TIMELINE FROM MOSHE
Tora divides chronology into the following ages:
• From Creation
• From Adam
• From Noakh (Noah)
• From Avraham (Abraham)
• From Moshe (Moses)
• From David
This post examines the Age from Moshe.
TIMELINE FROM MOSHE
Middle Bronze Period
(−1590) Moshe Period
Late Bronze Period
(−1500) Early Shoftim Period
(−1348) Middle Shoftim Period
Early Iron Period
(−1193) Late Shoftim Period
Late Iron Period
(−1009) Early Bet David Period
YEARS −1550 AND −930
brakha.blogspot.com presents speculative research, toward a hypothesis that archeology can confirm or disconfirm.
It lists dates for events according to the textual record of the Tanákh תַּנַּ״ךְ (Jewish Bible) in a way that coheres with the current scientific understanding of the archeological record.
All of the Tanakhí תַּנָּכִי dates organize around two absolute dates: roughly −1550 and precisely −930.
Year −1550 is when the town of Yrikhó יְרִיחוֹ (Jericho) falls, marking the return of the Tribes of Yisrael to the Land of Yisrael. Year −930 is when the Kingdom of Shomron secedes from the the Kingdom of Yrushalayim, dividing the Tribes of Yisrael into north and south.
Toward the end of these two dates, the tribes of Yisraél יִשְׂרָאֵל (Israel) gradually transition from a nomadic culture to a sedentary culture. The archeology corroborates this shift. From about about −1200 onward, pastoral nomads gradually build permanent villages. Typically these comprise the distinctive four-room houses that characterize the material culture of the Tribes of Yisrael across the entire Iron Age, from the −1100s to the −500s.
Finally, in light of the plausibility of these dates, the exodus of the Tribes of Yisrael from Mitsráyim מִצְרַיִם (Egypt) occurs about 40 years before the destruction of Yrikho. The Tanakh reports these many years for nomadic migrations in the wilderness between these two events.
Hence, the exodus occurs in Mitsrayim in year roughly −1590.
(−1550) DESTRUCTION LAYER OF THE TOWN OF YRIKHO
Around this time in the Bronze Age, (I personally am confident), Yhoshua Bin Nun (Joshua Son of Nun) destroys the town of Yricho (Jericho). (Yhoshua 6'24). At least, this is the destruction layer that the Tanakh claims credit for.
Archeologically, this destruction layer (stratum city 4) dates to about −1550, from its pottery styles. (Kenyon 1957 1981). From the radiocarbon of its grain, it dates it to roughly −1541, ranging from −1560 to −1523. (Bruins, Plicht 1995) An alternative radiocarbon date is also possible that is earlier, roughly −1582. The later date seems preferable because it corroborates the pottery date. Hence roughly −1550.
Note, there is conflictive evidence that might date the destruction to later, during the −1400s. Some local pottery styles seem date to this time, as do some finds by Garstang, including a rare scarab of Pharaoh Hatshepsut not earlier than −1478. (Wood 1990 2009).
Some archeologists, including Bryant Wood concerning Yrikho and Kenneth Kitchen concerning Avaris in Egypt, emphasize irregularities in the calibration methods for the radiocarbon dates, thus continue to prioritize ceramic evidence.
Evidence suggesting a later date still requires a careful answer. For now, possibly there is a disturbance of the stratum, or the local pottery style originates in this locale, earlier than expected. Meanwhile surface evidence might suggest habitation at Yrikho during or soon after the −1400s, without necessarily associating with the destruction of Yrikho at a date of −1550.
Tentatively, brakha.blogspot.com accepts the majority opinion of roughly −1550 for the destruction of Yrikho, corresponding to the radiocarbon date.
This destruction layer at Yrikho evidences peculiarities that corroborate details in the story in the Tanakh. (Wood 1990).
• Remarkably, the western townwalls of Yrikho fall down, apparently due to an earthquake, thus corroborating the famous report of the townwalls “came tumbling down”.
• The attackers enter the breach.
• There are homes built up against the townwalls from the inside. The Tanakh reports a prostitute who assists Yisrael lives in such a home.
• It is spring, just after the harvest with large amounts of grain. The Tanakh times the destruction to just after the spring festival of Pesakh.
