A Chronology: The Times of the Gentiles


Compiled by Lambert Dolphin


605 The Babylonian Period. The times of the gentiles begin with Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Judah. Egypt defeated at battle of Carchemish. Jerusalem is taken and the first wave of Jews carried into captivity, Daniel among them. Jerusalem will henceforth be trodden down of the gentiles as the times of the gentiles runs its course between the Babylonian captivity and the end of the great tribulation period. The Babylonian dominion of Israel is the head-of-gold period (Daniel 2:36-38; 2 Kings 24:1; 2 Chronicles 36:5-6; Daniel 1:1-2; Luke 21:24).

597 King Jehoiachin is carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar and the second wave of Jews is taken into Babylon, Ezekiel among them (2 Kings 24:10-16; 2 Chronicles 36:10; Ezekiel 1:2).

587 Zedekiah rebels against Nebuchadnezzar. He is blinded and taken to Babylon where he dies. Zedekiah is the last king in the line of David to reign in Israel until the Messiah reigns during the millennium (Ezekiel 34:23-24; Jeremiah 23:5; 2 Kings 24:18-25:21; 2 Chronicles 36:13-21; Jeremiah 39:1-8). Final siege and destruction of the First Temple on the 9th of Av (August) 586. Jeremiah taken to Egypt.

539 Cyrus, having established himself in control of the Medo-Persian empire in 549 B.C., captures Babylon, and the second world empire to dominate the Jews during the times of the gentiles comes upon the world scene. This is the breast-and-arms-of-silver period (Daniel 2:32, 39; 6:1-3).

538 The edict of Cyrus opens the way for the Jews in Babylon to return to the land (Ezra 1:1-4). Second Temple altar in place and foundation laid in 537. Feast of Tabernacles celebrated in 536. Work stops while people build their own houses until Haggai in the fall of 520 BC exhorts them to resume building the Temple. Zerubbabel is governor (but also heir in the line of David) and Joshua is the Aaronic High Priest.

515 The second temple is dedicated in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:15-18). The restoration of the Temple marks the end of the 70 years of captivity.

537-334 The Persian Period. The Jews are in the land but are under the control of the Persians (Josephus, Antiquities 111:7).

445 Artaxerxes decrees the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, thus beginning Daniel's seventy weeks (Daniel 9:24; Neh 2).

334-167 The Hellenistic Period. The Jews, in the land, are under the successive dominion of the Greeks, then the Ptolemies of Egypt, and then the Seleucids of Syria. This is the third great world empire to dominate the Jews during the times of the gentiles. It is the belly-and-thighs-of-brass era (Daniel 2:32. 39; Josephus, Antiquities 11.7-12.6; Daniel 11:2-20).

175-163 Plunderings of Jerusalem and temple desecration occurs during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whom Daniel saw as a type of the coming Antichrist (Daniel 8:1-2; 11:21-35; Josephus, Antiquities 12.5-9; 1 Maccabees 1:16:16; 2 Mac. 4:7-9:28).

167-63 The Maccabean revolt and subsequent Hasmonean dynasty in Judea. A short time of Jewish independence. This is the little-help period of Daniel 11:34. (Josephus, Antiquities 12.6-14.4). Priesthood corrupted and parties of Pharisees and Sadducees take charge of the national religious life. Rome in political control but Greek influence also persists.


63-70 The Roman Period. This is the fourth great world empire to dominate the Jews in the times of the gentiles. It is the legs-of-iron-and-feet-of clay era of Daniel 2:33 (Josephus, Antiquities 14.4-20.11). 29/30 The Messiah Prince is cut off on the cross, and the sixty-ninth week of Daniel's prophecy ends. The prophetic time clock stops for Israel and will not resume again until the tribulation (Daniel 9:26).

