Chronology, the science which measures time by the succession of events that occur in the heavens or on the earth. Accordingly, chronology may be divided into two kinds, theoretical or technical, and practical or applied; in other words, into mathematical and historical. The former is, of course, the most trustworthy, as being the result of fixed laws; while the latter is, to a great degree, contingent and irregular. In this article we have to do only with Biblical dates and the method of their determination. SEE ASTRONOMY.
I. Elements. — The knowledge of the Hebrews in chronology rested altogether on appearances; not a trace of anything like a scientific view is to be found in their literature. The books of the Old Testament recognize none of the great areas which other nations have employed. Nor is it until the first book of the Maccabees that any such guide is found. Instead of these, the Hebrew writers usually employ more limited and local or national epochs. (See below.) Genealogical tables, indeed, are not wanting, but they are of little service for the general purposes of chronology. (See below.) Formerly great exactness was hoped for in the determination of Hebrew chronology. Although the materials were often not definite enough to fix a date within a few years, it was nevertheless expected that the very day could be ascertained. Hence arose unsoundness and variety of results, and ultimately a general feeling of distrust. At present critics are rather prone to run into this latter extreme. The truth, as might be expected, lies between these two extreme judgments. The character of the records whence we draw our information forbids us to hope for a perfect system. The Bible does not give a complete history of the times to which it refers; in its historical portions it deals with special and detached periods. The chronological information is, therefore, not absolutely continuous, although often, with the evident purpose of forming a kind of connection between these different portions, it has a more continuous character than might have been expected. It is rather historical than strictly chronological in its character, and thus the technical part of the subject depends, so far as the Bible is concerned, almost wholly upon inference. SEE HISTORY.
In one particular, however, great care has usually been exercised in the Hebrew records, namely, the prevention of error by the neglect or accumulation of fractional parts of a year in the continuous series of generations, dynasties, or reigns. This has been systematically done (as in most other ancient chronologies) by adding these into the beginning of each successive number, i.e. by reckoning, in all cases, from a fixed puis t in the calendar, so that the years are always to )e accounted "full" unless specified as current. Nevertheless, in consequence of the brief and sometimes double lines of seras, beginning at various seasons of the year, confusion, or at least difficulty has often crept into the statements, which is enhanced by the fact that the rule here stated is not observed with absolute uniformity. All this is especially illustrated in the parallel lists of the kings of JUDAH SEE JUDAH and ISRAEL SEE ISRAEL (q.v.).
1. Generations. — It is commonly supposed that the genealogies given in the Bible are invariably continuous. When, however, we come to examine them closely, we find that many are broken, without being in consequence technically defective as Hebrew genealogies. A notable instance is that of the genealogy of our Savior given by Matthew, where Joram is immediately followed by Ozias, as if his son — Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah being omitted (Mt 1:8). That this is not an accidental omission of a copyist is evident from the specification of the number of generations from Abraham to David, from David to the Babylonish Captivity, and from the Babylonish Captivity to Christ, in each case fourteen generations. Probably these missing names were purposely left out to make the number for the interval equal to that of the other intervals, such an omission being obvious and not liable to cause error. In Ezra's genealogy (Ezr 7:1-5) there is a similar omission, which in so famous a line can scarcely be attributed to the carelessness of a copyist. There are also examples of a man being called the son of a remote ancestor, as "Shebuel the son of Gershon [Gershom], the son of Moses" (1Ch 26:24). So, in historical narratives, Jehu is called "the son of Nimshi" (1Ki 19:16; 2Ki 9:20; 2Ch 22:7), as well as "the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi" (1Ki 9:2,14).
Laban is called "the son of Nahor" (Ge 29:5), for grandson (28:2, 5; comp. 22:20-23). We cannot, therefore, venture to use the Hebrew genealogical lists to compute intervals of time except where we can prove each descent to be immediate, and where the length of each generation is given. SEE GENEALOGY. Ideler remarks that Moses reckons by generations (Handbuch, 1:506); but this is not the manner of Herodotus, who assumes an average of three generations to a century (2:142). There is no use of a generation as a division of time in the Pentateuch, unless, with some, we suppose that דּוֹר, a "generation," in Ge 15:16, is so used; those, however, who hold this opinion make it an interval of a hundred years, since it would, if a period of time, seem to be the fourth part of the 400 years of verse 13; most probably, however, the meaning is that some of the fourth generation should come forth from Egypt. SEE GENERATION.
2. Divisions of Time. SEE TIME.
(1.) Hour. — The hour is supposed to be mentioned in Daniel (3:6, 15; 4:16, 30 [Engl. 19, 33; 5:5]), but in no one of these cases is a definite period of time clearly intended by the Chald. term (שָׁעָה, שִׁעֲתָא, שִׁעתָּא) employed. The Egyptians divided the day and night into hours like ourselves from at least B.C. cir. 1200 (Lepsius, Chronologie der Eg. 1:130). It is therefore not improbable that the Israelites were acquainted with the hour from an early period. The "sun-dial of Ahaz," whatever instrument, fixed or movable, it may have been, implies a division of the kind. SEE DIAL. In the N.T. we find the same system as the modern, the hours being reckoned from the beginning of the Jewish night and day. SEE HOUR.
(2.) Day. — For the civil day of 24 hours we find in one place (Da 8:14) the term עֶרֶב בֹּקר, " evening-morning," Sept. νυχθήμερον (also in 2Co 11:25, A. V. "a night and a day"). Whatever may be the proper meaning of this Hebrew term, it cannot be doubted here to signify "nights and days." The common word for day as distinguished from night is also used for the civil day, or else both day and night are mentioned to avoid vagueness, as in the case of Jonah's "three days and three nights" (Joh 2:1 [A. V. 1:17]; comp. Mt 12:40). The civil day was divided into night and natural day, the periods of darkness and light (Ge 1:5). It commenced with night, which stands first in the special term given above. The night, לִיִל, and therefore the civil day, is generally held to have begun at sunset. Ideler, however, while admitting that this point of time was that of the commencement of the civil day among all other nations known to us which followed a lunar reckoning, objects to the opinion that this was the case with the Jews. He argues in favor of the beginning of deep night, reasoning that, for instance, in the ordaining of the Day of Atonement, on the 10th of the 7th month, it is said "in the ninth [day] of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate (literally, rest) your Sabbath" (Le 23:32); where, if the civil day began at sunset, it would have been said that they should commence the observance on the evening of the 10th day, or merely on the 10th day, supposing the word "evening" (עֶרֶב) to mean the later part of our afternoon. He cites, as probably supporting this view, the expression בֵּין הָעִרבִּיִם, "between the two evenings" used of the time of offering the passover and the daily evening sacrifice (Ex 12:6; Nu 9:3; Nu 28:4); for the Pharisees, whom the present Jews follow, took it to be the time between the 9th and 11th hours of the day, or our 3 and 5 P.M., although the Samaritans and Karaites supposed it to be the time between sunset and full darkness, particularly on account of the phrase כּבוֹא הִשֶּׁמֶשׁ, "when the sun is setting," used in a parallel passage (De 16:6) (see Handbuch, 1:482-484). These passages and expressions may, however, be not unreasonably held to support the common opinion that the civil day began at sunset. The term "between the two evenings" can scarcely be supposed to have originally indicated n long period; a special short period, though scarcely point, the time of sunset, is shown to correspond to it. This is a natural division between the late afternoon, when the sun is low, and the evening, when his light has not wholly disappeared — the two evenings into which the natural evening would be cut by the commencement of the civil day, if it began at sunset. There is no difficulty in the command that the observance of so solemn a day as that of Atonement should commence a little before the true beginning of the civil day, that due preparation might be made for the sacrifices. In Judaea, where the duration of twilight is very short at all times, the most natural division would be at sunset. The natural "day" (יוֹם) probably was held to commence at sunrise, morning-twilight being included in the last watch of the night, according to the old as well as the later division; some, however, made the morning-watch part of the day. SEE DAY; SEE NIGHT. Four natural periods, smaller than the civil day, are mentioned. These are עֶרֶב, evening, and בֹּקֶר, morning, of which there is frequent mention, and the less usual צָהַרִיִם" the two lights," as though "double light," noon, and חֲצוֹת הִלִּילָה, or — חֲצִי, "half the night," midnight. No one of these with a people not given to astronomy seems to indicate a point of time, but all to designate periods, evening and morning being, however, much longer than noon and midnight. The night was divided into watches (אִשׁמֻרוֹת). In the O.T. but two are expressly mentioned, and we have to infer the existence of a third, the first watch of the night. (In La 2:19, ראשׁ אִשׁמֻרוֹת of course refers to, without absolutely designating, the first watch.) The middle watch (הָאִשׁמֹרֶת הִתִּיכוֹנָה) occurs in Jg 7:19, where the connection of watches with military affairs is evident: "And Gideon and the hundred men that [were] with him wentldown unto the extremity of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch; [and] they had but set the watchmen הִשֹּׁמרִים." The morningwatch (אִשׁמֹרֶת הִבֹּקֶר) is mentioned in Ex 14:24, and 1Sa 11:11; in the former case, in the account of the passage of the Red Sea; in the latter, in that of Saul's surprise of the Ammonites when he relieved Jabesh-gilead. Some Rabbins hold that there were four watches (Ideler, Handbuch, 1:486). In the N.T. four night-watches are mentioned, which were probably adopted from the Romans as a modification of the old system. All four occur together in Mr 13:35: ὀψέ, the late watch; μεσονύκτιον, midnight; ἀλεκτροφωνία, the cock-crowing; and πρωϊv, the early watch. SEE WATCHES OF NIGHT.
(3.) Week (שָׁבוּעִ, a hebdomad). — The Hebrew week was a period of seven days, ending with the Sabbath; therefore it could not have been a division of the month, which was lunar, without intercalation. But there was no such intercalation, since the Sabbath was to be every seventh day; its name is used for week, and weeks are counted on without any additional day or days. The mention together of Sabbaths and new moons proves nothing but that the two observances were similar, the one closing the week, the other commencing the month. The week, whether a period of seven days, or a quarter of the month, was of common use in antiquity. The Egyptians, however, were without it (with Dion Cassius, 37:19, comp. Lepsius, Chronol. d. AEg. 1:131, 133), dividing their month of 30 days into decades, as did the Athenians. The Hebrew week, therefore, cannot have been adopted from Egypt; probably both it and the Sabbath were used and observed by the patriarchs. SEE WATCHES OF NIGHT
(4.) Month (יֶרִח, חֹדֶשׁ, חֹדֶשׁ יָמִים). — The months by which the time is measured in the account of the Flood may have been of 30 days each, possibly forming a year of 360 days, for the 1st, 2d, 7th, and 10th months are mentioned (Ge 8:13; Ge 7:11; Ge 8:14,4-5). Ideler, however, contests this, arguing that as the water first began to sink after 150 days (and then had been 15 cubits above all high mountains), it must have sunk for some days ere the ark could have rested on Ararat, so that the second date must be more than 150 days later than the first (Handbuch, 1:69, 70, 478, 479). This argument depends upon the meaning of "high mountains," and upon the height of those "the mountains of Ararat" (8:4), on which the ark rested, questions connected with that of the universality of the Flood. SEE DELUGE. On the other hand, it must be urged that the exact correspondence of the interval to five months of 30 days each, and the use of a year of 360 days, in prophetic passages of both Testaments, are of no slight weight. That the months from the giving of the Law until the time of the Second Temple, when we have certain knowledge of their character, were always lunar, appears from the command to keep new-moons, and from the unlikelihood of a change in the calendar. These lunar months have been supposed to have been always alternately of 29 and 30 days. Their average length would of course be a lunation, or a little (44´) above 29 1/2 days, and therefore they would in general be alternately of 29 and 30 days; but it is possible that occasionally months might occur of 28 and 31 days, if, as is highly probable, the commencement of each was strictly determined by observation; that observation was employed for this purpose is distinctly affirmed in the Babylonian Talmud of the practice of the time at which it was written, when, however, a month was not allowed to be less than 29, or more than 30 days in length. The first day of the month is called חֹדֶשׁ, "new moon;" Sept. νεομηνία, from the root חָדִשׁ, to be new; and in speaking of the first day of a month this word was sometimes used with the addition of a number for the whole expression, "in such a month, on the first day," as בִּיּוֹם הִזֶּה ... . בִּחֹדֶשׁ הִשּׁלִישִׁי, "On the third new-moon ... . on that day" (Ex 19:1); hence the word came to signify month, though then it was sometimes qualified (חֹדֶשׁ יָמִים). The new-moon was kept as a sacred festival (q.v.). In the Pentateuch and Joshua, Judges and Ruth, we find but one month mentioned by a special name, the rest being called according to their order. The month with a special name is the first, which is called חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב (Sept., μὴν τῶν νέων), "the month of ears of corn," or "Abib," that is, the month in which the ears of corn became full or ripe, and on the 16th day of which, the second day of the feast of unleavened bread, ripe ears, אָבִיב, were to be offered (Le 2:14; comp. 23:10, 11, 14). This undoubted derivation shows how erroneous is the idea that Abib comes from the Egyptian Epiphi. In 1 Kings three other names of months occur, Zif, זִו, or זִיו, the second; Ethanim, אֵיתָּנִים, the seventh; and Bul, בּוּל, the eighth. These names appear, like that of Abib, to be connected with the phenomena of a tropical year. No other names are found in any book prior to the Capitivity, but in the books written after the return the later nomenclature still in use appears. This is evidently of Babylonian origin, as the Jews themselves affirm. SEE MONTH.
(5.) Year (שָׁנָה). — It has been supposed, on account of the dates in the narrative of the Flood, as already mentioned, that in Noah's time there was a year of 160 days. These dates may indeed be explained in accordance with a year of 365 days. The evidence of the prophetic Scriptures is, however, decisive as to the knowledge of a year of the former length. The "time, times and a half" of Daniel (7:25; 12:7), where time means year (see 11:13), cannot be doubted to be equivalent expressions to the 42 months and 1260 days of Revelation (11:2, 3; 12:6), for 360 X 3½=1260; and 30 X 42 =1260. We have also the testimony of ancient writers that such a year was known to some nations, so that it is probable that the year of Noah was of this length, whatever may have been that of the months referred to by Moses in the narrative of the Flood (q.v.).
The characteristics of the year instituted at the Exodus can be clearly determined, though we cannot absolutely fix those of any single year. There can be no doubt that it was essentially tropical, since certain observances connected with the produce of the land were fixed to particular days. It is equally clear that the months were lunar, each commencing with a new moon. It would appear, therefore, that there must have been some mode of adjustment. To ascertain what this was, it is necessary first to decide when the year commenced. On the 16th day of the month Abib, as already mentioned, ripe ears of corn were to be offered as first-fruits of the harvest (Le 2:14; Le 23:10-11). The reaping of the barley commenced the harvest (2Sa 21:9), the wheat following (Ru 2:23). Josephus expressly says that the offering was of barley
(Ant. 3:10, 5). It is therefore necessary to find when the barle heccmes ripe in Palestine. According to the observation of travelers, the barley is ripe, in the warmest parts of the country, in the first days of April. The barley- harvest therefore commences about half a month after the vernal equinox, so that the year would begin at about that tropical point were it not divided into lunar months. We may conclude that the nearest new moon about or after the equinox, but not much before, was chosen as the commencement of the year. Ideler, whom we have thus far followed as to this year, concludes that the right new moon was chosen through observation of the forwardness of the barley-crops in the warmer districts of the country (Handbuch, 1:490). There is, however, this difficulty, that the different times of barley-harvest in various parts would have been liable to cause confusion. It seems, therefore, not unlikely that the Hebrews adopted the surer means of determining their new-year's day by observations of heliacal risings or similar stellar phenobemia known to mark the right time before the barley-harvest. Certainly the ancient Egyptians and the' Arabs made use of such means. The method of intercalation can only have been that which obtained after the Captivity — the addition of a thirteenth month, whenever the twelfth ended too long before the equinox for the first-fruits of the harvest to be offered in the middle of the month following, and the similar offerings at the times appointed. This method would be in accordance with the permission granted to postpone the celebration of the Passover in the case of any one who was either legally unclean or journeying at a distance, for a whole month, to the 14th day of the second month (Nu 9:9-13), of which permission we find Hezekiah to have availed himself for both the reasons allowed, because the priests were not sufficiently sanctified and the people were not collected (2Ch 30:1-3,15). The later Jews had two beginnings to the year, or, as it is commonly, but somewhat inaccurately said, two years. At the time of the Second Temple these two beginnings obtained, the seventh month of the civil reckoning being Abib, the first of the sacred. Hence it has been held that the institution at the time of the Exodus was merely a change of commencement, and not the introduction of a new year; and also that from this time there were the two beginnings. The former opinion is at present purely hypothetical, and has been too much mixed up with the latter, for which, on the contrary, there is some evidence. SEE YEAR.
