History of Ancient Israel


David-king of Judah and Israel

1010 BCE - 970 BCE

David became the second king of Israel, also remembered as the greatest king because he made Jerusalem the capital. David had created a secure and prosperous empire by making alliances with nearby nations.

King Solomon, first temple

961 BCE - 931 BCE

King Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem, that temple was the permanent home for the Arc of the Covenant. The temple became the central sacrifice place. Solomon gained great personal wealth.

Assyrians take over

722 BCE

Assyrians overthrew Israel, with God's guidance and most of the Israelites were carried off into exile. The people who lost their ethnic identity are known as "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel."

Babylonians captured Jerusalem

586 BCE

King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians, captured Jerusalem, and the walls came tumbling down and the buildings were burned. The Great Temple wasemptied of its treasures, the altar was dismantled, and building destroyed.

Persians returned to Jerusalem

535 BCE

Persians returned to Jersualem after fifty years in exile, there were fewer than 50,000 Jews. Persian King, Cyrus, authorized the rebuilding of The Temple of Jerusalem, and was completed in 515.

Ezra the Scribe

430 BCE

Ezra, leader of the priestly class, a priest and scribe, began to revise the stories of the people to reveal the hand of God. Many people think these editors wrote the creation story in Genesis. Ezra is also credited for creating the Torah.

The Greeks (Hellenism)

334 BCE

Hellenism and Greek lifestyle is believed to have been introduced by Alexander the Great. The influences of Hellenism led countless Jews to wealth and knowledge.

Antiochus IV

175 BCE - 164 BCE

Antiochus IV was a Hellenistic ruler of Syria. He tried to achieve political unity by trying to force the Hellenistic culture onto all of his subjects. Other attempts of his was abolishing the Torah as the Jewish constitution, burning Torah copies, killing those who cirumcised their sons, constructing an altar to Zeus in the temple, and sacrificing a hog on it.


164 BCE - 63 BCE

Maccabees, or Hammers, rebelled, the rebellion was led by the Hasmon family of priests. In 164 BCE, they did gain a degree of independence for Judaea. The independent and new kingdom was called Israel, again. However, Israel only lasted until the land was conquested by the Romans in Pompey. Israel was the final independent Jewish nation until the turn of the twentieth century.

Hasmonean Family

63 BCE

It was under the rule of the Hasmonean kings that three branches of Jews formed in Judaea. Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes are the three branches or "sects" of Jews. HOwever, conflicts began it arise within the Hasmonean unit and a civil war erupted.

Romans (Pompey)

63 BCE - 135 CE

The Roman general, Pompey, was brought in from Syria to pick contenders for the Hasmonean throne, instead he took control over the country. After that, there were four centuries of Roman rule of Judaea.


53 CE

During the Roman period the belief that a Messiah would arrive to rescue the Jewish people from their suffering had become increasingly popular. Then the belief was elaborated into God gathering his chosen people and "reinstating Jewish political sovereignty in the land of Israel."

1st Rebellion against Romans

66 CE - 70 CE

Anti-Roman militias, Zealots, sparked an uprise in armed Jewish rebellion against Rome. The Jewish defenders were slayed within the holy walled city, Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed the temple and all they left was the stones from the foundation. These stones are now well known as the Western Wall.

2nd Rebellion against Romans

132 CE - 135 CE

As a result of the second rebellion, Jerusalem was left in ruins, along with every other Judaean town. The Jews that were spared from execution had strict rules to follow. Among these rules were not reading the Torah, observe the Sabbath, or circumcise their sons. The worst rule for the Jews however, was not being able to even enter Jerusalem after it was rebuilt, the only expection to this rule is on the anniversary of the destruction of the Jewish Temple. On the anniversary Jews are allowed to pay to lean against the remains of the temple. Judaea was also renamed to Palestine.