From Josiah to Exile — 650-560 BC


The ascension of young Josiah to the throne in 640 BC marked a turning point in the hopes of those who worshipped Yahweh. As soon as he became old enough to hold his own, he began a series of religious reforms to undo the destructive religious policies of his father and grandfather. But those hopes were soon dashed. The international political scene was changing swiftly. Within less than two decades Assyrian was replaced by Babylon as the sole superpower in the region. In the flux of complex transition he was killed before he made forty.

His death marked the beginning of the end of the kingdom of Judah. Steered by his sons and a brother who seemed incapable of good sense, the nation descended into political anarchy and rebellion against the new suzerain, and in just over another two decades, Judah was no more, the cream of her people taken into exile.

Though this dramatic and difficult period, God appointed Jeremiah His spokeman. Timid in the presence of God, bold in the presence of men, Jeremiah exercised an impossible ministry trying to turn the nation from their downward spiraling path into destruction as the wrath of God drew nearer upon the nation. But he prevailed to the end even if the nation he so loved did not. In this period too we see the beginning of Ezekiel's and Daniel's ministry among the exiles; they were appointed to nurse and nurture hope in God, once His wrath is vented, for his people who have been thrown into absolute kelter by their exile and dispossession. These were indeed among the most dramatic, if not encouragious, days in the history of Judah.

Nota Bene

©ALBERITH, 2019. Prepared by Low Chai Hok





Psammetichus I

China: Eastern Chou Dynasty (771-256 BC)

640 BC




Civil war in Assyria (1)

Assyria loses Babylon
to Nabopolassar (2)

Josiah's reforms (A)

Law Book
found in
the temple (A)


Jeremiah is called (B)


Ezekiel is
born (A)


Ashur-uballit II

Nabopolassar advances
on Assyrian homeland (2)

Assyria loses
Ashur to Cyaxares (3)

falls (4)

Reading Jeremiah in Context


Assyria makes
last stand in Haran (5)



Josiah is killed
fighting the
Egyptians (5)

Judah becomes an
Egyptian vassal (6)

Egypt defeated at the
Battle of Carchemish (7)

Judah becomes an
Babylonian vassal (8)



Jer 26

Jer 35(?)

Jer 25
Jer 36
Jer 45

Reading Ezekiel in Context


Dan 1

Dan 2

Neco II




Zedekiah visits
Babylon (10)

Jer 24
Jer 27
Jer 28
Jer 29 (?)

Ezekiel deported
to Babylon (A)

Ezekiel begins
ministry among
the exiles (A)

Eze 1-3
Eze 8-11

Eze 20


Nebuchadnezzar begins
13-year siege of Tyre

rebels (11)

Siege of
begins (12)

Jerusalem falls
after an 18-month siege;
second deportation (12)


Final deportation (13)

Jer 32-34
Jer 37

Jer 38

Jer 39
Jer 40
Jer 41-43

Jer 44

Eze 24
Eze 29:1-16

Eze 30:20-26
Eze 31:1-18

Eze 33:21-33
Eze 26
Eze 32:1-16
Eze 32:17-32


Eze 40-48

Eze 29:17-21


References: D. I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 1-24 (NICOT; Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1997); John Bright, A History of Israel, 3rd ed. (Philadelphia: Westminister, 1981); I Provan, V Philip Long & Tremper Longman III, A Biblical History of Israel (Louisville, Ky: Westminster-John Knox, 2003); J. A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah (NICOT; Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1980); C. J. H. Wright, The Message of Ezekiel (BST; Leicester: IVP, 2001).