Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistory to Present Day


  Illustrated History of the World

First Empires - ca. 7000 B.C. - 200 A.D.

First Empires

ca. 7000 B.C. - 200 A.D.


Syria and Palestine

3000-332 B.C.


The Early Israelites and the Kingdoms of David and Solomon

The Israelites migrated into the region of Palestine in the 13th century B.C. Conflicts in the settlement areas required a military society, which extended beyond individual tribes and became the basis, around 1020 B.C., of national unity.

Many of the Canaanite city-states in Palestine were destroyed by the sea peoples around 1200 в.с, after which the 3 Philistines settled on the coast and established a federation of individual city-states.

3 A Philistine bust, relief, twelfth century B.C.

At the same time, the Semitic Aramaeans moved in, among them the 1 tribes of Israel. Related folk groups had previously lived in Egypt and are described in the biblical stories of Moses.

1 The Israelites conquer the Canaanite city of Jericho

These Israelite groups had in common the 7 worship of the god Yahweh.The isolation of this god from the gods of the neighboring peoples and the maintenance of the purity of the Yahweh cult defined their society. Around the year 1020 B.C., the Israelites declared Saul their king and commander for the war against the other Aramaean tribes and the Philistines. They did not, however, grant him any internal authority, for example, to levy a general tax.


7 The Philistines rob the Ark of the Covenant,
 the holy relic of the Israelites, painting, 19th century

After 2 Saul's death, the successful military leader 4 David, from the tribe of Judah, was chosen as king around 1004 B.C. Unlike Saul, David relied on a private army, which he also used to seize money and estates for himself. He overrode the autonomy of the individual Israelite tribes and established a unified state, with Jerusalem as its capital and political and religious center.

2 Saul commits suicide,
book illustration, 15th century

The Battle of Gilboa, by Jean Fouquet

Death of King Saul, 1848 Elie Marcuse

David and Saul (1885) by Julius Kronberg

David Plays the Harp for Saul, by
Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1658.




After David killed the gigantic Philistine Goliath, Saul had him brought to his court. David was protected from the king's increasing jealousy of his popularity by his love for Saul's son Jonathan. When Jonathan fell in battle against the Philistines, Saul committed suicide and David became king. During his reign, David's own son Absalom rose up in an unsuccessful revolt against him. Later, David fell in love with Bathsheba and deployed her husband's forces in battle in such a way that he would certainly be killed. David's son by Bathsheba, Solomon, succeeded him as king.

King David by Pedro Berruguete


Abishag, Bathsheba, Solomon, and Nathan
tend to aging David, c. 1435

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