(6.) Seasons. — The ancient Hebrews do not appear to have divided their year into fixed seasons. We find mention of the natural seasons, קִיִוֹ, "summer," and חֹרֶŠ, "winter," which are used for the whole year (in Ps 24:10; Zec 14:8; and perhaps Ge 8:22). The former of these properly means the time of cutting fruits, and the latter that of gathering fruits; the one referring to the early fruit season, the other to the late one. Their true significations are, therefore, rather summer and autumn than summer and winter. There can be no doubt, however, that they came to signify the two grand divisions of the year, both from their use together as the two seasons, and from the mention of the "winter- house" (בֵּית הִחֹרֶŠ) and the "summer-house" (בֵּית הִקִּיִוֹ, Am 3:15). The latter evidence is the stronger, since the winter is the time in Palestine when a palace or house of different construction would be needed from the light summer pavilion, and in the only passage besides that referred to in which the winter-house is mentioned, we read that Jehoiakim "sat in the winter-house in the ninth month;" that is, almost at mid-winter; "and [there was a fire] on the hearth burning before him" (Jer 36:22). It is probable, however, that "winter," or חֹרֶŠ, when used without reference to the year, as in Job 29:4, has its original signification. The phrase קֹר וָחֹם cold and heat," in Ge 8:22, is still more general, and cannot be held to indicate more than the great alternations of temperature, which, like those of day and night, were promised not to cease (Ideler, Handbuch, 1:494). There are two agricultural seasons of a more special character than the preceding in their ordinary use. These are זֶרִע, "seed-time," and קָצִיר, "harvest." Ideler makes these equal to the foregoing seasons when similarly used together; but he has not proved this, and the passage he quotes (Genesis l. c.) cannot be held to afford any evidence of the kind, until some other two terms in it are proved to be strictly correspondent. SEE SEASON.
3. Festivals and Holy Days. — Besides the Sabbaths and new-moons, there were four great festivals and a fast in the ancient Hebrew year, and a great celebration every seventh and fiftieth year. SEE FESTIVAL.
(1.) The Feast of the Passover (פֶּסִח) was properly only the time of the sacrifice and eating of the paschal lamb, that is, the evening, בֵּין הָעִרבִּיִם, "between the two evenings" (Le 23:5)-a phrase previously considered — of the 14th day of the first month, and the night following, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (חִג הִמִּצּוֹת) commencing on the morning of the 15th day of the month, and lasting seven days, until the 21st inclusive. The 15th and 21st days of the month were Sabbaths, that is, holy days. SEE PASSOVER.
(2.) The Feast of Weeks (חִג שָׁבֻעוֹת), or Pentecost, was kept at the close of seven weeks, counted from the day inclusive following the 16th of the 1st month. Hence its name means the feast of seven weeks, as indeed it is called in Tobit (ἁγία ἑπτὰ ἑβδομάδων, 2:1). As the ears of barley as first-fruits of the harvest were offered on the 16th day of the lst month, so on this day thanksgiving was paid for the blessing of the harvest, and first- fruits of wheat offered as well as of fruits; hence the names חִג הִקָּצִיר, Feast of the Harvest, and יוֹם הִבִּכּוּרִים, Day of the First-fruits. SEE PENTECOST.
(3.) The Feast of Trumpets, יוֹם תּרוּעָה (lit. day of trumpet-sound), also called שִׁבָּתוֹן זִכרוֹן תּרוּעָה, i.e. "a great festival of celebration by the sound of the trumpet," was the 1st day of the 7th month, the civil commencement of the year. SEE TRUMPET.
(4.) The Day of Atonement, יוֹם הִכִּפֻּרִים, was the 10th day of the 7th month. It was a Sabbath, that is, a holy day, and also a fast, the only one in the Hebrew year before the Babylonish Captivity. Upon this day the high- priest made an offering of atonement for the nation. This annual solemn rite seems more appropriate to the commencement than to the middle of the year; and the time of its celebration thus affords some evidence in favor of the theory of a double beginning. SEE ATONEMENT (DAY OF).
(5.) The Feast of Tabernacles, חִג הִסֻּכּוֹת, was kept in the 7th month, from the 15th to the 22d days inclusive. Its chief days were the first and last, which were Sabbaths. Its name was taken from the people dwelling in tabernacles, to commemorate the Exodus. It was otherwise called חִג הָאָסִיŠ. i.e. "the feast of gathering," because it was also instituted as a time of thanksgiving for the end of the gathering of fruit and of the vintage. SEE TABERNACLES (FEAST OF).
The small number and simplicity of these primitive Hebrew festivals and holy days is especially worthy of note. It is also observable that they are not of an astronomical character; and that when they are connected with nature, it is as directing the gratitude of the people to him who, in giving good things, leaves not himself without witness. In later times many holy days were added. Of these the most worthy of remark are the Feast of Purim, or "Lots," commemorating the deliverance of the Jews from Haman's plot, the Feast of the Dedication, recording the cleansing and re- dedication of the Temple by Judas Maccabmeus, and fasts on the anniversaries of great national misfortunes connected with the Babylonish Captivity. These last were doubtless instituted during that period (comp. Zec 7:1-5). SEE PURIM; SEE DEDICATION.
(6.) Sabbatical and Jubilee Years. — The sabbatical year, שׁנִת הִשּׁמִטָּה, "the fallow year," or possibly "year of remission," or שׁמִטָּה alone, also called a "sabbath," and a "great sabbath," was an institution of strictly the same character as the Sabbath — a year of rest, like the day of rest. It has not been sufficiently noticed that as the day has a side of physical necessity with reference to man, so the year has a side of physical necessity with reference to the earth. Every seventh year appears to be a very suitable time for the recurrence of a fallow year, on agricultural principles. Besides the rest from the labors of the field and vineyard, there was in this year to be remission, temporary or absolute, of debts and obligations among the people. The sabbatical year seems to have commenced at the civil beginning of the year, with the seventh month. Although doubtless held to commence with the first of the month, its beginning appears to have been kept at the Feast of Tabernacles (De 31:10), while that of the jubilee year was kept on the Day of Atonement. This institution seems to have been greatly neglected, as indeed was prophesied by Moses, who speaks of the desolation of the land as an enjoying the sabbaths which had not been kept (Le 26:34,46,43). The seventy years' captivity is also spoken of in 2Ch 26:21 as an enjoying sabbath; but this may be on account of the number being sabbatical, as ten times seven, which, indeed, seems to be indicated in the passage. After the lapse of seven sabbatical periods, or forty-nine years, a year of jubilee was to be kept, immediately following the last sabbatical year. This was called שׁנִת הִיּוֹבֵל, "the year of the trumpet," or יוֹבֵל alone, the latter word meaning either the sound of the trumpet or the instrument itself, because the commencement of the year was announced on the Day of Atonement by sound of trumpet. It was similar to the sabbatical year in its character, although doubtless yet more important. In the jubilee year debts were to be remitted, and lands were to be restored to their former owners. It is obvious from the words of the law (Le 25:8-11) that this year followed every seventh sabbatical year, so that the opinion that it was always identical with a sabbatical year is untenable. There is a further question as to the length of each jubilee period, if we may use the term, some holding that it had a duration of fifty, but others of forty-nine years. The latter opinion does not depend upon the supposition that the seventh sabbatical year was the jubilee, since the jubilee might be the first year of the next seven years after. That such was the case is rendered most probable by the analogy of the weekly Sabbath, and the custom of the Jews in the first and second centuries B.C.; although it must be noted that, according to Maimonides, the jubilee period was of fifty years, the fifty- first year commencing a new period, and that the same writer mentions that the Jews had a tradition that after the destruction of the first Temple only sabbatical years, and no jubilee years, were observed (Ideler, Handbuch, 1:503, 504). The testimony of Josephus does not seem to us at all conclusive, although Ideler (l. c.) holds it to be so; for his language (ταῦτα πεντήκοντα μέν έστιν ἔτη τὰ πάντα, Ant. 3:12, 3) cannot be held to prove absolutely that the jubilee year was not the first year of a sabbatical period, instead of standing between two such periods. — It is important to ascertain when the first sabbatical year ought to have been kept; whether the sabbatical and jubilee periods seem to have been continuous; what positive record there is of any sabbatical or jubilee years having been kept; and what indications there are of a reckoning by such years of either kind.
1. It can scarcely be contested that the first sabbatical year to be kept after the Israelites had entered Canaan would be about the fourteenth (Jennings, Jewish Antiquities, bk. 3, cap. 9). It is possible that it might have been somewhat earlier or later; but the narrative will not admit of much latitude.
2. It is clear that any sabbatical and jubilee years kept from the time of Joshua until the destruction of the first Temple would have been reckoned from the first one, but it may be questioned if any kept after the return would be counted in the same manner: from the nature of the institutions, it is rather to be supposed that the reckoning, in the second case, would be from the first cultivation of the country after its reoccupation. The recorded sabbatical years do not enable us to test this supposition, because we do not know exactly the year of return, or that of the first cultivation of the country. The recorded dates of sabbatical years would make that next after the return to commence in B.C. 528, and be current in B.C. 527, which would make the first year of the period B.C. 534-3, which would not improbably he the first year of cultivation; but in the case of so short a period this cannot be regarded as evidence of much weight.
3. There is no positive record of any jubilee year having been kept at any time. The dates of three sabbatical years have, however, been preserved. These were current B.C. 163, 135, and 37, and therefore commenced in each case about three months earlier than the beginning of these Julian years (Josephus, Ant. 12:9, 5; 13:8, 1; 14:16, 2; 15:1, 2; War, 1:2, 4; and 1 Macc. 6:49, 53).
4. There are some chronological indications in the O.T. that may not unreasonably be supposed to be connected with the sabbatical system. The prophet Ezekiel dates his first prophecy of those in the book "in the thirtieth year," etc., "which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity" (Eze 1:2); thus apparently dating in the former case from a Letter known aera than that of Jehoiachin's, captivity, which he employs in later places, without, however, in general again describing it. This date of the 30th year has been variously explained; some, with Usher, suppose that the aera is the 18th year of Josiah, when the book of the law was found, and a great passover celebrated (see Hävernick, Commentar über Ezech. p. 12, 13). This year of Josiah would certainly be the first of the reckoning, and might be used as a kind of reformation-aera, not unlike the aera of Simon the Maccabee. Others suppose that the thirtieth year of the prophet's life is meant, but this seems very unlikely. Others again, including Scaliger (De Emendatione Temporum, p. 79, 218, ed. 1583) and Rosenmüller (Schol. in loc.), hold that the date is from the commencement of the reign of Nabopolassar. There is no record of an aera of Nabopolassar; that king had been dead some years; and we have no instance in the O. Test. of the use of a foreign aera. The evidence, therefore, is in favor of Josiah's 18th year, B.C. 623. There seems to be another reference to this date in the same book, where the time of the iniquity of Judah is said to be 40 years; for the final captivity of Judah (Jer 3:25) was in the 41st year of this reckoning. In the same place (Eze 4:5-6) the time of the iniquity of Israel is said to be 390 years, which sum, added to the date of the captivity of this part of the nation, B.C. 720, goes back to B.C. 1111. This result leads to the indication of possible jubilee dates; for the interval between B.C. 1111 and B.C. 623-2 is 488-9 years, almost exactly ten jubilee periods; and it must be remembered that the seventy weeks of the prophet Daniel seem to indicate the use of such a great cycle. It remains to be asked whether the accounts of Josiah's reformation present any indications of celebrations connected with the sabbatical system. The finding of the book of the Law might seem to point to its being specially required for some public service. Such a service was the great reading of the Law to the whole congregation at the Feast of Tabernacles in every sabbatical year (De 31:10-13). The finding of the book was certainly followed by a public reading, apparently in the first month, by the king to the whole people of Judah and Jerusalem, and afterwards a solemn passover was kept. Of the latter celebration is it said in Kings, "Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the Judges that judged Israel. nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah" (2Ki 23:22); and in Chronicles, "There was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept" (2Ch 25:18). The mention of Samuel is remarkable, since in his time the earlier supposed date (B.C. 1111) falls. It may be objected that the passover is nowhere connected with the sabbatical reckoning; but these passovers can scarcely have been greater in sacrifices than at least one in Solomon's reign, nor is it likely that they are mentioned as characterized by greater zeal than any others whatever, so that we are almost driven to the idea of some relation to chronology. SEE SABBATICAL YEAR; SEE JUBILEE.
4. AEras. — There are indications of several historical seras having been used by the ancient Hebrews, but our information is so scanty that we are generally unable to come to positive conclusions. Some of these possible aeras may be no more than dates employed by writers, and not national meras; others, however, can scarcely have been used in this special or individual manner from their referring to events of the highest importance to the whole people. SEE EPOCH.
(1.) The Exodus is used as an aera in 1Ki 6:1, in giving the date of the foundation of Solomon's Temple. This is the only positive instance of the occurrence of this sera, for we cannot agree with Ideler that it is certainly employed in the Pentateuch. He refers to Ex 19:1, and Nu 33:38 (Handbuch, 1:507). Here, as elsewhere in the same part of the Bible, the beginning of the Exodus-year — not, of course, the actual date of the Exodus (see Regnal years, below) — is used as the point whence time is counted; but during the interval of which it formed the natural commencement it cannot be shown to be an aera, though it may have been, any more than the beginning of a sovereign's reign is one. SEE EXODE.
(2.) The foundation of Solomon's Temple is conjectured by Ideler to have been an aera. The passages to which he refers (1Ki 9:10; 2Ch 8:1) merely speak of occurrences subsequent to the interval of 20 years occupied in the building of the Temple and the king's house, both being distinctly specified; so that his reading ("Zwanzig Jahre, nachdem Salomo das Haus des Herrn erbaute") leaves out half the statement, and so makes it incorrect (Handb. l. c.). It is elsewhere stated that the building of the Temple occupied seven years (1Ki 6:37-38), and that of Solomon's house thirteen (1Ki 7:1), making up the interval of twenty years. SEE TEMPLE.
(4.) The aera of Jehoiachin's captivity is constantly used by Ezekiel. The earliest date is the 5th year (Eze 1:2), and the latest the 27th (Eze 24:17). The prophet generally gives the date without applying any distinctive term to the aera. He speaks, however, of "the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity" (Eze 1:2), and "the twelfth year of our captivity" (Eze 33:21), the latter of which expressions may explain his constant use of the sera. The same aera is necessarily employed, though not as such, where the advancement of Jehoiachin in the 37th year of his captivity is mentioned (2Ki 25:27; Jer 52:31). We have no proof that it was used except by those to whose captivity it referred. Its first year was current B.C. 598, commencing in the spring of that year. SEE JEHOIACHIN.
(5.) The beginning of the seventy years' captivity does not appear to have been used as an aera; but the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians is occasionally referred to for chronological purposes (Eze 40:1). SEE CAPTIVITY.
(6.) The return from Babylon does not appear to be employed as an aera; it is, however, reckoned from in Ezra (3:1, 8), as is the Exodus in the Pentateuch. SEE EZRA.
(7.) The aera of the Seleucidme is used in the first and second books of Maccabees. SEE SELEUCUS.
(8.) The liberation of the Jews from the Syrian yoke in the first year of Simon the Maccabee is stated to have been commemorated by an aera used in contracts and agreements (1 Macc. 13:41). The years 1, 2, and 3 on the coins ascribed to Simon, SEE MONEY; SEE SHEKEL, are probably of this aera, although it is related that the right of coining money with his own stamp was not conceded to him until somewhat later than its beginning (15:6), for it may be reasonably supposed either that Antiochus VII confirmed privileges before granted by his brother Demetrius II (comp. 15:5), or that he gave his sanction to money already issued (Encycl. Brit., 8th ed., s.v. Numismatics, p. 379, 380). SEE MACCABEES.
(9.) Regnal Years. — By the Hebrews regnal years appear to have been counted from the beginning of the year, not from the day of the king's accession. Thus, if a king came to the throne in the last month of one year, reigned for the whole of the next year, and died in the first month of the third year, we might have dates in his first, second, and third years, although he governed for no more than thirteen or fourteen months. Any dates in the year of his accession before that event, or in the year of his death after it, would be assigned to the last year of his predecessor and the first of his successor. The same principle would apply to reckoning from aeras or important events, but the whole stated lengths of reigns or intervals would not be affected by it.
II. Data. — The historical part of Hebrew chronology is not less difficult than the technical. The information in the Bible is indeed direct rather than inferential, although there is very important evidence of the latter kind; but the present state of the numbers makes absolute certainty in some cases impossible. In addition to this difficulty, there are several gaps in the series of smaller numbers which we have no means of supplying with exactness. When, therefore, we can compare several of these smaller numbers with a larger number, or with independent evidence, we are frequently prevented from putting a conclusive test by the deficiencies in the first series. Lately some have laid great stress upon the frequent occurrence of the number 40, alleging that it and 70 are vague terms equivalent to "many," so that "40 years" or "70 years" would mean no more than "many years." Primâ facie this idea would seem reasonable, but on a further examination it will be seen that the details of some periods of 40 years are given, and show that the number is not indefinite where it would at first especially seem to be so. Thus the 40 years in the wilderness can be divided into three periods: 1. From the Exodus to the sending out of the spies was about one year and a quarter (1 year, 1+x [2?] months, Nu 9:1; Nu 10:11; comp. ver. 29, showing it was this year, and 13:20, proving that the search ended somewhat after midsummer); 2. The time of search, 40 days (Nu 13:25); 3. The time of the wandering until the brook Zered was crossed, 38 years (De 2:14)-making altogether almost 39½ years. This perfectly accords with the date (yr. 40, m. 11, d. 1) of the address of Moses after the conquest of Sihon and Og (De 1:3-4), which was subsequent to the crossing of the brook Zered. So, again, David's reign of 40 years is divided into 7 years 6 months in Hebron, and 33 in Jerusalem (2Sa 2:11; 2Sa 5:5; 1Ch 3:4; but 1Ki 2:11,7 years, omitting the months, and 33). This, therefore, cannot be an indefinite number, as some might conjecture from its following Saul's 40 years, and preceding Solomon's. The last two reigns, again, could not have been much more or less from the circumstances of the history. The occurrence of some round numbers, therefore, does not warrant our supposing the constant use of vague ones. SEE NUMBER.
