah: 750-725
Northern Kingdom (Israel) destroyed: 722/721
Neo-Babylonian ("Chaldean") period: 612-538
Josiah (Judean King) and "Deuteronomic Reforms": 620
Judean Prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel: ca. 600-580
Southern Kingdom (Judah) and Temple destroyed -- Babylonian exile: 587/586
Judean Prophet "Second Isaiah": ca. 550

The National Monarchy (c.1020-586 BCE)

Problems with Philistines: 1-2 Samuel
The Ekron Inscription 7th Cent BCE [At St. Olaf]
Saul (c.1020-1000 BCE), 1 Samuel 8

David (1000-961 BCE)

Rise to Power: (1 Samuel 16:14-23; 17:1-11, 32-35)
The Succession Document (aka Court History): 2 Samuel:9-20; 1 Kings:1-2
The Tel Dan Inscription 9th-7th Cent BCE [At St. Olaf]
The Tel Dan Inscription Concerns the discovery of an Aramaic inscription in 1993, which may be first extrabiblical evidence for the House of David.

1000 BC - 722 BC

  • David becomes king of Judah.
  • David defeats Saul & reigns as king over all Israel.
  • Solomon, David's son made king of Israel.
  • The Temple of Solomon built in Jerusalem.
  • Solomon dies.
  • The fight for his throne begins, creating the Great Schism.
    As a result, the 12 Tribes of Israel split into 2 houses.
  • The House of Israel (the 10 northern tribes).
  • The House of Judah (the 2 southern tribes-Benjamine & Judah).
  • The House of Israel (the 10 northern tribes) are taken into captivity by Assyrian invaders.
  • They disappear into the lands across the North, vanishing from world view.

Solomon (961-922 BCE)

The United Kingdom of Israel, II Samuel 5-8; I Kings 4-6, 9-11
Building of the First Temple: I Kings 6-7; 2 Chronicles 3-4.
The Byt Yhwh Ostracon 9th-7th Cents. BCE [At St. Olaf] Image and text of the oldest extra biblical mention of Solomon's temple.

Israel and Judah (922-586 BCE)

Sennacherib's Campaign vs. Judea 701 BCE [At ANET]
Accounts of the Campaign of Sennacherib, 701 BCE
II Kings 15-17, Conquest of Israel by the Assyrians, 722BCE [At Northpark]
II Chronicles 36:9-23 and II Kings 23-25, Conquest of Judah by Babylon (Chaldea), 586 BCE [At Northpark]

598 BC - 400 BC

  • The tribes of Judah and Benjamin taken to Babylon.
  • The prophets Jeremiah & Ezekiel.
  • Jeremiah takes the Ark of the Covenant to the Dead Sea & buries it in a cave.
  • On the 10th of Loos, Solomon's temple burned down by Nebuchaddnezzar of Babylon.
    Note that Herod's temple will be burned down on the very same day, 657 years in the future.
  • More deportations to Babylon.
  • Daniel the Prophet in the court of the king of Babylon.
  • The handwriting on the wall.
  • Cyrus the Persian conquers Babylon.
  • The Edict of Cyrus freeing the Jews from Babylonian captivity.
  • The second Jerusalem temple started.
  • The walls rebuilt.
  • Ezra and Nehemiah.

The Exile (587-538 BCE)

Number of Exiles (4,600): Jeremiah 52:28-30
In Babylon, Psalm 136
First Isaiah, Isaiah 1, explaining the calamity [At Northpark]
Cyrus as Liberator, 539 BCE, Isaiah
Kurash (Cyrus) the Great: The Decree of Return for the Jews, 539 BCE From Persian and Biblical sources.

The Prophets (750-550 BCE)

Amos (8th Cent. BCE): Book of Amos
The first of the prophets to write.
Jeremiah (526-586 BCE), Jeremiah 7-8, 23, 31 The "new covenant" is foretold
Isaiah prophesies of the coming Messiah

Book of Job
Song of Songs: History of Interpretation [UPenn]
Sights and Sounds of the Song of Songs [UPenn] Includes audio files of Ashkenazi, Sephardie and Yemani cantors.

