Here are some history dates to keep handy to help you understand much of the Old Testament. (Why not slip a copy into your Bible?) Don’t forget, Isaiah is a book of prophecy–not historical narrative like I and II Kings. So you need to look for visual images, Biblical principles, predictions, and read with your “gospel spectacles” on. You also should read it like you were taught to read poetry, instead of like you would a novel or Harry Potter or even a history book. Most of these events after 740 BC are predicted by him—even the coming of the Savior.
Why bother with this history?…..You could say to someone (or ask yourself): Why wouldn’t you believe the Bible is true since Isaiah’s predictions all came true? Part of the comforting assurance that we experience from reading with the right attitude and asking the right questions is the knowledge that God’s word is true, his promises are reliable, and He is always faithful to those who believe in and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1000 BC …David is King of a United Kingdom
740BC….Isaiah’s vision of God and call to comfort God’s people
722 BC…The Assyrian Empire (capital is Nineveh) overtake the Israel (the N. Kingdom of 10 tribes) and deport many to N. Iraq and N. Iran. Daniel and his friends are part of this deportation.
701 BC.…Assyrians take over all the nations except Judah (the Southern Kingdom). Jerusalem was never captured by the Assyrians.
612-605…Rise of Babylonian Empire. Its capital is on Tigris River in S. Iraq.
586 BC…Babylonians capture Jerusalem and Judah. Deportations to S. Iraq including Daniel and friends.
539 BC….Babylon defeated by Persians under King Cyrus. Rise of 200 year empire. Daniel is moved from Babylon to Susa.
538-22…Exiles return to Judea and temple is rebuilt. (The family line of David is preserved and continued, waiting for Jesus’ birth)
486 BC….Nehemiah rebuilds Jerusalem’s wall and city revitalized.
331 BC.. Rise of Greek Empire (take over Persians). Greek becomes the international language of business.
27 BC to 395 AD ….Roman Empire