History of Israel Timeline

Timeline of Historical Highlights

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations…   “(Deuteronomy 32:7)

The birthplace of the Jewish people is the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). There, a significant part of the nation’s long history was enacted, of which the first thousand years are recorded in the Bible; there, its cultural, religious, and national identity was formed; and there, its physical presence has been maintained through the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile. During the many years of dispersion, the Jewish people never severed nor forgot its bond with the Land. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, l​ost 2,000 years earlier, was renewed.

Archeology in Israel  involves the systematic investigation of all the remains of the country’s past – from prehistory to the end of Ottoman rule. The profusion of material remains is evidence of the many cultures that have left their imprint on the Land.

Above all archeological research clearly reveals the historical link between the Jewish people, the Bible and the Land of Israel, uncovering the remains of the cultural heritage of the Jewish people in its homeland. These visible remains, buried in the soil, constitute the physical link between the past, the present and the future of the Jewish people in its country.
This unbroken chain of history can be observed at sites all over the country. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, has been the focus of extensive archeological activity and remains of 5,000 years of history have been revealed.

 

17th-6th C. BCE BIBLICAL TIMES 
(BCE – Before the Common Era)

c.17th century

Drawings by
Noam Nadav

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – patriarchs of the Jewish people and bearers of a belief in one God – settle in the Land of Israel.
Famine forces Israelites to migrate to Egypt.
c.13th century Exodus from Egypt: Moses leads Israelites from Egypt, followed by 40 years of wandering in the desert.
Torah, including the Ten Commandments, received at Mount Sinai.
13th-12th
centuries
Israelites settle in the Land of Israel
c.1020 Jewish monarchy established; Saul, first king.
c.1000 Jerusalem made capital of David’s kingdom.
c.960 First Temple, the national and spiritual center of the Jewish people, built in Jerusalem by King Solomon.
c. 930 Divided kingdom: Judah and Israel
722-720 Israel crushed by Assyrians; 10 tribes exiled (Ten Lost Tribes).
586 Judah conquered by Babylonia; Jerusalem and First Temple destroyed; most Jews exiled.

THE SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD
538-142 Persian and Hellenistic periods
538-515 Many Jews return from Babylonia; Temple rebuilt.
332 Land conquered by Alexander the Great; Hellenistic rule.
166-160 Maccabean (Hasmonean) revolt against restrictions on practice of Judaism and desecration of the Temple
142-129 Jewish autonomy under Hasmoneans.
129-63 Jewish independence under Hasmonean monarchy.
63 Jerusalem captured by Roman general, Pompey.
63 BCE-313
CE
Roman rule
63-4 BCE Herod, Roman vassal king, rules the Land of Israel;
Temple in Jerusalem refurbished

(CE – The Common Era)
c. 20-33 Ministry of Jesus of Nazareth
66 Jewish revolt against the Romans
70 Destruction of Jerusalem and Second Temple.
73 Last stand of Jews at Masada.
132-135 Bar Kokhba uprising against Rome.
c. 210 Codification of Jewish oral law (Mishna) completed.
FOREIGN DOMINATION
313-636 Byzantine rule
c. 390 Commentary on the Mishna (Jerusalem Talmud) completed.
614 Persian invasion
636-1099 Arab rule
691 On site of First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock built by Caliph Abd el-Malik.
1099-1291 Crusader domination
(Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem)
1291-1516 Mamluk rule
1517-1917 Ottoman rule
1564 Code of Jewish law (Shulhan Arukh) published.
1860 First neighborhood built outside walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
1882-1903 First Aliya (large-scale immigration), mainly from Russia.
1897 First Zionist Congress convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland; Zionist Organization founded.
1904-14 Second Aliya, mainly from Russia and Poland.
1909 First kibbutz, Degania, and first modern all-Jewish city, Tel Aviv, founded.
1917 400 years of Ottoman rule ended by British conquest;
British Foreign Minister Balfour pledges support for establishment of a “Jewish national home in Palestine”
1918-48 British rule
1919-23 Third Aliya, mainly from Russia
1920 Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) and Haganah (Jewish defense organization) founded.
Vaad Leumi (National Council) set up by Jewish community (Yishuv) to conduct its affairs.
1921 First moshav (cooperative village), Nahalal, founded.
1922 Britain granted Mandate for Palestine (Land of Israel) by League of Nations; Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the area, leaving one fourth for the Jewish national home.
Jewish Agency representing Jewish community vis-a-vis Mandate authorities set up.
1924 Technion, first institute of technology, founded in Haifa.
1924-32 Fourth Aliya, mainly from Poland.
1925 Hebrew University of Jerusalem opened on Mount Scopus.
1929 Hebron Jews massacred by Arab terrorists.
1931 Etzel, Jewish underground organization, founded.
1933-39 Fifth Aliya, mainly from Germany.
1936-39 Anti-Jewish riots instigated by Arab terrorists.
1939 Jewish immigration severely limited by British White Paper.
1939-45 World War II; Holocaust in Europe.
1941 Lehi underground movement formed; Palmach, strike force of Haganah, set up.
1944 Jewish Brigade formed as part of British forces.
1947 UN proposes the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in the Land.
STATE OF ISRAEL
1948 End of British Mandate (14 May)
State of Israel proclaimed (14 May).
Israel invaded by five Arab states (15 May).
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) established.
War of Independence (May 1948-July 1949).

Israeli Independence Day 1948