The attempt to "correct" or improve the Hebrew chronology by means of the data lately deciphered from the Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions has been a favorite method of late, as was in previous times a similar comparison with the relics of ancient records in heathen authors. But, unfortunately, these statements are so discrepant with one another, and the results vary so widely, as to be of very little practical value for such a purpose. The hieroglyphical data are too fragmentary and disconnected, as well as too uncertainly translated hitherto, to afford any definite chronological chain; and the cuneiform legends do not rise so early as the disputed part of Biblical chronology. SEE EGYPT; SEE ASSYRIA.
1. From Adam to Abram's departure out of Haran. — All the numerical data in the Bible for the chronology of this interval are comprised in two genealogical lists in Genesis, the first from Adam to Noah and his sons (Ge 5:3 to the end), and the second from Shem to Abram (Ge 11:10-26), and in certain passages in the same book (Ge 7:6,11; Ge 8:13; Ge 9:28-29; Ge 11:32; Ge 12:4). The Masoretic Hebrew text, the Septuagint Version, and the Samaritan Pentateuch greatly differ, as may be seen by the following table, while the parallel [accounts of Josephus (Ant. 1:3, 3, and 4, 9; 6, 5; 7, 1) do not exactly tally with any of them. The Latin Vulgate strictly conforms to the Hebrew. The principal various readings are given between brackets, and the numbers which are combined from statements in the text are enclosed in a parenthesis. In this period there are a number of serious difficulties.
(1.) The number of generations in the Sept. is one in excess of the Hebrews and Samar, on account of the "Second Cainan," whom the best chronologers are agreed in rejecting as spurious. He is found elsewhere only in some copies at 1Ch 1:17, and in Lu 3:36. Josephus, Philo, and the earlier Christian writers appear, however, to have known nothing of him, and it is therefore probable either that he was first introduced by a copyist into the Gospel and thence into the Sept., or olse that he was found in some MSS. of the Sept. and thence introduced into the Gospel, and afterwards into all other copies of the Sept. SEE CAINAN.
(2.) The remarkable discrepancies in nearly all the names as to the respective ages before and after the birth of the eldest son, while the totals given generally agree, has occasioned greater variety in the schemes of different Biblical chronologers than any or all other causes whatever. As no two of the lists correspond throughout, and as a high degree of antiquity undoubtedly belongs to them all, each has had its advocates as the true original. The cardinal importance of the subject demands a clear, full, and impartial examination of the arguments that bear upon their authority severally, as well as upon the accuracy of particular numbers. As a preliminary, it must be noted that the variations are the result of design, not accident, as is evident from the years before the birth of a son and the residues agreeing in their sums in almost all cases in the antediluvian generations, the exceptions, save one (Lamech), being apparently the result of necessity that lives should not overlap the date of the Flood (comp. Clinton, Fasti Helln. 1:285). We have no clew to the date or dates of the alterations, except that we can trace the Sept. form to the 1st century of the Christian aera, if not higher, and the Hebrews to the 4th century; if the Samar. numbers be as old as the text, we can assign them a higher antiquity than what is known as to the Hebrews The little acquaintance most of the early Christian writers had with Hebrew makes it impossible to decide, on their evidence, that the variation did not exist when they wrote; the testimony of Josephus is here of more weight, but in his present text it shows contradiction, though preponderating in favor of the Sept. numbers.
A comparison of the lists would lead us to suppose, on internal evidence, that they had first two forms, and that the third version of them originated from these two. This supposed later version of the lists would seem to be the Samar., which certainly is less internally consistent, on the supposition of the original correctness of the numbers, than the other two. The cause of the alterations is most uncertain. It has indeed been conjectured that the Jews shortened the chronology, in order that an ancient prophecy that the Messiah should come in the sixth millenary of the world's age might not be known to be fulfilled in the advent of our Lord. The reason may be sufficient in itself, but it does not rest upon sufficient evidence. It is, however, worthy of remark, that in the apostolic age there were hot discussions respecting genealogies (Tit 3:9), which would seem to indicate that great importance was attached to them, perhaps also that the differences, or some difference, then existed. The different proportions of the generations and lives in the Sept. and Hebrews have been asserted to afford an argument in favor of the former. At a later period, however, when we find instances of longevity recorded in all versions, the time of marriage is not different from what it is at the present day, although there are some long generations. A stronger argument for the Sept., in view of the. unity of the human race, is found in the long period required from the Flood to the Dispersion and the establishment of kingdoms. This supposition would, however, require that the patriarchal generations should be either exceptional or represent periods. For the former of these hypotheses we shall see there is some ground in the similar case of certain generations, just alluded to, from Abraham downwards. With respect to probability of accuracy, arising from the state of the text, the Hebrews certainly has the advantage. There is every reason to think that the Rabbins have been scrupulous in the extreme in making alterations; the Sept., on the other hand, shows signs of a carelessness that would almost permit change, and we have the probable interpolation of the post-diluvian Cainan. If, however, we consider the Samar. form of the lists as sprung from the other two, the Sept. would seem to be earlier than the Heb., since it is more probable that the antediluvian generations would have been shortened to a general agreement with the Heb., than that the post-diluvian would have been lengthened to suit the Sept.; for it is obviously most likely that a sufficient number of years having been deducted from the earlier generations, the operation was not carried on with the later. It is noticeable that the stated sums in the post-diluvian generations in the Samar. generally agree with the computed sums of the Heb., and not with those of the Sept., which would be explained by the theory of an adaptation of one of these two to the other, although it would not give us reason for supposing either form to be the earlier. The general presumption, on external grounds, would certainly be in favor of the Hebrews, both as being unquestionably the original from which the others (except perhaps the Samar., which, singularly enough, is the least probable, on other considerations, of all) are known to have been translated — and a version can never rise higher in authority than its source; and also because of the manifestly greater state of purity in which this text has been transmitted to us, in comparison with either of the others. SEE SEPTUAGINT; SEE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH. The text of Josephus is too corrupt in its numbers to be at all relied upon, as may be seen from the slightest comparison of the sums in the title of the chapters with the detailed contents, having doubtless been tampered with by readers who used only the Sept. or Vulg. versions.
There can be no question that the author or last redactor of the book of Genesis intended that the narrative should be connected by this continuous series of time-marks. Jewish and Christian chronographers accepted the statements unquestioned, and held that the series of years of the world thus formed, from the creation of the first man to the death of Joseph, accorded with the truth of facts. The import and the authority of the numerical statements were to them umimpeachable; the only question was that which related to their genuine form. And supposing the inquirer to have decided in favor of the Greek text, even so there are diversities to be discussed, for the Sept. has various readings of some of the numbers both before and after the Flood; in particular, while most of the copies have a second Cainan after Arphaxad, with a descent of 130 years, this addition is ignored by other copies and by important authorities (see Browne, Ordo Saecl. § 307, and note; Mill, On the Descent and Parentage of the Savior, p. 143 sq.). These considerations will account for the enormous discrepancy which appears in the estimates formed by different chronologists of the number of years contained in the book of Genesis. The Hebrew numbers, from Adam to Terah's 70th year, make 1656 plus 292 years; the Sept., with its various readings, 2242 or 2262 plus 942, or 1042, or 1072, or 1172; the Samaritan, 1307 plus 942. This last, however, need not come into consideration, since it is well understood that the Samaritan text, here as elsewhere, is merely fabricated from the Greek (Hengstenberg, Auth. des Pent. 1, 32 sq.); and those who treat it as an independent authority (e.g. Lepsius, Chronol. der AEg. p. 397 sq.) only show themselves ignorant of the results of criticism on this subject. Of course the Sept., in one or more of its enumerations, would be followed by those early inquirers who had access to that text only; the earliest extant estimate, by Demetrius, an Alexandrine Jew of the third century B.C. (quoted from Alexander Polyhistor by Eusebius, Praep. Evang. 9:21, 12), makes the interval from Adam to the birth of Abraham 2262 plus 1072. Josephus certainly did not follow the Sept.; his numbers in the generations before and after the Flood have been forced into conformity with the Greek by a later and unskillful hand, which betrays itself by leaving its work incomplete (Browne, Ordo Saecl. § 319-321). As the chronology of Dr. Hales (which some still accept as authoritative) professes to be based on the Sept., rectified by the aid of Josephus, it ought to be known that the text of this author, besides having been palpably vitiated in this portion of it (Ant. 1:3, 4; 6, 5), swarms with gross inconsistencies, caused, it would seem, by his adopting, without reflection, statements belonging to different chronological systems (see Niebuhr, Geschichte Assurs u. Babels, p. 347 sq.). Of the Christian writers of the first three centuries Origen alone knew Hebrew, and he first leaves the Sept.; but only in part; Jerome, the learned Hebraist, declares for "the Hebrew verity," and as his recension of the old italic version forms the basis of the Sixtine Vulgate, which a canon of Trent declares, under anathema, to be canonical and infallible, the Hebrew chronology is virtually perpetuated in the churches of the Roman obedience. The Greek Church still holds by the Sept. Our own popular Bible chronology (Usher's, which Bishop Lloyd attached to the margin of our Bibles) follows the Hebrew. During the last century there has been a disposition, in some of our own and the Continental writers, to abandon the Hebrew for the Sept., chiefly prompted by the wish to enlarge the period before Abraham, so as to allow more time for the growth of nations after the Flood, and (more recently) to facilitate the "connection of sacred and profane chronology" in the earliest ages of mankind, especially with respect to Manetho's Egyptian chronology. The question of probability and inducement — to enlarge on the part of the Alexandrine Jews (comp. Bunsen, AEg. St. 5:68), to contract on the part of the Masoretes — is discussed in Browne's Ordo Saeclorum, § 308 sq.; and the artificial processes by which the Sept. numbers are formed from the Hebrew, and not vice versa, have been exposed by the same writer, ib. § 313 sq., and further in The Cycles of Egyptian Chronology, § 72 (Arnold's Theological Critic, 2:145 sq.). The fundamental importance of the subject in Biblical chronology requires a more exact and detailed examination than we find in the Dictionaries of Smith and Kitto, from which the preceding investigations are chiefly taken, as are also portions of subsequent discussions in this article.
(a.) General Internal Evidence. — It is a noticeable fact that in the antediluvian portion the Hebrews is the only list (unless we except that of Josephus, which has no independent value) in which every number is corroborated by the corresponding one in some one or other of the rest; while in the post-dilvuian line, after the exclusion of the second Cainan, it stands almost alone: the preponderance of evidence from this method of comparison is therefore about balanced. Again, it is a most suspicious circumstance in the Samar. that its numbers, where there is any variation, regularly lessen the period prior to parentage, as the lineage descends, by removing the irregular hundred years before the Flood, and annexing it to the ages below that point; while the Sept. (and Josephus) attain a similar uniformity by adding one hundred years to the deficient numbers throughout; whereas the Hebrews exhibits no such marks of gradation, but presents a natural irregularity in this respect, although the numbers, on the whole, decrease as the period of longevity contracts; while, on the other hand, if either of the other lists be assumed as the prototype, no possible reason can be assigned or imagined for the arbitrary enlargement or diminution here and there of a particular number. The briefer scheme of the Hebrew post-diluvian genealogy is also exactly sustained by the sum 367 (i.e. the birth of Abram 292 years from the Deluge +75 years to his departure from Haran) definitely given by Josephus, in opposition to his own magnified numbers in detail, although the weight of this argument is affected by the existence of various readings of that aggregate in his text. We must not omit to observe that those who espouse the schedule transmitted by the Sept. and Josephus, as affording the longer space between the Creation and the Deluge for the extensive propagation of the antediluvian race, and also after the Flood for the dissemination of mankind into powerful nations in the earliest times, herein only defeat their own argument; for it is obvious that, so long as the entire length of each patriarch's life remains unchanged, by whatever amount the period prior to marriage is augmented, just so much time is taken from the remainder for procreation: the earlier the age of paternity, the greater will naturally be the increase of population in a given number of generations. — The rapid advance in adolescence after the Deluge, so marked in the Hebrews numbers, was doubtless providential for the purpose of replenishing the earth as speedily as possible after that catastrophe.
(b.) Individual Discrepancies. — In addition to the post-diluvian Cainan noticed above, the following names appear to furnish decided proof of the superior trustworthiness of the Hebrews list (see the conclusive treatise of Michaelis on this subject, translated in the Amer. Bib. Repos., 2d ser., 6:114 sq.; also some judicious remarks by Dr. Pond in the Meth. Quart. Review, July, 1867).
[1.] In the cases of Adam and Seth, the addition of 100 years to their age before paternity disturbs the average ratio between the season of growth and the total life, which in man, as in other animals, is a well-established proportion. These two patriarchs passed nearly one quarter of their lives childless, although their immediate successors were blessed with offspring when they had advanced but about one tenth to one twelfth in life. Was the command to "increase and multiply and fill the earth" so much less urgent in the first centuries of the world than subsequently? In the numbers assigned to the first two generations, moreover, the various readings found in the text of Josephus nearly destroy the support which it gives to the Sept., leaving the balance of evidence decidedly in favor of the tallying numbers in the Hebrews and Samar.; and in the next three generations there is at least an equipoise between the authorities, which are arrayed in the same manner.
[2.] The Hebrews numbers in the case of Jared are sustained by all the other lists except the Samar., which not only deducts the century from his minority, but also arbitrarily curtails his subsequent years by a different amount (25 years), evidently in order to force the total life into conformity with the plan of gradual reduction below the length of the preceding generation. In the next name, that of Enoch, the Hebrews and Samar. again appear in unison against the Sept. and Josephus, the testimony of the last being impaired by the corrupt state of his numbers at this point.
[3.] The numbers given under Methuselah and Lamech, however, most decisively betray, according to the settled laws of internal criticism, marks of intentional corruption in all but the Hebrews list. Not only are the years of each of the others totally unsupported by one another, where they differ from this, under both these names, and also embarrassed by various readings of a glaring character, but a comparison of them with the date of the Deluge shows unmistakably that they were altered so as to place the demise of these two patriarchs "high and dry" beyond the reach of this event. Those who have sneeringly remarked that, according to the Hebrew chronology of Usher, "Methuselah was drowned in Noah's Flood by act of British Parliament" (which sanctioned that prelate's scheme by authorizing its insertion in the margin of the English Bible), are not only incorrect in that particular (for Methuselah [q.v.], according to the Hebrews numbers, died a full month before the Deluge began), but they reason uncritically, inasmuch as so palpable an objection only shows the honesty of the Masoretic editors, who allowed it to remain upon the face of their text, when they might, by a slight alteration, so quietly have obviated it. The ingenious tinkers of the Samar. and Greek chronologies, on thee contrary, have carefully attempted to remove this stumbling-block from the way of their version by a violent modification of the numbers in question, docking off here, and splicing on there, to suit circumstances. Yet, like forgers usually, they have, after all, fallen into confusion, and convicted themselves by their own traces; the Samar. and most of the readings of the Greek copies do but make the year of the death of these patriarchs coincide with that of the Flood, while the very suspicious fact remains that the lives of these two alone (besides that of Jared in the Samar.) are abbreviated not only in comparison with the longer and more difficult dates of the other lists, but suddenly, as if for a special purpose, between instances of greater longevity immediately before (excluding Enoch, who was translated alive) and after. The Hebrews list can alone be defended at this point on critical grounds.
[4.] The general agreement in greater age assigned to the post-diluvian patriarchs by the Samar. and Greek lists is not more difficult to explain to the advantage of the Hebrews If the former be the original form, no reason can be assigned for the change; but if the latter be assumed as giving the genuine numbers, it is easy to perceive how readily they may have been augmented in order to swell the primitive aera of repopulation after the Flood into a nearer conformity with the extravagant mythical periods of early heathen histories. With the Egyptians, among whom the Sept. is known to have originated, the influence of which may plainly be traced in the present account of Josephus (and possibly, through some indirect channel, that of the Samar. also), this temptation would be peculiarly strong. The internal evidence here, however, it must be confessed, is rather in favor of the Samar. numbers, corroborated as they are throughout as to the age of paternity by those of the Sept. and (but less accurately) Josephus; and we might even be inclined to adopt them, as consistent in gradation with those preferred in the antediluvian portion, did not the manifest want of authority in the non-Hebrew schemes for that part cast a strong doubt of accuracy over them in this part likewise. This suspicion is confirmed by the want of harmony between the Samar. and Sept. as to the post-diluvian ages after paternity, the latter list conforming in this respect quite closely to the Hebrews. If we turn to the evidence of ancient records and tradition, we find the numbers of the Sept. confirmed rather than those of the Hebrew. The history and civilization of Egypt, as well as of Assyria and Babylonia, reach to a time about as early as the Hebrew date of the Flood. Moreover, the concurrent evidence of antiquity carries the origin of Gentile civilization to the Noachian races. On the acceptance, therefore, of the Hebrew numbers we must place (as we easily may) the dispersion of nations, SEE ETHNOLOGY, very soon after the Deluge. Important aid in this approximation of sacred with profane chronology is afforded by the considerable extension of the Biblical period of the Judges, noticed below, beyond that fixed by Usher.
(3.) An important rectification of the last generation is required in all the lists. According to them, it would appear that Terah was 70 years old at Abram's birth. "Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran" (Ge 11:26). It is afterwards said that Terah went from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran, and died there at the age of 205 years [Samar. 145] (Ge 11:31-32); and the departure of Abram from Haran to Canaan is then narrated (comp. Ac 7:4), his age being stated to have been at that time 75 years (Ge 12:1-5). Usher therefore conjectures that Terah was 130 years old at Abram's birth (205- 75 130), and supposes the latter not to have been the eldest son, but mentioned first on account of his eminence, as is Shem in several places (Ge 5:32; Ge 6:10; Ge 7:13; Ge 9:18; Ge 10:1), who yet appears to have been the third son of Noah, and certainly not the eldest (Ge 10:21). To this it has been objected, however, that it seems scarcely probable that if Abram had been born to his father at the age of 130 years, he should have asked in wonder, "Shall [a child] be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" (Ge 17:17). But the force of this objection is almost entirely obviated when it is considered that Terah had previously had a son, whereas Abraham at the time of his observation was altogether childless. It is better, therefore, to adopt this arrangement, than to make an arbitrary change in the numbers, as the Samar. apparently has done.
