|612 BC||Nabopolassar of Babylon and allies sacked the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.|
|609 BC||Babylon and its allies overthrew Assyria & Egypt at the Battle of Megiddo. Judah had been a client state of the Assyrian empire and Babylon had been an Assyrian province. Egypt became alarmed at the growing Babylonian power and went up to support Assyria. On the way up, Egypt conquered Judah and king Josiah was killed (2 Kings 23:39). The Babylonian armies overthrew the Egyptians. Babylon becomes ruler over the land at this time (nations serve him for 70 years - Jer. 25:11, 28:14, 29:10). They returned later for captives.|
|605 BC||Nebuchadnezzar II begins to rule (605 to 562 BC)|
|603 BC||Daniel 2 (second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign)|
|550 BC||Daniel 7 (first year of Belshazzar). Nabonadius became king in 555 BC and shared the royal power with his son, Belshazzar in the sixth year of his reign.|
|548 BC||Daniel 8 (third year of Belshazzar)|
|539 BC||- Medo-Persia defeats the Babylonian realm as Darius the Mede's general, Cyrus, conquers the city of Babylon.
- Daniel 9 (first year of Darius the Mede). Note: Darius the Mede is the same person as Cyaxares II, who was an uncle to Cyrus the Great and son of Astyages. Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC at which point Cyaxares II became its king. In about 537, Cyaxares II gave his daughter in marriage to Cyrus and the Median kingdom as her dowry, further cementing the merged Median and Persian kingdoms. Cyaxares II, under the throne name of Darius, died about 537, and Cyrus then took the throne. The reference to Darius the Mede differentiates this Darius from the Darius (I) who ruled after Cyrus.
|537 BC||- Cyrus becomes ruler in place of Darius the Mede.
- Decree by Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4). It was Cyrus the Great who set the stage for the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the house of God. This event was foretold long before it actually occurred, and even Cyrus' name was prophesied (Is. 44:28, 45:1). A declaration issued by Cyrus, inscribed on a clay cylinder, was discovered in 1879 by an archaeologist in the foundation of the Marduk temple of Babylon. It is often referred to as the world's first charter of human rights, confirming the biblical view of Cyrus' generosity and religious tolerance. When Cyrus took the throne in 537 BC, it marked the end of the 70 years of Hebrew captivity as he issued the decree to free them.
|535 BC||Daniel 10 (third year of Cyrus)|
|519 BC||Decree by Darius (Ezra 6:1-12). This enabled the Jews to continue the work that had been hindered. It was the time of Haggai, Zechariah, Joshua and Zerubbabel. Like Cyrus' decree, this only enabled the building of the temple.|
|457 BC||Decree by Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:13-26). It was this decree, in the autumn of 457 BC, a comprehensive decree by Artaxerxes, that actually made restoration possible. It made it possible for an independent civil order to be established and they restored magistrates and judges.|
|444 BC||Decree by Artaxerses (Neh. 2:1-4, 17, 20 and 6:1-15). The building proceses had been interrupted. This was not really a new decree but a reinstatement to Nehemiah to build the walls.|