Reflections From The Bible And Life

The Bible Timeline: 12 Periods Of Salvation

I’m so excited to share what I learned from last night. I joined a group that was led by a knowledgeable speaker. According to his studies, there are 12 periods in salvation history. It is recommended that we read the bible according to the time line so that we may better understand the terms used in the bible. Some terms used in the bible were greatly significant to certain age in biblical history but symbolical to another age. It’s best to analyze the practices during the olds times.

According to the speaker, there are 12 periods, namely:
Early World
Egypt and Exodus
Desert Wanderings
Conquest and Judges
Royal Kingdom
Divided Kingdom
Maccabean Revolt
Messianic Fulfillment
The Church

The Early World – starts with Creation, Adam and Eve’s original sin, followed by curses down the line, with Cain killing Abel due to jealousy. Cain and Abel were his first sons from Eve, and Seth cam after his brothers died. Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, and Adam died at age 930. By then he had bore several generations of children who became the first generations of people to walk on the face of the earth. The Early Age period goes down Noah with the flood down to Shem, Japheth, and Ham, his offsprings. Genesis 11:10 records that Shem was 100 years old at the birth of Arpachshad two years after the flood, making him 98 at the time of the flood; and that he lived for another 500 years after this, making his age at death 600 years. Included in this period is the era of the Tower Of Babel, which was built by people out of insecurities about floods after the great flood. The ark was said to have landed in what we commonly known now as Turkey. In the later part of this period, Egypt rose into power, building great pyramids, as well as the Stonehenge began in 2000 BC.

Jesus’ bloodline is discussed in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.

The chapters to all these can be found on Genesis 1-11. This was from creation -2000 BC.

The Patriarchs – starts with Abraham down to Sodom and Gomorah (city of sin), the blinding of Isaac, Abraham’s covenant with God, to Jacob wrestling with an angel, and Jacob and his 12 sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulion, Issachar, Dan, Napthali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin) who eventually led 12 tribes for Jacob’s Israel.. The story continues on to Joseph, who was sold by his brothers as a slave. Joseph eventually saved his family, when there was a famine. His family moved to Egypt. This period was while Egypt was in power.

Genesis 12-50 covers this period. Also the book of Job. This was 2000 BC – 1700 BC

Egypt and Exodus – this was the period of Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nashon, and brothers Aaron and Moses down to Joshua. Important events during this period are:
400 years of slavery of Israelites in Egypt
The burning bush
10 plagues of Egypt
Exodus/1st Passover (1280 BC)
Red Sea
Covenant with Moses at Mount Sinai
The Golden Calf
The Levitical Priesthood
The Tabernacle
The Egyptians were still in power during this period

The readings for these can be found on Exodus/Deuteronomy 29. This was 1700 BC – 1280 BC

Desert Wanderings – This was the time Israel was saved again. Highlights are the covenant in Moab, the bronze serpent, Moses striking the rock, Aaron’s rod, and the 12 spies sent out. Egypt was still in power all throughout this period.

The book of Numbers covers this. This was 1280 BC – 1240 BC.

Conquest and Judges – the time of Salmon, Rahab, Boaz, Ruth, Obed, and Jesse, and Samuel and Saul. There are 12 judges of Israel, (Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jepthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Samson) each oppressed by different races. Othniel liberated the Israeli tribe of Judah from the Mesopotamians. Ethud from the tribe of Benjamin liberated his people from the Moabites. Deborah and Barak liberated Ephraim and Nephtali from the Canaanites. Gideon from Manasseh liberated his people from the Midianites. Jephtah from Gad liberated his people from the Ammonites. And the most famous one of all being Samson, who led the Israelites from the tribe of Dan against the Philistines.(now known as Palestinians). Egypt was the world power during this period.

The key events here are: Israel crosses Jordan, the fall of Jericho, the covenant renewal, the northern and southern campaigns, the tribal allotment, and Israel asking for a king.

The readings that cover these are the book of Joshua, Judges, and the early part of 1 Samuel, as well as Ruth. This was during 1240 BC- 1050 BC.

Royal Kingdom – this was a time of peace as David’s kingdom ruled Israel in peace. Israel was one solid kingdom and at peace. The key events here are David killing Goliath, (a Palestinian, or Philistine as written in the bible) the covenant of God with David, the Ark moved to Jerusalem, and the 1st temple built in 961 BC .
Egypt was the world power during this period.

The readings can be found on the rest of 1 Samuel, II Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11, and Psalms, 1 Chronicles, early part of II Chronicles, and Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. This was during 1050 BC – 930 BC.

Divided Kingdom – this was the time when Israel was divided into 2 kingdoms. The northern part of Israel remained Israel, while The southern kingdom of David became Judah, and was ruled by 2 tribes. Their capital was Jerusalem, while the northern kingdom of Israel was ruled by the 10 tribes who remained together, and had Samaria as their capital.

This was the time of Elijah the prophet, Jonah, Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Hosea (the guy who married a prostitute), and the time when Jezebel fought Israel. Jonah from Israel was sent by God to Assyria to deliver a message even when Jonah hated Assyria. When Jezebel started killing God’s prophets, Obadiah hid 50 prophets in a cave. (50 was the maximum capacity of the cave) Obadiah was originally a centurion sent out to kill Elijah, but he got converted.

This period had an abundance of prophets for God talked to His people through them during that time. Egypt finally lost their control in the early part of this period, after losing to Assyria.

