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Old Testament Dates

Often in reading one of the Old Testament books, one will run across the mention
of a specific date, such as in Jeremiah 39.2: "In the eleventh year of Zedekiah,
in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city."

The information below translates such dates into those we more easily recognize.
First, it provides a set of calendar year dates for the kings of Judah and Israel, based
upon the work of Thiele and Galil as filtered through Cogan, and Kitchen. As far as I
am aware, this scheme is the only one with these precise dates, but they are better
fitting to the history of the period than are the dates in Cogan (which don't take account
of the co-regnal data, apparently) and those of Kitchen (which, despite his typically
formidable reputation for chronological studies, still appear to be consistently one year
either too early or late throughout, but in the dates for the later kings of Judah,
especially). Further input comes from the old but still useful work of Parker and
Dubberstein, and an article of Nadav Na'aman, of particular use in determining the proper
dates to associate with the reign of Hezekiah, based on some Assyrian practices.

Several things are important to keep in mind in using this information, especially the chart
of reigns below. Firstly, the years given correspond to calendar years. Secondly, these
years begin with Nisan in the case of Judah, and Tishri in the case of Israel. This makes
best sense out of the synchronisms given between the two kingdoms. Also note that
all the details of synchronisms, accession years, etc, are not explicitly marked here. Of
the several ways to present the data, this seemed the most informative and efficient. For
instance, Ahaz of Judah participated in a lengthy co-regency with Jotham, as indicated
by the synchronisms describing Hoshea of Israel's accession (2 Kgs 15.30; 17.1). The
dates and length of reign given here are intended to indicate those official lengths as
given precisely in those notices in the 1-2 Kings regnal notifications. The underlining
of the names of certain kings of Israel indicates the end of a dynasty with that ruler.

Many of the dates below the chart rely upon these dates.

As always, I appreciate comments

Saul c. 1045-1005 David c. 1005-965
Ish-bosheth c. 1005-1003 Solomon 970-930
Judah Israel
Rehoboam 930-913 Jeroboam 932-911
Abijah 914-911 Nadab 912-911
Asa 912-871 Baasha 911-888
    Elah 888-887
    Zimri 887 (7 days)
    Tibni 887-882 (rival)
    Omri 887-872
Jehoshaphat 873-848 Ahab 874-853
Jehoram 849-842 Ahaziah 853-852
Ahaziah 842-841 Jehoram 852-841
Athaliah 841-835 Jehu 841-814
Joash 835-796 Jehoahaz 822-806
Amaziah 804-775 Jehoash 805-791
Azariah 787-734 Jeroboam II 791-750
Jotham 750-730 Zechariah 750-749 (6 months)
    Shallum 749 (1 month)
    Menahem 748-738
    Pekahiah 738-736
Ahaz 731-715 Pekah 736-731
Hezekiah 715-686   (backdated 750-)
Manasseh 696-641 Hoshea 731-722
Amon 641-639    
Josiah 639-608    
Jehoahaz 608-607 (3 months)    
Jehoiakim 607-597    
Jehoiachin 597 (3 months)    
Zedekiah 597-586    

Dates found in the Prophetical and Historical books, with notes where necessary. Note that the
dates given reflect the setting of the various books and passages, not necessarily the dates of
their composition (as in the case of Jonah, most notably):

Isaiah

c. 750-700

max=775-686, min=735-715

6.1:

735

 

7.1:

730-715

 

14.28:

715

 

20.1:

712

 

36.1:

701

 

Jeremiah

c. 627-586

 

1.2:

627-626

 

1.3:

August 586

 

3.6:

639-608

 

25.1:

604-603

 

25.3:

627-626

 

26.18:

715-686

Places prophet Micah in reign of Hezekiah

28.1:

25 Aug - 23 Sept 593

 

28.17:

23 Oct - 21 Nov 593

 

32.1:

587-586

 

35.1:

607-597

 

36.1:

604-603

 

36.9:

13 Nov - 12 Dec 603

 

39.1:

27 Dec 588 - 24 Jan 587

 

39.2:

18 July 586

 

45.1:

604-603

 

46.2:

604-603

 

51.59:

593-592

 

52.4:

5 Jan 587

 

52.5:

587-586

 

52.6:

18 July 586

 

52.12:

17 August 586

 

52.28:

598-597

 

52.29:

587-586

 

52.30:

582-581

 

52.31:

20 or 21 March 560

 

Ezekiel

   

1.1,2:

31 July 593

 

8.1:

17 Sept 592

 

20.1:

14 Aug 591

 

24.1:

15 Jan 588

 

26.1:

587-586

 

29.1:

7 Jan 587

 

29.17

Yr of Jeh: 26 April 571

"27th Year, 1st Month, 1st Day"
 

Yr of Neb: 14 April 578

 

30.20:

18 Oct 587

 