Judaism after the Babylonian Exile: ca. 538 BCE-70 CE

Persian Period: 538-333
Edict of Cyrus (first return from Exile): 538
Jerusalem ("Second") Temple rebuilt: 520-515
Judean Prophet Haggai: 520
Reformation led by Ezra and Nehemiah: 450-400
Torah (Pentateuch = first division of Jewish Scriptures) begins to gain recognition as Scripture: ca. 450
Hellenistic (Greek) period: 333-63
Alexander the Great conquers Palestine: 333/331
Judaism under Greek Ptolemies & Seleukids: ca. 320-168
"Septuagint" translation of Torah into Greek: ca. 250
Coming of Rome to the east Mediterranean: ca. 230-146
Prophets (second division of Jewish Scriptures) recognized by some as Scripture by ca. 200
Jewish Qumran community: ca. 200 BCE-135 CE
Jewish Maccabean revolt & Hasmonean rule: 168/167-63 BCE
Rome (Pompey) annexes Palestine: 63 BCE
Rule of Rome: ca. 146 BCE-400 CE

331 BC - 20 BC

  • Alexander the Great conquers Syria and Arbela; ends the Persian empire.
  • Alexander the great dies in Babylon.
  • Judea ruled by Egypt (the Lagides).
  • The Greek Bible (Septuagint) translated at Alexandria Egypt by 70 Hebrew scholars.
    This translation was authorized by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem in order to give Jewish exiles a scripture in the language of their exile.
  • Active Hellenization of Palestine.
  • Antiochus the Great conquers Jerusalem.
  • Judea ruled by Syria (The Seleucids).
  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes (a precursor of the beast) comes to power.
  • Onias, High Priest of Jerusalem Temple assassinated.
  • The Great Persecution of the Jews begins.
  • Massacres at Jerusalem.
  • The Syrians build the Citadel to guard the temple.
  • Decree issued abolishing Jewish practices and establishing cult of Zeus in Temple.
  • In December, the first pagan sacrifices abominate Jewish altar.
  • The priest Mattathias takes refuge in Modin with his five sons (The Maccabees).
  • Mattathias gives the signal for the attack. The Hassidaeans join him.
  • Judas Maccabaeus leads the revolt after Mattathias dies.
  • In December, the temple is purified, giving birth to the Jewish feast of Lights (Hannukah)
  • The Jewish persecution ends.
  • Death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
  • The Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes appear.
  • Pompey of Rome conquers Jerusalem.
  • Herod, an Idumean Arab, appointed king of Judea by the Roman Senate.
  • Herod begins construction of great Jewish Temple on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem.

Hellenistic Judaisms: Diasporas

The Macabbees and After

The Revolt (175-135 BCE)

I Macabbees or longer selection, written. c. 100 BCE [At Northpark]

Hasmonean Rule (134-64 BCE)

Conquest By Pompey 63 BCE

Jews in the Diaspora

Petition to Authorize Elephantine Temple Reconstruction, 410 BCE [At St Olaf] A remarkable (Aramaic) document in which Jews living in Egypt petition to build a Temple to Yahweh at Elephantine in Egypt.
The Jews of Ptolemaic & Greco-Roman Egypt

Conflict with Rome

Josephus (37- after 93 CE): Complete Works [At CCEL] Includes Antiquities of the Jews, The Jewish War and Against Apion
Josephus (37- after 93 CE): Siege and Fall of Jerusalem 70CE [Jewish War 6:8][At PBS]
Josephus (37- after 93 CE): Masada [Jewish War 7:9][At PBS]
Roman Sources on the Jews and Judaism, 1 BCE-110 CE [This Site]Texts from Josephus, Augustus, Claudius, Strabo and Tacitus.
Roman Governors of Judea [At Trinity]
Documents on Jews and Judaism in the Greco-Roman Diaspora [At UPenn]
Rome and the Jews and Part II [Reed College]
Arch of Titus [Image - Showing Destruction of Jersualem][At Rhodes]

