Bible Prophecy Numbers

1260 days, 1290 days, 1335 Days


Bible Chronology

Part 'A'

Bible Chronology and numeric patterns from Creation to the Flood--- to the Exodus
Chronology: A,'  'B,' and 'C.'   (and numeric Patterns: D., E., F., G., H.)

 

Present-day conservative scholarship predominantly embraces the same chronology we use throughout our studies. Our chronology from Abraham to the book of Acts is precisely the same as that found in the popular New International Version Study Bible. Essentially, this same chronology is found elsewhere in many other conservative commentaries and study Bibles too. A consensus occurs among modern scholarship because of these two factors:

 

1.) The majority of both liberal and conservative scholars agree that king Ahab died in 853 BC.

"By integrating Biblical data with those derived from Assyrian chronological records, the year 853 B.C. can be fixed as the year of Ahab's death, and the year 841 as the year Jehu began to reign. The years in which Ahab and Jehu had contacts with Shalmaneser III of Assyria can also be given definite dates (by means of astronomical calculations based on an Assyrian reference to a solar eclipse). With these fixed points, it is possible to work both forward and backward in the lines of the kings of Israel and Judah to give dates for each king. By the same means it can be determined that the division of the kingdom occurred in 930, that Samaria fell to the Assyrians in 722-21 and that Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586.

The synchronistic data correlating the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah present some knotty problems, which have long been considered nearly insolvable. In more recent times, most of these problems have been resolved in a satisfactory way through recognizing such possibilities as overlapping reigns, co-regencies of sons with fathers, differences in the time of the year in which their reign of a king officially began, and differences in the way a king's first year was reckoned." (Intro. to 1Kg, NIVSB, by J. Vannoy. ---See also, Gleason Archer, pg., 369, Vol., 1., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary." ---Leon Wood, "A Survey of Israel's History." ---"Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia," Vol., 1, pg. 347. ---Edwin R. Thiele, "A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings;" all by Zondervan Pub.)

2.) The second factor producing chronological agreement is a literal approach to bible chronology among conservative scholars rather than speculative editing and historical revisionism. Foremost, this means a literal reception of the ‘480’ years recorded in 1Kg 6:1, as the time span from the exodus to the building of Solomon’s temple.[1]

      "In the 480th year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD. " (1Kg 6:1) 

The primary witness to the accuracy of this chronology is not even in science or textual studies as just discussed. The evidence is in the chronological puzzle itself, for therein is revealed a harmony that is both simple and yet fathomless. Taken from the Bible, these numerical patterns in and of themselves reveal the date of Solomon's temple and the exodus to indeed be 966 BC and 1446 BC respectively.

 

 

Textual Variances in Genealogies

There are two major lines of manuscripts for the complete Old Testament (OT) used in textual criticism: The Hebrew Masoretic text (MT) and the Greek Septuagint (LXX).

The MT was meticulously copied and passed down through the generations but is not necessarily in every minute detail the exact copy of the original. The LXX is a Greek translation of the OT and is much less reliable, especially when it comes to the recording of numbers in the text. For example, it adds one hundred years to most every patriarch from Adam to Terah, thereby adding a total of about 1,500 years to the genealogy.

To these two textual groups, we must add the Samaritan text that contains only the Pentateuch. The Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) is clearly less reliable than the MT. It was likely written in reaction against worshipping in the Jerusalem temple. Nevertheless, (as the Dead Sea Scrolls seem to show), the SP text along with the LXX, though corrupted, still show evidence that they may have come from independent lines of manuscript authority by which we are helped in ascertaining the true original.

{These genealogies were given to us for theological reasons and are of great importance. It is for this very reason that several dates are possible for one epoch event, particularly BEFORE Abraham was born. As we shall see, there are three major exceptions to the otherwise standard use of the MT for chronology, that is the result of NT revelation. They are, the (SP and LXX) '215' years of Gal 3:17, the '60' years of Acts 7:4, and the (LXX) '130' years of Luke 3:36,,  a total possible span of 405 years. (We elaborate later.)

Doubtless, the actual date of the flood and creation are encoded somehow in these genealogies, yet they remain hidden beyond the likely scope of ever ascertaining with certainty what that was. Therefore, we work with what we have and make a most startling and wonderful discovery ---there is unity within diversity and compatibility within the several possible competing chronologies! Instead of one sole witness to the Christ in the numbers, we suddenly have several, all agreeing as one and interacting as one! A truly awesome demonstration of "Christ," ---'the power and wisdom of God' (1Cor 1:24).} 

 

 

I) Exodus Date
(Click here for "Why 1446 BC?")

 

The (minor) 40-year variant:

Before we come to the major three exceptions to the standard use of the MT, (the result of NT revelation), we must look at one variant OF SECONDARY IMPORTANCE, that effects the date of the exodus. The ‘480’ years to the exodus (quoted earlier from 1Kg 6:1) reads as ‘440’ years in the LXX. While no serious doubt exists as to the authenticity of the ‘480’ years as being the correct number, however, just sufficient doubt does exist to warrant its use in the study of the numbers, though on a secondary level. Accordingly, the date of the exodus is 1446 BC, but much less likely, 1406 BC.