• Unusually, the attackers destroyed the grain totally, rather than using it, suggesting a sacred destruction.
It seems clear, this is the destruction layer that the Tanakh describes. It associates with the Days of Yhoshua Bin Nun.
Soon afterward, Yhoshua destroys the town of Khatsor (Hazor). (Yhoshua 11'11).
Likewise, archeology dates a destruction layer at Khatsor (stratum 16 and lower city 3) to roughly −1540, contemporary with the destruction of Yrikho. (Yadin 1969, Dever 1992).
The archeological evidence tentatively supports attributing the destructions in Yrikho about −1550 and soon after in Khatsor about −1540, to Yisrael during the Days of Yhoshua.
(−930) DIVISION: YRUSHALAYIM (JERUSALEM) AND SHOMRON (SAMARIA)
The chronology of the Bet David Period (Davidic Dynasty Period) coheres precisely to the synchronicities with the choronology of Ashur (Assyria). (Thiele 1965, McFall 1991, 2008, Finegan 1998). Accordingly, during the Iron Age, in year −930, the Kingdom of Yisrael falls to civil war. The Kingdom of Shomron (Samaria) in the north secedes from the Kingdom of Yrushalayim (Jerusalem) to the south.
By extension, before the division, Shlomo Ha'Melekh (Solomon the King) begins his reign in −969 about forty years before this. And David Ha'Melekh begins his reign in about −1009 about forty years before him. The kingdom of David and Shlomo succeeds in uniting all twelve tribes of Yisrael. Notably, in about −966 in the fourth year of Shlomo, Yisrael begins construction of Bet Ha'Mikdash (the House of the Holy Place) (the Temple) in Yrushalayim.
DAYS OF THE SHOFTIM
Between these two absolute dates, −1550 and −930, spans the chronology according to the Book of Shoftim (Judges) and the Books of Shmuel (Samuel 1 and 2). The succession of the reigns of the Shoftim (Judges) lacks anchors, allowing a loose chronology. But simply stretching the reigns between these two dates - without intellectual gymnastics - produces dates that cover this timespan naturally.
The “precision” is about the same as that of the Dynasty 18 in Mitsrayim (Egypt), who are contemporaries of this timespan. Certain squences of Shoftim and Pharaohs can “slide” later or earlier upto about decade, without too much disruption, if necessary to accommodate absolute dates still awaiting discovery.
CHRONOLOGY OF BOTH TANAKH AND ARCHEOLOGY
The dates here in brakha.blogspot.com are plausible, both for cohering to the evidence of the Tanakh and for explaining the archeological evidence.
SHELVING THE 480 YEARS
Traditional scholars of the Tanakh might notice: I ignore the “480 years” between the Ytsiya and the fourth year of Shlomo. (Melakhim-1 6'1).
The scholars of the Tanakh - whether classical, medieval, or modern - seem to fixate on this verse because of its simplicity. And to avoid the complexity and obscurity of other years elsewhere. Nevertheless, the emerging archeology suggests the traditional understanding of this 480 years is improbable. Meanwhile the lists of years elsewhere in the Tanakh during this same timespan, require more time. This longer time agrees with the archeological record.
According to the timeline here in brakha.blogspot.com:
Rather than 480 years, there are roughly 594 years between the Ytsiya and the fourth year of Shlomo. About a 114 years longer.
Ancient Yisrael can and do keep track of long periods of time. The sacred farming calendar marks the cycles of the Shmita (year of fallow) every seventh year. Moreover the calendar marks the Yuval (jubilee) every seventh Shmita, every forty-ninth year. Thus every two of these 49-year cycles can count off almost a century.
I suspect the report of 480 years “from the going out from Mitsrayim” are a meaningful number. I dont know what it means. Possibly Yisrael is somehow not “completely” out of Mitsrayim until this time. Are there Yisreli caravans still returning to Mitsrayim for trade during the reign of Thutmose 3? Or possibly Yisrael is unable to start the farming cycle of the Shmita until this time, and in this sense is not “completely” in the Land, thus not completely out of Mitsrayim? I allow the number 480 to remain “difficult”. Both the archeological evidence and the weight of the numbers elsewhere in the Tanakh seem to require more time, over a century more, than the simplistic 480 seems to suggest.