2. From Abram's departure out of Haran to the Exodus. — The length of this period is stated by Paul as 430 years from the promise to Abraham to the giving of the Law (Ga 3:17), the first event being held to be that recorded in Ge 12:1-5. The same number of years is given in Exodus (Ex 12:40-41), where the Hebrew reads, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt [was] four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the self-same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt." Here the Sept. and Samar. add after "in Egypt" the words "and in Canaan," while the Alexandrian and other MSS. of the former also add after "the children of Israel" the words "and their fathers." It seems most reasonable to regard both these additions as glosses; if they are excluded, the passage appears to make the duration of the sojourn in Egypt 430 years, but this is not an absolutely certain conclusion. The "sojourning" might well include the period after the promise to Abraham, while that patriarch and his descendants "sojourned in the land of promise as [in] a strange country" (Heb 11:9), for it is not positively said "the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt," but "who dwelt in Egypt." As for the very day of close being that of commencement, it might refer either to Abraham's entrance or to the time of the promise. A third passage is the divine declaration to Abraham of the future history of his children: "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not their's, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance" (Ge 15:13-14; comp. Ac 7:6-7). The four hundred years cannot be held to be the period of oppression without a denial of the historical character of the narrative of that time, but can only be supposed to mean the time from this declaration to the Exodus. It is also noticeable that after the citation given above the events of the whole sojourn are repeated, showing that this was the period spoken of, and perhaps, therefore, the period defined (Ex 15:15-16) as "the fourth generation." But the question, From what point of time are these years reckoned? has been variously answered, and chronological schemes vary accordingly. Some, as the Sept., Josephus, the Jewish Chronology, and most Christian writers, assign the period to the entire sojourn in Canaan and Egypt, beginning either with the Call of Abraham (Genesis 12), or the Promise (15); others date it from the close of the period during which the Promises were made (Perizonius, Schöttgen); some (as Bengel) from the birth of Jacob; while numerous recent writers give the whole period to the sojourn in Egypt, reckoned from the descent of Jacob and the patriarchs into that country (see Knobel, in loc.; Browne, Ordo Seecl. § 284-288). The genealogy of Moses is inconsistent with so long an interval as 430 years between Jacob's 130th and Moses' 80th year; for we learn that between Levi and Moses were only two descents — indeed, by the mother's side (Joehebed, "daughter" of Levi), only one; and as the sum of the lives of Levi, Kohath, and Amram is 137+133+137, it follows that from the birth of Levi to the birth of Moses must be considerably less than 407 years. So also the other genealogies, in which (with one exception, and that only apparent) we constantly arrive at contemporaries of Moses in the 4th, 5th, and 6th descent from the twelve patriarchs (Browne, Ordo Stecl. § 284- 288). Hence we must measure this interval of 430 years (Ga 3:17) from the call of Abraham, in his 76th year (Ge 12:4), after the death of Terah (Ac 7:4; Ge 11:32), to the Exodus.
The narrative affords the following data, which we place under two periods — that from Abram's leaving Haran to Jacob's entering Egypt, and that from Jacob's entering Egypt to the Exodus.
(a.) Age of Abram on leaving Haran 75 yrs. Age of Abram at Isaac's birth 100 Difference 25 Age of Isaac at Jacob's birth 60 Age of Jacob on entering Egypt 130 Total 215
(b.) (1.) Age of Levi on entering Egypt cir. 45 Residue of his life 92 Oppression after the death of Jacob's sons (Ex 1:6-7 sq.) ? Age of Moses at Exodus 80 Total 172
(2.) Age of Joseph on Jacob's entering Egypt 39 Residue of his life 71 Oppression ? Age of Moses at Exodus 80 Total 151
These data make up at least 387 or 366 years, to which some addition must be made, since it appears that all Joseph's generation died before the oppression commenced, and it is probable that it had begun some time before the birth of Moses. The sum we thus obtain cannot be far different from 430 years, a period for the whole sojourn that these data must thus be held to confirm.
The genealogies relating to the time of the dwelling in Egypt, if continuous, as there is much reason to suppose that some are, do not seem repugnant to this scheme; but, on the other hand, only one of them, that of Joshua, in 1 Chronicles (1Ch 7:23,25-27), if a succession, can be reconciled with the opinion that dates the 430 years from Jacob's entering into Egypt. Another important historical point of evidence is the increase of the Israelites from the few souls who went with Jacob into Egypt, and Joseph and his sons, to the six hundred thousand men who came out at the Exodus. At the former date the following are enumerated: "besides Jacob's sons' wives," Jacob, his twelve sons and one daughter (13), his fifty-one grandsons: and one granddaughter (52), and his four great-grandsons, making, with the patriarch himself, seventy souls; (Ge 46:8-27). SEE JACOB. The generation to which children would be born about this date may thus be held to have been of at least 51 pairs, since all: are males except one, who probably married a cousin. This computation takes no account of polygamy, which was certainly practiced at the time by the Hebrews. This first generation must, except there were at the time other female grandchildren of Jacob besides the one mentioned (comp. Ge 46:7), have taken foreign wives, and it is reasonable to suppose the same to have been constantly done afterwards, though probably in a less degree. We cannot, therefore, found our calculation solely on these 51 pairs, but must allow for polygamy and foreign marriages. These admissions being made, and the especial blessing which attended the people borne in mind, the interval of about 215 years does not seem too short for the increase. — On the whole, we have no hesitation in accepting the 430 years as the length of the interval from Abram's leaving Haran to the Exodus.
3. From the Exodus to the Foundation of Solomon's Temple. — There is but one passage from which we obtain the length of this period as a whole (see Walther, in Baumgarten's Sammlungen, 1748, 2, 313-488). It is that in which the Foundation of the Temple is dated in the 480th (Heb.), or 440th (Sept.) year after the Exodus, in the 4th year 2d month of Solomon's reign (1Ki 6:1). This sum we have first to compare with the detailed numbers. These are as follows:
(a.) From the Exodus to the death of Moses, 40 years. (b.) Leadership of Joshua, 7+x years. (c.) Interval between Joshua's death and the First Servitude, y years. (d.) Servitudes and rule of Judges until Eli's death, 430 years. (e.) Period from Eli's death to Saul's accession, 20 + z years. (f.) Saul's reign, 40 years. (g.) David's reign, 40 years. (h.) Solomon's reign to Foundation of Temple, 3 years. Sum, 580 + x+y +z years. It is possible to obtain approximatively the length of the three wanting numbers.
(1.) Joshua's age at the Exodus was at least 20 years (Nu 14:29-30), and at his death, 110; therefore the utmost length of his rule must be 110 - (20 +40) = 50 years. The duration of Joshua's government is limited by the circumstance that Caleb's lot was apportioned to him in the 7th year of the occupation, and therefore of Joshua's rule, when he was 85 years old, and that he conquered the lot after Joshua's death. Caleb cannot be supposed to have been a very old man on taking his portion, and it is unlikely that he would have waited long before attacking the heathen, who held it, to say nothing of the portion being his claimed reward for not having feared the Anakim who dwelt there, a reward promised him of the Lord by Moses and claimed of Joshua, who alone of his fellow-spies had shown the same faith and courage (Nu 14:24; De 1:36; Jos 14:6 ad fin.; 15:13-19; Jg 1:9-15,20). The least length of Joshua's rule would be about 10 years. Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 29) fixes it midway between these limits, or at 25 years, which may be adopted as the probable length.
(2.) The interval between Joshua's death and the First Servitude is limited by the history of Othniel. After Joshua there is the time of the elders who overlived him, then a period of disobedience and idolatry, a servitude of 8 years, deliverance by Othniel the son of Kenaz, the nephew of Caleb, and rest for 40 years, until Othniel's death. He was already a warrior when Caleb conquered his lot; he lived to deliver Israel from the Mesopotamian oppressor, and died at the end of the subsequent 40 years of rest. Supposing Othniel to have been 30 years old at the time of his first exploits, and 110 years at his death, then 110-(30+18+8+40)=24 years would remain for the interval in question. Josephus (Ant. 6:5, 4) reasonably fixes it at 18 years, which cannot be far from correct.
(3.) The residue of Samuel's judgeship after the 20 years from Eli's: death, ending with the solemn fast and victory at Mizpeh, can scarcely have much exceeded 20 years; Josephus (Ant. 6:13, 5) assigns it a length of 12 years. Samuel must have been still young at the time of Eli's death, and he died near the' close of Saul's reign (1Sa 25:1; 1Sa 28:3). If he were 20 years old at the former date, and judged for 12 years after the victory at Mizpeh, he would have been near 85 years old (20+20+12 +32=84) at his death, which appears to have been a long period of life at that time. We thus arrive at the following numbers for the various portions of this period:
Wandering in the Desert. YEARS. YEARS.
40 Fifth Servitude 18 Joshua's Rule 25 Jephthah's Judgeship 6 Surviving Elders 18 Ibzan's Judgeship 7 First Servitude 8 Elon'sJudgeship 10 Othniel's Judgeship 40 Abdon's Judgeship 8 Second Servitude 18 Sixth Servitude 40
Ehud's Judgeship (including Shamgar's) 80 Samson's Judgeship 20 . . Eli's Judgeship. 40 Third Servitude 20 Seventh Servitude 20 Barak's Judgeship 40 Samuel's Judgeship 12 Fourth Servitude 7 Saul's Reign 40 Gideon's Judgeship 40 David's Reign 40 Abimelech's Reign 3 Solomon's first years 3 Tola's Judgeship 23 Total 618 Jair's Judgeship 22 .
Two independent large numbers seem to confirm this result. One is in Paul's address at Antioch of Pisidia, where, after speaking of the Exodus and the 40 years in the desert, he adds: "And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land unto them by lot. And after that he gave [unto them] judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king" (Ac 13:19-21). This interval of 450 years maybe variously explained-as commencing with Othniel's deliverance and ending with Eli's death, a period which the numbers of the earlier books of the Bible, if added together, make 442 years; or as commencing with the First Servitude, 8 years more, which would be exactly 450 years; or with Joshua's death, which would raise these numbers by about 18 years; or again, it may be held to end at Saul's accession; which would raise the numbers given respectively by about 32 years. However explained, this sum of 450 years supports the authority of the detailed numbers as forming an essentially correct measure of the period; and the precise coincidence with one of the foregoing modes of computation seems to show that it was that which Paul adopted. The other large number occurs in Jephthah's message to the king of the Children of Ammon, where the period during which Israel had held the land of the Amorites from the first conquest either up to the beginning of the servitude from which they were about to be freed, or up to the very time, is given as 300 years (Jg 11:26). The above detailed numbers, including the uncertain periods, would make these intervals respectively 344 and 362 years. Here, therefore, there appears to be an agreement, although not positive, since the meaning might be either three centuries, as a vague sum, or about 300 years. So far as the evidence of the numbers goes, we must decide in favor of the longer interval, from the Exodus to the building of the first Temple, in preference to the period of 480 or 440 years.
The evidence of the genealogies has been held by some to sustain a different conclusion. These lists, as they now stand, would, if of continuous generations be decidedly in favor of an interval of about 300, 400, or even 500 years, some being much shorter than others. It is, however, impossible to reduce them to consistency with each other without arbitrarily altering some, and the result, with those who have followed them as the safest guides, has been the adoption of the shortest of the numbers just given, about 300 years. The evidence of the genealogies may therefore be considered as probably leading to the rejection of all numerical statements, but as perhaps less inconsistent with that of 480 or 440 years than with the rest.
The statement in 1Ki 6:1, is accepted by Hillel, the author of the modern Jewish chronology, who makes the 480 years one of the elements for the construction of his Mundane aera; by Usher also, by Petavius, who, however, dates the period from the Eisode, and by many others. In more recent times, Hengstenberg (Authentie des Pentateuchs, 2, 23 sq.), Hofmann (in the Studien u. Kritiken, 1838), Thenius (On 1Ki 6:1), Tiele (Chronol. des A. T.), Gehringer (Ueber die biblische AEre), Niebuhr (Gesch. Assurs u. fab.), uphold the statement as historical. But though this measure, by bridging over the interval from Moses to Solomon, enables the chronologist, when he has formed his mundane series down to the Exode, to assign the year anno mundi of 4 Solomon and so of 1 David, or, having traced the reckoning B.C. up to 1 Solomon, to give the year B.C. of the Exode, the whole tract of time occupied by the Judges is still loose at either end, and needs much management to define its bearings. For the items actually enumerated, being (even if the entire 40 years of Eli and the 20 years of the Ark at Kirjath-Jearim be included in the 390 of the Judges) 47+390+43 =480, no room is left for Joshua and the elders, Samuel and Saul. Accordingly, the chronologists who accept this measure are obliged to resort to violent expedients — the assumption that some of the servitudes were contemporary, and others, which it is clearly impossible to exalt above the rank of ingenious conjectures. But the number 480 is, in fact, open to grave suspicion. The Sept. has instead of it 440. Josephus takes no notice of either, and on various occasions makes the interval 592, 612, and 632 years; the early Christian chronographers also ignore the measure — thus Theophil. Antioch. reckons 498 to 1 David; Clem. Alex. to 1 Saul, 490; Africanus, 677 years. Paul's enumeration, in Ac 13:18-21, also proves at least this, that Jews in his time reckoned the interval in a way which is inconsistent with the statement in 1Ki 6:1. He gives from the Exode to 1 David 40+450+40=530; therefore to 4 Solomon, 573 years. Paul's term of 450 years is evidently the interval from the First Servitude to the end of those 20 years of the Ark, 1Sa 7:2 (composed of 390+40+20). Clinton (Fasti Hell. 1, 312) dates the 450 from the partition of lands (47th after Exode), assumes 20 years for Joshua and the elders, and another term of 12 years between the 20 years of the Ark (1Sa 7:2) and the 40 years which he gives entire to Saul, thus making the sum 612 years. It remains only to state that the text in 1Ki 6:1, cannot be impugned on strictly critical grounds, excepting the various reading in the Sept.; the other versions and the Heb. MSS. are uniform in their testimony: that date, therefore, must be summarily rejected as an early interpolation, as is done by most modern chronologers. For a further examination of the period in question, SEE JUDGES. For the value of Egyptian dates of the Exode, see below. (See also in the Stud. a. Kritiken, 1863, 4.)
4. From the Foundation of Solomon's Temple to its Destruction. — We have now reached a period in which the differences of chronologers are no longer to be measured by centuries, but by tens of years and even single years, and towards the close of which almost perfect accuracy is attainable. The most important numbers in the Bible are here generally stated more than once, and several means are afforded by which their accuracy can be tested. The principal of these tests are the statement of kings' ages at their accessions, the double dating of the accessions of kings of Judah in the reigns of kings of Israel and the converse, and the double reckoning by the years of kings of Judah and of Nebuchadnezzar. Of these tests the most valuable is the second, which extends through the greater part of the period under consideration, and prevents our making any very serious error in computing its length. The notices of kings of Egypt and Assyria, contemporary with Hebrew sovereigns during this period, are also of importance, and are likely to be more so, when, as we may expect, the chronological places of all these contemporaries are more nearly determined. All records, therefore, tending to fix the chronologies of Egypt and Assyria, as well as of Babylonia, in these times, are of great value, from their bearing on Hebrew chronology. At present the most important of such records is Ptolemy's Canon, from which no sound chronologer will venture to deviate. In the Biblical statements the number and importance of inconsistencies has usually been much exaggerated, since several supposed disagreements depend upon the non-recognition of the mode of reckoning regnal years from the commencement of the year, and not from the day of the king's accession; still a few difficulties cannot be resolved without the supposition that numbers have been altered by copyists. Many of the dates are reckoned from a joint accession of several of the kings with their respective fathers, and a few are even posthumous. Two interregna in the kingdom of Israel; have generally been supposed, and none others are necessary; namely, one of 11 years, between Jeroboam II and Zachariah, and the other of 8 years, between Pekah and Hoshea. The former supposition might seem to receive some support from;the words of the prophet Hosea (10:3, 7, and perhaps 15), which, however, may only imply a lax government, and the great power of the Israelite princes and captains, as an absolute anarchy. The following table exhibits the length of this period as thus adjusted, according to the double line of kings; for the details of the chronology, SEE ISRAEL (KINGDOM OF); SEE JUDAH (KINGDOM OF).
Solomon (residue) 37 Rehoboam 17 Abijah 3 Asa 41
Jehoshaphat 25 Jehoram II 3 Ahaziah II 1 Synchronism 90
Athaliah 6 Jehoash I 40 Amaziah 20 Uzziah 52
Jotham 16 Ahaz 14 Hezekiah (beginning) 6 JUDAH YEARS Synchronism 253
Hezekiah (residue) 23 Manasseh 55 Amon 2 Josiah 31 Jehoahaz II 0 Jehoiakim 11 Jehoiachin 0 Zedekiah 10 Babylonian Captivity 385
Jeroboam I 21 Nadab 1 Baasha 23 Elah 1 Zimri 0 ISRAEL — YEARS
Tibni 4 Omri (alone) 7 Ahab 20 Ahaziah I 1 Jehoram I. 12 Synchronism 90
Jehu 28 Jehoahaz I 16 Jehoash II 16 Jeroboam II 41 Interregnum 11 Zachariah 1 Shallun 1 Menahem 10 Pekahiah 2 Pekah 20 Interregnum 8 Hoshea 9 Assyrian Captivity.. 253
Total 422 years of duration of Temple.
