Daniel

Timeline

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Year BCE

Exile Year

King of
Babylon

King of
Judah

Textual Reference

Event

Scripture

 

 

609

 

Nabopolassar

Jehoahaz (reigned 3 months, at age 23)

 

Jewish reckoning for years begins with the month of Nisan (approx Apr-Mar). This means some years shown here (reflecting Jan-Dec patterns) may differ slightly from other published timelines.

After Josiah is killed in the battle with Neco against Assyria, Jehoahaz (though he is the younger brother of Jehoiachin) becomes king. He reigns for only three months.

2Chronicles 36:1-2

 

 

608

 

Eliakim [name changed to Jehoiakim]
(reigned 11 years, age 25-36)

First year of the reign of Jehoiakim by Jewish reckoning. Babylonians would have referred to this as Jehoiakim's accession year.

Pharoah Neco removes Jehoahaz because of his anti-Egyptian views and takes him captive to Egypt. He appoints Eliakim his older brother as king, renaming him Jehoiakim.

2Chronicles 36:3-5
2Kings 23:34

 

 

607

 

First year of Jehoiakim by Babylonian reckoning.

 

 

 

 

606

 

 

Second battle of Carchemish between Egypt and Babylon begins

Sir Robert Anderson believes Nebuchadnezzar's first invasion of Jerusalem took place in 606 rather than 605, based on the reign of Jehoiakim being counted from 1 Nisan 608. This would make his third year run from 1 Nisan (April) 606 to the same time period in 605.

 

 

605

1

Nebuchadnezzar

Fourth year of Jehoiakim by Jewish reckoning. The Babylonian approach would call this his third year.

This was Nebuchadnezzar's accession year.

Nebuchadnezzar defeats Pharoah Neco and the Assyrians at Carchemish. Begins a short seige of Jerusalem.

He defeats Jerusalem, takes prizes from the temple and nobles from Judah as hostages to keep the country in line. Daniel is included in this group of exiles. About this time, Nebuchadnezzar hears that his father has died.

Daniel and his three friends begin their three-year training program.

2Kings 24:1
Jeremiah 25:1
Jeremiah 46:2
Daniel 1:1-2

 

 

604

2

Jehoiakim is reinstated and this is the first year of his new reign (year 5 of his 11 years).

Jehoiakim is fettered but then reinstated as king, becomes a Babylonian vassal king.

Nebuchadnezzar returns to Babylon to deal with the aftermath of his father's death.

 

 

 

603

3

Second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (Babylonian reckoning)

Nebuchadnezzar has the dream about the statue of many metals which Daniel helps to interpret for him. This takes place sometime between April 603 and March 602.

Daniel and his friends' official training program probably ends this year.

Daniel 2:1

 

 

602

4

 

 

 

 

 

601

5

 

 

 

 

 

600

6

 

Jehoiakim rebels against Nebuchadnezzar in hopes of forming an alliance with Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar returns and lays siege to Jerusalem.

 

 

 

599

7

 

 

 

 

 

598

8

11th year of Jehoiakim's entire reign (7th year after reinstatement)

Jehoiakim dies after 11 years as king.

 

 

597

9

Jehoiachin (reigned 3 months, at age 18 -- some manuscripts show his age as eight)

8th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (Jewish reckoning)

Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin becomes king. He rules for just 3 months 10 days. He surrenders and is taken to Babylon.

2Kings 24:12
2Chronicles 36:8-10

 

 

597

9

Zedekiah [originally named Mattaniah] (reigned 11 years, age 21-32)

 

Nebuchadnezzar installs Jehoiachin's uncle Zedekiah as a vassal king, making him swear an oath of loyalty. 11,000 people are taken to Babylon as captives, including Ezekiel.

2Kings 24:17-18
2Chronicles 36:11

 

 

596

10

 

 

 

 

 

595

11

 

 

 

 

 

594

12

4th year of the reign of Zedekiah

Jeremiah sends a letter to the Jews in Babylon with a number of officials when king Zedekiah is summoned there by Nebuchadnezzar. It is possible that the king of Babylon was unsure of Zedekiah's support for him.

Jeremiah 51:59-60

 

 

593

13

5th year of Jehoiachin's exile

Ezekiel sees a prophecy while in the city of Babylon.

Ezekiel 1:1-3

 

 

592

14

 

 

 

 

 

591

15

 

 

 

 

 

590

16

 

 

 

 

 

589

17

9th year of Zedekiah's reign

Zedekiah rebels against his oath of loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar, who then comes up against Jerusalem and besieges the city for two and a half years.