Readings for this period are 1 Kings 12-22 to half of II Kings, as well as Obadiah, Joel, Amos, Jonah, Tobit, Micah, Isaiah, and Hosea, and a chunk of II Chronicles. The events during this period took place between 930 BC- 722 BC.

Exile – This was a period of exile for both kingdoms. Israel went first. It fell into the hands of Assyria in 722 BC. Its capital, Samaria, was in foreign possession. The kingdom of Judah followed with 3 deportations to Babylon. One in 605 BC, another in 597 BC, and the last in 587 BC. they spent 70 years in exile in Babylon under captivity. Nahum a minor prophet, played a part in history by prophesying about the end of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital city, Nineveh, in a vivid poetic style. This was also the time of Daniel who interpreted dreams, Baruch- the aide to the prophet Jeremiah, and Ezekiel- the prophet who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the Millenia Temple visions, and the vision of the image of 5 kingdoms. During this period, Babylon was in power as they took control over the Assyria.

The last parts of Hosea, Isaiah and Micah covers part of this period, together with Nahum, Habakkuk, Daniel, Ezekiel, Judith, Lamentations, Tobit, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Baruch, and the remainder of II Kings. This period took place between 722 BC and 540 BC.

Return – this was the period wherein there were three batches of freed hostages from exile in Babylon. The first took place in 538 BC. The second took place roughly between 525-457 BC. And the third and last batch took place in 444 BC. Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple in 537 BC.

Artaxerxes, king of Persia at that time, sent Ezra to Jerusalem to teach the laws of God to any who did not know them. Ezra led a large body of exiles back to Jerusalem, where he discovered that Jewish men had been marrying non-Jewish women. He tore his garments in despair and confessed the sins of Israel before God, then braved the opposition of some of his own countrymen to purify the community by enforcing the dissolution of the sinful marriages. Some years later Artaxexes sent Nehemiah, a Jewish noble in his personal service, to Jerusalem as governor with the task of rebuilding the city walls. Once this task was completed Nehemiah had Ezra read the Law of Moses (the Torah) to the assembled Jews, and the people and priests entered into a covenant to keep the law and separate themselves from all other people. This was also the time when Esther saved her people. This is also the time of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemic dynasty and Seleucid Empire, of Greek political rule. So world power transitioned from Persian to Greek during this time.
For this period, there were 2 countries that took control. First there was Persia (modern-day Iran) led by Cyrus. Then came Greece led by Alexander the Great.

Readings can be found in Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, Haggai, Esther, Malachi. The events happened between 538 BC – 167 BC.

Maccabean Revolt – this was the continuing time of Seleucids, followed by Hasmoneans. Antiochus the founder of the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, desecrated the temple in 167 BC. It was also the time of Hanukkah, a Jewish historical event wherein the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple, dated back in 164 BC. Judas Maccabeus led the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. (167-160 BCE) Simon Maccabeus took part in the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid Empire led by his brothers, Judas Maccabaeus and Jonathan Maccabaeus. He became the first prince of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty. He reigned from 142 to 135 BC. This period also covers mother Mary and St. Joseph in their earlier days before Christ was born. This was the period of the Roman Empire. This ends the old testament.

Readings can be found in II Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and I Maccabees. The Maccabean revolution took place between 167 BC and 0 BC.

Messianic Fulfillment – This period spans through the life of Jesus here on earth from birth till His ascension into Heaven. This was the time of Herod Antipas, the annunciation of angel Gabriel to mother Mary, the baptism of Jesus in 29 AD, the great Sermon on the Mount which comprises of Jesus’ teachings, which Matthew the apostle divided into five discourses, of which the Sermon on the Mount is the first. The others concern instructions for the disciples, parables of the Kingdom, instructions for the church, and a harsh denunciation of scribes and Pharisees. Then there is also the wedding at Cana where Jesus was asked by mother Mary to perform His first miracle which he obediently obliged, as well as the symbolical keys to St. Peter, the Last Supper, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Passion of Christ (33 AD), Jesus gives His mother to the Church, Resurrection (33 AD), and of course, His ascension into Heaven. This all happened while Roman Empire was in power.

The readings for this period are: Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke. this period is from 0 BC – 33 AD.

The Church – This is where His followers become one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. events that took place came in 3 waves.

The first wave was about the witness in Jerusalem, wherein the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, as parallel to the old testament days wherein God gave the 10 commandments 50 days after the liberation of the Jews. This is the birthday of the Church. St. Stephen who was tried by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy against Moses and God (Acts 6:11) and speaking against the Temple and the Law, experienced a theophany in which he saw both God the Father and God the Son while he was on trial. The apostles proclaimed him a martyr. This was also the period of choosing of the 7 diaconate.

The second wave was about witnessing in Judea and Samaria, starting with Saul’s conversion (33/34 AD), followed by Cornelius the Centurion’s vision as well as St. Peter’s vision which correlate to each other sending him the message that God also loves the Gentiles, and that he had no reason to stay away from them, but instead teach them His ways. Then came St. Peter’s arrest and deliverance.

The third wave is about witnessing to the ends of the earth. It involves St. Paul 3 missionary journeys, between 45-48 AD, the Council of Jerusalem (49 AD), and John’s Apocalypse, which God has given to him the vision of what is to come, for him to share with the world as a warning. Hence he wrote the Book of Revelations. This was in 68 AD.

The world as it was is what it is today. the Roman empire ended in 33 AD.

Readings for this period are Paul’s Letters, all other letters, Acts, and Revelations. This period is from 33 AD to the present. We are now part of this period.


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