YISRAEL VERSUS HYKSOS
This chronology here distinguishes between two separate groups: the tribes of Yisrael versus the royal Hyksos.
In about −1549, Pharaoh Ahmose 1 from Upper Egypt conquers Lower Egypt, the Nile delta. He founds his Dynasty 18 and thus begins the New Kingdom Period.
Eventually in about −1540, Ahmose expels the Hyksos, the former Pharaoh of Lower Egypt and his courtiers. Until this time, Ahmose is sieging their capital, trapping the Hyksos inside their townwalls. The Hyksos flee to the town of Sharuhen, while Ahmose pursues them, and defeats them there.
Happily, archeology has an account of the expulsion of the Hyksos by an eyewitness. One of the warriors who participates in the campaign of Pharaoh Ahmose against the Hyksos, is also called Ahmose. Ahmose Son of Ebana (his mother) (his father is Baba) writes his autobiography on the wall of his tomb, for posterity. Despite both groups being Amu (from the Land of Yisrael) who flee Mitsrayim, surely the description of the Hyksos in this mural has no relation to the Tribes of Yisrael in the Tora. These are separate events.
Tentatively, according to the chronology here, the nomadic tribes of Yisrael already flee from Mitsrayim, in about year −1590, decades before Ahmose ever takes control of Lower Egypt.
Unfortunately, this date happens to fall into the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt, somewhat of a “dark age”. At this time, the sequence of Pharaohs remains uncertain both for Dynasty 17 of Upper Egypt and for Dynasty 15 of Lower Egypt.
Thus it is difficult to identify which Pharaoh most likely relates to the sacred tradition of Ha'Ytsiya Mi'Mitsrayim (the going out from Egypt), that the Tora records.
On the other hand, the scarcity of evidence from this period in Egypt, might also explain the difficulty with finding textual inscriptions that mention Moshe or other members of Yisrael by name.
Even so, archeological evidence demonstrates a vibrant presence of foreigners who come from the Land of Yisrael, who the Egyptians call Amu and Shasu. Not least among them are the Hyksos themselves. Thus the presence of Yisrael fits the milieu of this time.
LIVE IN TENTS
Important to understanding the archeological record, the ancient tribes of Yisrael (Israel) are nomads.
In the beginning of the Late Bronze Period, the aboriginal Tribes of Yisrael return to their Land of Yisrael, the Land of their sacred ancestors. Even then, they continue to live as nomads. They live in tents.
They still appear to read and write, and transmit a cultural sophistication that is intimate with urban environments. Nevertheless, their ancient way of life since the Days of Avrahám אַבְרָהָם (Abraham) persist. They transmit a culture of pastoral seminomads, who herd sheep and goats, and periodically rest to farm. The Tribes of Yisrael continue to wander the Land of Yisrael as tent-dwellers for centuries.
In the Early Iron Period, from about year −1175, Yiftakh Ha'Shofet (Jephtah the Judge) appears to be the first person among the Kinship of Yisrael, that the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) specifies as living in a “house”. His daughter comes out of the “door” of his house. (Shoftim 11'31, 34). His rivals threaten to burn his house down with him in it. (12'1).
Upto this time, references to a “house” virtually always mean, “house of a father” - Bet Av - meaning not a physical structure, but rather the nuclear family. The word “house” means all the children, spouses, guests, and servants who journey with and live under the authority of the “father”. In Hebrew, the word “house” Bayit בַּיִת (also in the form Bet) relates etymologically with the words “son” Ben בֵּן and “daughter” Bat בַּת , all in the sense of “building up” the family.
Only later, does this word “house” come to mean primarily a physical building, as the Tribes of Yisrael gradually abandon their nomadic traditions, and settle in permanent structures, building villages, then towns with town walls.
In the Early Iron Period, from roughly −1175, archeology identifies a massive shift in the material culture. Pastoral nomads who roam the Land for centuries, begin to settle down and to build the “four-room houses” that come to exemplify the presence of the Tribes of Yisrael across the entire Iron Age.
“The emergence of Israel begins at the end of the thirteenth century BCE [−1325] and culminates in about 1000 BCE [−1000]. ... Evidence from both excavations and archaeological surveys suggests a process whereby pastoral tribes already inhabiting Canaan [the Land of Yisrael] grew in number and began to settle down. In time, they built impressive cities in the Shephelah, inland valleys, and highlands, the latter being the region with which Israelites are traditionally associated.” (Golden 2004).