The gross sum total of the regnal years of Judah, to the year of the Assyrian Captivity, is 260, as the numbers stand in the text; of the Ten Tribes, 243; but, as they may be corrected by synchronal data, only 257 and 238 years respectively. This deficit of 19 years has been by most chronologists taken to imply that the two gaps in the Israelite succession, which are brought to light by the synchronisms, were intervals of anarchy, filled up (as above) by interregna — one of 11 years, between the death of Jeroboam II, in 27 Uzziah and the accession of Zachariah, in 88 Uzziah; the other, of 8 years, between the death of Pekah, in 4 Ahaz, and the accession of Hoshea, in the 12th of the same reign. But later writers prefer to liquidate the reckoning by assuming an error in the regnal years of Jeroboam II and Pekah. Thus Ewald, making the difference 21 years, gives these kings 53 and 29 years respectively, instead of 41 and 20 (Gesch. des Volkes Isr. 3. 1, p. 261313); Thenius (Die BB. der Konige, p. 346), by a more facile emendation, makes the numbers 51 and 30 (נא for מא, and for ב); J. V. Gumpach (Zeitrech. d. Bab. u. Assyr.), though reducing the total amount to 241 years, gives Pekah 29 years and retains the 41 of Jeroboam;
Lepsius (Chronol. der AEg.) makes the reigns 52 and 30; and Bunsen, AEgyptens Stelle, bk. 4, p. 381, 395, 402) makes Jeroboam reign 61 years, and retains for Pekah his 20 years. Movers (Die Phonizier, 2:1, 153), by a peculiar method of treatment, reduces the reigns of Israel to 233 years, and brings the reigns of Judah into conformity with this sum by making Jehoram co-regent with Jehoshaphat 4 years, Uzziah with Amaziah 12, and Jotham with Uzziah 11 years. How arbitrary, and therefore unjustifiable, such reduction of numbers is, must be evident to every critical eye. The supposition of co-regencies is only allowable in order to explain the apparent discrepancies in some of the kings' years, but in no case are they suffered to disturb the length of reigns, as given in the text. See each name in its alphabetical place in this Cyclopaedia. (See Wolff, in the Theol. Stud. u. Krit. 1858, 4).
5. From the Destruction of Solomon's Temple to the Return from Babylon. — The determination of the length of this period depends upon the date of the return to Palestine. The decree of Cyrus leading to that event was made in the first year of his reign (Ezr 1:1),which, if it date from his conquest of Babylon (q.v.), as determined by Ptolemy's Canon, would be B.C. 538; but the decree in question appears to date from his personal supersedure of "Darius the Mede" (q.v.) at Babylon, B.C. 536, where the edict was evidently issued. SEE CYRUS. Others date the decree from the earlier point, and suppose that so great a migration must have occupied much time; they therefore allow two years as not too long an interval for its complete accomplishment after the promulgation of the decree.
Another method of arriving at the time in question is by means of fixing the termination of the so-called "70 years' captivity." Two numbers, held by some to be identical, must here be considered. One is the period of 70 years, during which the tyranny of Babylon over Palestine and the East generally was to last, prophesied by Jeremiah (25), and the other, the 70 years of the city's overthrow and utter depopulation (2Ch 36:21; Da 9:2). The commencement of the former period is plainly the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar (as viceroy), and 4th (according to Da 1:1, the 3d complete) year of Jehoiakim (Jer 25:1), B.C. 606, when the successes of the king of Babylon began (46:2), and the miseries of Jerusalem (25:22); and its conclusion will be the fall of Babylon (ver. 26). The famous 70 years of captivity would seem to be the same period as this, since it was to terminate with the return of the captives (Jer 29:10). The second period of 70 years dates from the burning of the Temple, late in B.C. 588 (Eze 40:1), and terminates with its complete reconstruction, some time in B.C. 517 (Ezr 6:15). The two passages in Zechariah, which speak of such an interval as one of desolation (1:12), and during which fasts connected with the captivity had been kept (7:5), are quite reconcilable with this explanation. These two passages are of the 2d and 4th years of Darius Hystaspis, in whose 6th year the Temple was finished.
The details of this period are made up of the following Babylonian reigns, from profane sources:
Nebuchadnezzar (viceroyship) _— 18 Nebuchadnezzar (residue) 26— 27 "Evil-Merodach" 2— 2 Nerikolassar 4— 4 "Belshazzar," vice Nabonned 17— 17
Capture of Babylon 68 "Darius the Mede," or Cyaxare 2— 2. Cyrus's Decree 70
Cyrus (residue) 6 "Ahasuerus," or Cambyses 8 "Artaxerxes," or Smerdis 0 "Darius," i.e. Hystaspis (beginning) 5 Temple rebuilt 70
6. From this point downward, the coincidence with Grecian and Roman annals becomes so clear, to the junction with the Christian aera, that there can be no doubt respecting the chronology as a whole. The prophetic period of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks" (q.v.) covers this period, and accurately sketches the outline of Jewish history. The details will be considered under the special heads to which they belong, e.g. SEE DANIEL; SEE EZRA; SEE NEHEMIAH; SEE MACCABEES; SEE JESUS; SEE ACTS, etc.
III. Synchronisms with Profane Annals. — There are a number of leading dates which may he regarded as more or less settled by a comparison of the foregoing Biblical statements with those found in classical, Judaeo- ecclesiastical, and monumental history.
1. The Deluge. — The Flood, according to the foregoing adjustments, would end near the close of B.C. 2515, and would have begun near the close of B.C. 2516. It is most reasonable to suppose the Noachian colonists to have begun to spread not long after the Flood; scriptural intimations, as commonly interpreted, assign their dissemination to the beginning of the second century after that event. If the Division at Peleg's birth be really the same as the Dispersion (q.v.) after the building of the Tower of Babel, this supposed interval would not necessarily have to be lengthened, for the text of the account of the building of the Tower does not absolutely prove that all Noah's descendants were concerned in it, and therefore some may have previously taken their departure from the primeval settlement. SEE PELEG. The chronology of Egypt, derived from the monuments and Manetho, is held by some to indicate for the foundation of its first kingdom a much earlier period than would be consistent with this scheme of approximative Biblical dates; but other and more careful authors greatly reduce these computations (see J. C. K. Hofmann, AEgyptische u. Isr. Zeitrechnung, Nordl. 1847, 8vo). The Assyrians and Babylonians have not been proved, on satisfactory grounds, to have reckoned back to so remote a time as the Egyptians; but the evidence of their monuments, and the fragments of their history preserved by ancient writers, as in the case of the Egyptians, cannot well be reconciled with the short interval preferred by Usher. The most cautious calculations, based upon independent historical evidence, points to no earlier period than the middle of the 25th century B.C. as the time of the foundation of kingdoms, although the chronology of Egypt reaches to about this period (Osburn, Monumental Hist. of Egypt, p. 634, concludes that Menes founded the Egyptian empire at Memphis in B.C. 2429), while that of Babylon and other states does not greatly fall short of the same antiquity, although the Assyrian empire was much later (Layard, Babylon and Nineveh, p. 531, dates, according to the latest conclusions from the inscriptions, the reign of the first Ninevite king, Derceto, from B.C. 1250). SEE NOAH.
2. The Exodus. — Arguments founded on independent evidence afford collateral means of deciding which is the most probable computation from Biblical evidence of the date of this event. A comparison of the Hebrew calendar with the Egyptian has led a late writer (Poole, Horoe AEgyptiacoe, p. 217) to the following result: The civil commencement of the Hebrew year was the new-moon nearest to the autumnal equinox; and at the approximative date of the Exodus obtained by the reckoning given above, we find that the Egyptian vague year commenced at or about that point of time. This approximative date, therefore, falls about the time at which the vague year and the Hebrew year, as dated from the autumnal equinox, nearly or exactly coincided in their commencements. It may reasonably be supposed that the Israelites in the time of the oppression had made use of the vague year as the common year of the country, which, indeed, is rendered highly probable by the circumstance that they had to a considerable extent and in no very private manner-adopted Egyptian religious customs (Jos 24:14; Eze 20:7-8), the celebrations prescribed by which were kept according to this year. When, therefore, the festivals of the Law rendered a year virtually tropical necessary, of the kind either restored or instituted at the Exodus, it seems most probable that the current vague year was fixed under Moses. If this supposition be correct, we should expect to find that the 14th day of Abib, on which fell the full- moon of the Passover of the Exodus, corresponded to the 14th day of a Phamenoth, in a vague year commencing about the autumnal equinox. — It has been ascertained by computation that a full moon fell on the 14th day of Phamenoth, on Thursday, April 21st, in the year B.C. 1652. A full moon would not fall on the same day of the vague year at a shorter interval than 25 years before or after this date, while the triple coincidence of the new moon, vague year, and autumnal equinox could not recur in less than 1500 vague years (Encyclopaed. Brit., 8th. ed., s.v. Egypt, p. 458). The date thus obtained is but four years earlier than Hales's, and the interval from it to that of the Foundation of Solomon's Temple, B.C. 1010, would be 642 years, or only six years in excess of that previously obtained from the numerical statements in the Bible. This coincidence is at least remarkable, although the want of exact correspondence in the dates detracts considerably from the force of the argument based upon this comparison. SEE EXODE.
Setting aside Usher's preference for the 480 years of 1Ki 6:1, as resting upon evidence far less strong than the longer computation, we must mention the principal reasons urged by Bunsen and Lepsius in support of the Rabbinical date (see Bunsen, Bibelwerk, 1, pp. 211, 231, 223 sq.; Lepsius, Chronol. der AEgypter, 1, 314 sq.). The reckoning by the genealogies, upon which this date rests, we have already shown to be unsafe. Several points of historical evidence are, however, brought forward by these writers as leading to or confirming this date. Of these the most important is the supposed account of the Exodus given by Manetho, the Egyptian historian. placing the event at about the same time as the Rabbinical date. This narrative, however, is, on the testimony of Josephus (Apion, 1:14; also 26, etc.), who has preserved it to us, wholly devoid of authority, being, according to Manetho's own showing, a record of uncertain antiquity, and of an unknown writer, and not part of the Egyptian annals. An indication of date has also been supposed in the mention that the name of one of the treasure-cities built for Pharaoh by the Israelites during the' oppression was Raamses (Ex 1:11), probably the same place as the Rameses elsewhere mentioned, the chief town of a tract so called. SEE RAMESES. This name is the same as that of certain well- known kings of Egypt of the period to which by this scheme the Exodus would be referred. If the story given by Manetho be founded on a true tradition, the great oppressor would have been Rameses II, second king of the 19th dynasty, whose reign is variously assigned to the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. It is further urged that the first king Rameses of the Egyptian monuments and Manetho's lists is the grandfather of this king, Rameses I, who was the last sovereign of the 18th dynasty, and reigned at the utmost about 60 years before his grandson. It must, however, be observed, that there is great reason for taking the lower dates of both kings, which would make the reign of the second after the Rabbinical date of the Exodus, and that in this case both Manetho's statement must be of course set aside, as placing the Exodus in the reign of this king's son, and the order of the Biblical narrative must be transposed, that the building of Raamses should not fall before the accession of Rameses I. The argument that there was no king Rameses before Rameses I is obviously weak as a negative one, more especially as the names of very many kings of Egypt, particularly those of the period to which we assign the Exodus, are wanting. It loses almost all its force when we find that a son of Aahmes, Amosis, the head. of the 18th dynasty, variously assigned to the 17th and 16th centuries B.C., bore the name of Rameses, which name, from its meaning (son of Ra, or the sun, the god of Heliopolis, one of the eight great gods of Egypt), would almost necessarily be a not very uncommon one, and Raamses might therefore have, been named from an earlier king or prince bearing the name long before Rameses I. The history of Egypt presents great difficulties to the reception of the theory together with the Biblical narrative, difficulties so great that we think they could only be removed by abandoning a belief in the historical character of that' narrative; if so, it is obviously futile to found an argument upon a minute point, the occurrence of a single name. The historical difficulties on the Hebren side, in the period after the Exodus, are on this view not less serious, and have induced Bunsen to antedate Moses's war beyond Jordan, and to compress Joshua's rule into the 40 years in the wilderness (Bibelwerk, p. 228 sq.), and so, we venture to think, to forfeit his right to reason on the details of the narrative relating to the earlier period. This compression arises from the want of space for the Judges. The chronology of events so obtained is also open to the objection brought against the longer schemes, that the Israelites could not have been in Palestine during the campaigns in the East of the Pharaohs of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties, since it does not seem possible to throw those of Rameses III earlier than Bunsen's date of the beginning of the conquest of western Palestine by the Hebrews (see the Duke of Northumberland's paper in Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt. 1, 77-81). There does not, therefore, appear to be any good reason for abandoning thee definite statements of the Hebrew records in favor of the yet crude and conflicting constructions of synchronal dates from the Egyptian monuments (see Kenrick's Egypt under the Pharaohs, vol. 2). SEE EGYPT.
3. Rehoboam and Shishak. — The Biblical evidence for this synchronism is as follows: Rehoboam came to the throne in B.C. 973. The invasion of Shishak took place in his fifth year, or B.C. 969. Shishak was already on the throne when Jeroboam fled to him from Solomon (1Ki 11:40). This event happened during the building of Millo, etc., when Jeroboam was head of the workmen of the house of Joseph (1Ki 11:27). The building of Millo and repairing of the breaches of the city of David was after the building of the house of Pharaoh's daughter, that was constructed about the same time as Solomon's house, the completion of which is dated in his 24th year (1Ki 6:1,37-38; 1Ki 7:1; 2Ch 8:1, where 3+20=10 +13). This building is recorded after the occurrences of that year of Solomon, for Pharaoh's daughter remained in Jerusalem until the king had ended building his own house, and the Temple, and the wall of Jerusalem round about (1Ki 3:1), and Millo was built after the removal of the queen (ix. 24); therefore, as Jeroboam was concerned in this building of Millo and repairing the breaches, and was met "at that time" (11:29) by Ahijah, and in consequence had to flee from the country, the 24th or 25th year is the earliest possible date. Thus Shishak appears to have come to the throne at most 21 or 22 years (40-23 [or 24] +4) before his expedition against Rehoboam. An inscription at the quarries of Silsilis, in Upper Egypt, records the cutting of stone in the 21st year of Sheshonk I, or Shishak, for constructions in the chief temple of Thebes, where we now find a record of his conquest of Judah (Champolllon, Lettres, p. 190, 191).
On these grounds we may place the accession of Shishak at B.C. cir. 990. The evidence of Manetho's lists, compared with the monuments, would place this event within a few years of this date, for they do not allow us to put it much before or after B.C. 1000, an approach to correctness which at this period is very valuable. SEE SHISHAK.
4. Josiah and Pharaoh Necho. — The death of Josiah can be clearly shown on Biblical evidence to have taken place in the 21st year before that in which the Temple was destroyed — that is, in the Jewish year from the spring of B.C. 609 to the spring of 608. Necho's first year is proved by the Apis tablets to have been the Egyptian vague year, either January, B.C. 609-8, or probably B.C. 610-09. The expedition in opposing which Josiah fell (2Ki 23:29) cannot reasonably be dated earlier than Necho's second year, B.C. 609-8 or 608-7. SEE NECHO.
5. Jehoiakim and Nebuachadnezzar. — In Jer 25:1. the first year of Nebuchadnezzar coincides, wholly or in part, with 4 Jehoiakim; 2Ki 24:12, the epoch of Jeconiah's captivity and of Zedekiah's reign lies in 8 Nebuchadnezzar; ibid. 25, 8, the 11th of Zedekiah, the 5th month, 10th day, lies in 19 Nebuchadnezzar; and Jer 52:31, the 37th of Jeconiah, 12th month, 25th day, lies "in the year that Evil-merodach began to reign." From these synchronisms it follows demonstrably that, in this reckoning, Nebuchadnezzar has 45 years of reign, two years more than are assigned to him in the Astronomical Canon, where his reign of 43 years begins AE Nab. 144=B.C. .604; consequently, that his reign in the Jewish reckoning bears date from the year B.C. 606 (Browne, Ordo Soecl. § 151- 171, 438). Hence it results that the year of the taking of Jerusalem and destruction of'the Temple is B.C. 588. Those chronologists who, not having carefully enough collated and discussed the testimonies, accept unquestioned the year B.C. 604 as that first year of Nebuchadnezzar which coincides with 4 Jehoiakim, place the catastrophe two years later, B. C. 586. With this latitude for difference of views, the synchronism 1 Nebuchadnezzar=4 Jehoiakim=B.C. 606 or 604, has long been generally taken by chronologists as the connecting link between sacred and profane annals, the terminus a quo of the ascending reckoning. SEE NEBUCHADNEZZAR.
