Holy Land History at a Glance

Historical Overview of Today’s Holy Land

“This is a timeline of major events in the History of Jerusalem; a city that had been fought over sixteen times in its history.  During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Jerusalem

Beginning with The Land of Canaan and The Fallen Walls of Jericho

Artist reconstruction of the north side of Jericho
Artist’s reconstruction of the north side of ancient Jericho, based on the German excavations of 1907-1909. Note the houses built against the mud brick city wall, which rests on top of the stone retaining wall. The Bible says that Rahab’s house was built against the city wall (Joshua 2:15).

This Biblical claim has been confirmed by archaeologists who have found evidence of Jericho and its fallen walls, arguably 12-13 centuries B.C.

“So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the  sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.”  Joshua 6:20; Hebrews 11:30

1400 B.C. the Israelites are given the Land of Canaan as promised to Abram/Abraham.

“YHVH appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this Land.” So he built an altar there to YHVH who had appeared to him.” Genesis 12:7

The Land was divided into Israel’s Twelve Tribal territories pictured below.  In 930 B.C. they split into a Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom.

Divided into the Ten Tribes of Israel in the North.  The Southern Tribes were called Judah.

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722 B.C. The Assyrians captured the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel.  These tribes eventually dispersed into the nations and are known to this day as the Ten Lost Tribes.

“And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. Jeremiah 3:8 

587-538 B.C. the Southern Kingdom of Judah is next to be conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar ll.  The first Temple of Solomon is destroyed.  Judah’s Babylonian captivity is prophesied to last 70 years.  Jeremiah 29:10

539 B.C. the Persian Empire conquered Babylonia.  King Cyrus the Great released Judah to return to her land and rebuild the destroyed Temple.

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘YHVH, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Ezra 1:2

323-333 B.C. Alexander the Great, a Hellenistic Greek, was the next to conquer the Land, then the Ptolemy gained control of the Land, continuing to battling with the Seleucids.

198 B.C. Antiochus lll incorporated Judea into his Hellenistic Greek Seleucid Empire, but allowing them autonomy.

175-164 B.C.  Antiochus lV inherited the throne.  He’s the one who sacrificed a pig to Zeus, desecrating the Holy Temple and beginning the Maccabean revolt.

167-164 B.C. the Kingdom of Judah won control of the Land in the Maccabean, (Hasmonean) revolt.  (Remembered by the celebration of Chanukah)

140-116 B.C. the Hasmonean Dynasty is established with the decline of the Seleucids.

110 B.C.  Pompey and Rome intervene in the Hasmonean civil war.  The Hasmoneans gain their independence from the Seleucids.

63 B.C. Judah is incorporated into the Roman Republic. 

40 B.C. the Parthians, an Iranian Arsacid Empire, invade the Land.

37 B.C. Herodian Dynasty conquers the Hasmoneans.

27 B.C. the Roman Empire controls the Land.

Y’shua begins His Ministry 30 A.D.  Prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Mark 13:2; Luke 19:44; Daniel 9:26

70 A.D.  the 2nd Temple is destroyed by the Romans, (40 years after Yehoshua’s parable of the wicked tenants, Matthew 21:33-46).

638 A.D. the Arabs of Arabia conquered the Land in the Islamic expansion, at the battle of Yarmouk.

661 A.D. the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus inherited control of the Land.

750 A.D. the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad took over the Land.

1071 A.D. the Egyptians passed control of the Land to the Seljuk Empire, Turkish/Persian, Sunni Muslims.

1099 A.D. the European Christian Crusaders took control of the Land.

1187-1229 the Ayyubi Dynasty, (descendants of Saladin, a Kurdish Muslim leader) took the Land.

1250 A.D. the Mamluks Dynasty took the Land.

1260 the Mongols took the Land from the Muslim Mamluks in The battle of Ain Jalut.

1516 The Ottoman Turks took the Land.

1832  Muhammad Ali of Egypt took the Land, but, in 1840, Britain intervened and returned control of the Levant, (the Land) to the Ottomans.

19th Century, World War 1, the Balfour Declaration of 1917.  The British Government favors the establishment of national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

1936–1939 the Arab revolt in Palestine was a nationalist uprising by Palestinian Arabs against British colonial rule and mass Jewish immigration…

1948 the name Israel is chosen for the “Jewish” State.

Religious Exclusivity is Man-Made

Religious exclusivity is direct disobedience to Our Creator Word.  He is Impartial and instructs His people to love impartially.  His Word does not support ethnocentric religions.   We all have the same Creator and He gave One promise for All people.  

His promised (eternal) inheritance as prophesied to come through Abraham, Isaac and Israel, will bless All peoples.

“The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles, (non-Jewish) by faithfulness, and foretold the gospel (the good news) to Abraham: “All nations/peoples will be blessed through you.”  Galatians 3:8; Genesis 26:4

Now that is Good News!  The Physical Land was never the fulfillment of the Promised Eternal (Olam) Inheritance, Hebrews 9:15

It’s the reNewed Heaven and reNewed Earth we long for because it will be freed from the death. Isaiah 25:81 Corinthians 15:262 Corinthians 5:17Revelation 21:4.

*Most of these dates are from Wikipedia.  Some of the dates vary in other historical writings, please test this information for yourself.

The intent of this brief overview is to show, at a glance, by whom and when the Land was occupied.

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