Despite increasingly adopting town life, most of Yisrael continue to live as nomads in tents. Social processes on the other side of the River of Ha'Yarden (Jordan), similarly produce “kings of the nomads”, among Moav, Bne Amon, and Edom. (Labianca, Younker 1995). These nomadic but increasingly sedentary tribal kingoms centralize their authority to group their military numbers together. Thus they better defend their way of life against the military power of the bureaucratic township states, as well as against rival nomads. A curious feature of the Bronze Age is the coexistence of pastoral nomads and urban elites, in addition to farmers. This complex population persists to some degree thru much of the Iron Age too. The emergence of Shaul, David, and even Shlomo probably represent this “King of the nomads” phenomenon among Yisrael
Even by the time of David Ha'Melekh (David the King) near the start of the Middle Iron Period, most of Yisrael still appears to be living in tents.
MIDDLE BRONZE PERIOD
(−1590) Days of Moshe Ha'Navi (Moses the Prophet)(For 40 years in the wildernesses)
(−1590) Ytsiya Mi'Mitsrayim (Going out from Egypt)
LATE BRONZE PERIOD
(−1550) Days of Yhoshua Bin Nun (Joshua Son of Nun)(For probably about 25 years) (Yhoshua 24'29)
(−1550) Khurban Yrikho (Destruction of the town of Jericho)
(−1540) Khurban Khatsor (Destruction of the town of Hazor)
Estimate the timelength of Yhoshua
According to the Tanakh, Yhoshua Bin Nun is probably about 45 years old at the time of the Ytsiya, then about 85 years old at the destruction of Yrikho, and is said to die at the great age of 110 years old. (Yhoshua 24'29, Shoftim 2'8). Thus his reign as a prophet is from the time of Yrikho for life, about 25 years, while on the Land of Yisrael.
Arriving at this timespan, his contemporary, Kalev Ben Yfune, is 40 years old at the time of the Ytsiya. (Yhoshua 14'6-7). Kalev outlives Yhoshua. However Kalev is unlikely to live as long as 110, like Yhoshua does. Tho he seems to come close. Therefore, Yhoshua is probably older than Kalev.
On the other hand, Yhoshua cant be too much older. When Kalev is 40, Moshe sends both he and Yhoshua out as military scouts. So both are the age of a warriors. Yhoshua seems about 45, possibly 50, while on this mission.
Therefore later, the Days of Yhoshua on the Land of Yisrael are probably about 25 years, possibly 20.
(−1525) Days of the Zkenim (Elders)(Probably for about 25 years) (Yhoshua 24'31, Shoftim 2'7)
Estimate the timelength of the Zkenim
After the Days of Yhoshua Bin Nun, his younger contemporaries live out a full generation after his death. If they are as young as 20 years old, taking military orders from Yhoshua at the beginning of his reign, then they are about 45 at the time of his death. Likely some of them live on as Zkenim, tribal “elders”, to be about 70 years old. Hence about 25 years after the death of Yhoshua.
Thus the Days of the Zkenim are about 25 years.
Later, the first Shofet (Judge) is Atniel Ben Knaz. Probably it is his father Knaz who is the youngest “brother of Kalev”. (Shoftim 3'10). Thus the Days of Yhoshua are one generation, the Days of the Zkenim are the next generation, including Knaz the youngest brother of Kalev. Finally, Atniel the son of Knaz is in the next generation after that, who begins the Early Shoftim Period.
(−1500) Early Shoftim Period(For 146 years total)
(−1500) Oppression by Aram
(For 8 years) (Shoftim 3'8)
(−1492) Days of Atniel Ben Knaz
(For 40 years) (Shoftim 3'11)
(−1452) Oppression by Moav
(For 18 years) (Shoftim 3'14)
(−1434) Days of Ehud Ben Gera
(For 80 years) (Shoftim 3'30)
(−1354) Days of Shamgar Ben Anat (Shamgar Son of Anat)(For possibly about 6 years, an interruption in the timeline)
Uncertain Provenance of Shamgar
The Book of Shoftim (Judges) mentions Shamgar between two extensive sequences of oppressions and liberations. Apparently Shamgar flourishes “after” the eighty years of peace of Ehud, but ambiguously before the next sequence of Shoftim, starting with the oppression by Khatsor (Hazor). If so, there are several ways to reconstruct a chronology from these two separate timelines. Possibly, he signifies an unspecified amount of time between the two sequences. Seemingly, he stands for both an era of oppression by the Plishtim (Philistines), and then an era of freedom following his heroic victory.