Herod the Great (Jewish Roman ruler of Palestine): 37-4 BCE
Hillel & Shammai (Jewish sages): turn of the era
Rome establishes direct rule of prefects in Judea: 6 CE
Philo Judaeus of Alexandria: ca. 13 BCE-after 41 CE
Joshua/Jesus "the Christ": before 4 BCE-ca. 30 CE
Gamliel/Gamaliel I (Jewish leader-scholar): fl. ca. 40 CE
Paul "the apostle" (Jewish "Christian"): fl. 36-64 CE
Josephus (Jewish leader, historian): ca. 37-100 CE
Christian Testament (NT) writings: ca. 50-125 CE

Hellenistic Judaism: Religious Development

Old Testament Pseudepigrapha [At Noncanonical Homepage] Full texts.
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Web Page [At St. Andrews]

The Emergence of Judaism

Reforms By Hezekiah (r. 715-687 BCE): 2 Chronicles 30
The enforcement of Monotheism.
Hezekiah's Reforms and the Revolt against Assyria [At Emory/Bib.Arch]
Discovery of Deuteronomy (c.621 BCE): 2 Kings 18:4, 22
The Restoration of the Temple (c 520-515 BCE): Ezra 1:2-4, 6:3-5, Haggai 1-2
Ezra, excerpts [At Northpark]
Nehemiah (gov. c.445-c.433) and Ezra (mid-5th Cent. BCE) define the Community

The Invention of the Synagogue

(much more coming in this section)

The Theodotos Inscription,1st Cent CE [At St. Olaf]
Ancient Synagogue Literary Library Contains many texts about the institution of the synagogue in the Second Temple period.


The Samaritans in the Hasmonean Period [At Ioudaios]

The Bible Considering the Circumstances

Josephus (37- after 93 CE): Against Apion 1:37-41
First mention of a five book Torah.

The Septuagint

(?made under Ptolemy II r. 283-246 BCE)

The Letter of Aristeas 3rd Cent BCE [At Non-Canonical Homepage] The main source of the story of the composition of the Septuagint. The authorship is disputed.
Ryland Papyrus, #458, 150 BC
The Septuagint [At Catholic Encyclopedia]
An Informative Usenet Discussion of the LXX [at Wittgenstein's Net] Discusses the manuscripts, use in the NT, etc.

Philo Judaeus (c.30 BCE-45 CE)

Philo Judaeus (c.30 BCE-45 CE): The Creation of the World, c. 30 CE
Philo Judaeus (c.30 BCE-45 CE): On Ascetics 30 CE
Philo Judaeus (c.30 BCE-45 CE): On Eating the Passover Meal [At Jewish Heritage]
Resources on Philo

Competing Jewish Sects


1 Maccabees 7:12-25
Josephus (37- after 93 CE): Antiquities 13:10:6, 297
In Search of a Pharisee [At Ioudaios]
Current Scholarship on the Pharisees [At Ioudaios]




The Qumran Sect

The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Community Rule [At Non-Canonical Page]
Scrolls from the Dead Sea [Website-UNC] See the extensive text page.
Dead Sea Scroll Texts [At UPenn]
Dead Sea Scrolls [At LCongress]
Origin and Early History of the Qumran Sect [At Emory/Bib.Arch.][Modern Account]


Review of Martin Goodman: Mission and Conversion: Proselytizing in the Religious History of the Roman Empire, Journal of Early Christian Studies 4.1 (1996) 114-116 [At Johns Hopkins]

Rabbinic Judaism

The Talmud

Post Biblical Judaism [Online Course-U Alberta]
The Talmud
Page from the Babylonian Talmud [At Calgary]

Gender and Judaism

Gender Construction in J [At Creighton]
Various Articles on Gender and Israel [At Creighton]
Biblical Texts Concerning Kinship and Marriage [At Creighton]
People With a History: Ancient and Medieval Jews or here

Modern Perspectives on Ancient Israel

Abraham, Our Father and Theirs [At U Alberta]

Judaism Today (Coming Soon)

Historical Chart is from the Time-Line for the History of Judaism
Adopted from the University of Pennsylvania course
Religious Studies 014 (R. Kraft, revised Jan 1993) and
E.C.S.Leavenworth III; Goodnews Christian Ministry.