What Happened When
• 586 BC
Babylon destroys the Temple in Jerusalem and takes Judah captive.
• 539 BC
Cyrus conquers Babylon and solidifies the Persian Empire.
• 538 BC
Cyrus issues an edict to let the Jews return to their land.
• 536 BC
Zerubbabel leads the first return.
• 535 BC
Construction begins on the Second Temple, but it stops.
• 515 BC
The Second Temple is completed.
• 486 BC
Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) ascends to the Persian throne.
• 479 BC
Esther becomes queen of Persia.
• 474 BC
Haman decrees the murder of all Jews; Mordecai establishes Purim.
• 465 BC
Artaxerxes I ascends to the Persian throne.
• 458 BC
Ezra leads the second return to Jerusalem and reestablishes worship.
• 445 BC
Nehemiah leads the third return and rebuilds Jerusalem’s walls.
Editors Note: As with all ancient dates, some variation exists between sources. For the most part, this table was compiled using dates found in The Ryrie Study Bible, ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.