29/30 The first Pentecost after the death and resurrection of Jesus sees the coming of the Holy Spirit to create the church by baptizing believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The age of the church runs its course within the times of the gentiles between Pentecost and the rapture. This is the great parenthesis. The age of the church is never seen in the Old Testament. The course of the church age is pictured in Matthew 13 and Revelation 2-3. The close of the church age is seen in 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:34; and 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:3-4. A false (harlot) church dominates the tribulation period after the rapture of the true church (the Bride of Christ).

63-70 The time of Israel's travail (Matthew 24:4-8) includes the great revolt against Rome, the coming of the people of the prince, and the fall of the second temple in 70 AD (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:2; Josephus, Wars 2:17-7:11). The Second Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av, as was the First Temple. General Titus later became Caesar.

132-135 The Jewish revolt of Bar Kokhba, a false Messiah, against Rome. This provokes further crackdowns by Rome.

135-1948 The second exile of the Jews (the diaspora). Jews gather in small community groups among the nations and their religious life centers around the synagogue. They often suffer terrible persecutions. 395-636 Byzantine Christian rule in Palestine with Constantinople the capital of the Eastern Division of the Old Roman Empire. Small numbers of Jews still live in Israel..

636 Continued rise of Islam. Beginning of Arab Moslem rule in Palestine.

691 The Dome of the Rock is completed on the temple mount where the Jewish temple previously stood. Until this day it dominates the only spot on earth where sacrifices can be offered according to the Torah.

1099 The Crusaders take Jerusalem, with great loss of life among both Jews and Arabs. Christians rule in Palestine intermittently from 1099 to 1244.

1517 Ottoman Turks under Saladin conquer Palestine. The present walls that surround the old city of Jerusalem are built.

1897 The first Zionist Congress meets in Basel. Political, not religious, motivation for a Jewish homeland is the theme.

1897-1948 This is the great era of Zionism's aliyahs in which many Jews return to the land-but in unbelief, as predicted in Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37).

1917 The British capture Palestine from the Turks in World War I. Death of the last Czar in Russia and last Kaiser in Germany. End of one form of old Roman Empire, (Revelation 17:10).

1922-1948 The British rule Palestine under a mandate from the League of Nations. British rule becomes harsh and oppressive.

11/29/47 The United Nations General Assembly adopts partition plan for Palestine, providing for the establishment of a Jewish state.

5/14/48 The new state of Israel is proclaimed. Arabs immediately invade and attempt to drive the Jews into the sea. Israel wins first of a series of wars against the Arab powers. Open immigration now permits vast numbers of Jews to return to the Land. The second exile ends (Ezekiel 11:14-17).

June, 1967 The Six-Day War. Jerusalem is liberated from Jordanian control and for the first time in nearly two thousand years the Jews are in complete control of Jerusalem. The Jewish Quarter is in ruins but rebuilding begins in earnest. Control of the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and Judea/Samaria (West Bank) gained by Israel.

6-24 Oct. 1973 The Yom Kippur War. U.S. and Russia send massive air lifts to their allies.

1980+ Several different groups of devout Jews begin plans for the Third Temple, start a yeshiva for training Levitical priests and commence crafting of temple vessels and weaving of priestly garments.

1992 Aliyah of at least 600,000 Jews from Russia. 16,000 Falasha Jews airlifted to Israel from Ethiopia.

1994 Uncertain peace settlement with the PLO, and significant new peace treaty with Jordan. Pressures for Internationalization of Jerusalem perhaps under the Pope.


The rapture of The church. The dead in Christ are raised and the generation of living believers is translated. The judgment seat of Christ is set and rewards are given to believers for faithful service (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

The apostate Christian church flourishes during the first half of the tribulation period, in league with the political power of the revived Roman empire. (Revelation l7:1-7).

Daniel's seventieth week begins as Israel enters the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27). This time period is seven years in duration. Israel's "time of Jacob's trouble" (Matthew 24:9-14). The first three and one-half years of the seven-year period comprising Daniel's seventieth week is a time of apparent peace under Antichrist's treaty, which Isaiah called Israel's "Covenant of Death." (Revelation 6:1-9:12). The temple is rebuilt and the Levitical system of priesthood and offerings begins again (Daniel 9:27).

