set afire, the walls were pulled down, and the majority of the people led off into exile. However, “some of the lowly people of the land” were allowed to remain and these did so until the assassination of Gedaliah, Nebuchadnezzar’s appointee, whereupon they fled into Egypt, finally leaving Judah completely desolate. (2 Ki. 25:9-12, 22-26) This was in the seventh month, Ethanim (or Tishri, corresponding to parts of September and October). Hence the count of the seventy years of desolation must have begun about October 1, 607 B.C.E., ending in 537 B.C.E. It was in the seventh month of this latter year that the first repatriated Jews arrived back in Judah, exactly seventy years from the start of the full desolation of the land.—2 Chron. 36:21-23; Ezra 3:1.
From the Jewish return from exile to the conversion of Cornelius (537 B.C.E. to 36 C.E.)
In the second year of the return from exile (536 B.C.E.), the foundation of the temple was relaid in Jerusalem, but the rebuilt temple was not completed until the sixth year of the reign of Darius. (Ezra 3:8-10; 6:14, 15) Since Darius I (Persian) did not establish himself in Babylon until defeating the rebel Nebuchadnezzar III in December of 522 and shortly afterward capturing and killing him in Babylon, the year 522 B.C.E. may be viewed as the accession year of King Darius I. His first regnal year, then, began in the spring of 521 B.C.E. (Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C.—A.D. 75, Parker and Dubberstein, page 30) Darius’ sixth year therefore began April 11/12, 516 B.C.E., and continued until the end of March of 515 B.C.E. On this basis, the rebuilding of the temple was completed by Zerubbabel on March 5/6 of 515 B.C.E.
The next date of major importance is the commissioning of Nehemiah in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I. (Neh. 2:1, 5-8) The reasons for favoring the date of 455 B.C.E. for this year as against the popular date of 445 B.C.E. have been considered earlier in this article and particularly in the article on ARTAXERXES No. 3. This commissioning, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its walls resulting from it, form the starting point of the prophecy concerning the “seventy weeks” at Daniel 9:24-27. The weeks there are clearly “weeks of years” (Dan. 9:24, RS, AT, Mo), totaling 490 years. As demonstrated under the heading SEVENTY WEEKS, the prophecy pointed to Jesus’ appearance as the Messiah in the year 29 C.E.; his death at the “half of the week” or in the middle of the last week of years, that is, in 33 CE.; and the end of the period of God’s special favor to the Jews in 36 C.E. Thus, the seventy weeks of years closed with the conversion of Cornelius, 490 years from the year 455 B.C.E.—Acts 10:30-33, 44-48; 11:1.
Jesus’ appearance as the Messiah came in the precise year foretold, six months after John the Baptist began his preaching in the “fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.” (Luke 1:36; 3:1, 2, 21-23) Since, as has been shown, Tiberius began his rule on August 17, 14 C.E. (Gregorian calendar), his fifteenth year ran from August 17, 28 C.E., to August 16, 29 C.E. The evidence, then, is that Jesus’ baptism and anointing took place in the fall of the year 29 CE.
Since Jesus was thirty years of age in 29 C.E. at the time of his baptism (Luke 3:23), his birth took place thirty years earlier, or about the fall of the year 2 B.C.E. He was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus and the Syrian governorship of Quirinius. (Luke 2:1, 2) Augustus’ rule ran from 27 B.C.E. to 14 C.E. P. Sulpicius Quirinius, Roman senator, was governor of Syria twice, the first time evidently coming after P. Quintilius Varus, whose term as legate of Syria ended in 4 B.C.E. Some authorities place Quirinius’ first governorship in 3-2 B.C.E. (See REGISTRATION.) Herod the Great was then king of Judea, and we have seen that there is evidence pointing to the year 1 B.C.E. as the likely time of his death. Thus, all the available evidence, and particularly the Scriptural references, indicate the fall of 2 B.C.E. for the human birth of God’s Son.
The later apostolic period (36 to c. 100 C.E.)
It is possible to fix approximate dates for a number of the events taking place during this period. The prophecy of a great famine spoken by the Christian prophet Agabus, and the subsequent persecution instigated by Herod Agrippa I, resulting in the apostle James’ death and the jailing of Peter, evidently took place in 44 C.E. (Acts 11:27-30; 12:1-4) Herod Agrippa died that year and there is evidence that the foretold famine came in the year 46 C.E. This latter date (or shortly thereafter) probably marks the time of the relief ministration effected by Paul and Barnabas.—Acts 12:25.
Paul’s first visit to Corinth can be dated through the proconsulship of Gallio. (Acts 18:1, 11-18) As explained in the article on GALLIO, this proconsulship ran from the summer of 51 to the summer of 52 C.E. Thus, Paul’s eighteen-month activity in Corinth likely began in the autumn of 50 C.E., ending in the spring of 52 C.E. This is further confirmed by the fact that two of Paul’s associates in Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla, had recently arrived there from Italy due to Emperor Claudius’ edict requiring all Jews to depart from Rome. (Acts 18:2) Paulus Orosius, historian of the fifth century, states that this order was given in Claudius’ ninth year, early in 50 C.E.
The two years Paul spent in prison at Caesarea were during the last two years of the governorship of Felix, Paul thereafter being sent on to Rome by Felix’ successor Porcius Festus. (Acts 21:33; 23:23-35; 24:27) The date of the accession of Festus is somewhat uncertain, historical evidence not being in full agreement. However, the most probable time appears to narrow down to the years from 57 to 60 C.E., with some modern authorities favoring either 59 or 60 C.E. At any rate, Paul’s subsequent arrival in Rome may be placed between 59 and 61 C.E.
The great fire that ravaged Rome came in July of 64 C.E. and was followed by fierce persecution of Christians, Nero being the instigator. It is probable that Paul’s second imprisonment and his execution took place shortly thereafter. (2 Tim. 1:16; 4:6, 7) The exiling of John to the isle of Patmos is generally considered to have taken place during the reign of Emperor Domitian. (Rev. 1:9) The persecution of Christians reached a peak during his rule (81-96 C.E.), particularly in the last three years. The traditional view is that John was released from exile following Domitian’s death and died in Ephesus about the close of the first century C.E. Thus, by John’s writing his epistles about this time, the Bible canon was completed and the apostolic period came to its close.
A transparent or translucent, yellow or green semiprecious stone composed of silicates of magnesium and iron. It generally occurs in volcanic rocks (also, in dolomite and some types of limestone) in solid, crystalline or granular form. “Chrysolite” is from the Greek word khry·soʹli·thos meaning “gold stone,” and it seems that at least some ancients applied this name to various yellow colored gems. Fine-quality chrysolite crystals are found in Egypt.
In compliance with Jehovah’s instructions, a chrysolite (Heb., tar·shishʹ; LXX, “chrysolite”) was placed in the first position in the fourth row on Aaron’s “breastpiece of judgment” to represent one of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Ex. 28:2, 15, 20, 21; 39:13) Chrysolite was also included among the precious stones that served as a “covering” for the king of Tyre.—Ezek. 28:12, 13.
When Ezekiel received two separate visions involving four wheels, he noted that the appearance of the wheels was “like the glow of chrysolite.” (Ezek. 1:15-21; 10:9) The Shulammite girl likened the hands