Old Testament Bible Chronology – Approximate Dates

The following information was taken from:

Chronology: Abraham to the Exodus

Abraham was born sometime near the date of 2,000 BC

2031 – Abram’s son Ishmaél was born

Abram’s son Ishmaél was born when Abram was 86 (Ge.16:16), around 2031 BC.

2017 – Abram’s son Isaac was born

c. 2012 – Abram’s Promise from God

“The Lord said to Abram in Ge.15:13, “Your seed will be sojourners in a land not their own; and they shall afflict them 400 years”.

1980 BC – Abrahahm’s Wife Dies

Ge.23:1-2 Abraham’s wife Sarah dies c 1980 BC at age 127.  Abraham is 137, Isaac is 37, and Ishmael 51.

c1977 BC – Isaac Marries His Cousin Rebekah

Ge.25:20 Isaac marries his cousin Rebekah c 1977 BC.  Isaac is 40, Abraham is 140, Ishmael 54.

c1957 BC – Isaac’s Sons Jacob & Esau are born

“Ge.25:25-26 Isaac is 60 when his sons Jacob & Esau are born c 1957 BC.  Abraham is 160, Ishmael 74.”

c1942 BC – Abraham Dies

Ge.25:7 Abraham dies at age 175, c 1942 BC.  Ishmael is 89, Isaac is 75, Jacob & Esau are 15.

c1886 BC – Isaac Sends Jacob to Padán-Arám in Mesopotámia

“Ge.28:5 Isaac sends Jacob to Padán-Arám in Mesopotámia, to escape from Jacob’s twin brother Esau.  This was sometime around 1886 BC.  Jacob & Esau are age 70 or 71, Isaac is 131.”

“There, Jacob would marry his first cousins Leáh & Rachél, daughters of his uncle Labán (Rebekah’s brother).  Jacob served Laban for at least 20 years (Ge.31:38-41), part of which was the bride price for Leah & Rachel (Ge.29:16-ff).  Initially, Jacob contracted to work only 7 years…for Rachel (Ge.29:18).

“Jacob worked for Laban for 7 years, and in return was given…Leah, not Rachel!  Jacob then agreed to work 7 more years for Rachel.  Ancient sources differ in regards to when Rachel actually became his wife.  Josephus op. cit. 1:19:7, Philo The Works of Philo p.211, the Orthodox Bible LXX Ge.29:27 Note…they indicate that Rachel became Jacob’s wife after he’d worked the entire second 7-year period.  But the more recent Hebrew Masoretic text Ge.29:27-28, the (supposed) Book of Jasher 31:12-13, the traditional Book of Jubilees (Jub) 28:8-9…they indicate that Rachel became Jacob’s wife only one week following Leah, before he worked the second 7-year period.  The historical sources differ.

“Jacob fathered 12 sons (11 born in Padan-Aram), Ge.35:23-26.  Their descendants would become the 12 tribes of Israel.  God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Ge.32:28).

“Ge.29:31-35 Jacob/Israel’s first 4 sons…Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah…were born to Leah.  see the topic “Levites and the Exodus Multitude (1)” for the lineage chronology of Jacob’s 3rd son Levi. . . .

c 1897 BC Joseph was Born

“Ge.30:22-24 Rachel finally gives birth to her first child, Josephc 1867 BC.  Jacob (and Esau) was 90, Isaac 150.  Joseph is called the son of Jacob’s old age (Ge.37:3), and Jacob loved him the most. …

c 1897 BC Joseph’s Older Brothers Sell Him into Slavery

“Ge.37:1-2, 26-36 Joseph’s older brothers sell him into slavery at age 17, c 1850 BC.  Joseph is taken to Egypt.  Judah is near age 23, Jacob age 107, Isaac 167”

c 1837 BC Pharaoh Makes Joseph the Prime Minister of Egypt

“Ge.41:38-46 in the year Isaac died, c 1837 BC, Pharaoh made Joseph prime minister of Egypt at age 30 (cf. Jub.40:12).

“Ge.41:47 for the first 7 years that Joseph was prime minister, Egypt experienced great abundance.  This period would be followed by 7 years of famine (Ge.41:29-30).  Ge.45:6 by this time, 2 years of famine had elapsed.  Joseph is now age 39, Jacob is 129.

c 1827 BC Jacob [Israel] Joins Joseph in Egypt

“Ge.47:9 then Jacob/Israel, at age 130, goes to Egypt to join Joseph c 1827 BC.  Levi was age 48 (T12P Levi 12:5), Judah age 46 (T12P Judah 12:11-12).  Ge.41:46-47 & 45:6 Joseph was age 39 or 40.  That places Joseph’s birth c 1867 BC, when Jacob (and Esau) was age 90 or 91.

“Jacob’s move to Egypt culminates the 215 years he and his ancestors spent in the Land of Canaan.

c 1810 BC Joseph Dies in Israel

c 1810 BC Joseph Dies in Israel

c 1695 BC Aaron [Moses’s Older Brother] Is Born in Egypt

c 1692 BC Moses Is Born in Egypt

c 1652 BC Moses Fled to Midian

c 1612 BC Moses Returns to Egypt and the Exodus Begins