2Kings 25:1-2

 

 

588

18

10th year of Zedekiah, 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar (by Jewish reckoning)

Zedekiah puts Jeremiah in prison to shut him up, but he is eventually rescued. The Babylonians briefly abandon their siege to deal with Hophra at the border of Judah.

Jeremiah 32:1-3
Jeremiah 34:21-22
Jeremiah 37:5

 

587

19

Zedekiah's 11th year, and the end of his reign; the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar (by Jewish reckoning)

70-year exile of the city of Jerusalem begins (different from the exile of the nation, this also ends precisely on time)

Zedekiah tries to escape Jerusalem but is captured. At Riblah, Nebuchadnezzar kills all his sons before his eyes then gouges out his eyes and takes him to Babylon in bronze chains.

Jerusalem is destroyed on Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the month of Av). 4,600 Jews are taken captive.

2Kings 25:8-9
Jeremiah 1:3
Jeremiah 39:1-2

 

 

586

20

No king remains in Judah, as the nation is now part of the Babylonian empire. Gedaliah is installed as Governor.

 

God says that he will hand Egyptian pharoah Hophra over to his enemies.

Jeremiah 44:30

 

 

585

21

 

 

 

 

 

584

22

 

 

 

 

 

583

23

 

Some scholars believe this was the year Nebuchadnezzar had his vision of insanity.

Daniel 4:4-17

 

 

582

24

 

Some scholars believe this is the start of Nebuchadnezzar's seven years of insanity.

Daniel 4:28-33

 

 

581

25

 

 

 

 

 

580

26

 

 

 

 

 

579

27

 

 

 

 

 

578

28

 

 

 

 

 

577

29

 

 

 

 

 

576

30

 

Some scholars believe this was the time Nebuchadnezzar set up the 90-foot idol covered in gold, requiring people to worship the image or be thrown into a furnace. It corresponds to the end of a civil uprising in Babylonia that would make such a proclaimation politically meaningful.

 

 

 

575

31

 

 

 

 

 

574

32

 

 

 

 

 

573

33

 

Nebuchadnezzar's seige of Tyre ends.

 

 

 

572

34

 

 

 

 

571

35

 

Some scholars believe this was the year Nebuchadnezzar had his vision of insanity.

Daniel 4:4-17

 

 

570

36

 

Some scholars believe this is the start of Nebuchadnezzar's seven years of insanity.

Daniel 4:28-33

 

 

569

37

 

Year 2 of madness?

 

 

 

568

38

 

Year 3 of madness?

 

 

 

567

39

 

Year 4 of madness?

 

 

 

566

40

 

Year 5 of madness?

 

 

 

565

41

 

Year 6 of madness?

 

 

 

564

42

 

Year 7 of madness. Nebuchadnezzar finally turns his eyes towards heaven, acknowledges God's sovereignty and is restored to sanity.

Daniel 4:34

 

 

563

43

 

Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom is also restored to him, greater than it was before. He probably publishes his decree shortly before he dies.

Daniel 4:36

 

562

44

Evil Merodach (Amel-Marduk)

37th year of the exile of Jehoiachin (he was exiled in 597),
Evil-Merodach's accession year

Nebuchadnezzar dies. Evil-Merodach (Akkadian name is "Amel-Marduk") succeeds Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon, releases the exiled king Jechoiachin, though he does not return to Palestine.

2Kings 25:27
Jeremiah 52:31

 

 

561

45

 

 

 

 

 

560

46

Neriglissar (Nergal-Sharezer), four year reign

Neriglissar's accession year

Neriglissar (also named Nergal-sharezer; his name means "Nergal, protect the king") murders his brother-in-law Evil-Merodach and takes over the kingdom.

As a young military man under Nebuchadnezzar, Neriglissar had been one of those sent to release Jeremiah from prison by the Captain of the Guard (see Jer 39:13-14).

Jeremiah 39:13-14

 

 

559

47

 

 

 

 

558

48

 

 

 

 

 

557

49

 

Neriglissar dies. His out-of-control military spending had raised inflation in the empire to ridiculous levels (inflation apparently reached 50%).

 

 

556

50

Labashi-Marduk (nine months)

Labashi-Marduk's accession year

Neriglissar's son Labashi-Marduk succeeds him but is murdered after nine months by Nabonidus.

 

 

 

556

50

Nabonidus

Nabonidus' accession year

Nabonidus takes over the kingdom. He is unpopular with the priests.

