Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ussher: Destruction of First Temple to Construction of Second (588-515 BC)

     Notes on James Ussher, Annals of the World (1658).
     588 BC: The departing Babylonian army puts Gedeliah of Judah in charge of the other marginal people of Judah being left there (2 Kgs. 25:1, 22-23; Jer. 39:10, 42:16) (P851). Baalis, kind of the Ammonites, pays Ishmael, a surviving member of the extended royal family of Judah, to murder Gedeliah. In the seventh month, he does (2 Kgs. 25:25, Jer. 41:1-3) (856).
     587 BC: Jeremiah and Baruch are taken to Egypt by fearful people of Judah whom Jeremiah had told to remain and live (Jer. 42:1-43:13) (P858).
     Various biblical witnesses speak against Edom for gloating over the destruction of Jerusalem: Obadiah, Jeremiah (49:7), Ezekiel (25:12), and two psalmists (79, 137) (P863).
     584 BC: Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Tyre (P866).
     574 BC: Ezekiel has a vision of Jerusalem and Temple restored (Ezk. 40-48) (P873).
     572 BC: Tyre surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar. His soldiers loot it (Ezk. 29:18-19) (P876).
     570 BC: Nebuchadnezzar returns from his western conquests to Babylon and there creates the Hanging Gardens, one of seven wonders of the ancient world, for his dearly beloved wife (P882-3).
     569 BC: Nebuchadnezzar is driven mad by power and spends the next 7 years in the wilderness (Dan. 4:32-33) (P885).
     563 BC: Yahweh restores Nebuchadnezzar to good health and leadership of his empire and Nebuchadnezzar rightly praises Yahweh for his mercy (Dan. 4:34-37) (P889).
     562 BC: Nebuchadnezzar dies (P890).
     561 BC: Solon, sage of Athens, visits Croesus of Sardis, king of Lydia. Croesus admired Aesop for his fables and sent for the Phrygian (P895). After visiting Croesus, Aesop traveled to Delphi where he was unjustly sentenced to death and executed. His judicial murder was later avenged as the Oracle of Delphi had predicted (P896).
     559 BC: Solon dies suddenly in Cyprus aged 80 (P903).
     555 BC: Daniel has a vision of four beasts signifying four empires—all giving way at last to the rule of the Son of Man (Dan. 7) (P913).
     547 BC: Thales of Miletus dies aged 64. Before his death, he encourages his student Pythagoras to further his learning in Egypt. Egyptian priests teach him Egyptian religion and history as well as astronomy and geometry (P9220.
     546 BC: Cyrus conquers the Ionian municipal states along the Aegean coast of Anatolia (P926).
     538 BC: Cyrus conquers Babylon and finishes absorbing its empire into his own (P936).
     Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was feasting when the army of Cyrus entered the city. Yahweh wrote a message on the wall for the king. Daniel interpreted it (Dan. 5) (P937). That night Belshazzar was killed by the army of Cyrus and the Babylonian empire came to the end foreseen by the prophets of Yahweh (Isa. 13:1-14:32, 21:1-17, 34:1-17, 46:1-13; Hab. 2:1-20; Jer. 25:1-38, 50:1-51:64) (P938).
     Daniel is cast into a lion’s den due to the intrigues of jealous enemies but is saved by Yahweh (Dan. 6) (P944). Knowing that the 70 years of Israel’s Babylonian Captivity was about to end (Jer. 29:10), Daniel prays to Yahweh on their behalf. Gabriel speaks to him in response and prophesies 70 weeks of years or 490 years between the release of Jewish captives in Babylon until the coming of the Messiah (Dan. 9:12-27) (P946).
     537 BC: Following his father’s death, this year marks the first of the sole rule of Cyrus over the whole Persian empire. Cyrus decrees that Jews living anywhere in his empire may return to Jerusalem. He orders those who do return to rebuild the Temple of Yahweh. He returns to them the vessels taken from the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar (P949).
     536 BC: In response to the decree of Cyrus, 42,360 Jews return to Jerusalem (P951).
     535 BC: Daniel has his last vision (Dan. 10:1-12:13) shortly before he dies (P956).
     529 BC: Cyrus dies (P959).
     525 BC: The Persian army deports Pythagoras with thousands of other Egyptians to Babylon. He continues his habit of learning from the wisest and speaks with sages of the Jewish community as well (P981).
     523 BC: Artaxerxes becomes king of Persia (P1000). Samaritan leaders write to persuade him to stop the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem by Jews who had returned from exile in Babylon (Ezra 4:7-16)(P1001). Artaxerxes ordered the work stopped until he looked into the matter. It did (Ezra 4:17-24)(P1002).
     521 BC: Darius becomes emperor of Persia (P1006). He then marries Atossa who was the daughter of Cyrus. In the book of Esther, he is referred to as Ahasuerus and his wife as Vashti (P1009).
     520 BC: Haggai the prophet scolds the Jews in Jerusalem for failing to rebuild the Temple (Hag. 1:1-15)(P1015).
     In this same year, Yahweh calls Zechariah to preach repentance to his people (Zech. 1:1-6)(P1017).
     519 BC: Darius executes Artaxerxes (P1024).
     518 BC: For publicly disrespecting her husband, Vashti is eventually displaced by Esther (Est. 1)(P1027-1029).
     515 BC: The Temple in Jerusalem is finished (P1032).

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