Archive | July, 2014

Judea under Persian Rule

538–332 b.c. Under Persian rule, the lands of Israel (now called Samaria) and Judah (now called Judea) were minor provinces within the satrapy called Beyond the River. It appears that Edomites encroached upon Judea’s southern border after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, and this territory was now called Idumea. These regional boundaries remained more […]

The Persian Empire at the Time of Ezra

c. 458 b.c. During the time of Ezra the Persian Empire had reached its greatest extent, engulfing nearly the entire Near East. In 539 b.c. the Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians and absorbed their territory into the empire, including the lands of Israel and Judah (known as Beyond the River). The next year Cyrus allowed […]

Exile to Babylon

597, 586, 582 b.c. It appears that there were three separate deportations of Judeans to Babylon under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar (see also Jer. 52:28–30). The first came in 597 b.c. during the reign of Jehoiachin, when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and carried away many of the treasures of the temple and the royal palace. The second occurred after the […]

Josiah’s Reforms and His Battle with Neco

628–609 b.c. Early in his reign, King Josiah of Judah launched a massive effort to abolish pagan worship throughout Judah and the land of Israel and to refurbish the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. At the same time, the waning power of the Assyrians allowed him to add much of the land of Israel to […]

Assyria Attacks Judah

701 b.c. During the reign of Hezekiah of Judah, Sennacherib of Assyria came and attacked cities along the western edge of Judah, and he sent officials to besiege Jerusalem and convince Hezekiah to surrender. The Cushite king Tirhakah advanced from Egypt to support Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:9;Isa. 37:9) but apparently failed. The siege of Jerusalem was […]

Hezekiah Fortifies Jerusalem

c. 702 b.c. In anticipation of an Assyrian attack, King Hezekiah of Judah fortified Jerusalem, repairing broken sections of the wall and redirecting the flow of water from the Gihon Spring into the city. He also outfitted his army with weapons and shields and appointed battle commanders over the people. Archaeological evidence suggests he also enclosed […]

Judah after the Fall of Israel

c. 722 b.c. During the reign of King Ahaz of Judah, both Israel and Judah had become vassals (semi-independent subjects) of Assyria. Later, however, King Hoshea of Israel rebelled, causing the Assyrians to completely annex Israel as a province of the empire. Philistia was annexed into the empire as well, leaving Judah, Ammon, Moab, and Edom […]

Syria and Israel Attack Judah

c. 740–732 b.c. As the Assyrian Empire expanded westward, Syria and Israel sought to compel Judah and the other nearby states to form an anti-Assyrian alliance. Judah refused, leading Syria and Israel to attack Jerusalem. Syria also wrested Elath from Judah and gave it to the Edomites. The Edomites may have also raided Judah and taken […]

Judah’s Resurgence during Uzziah’s Reign

c. 767–740 b.c. A power vacuum created by Assyria’s attack and withdrawal from Syria allowed King Azariah (also called Uzziah) of Judah to recover land that had once belonged to Judah. Azariah recovered Elath on the Red Sea, captured some Philistine towns, and fought against the Arabians at Gurbaal and against the Meunites.

Jehu Executes Judgment

841 b.c. During a battle with Syria at Ramoth-gilead, King Joram (also called Jehoram) of Israel was wounded and went to Jezreel to recover. While he was there, Jehu, one of Joram’s commanders, came from Ramoth-gilead to carry out the Lord’s judgment on Joram’s family. When Joram and King Ahaziah of Judah went out in their […]