 

 

 

555

51

First year of Nabonidus, who is called Labynetus by Herodotus

 

 

 

 

554

52

 

Nabonidus is increasingly unpopular, spending much of his time in the city of Teima in Northern Arabia.

 

 

553

53

Nabonidus appoints his son Belshazzar as co-regent over Babylon (we don't know which year Belshazzar began but this seems the most likely date). Sir Robert Anderson puts the date in 551.

Belshazzar's accession year

Nabonidus put his son Belshazzar in charge of the kingdom.

 

 

 

552

54

First year of Belshazzar

Daniel has a dream of the same four kingdoms shown Nebuchadnezzar, but with different idioms as it represents God's view of those kingdoms rather than man's view.

Daniel 7:1

 

 

551

55

 

Around this time, Cyrus defeats his uncle (some commentaries say it was his father-in-law), King Astyages of the Median Empire, to assume the throne of the Medo-Persian empire east of Babylon. Apparently he was assisited by Nabonidus in leading his revolt.

 

 

 

550

56

Third year of Belshazzar's reign

Daniel sees a vision of the coming Greek empire. This vision takes place in the city of Susa, with Daniel standing beside the Ulai Canal. Susa will eventually become the capital of the Persian empire, but at this time is not a significant city.

Scripture is not specific on whether Daniel was physically in Susa or only saw himself there in the vision. He may have been there on behalf of Nabonidus (not Belshazzar), perhaps related to the king's support of Cyrus.

Daniel 8:1-2

 

 

549

57

 

 

 

 

 

 

548

58

 

 

 

 

 

547

59

 

 

 

 

 

546

60

 

 

 

 

 

545

61

 

 

 

 

 

544

62

 

 

 

 

 

543

63

 

 

 

 

 

542

64

 

 

 

 

 

541

65

 

 

 

 

 

540

66

 

 

 

 

539

67

Darius the Mede as Viceroy of Babylonia (age 62)

Belshazzar is killed; Darius the Mede's accession year

While Belshazzar throws a defiant party, Cyrus' general Ugbaru diverts the Euphrates river, lowering the moat around Babylon, and quietly enters the city the night of the 16th day of the month of Tashritu (October 12). The invincible city of Babylon is taken without a battle.

Daniel 5:30-31

 

 

538

68

First year of Darius the Mede, Viceroy of Babylon

Daniel reads Jeremiah and discovers that Jerusalem is about to be released from its 70 years of captivity, and is given the vision of the future by the angel Gabriel.

Darius was most likely Gubaru, whom Cyrus installed as governor over Babylon.

Daniel 9:1

 

 

537

69

 

Darius the Mede orders Daniel into the lions' den as a result of his decree about worship, but we don't know exactly which year this took place.

 

 

536

70

Cyrus the Persian (7 year reign until his death in 529)

The year Cyrus became king (his accession year)

After two years of further conquests, Cyrus becomes king over the entire Chaldean empire, including Palestine. He decrees that the Jews may return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (not specifically the city), providing financial incentives to the Jews to return to their land.

This is the end of the 70 year exile from Judah.

2Chronicles 36:22-23
Ezra 5:13

 

 

535

 

First year of Cyrus (Babylonian reckoning)

It appears that Daniel leaves the city of Babylon at this time, but we don't know where he went. It appears from his continued presence in the region that he did not return to Palestine with the release of the Jews.

Daniel 1:21

 

 

534

 

 

 

 

 

 

533

 

Third year of King Cyrus of Persia

Daniel is given his final prophetic vision after three weeks of mourning. He indicates that he is physically beside the Tigris river (Babylon is on the Euphrates). Daniel would have been approaching 90 years of age.

Daniel 10:1-5

 

 

532

 

 

It is generally believed that Daniel finished his memoirs in 532, shortly before he died. This is based on the use of terms that were not known until this time.

 

 



Note: Daniel uses the Babylonian form of dating, which begins with the start of the year after the ascension or appointment of a king. The year in which a king was appointed was called "the year he became king" and the next year was called "the first year of his reign." The Jews used a different method in which the year of accession was called the first year of his reign.

Note: There is much uncertainty about exact "secular" years because history at that time did not refer to years as we know them today. This chart does not take into account short reigns which may have begun in the winter of one year and ended at the start of the following year, though it does attempt to adjust for the short reignal periods. There are also many calculation issues related to exact dates of accessions as they relate to the Jewish calendar, and these have not been exhaustively explored here. Dates are shown here as a loose reference only.