6. Hezekiah's Synchronisms. — In 2Ki 18:13; 2Ki 19:9, it appears that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, were both contemporary with Hezekiah, and at the 14th year of his reign. Now, in the recently-recovered Armenian version of Eusebius's Chronicle, we have it on the authority of Berosus (quoted from Polyhistor) that from Sennacherib to Nebuchadnezzar were 88 years (the names and numbers are given, and agree with the expressed sum); this account places the accession of Sennacherib at B.C. 692, which is 20 years later than the lowest date that the Biblical numbers will allow for 14 Hezekiah. Accordingly, Niebuhr (Kl. histor u. philol. Schriften, 1:209) proposed to strike out that number of years from the 55 assigned to Manasseh; then the interval to 4 Jehoiakim = Nebuchadnezzar, would be 15+-35+2+31+3=86. Since Niebuhr's time an important Assyrian monument of the time of Sennacherib, interpreted by Rawlinson and Hincks, uniforms us that the invasion of Judaea, which in the book of Kings is said to have been in the 14th of Hezekiah, took place in Sennacherib's third year. Hence the interval to 4 Jehoiakim becomes 86 years. Of itself this does not prove much, and Ewald, 3. 364; Thenius, p. 410; Bunsen, 4:398, retain the Biblical number, which also the younger Niebuhr (Gesch. Assrss u. Babels, p. 99-105) learnedly upholds against his father's objections. With the assistance, too, of the Canon, and of the extract from Abydenus's account of the same times, it is not difficult to bring the statements of Berosus into conformity with the Biblical numbers, as by Browne (Ordo Sceclorum, § 489 sq.), Brandis (Rerum Assyriarum tempora emendata, p. 40 sq.; retracted, however, in his later work, Ueber den hist. Gewinn aus der Entziff. der Assyr. Inschr. p. 46, 73), and in the work just cited of the younger Niebuhr. On the other hand. Lepsius (Konigs-Buch der Eggypter), Movers (Die Phonizier, 2:1, 152 sq, [Whose arguments A. v. Gutschmid, Rhein. Ms., 1857, thinks unanswerable]), Scheuchzer (Phul u. Nabonassar), and J. v. Gumpach (Abriss der bab.- assyr. Gesch. p. 98 sq.): contend for the reduced numbers. SEE TIRHAKAH.
The Tirhakah in question is undoubtedly the Tarkos, Tarakos of Manetho's 25th dynasty, in which, according to the uncorrected numbers, his reign begins 1704 (Africanus), 183 or 188 (Eusebius in Gr.); 185, 187, or 195; (Eusebius Armen.) before Cambyses, B.C. 525; the extremes, therefore, are B.C. 695 and 718 for his epoch. But we are not dependent on the lists for the time of this king Tahark a. The chronology of the 26th dynasty had already been partially cleared up by funerary inscriptions (now in the museums of Florence and Leyden), which, by recording that the deceased, born on a given day, month, and year of Neko II, lived so many years, months, and days, and died in a given year, month, and day of Amosis, enabled us to measure the precise number of years (41) from the epoch of the one king to the epoch of the other (Bockh, Manetho, p. 729 sq.); and now it is placed beyond further question by Mariette's discovery of a number of inscriptions, in each of which the birth, death, day of funeral, and age of an Apis are recorded in just the same way (see Mariette's own account, Renseignement sur les 64 Apis, trouves dans les souterrains du Seraphum-Bulletin Atrcheol. de l'Athen. Frangais, Oct., 1855; and the selection from these by Lepsius, On the 22d Dynasty, translated by W. Bell, 1858). There remains only a slight doubt as to the epoch of Cambyses; whether with the canon this is to be referred to B.C. 525 (the usual date), or with De Rouge to 527, for which Von Gumpach also contends, or 528, with Dr. Hincks (On the Age of the 26th Dynasty), or even 529 (Bockh, Manetho, p. 739 sq.). The main result is, that Psametik I began it to reign 138 years before the epoch of Camtbyses, therefore B.C. 663 (or at most three years earlier). Now Mariette (No. 2037) records that an Apis born 26 Taharka, died 20 Psametik I, 12th month, 20th day; its age is not given. As the Apis was not usually allowed to live more than 25 years, though some of the inscriptions record an age of 26, years, on this, as an extreme supposition, the interval from 1 Taharka to 1 Psametik will be at most 31 years, and the highest possible epoch for Tirhakah (B.C. 697). This result, in itself, is not necessarily opposed to the Biblical date for 14 Hezekiah; for in the narrative itself, while a "Pharaoh, king of Egypt," is mentioned, 18:21, this Tirhakah is styled "king of Ethiopia," and he seems to appear on the scene as an unexpected enemy of Sennacherib (Niebuhr, ut sup. p. 72 sq. 173, 458). He may have reigned in Ethiopia long before he became king of Egypt; though, on the other hand, it is clear that this originally Ethiopian dynasty was contemporaneous in its lower part with the 26th, a Saite dynasty of Lower Egypt, and probably in its upper part with the preceding Saite dynasty, as Lepsius makes it. The real difficulty, however, consists in this, that the "So (סוא), king of Egypt," whose alliance against Assyria was sought by Hoshea in his 5th or 6th year (2Ki 17:4), can be no other than one of the two predecessors of Tirhakah, Sebek I or II, to the first of whom Manetho gives 8 (v. r. 12), to the other 14 years of reign. Thus, at the earliest, the former would begin to reign B.C. 723, which is at least one year too low for the Biblical date. As a conjectural remedy for this "desperate state of things," Von Niebuhr, p.
459, suggests that the 50 years of the 25th dynasty were possibly not continuous; failing this, either an error must be assumed in the canonry somewhere between its 28th and its 123d year, both of which are astronomically attested, or else the reign of Manasseh must be reduced. On the whole, it seems best to wait for further light from the monuments. At present these attest the 12th year of Sebek II, but give no dates of his predecessor; the genealogical connection of the two and of Taharka is unknown; of Bocchoris, the only occupant of the preceding dynasty, no monument has been discovered, and but scanty and precarious traces of the Tanite kings of the 23d dynasty, the last of whom, Zet, may even be the Sethos whom Herodotus, 2:141, makes the hero of the miraculous defeat of Sennacherib's army. Indeed, Isa 19:2; Isa 30:4, both seem to imply that Zoan. (Tanis) was at that time the residence of the Pharaoh of Lower Egypt. Here is ample scope for conjecture, and also for discoveries, which may supersede all necessity for conjecture. SEE SO.
The mention of "Merodach-Baladan, son of Baladan, king of Babylon," apparently in or not long after 14 Hezekiah (2Ki 20:12), forms yet another synchronism in this reign. For Sennacherib's inscription records his defeat of this Babylonian king in his first year; a Marudakh-Baldan appears in Polyhistor's extract from Berosus as king in Babylon early in Sennacherib's reign, but with circumstances which make it extremely difficult to make out the identity of the three persons with each other, and with either the Mar'dok Empad, who in the Canon reigns in Babylon from 721 to 709, or the Mesesi Mord lk of the same document, from 692 to 688. SEE MERODACH BALADAN. Here it may be sufficient to mention that Dr. Hincks (Trans. of Royal Irish Academy, vol. 22, 364), retaining the 55 years of Manasseh, proposes to solve the difficulty by placing Sennacherib's invasion of Judaea in Hezekiah's 25th instead of his 14th year, at the date 701 B.C.; Hezekiah's illness remains at its earlier date. Bunsen, tacitly adopting this construction, makes 3 Sennacherib fall in 24 Hezekiah, and imagines that the invasion which terminated disastrously to the Assyrian king was a second, in Hezekiah's 28th year, on which latter occasion it was that Tirhakah came to the relief of Jerusalem ( AEg. St. b. iv, p. 505). Retaining for this Egyptian king an epoch B.C. 712, which is plainly disproved by the Apis itiscriptions (see above), he makes it possible for So Sevek II to have been contemporary with Hoshea. It must be owned that the received chronology of Hezekiah's reign is beset with difficulties on the side both of Egypt and of Assyria and Babylon. But from neither have we as yet all the facts we need, and the fuller and clearer information which is confidently expected from the cuneiform inscriptions, in particular, will probably make much bright that is now dark. Colonel Rawlinson indeed regards it as "now generally admitted that there were two invasions of Palestine during the reign of Hezekiah; the first in B.C. 701, when Sennacherib overran the country and exacted a heavy tribute, as stated in the inscriptions and 2Ki 18:13-16, and the second some thirteen or fourteen years later, which ended in the discomfiture of the Assyrians" (London Athenoeum, August 22, 1863, p. 247 b). But the learned antiquarian has ignored the fact that the same inscriptions do not speak of two invasions, and the Bible expressly identifies those here assumed as distinct. Indeed, the paper in which this and other wholesale changes of the Biblical numbers are advocated contains in itself abundant evidence of the precaicious elements upon which the whole system of reconstructed Assyrian chronology, as drawn from the monuments, is based; and we feel only the more confirmed by its perusal in the belief that we cannot safely correct the definite and consecutive dates of the Biblical accounts by means of such vague and incoherent data. At least the attempt is yet evidently premature, and we are justified, by the changes which these decipherers and collaters of the cuneiform legends are constantly obliged to make in their own computed results, in waiting until they have arrived at some settled and consistent chronology before we adopt it as the basis for rectifying the established points of Scriptural history. SEE SENNACHERIB.
In connection with this discussion, a passage of Demetrius Judaeus has been deemed important (Von Gumpach, ut sup. p. 90, 180). He seems to have put forth a chronological account of the Biblical history, from which Eusebius, Praep. Ev. 9:21, 29, gives — quoting it from Polyhistor — what relates to the patriarchs and Moses; another passage, preserved by Clem. Alex. Strom. 1, § 141, is a summary of the period elapsed from the captivity of the Ten Tribes to his own times. Its substance is as follows: From Sennacherib's invasion of Judah to the last deportation from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, 128 years 6 months; from the captivity of the Ten Tribes to Ptolemy IV (Philopator), 473 years 9 months (so we must read for 573); from Nebuchadnezzar's deportation from Jerusalem, 338 years 3 months. As the epoch of Ptolemy IV in the Canon is B.C. 222 (24th October), this gives for Nebuchadnezzar's "last deportation" B.C. 560 (July); for Sennacherib's invasion, B.C. 688 (Jan.); and for the captivity of Samaria, B.C. 695 (Jan.). But unless we are prepared to set aside the Astronomical Canon, at least its dates for Nebuchadnezzar and Evilmerodach, the captivity under Nebuchadnezzar, whether it be that in his 19th year (11th Zedekiah), or "the last," in his 23d year, Jer 52:30, cannot fall so low as B.C. 560. That the final deportation is meant is plain from the exact correspondence of the sum with the Biblical items — Hezekiah, 15; Manasseh, 55; Amon, 2; Josiah, 31; Jehoiakim, 3; Nebuchadnezzar, 22=128 years. The 6 months over are perhaps derived from the 3 of Jehoahaz and 3 of Jeconiah. M. v. Niebuhr, ut sup. p. 102 sq., sets himself to solve the difficulty; but the whole matter may easily be explained by an error in the ordinal of the Ptolemy referred to. Set the goal at Ptolemy III (Euergetes)=B.C. 247, Oct.; then we have for the captivity of the Ten Tribes, 720 (Jan.); for Sennacherib in Judaea, 713 (Jan.); for the deportation in 23 Nebuchadnezzar, 585 (July); and consequently 589 for the destruction of the Temple — very nearly in accordance with the date for the last, assigned by Clement of Alexandria, B.C. 588, Strom. 1, § 127. In fact, the chronological statements in this portion of the Stromata swarm with numerical errors, and a careless scribe might easily misread ΤΕΤΑΡΤΟΥ for ΤΟΥΡΙΤΟΥ. Be that as it may, it is a great mistake to suppose that Demetrius or any other Jew, of his or later times, can be competent to rule a question of this kind for us. He may have been, as M. v. Niebuhr thinks, "a sensible writer" (though others, judging from the fragments preserved by Eusebius, may fairly think otherwise); that "he may have handed down good materials" is just possible; the probability is that he gives us the results of his own inquiries, confined to the text of the sacred books, except that he gathered from the Astronomical Canon the year corresponding to 23 Nebuchadnezzar, the last recorded in the sacred books. SEE HEZEKIAH.
7. An argument tending to lower the whole time of the kings, and the date of the building of Solomon's Temple, has been deduced from some ancient data of Tyrian chronology. Josephus (c. Ap. 1:17) announces that the building of the Temple lies 143 years 8 months before the founding of Carthage; he gives this on the authority of Menander of Ephesus, meaning his own summation of that author's enumeration of reigns professedly copied from public monuments. In proof, he quotes the reznal numbers of the kings from Hironi, the friend of Solomon, to Pygmalion inclusive, eleven in all, making a sum (not however expressed) of 177 years 8 months. He adds., from his author, "It was in the seventh year of Pygmalion that Elisha led from Tyre, and founded Carthage in Libya;" and from himself "The sum of years from the reign (epoch) of Hirom to the founding of Carthage is 155 years 8 months; and since it was in 12 Hirom that the Temple was built, the time from thence to the founding of Carthage is 143 years 8 months." (The interval, as the numbers stand in the text, is, in fact, 177 years 8 months, minus 12 of Hirom and 40 of Pygmalion, i.e. only 125 years 8 months: it does not concern us here to consider how the missing 18 years may be restored; the number, 143 years 8 months, given twice by Josephus, is not affected by errors that may have crept into the details.) Now the founding of Carthage is placed by Timaeus (Dion. Hal. 1:74) 38 years before 01. 1, i.e. B.C. 814-13; by Trogus (Justin, 18:6) 72 years before the building of Rome, i.e. B.C. 825. Niebuhr (the father), accepting the date B.C. 814-13 as indisputable, deduces for the building of Solomon's Temple the year B.C. 957-56 (Lect. on Anc. Hist. 3:159); Movers (Die Phonizier, 2:1, 140 sq.), preferring the other, gets the date B.C. 969. Again, Josephus (Ant. 8:3, 1), after stating that 11 Hirom is 4 Solomon, and the year of the building of the Temple, adds (probably from Menander) that the year in question was 240 years from the building of (New) Tyre. It does not appear that he found the 11 or 12 Hirom expressed by Menander or Dius as answering to the 4 Solomon. Probably he obtained the synchronism from his own investigation of the various places in 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles, where Hiram is mentioned; but the number 240 is probably Tyrian. Now Trogus (Justin, 18:3) states that Tyre was founded by the Sidonians in the year before the fall of Troy. Among the numerous ancient dates assigned to that event, one is B.C. 1208 (Ephorus, followed by the Parian Chron. and other authorities). But B.C. 1209-240=969, precisely the year which resulted from the former argument. Such is the twofold proof given by Movers, accepted by J. v. Gumpach and others, and highly applauded by A. v. Gutschmid (in the Rhein. Museum, 1857). On the other hand, it should be considered — 1. That between the flight of Elisa, in Pygmalion's seventh year, which is the goal of these 143-4 years, and the founding of the city, there certainly occurred a train of events (the settlement in Byrsa=Bozrah, and the growth around it of the Magalia=Ma'hal, which eventually became the NewTown, Kartharasa-Carthage) which implies a considerable tract of time; and, 2. That as the ancient dates of the fall of Troy vary over a range of about 180 years, Timaeus placing it at 1333, Herodotus at 1270, Eratosthenes at 1183, Aretinus, 1144, besides intermediate dates (Muller, Fragmenta Chronol. § 17), the 240 years may be so measured as to fall near enough to the time given to 4 Solomon by the usual chronology. It has generally been received hitherto that the Era of Tyre dates from cir. B.C. 1250, and there seems to be no sufficient reason to the contrary (Bunsen, 4:280 sq.). The concurrence of the two lines of argument in the year B.C. 969 is one of those coincidences which are so perpetually occurring in chronological combinations that the practiced inquirer at last pays little heed to them. In fact, it may only imply that Justin's author got from Menander the date 384 Tyre =7 Pygmalion, mistakenly, as by Josephus, identified with 1 Carthage; and having also obtained from the same or some other source the year equivalent to 1 Tyre, would so arrive at his datum for 1 Carthage, or, vice versa, from the latter would rise to the former. And, after all, when we inquire what is the worth of Josephus as a reporter, and, supposing him accurate, what is the value of the Tyrian annals, the answer is not of necessity unfavorable to the claims of the Biblical chronology of the kings of Judah and Israel. Furnished, as this is, by an annalistic series incomparably more full and exact than any profane records of the same times which have come to us at second hand, it is not to be impeached by any but clear contemporary monumental evidence (such as. Mariette's Apis records); and if the entire Hebrew tale of years from 4 Solomon to 11 Zedekiah is to be materially lowered on the scale of the series B.C., this can only be done by proving some capital error in the Astronomical Canon. SEE TYRE.
