Holy Land History

Your pilgrimage to the Holy Land is quickly approaching and we want to make sure you have the most meaningful experience possible. You will be visiting many sites while our experienced guides explain their Biblical significance. But we want you to give you the opportunity to learn even more. Our mini-series, The Holy Land with Dr. Lamontte Luker is designed to orient you to the lands, culture, and sites that you will encounter during your Holy Land tour.

The "History of the Holy Land" episode will walk you through the timeline of the Old Testament. In addition, you'll hear a discussion with Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway, Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies at Al-Quds University. A more robust timeline is included below, as well.

We believe video is a great medium for a lecture as it allows you to watch at your leisure, pause, rewind, view detailed maps and images closely, and you have the ability to watch multiple times!

We hope you enjoy this lecture and that it creates even more excitement as your journey approaches. We would like to hear your feedback too, if you enjoyed the video, found it informative, etc. Please email comments to eo@travelwithus.com it is greatly appreciated.

Dates from rule of King David, King Solomon to Babylonian Exile

  • 1010-970 BCE Reign of David (approx.) Jerusalem becomes capital.
  • 970-930 BCE Reign of Solomon (approx.) and First Temple built in Jerusalem
  • 930 BCE Division of Kingdom of Israel into Judah and Israel
  • 873-852 BCE Ahab reigns in the north
  • 783-742 BCE Uzziah reigns in Judah
  • 720 BCE Northern Kingdom of Israel captured by the Assyrians
  • 700 BCE Hezekiah's water tunnel completed
  • 609 BCE Josiah killed at Megiddo. Jehoiakim vassal to Egyptians
  • 605 BCE Pharaoh Necho II defeated by Nebuchadnezzar II at Carchemish
  • 586 BCE Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon destroys Jerusalem and first Temple
  • 539 BCE Persians under Cyrus the Great conquer Babylon and exiled. Jews return to Judah in 538 BCE
  • 515 BCE Zerubbabel completes rebuilding of Temple under the Persian rule of Darius the Great

Alexander, Seleucus and Hasmonean Dates

  • 330 BCE Alexander the Great conquers region from Persians
  • 323-200 BCE Region divided between Ptolemaic Empire and Seleucid Empire
  • 200 BCE All of region controlled by Seleucid Empire
  • 167-160 BCE Maccabbean revolt against Seleucid Empire
  • 140-37 BCE Hasmonean Kingdom
  • 63 BCE Pompey takes Jerusalem making Judaea a client state of Rome
  • 40 BCE Parthians invade Palestine at encouragement of Hasmoneans
  • 37 BCE Herod with help of Romans defeats Hasmoneans
  • 37-4 BCE Herod the Great rules
  • 6 CE Rome constitutes Iudaea (Judea)

Roman Control of Palestine

  • 63 BCE Judah/Judaea become protectorate of Rome
  • 37-4 BCE Herod the Great rules
  • 4 BCE - 6 CE Herod Archaelus rules Judea and Samaria until banishment by Romans
  • 4 BCE - 39 CE Herod Antipas rules Galilee and Perea
  • 4 BCE - 34 CE Herod Philip rules northeast part of Herodian kingdom from Caesarea Philippi
  • 34-44 CE Agrippa I reconsolidates much of Herodian kingdom
  • 26-36 CE Pontius Pilate is Roman Prefect of Judea
  • 70 CE Jerusalem destroyed by Titus
  • 74 CE Masada captured by Romas
  • 130 CE Hadrian begins rebuilding Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina
  • 132-136 CE Bar Khokba revolt

Late Roman Empire and Byzantine Rule

  • 285 CE Roman empire partitioned into East and West
  • 313 Edict of Milan guarantees Christians of benevolent treatment in Roman Empire
  • 324 Constantine becomes Emperor of entire Roman empire from Constantinople
  • 325 Council of Nicea restores the name of Jerusalem
  • 326-328 Constantine's mother, Helena, travels to Syria Palaestina and identifies the sites of the Church of the Nativity and Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • 388-420 Jerome translates the Bible into Latin (Vulgate) as well as many other writings from Bethlehem
  • 5th century CE - many of the oldest monasteries in the Holy Land are established
  • 5th and 6th centuries - Byzantines rule Palestine and Arabian tribes thrive on trade routes in the south

