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Framework for Biblical Chronology

The chart is calculated on the basis that Josiah's eighteenth year in 622 BC, was also a Jubilee year. Evidence for this is that Ezekiel counted his years from this date (Ez.1:1). Only two chronologies seem possible for the span of Jubilees to Josiah's 18th:- The 16 Jubilee span (shown below) and a 17 Jubilee span (not shown).

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The first Jubilee is dated 49 years from the entry of the Israelites into Canaan (50 years counting the first and last years), 40 years after the Exodus. Each subsequent Jubilee period adds 49 years to the total because the start year of the next sequence is the same as the 50th year of the last one.

Although the BC dates (calculated from 622 BC) are different depending on the number of Jubilees counted, the only change is in the span between Josiah's 18th and Solomon's 4th year. This gives only two possibilities for the date of Solomon's 4th (967 BC or 1016 BC) and only two possible dates for the Exodus: 1446 BC or 1495 BC.

It is interesting that the Lower Date chart furnishes the same date for the Exodus as Thiele,1 without any analysis of the kings' reigns. Apart from his dates around the time of Hezekiah (where he disregards the Biblical synchronisms and 'moves' two reigns), his method of synchronising the reigns during the divided Kingdom has much to recommend it. (It is, however, possible to use all the Biblical synchronisms and still construct a coherent chronology for the time of the Kings of Israel and Judah using the 16 Jubilee calculation.)

BC dates can vary by a year due to the difference between year starts. The time span 'bridges' can also vary by a year depending on the method of calculation. With this proviso, and the assumptions above, this scheme gives a rigid chronological framework within which to work.

Note that, during the year starting Nisan (Spring) 573 BC, Ezekiels vision of the Temple in the 25th year of Jehoiachin's captivity and the 17th Jubilee in the 7th month, all occur within the same year2. Tyre also fell in 573 BC to Nebuchadnezzar's forces after a 13 year siege. This was Nebuchadnezzar's 32nd year and it was around this time that, through pride, Nebuchadnezzar lost his reason for seven 'times' (years) until he understood that God ruled in the kingdom of men (Dan.4:32). In prophetic language; seven 'times', (2520 years on a day for a year basis) from 573 BC brings us to AD 1948 and the restoration of the state of Israel as a sovereign nation. This represents the end of an era in which the gentile nations held exclusive rule on the earth, thus giving us another chronological bridge. In fact the Israel independence declaration of 14 May 1948 (1st May in the Julian Calendar) was exactly 2520 julian years from 1st May 573 BC which, acording to the Babylonian Calendar, was 14 Nisan: Passover day. Ezekiel had his vision of the coming Temple in Jerusalem in the latter days on 10 Nisan which was the day that the Passover lamb was selected (Ex.12:3). Whatever the doctrinal significance of these synchronisms, it is difficult to argue that they are mere coincidence.

The BC date for the 'Confirmation of the covenant' was 430 years to 'the selfsame day' as that of the Exodus on 14 Nisan 1446 BC. By comparison with Galatians chapter 3, this suggests that the birth of Isaac confirmed the covenant on 14 Nisan 1876 BC. By supplying an AM date for the Confirmation of the Covenant - calculable (with a few uncertainties) from the continuous chronology of Genesis3- the Creation AM and BC dates can be linked and a complete chronology built up by 'filling in' this framework. One may also speculate that 'The Fall' happened around 3977 BC (6000 years before the 70th Jubilee). This computation results in Abraham being born 2000 years after the fall, with Christ's ministry starting 4000 years after the fall. - Enjoy

1 "The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings", Edwin R. Thiele, Kregel Publications 1994

2 The events of the book of Esther may be placed in this period because Mordecai, Esther's cousin and guardian, went into captivity with Jehoiachin (Esther 2:6) and returned after the Cyrus decree (Ezra 2:2). The dates in Esther suggest that the lots of Pur were also cast in this Jubilee year of 573 BC which was the twelfth year of the Median king Astyges.

3 This creation date has been derived by including an extra 35 years for Cainan, son of Arphaxad, from Luke 3:36 and the septuagent version of Gen.11:12. This name had dropped out of the Hebrew text, possibly due a repetition of the 35 years allowed for each father at the time of the begettal. Abraham's birth date is calculated from the fact that he was aged 75 when he left Haran after the death of his father who lived to be 205. (Gen.12:4, Acts 7:4) (Abraham was named first in the list of Terah's son's because he was the most important, not because he was the eldest - cf. Shem)

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