* These dates represent my best estimation according to the available information
** This list will keep getting updated as the podcast advances along the biblical narrative
The Song of Deborah (Judges 5:2–31) celebrates an Israelite victory over neighboring Canaanites.
The Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1–18) celebrates an exodus from Egypt through the sea as the pharaoh's chariots drown.
The first editions of the books are produced by the first prophet-scribe collaborations: Hoshea, Amos, and Elisha.
Assyria destroys the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE, and tens of thousands were exiled into Assyrian territory, while thousands of others immigrate with their stories into Judean cities, taking over politically, religiously, and economically from the local Jerusalemite elite.
The famous prophet Isaiah moves to Judah and expresses his fears for the fate of this little kingdom.
The Assyrians accept tribute from the Judean king Hezekiah, including stripping down the templr of Yahweh. In return for this tribue, the Assyrians refrain from destroying Jerusalem. The event is recorded in the Bbile in two ways: a historical account (2 Kings) and a divine Yahwistic intervention (Chronicles)
The last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, turns his personal library into a literary-military-industrial complex that ignites a writing arms race throughout the region. Nobles in the kingdom of Judea.
King Josiah's scribes plant "an ancient holy book" in the newly renovated Jerusalem temple of Yahweh. The ancient book includes supposed long-lost texts written by Mose. This would be the first of many editions of the book of Deuteronomy.
Moses turns from a southern desert ancestor of the Levite clan into a proto-national hero to all the cobbled peoples living in the last days of Judea.
Around 595 BCE, the prophet Shema'aya the Nehelamite and his very talented scribe collaborate on prophecies found today in the book of Isaiah, chapters 40-43, and the Exodus parts attributed to the person scholars call the E source Exodus: such as the Midwives, Baby Moses, the Burning Bush, and Moses the Judge.
After the first Hebrews were exiled and before Jerusalem was destroyed, Jeremiah has his scribe Baruch Ben Neriah put his prophecies to text as the Babylonians grow into an empire.
Nebuchadnezzar's forces lay siege on Jerusalem in 587 BCE and destroy it all in 586 BCE, burning the temple of Yahweh to the ground and leaving the city wholly abandoned. This event is chronicled in the book of Jeremiah, Kings and Psalms.
A little bit before the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem, the prophet-priest Ezekiel begins his 25-year-long career, which he mostly spent as a writer. He was taken captive to the Babylonian city of Tel Abib (which was given to the first modern Hebrew city, Tel Aviv).
In his diary, also known as the Book of Ezekiel wrote about his magical visions and prophecies that would never come true, and he authors the original narrative of the book of Exodus. Originally, it starred a priest leading his people to worship Yahweh in his mountain desert. He wrote Seven Plagues and much of the Wandering in the Wilderness stories. Ezekiel wrote most of the texts scholars attribute to the J source of Exodus.
Following civil unrest in the years following the destruction of Judea, tens of thousands of the remaining Hebrews immigrate to Egypt, where a centuries-long golden age of Hebrew writing begins. And in the beginning, they wrote the book of Genesis.
Baruch the Scribe authors the following stories: Abraham sets out to Canaan, the Binding of Isaac, Abraham's slave, Theft of the Blessing, Jacob in the East, and the grandest biblical epic of them all: Joseph and possibly more.
It's in Egypt and for the Hebrew Egyptians that stories of ancient Israelite folk heroes are written and compiled in the Book of Judes. Among the judges is Joshua the Ephraimite.
At the same time, in Babylonia, the book of Kings is going through editing and three of the four chapters of Lamentations are written. The Fourth, chapter three, was written by Baruch for Jeremiah.
After Cyrus the Great conquers Babylonia and free all of the captive peoples, including the Hebrews, a wave of joy and optimism wash over the exiled Hebrews. 42,000 Hebrews, most of them working people, exodus Babylonia to their ancestral homeland, while most of the priests and scribes stay in Persia. In the subsequent decades. Joel, Haggai, and Zechariah write new books that bear their names.
A new narrative is written for Exodus, imbued with Persian and Zoroastrian elements and the optimism of the period. A new set of Seven Plagues is written for a Hebrew-Persian audience.
Ezekiel's story was about the Hebrews going to Yahweh's mountain, while the Persian remake's narrative is that of a people exodusing back home to their ancestral homeland. This new narrative, written over time, includes the texts scholars attribute to the P source of Exodus.
The priest-scribe Ezra compiles the old texts written in Babylonia and Persia. Egypt is now another province in the Persian empire, and so, the Hebrews in Egypt send Ezra copies of Genesis. Ezra then attaches to the religious rules and regulations books of Leviticus and Numbers, the wilderness stories he could not find room for in Exodus.
His crowning achievement is publishing the first biblical canon, known in Hebrew as the Torah and in scholarly terms, the Pentateuch. The first five books of the Bible, which includes the aformentioned + Deuteronomy, which Ezra edits heavily. He also adds texts to the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah (aka "third Isaiah") and compiles and publishes the Chronicles of the Hebrews.
The first biblical canon can be called the Persian Bible, the Priestly Bible or the Tsadokite Bible. Ezra belonged to the line of the ancient priest Tsadok, and since the time of Ezra, only priests descended from Tsadok could hold the top priestly positions in Jerusalem.
Ezra brings these books and the rest of the Torah to the Holy Land, only to find out that no one living there knows anything about them and nobody has been following any of his rules. He writes about his journey and frustrations in the Book of Ezra.
Hellenized Hebrews living in Alexandria write new stories, many of them light-hearted. For example, the original stories of the Book of Samuel.
They create their own version of Hercules, Samson, a hilarious Greek-style Hebrew comedy. Generations later, its fantastic humor is lost on the world.
The Maccabean Revolt erupts in Judea in 167 BCE against the Hellenistic Selleucides and their Hebrew allies - the priests.
Jude celebrates its newfound independence in 140 BCE under the leader Shimon Thassi and his populist Great Assembly of the people. The entire Bible is edited and expanded and the religion is reformed. The scribes in charge of this momentous project are Pharisee scribes. The Pharisees were famous scribes who were a major political power in Shimon's Assembly (known as Shimon the Just).
An egalitarian constitution is written up, new laws pop up and the official history of this period is published in the book we know as 1 Maccabees.
As part of this reformation, the priestly caste is toppled and replaced by Shimon as High Priest, and several other communal leaders.
Exodus is edited to combine the two earlier narratives with Maccabean additions into the Exodus we know today.
New violent stories are added to Joshua, Samuel, Kings and beautful stories are added too, such as the Plague of the Firstborn, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, and many new Psalms,
Starting in 140 BCE, Hebrews start celebrating Passover according to newly written rules that appear in Exodus, instead of the previous Passover rules that appear in Deuteronomy.