In the context of Shamgar, these “Plishtim” probably refer anachronistically to the aborigines that already live in the southern Land of Yisrael. They preexist the immigration of the Plishtim. But these Plishtim merge with these aboriginal communities, and come to define the self-identity of these aborigines. By extension, the preexisting aborigines, being the inhabitants of the territory of the Plishtim and part of the identity of the Plishtim, also come to be called “Plishtim”. Hence “Proto Plishtim” sotospeak.
As early as the Middle Bronze Age, Avraham visits aborigines that the scribes call “Plishtim”. (B'Reshit 20'1, 21'34, 26'1). These early Plishtim specifically come from the town of Grar.
(−1348) Middle Shoftim Period(For 155 years total)
(−1348) Oppression by Khatsor (Hazor)
(20 years) (Shoftim 4'3)
(−1328) Days of Dvora Ha'Navia Ha'Shofta (Deborah the Prophet the Judge)
(For 40 years) (Shoftim 5'31)
(−1288) Oppression by Midyan (Midian)
(For 7 years) (Shoftim 6'1)
(−1281) Days of Gidon Yrubaal (Gideon, also known as Jerubaal)
(For 40 years) (Shoftim 5'31)
(−1241) Days of Avimelekh Ben Yrubaal
(For 3 years) (Shoftim 9'22)
(−1238) Days of Tola Ben Pua
(For 23 years) (Shoftim 10'2)
(−1215) Days of Yair Ha'Giladi
(For 22 years) (Shoftim 10'3)
Proto Iron Age
Iron artifacts exist during the Bronze Age, long before the socalled Iron Age.
Iron artifacts come into existence experimentally and sporatically, including from the high-quality iron of meteorites. Since the Early Bronze Age, especially northwestern Turkey is known for ironwork. (Weeks, Leichester 1968, Sarna 1989). The Tora mentions “Tuval Kayin the Forger, (the father of) each artificer חֹרֵשׁ of bronze נְחֹשֶׁת and iron בַּרְזֶל .” (B'Reshit 4'23). This epynomous ancestor corresponds roughly to the Bronze Age culture relating to the town of Tuval in Turkey. In Iraq, variants of this townname likewise come to mean “metalworker” in Akkadian (tabura, tabira) and in Sumerian (tibira, dibira). (Sarna 1989). Later, the Empire of Hatti in northern Turkey achieves a reliable technology for smelting iron for industrial use, from roughly −1400 onward. (Weeks, Leichester 1968).
Via caravans across the traderoutes, nomadic Yisrael occasionally acquire iron tools. The famous mural in the tomb at Beni Hasan in Mitsrayim, portrays nomadic Amu with their donkey transporting a bellow, suggesting the possibility of ironwork in the −1800s. Iron tools are known, albeit rare and precious. The Tora mentions the presence of iron among bronze and tin, and these metals alongside gold and silver. (B'Midbar 32'22).
Possibly Yisrael acquires iron smelting technology, in the Early Iron Period. (Kurinsky 1994).
Iron in Khatsor
Before the Iron Age, tentatively abound the same era as Dvora Ha'Shofta (Deborah the Judge), an iron dagger ornaments the burial of Pharaoh Tut'ankh'amun (King Tut) in about −1323 in Mitsrayim. These iron tools display his royal wealth.
Iron in the Bronze Age
(Stein Atle Vere 2012. Late Bronze Period (−1323), Mitsrayim: Iron Dagger of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. brakha.blogspot.com.
Derivation: Cairo Museum. Digital: ancient-egypt.co.uk. http://www.ancient-egypt.co.uk/cairo%20museum/cm,%20tutankhamun,%20artifacts/pages/tutankhamun's%20bronze%20and%20iron%20knives%201.htm, 2012.)
