Timeline Before Life of Jesus - Palestine from 750 Years Before Jesus
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Notable Aspects
  • Jesus lived in a territory, Palestine, with a long-standing history of power struggle (see map of 1st century Palestine)
  • Palestine is currently part of modern day Israel (see map of Palestine with modern-day Israel)
  • Jesus' own people group, the Jews, were subject to enslavement and captivity of various empires
  • Other than 80 years of self-rule that ended a half-century before Jesus' birth, the Jews had not ruled themselves for three-quarters of a millennium
  • By the time of Jesus' birth, Roman rule had become entrenched in Palestine

Dates (BC) Event / Stage Misc. Details
750-612 Assyrian Empire  
612-539 Babylonian Empire  
539-331 Persian Empire  
331-143 Greek Empire Alexander the Great
    331-198 BC Ptolemaic Rule: Alexander's generals divided the empire with general Ptolemy 1 taking Palestine & Egypt and general Selecus taking Syria, Babylon and a large part of Asia Minor (see map)
    198-143 BC Selucid Rule: Syria's Selucid's captured Palestine (see map)
143-63 Jewish (Maccabean) Rule Jewish revolt for independence lead by Hasmonean family, later called the Maccabees (see map)
63 Roman Empire Under Julius Caesar, Romans general Pompey occupies Palestine in 63 BC (see map)
40   Neighboring Parthian's invade Palestine installing a local Jewish king, Antigonus
37-4 Herod the Great as King (under Roman authority) Herod gets Mark Anthony & Octavian's (future Augustus Caesar) support to have Roman Senate make Herod king of Jews in Palestine
    37 BC: Herod recaptures Palestine by force with Roman support
    20 BC: To win loyalty of the Jews, Herod begins reconstruction of the Jewish Temple
    6 BC: Jesus is born and Herod tries to find and kill Jesus. Jesus' family escapes to Egypt until Herod dies
    4 BC: Herod dies
4 BC-39 AD Three sons of Herod divide up rule of Palestine (under Roman Authority) * Herod Pillip (4 BC-34 AD) - ruler of territories east of Galiliee
* Herod Antipas (4 BC-39 AD) - ruler of Galilee and Perea: He beheaded Jesus' cousin (John the Baptist) and participated in condemning Jesus to death
* Archelaus (4 BC-6 AD) - ruler of Samaria, Judea and Idumea

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