Many of us today do not know that Israel was destroyed as a nation just one generation after Jesus’ ascension; and that Israel did not exist again as a nation after that for almost 2,000 years, until 1948.
1700s – Abraham settles in the land of Israel (Canaan).
1500 – Joseph is sold into slavery. His family join him in Egypt.
1400s – The Hebrews are enslaved by the Egyptians.
1300 – Moses leads the Hebrews out of Egypt.
1200s – The Hebrews arrive in Israel.
1020 – Saul is crowned the first King of Israel.
1000 – David becomes King of Israel.
922 – Israel is split into two kingdoms: ten tribes called Israel with Samaria as capital in the north; and two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) called Judah (the Jews) with Jerusalem as capital in the south.
722 – The Assyrians conquer the Northern Kingdom and took many captive.
586 – Babylon, ruled by Nebuchadnezzar II, conquers Judah and destroys the Temple and takes many Jews captive.
538 – Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, conquers Babylonia. He allows the Jewish people to return home.
516 – The Second Temple is constructed in Jerusalem.
322 – The Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, conquer Israel along with all of Persia and Egypt.
167 – The Maccabean revolt occurs and brings independence to the Jews.
63 – Rome, led by Pompey the Great, conquers Israel.
37 – Herod the Great is made King of Israel by Rome.
Therfore Isreal (Judea and Samaria) was under the rule of Rome when Christ was born.
Note that it was only the Jews: the Southern kingdom made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the Levites with them that returned as a people and rebuilt the Temple.
The Northern tribes never returned as a people; the northern tribes are refered to as “the lost tribes of Israel,” as most are simply lost in exile. But, there were still samaritans living in Israel (Samaria) in the New Testament days.
30 – Jesus Christ is crucified.
70 – The Romans destroy the Second Temple and much of Jerusalem.
73 – The last of the Jewish rebels are defeated at Masada.
132 – The Jewish people revolt against Roman rule. Hundreds of thousands of Jews are killed.
Almost all Jews fled Judea by this period and are scattered all over the world; living in exile.
614 – The Persians capture Jerusalem after the Siege of Jerusalem.
629 – The Byzantine Empire recaptures Jerusalem.
638 – Muslim forces capture Jerusalem.
691 – The Dome of the Rock is built on the Temple Mount.
1071 – The Seljuk Turks take control of Jerusalem
1096 – Christians in Europe embark on the First Crusade.
1099 – Crusaders take control of Jerusalem.
1187 – Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt, captures Jerusalem. Jews are allowed to enter the city.
Saladin did not persecute Jews and some returned and settled in their homeland.
1517 – The Ottoman Empire conquers the Mamluk Sultanate and takes control of Israel. Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds much of Jerusalem.
The Ottoman Empire will rule until the 1900s.
1914 – World War I begins.
1917 – The Ottoman Empire is defeated by the British.
1920 – The British take over Israel as part of the Palestine Mandate.
1939 – World War II begins. During the war 6 million Jewish people will be killed by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in the Holocaust.
1945 – World War II comes to an end.
During all these centuries from the time the Roman empire destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Jews, all of Israel (Judea and Samaria) was desolate; arid; like a desert. Crops didn’t grow.
1948 – The independent country of Israel is declared. The first Prime Minister of Israel is David Ben-Gurion.
1948 – Israel is attacked by a coalition of Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon in the first Arab-Israeli War. The Israelis win the war.
1967 – The Six-Day War is fought between Israel and a group of Arab nations including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. Israel won the war and took control of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.
1973 – The Yom Kippur War takes place when Egypt and Syria attack Israel on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Israel was able to push back the Egyptian army.
1991 – The Gulf War occurs. Israel is hit by Scud missiles from Iraq.
2009 – Benjamin Netanyahu is elected prime minister for his first rule.
Today: Benjamin Netanyahu is current prime minister of Israel. And Iran is the main threat with tensions very high. Allieds of Iran like Hezbollah, Syria, plus some other Arab nations have no peace with Israel.
Today Israel is the largest exporter of farm produce in the Middle East. The desolate land for centuries when the people were in exile became very productive after 1948 when the nation was created again. Read Ezekiel 36 and 37 to appreciate this history, and know that GOD is involved with His people Israel for His name sake. This is all written prophecy.