The Years and Times of the Old Testament Writings

First and foremost when it comes to years, the dating of the books of the Bible can only be an estimate or approximate time. Despite a calender based on the birth of Christ the day of his birth or any date of the events of his life cannot be exactly ascertained. It does not matter anyway. We know that Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection the third day as prophesied in the Old Testament occurred about 40 years before the destruction of Yerushalem in 70 AD. The year of 70 AD and the destruction of Yerushalem is must more sure than events prior to it, but again there is not need for exactness. When we talk about what happened 2000 years ago, we do not know exact hours, unless given, exact days, months, unless given and years.

Now there is a very specific geneology given in the Bible from creation through Adam to Yeshua the Mashiach. The year of creation is about 4004 BC. The book of GENESIS therefore begins about 4004 BC with creation and ends with the death of Yoseph, the son of Yacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham about 1635 BC. The flood occurred about 2348 BC. Abraham lived from about 2108 BC to 1821 BC.

EXODUS begins with Yisrael bondage in Mitzraiym (Egypt) and ends with Yisrael in the wilderness about 1490 BC. LEVITICUS is given before 1490 BC. NUMBERS covers the years of 1490 BC to 1451 BC.  DEUTERONOMY is given before 1451 BC. It is said that the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, was compiled and written by the prophet Moshah.

The book of YOSHUA covers the years about or circa, abbreviated “C.” 1451 BC to 1443 BC. JUDGES covers the years C. 1443 BC to 1406 BC. RUTH covers the years C. 1186 BC to C. 1175 BC and ends with a geneology to David so its compiling and writing must be after David.

1 SAMUEL covers the years C. 1171 BC to C. 1056 BC and Saul’s death. 2 SAMUEL covers C. 1055 BC to C. 1017 BC which includes the years of David’s reign. 1 KINGS covers the years C. 1015 BC starting with David’s death through Solomon to C. 896 BC. 2 KINGS covers the years C. 896 BC to C. 562 BC which includes the Assyrians bringing judgment to the 11 northern tribes, the kingdom of Yisrael in C. 722 BC and the Babylonians destroying Yerushalem in C. 586 BC. 1 CHRONICLES begins with a geneology for the first nine chapters and chapter ten begins in C. 1055 BC and the book ends with David C. 1015 BC. 2 CHRONICLES begins at C. 1015 BC through the judgments of the Assyrians and Babylonians upon the kingdom of Yisrael and Yerushalem to the restoration of the land after Babylonian captivity about C. 500 BC. EZRA takes place with the restoration of the land after Babylonian captivity around C. 500 BC as does NEHEMIAH. Ezra and Nehemiah take place either in the around 500 BC or middle to late 400 BC, but whatever the date it is after captivity in Babylon.

The book of JOB is given an approximate date of C. 1500 BC based on the land of YOB called Uz, the name of an ancient land, but the bottom line is we do not know for sure the date. It is probably written before the law was given to Moshah.

Most of PSALMS was written by David somewhere around C. 1000 BC but there are other authors and other times. I will not go into depth of these other times and authors at this time. It would have to be for another discussion. PROVERBS was written in the years of C. 1000-900 BC primarily by Solomon as was ECCLESIASTES and SONG OF SOLOMON written by the same author.

The book of ISAIAH are actual two separate prophets both of whose name was most likely Isaiah who lived many years apart. Isaiah chapter 1-39 covers certain years before the judgment of the kingdom of Yisrael (11 Northern tribes) by the Assyrians in C. 722 BC. Isaiah chapters 40-66 covers the latter years of the century of 500 BC looking forward to the restoration of Yudah to the land Yudan after captivity in Babylon and before the judgment of Babylon by the Persians. Cyrus gave the decree toward the end of the 5th century BC. The book of YEREMIAH covers before, through and after the judgment of Yerushalem by the Babylonians C. 586 BC. The years would approximately be C. 610 BC to after 586 BC, for Yeremiah lived after the judgment also. LAMENTATIONS was written by Yeremiah after the judgment of Yerushalem by the Babylonians in C. 586 BC. EZEKIEL was written before the judgment of Yerushalem by the Babylonians. DANIEL was written from the time Yerushalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC through the captivity (Daniel was a captive) and Cyrus issuing the decree to return to the land and sometime after captivity. Daniel chapter 10 starts with the third year of Cyrus. HOSEA was written before the judgment of the eleven northern tribes, the kingdom of Yisrael by the Asyrians in C. 722 BC. JOEL was written some years before the judgment of Yerushalem by the Babylonians in C. 586 BC. AMOS was written before the judgment of the ten northern tribes, the kingdom of Yisrael, C. 722 BC. OBADIAH was written after a judgment and in captivity. It speaks of the judgment of a Gentile nations and “Zion delivered”. YONAH was written after the judgment of the eleven northern tribes by the Assyrians in 722 BC and before the judgment of the Assyrians afterwards, for they repented once and delayed the judgment, but were eventually judged. MICAH prophesied before the judgment of the northern eleven tribes by the Assyrians in 722 BC. NAHUM was written from the captivity of Yisrael, and after the judgment of the northern eleven tribes by the Assyrians about C. 722 BC. HABAKKUK was written before the judgement of Yerushalem by the Babylonians in C. 586 BC.  HAGGAI was written at the end of captivity in Babylon. ZACHARIAH was written in and out of Babylonian captivity.

MALACHI was written before judgment, the judgment of the Mashiach, and the judgment of Yerushalem in 70 AD by the Romans. It is said to have been written C. 400 BC. The book of Malachi is the last voice of the prophets for over 400 years until John the Baptist and the Mashiach. 400 years of no voice of the prophet to assure the eternal purpose of God in the Mashiach, “for had they known the Lord of glory, they would not have crucified Him”.

What I have written here is an approximation of time only.

 

 

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