Bible Chronology Timeline

Chronologies of the Mysteries of God

Genesis 5:1
“This is the book of the generations of
Adam. In the day that God created man,
in the likeness of God made he him”
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“And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD that he did for Israel” Judges 2:7.

Chart of the Chronology of the Judges*






JACOB 130 TO EGYPT Genesis 47:9 2236
Israel’s Slavery 430 years THE EXODUS Exodus 12:40-41 2666
ISRAEL 40 years Wilderness Acts 13:18 2706
JUDGES 450 years Joshua to Samuel Acts 13:20 3156
Samuel and Saul Both died in the same year 3156

Joshua: Israel’s First Judge

Joshua was God’s chosen leader in Israel who began the period of the judges in the year 2706. The Lord addressed His new servant with the words: “My servant Moses is dead, now arise and cross over the River Jordan with this people” (Joshua 1:2). God in His wisdom had chosen Moses’ successor for the guidance of His people. Even from the time of the wilderness the election had been made. Of Joshua it was prophesied that he should not see death until he and his fellow compatriot Caleb would settle down in the Promised Land. Joshua had learned loyalty to duty and obedience to commands. He was Moses’ minister who alone with Moses ascended to the mount of God on the occasion when they spent forty days in Sinai for the reception of the Commandments of God (Exodus 24:13). On the day of Joshua’s succession his title was given: Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister (Joshua 1:1).

When the children of Israel were expecting judgment from God due to their sin at Sinai with the incident of the molten calf, Moses and Joshua are seen in the Tabernacle interceding for the people. Moses speaks face to face with the Lord and returned to the camp (Exodus 33:11), while Joshua remained in the tabernacle (Exodus 33:11). This passage tells a lot about the training for leadership that Joshua received from Moses. Such data is important because Moses had previously been asking God about Israel’s future leadership. Moses had been anxious to know if he would lead Israel into Canaan or not. He said to the Lord: “thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me” (Exodus 33:12). And when on Sinai Moses requested to see God’s glory, the truth was revealed to Moses. The Lord replied: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14).

Moses died at the end of the year 2706 one month prior to the end of Israel’s 40 year wilderness journey. The Hebrew nation had been mourning the death of their beloved leader in the plains of Moab (Deuteronomy 34:8). As the new year 2707 dawned, the people of Israel camped on the east side of Jordan (Numbers 22:1) expecting to march onwards to Canaan under God’s leadership Joshua, who was endowed with the spirit of wisdom, as Moses had laid his hands on him (Deuteronomy 34:9).

The Gilgal Passover in 2707

God commanded Joshua to circumcise the children of Israel (Joshua 5:2) when they crossed the Jordan on the 10th of the 1st month (Joshua 4:19) of 2707. The reason for this circumcision was that all the circumcised men of war who came out of Egypt had died in the wilderness (Joshua 5:4). This circumcision was for all the children that were born in the desert who had not been circumcised yet (Joshua5:5). The name of the place was called Gilgal because because the Lord said: “This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you” (Joshua 5:9).

Now the children of Israel were sanctified. They also celebrated their first Passover in Canaan on the 14th day of the first month at evening in the plains of Jericho (Josh 4:19; 5:10). On the next day, they ate of the old corn of the land unleavened cakes (Joshua 5:11). And the manna, the bread from heaven, ceased the day after they had eaten of the old corn of the land (Joshua 5: 12).

Joshua’s Last Speech in Shechem

It was in Shechem where Joshua delivered his final speech. Joshua had lived a life of service and loyalty to God’s commandments. Like Moses, Joshua obeyed direct orders from God, and so he commanded the children of Israel. Therefore, in his final address to Israel, he repeated their history of how God established Israel as a nation and rescued her from idolatry even from ancient times when Terah prevaricated from the truth and “served other gods” (Joshua 24:2), and how God called Abraham and established him in Canaan (Joshua 24:3).

Joshua died at the age of 110 years (Joshua 24:29). He was a warrior against idolatry and a true defender of the sanctuary message. Before his death he encouraged Israel to worship the true God:

“And if it seems evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

Samuel: Israel’s Last Judge

God’s final judge for the people of Israel was Samuel. Unlike other judges, “Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life” (1 Sam. 7:15). He was consecrated to the Lord long before his conception by Hannah his mother (1Sam. 1:5). Hanna fulfilled her vow when God granted her petition. She had promised that if God would give her “a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life” (1 Sam. 1:11). Hanna had pledged Samuel to be a servant of God forever, she said: “I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever” (1 Sam. 1:22). Therefore the little child, girded with a linen ephod (1 Sam. 2:18), ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest (1 Sam. 2:11).