We restrict numeric patterns resultant from this 40-year variant primarily to the period from Abraham to the conquest.

{The LXX for 1Kg 6:1 has greater authenticity than does the various readings of the LXX in the book of Genesis. In Genesis, the LXX and the SP are most certainly corrupted, yet they still have value. In the "Writing on the Wall" essay, the primary date of 1446 BC is adhered to throughout for the sake of simplicity. The two-dozen or so reigning years listed for each of the 'judges' in the book of Judges, (or that of oppression), are the very same as that of the MT. Since the '440' years of 1Kg 6:1 basically covers the period of the judges, the difference here (by the providence of God)[2] of '40-years' is exceptional when contrasted with the uniformity in the book of Judges.}

 

 

II) Abraham's Birth

The 215-year variant:

The first 'primary' textual variant effects when the Israelites entered Egypt and hence Abram's birth as well. The LXX and SP puts the interval "in Canaan and Egypt" as 430 years (Ex 12:40, 41), whereas the more accurate MT has "430 years in Egypt" (only). Furthermore, the NT supports the smaller (SP & LXX) figure of only 215 years in Egypt (and another 215 in Canaan, a total of 430), if interpreted forthrightly, (Gal 3:17. Oddly, the ancient Jewish traditional chronology also support the SP and LXX here, but just here). [See conclusion] The MT does not mention, here, the time spent in Canaan and seems to agree with the round figure of "400 years," prophesied in Genesis 15:13.

Scholars are split over which of the two is the correct figure but most seem to favor the MT. Personally, I use both but judge the MT to be the original. (Note: There are 215 years between Abraham entering Canaan, unto when his descendents entered Egypt. Significantly, this 215-year period is exactly half of the 430 years spent in Egypt.)

The date when the Israelites entered Egypt is therefore either 1876, or, 1661 BC. We must add another 215 years to 1876 and 1661 to reach the time when Abram entered Canaan, and 75 years more unto his birth. (To repeat, the 40-years less of the LXX of 1Kg 6:1, mentioned earlier, is to be used on a secondary level only since it lacks NT support.)

For examples of patterns to do with this time period, see "Elementary Patterns: From Abraham To Conquest." Please be warned that because the information here is so condensed, the reader may find it overwhelming and difficult to grasp. It is meant to be 'unzipped,' to use a computer term. But for those who are very familiar with this topic already, it serves the purpose of showing that there are in fact clear patterns in the chronology as deducted from the Bible. For those not familiar with this subject, one pattern simply explained is better than a hundred condensed. For those (majority of) readers, see "The Writing on the Wall," documents, or, "The ELS Code at the Bush".

 

 

All events before and including Abraham's birth can have an additional half-year option. God commanded Moses at the exodus, "This month (at spring) for you is to be the first month, the first month of your year" (Ex 12:1). This implies that formerly there was an alternate "first of the month." Later in Israel's history, during the Babylonian captivity, the Jews reverted (or changed) to the autumn equinox as "the first of the month," and so it is unto this day among the Jews. Before the exodus, the months of the year were called by a number rather than a name (see the flood account). The question is, "Were these months in the flood record positioned from the spring (vernal) or autumnal equinox?"

Jewish tradition for the creation has autumn for its first month rather than the spring of the exodus. Strangely, Jewish tradition subtracted the half-year difference rather than added it. (This is one of the reasons why the traditional date of the Jewish creation can be autumn, 3762 BC rather than the current autumn, 3761 BC.) [See conclusion]

Why, then, should we add half-a-year rather than subtract it as Jewish tradition evidently has done?

There are 430 years "to the day" (Ex 12:41) from the exodus back unto the entry into Egypt (or Canaan, LXX). To obtain the date of the creation we add the ages of the patriarchs all the way back to the flood, and then to Adam. In calculating prior to the entry into Egypt, because the text does NOT say, "In the 75th year of Abram," (or anywhere else in the genealogy in which case we would have cause to subtract half-a-year in order to switch New Years, as has traditional Jewish chronology), but rather the text reads, "When Abram was 75-years old" (Genesis 12:4), thus making him 75½ at the (LXX) entry, (if we switch New Years that is; or, 130½ for Jacob with MT, Genesis 47:9, or a ½-year back for anyone of his forefathers unto Adam). In other words, Abraham could technically be between 75 and the day prior to his 76th birthday, but he could not be younger than 75, when he "set out" for Canaan.

Furthermore, the fact that Moses was 80½-years at the exodus, and his brother Aaron, 83½, sets an extremely strong precedent for the same. (See their genealogy back to Levi, the son of Jacob, Ex 6:13-7:7, cf., Num. 33:38,39).

This optional switch from the autumnal to the spring equinox at the exodus highlights the theme of "a new creation," ---the dying of the growing season ('autumn') and the resurrecting of the new ('spring'). 

 

 

Next: 'Chronology of the FLOOD'

"Elementary Patterns: From Abraham To Conquest"

How Israel  became a nation in 1948 on the exact day and year predicted in the Bible!


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