31.1:

21 June 587

 

32.1:

3 March 585

 

32.17:

17 March 585

 

33.21:

8 Jan 585

 

40.1:

28 April 573

 

Daniel

c. 605-536

 

1.1:

605

 

1.21:

538-537

 

2.1:

603-602

 

7.1:

552

 

8.1:

550

 

9.1,2:

538

 

10.1:

536

 

11.1:

538

 

Hosea

c. 765-725

see here for detailed notes on these

Joel

c. 730

dates for the Twelve Minor Prophets

Amos

c. 752

 

Obadiah

c. 730

 

Jonah

c. 750

 

Micah

c. 725

 

Nahum

c. 650

 

Habakkuk

c. 625

 

Zephaniah

c. 625

 

Haggai

   

1.1:

29 Aug 520

 

2.1:

17 Oct 520

 

2.10:

18 Dec 520

 

Zechariah

   

1.1:

27 Oct - 24 Nov 520

 

1.7:

15 Feb 519

 

7.1:

7 Dec 518

 

14.5:

c. 750

 

Malachi

c. 500

dated by description of intermarriage
problems decried which are similar to those
Ezra fixed
     

Ezra

   

1.1:

538-537

 

3.1:

17 Sept - 15 Oct 538

 

3.6:

17 Sept 538

 

3.8:

10 Apr - 9 May 537

 

4.2:

Esarhaddon: 680-669

 

4.7:

Artaxerxes: 465-424

 

4.24:

520-519

 

5.13:

538-537

 

6.3:

538-537

 

6.15:

12 March 515

 

6.19:

21 Apr 515

 

6.22:

22-28 Apr 515

 

7.7:

458-457

 

7.8:

4 Aug - 2 Sept 458

 

7.9:

1/1: 8 April 458

 
 

1/5: 4 Aug 458

 

8.1:

465-424

 

8.15:

16-18 April 458

 

8.31:

19 April 458

 

8.32:

4-6 Aug 458

 

8.33:

7 Aug 458

 

10.8

16-18 Dec 458

 

10.9:

18 Dec 458

 

10.16:

29 Dec 458

 

10.17:

27 Mar 457

 

Neh

   

1.1:

6 Dec 445 - 3 Jan 444

Nehemiah is counting years to begin
in Tishri judging from 1.1 and 2.1

2.1:

3 Apr - 1 May 444

 

5.14:

444-433/2

 

6.15:

25 Elul: 2 Oct 445

 
 

4 Ab: 12 Aug

52 days work on wall: 12 Aug - 2 Oct 445

7.73:

8 Oct - 6 Nov 445

 

8.2:

8 Oct 445

 

8.13:

9 Oct 445

 

8.14:

Festival: 22 - 28 Oct 445

 

8.18:

7 days: 22 - 28 Oct 445

 
 

8th day: 29 Oct 445

 

9.1:

31 Oct 445

 

13.6:

433-432

 

Esther

   

1.3:

483-482

 

2.16:

22 Dec 479 - 20 Jan 478

 

3.7:

Nisan: 5 Apr - 3 May 474

 
 

Adar: 24 Feb - 23 Mar 473

 
 

13th Adar: 8 Mar 473

 
 

14th Adar: 9 Mar 473

 
 

15th Adar: 10 Mar 473

 

3.12:

17 Apr 474

 

3.13:

8 Mar 473

 

4.16:

13-15 Nisan: 17-19 Apr 474

 

5.1, 4:

15 Nisan: 19 Apr 474

 

5.8:

16 Nisan: 20 Apr 474

 

7.2:

16 Nisan: 20 Apr 474

 

8.1:

16 Nisan: 20 Apr 474

 

8.9:

25 June 474

 

8.12:

8 Mar 473

 

9.1:

8 Mar 473

 

9.15:

9 Mar 473

 

9.17:

13th Adar: 8 Mar 473

 
 

14th Adar: 9 Mar 473

 

9.19:

14th Adar: 9 Mar 473

 

9.21:

14th Adar: 9 Mar 473

 
 

15th Adar: 10 Mar 473

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Cogan, Michael. 1 Kings. Anchor Bible 10. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
________. "Chronology: Old Testament" in Anchor Bible Dictionary. ed. David N.
   Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Galil, Gershon. The Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Leiden: Brill, 1996.
Kitchen, K. A. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan:
   Eerdmans, 2003.
Na'aman, Nadav. "Hezekiah and the Kings of Assyria." pp 98-117 in Ancient Israel
   and Its Neighbors: Interaction and Counteraction. Collected Essays Volume 1
.
   Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2005.
Richard A. Parker and Waldo H. Dubberstein. Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C.-A.D. 75.
   Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University Press, 1956.
Thiele, Edwin. The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Eerdmans, 1986.

2005 Kevin P. Edgecomb
last updated 27 December 2005