8. In fact, an attempt has lately been made in this direction, which, if successful, must set our Biblical chronology adrift from its old bearings. It is contended by Mr. Bosanquet (Readjustment of Sacred and Profane Chronology, Lond. 1853) that a lower date than 604-606 B.C. for the accession of Nebuchadnezzar is imperatively demanded by the historical connection of that event with the famous "Eclipse of Thales;" which, according to Herodotus (1:74, 103), occurring during a pitched battle between the Medes and Lydians, was the occasion of a peace, cemented by marriages, between Cyaxares and Halyattes, after which, as Herodotus seems to imply, the former turned his arms against Assyria, and, in conjunction with Labynetus (the Nabopolassar of Berosus and the Canon), took and destroyed Nineveh. The dates assigned by the ancients to that eclipse lie between O1.48 and 50. Kepler, Scaliger, and Sir Isaac Newton made it B.C. 585; Baily (Philos. Trans., 1811) and Oltmanns (Schr. der Berlin. Akad. 1812-13) found it 30th Sept. B.C. 610, which date was accepted by Ideler, Saint-Martin, and most subsequent writers. More recently it has been announced by Mr. Airy (Philos. Mog. 1853) and Mr. Hind (Athenaum, Aug. 1857), as the result of calculation with Hansen's improved tables, that in the eclipse of 610 the moon's shadow traversed no part of Asia Minor, and that the only suitable one is that of 28th May, B.C. 585, which would be total in Ionia, Lydia, Lycia, Pamphylia, and part of Cilicia. It has, indeed, been contended by Mr. Adams that the tables need a further correction, the effect of which (as Mr. Airy remarked, Athenaum, Oct. 1859) would be such as to render the eclipse of 585 inapplicable to the recorded circumstances; but it appears that the astronomerroyal no longer entertains any doubts on this point, having quite recently (see Athen. Sept. 1861) expressed his "unaltered conviction that the tables of Hansen give the date of the great solar eclipse, which terminated the Lydian war, as the most reliable records of antiquity placed it, in the year 585 B.C." Indeed, however the astronomical question may ultimately be decided, it would appear, from all that is known of the life of Thales, that he could hardly have predicted an eclipse in Ionia so early as B.C. 610 (Roth, Gesch. unserer obendlandischen Philosophie, 2:98). But that the "Eclipse of Thales" occurred at the conjuncture indicated by Herodotus rests only on his testimony, and in this he might easily be mistaken. Either he may have confounded with the eclipse predicted by Thales an earlier one occurring during the war of Cyaxares and Halyattes-possibly that of 610, for no locality is mentioned, and there is nothing to forbid our seeking the battle-field in some suitable situation (e.g. with Niebuhr, p. 508, in Atropatene, or with Von Gumpach, Zeitrechnung der Bab. u. Assyr. p. 94, in Armenia); or, he may have assigned to that earlier war what really took place during a later war of the Medes and Lydians under Astyages and Halyattes. The latter supposition is not without support of ancient authors. Cicero (de Divinat. 1:50), from some lost authority, places the eclipse, without date or mention of the war, under Astyages. Pliny (H. N. 2:9), giving the date 01. 48.4=B.C. 585, says, also without mention of the war, that the eclipse occurred in the reign of Halyattes (this lasted, in the usual chronology, from B.C. 620 to 563). Solinus (100:15, 16) assigns 01. 49.1 as date of eclipse and battle, but (c. 20) he speaks of the war as between Halyattes and Astyages. From Eudemus, a much earlier author, Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 1:14, § 65) gives the date of the eclipse "about 01. 50," with the addition that it was the time of the war between Cvaxares and Halyattes — in which Eudemus, if more than the date be his, merely repeats Herodotus; but the addition is as likely to be Clement's own. The Eclipse of Thales, therefore; is by no means so cardinal an event as has been assumed; and to uphold the loose statement of Herodotus, in connection with the earlier date B.C. 610, is as precarious a proceeding as is the attempt to urge it with the lower, and, in all probability, authentic date, B.C. 585, to the subversion of the received chronology. Mr. Bosanquet, however, holds that from the testimony of this eclipse there is no escape; and supporting by this the arguments described under the above heads, together with others derived from new combinations, he does not hesitate to interpose "25 years of Scythian rule in Babylon" between Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar, thereby lowering the epoch of the latter from B.C. 604 to 579. The effect of this is to bring the destruction of the Temple to B.C. 560; Sennacherib's 3d and Hezekiah's 14th year to 689; and the 4th of Solomon to 989 or 990. Of course this involves the necessity of extensive changes in the history and chronology of the lower portion of the 6th century B.C. Thus Cyrus is made into two persons of the name; the first, beginning to reign in Persia B.C. 559, succeeded by Cambyses as viceroy 535 (which is made the 1st year of Evil-merodach), and as king, B.C. 529, together with a second Cyrus as joint-king of Media in 13 Cambyses =B.C. 523. The length of reign of this Cyrus II is not assigned; he disappears from Mr. B.'s table, together with Cambyses, who, with Smerdis between, is followed at 516 by Darius Hystaspis as king, which Darius had become viceroy in Babylon and Media in B.C. 521. It should be remarked that this "readjustment" of the chronology is proposed with a view to a fulfillment of Daniel's Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (Chronol. of the Times of Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, 1 318) — namely, the predicted seventy years of desolation reach from the destruction of the Temple, B.C. 560 to B.C. 490; the date of Daniel's prophecy in the first Babylonian year of Darius Hystaspis, then "62 Years old" (Da 6:1), is made B.C. 493, whence to the birth of Christ, which the author places (wrongly) in B.C. 3, are the seventy times seven years foretold; also this year 493 is itself the goal of an earlier period of 490 years, reckoned from B.C. 983, Mr. B.'s date of the dedication of Solomon's Temple. So extensive a refashioning of the history will hardly be accepted on the strength of the alleged proofs, especially as the prophecy of Daniel in question is itself susceptible of a better chronological solution. This view was boldly followed out, in ignorance or scorn of all Gentile chronology, by the framers of the Jewish Mundane AEra. Assuming that a period of 490 years must reach from the destruction of the first Temple to that of the second, which latter they set at A.D. 69 (a year too early), they obtained for 19 Nebuchadnezzar =11 Zedekiah, the year B.C. 422 (which, in profane chronology, lies in the reign of Darius Nothus). On like grounds Lightfoot does not hesitate to place the first year of Cyrus 490 years before the Passion, for which his date is A.D. 33. "From this year [B.C. 458] to the death of Christ are 490 years; and there is no cause, because of doubtful records among the heathen, to make a doubt of the fixedness of the time, which an angel of the Lord had recorded with so much exactness" (Harmony of the Old Testament. in Works, 1, 312). A late noile writer (Duke of Manchester, Daniel and his Times, 1845), with the like end in view,' identifies the Darius of Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah, and of Da 8:1 (made different from him of 6:1), with Darius Nothus; and, in order to this result, sets himself to show that the founder of the Persian monarchy, whom the Greeks call Cyrus, is in fact Nebuchadnezzar I (the Nabopolassar of the Canon), for the "Persians" and the "Chaldeans" are the same people; his son Cambyses is the Nebuchadnezzar of the Bible, destroyer of the Temple; Belshazzar is the last king of the Cyrus dynasty at Babylon; his conqueror, "Darius the Mede," Da 6:1, is Darius Hystaspis; and the Biblical Koresh, the restorer of the Jews (and Cyrus of Xenophon, altogether different from him of Herodotus and Ctesias), is a satrap, or feudatory of Xerxes and Artaxerxes. Strange to say, this wild speculation, with its portentous conglomeration of testimonies, sacred and profane, ancient and modern, genuine and spurious (conspicuous among these the "Philo" and "Megasthenes" of the impudent forger Annius of Viterbo), has not only been gravely listened to by scholars of Germany, but has found among them zealous advocacy and furtherance (Ebrard in the Theol. Studien u. Kritiken, 1847; Metzke, Cyrus der Grinder des Pers. Reiches war nicht der Befreier der Juden sondern der Zerstorer Jerusalems, 1849). SEE SEVENTY WEEKS. It should, however, be remarked, that the identification of Ezra's Darius with D. Nothus has commended itself (still with a view to Daniel's prophecy) to more than one eminent writer. Proposed by Scaliger, it is advocated by the late Dr. Mill (in his Treatise on the Descent and Parentage of our Savior, 1842, p. 153). SEE DARIUS.
9. Apocryphal:Books of the Old Testament. —
(1.) The Book of Tobit (q.v.) contains an outline of Assyrian history (from the deportation of the Ten Tribes to the fall of Nineveh), to which the moral fiction is attached (Browne, Ordo Sccl. p. 555, note; Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs. p. 100, note; comp. Fritzsche, Das Buck Tobi. 1853, p. 14 sq.; Ewald, Gesch. des V. lsr. 4:233 sq.). To treat it as a narrative of facts, and apply it to purposes of chronological proof, as some, even recent, writers have done (e.g. Von Gumpach, Babyl. Zeitr. p. 138), is quite to mistake its character. —
(2.) As regards the Book of Judith (q.v.), it is surprising that any one conversant with history and criticism should fail to see that this is not a record of facts, but a religious, quasi-prophetical allegory (Ordo Stecl. p. 556, note; Fritzsche, Das B. Judith, p. 123 sq.; Ewald, Gesch. des V. Israel, 4:541. See' also Movers in the Bonn. Zeitschr. fur kathol. Theologie, 1835, p. 47). Niebuhr, acknowledging this (u. s. p. 212-285), nevertheless finds in its dates, according to the Lat. version, a background of historical truth with reference to the times of Nebuchadnezzar. V. Gumpach (u. s. p. 161 sq.) maintains its historical character, and applies it to his own purposes with extraordinary confidence (see also Scholz, Enl. in die heil. Schrifien, 1845). —
(3.) In the books of Maccabees (q.v.) the years are regularly counted, under the name ἔτη τῆς Βασιλείας τῶν ῾Ελλήνων, meaning the sera of the Seleucidae, beginning in the autumn of B.C. 312; except that in the first book the epoch is made 1 Nisan of that year, while in the second book it is 1 Tisri of the following year, B. C. 311, i.e. eighteen months later. This, which has been sufficiently proved by earlier writers (see Ideler, Hdb. der Chronol. 1:531 sq.; Ordo Soecl. § 440-42), is contested on inadequate grounds by Von Gumpach (Zwei chronol. Abhandl. 1854).
IV. New Testament Chronology. The Gospels and Acts of the Apostles have (with one exception, Lu 3:1) no express dates; in the absence of these, combinations, more or less probable, are all that the chronologist has to go by.
1. For the Nativity (q.v.), the exterior limit is furnished by the death of Herod (Mt 2:1,19; Lu 1:5), the year of which event, as it is nowhere named by Josephus or any other extant historian, has to be determined by various circumstances. These are the mention of an eclipse of the moon not long before it (Ant. 17:6, 4 fin.), which, by calculation, can only have been that of March 12-13, B.C. 4; the length of Herod's reign, together with the recorded date of its commencement (Ant. 17:8, 1; comp. 14:14, 5; 16, 4), and of that of his sons — Archelaus (Ant. 17:13, 3; comp. War, 2:7, 3), the consular year of whose deposal is given by Dion Cass. 55.; Herod Philip (War, 18:4, 6, length of reign and year of death); for Herod Antipas, Josephus (Ant. 18:7, 2) gives the date of deposal, but not length of reign'; this, however, is known from coins (Eckhel, Doct. Numbers 3:489) to have reached his 43d year. All these indications point to B.C. 4, not long before the Passover, as the time of Herod's death. SEE HEROD. Those who would imputrn this conclusion urge other, discrepant statements in Josephus, or call in question either the fact of the eclipse or its calculated date, or contend that the death of Herod could not have taken place so soon after it. The inducement is that our Lord's age may not exceed thirty years at the time of his baptism, 1:c. at the earliest in the 15th year of Tiberius, for if this note of time is to be taken strictly, the earliest date for the Nativity should be the year B.C. 3. The year being supposed to be known, it is attempted to approximate to the day by calculating the order of the sacerdotal cycle, and finding at what time in the, given year "the course of Abijah" (Lu 1:5) entered upon office. The starting-point for the reckoning is furnished by a Jewish tradition (Mishna, 3:298, 3\, and it is assumed that the conception of John the Baptist ensued at the expiration of Zechariah's week of service, and the Annunciation five months later (Lu 1:23-26,36; but in the Church calendars six months). Here it should be observed that we have no reason to suppose the ancients to have been in possession of the true date, either year or day. Having ascertained, as they supposed, the year and day of the Baptism, they counted back 30 years to the Nativity (see a paper by H. Browne, on S. Clemens Alex. on N.T. Chronology in the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, 1854, 1:327 sq.). Also, it would be well that all such considerations as the "fitness of things" prescribing a particular year, or day of the year, for this or any other event of sacred history, should be banished from chronological investigations. SEE JESUS.
2. Luke's date, "15th of Tiberius" (Lu 3:1), interpreted by the rule of the imperial annals (and also of the canon), would denote the year beginning August A.D. 28, and ending in the same month of A.D. 29. Referred to the current consular year, it might mean either A.D. 28 or 29. Taken in the Jewish sense, it might be the year beginning either 1 Nisan or 1 Tisri A.D. 28, or even 1 Tisri A.D. 27. The hypothesis of a dating of the years of Tiberius from an epoch earlier by three years than the death of Augustus has, however, been generally adopted from the 16th century downward, and is demanded (see: Strong's Gr. Harmony, p. 342 sq.) by the age of Jesus at his baptism (30 years), added to the length of his ministry (3 years), as compared with the date of the Crucifixion (see below). In A.D. 11, Tiberius appears to have assumed the government of the provinces, and from this time his reign would naturally be reckoned by the Jews (see Jarvis, Introd. p. 229 sq.). This would give Luke's date of John's mission B.C. 27. SEE TIBERIUS.
3. The note of time (Joh 2:10) connected with the Passover after the Baptism points, if the "forty and six years" are reckoned from Herod's announcement of his purpose in his eighteenth year (Ant. 15:11, 1) to A.D. 27; if from the actual commencement, after all the materials were provided, it may denote either A.D. 28, or 29, or 30, according to the length of time supposed to be spent in preparation. But here, again, besides discrepant statements in Josephus as to the epoch of Herod's reign, it chances that the earlier account of the same proceedings ( War, 1:21, 1) dates this undertaking of Herod in his fifteenth year. It does indeed admit of proof, even from the context, that the 15th year is too early; but it may, plausibly enough, be urged by those who wish to do so, that, if Josephus is wrong in the one statement, he is just as likely not to be right in the other. SEE TEMPLE.
4. The Crucifixion (q.v.) certainly cannot be placed earlier than A.D. 28, in which year the 15th of Tiberius began, and it has never been proposed by inquirers of any note to place it later than A.D. 33. The astronomical element of the question — namely, that in the year of the Passion the 14th of Nisan fell on a Friday — if it be rigorously applied, i.e. according to a definite rule of Jewish usage and the results of strict lunar calculation, indicates only one of the six years mentioned, viz. A.D. 29, in which 14 Nisan was 18th March and Friday., If a certain laxity as to the rule be allowed, the 14th Nisan may possibly have fallen on 3d April, Friday, in A.D. 33. But if, in compliance with the apparent import of the first three Gospels, without explanation from the fourth, it is contended that the Crucifixion took place on the day after the Passover, the year may have been A.D. 30, in which the 15th Nisan fell on Friday, 7th April, or A.D. 33, in which it was (in strictness) Friday, 3d April. Lastly, if it be maintained that the Jewish Passover-day was regulated, not by actual observation of the moon's phases, but by cycles more or less faulty, any year whatever of the series may be available in one form or other of the hypothesis. SEE PASSOVER.
Ancient testimony, if that is to have weight in this question on the supposition that the year was known, either by tradition or by access to public records (the Acta Pilati, to which the ancients so confidently appeal), certainly designates the Passover of the year 29, coss. duobus Geminis, the 15th proper year of Tiberius. In the Western Church the consent to this year is all but general; in the Eastern, the same year is either named or implied in the two earliest extant testimonies, Clem. Alex. (Strom. 1:21, § 101-143; see Journ. of Class. and Sacr. Philol. u. s.) and Julius Africanus. SEE JESUS.
5. In the Acts, the mention of the death of Herod Agrippa (12:23), interposed between an arrival of Paul at Jerusalem and his return thence to Antioch (11:30; 12:25), would yield a firm resting-point for that portion of the narrative, viz. Easter, A.D. 44 (Josephus, Ant. 18:8, 2; comp. 19:5, 1; War, 2:11, 6), could we be certain that the death of Agrippa took place soon after, or even in the same year with the Easter mentioned 12:3, 4. (The time of Agrippa's death is determinable with high probability to the beginning of August of that year.) But as it is possible that the writer, after his narrative of the acts of this king, thought fit to finish off all that he had to say about him before going on with the narrative about Paul and Barnabas it may be that their mission to Jerusalem, and return, after the martyrdom of James and deliverance of Peter, took place before the year 44. It might even be inferred from 11:26 (ἣτις ἐγένετο ἐπὶ Κλαυδίου), that the prophecy, of Agabus was delivered before, or quite in the beginning of A.D. 41, as the famine is known to have prevailed at Rome during the first two years of Claudius (A.D. 41, 42; Dion Cass. 60:11), but that it appears not to have been felt in Judaea till after the death of Agrippa, in the procuratorship of Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander (A. D. 45-47; Josephus, Ant. 20:2, 5; 5, 2). Conclusive reasons for assigning this second visit of Paul to Jerusalem to the year 44 must be sought elsewhere. (See Lehmann, in the Stud. u. Knit. 1858, 2.) SEE AGRIPPA.
