Hebrew History Timeline
Timeline Description: The Hebrew people have a long history; however, this timeline begins with biblical time, continuing through the written history of the Hebrew peoples and ending with the independence of the state of Israel in 1948. This is a history of persecution and loss, but also periods of great cultural growth.

Date Event
200 BC Hebrew Bible or Tanakh Was Canonized(200 BCE to 100 CE)

The books of the Tanakh were canonized, or set in their defined and final form, between 200 BCE And 100 CE. These books form not only the Tanakh, but also the Christian Old Testament.
167 BC Revolt of the Maccabees(167 to 161 BCE)

The Maccabees revolted during the period between 167 and 161 BCE. The miracle of the oil during the revolt led to the commemoration of this event with the eight-night celebration of Hanukkah.
63 BC Judea Became Client Kingdom of Rome(63 BCE)

In 63 BCE, Judea lost its independence to Rome, which held control of much of the known world at the time.
40 BC Rule of Herod the Great(40 to 4 BCE)

Herod the Great was appointed King of the Jews by the Roman Senate in 40 BCE. Herod did the will of the Senate, rather than the Jewish people.
66 Great Jewish Revolt(66 to 70 CE)

The Great Jewish Revolt between 66 and 70 CE led to the fall of the Second Temple, and the city of Jerusalem. It also dispersed the Jewish people over a much wider geographical area.
70 Tannaim Period(70 to 200 CE)

During the Tannaim Period, rabbis elucidated Jewish oral law and tradition, including the Mishnah.
73 Fall of Masada(73 CE)

The fall of the city of Masada marked the end of the Jewish Revolt, with the deaths of the entire population of the city.
220 Amoraim Period(220 to 500 CE)

The Talmud was written and compiled by rabbis during the Amoraim period.
550 Savoraim Period(550 to 700 CE)

During the Savoraim Period, Persian rabbis finalized the Talmud.
700 Gaonim Period(700 to 1250)

During this period, Jewish culture and learning thrived, primarily in Arabic countries, but also in Muslim Spain. These tolerant environments allowed Jewish scholars to pursue writing, learning, poetry and other arts.
1250 Rishonim Period(1250 to 1550)

During this period, Jewish populations were widely scattered. Rabbis focused on creating written documents that would allow Jewish culture to travel with Jews throughout the world.
1300 Persecution of Jews in Europe(13th to 15th century)

Jews were widely persecuted during the Middle Ages, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition and expulsion of many Jewish populations.
1501 Jews Welcomed to Lithuania

The King of Poland welcomed Jews to Lithuania. Jews in Eastern Europe developed thriving cultures, including music, literature and theater. The population grew substantially in coming centuries.
1700 Founding of Hasidic Judaism(1700 to 1760)

Israel ben Eliezer founded Hasidic Judaism, seeking closeness with the divine through meditation and prayer. A number of Hasidic sects remain today, including the Chabad.
1729 Haskalah Movement(1729 to 1786)

The Haskalah or Enlightenment movement sought to end the isolation of the Jews. While it provided the path for modern Jewish denominations, many also converted to Christianity.
1820 Development of Orthodox Judaism(1820 to 1860)

Orthodox Judaism developed in response to growing assimilation with western values. Orthodox Judaism sought to preserve traditional rules and behaviors.
1850 Beginning of Reform Judaism(Mid-19th Century)

Reform Judaism began to arise in the middle of the 19th century. Reform movement devalued many traditional or rule-oriented practices.
1870 Beginning of Zionism

While it would not be named until 1890, the desire to return to a Jewish homeland began around 1870 with period of immigration to Palestine.
1881 Pogroms Against Russian Jews(1881 to 1920)

Between 1881 and 1920, there were a number of pogroms, or violent race-based actions, taken against the Jews of Russia. Many Russian Jews fled, with a large number immigrating further west or to the United States.
1917 Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration paved the way for an eventual Jewish state in Palestine.
1938 The Holocaust(1938 to 1940)

Under Nazi rule, much of the Jewish population of Europe and Russia was brutally exterminated. While death tolls remain inexact, approximately six million individuals were murdered.
May 14, 1948 The State of Israel

The state of Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. Conditions in and around Israel with regard to religious division and land allotments remain divisive even today.