In the preceeding era, Yavin (a royal name like “Pharaoh”) the king of Khatsor has “nine hundred rider of iron” רֶכֶב בַּרְזֶל . (Shoftim 4'3). The Hebrew word רֶכֶב derives from the verb “he rode” and can mean “a ride” in the sense of a chariot or later a steed, or can mean “a rider” in the sense of a charioteer or later a horseback rider. Originally horses are too small to support humans effectively, whence several pull a chariot, until human breeders increase their size.
Here the “iron” probably describes the “rider” - that is the charioteer - not the chariot. Large amounts of iron and even the benefit of using iron for chariots, are unlikely at this time.
Possibly the phrase, “rider of iron”, is a metaphor, meaning a “deadly” or “impervious” charioteer. If so, there would be no literal iron artifacts for archeologists to find at Khatsor during this era. Iron enjoys glamor: prestigious and striking awe. Iron blades cut thru bronze blades, thus inspire terror. Whence an origin for a hypothetical proverb such as “rider of iron”.
Possibly the “iron” refers to combat gear. Iron spearheads are possible. However around this time, the chariots seem mainly for archers, who stand on the mobile platform to fire arrows into enemy infantry, while racing out of reach. Precious iron for arrowheads is improbable. Possibly the iron refers to the “scales” of scale armor. The novelty of iron armor is extravagantly expensive, but has practical benefit for stronger and lighter armor, and deserves fame.
Apiru in the Amarna Letters
Tentatively, much of the era of the oppression by Khatsor from about −1348 to −1328 overlaps with the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten from about −1351 to −1333. The Amarna Letters are the international correspondences in the Akkadian language between this Pharaoh and the various towns of his empire, in cunieform cut into clay tablets.
Among them, “Yavin” (Yebaenu) the “King of Khatsor” (Shar Khazura) appears to initially request assistance from Pharaoh, but later to gain independence from the control of Pharaoh. This suggests both general turbulance and a surge in the power of Khatsor.
Other Amarna Letters mention the presence of the “Apiru” (Egyptian plural ˁpr.w), possibly relating etymologically to the word Ivri עברי (“Hebrew”). These are generally pastoral seminomads, often working as military mercenaries. Records from across Syria, Iraq, and Turkey attest to their presence from roughly −1800 to −1100. The Tribes of Yisrael seem to be a subset of the broader category. Altho not mentioning the tribal affiliations by name, the Apiru in the Amarna Letters probably include members from the Tribes of Yisrael.
Who Destroys Khatsor?
The town of Khatsor (Hazor) stands in the north of the Land of Yisrael, north of the Kineret (Sea of Galilee).
Notably, the Book of Shoftim (Judges) lacks any claim, the tribes of Yisrael destroy the town of Khatsor at this time. Archeology identifies two destruction layers at Khatsor, both before and after the Days of Dvora (Deborah): one dates to roughly −1400 and one in roughly −1230. (Yadin 1972 suggests mid-third −1200s, Kitchen 2003 suggests about −1220). These evidence the turbulance of the period for Khatsor during this period.
Tentatively, Yisrael has no responsibility for either of these destructions in Khatsor.
Regarding the earlier destruction layer of roughly −1400, probably Pharaoh Amenhotep 2 is responsible. He reigns from about −1424 to −1399. His Amada Stele claims to conquer Khatsor in his year 3, thus about −1422. Unlike other Pharaohs, who exaggerate such claims, possibly for magical effect, Amenhotep 2 might have actually destroyed the town. Nevertheless, the two Leningrad Papyri from his year 18 over a decade later, suggest Khatsor begins to recover becoming part of a trading community, probably by its rural population in the surrounding farming areas.
It is unclear who is responsible for the later destruction of roughly −1230 sometime after the Days of Dvora.
Note, Yisrael is probably responsible for the much earlier destruction layer that dates to the Days of Yhoshua, in about −1540.