World chaos occurs as a result of the rapture of the church which makes possible the rise of a new world leader, the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2, Revelation 6:1-16). The ancient Roman empire revives as the political Antichrist arises out of the midst of the ten-nation confederation. This is the feet-part-of-iron-and-part-of clay period of the times of the gentiles (Daniel 2:33, 41-42; 7:24).

Failure of the peace treaty occurs as the False Prophet announces in the Third Temple that he himself is God, and calls for worship of the world military/political ruler, the "First Beast." (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-28; Revelation 11:1-18:24). Incarnate evil is now manifest as the First Beast of Revelation 13. His image is set up in the third temple in Jerusalem and he demands worship as god (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:1-10). Many come to Christ world-wide spiritual awakening during the last part of the tribulation period, the latter rain of the Spirit, (James 5:7-8; Joel 2:23; Zechariah 10:1; Hosea 6:3). During the tribulation period the 144,000 Jewish missionaries are saved and sealed (Revelation 7:1-8); they preach the gospel during the entire tribulation period (Matthew 24 14). Many Jews and gentiles, are saved and make up a great body of saints of God who are martyred by the Antichrist (Daniel 7:21, 25; Revelation 7:9-17). The Jews must endure their greatest trials ever in this "Time of Jacob's trouble." The second half of the tribulation is known as "the Great Tribulation" period.

Two godly witnesses (probably Moses and Elijah, but perhaps Enoch and Elijah) appear on the temple mount and prophesy during the Great tribulation period, until they are killed at the close of the period, after which they are resurrected and raptured. (Revelation 11:1-12). Israel, faithful to her orthodox faith, is severely persecuted by the Antichrist during the great tribulation period (Jeremiah 30:57; Daniel 12:1; Zechariah 13:8; Matthew 24:21-22). Many in Israel flee and are protected by the nations, especially Jordan. The godly remnant takes refuge there, probably at the city of Petra. (Matthew 24:15-20; Revelation 12:6,13-17).

Great judgments from God rain from the heavens and demonic hordes are unloosed on mankind during "the great and terrible Day of the Lord," a time when God judges the unbelieving world. Most of the human race is destroyed. The fall of commercial Babylon occurs toward the close of the great tribulation (Revelation 18:1-24). The apostate church is destroyed (Revelation 17:1-6).

The nations of the world invade Israel and hostilities erupt between them and the forces of the Antichrist. The battle of Armageddon and the doom of the Antichrist occur. (Daniel 11:44-45; Revelation 16:12-16; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:19). One third of the Jewish people recognize Jesus as Messiah and are rescued, Zechariah 12-14, but two thirds will be cut off and perish in the wine-press of God's wrath.

The second coming of Christ, in power and glory, with his church and armies of heaven, ends the times of the gentiles (Daniel 2:44; 7:9-13, 22-28; Revelation 19:11-16). Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives bringing also the faithful remnant of Jews from Edom, Isaiah 63, Revelation 19:11ff, Zechariah 14.

The warring armies of the world are slain by Jesus, the Commander of the the Armies of God (YHWH Sabaoth), Antichrist and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 19:20-20:10).

The gentile nations are judged on the basis of their treatment of God's covenant people Israel, during the times of the gentiles (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus rules the nations, "with a rod of iron" for 1000 years. Satan and his evil angels are bound and removed to the abyss, Revelation 20. The battered earth is rebuilt and repopulated with God's servants serving him as kings and priests among the nations. Satan bound. Great prosperity and blessing. Israel chief of the nations. The world capital is Jerusalem, and Jesus on the throne of His father David.

Adapted from The Coming Antichrist by Walter K. Price, Loizeaux Brothers, N.J., 1985. (9/9/90) Not all Bible scholars agree with the order of events or the exact details listed under "Future Events."


Jesus said, "Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!' and, `The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:6-28)