Exile and Return -- 7.1 - 7.5

The final portion of the Old Testament (chronologically) is the books dealing with the Babylonian Exile and return.  These books include Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai and Zechariah.  In this section, we will cover the historical background that is common to all of these books, so we do not need to repeat the same facts in each book.

        

Let us first summarize chronology of this period:

         722 BC -- Assyrian captivity (capture of Samaria, destruction of Israel)
         605 -- Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began his rule
                    he besieged Jerusalem (reign of Jehoiakim)

                    Daniel was taken captive to Babylon
         597 -- Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem
                   10,000 people taken captive (reign of Jehoiachin)

         593 -- Ezekiel began his prophetic ministry in Babylon
         586 -- destruction of Jerusalem (reign of Zedekiah)

         605 - 537   EXILE 

         555 -- Nabonidus  began his rule
         550 -- Belshazzar (son and co-regent) began his rule
         539 -- Daniel deciphered writing on the wall
                   Cyrus of Persia entered Babylon
         538 -- Cyrus' edict of return
         537 -- 1st return of Jews under Sheshbazzar
         536 -- work of rebuilding the Temple started
         522 -- Darius 1 of Persia began his rule

         520 -- Zechariah and Haggai prophesied
         516 -- Temple completed
       
         60 years of inactivity in Jerusalem

         485 -- Xerxes began rule
         483 -- Esther made queen 
         465 -- Artaxerxes began his rule
         458 -- Ezra arrived in Jerusalem
         445 -- Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem as governor
                   Wall of Jerusalem completed
         433 -- Nehemiah returned to Susa temporarily    

         430 -- Malachi began his prophetic ministry