One important tool for studying the prophets is a time line of the kings of Israel and Judah.
Without knowing when the kings reigned and the circumstances of their reign it is harder to study the prophecies in their context.
Did you know many prophets lived around the same time? Also, their prophecies are not always recorded in chronological order.
For example Jeremiah 32 is dated as the 10th year of king Zedekiah (Jer 32:1), but later in chapter 36 a word comes in the days of king Jehoiakim (Jer 36:1).
If you’ve made a list of kings, you will notice that these chapters are not chronological: Zedekiah came after Jehoiakim.
There are plenty of free lists available to reference online, but it is always better to start making your own.
Making your own list helps you to learn the context of the each king’s rise to power, whether they were good or bad, the length of their reign, and the circumstances surrounding their death.
It is tedious work, but once you’ve done it, it is finished.
Another good reason to make your own list is that many lists claim that the Bible has mistakes because they cannot reconcile some of the dates. The Bible is not wrong, there are solutions: make your own list.
There are multiple Jehorams, Ahaziahs, and at one point there are 3 or 4 kings reigning in the same year.
The Bible is known as having some of the most accurate historical listings of ancient kings in the world.
Start making your lists by skimming through the book of the Kings and Chronicles. Don’t forget to add the prophets where appropriate.
For His glory,
Justin “historian” Johnson