Appendix 4. Important Dates for the Book of Daniel

Audio (10:33)

  612 BC Fall of Nineveh. Effective end of Assyria.
  609 Reforming King Josiah of Judah killed by Egyptian forces under Pharaoh Neco (610-595 BC) at the Battle of Megiddo.
  609-598 Reign of Jehoiakim, placed on the throne of Judah by Pharaoh Neco. (Jehoiakim succeeded Jehoahaz who had replaced Josiah, but Jehoahaz reigned only 3 months; Kings 23:34; 2 Chronicles 36:4).
Babylon 605 Battle of Carchemish. Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon defeats the combined armies of Assyria and Egypt under Pharaoh Neco, signaling the end of Assyrian might and Egyptian intervention. Nebuchadnezzar II reigns (605-562). First wave of exiles (a small group of hostages) deported from Judah to Babylon, including Daniel and his friends (1:1). Jehoiakim began giving tribute to Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC. The Babylonians invade Syria in 604, Ashkelon in 603, and clash with Pharaoh Neco on the borders of Egypt in 601.
  597 Jehoiachin becomes king of Judah, reigns for three months (2 Kings 24:8-17), until Jerusalem is besieged and surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiachin is deported and his uncle Zedekiah is made king (2 Kings 24:18). City is subjugated but not yet destroyed. Second group of exiles, a massive group, is deported to Babylon.
  589 Zedekiah rebels against Babylon and forms an alliance with Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt (589-570 BC; 2 Chronicles 36:13; 2 Kings 24:20; Ezekiel 17:11-21).
  587 Nebuchadnezzar returns, lays siege to Jerusalem for two years until the food supply runs out. Nebuchadnezzar executes Zedekiah's sons, deports Zedekiah and imprisons him, destroys the city, and the Third and final group of exiles is deported to Babylon July/August 587 BC. The Kingdom of Judah ceases to exist (2 Kings 25).
  563-560 Amel-Marduk (Evil-Merodach, 2 Kings 25:27-30) is king of Babylon. Releases Jehoiachin in 562 after 37 years in prison. Jehoiachin is honored at the king's table.
  560-556 Neriglissar, son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar.
  556 Labashi-Marduk.
  556-539 Nabonidus is the last king. His son Belshazzar is co-regent (553-539) reigns in Babylon while Nabonidus is on journeys and at foreign battles.
  539 Fall of Babylon to Cyrus II.
Persia 559 to 530 Cyrus II ("the Great") reigns, founder of the Medo-Persian Empire (Achaemenid dynasty).
  538 Cyrus allows the first wave of Jews to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2-4).
  537-520 Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem (Ezra 5:1; Haggai 2:18).
  530-522 Cambyses (alluded to in Daniel 11:12).
  522-486 Darius I Hystaspes "the Great" (Ezra 5:5 ?).
  486-465/4 Xerxes I (King Ahasuerus; Ezra 4:6). His second queen was Esther. He died by the hand of an assassin. Built up Susa and Persepolis.
  464-423 Artaxerxes I Longimanus. Opponents of the Jews write Artaxerxes to try to stop construction of the walls (Ezra 4). Ezra receives a letter from the king authorizing him to take money and people to Jerusalem (Ezra 7). Nehemiah served as his cupbearer, and in Nov/Dec 445 BC goes to Jerusalem to repair its walls (Nehemiah 1:1).
  423-404 Darius II. Allows construction of Jerusalem to continue (Ezra 5-6 ?).
  404-359 Artaxerxes II. Note: some see Ezra during the reign of Artaxerxes II rather than I.
  338-336 Arses
  336-331 Darius III
Greece 334-331 Conquests of Alexander ("the Great") of Macedon (331-323) (Daniel 8:5, 21 ?). He Hellenized the lands he conquered, spreading Greek language and culture, which paved the way for the Gospel.
  323 Death of Alexander, empire divided into four areas, of which the Egyptian and the Syrian become predominant.







323-285 BC

Ptolemy I


312-281 BC

Seleucus I


Ptolemy II



Antiochus I


Ptolemy III



Antiochus II


Ptolemy IV



Seleucus II and III


Ptolemy V



Antiochus III ('the Great')


Syria took over Palestine from Egypt



Seleucus IV





Antiochus IV ("Epiphanes")


The rising power



Antiochus expelled from Egypt by Roman consul (11:30).





Dec 25: erection of Greek altar in the Jerusalem temple.





Judas Maccabeus. Rebelled against Antiochus, rebuilt and rededicated the temple (166-164).





Jonathan Maccabeus

Table of dates, adapted from Baldwin, Daniel, p. 73.

Synopsis of the Six Syrian Wars

Syrian War 1 (274-271 BC). Ptolemy II vs. Antiochus I. Egypt extends territory into Asia Minor.

Syrian War 2 (260-253 BC). Antiochus II vs. Ptolemy II. Syria reduces Egypt's hold on Asia Minor.

Syrian War 3 (246-241 BC). Ptolemy III vs. Seleucus II. Egypt wins major victories in Asia Minor and Syria. Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt at the height of its power.

Syrian War 4 (219-217 BC). Antiochus III vs. Ptolemy IV. Syria regains territory in Syria and Phoenicia, but in counterattack, Egypt retains control over part of Syria.

Daniel: Faithful Discipleship in a Foreign Land, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in book formats: paperback, Kindle, PDF

Syrian War 5 (202-195 BC). Antiochus III vs. Ptolemy V (a child king). Rome prevents invasion of Egypt, but Syria wins back territory in Syria and other coastal strongholds.

Syrian War 6 (170-168 BC). Antiochus IV Epiphanes invades Egypt, but withdraws at the demand of Roman emissary Gaius Popilius Laenas.

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