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Second Temple Timeline

627-539, Neo-Babylonian rule

597, exile of Jehoiachin and affluent citizens of Jerusalem
586, destruction of Jerusalem, temple, and exile
582, exile of Judeans

539-333, Persian rule

539-530, Cyrus
538, return of Sheshbazzar, Zerubbabel, Joshua
537, foundations of temple restored
530-522, Cambyses
521-486, Darius
520, Haggai, Zechariah and renewal of rebuilding project
515, second temple dedicated
486-465, Ahasuerus/Xerxes
464-424, Artaxerxes
458, Ezra returns
445, Nehemiah returns
c. 432-426, Nehemiah second term
423-404, Darius II

333-323, Alexander of Macedonia

323-198, rule of Ptolemies of Egypt (tolerant)

rise of Hellenism, responses: separation (Pharisees), assimilation (Sadducees), withdraw (Essenes), attack (zealots)

198-167, rule of Seleucids of Mesopotamia (intolerant)

198, Antiochus III victory over Ptolemies and secures Palestine

175-163, Antiochus IV outlaws circumcision, Torah reading, sabbath keeping; replaces priest Onias III with Jason and initiates Hellenizing making Jerusalem Greek polis with gymnasium and later replaces Jason with Menelaus; dedicates temple to Zeus and sacrifices pigs (15 Dec 168)  High priests of second temple

167-164, Maccabean revolt

167-165, Mattathias (father of Maccabees)

165-37, Hasmoneans and Jewish “independent” (kingdom) Hasmonean dynasty

166-141, Maccabean puppet rulers under Seleucids (much political turmoil)
165-160, Judas “Maccabeus”/hammer
160-142, Jonathan
152, Jonathan becomes first Maccabean high priest
141-63, Hasmonean (Maccabean) rule as local often tyrannical aristocrats
142-135, Simon
[c. 152-142, 142-34] Origins of Essene separatists who eventually move to Qumran along the shore of the Dead Sea. Many (following J. VanderKam’s influential work) see Qumran separatists to have originated over a worship calendar dispute between the Wicked Priest (Jonathan the first Maccabean high priest [152-142] or his brother Simon [142-134]) and the Teacher of Righteousness, the unnamed founder of the community. Origins of Qumran Essenes
135-104, John Hyrcanus I
c. 129, John Hyrcanus, destroys Samaritan temple (at Gerizim)
Basic provisional timeline of scriptural versions (LXX, DSS, SP) in the second temple context.
When a Pharisee (Eleazar) criticized Hyrcanus who would not give up the priesthood, Hyrcanus joined the Sadducees moved against Pharisee standards (see Josephus, 13.288-298, summarized by VanderKam 2001).
103, Aristobulus
102-76, Alexander Jannaeus
Alexander enacted vengeance upon Pharisees who had sought out Syrians against him by crucifying about 800 Pharisees, whose wives and children were cut down while they were being crucified, while Alexander feasted with his concubines (Josephus, Antiquities, 1.97 [1.14.2]).
76-67, Salome Alexander
Based on Alexander’s deathbed advice to favor the Pharisees, Salome did so putting her rule at odds with the powerful Sadducee establishment
67-63, Aristobulus II
Aristobulus II and Sadducees march on Jerusalem
Hyrcannus II become high priest

63-40, client state of Roman republic

63-43, Hyrcannus II

44, Julius Caesar assassinated

40-37, Hasmonean (kingdom)

40-37, Mattathias Antigonus

37 bce-135 ce, Roman rule of Judea

37-4, Herod the Great of Idumea Herodian dynasty

37-25, consolidation
25-14, prosperity
Herod began to reconstruct temple in Jerusalem (20 BCE) finally completed in 63 CE). Herod married Mariamne II (24) and appointed her father high priest (23-6). He built a temple for Augustus in Caesarea Philippi. He remitted 1/3 of the people taxes (to smooth out feelings for his commitments to Greek and Roman culture) (20). He remitted a 1/4 of taxes (14).
14-4, domestic troubles
Herod had several of his sons executed for seeking his throne. For example, Alexander and Aristobulus of Mariamne I, educated in Rome and married royal wives, were executed in 7. In winter of 5-4 BCE Christ was born. And, Herod had many children of Bethlehem killed to put a stop to a competitor to his own heirs (Matt 2:1-16). Herod had his son Antipater killed, 5 days before his own death (4).

4 bce Tetrarchs

4 bce – 6 ce, Archelaus (mother: Malthace, a Samaritan), gets Judea, Idumea, Samaria until exiled to Gaul

4 bce – 39 ce, Herod Antipas (mother: Malthace, a Samaritan), gets Galilee, Perea (kills John the Baptist, at trial of Jesus of Nazareth)

4 bce – 34 ce, Herod Philip (mother: Cleopatra of Jerusalem), gets Golan Heights, wife goes to Antipas

26-36 ce Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea

29, Antipas fell in love with Herodias, his niece and his brother Herod (Philip)’s wife; after divorcing his wife and marrying the relationship was criticized by John the Judean baptizer (Mark 6:17; cf. Lev 18:16; 20:21; On identifying Herod Philip see Hoehner, “Herod,” ISBE).

33, Jesus of Nazareth executed and resurrected

41-44, Herod Agrippa I, after getting Iturea, Galilee and Perea, in 41 he also gets Judea and becomes king

52-59, Antonius Felix Roman Procurator of Judea

57, Arrest of Paul of Tarsus [overview of Paul's ministry]

59-62, Porcius Festus Roman Procurator of Judea

c. 56-66 Herod Agrippa II becomes king as ruler over Iturea, Galilee and Perea; his sister Bernice became his consort; they joined Festus for a hearing of Paul at Caesarea (59; Acts 26)

63-70 Jewish wars

70 destruction of Jerusalem by Rome

132-135 CE Bar Kokhba revolt


Based on Burge, Cohick, Green, The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament in Its Cultural Context (Zondervan, 2009); “Hasmonean Dynasty,” “Herodian Dynasty,” ABD; Hoehner, “Hasmoneans,” Herod," “Herodians,” ISBE; M. Tenney, New Testament Survey, 2d ed. (Eerdmans, 1985); James C. Vanderkam, An Introduction to Early Judaism (Eerdmans, 2001); James C. Vanderkam, From Joshua to Caiaphas: High Priests after the Exile (Fortress, 2004); Geza Vermes, trans., The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 7th ed. (Penguin, 2011)

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