EARLY IRON PERIOD
(−1193) Late Shoftim Period(For 149 years total)
(−1193) Oppression by Plishtim and Bne Amon (Philistines and Amonites)
(For probably 18 years) (Shoftim 10'7-8)
(−1175) Days of Yiftakh Ha'Giladi (Jephtah the Gileadite)
(For 6 years) (Shoftim 10'9)
(−1169) Days of Ivtsan Mi'Bet Lakhem
(For 7 years) (Shoftim 12'9)
(−1162) Days of Elon Ha'Kvuloni
(For 10 years) (Shoftim 12'11)
(−1152) Days of Avdon Ben Hilel Ha'Piratoni
(For 8 years) (Shoftim 12'14)
(−1144) Oppression by Plishtim (Philistines)
(For 40 years) (Shoftim 13'1)
(−1104) Days of Shimshon (Samson)
(For 20 Years) (Shoftim 15'20, 16'31)
(−1084) Days of Eli Ha'Kohen (the Priest)
(For 40 Years) (Shmuel-1 4'18)
The Plishtím פְּלִשְׁתִּים (Philistines) seem among the seafaring nations that archeologists today call the “sea peoples”. The Mitsrí (Egyptian) name for them, “Pr-s-t”, appears identical with the Ivrí (Hebrew) name, “Pleshet” פְּלֶשֶׁת (Philistia), namely the territory of the Plishtim.
These Plishtim attack Mitsrayim about −1174 during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses 3. Pharaoh claims to defeat them and apparently to settle them in the coast of the Amu, apparently along the southern coastland of the Land of Yisrael.
Archeology shows, after a lull the Plishtim resurge in power. and appear to force Mitsrím (Egyptians) to retreat and even abandon their empire about −1150. Pharaoh Seti 2 definitively withdraws from the Land of Yisrael.
Tentatively, the Plishtim attack the Land of Yisrael from the west from the Sea - a decade or so before they attack Mitsrayim in about −1174. Meanwhile the Bne Amon attack Yisrael from the east from across the Yarden (Jordan River).
When Mitsrayim defeats the Plishim, there appears to be an era of peace among the tribes of Yisrael too, beginning with the Days of Yiftakh (Jephthah), about −1175. This is also the time when the Plishtim settle the coastland and merge with the local aboriginal population. The peace lasts about thirty years.
Then Plishtí aggression surges with a vengence.
Tentatively, after the Mitsrí withdraw in −1450, the Plishtim emerge as the most dangerous enemies against the Tribes of Yisrael from about −1144 on.
(−1044) Days of Shmuel (Samuel) and Shaul Ha'Melekh (Saul the King)(For possibly about 35 years)
Estimate the timelength of Shmuel and Shaul
The Books of Shmuel (1 and 2 Samuel) omit the years of reign for both Shumel Ha'Shofet שְׁמוּאֵל הַשֹּׁפֵט (Samuel the Judge) and Shaul Ha'Melekh שָׁאוּל הַמֶּלֶךְ (Saul the King). Thus the timespan of Shmuel-and-Shaul between Eli and David remains loose.
Adding to the complexity, the sequence of all four reigns - Eli, Shmuel, Shaul, and David - involve coregencies and possibly an interregnal gap because of the illegitimacy of later years of Shaul.
Together, Shmuel and Shaul seem to represent one or two generations. With each generation averaging about twenty-five years, their combined reigns span somewhere between the twenty-five and fifty years.
The Books of Shmuel, describe events that, according to the plain meaning, suggest extensive reigns for each of them.
Tentatively, the Days of Shmuel and Shaul together approximate roughly 35 years. Each is at least twenty years, but part of these twenty overlap while they share a coregency.
MIDDLE IRON PERIOD
Bet David Period (Davidic Dynasty Period)
(−1009) Days of David Ha'Melekh (David the King)
(For 40 years)
(−969) Days of Shlomo Ben David Ha'Melekh (Solomon Son of David, the King)
(For 40 years)
(−966) Shlomo in his fourth year of reign begins construction of the Bet Ha'Mikdash (Temple)
(−930) Rkhavam Ha'Melekh Yrushalayim (Rehoboam the King of Jerusalem)
(−930) Yravam Ha'Melekh Shomron (Jeroboam the King of Samaria)
Yravam the King (Jeroboam) founds the Kingdom of Shomron (Samaria) to the north, after leading the ten tribes of the north in a successful revolt. The secession leaves Rkhavam the King (Rehoboam) with the Kingdom of Yrushalayim (Jerusalem) to the south.