First Muslim Period Until 1099

  • 570 CE Muhammed born in Arabia
  • 610 CE Islam founded
  • 632 CE Muhammed
  • The Islamic Empire conquers Palestine in 634 CE.
  • Dome of the Rock -- first great work of Islamic architecture completed in 691 CE
  • Umayyad, Abbasid, and Fatimid Caliphates governed through almost all of the next 4 centuries

Crusader Period

  • Crusader rule entire Holy Land from 1099 - 1187 when defeated by Saladin at the Battle of Hattin
  • Acre (Akko) falls in 1291 ending Crusader rule in the Holy Land

2nd Muslim Period Ruled from Egypt

  • Mamluk Sultanate govern Palestine from 1250 until 1516 defeating the Mongol Empire's western expansion in 1260.

Ottoman Turkish Period

  • Ottoman Turks capture Palestine in 1516 and rule until 1918.
  • Suleiman the Magnificent fully rebuilds walls of Jerusalem from 1535-1538.
  • These are the walls of Jerusalem today.
  • WW1 partition History including Balfour Declaration
  • 1896 Theodor Herzl proposes Jewish State
  • July 28, 1914 - World War I begins
  • 1915-1916 McMahon-Hussein Correspondence outline independent Arab lands in exchange for Arab revolt against Ottoman Turks
  • 1916-1918 Arabs revolt against Ottomans assisted by T.E. Lawrence
  • 1916 - Sykes-Picot Agreement partitions Middle East between spheres of French and British influence
  • Nov. 1917 - Balfour Declaration guaranteeing Jewish homeland in Palestine

Key British Mandate History

  • 1923 - British Mandate for Palestine established
  • 1936-1939 Arab Revolt
  • 1940 Initial bombing of Tel Aviv by Italian forces in WWII
  • 1944-1946 Zionist Insurgency against the British Mandate

Jewish Diaspora

  • After defeating Judah in 586 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar deports many inhabitants to Mesopotamia
  • As early as the middle of the 2nd century BCE, large Jewish communities could be found throughout Hellenized-world and Orient
  • Many Jews entered slavery after destruction of the Temple in 70 CE and dispersed across Europe

UN Post WWII timeline including 1949 Armistice

  • Nov. 30, 1947 UN Vote for Partition Plan of Palestine
  • 1947-1948 Civil War
  • May 14-15, 1948 Birth of State of Israel (end of British Mandate)
  • 1948-1949: Arab-Israeli War
  • 1956: Suez Crisis

Dates of Six-Day War 1967

  • Years of border instability and attacks on Israel lead to war
  • June 5-10, 1967 - Israel launches offensive and captures East Jerusalem, West Bank, Golan Heights, and Sinai
  • 300,000 leave Arab territories now controlled by Israel
  • Jews gain access to Holy sites like Western Wall
  • Inhabitants of East Jerusalem and Golan Heights receive Israeli citizenship

Dates of Yom Kippur War

  • October 6-25, 1973 - Arabs launch surprise attack with Israelis repulsing attack and eventually fighting to outskirts of Damascus and Cairo
  • No territorial gains for either side, but Arab - Israeli negotiations at the end of the war were first public meetings since 1948 war.

Peace Treaties

Camp David Peace Accords, Peace Treaty with Jordan, Oslo Agreements, Final Status ongoing

  • 1978 Camp David Accords bring peace to Egypt and Israel and Sinai is returned to Egypt
  • 1991 Madrid Conference
  • 1993 Oslo Accords I and signing ceremony between Clinton, Rabin, and Arafat
  • 1994 Israel - Jordan Peace Treaty signed at Arava
  • 1995 Oslo Accords II
  • 1998 Wye River and Sharm el Sheik Memorandums
  • 2000 Camp David Summit
  • 2000 al-Aqsa Intifada begins
  • 2002 Construction of Israeli - West Bank Separation barrier begins in earnest
  • 2003 Road Map for Peace
  • 2007 Annapolis Conference
  • 2013 Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations continue

Key points in Final Status negotiations

  • Annexation of Israeli Settlements in the West Bank into State of Israel
  • Safety and Security of Israel
  • Jewish refugees
  • Right of Return of resolution of displaced Palestinian refugees dating to 1948 and 1967 wars
  • Final Borders of of Israel and Palestinian State and reunification of West Bank and Gaza
  • Status of Jerusalem
  • Water