Little Samuel grew up serving as a priest, yet in his early childhood years the Lord called him to be a prophet as well. One day when Eli the priest and little Samuel had gone to sleep, the boy Samuel heard the voice of God calling him four times (1 Sam. 3:4,6,8,10). On that night Samuel received his first vision. God revealed to him the judgment against Eli’s house (1 Sam. 3:14). With this vision Samuel began his prophetic ministry. “And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD” (1 Sam. 3:20).

But Samuel was not only a prophet and priest; he was Israel’s last judge. Samuel did his yearly rounds judging Israel from place to place in Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpeh (1 Sam. 7:16). Then he would return to his own house in Ramah where he also judged Israel (1 Sam. 7:17).

One day a prophet of God visited Eli and revealed to him God’s judgment to fall on his house because of the wickedness of his children the priests (1 Sam. 2:27). In his admonition, this anonymous prophet also revealed to Eli that God would establish a faithful priest in Israel. Speaking about Samuel, he declared, thus saith the Lord:

“And I will raise me up a faithful priest that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever” (1 Sam. 2:35). Amazingly, this prophet revealed that Samuel would live and minister during the whole reign of King Saul – (God’s anointed).

Israel Requests to Have a King in 3116

It was in the year 3116 when the elders of Israel requested Samuel to establish a monarchy by giving them a king. Moreover, they belittled Samuel’s capability of judging and said to him: “behold thou art old” (1 Sam. 8:5). Despite Samuel’s advanced age, he judged Israel all the days of his life. King Saul trembled at his command and sought his advice all the days of Samuel’s life.

Israel’s request to have a king was a desire to conform to the world’s standards for governance. It was an emotional and blatant request by the children of Israel; they did not want to remain different to the rest of the world’s nations; they wanted to unite with the world. Consequently, they drifted away from God and headed towards a system of worldliness that led them to despise the government of God. They embraced the customs of other nations and idolatrous practices made their inroads into Israel’s religious and civil systems. Capriciously they went ahead with their demand, not reckoning the dire effects that such a move would bring on their children’s faith. They were resolved to be united with the world, following the world’s traditions (1 Sam. 8:19).

When the children of Israel asked for a king, they not only ascribed to Samuel the tag of ‘old man’ but they revealed their real thought; they said “make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5). They wanted to have young men and even children ruling them, just like the other nations who had juvenile monarchs enthroned at the time of their father’s death. Samuel warned them that under a king their children would be recruited and drafted into the army as “instruments of war” (1 Sam.8:12), he would take their fields and vineyards (1 Sam. 8:14) and would tax them severely (1 Sam. 8:15). Yet the children of Israel refused counsel, they responded: “nay but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (1 Sam. 8:19-20). On that day the children of Israel rejected not just Samuel, but the God (1 Sam. 8:7).

How is it that Samuel, ‘an old man,’ had so much power in Israel? Saul had little power in comparison to Samuel. When Nahash the Ammonite came against the men of Jabesh (1 Sam. 11:1) the men complained to the king of Israel, but notice Saul’s response: “he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen…” (1 Sam. 11:7). The Word of God says that “the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent” (1 Sam. 11:7). Then Samuel summoned Israel to Gilgal to consolidate the kingdom of Saul there (1 Sam. 11:14).

Thunderstorm: a Sign of God’s Displeasure

In Gilgal Samuel reiterated Israel’s wickedness and rebuked them harshly for requesting a king (1 Sam. 12:17). Moreover, he called on the Lord, Who sent a lightning storm, “and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel” (1 Sam. 12:18). So the people feared that ‘old man’ whose power was from the Lord “And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king” (1 Sam. 12:19). But Samuel who was their judge, prophet and priest proved his intercessory ministry when he told them: “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Sam. 12:23).

Saul had only reigned one year (1 Sam.13:1), and in his second year he made the mistake of usurping his son Jonathan’s due honour when Jonathan defeated a garrison of the Philistines (1 Sam. 13:3). Saul made it public in Israel that it had been him who defeated the enemy (1 Sam. 13:3-4). However, the greatest sin that Saul committed was that of sacrificing a burnt offering to the Lord in order to lift the spirits of his when the Philistines assailed them and Samuel was not there to offer the sacrifice.

The people were scattered, and Samuel was not there to direct them. The last judge of Israel “tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed” (1 Sam. 13:8), yet the people were impatient and started deserting Saul (1 Sam. 13:8). Then Saul thought to lift the spirits of his people by usurping the prerogatives of a priest. He had seen Samuel ministering as a judge and also as a priest, and he believed he could do the same. Saul committed the grave error of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings (1 Sam. 13:9), something that was strictly forbidden for anybody except for the priests.

