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Palestine now becomes a province, first of the empire of Alexander, and afterwards of that of one or other of Alexander’s successors.

332. The Jews submit to Alexander the Great.

323. Death of Alexander in Babylon.

322. Alexander’s general, Ptolemy Lagi, becomes Satrap of Egypt.

320. Ptolemy Lagi gains possession of Palestine, which, with short interruptions, continues in the hands of the Ptolemies till 198.

312. Beginning of the era of the Seleucidae (reckoned from the time when Seleucus Nicator, Alexander’s former heavy cavalry officer, finally established himself in the satrapy of Babylonia. He founded Antioch as his capital, 300 B.C.).

305. Ptolemy Lagi assumes the title of king.

198. Antiochus the Great, king of Syria (223-187), defeats Ptolemy Epiphanes at Panias (Bāniyas, near the sources of the Jordan), and obtains possession of Palestine.

175-164. Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria (Dan. xi. 21-45).

168. Antiochus’s attempt to suppress the religion of the Jews (1 Macc. i. 41-63; cf. Dan. vii. 8, 21, 24-26, viii. 9-14, xii. 10-12). Public worship suspended in the Temple for three years.

167. Rise of the Maccabees (1 Macc. ii.).

166-165. Victories of Judas Maccabaeus over the generals of Antiochus (1 Macc. iii.-iv.).

165. Re-dedication of the Temple on 25th Chisleu (December), 1 Macc. iv. 52-61.

160. Death of Judas Maccabaeus (1 Macc. ix. 1-22).

160-142. Jonathan, younger brother of Judas, leader of the loyal Jews (1 Macc. ix. 23-xii. 53).

142-135. Simon, elder brother of Judas (1 Macc, xiii.-xvi.).

135-105. John Hyrcanus, son of Simon.

105-104. Aristobulus I. (son of Hyrcanus), king.

104-78. Alexander Jannaeus (brother of Aristobulus), king.

78-69. Salome (Alexandra), widow of Alexander Jannaeus.

69. Aristobulus II. (son of Alexandra).

65. Capture of Jerusalem by Pompey. Palestine becomes a part of the Roman province of Syria.

(2) As we now know, the methods of chronological computation adopted by the Assyrians were particularly exact. Every year a special officer was appointed, who held office for that year, and gave his name to the year; and “canons,” or lists, of these officers have been discovered, extending from 893 to 666 B.C.[1] The accuracy of these canons can in many cases be checked by the full annals which we now possess of the reigns of many of the kings—as of Asshur-nazir-abal or Assur-nasir-pal (885-860 B.C.), Shalmaneser II. (860-825), Tiglath-pileser IV. (745-727), Sargon (722-705), Sennacherib (704-781), Esarhaddon (681-668), and Asshurbanipal or Assur-bani-pal (668-626). Thus from 893 B.C. the Assyrian chronology is certain and precise. Reducing now both the Assyrian and Biblical dates to a common standard,[2] and adopting for the latter the computations of Ussher, we obtain the following singular series of discrepancies:—

Reign of Ahab
  Ahab mentioned at the battle of Karkar
Reign of Jehu
  Jehu pays tribute to Shalmancser II.
Reign of Menahem
  Menahem mentioned by Tiglath-pileser IV.
Reign of Pekah
Reign of Hoshea
  Assassination of Pekah and succession
   of Hoshea, mentioned by Tiglath-pileser IV.
  Capture of Samaria by Sargon in Hezekiah’s
   sixth year (2 Kings xviii. 10)
Invasion of Judah by Sennacherib in Hezekiah’s
  fourteenth year (ibid. ver. 13)
Dates according
to Ussher’s
· ·
· ·


· ·


Dates according
to Assyrian




733 (or 732)[3]



Manifestly all the Biblical dates earlier than 733-732 B.C. are too high, and must be considerably reduced: the two events, also, in Hezekiah’s reign—the fall of Samaria and the invasion of Sennacherib—which the compiler of the book of Kings treats as separated by an interval of eight years, were separated in reality by an interval of twenty-one years.[4]

  1. See George Smith, The Assyrian Eponym Canon (1875), pp. 29 ff., 57 ff.; Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek (transcriptions and translations of Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions), i. (1889), pp. 204 ff.
  2. It may be explained here that the dates of the Assyrian and Babylonian kings can be reduced to years B.C. by means of the so-called “Canon of Ptolemy,” which is a list of the Babylonian and Persian kings, with the lengths of their reigns, extending from Nabonassar, 747 B.C., to Alexander the Great, drawn up in the 2nd century A.D. by the celebrated Egyptian mathematician and geographer Ptolemy; as the dates B.C. of the Persian kings are known independently, from Greek sources, the dates B.C. of the preceding Babylonian kings can, of course, be at once calculated by means of the Canon. The recently-discovered contemporary monuments have fully established the accuracy of the Canon.
  3. Or, in any case, between 734 and 732; see Rost, Die Keilschrifttexte Tiglat-pilesers III., 1893, pp. xii., 39, 81, with the discussion, pp. xxxii.-xxxiv., xxxv.-xxxvi.
  4. This interval does not depend upon a mere list of Eponym years; we have in the annals of Sargon and Sennacherib full particulars of the events in all the intervening years.