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Chronology of Jewish literature

On this page, you will find a chronological overview of Jewish literature, which means Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts related to the Jewish cult. No attempt has been made to include the five first books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) or the majority of the Psalms, because it is impossible to reconstruct the history of their composition. For similar reasons, the Scrolls of the Dead Sea have been left out. Most of the texts are included in the Bible, but some non-Biblical Jewish literature (e.g., the Enochite literature) has also been included. Many texts contain later interpolations.

Green Included in the Jewish and Protestant Bible
Grey Deuterocanonical: recognized by Catholics
Yellow Enochite literature
Pink Other, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Psalm 29, 68 Canaanitic?

Psalm 110 Davidic?

Proverbs 10-24 Tenth century

Oldest part of collection

c.930 Sheshonq's campaign Sheshonq's stela

853 Battle of Qarqar Kurkh stela

c.845 Independence of Moab Mesha stela

c.820 Jehu pays tribute to Assyria Black obelisk

Hosea c.730

Micah 6-7

c.724 Fall of Samaria ABC 1
Micah 1 c.720

Isaiah, first stage

= Isaiah 2-9, 14-23, 28-31

701 Fall of Lachish; siege of Jerusalem Lachish reliefs
Proverbs 25-31 c.700      
Ruth c.700  
Micah 2-3
Nahum c.640

Zephaniah c.630

Deuteronomistic History [1] c.620

First stage
Isaiah, Josian redaction

= Isaiah 10-12, 32, 36-39

612 Fall of Nineveh ABC 3
Psalm 2, 20, 21, 72 Pre-exilic

Habakkuk 604-600

597 First capture of Jerusalem ABC 5
Jeremiah 600-587

587 Fall of Jerusalem; Exile

Ezekiel After 587

Lamentations After 587

Obadiah After 587

Micah 4-5
After 587

Deuteronomistic History [1] c.550

Addition (2 Kings 23-25)

Jehoiachin in Babylonia ANET3 308
Isaiah, second stage A

= Isaiah 13-14, 21, 33, 40-48

539 Fall of Babylon; end of Exile Cyrus Cylinder
Psalm 126, 137 Post-exilic

Micah 2-5 [2] Post-exilic

Collection of prophecies
Isaiah, second stage B

= Isaiah 49-55
Isaiah, third stage A

= Isaiah 34-35, 60-62
Maleachi [3] c.470

Isaiah, third stage B
Fifth century

= Isaiah 56-59, 63-66
Haggai [3] c.450

Zechariah, part 1 c.450

= Zechariah 1-13

c.450 Rebuilding of the Temple [3]

Proverbs 1-9 Fifth century

Youngest part of collection
Isaiah, third stage C
End fifth century

= Isaiah 1, 24-27
Joel? c.400

Alternative date: c.600-586
Job Fourth century

Esther Fourth century

Chapters added in c.80
Fourth century

Chronicles Fourth century

Ezra-Nehemiah after 336

a.k.a. 2 Esdras

332 Alexander the Great

Song of Songs After 332

Zechariah, part 2 After 332

= Zechariah 9-14
Epistle of Jeremiah c.325

Astronomical Book Third century

= 1 Enoch 72-82
Ecclesiastes Third century

Book of Watchers 225-175

= 1 Enoch 1-36
Tobit c.200

202-195 Fifth Syrian War

Jesus Sirach c.180

Original, Hebrew version
Epistle of Enoch c.175

= 1 Enoch 91-108
Jubilees c.175

175-164 Antiochus IV Epiphanes

Daniel 165

Chapters added in c.100?
Death of Isaiah c.165

Book of Dream Visions 165-160

= 1 Enoch 83-90
Baruch 163-162

a.k.a. 1 Baruch
Judith c.150

Book of Giants Second century

3 Ezra c.125

a.k.a. 1 Esdras
Jesus Sirach 117

Greek translation
Letter of Aristeas c.110

Prayer of Manasseh 150-50

1 Maccabees c.100

2 Maccabees c.100

Additions to Daniel c.100?

Additions to Esther 80

63 Romans take Jerusalem

3 Maccabees First century

Book of Similitudes First century

= 1 Enoch 37-71
Psalms of Solomon c.45

40-4 BCE King Herod the Great

6 CE Annexation by the Romans

Assumption of Moses c.25

2 ("Slavonic") Enoch c.25

Wisdom 37-41

70 Destruction of the Temple

4 Ezra after 70

Flavius Josephus 75-100

4 Maccabees c.100

2 ("Syriac") Baruch 100-117

3 ("Greek") Baruch c.150

Note 1:
The Deuteronomistic History is the collection Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings.

Note 2:
For the date of Micah 2-5 (a collection of prophecies dated to late pre-exilic, exilic, and early-post-exilic times), see J. Wagenaar, Judgement and Salvation: The Composition and Redaction of Micah 2-5 (2001 Leiden)

Note 3:
For the date of Haggai, Zechariah, and the rebuilding of the Temple, see Diana Edelman, The Origins of the 'Second' Temple (2005)
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 4 June 2011
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