Having learned about Saul’s terrible mistake, judge Samuel used the same wording of the Lord when he brought judgment on Adam and Eve, he asked Saul, “What hast thou done?” (1 Sam.13:11). By interrogating Saul in this way, he directed the king to confess his sin and not to argue by excusing himself. Then Saul showed his flaws and started complaining and answering the wrong question. Samuel did not ask him for excuses, but Saul responded: “…Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed…” (1 Sam. 13:11). Then he says: “I forced myself and offered a burnt offering” (1 Sam. 13:12).

Samuel did not judge the king’s person but his character. He attacked his behavior by telling him, “Thou hast done foolishly.” He further told him “thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God” (1 Sam. 13:13). Once again Samuel showed true leadership and true judgment, even when he was judging a leader of Israel by pronouncing the Lord’s judgment: “for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever but now thy kingdom shall not continue the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart” (1 Sam. 13:13-14).

David: A King After God’s Own Heart

It was from the beginning of Saul’s reign that the Lord had chosen David to be king. On the day when Saul disobeyed God’s Word, the Lord said: “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king” (1 Sam. 15:11). Saul failed to fulfill one of God’s prophecies and direct commands about the obliteration of Amalek. So grievous was the violation that Samuel did not sleep all night for the anguish in his heart (1 Sam. 15:11).

Once again, Judge Samuel rebuked King Saul and revealed to him that because he had rejected the Word of the Lord, God had also rejected him from being king (1 Sam. 15:23). The wretched king asked Samuel to excuse his fault, that the people made him feel afraid (1 Sam. 15:24). On that day, Samuel revealed to Saul that his monarchy had come to an end. He said: “The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou” (1 Sam. 15:28).

Even more amazing is that an old judge had more power, energy and zeal for God than the king. Samuel commanded the soldiers to bring King Agag, who came very politely thinking that the threat of death was over (1 Sam. 15:32). Then Samuel with all his authority passed and executed judgment on Agag as he said to him: “as thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal” (1 Sam. 15:33). Even after that, Saul pleaded with Samuel to return with him to worship the Lord together (1 Sam. 15:25), Samuel did not accede to his entreaty and went to his house in Ramah (1 Sam. 15:34). Of Samuel it is written that he “came no more to see Saul until the day of his death” (1 Sam. 15:35).

Samuel mourned for Saul’s kingship as one mourns a deceased person. Yet the Lord reproved him for doing so, given that the Lord had rejected Saul from reigning over Israel (1 Sam. 16:1). Moreover, God commanded him to fill his horn with oil and go to Bethlehem and anoint the man that God had chosen to be Israel’s next king (1 Sam. 16:1,4). Therefore, Samuel anointed David “and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Sam. 16:13). But in the meantime the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul (1 Sam. 16:14). From that day on Israel had a new king, but that knowledge had been hidden from Israel.

From the day when the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, an evil spirit troubled him (1 Sam. 16:14). Saul sunk further into wickedness, harbouring increasing envy against David to the point that one day when the people acclaimed David hero over tens of thousands, he said of David: “what can he have more but the kingdom?” (1 Sam. 18:8). David’s life was in danger. Saul tried to spear him to the wall with a javelin (1 Sam. 19:10); he also wanted to kill David in his bed (1 Sam. 19:15). So David escaped and went to live with Judge Samuel (1 Sam. 19:18). Yet again Saul kept David on the run so that he fled as a fugitive from place to place even to the heathen land of Gath (1 Sam. 21:10). The merciless king Saul killed eighty five priests of the Lord just because one of them received David in his house (1 Sam. 22:18).

Samuel Ends Period of the Judges in 3156

Although Saul was reigning together with Samuel, Saul’s reign does not count when gathering all the data for the biblical chronology. In the year 3156 the period of the Judges of Israel came to a close with the death of the prophet Samuel. About Israel’s last judge it is said: “And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life” (1 Sam. 7:15).

Therefore the period of the judges, which began with Joshua and spanned 450 years was over when Samuel died. The Word of God states: “And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet” (Acts 13:20).

Samuel died around the time King Saul committed suicide after consulting the witch of Endor. Then all Israel came to mourn and bury the last judge of Israel in his city Ramah (1 Sam. 28:3).

When Samuel died “Saul put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land” (1 Sam. 28:3). But as soon as the Philistines arrayed themselves for battle against Israel, Saul “was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled” (1 Sam. 28:5). Remember that the Lord had departed from Saul. The king banned all the witches from his country because of personal convenience. Saul did not repent from his wickedness; he only sought the protection of the Lord. But “when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets” (1 Sam. 28:6). So when Samuel died, Saul attempted to make ‘the spirit’ of Samuel return from the dead at all costs. He even consulted a woman who had a familiar spirit (1 Sam. 28:7). Saul was deceived with the idea that it is the spirit of a dead person who communicates with the living. But notice what happened to Saul for doing that consultation:

“So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it” (1 Chronicles 10:13).

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