A Basic History of the Nation Israel

The 4th stage of national discipline is being ruled over by another country.

The 5th stage of national discipline is being removed from the land of promise by a foreign power.

Sodom went through these stages of discipline before God removed the city and her population from history as a city-nation (the 6th stage of national discipline, which is not applicable to Israel).

A Brief History of Israel



Books of the Bible

2100–1885 b.c.

Abraham moved to the land of Canaan, as God had told him to do. At age 100, he fathers Isaac, who is heir to the promises God made to Abraham. Isaac has twins, one of whom—Jacbob—is heir to the promises. Jacob has 12 sons. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jacobs sons and daughters-in-law are Jews, heirs to the promises of God.

Gen. 12–40

1885–1859 b.c.

Joseph, a son of Jacob, is made prime minister of Egypt. Because of a drought, his father and 11 brothers move to Egypt.

Gen. 41–50

1859–1480 b.c.

At some point, the Jews become enslaved to the people of Egypt and remained their slaves for about 400 years. .

No Scripture written. References to this in several places in the Bible.

1480–1440 b.c.

After the Jews have been enslaved to the Egyptians for the larger portion of 400 years, Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt and they spend 40 years in the desert. God uses that time in the desert to administer the sin unto death to the adults who left Egypt.

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

1440–1050 b.c.

After 40 years in the desert, the Jews moved into the Land of Promise (also called the Land of Canaan) and that land became Israel. They took the land by military force. There was no king in Israel during this time period.

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the first portion of 1Samuel

1050–930 b.c.

Israel was a united kingdom under kings Saul, David and Solomon. The Ark of God was separated from the Tabernacle before Saul; and David later brought the Ark to Jerusalem. The Temple is built by Solomon, and the Ark and the Tabernacle were kept there at Solomon’s Temple.

1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1–11 1Chron. 10–2Chron. 9

Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

930–721 b.c.

The northern kingdom (Ephraim, sometimes called Israel, and later known as Samaria) separates from the southern kingdom (Judah). Both nations continue as two separate countries; but both are client nations to God.

2Kings 12–16

Jonah, Amos and Hosea minister mostly to the northern kingdom; Obadiah (?) and Joel to the southern kingdom.

721 b.c.

Assyria administers the 5th stage of national discipline to the northern kingdom (i.e., the people are removed from their land and killed or made slaves).

2Kings 17

721–586 b.c.

Judah continues as an autonomous kingdom and client nation to God. However, during this time, Assyria threatened Judah in the same way as it threatened the northern kingdom, and it was the people who responded to Isaiah’s ministry which led to the neutralizing of the threat of Assyria (2Sam. 19:35 Isa. 37:36).

2Kings 18–24 2Chron. 10–36

Prophets: Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk.

612 b.c.

Nineveh, the capitol of Assyria, was destroyed by the Babylonians. The city of Nineveh may sound familiar because Jonah was sent there by God earlier to sound the warning of national discipline, and the people responded positively. However, about two centuries later, the people rejected God and were destroyed.

See the book of Jonah

586 b.c.

The 5th stage of national discipline is administered to Judah: Jerusalem is destroyed by the Babylonians after two previous deportations of Jews out of Judah. The Temple and city walls of Jerusalem are destroyed.

2Kings 25

586–516 b.c.

The Jews are held in captivity by Babylon, and then by the Medo-Persian empire, which defeated the Babylonians in 539 b.c. Footnote In 536 b.c., Cyrus decrees that Jews can begin to return to Jerusalem.

Esther, Daniel, Ezekiel (?)

Nehemiah, Ezra

516–167 b.c.

The Temple was rebuilt, and the Jews resided in the land of promise, but under a variety of rulers (the Persians, the Greek or Macedonian empire, the Egyptian empire, the Syrian empire). They never came out from under the 4th stage of national discipline during this time period.

Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Old Testament canon closed around 400 b.c.

167–63 b.c.

The Jews appear to have briefly emerged from the 4th stage of national discipline and were under the Maccabean empire for about a century.

The Old Testament was both codified and translated into Greek, which would have been the dominant language in Israel.

63 b.c.–70 a.d.

The Jews were ruled over by the Roman empire. Herod rebuilds the Temple. The Romans finally administer the 5th stage of national discipline to the Jews in a.d. 70, and they destroy Herod’s Temple.

The New Testament

The dates above are sometimes approximate and many came from The Narrated Bible.

You may find it helpful to look back at this table when reading through the words of the various prophets.