I’m working toward a complete chronology from Adam to Jesus, but to get back to a date for Adam you first need to establish a date for the reign of Solomon, for all of Old Testament chronology really hangs on one verse:
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.I Kings 6:1, NKJV
The Exodus is dated from Solomon’s reign and all of the events that come before the Exodus depend on this date. The chronology for the period of the Judges is dependent on this verse as well. So if we are going to have any kind of meaningful discussion about whom lived when and what was going on in the world at that time we first need to establish the dates for Solomon’s reign, and to do that we need to establish the dates of the kings that came after him. Fortunately, all of that work was done for us by Edwin Thiele in his landmark work, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. To quote Thiele:
Chronology is the backbone of history. … Without exact chronology there can be no exact history. Until a correct chronology of a nation has been established, the events of that nation cannot be correctly integrated into the events of neighboring states. If history is to be a true and exact science, then it is of fundamental importance to construct a sound chronological framework about which may be fitted the events of states and the international world.Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the HebrewKings,Chapter 1
Thiele’s chronology is the most widely accepted and what we have used to construct The Biblical Timeline. We I first constructed a timeline of the kings I had a lot of difficulty with the dates and with synchronizing the reigns of the kings with those of the foreign kings they interacted with. If you just read the biblical text things do not fit neatly. Thiele was able to work out the differences in dating between the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel and also to identify periods of overlap (coregencies and rival reigns) in order to get the chronology found in Kings and Chronicles to line up with what we know from archaeology.
Rather than right an article of my own to explain the dates for the period of the kings, I decided to provide a summary of Thiele’s work. In doing so I quickly realized that the best way to explain it was through an abundance of illustrations and this ultimately resulted in the first video for this site. So, if you want to understand more about this period, watch the video below