6. In Ga 1:2, Paul speaks of two visits to Jerusalem, the one (Ga 1:18) "after three years" (viz. from his conversion), the other (Ga 2:1) "fourteen years afterward" (διὰ δεκατεσσάρων ἐτῶν). The first of these is evidently that of Ac 9:26; that the other must be the second of those mentioned in the Acts, viz. that of 11, 12, has been understood by many, and probably would have been by all, could it have been made to square with their chronology. The argument, restricted from irrelevant issues, lies in a very narrow compass. To make good his assertion (i. 11 sq.) that he received not his gospel and commission from Peter, or. any other man, but direct from Christ himself, the apostle begins to enumerate the occasions on which alone he saw and conversed with the other apostles at Jerusalem. Now, if the visit Ga 2:1, be not that of Ac 11:12, it must be later (no one wishes to put it earlier); but, if so, then it would seem he has not enumerated all the occasions on which he saw the other apostles. It is hardly satisfactory (comp. Meyer on Galatians p. 41) to allege (with Wieseler, Chronol. des apost. Zeittaters, p. 180) that the apostle, not writing a history, is not bound to recite all his visits to Jerusalem, or (with Ewald, Gesch. 6:50) that he is concerned to enumerate only those visits which he made for the purpose of conferring with the apostles. His intention is plainly to state that he had no intervening opportunity of consulting them. Accordingly, Schleiermacher (Einleit. ins N.T. p. 569), Neander (Pflanz. u. Leit. 1:188 of the 4th ed.), De Wette (Komm. in loc.), Meyer (u. s. p. 47), find the conclusion inevitable that Luke was misinformed in saying that Paul went up to Jerusalem as related in Ac 11:30, because the apostle himself declares that between his first visit, which can be no other than that of 9:26, and the other, which can only have been that to the council, as related in Acts 15, there was none intermediate. But, in fact, the circumstances of the visit, Ga 2:1, are perfectly compatible with those of Ac 11; Ac 12, the only difficulty being that which is supposed to lie in the chronology; nor, on the other hand, is the discrepancy between Ga 2; Ga 1 sq., and Acts 15, such that it is difficult to see how they can relate to the same fact, although the incongruity in the latter case has been deemed by Baur (Paulus, p. 120 sq.) so great as to furnish an argument in support of his position that the Book of Acts is the work, not of a companion of Paul but of some much later hand (in the second century). Wieseler, to evade this conclusion, gives up the assumed identity of Ga 2:1, with Acts 15, and labors to show that it was the visit of 18:22, a hypothesis which needs no discussion, unless we are prepared to say that the apostle was not even present at the council, Acts 15; for that a council was held is not denied, even by those who contend that the account given of it in the Acts is not authentic; and, if Paul was present at it, it is impossible to explain his passing it by in silence, as if it had no bearing upon the point which he is concerned to substantiate. The time of Acts 12 being defined to A.D. 44, a term of 17 years, the sum of the 3 and the 14, supposed to be consecutive, would lead to A.D. 27, which cannot possibly be the year of Paul's conversion; and, if both terms are supposed to be dated from the same epoch, it would follow that the conversion took place A.D. 30, a date still too early for those who assign the Crucifixion to that or to a later year. But it is not too early if the year of the Passion be A.D. 29; and it is in exact accordance with the most ancient traditions recorded by ecclesiastical writers, according to which the martyrdom of Stephen took place within a year after the Ascension, and Paul's conversion, which clearly was not much later, in the year after the Ascension, i.e. in this year 30 (Browne, Ordo Soecl. § 102). On the other hand, this date of Paul's conversion is equally compatible with the reference of the second visit in question to Acts 15, which took place A.D. 47; the reckoning of the 14+3 years of Galatians 1 being in that case continuous from the conversion in A.D. 30. On either view, however, there is clearly an error in the ordinary chronology, which brings down the conversion to A.D. 34 and yet dates the visit of Acts 11 in A.D. 44, and that of Acts 15 in A.D. 46; a system which there is other and independent reason to suspect (see Meth. Quart. Review, July, 1850, p. 500). SEE PAUL. The chronological difficulty, which would present itself as soon as the ancient date of the Passion was abandoned for a later year, has induced the conjecture, seemingly as early as the Chron. Pasch. p. 436, ed. Bonn, that for 14 should be read 4 (ΔΙΑ῏ Δ῎ for ΔΙ᾿ Ι᾿Δ῎); see Meyer u. s. p. 49. On this supposition the conversion might be assigned to A.D. 37, the first visit to A.D. 40, the second to A.D. 44. With this would accord the note of time 2Co 12:2, according to the ancient date of that epistle, viz. A.D. 54, that year being 14 years after the date so assigned to the first visit and the trance (Ac 17:17). But there is no need of this conjectural emendation, for the vision of 2Co 12:2 (which is distinguished from that of Ac 22:17, by the fact that the apostle was forbidden to divulge the revelations of the former, whereas he relates what was said t to him in the latter) may naturally have happened during the ten years which he spent in his native neighborhood (Ga 1:21; comp. 2Co 12:21,21).
7. The mention of Gallio (18:12) would furnish a note of time, were the date of his proconsulate in, Achaia on record. We can only conjecture that it was through the interest of his brother Seneca, who, disgraced and in exile from 41 to 48, thereafter stood in the highest favor with Claudius and Agrippina, that Gallio was presently made consul (luffect) and then proconsul of Achaia, (Pliny, H. N. 31:33; comp Senec. Ep. 105). So the date would be not earlier than 49, and not much later. SEE GALLIO.
8. The decree of Claudius for the expulsion of all Jews from Rome (18:2) is mentioned by Suetonius in a well-known passage (Claud. 25), but neither dated nor placed in any discoverable order of time (Dion Cass. 60:6, relates to merely restrictive measures taken or contemplated in the beginning of the reign). If, as is likely, it formed part of a general measure for the expulsion of the "astrologers" (Chaldoei, mathematici, astrologi), its date may be as late as A.D. 52, in which year a severe statute of this nature was enacted ("De mathematicis Italia pellendis factum SC. atrox et irritum," Tacit. Ann. 12:52). But Zonaras (p. 972, ed. Reimar), in the summary compiled from Dion Cass., places an expulsion of the astrologers from Italy immediately after the elevation of Agrippina, A.D. 49, and before the arrival of Caractacus at Rome, A.D. 50; and in Tacitus (u. s. 22) we find Agrippina, just after her marriage, accusing her rival Lollia of dealings with Chaldaeans and Magi. It is not likely that any general severe measure against the Jews would be taken while the younger Agrippa, a special favorite of Claudius, was still at Rome, as he certainly was. to the end of 48, when he succeeded his uncle Herod as king of Chalcis (Josephus, Ant. 20:5, 2; 7, 1.; War, 2; 14, 4, where for έπτακαιδέκατον we must read ἐννεακαιδ.). The insurrectionary movements in Judaea early in A.D. 49 may have been connected with the decree as cause or effect (Ant. 20:5, 3, 4). All these indications point to the year 49, and it is remarkable that that is the year named by Orosius (Hist. 7:6, "ninth year of Claudius"), from some lost source of intelligence ("ut Josephus tradit," he says; but that is a mistake). SEE CLAUDIUS.
9. The year of the recall of Felix and appointment of Festus as his successor (Ac 24:27) is not on record, and the arrival of Paul at Rome, in the spring of the following year, has been assigned to every one of the years, from A.D. 56 to 63 inclusive. The earliest is that given by the ancients, and is advocated by Browne, in Ordo Soeclorum, § 108 sq. But one principal argument there used is not tenable. From the statement of Josephus (Ant. 20:8, 9), that Felix, on his return to Rome, escaped condemnation upon the charges laid against him before Nero chiefly through the influence of his brother Pallas, whose consideration with that emperor was "just then at its highest" (μάλιστα δὴ τότε διὰ τηεῆς ἔχων ἐκεῖνον), combined with the fact, related by Tacitus (Ann. 13:14, 15), of Pallas's removal from his office at the head of the fiscus shortly before the death of Britannicus, who had nearly completed his 14th year, and with the latter part of the statement in Sueton. (Claud, 27), that Britannicus was born "vigesimo imperil die inque secundo consulatu" (=A.D. 42), Browne inferred that not long before Feb., A.D. 56, Pallas had ceased to be at the height of imperial favor; consequently the recall of Felix could not be placed later than the summer of A.D. 55. This must be rejected; for Tacitus (u. s. 15) evidently places the death of Britannicus early in 55, the events of which year begin at ch. 11 and end with ch. 25; therefore the former part of Suetonius's statement is alone true that Britannicus was born on the 20th day of the reign of Claudius, =13th Feb., A.D. 41. Dion Cassius, indeed, mentions the birth under the second year (60:10), but not until he has expressly returned to the former year (τῷ προτέρῳ ἔτει). Hence it is clear that if the date of Pallas's loss of office is decisive for the date of his brother's recall, this must have occurred, at latest, in 54, before the death of Claudius (13th Oct. of that year), and no part of the procuratorship of Felix would have been under Nero; a result totally incompatible with the narrative of Josephus (Ant. 20:8; War, 2:13). On the other hand, it is hard to say at what conjuncture in Nero's time Pallas could be said to have been held thus at his highest estimation. At the very beginning of the reign it is noted of him that his arrogance had excited the emperor's disgust (Tacit. Ann. 13:2); within a month or two he is removed from the ,fiscus; about a year later, when impeached, together with Burrus, his reputation for insolence stood in the way of his acquittal (Tacit. u. s. 23); as the ally of Agrippina he was an object more of fear than of favor; and his great wealth caused his removal by death, A. D. 62, as his longevity seemed to preclude the hope of the emperor's otherwise possessing it (Ann. 14:65). This affords strong reason to suspect that in this matter of Pallas's influence, exercised on behalf of his brother, Josephus was misinformed. Of very material circumstances relative to Felix he certainly was ignorant, unless we are to suppose that Tacitus, on the other hand, had no documentary warrant for the very circumstantial account which he gives under the year 52 (Ann. 12:54); how Felix had then been sometime governor of Judaea ("jam pridem Judaea impositus"), holding a divided command with Cumanus, the latter being over the Galileaans, while Felix was over the Samaritans ("ut huic Galilaeorum natio, Felici Samaritae parerent"). He may have mistaken the nature of this divided rule; in fact, there is reason to believe that Felix held a military command, as Suetonius relates (Claud. 28: "Felicem legionibus et alis provinciseque Judaeas imposuit"), and Victor (in the Epitome, p. 361: "Felicem legionibus Judseae praefecit"). Of that associated government, and of Felix's equal share in the wrongs of which Cumanus was accused, Josephus is ignorant; but what he says of Pallas and Felix is far more suitable to that earlier conjuncture, as described by Tacitus, than to the later occasion to which he refers it. At that time, viz.
when Cumanus was deposed, "Felix would certainly have suffered for the wrongs done by him to the Jews but for the intercession of his brother Pallas, whom the emperor [Claudius] at that very time held in the highest consideration;" for that Pallas just then had reached the pinnacle of his commanding influence, Tacitus shows in the preceding recital of the public honors decreed to him, and by him recorded as the crowning glory of his life in his own epitaph (Pliny Ep. 7:29; 8:6). Even in the account Josephus gives of that earlier conjuncture (in which he speaks only of Cumanus and the final hearing before Claudius, Ant. 20:6, 3), he mentions the "very great exertions made by the emperor's freedmen and friends for Cumanus and the Samaritans." The absence of dates, of which Josephus is not sparing when he has them, of itself implies that his materials for the account of Felix were scanty; and the way in which Burrus is introduced, after the passage relating to Pallas (Ant. 20:8, 9), strengthens the suspicion raised by the conflicting account in Tacitus, that the Jewish historian in this paragraph is mixing up, with his recital of what tock place on the recall of Felix, occurrences of an earlier time. Certainly the accompanying nmtice (παιδαγωγός), "he was the tutor of Nero," is more apposite to that earlier conjuncture in the time of Claudius (A.D. 52), when Nero was barely fourteen years old. It might still, in some sense, be notable as the ground of Burrus's influence in' the beginning of Nero's reign, when he and Seneca are spoken of having charge of the imperial youth ("rectores imperatoriae juventae," Tacit. Ann. 13:2); but the description is very strange when referred to the year 61, the last of Burrus's life, especially as this is not the first mention of him. SEE FELIX.
10. The argument for the year 61, as the date of Paul's arrival at Rome, is thus put by Wieseler (Chronologie des Apost. Zeitalters, p. 66 sq.). The narrative of Josephus (Ant. 20:8; War, 2:13), from Nero's accession (13th Oct., A.D. 54) to the defeat of the "Egyptian," implies at least two years; this impostor, claiming to be another Moses, would of course make his appearance at the Passover, i.e. at the earliest, that of A.D. 57. That this must have been at least a year before Paul's arrest is implied in the tribune's expression, "before these days" (Ac 21:38); therefore the earliest possible date for this arrest is A.D. 58, Pentecost; the "two years" of 24:27, gives A.D. 60 as the earliest possible date for the arrival of Festus, and the spring of 61 for the apostle's arrival at Rome. The latest possible is given by the liberty allowed Paul (Ac 28:31), for the Neronian persecution began July, A.D. 64. The extreme date hence resulting is limited by further considerations. Pallas and Burrus were living and influential men at the time when Felix was recalled; but Pallas died in the latter half, and Burrus in the first or second month of A.D. 62; consequently Felix arrived in 61 at latest. But Paul was delivered to the one praefect of the praetorian guards, τῷ στρατοπεδάρχῳ, who must therefore be Burrus, before and after whom there were two. As Burrus died Jan. or Feb., and Paul arrived May or June, the year could not be 62, and the latest possible date would le A.D. 61. Latest possible and earliest possible thus coinciding, the date, Wieseler thinks, is demonstrated. To this it is objected, and justly, that τῷ στρατοπεδάρχῳ of necessity means no more than the praefect concerned (Meyer, Komm. in Apostelgesch, p. 19; Lange, Apost. Zeit. 2:9). In favor of the later date (A.D. 62), it is urged that on the hearing before Nero of the complaints relative to Agrippa's building overlooking the Temple (Josephus, Ant. 20:8,10, 11; War, 2:14, 1), the Jews obtained a favorable judgment through the influence of Poppea, "Nero's wife." But Poppaea was married May, 62, and undoubtedly Festus's successor, Albinus, was at Jerusalem in the Feast of Tabernacles of the same year (Josephus, War, 6:5, 3). Hence it is argued that unless Josephus's expression, "at that time" (κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τοῦτον, Ant. 20:8, 11), is taken with undue latitude, Festus cannot have entered upon the province earlier than A.D. 61 (Meyer, u. s.). Ewald (Gesch. 6:44) also urges the ἀκωλύτως, "no man forbidding him," of Acts 28, fin., for this year 62, and calls attention to the circumstance that the imperial rescript, rescinding the Jewish isopolity, obtained by the Greeks of Caesarea through the influence of Burrus (Josephus, Ant. 20:8-9), is spoken of as something recent in the beginning of the rebellion (spring of A.D. 66); indeed (in War, 2:14, 4), it seems as if the rescript had but just then reached Caesarea. Ewald surmises that the death of Festus and of Burrus may have retarded the process. But the fact may be (as was suggested above) that Josephus in that passage has confused some exercise of Burrus's influence in behalf of the Caesarean Greeks, in the time of Claudius, or early in the time of Nero, with the much later matter of the rescript, which would officially pass through Burrus's hands as secretary for the East (τάξιν τὴν ἐπὶ τῶν ῾Ελληνικῶν ἐπιστολῶν πεπιστευμένος), and the operation of which may have been delayed through the influence of Poppaea (who died Aug., A.D. 65). That Poppsea is spoken of as Nero's "wife," on the occasion above mentioned, may be merely euphemistic anticipation: this woman ("diu pellex, et adulteri Neronis, mox mariti potens," Tacit. Ann. 14:60) may have befriended the Jews in the former capacity (at any time after A. D. 58, Ann 13:45). In fact, the marriage could not have taken place at the time when she is said to have aided them, unless it be possible to crowd the subsequent occurrences of Josephus (Ant. 20:8, 11 and 9, 1) into the space of three or four months (Browne, Ordo Soecl. p. 122). Nor can any certain inference be drawn from the narrative in Josephus (Life, 3) of certain priests whom Felix had sent to be tried at Rome, and for whom Josephus, after his own 26th year, which was complete A.D. 64, was enabled, through the good offices of "Caesar's wife," Poppae, to obtain their liberty. The men had been prisoners three years at least, and, for aught that appears, may have been so seven or eight years or more. That they were obscure and insignificant persons is evident from the fact that Ismael and Helkias, whom the "devout" Poppaea, two years before, had graciously detained at her court, appear to have made no intercession for their release. SEE NERO.
But Wieseler (p. 99), after Anger (De temp. in Act. Ap. ratione, p. 106), has an argument to which both attach high importance, derived from the notice of a Sunday (Ac 20:7), the twelfth day after leaving Philippi, which departure was "after the days of Azyma" (15-21 Nisan), and, indeed, very soon after, for the apostle "hasted, if it were possible, to reach Jerusalem for the Pentecost" (verse 16); and of the 43 days which he had before him from 22 Nisan to the day of Pentecost, the days specified or implied in the narrative (Ac 20; Ac 21), amount to 35 to the landing at Caesarea (comp. Chrysost. in Act. Hor. 45:2), leaving but eight days for the stay there (ἡμέρας πλείους, 21:10) and the journey to Jerusalem. Wieseler concludes that the departure from Philippi was on the 23d Nisan, which, being twelve days before the Sunday at Troas, would be Wednesday, consequently the 15th Nisan fell on a Tuesday. According to his method of Jewish calendar reckoning, from A.D. 56 to 59 inclusive, the only year in which 15th Nisan would fall on a Tuesday would be 58, which is his date for Paul's arrival at Jerusalem. Were it worth while, the argument might be claimed for the year 55 (the date assigned by the ancients), in which year the day of true full moon = 15 Nisan was 1st April and Tuesday. But, in fact, it proves nothing; the chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and a single "perhaps" in the reckoning is enough to invalidate the whole concatenation. SEE PASSOVER.
On the whole, it seems that, if not in the Acts (q.v.), then neither in the history of the times from other sources, have we the means of settling this part of the chronology with absolute certainty. Josephus in particular, from whom are derived the combinations which recent German writers deem so unanswerable, is discredited in this part of the history (written probably from his own resources and the inaccurate recollections of his boyhood) by the infinitely higher authority of Tacitus, who drew his information from the public records. Only, in whatever degree. it is probable that Paul's first residence at Corinth commenced A.D. 49 (§ 8, above), in the same it is probable that the arrest at Jerusalem belongs to the year 55, six years being sufficient, as nearly all inquirers are agreed, for the intermediate occurrences. Then, if the arrival at Rome took place, as the ancients say, in the second year of Nero, it will be necessary (with Petavius) to refer the "two years" (διετία, 24:27) to the term of Felix's (sole) procuratorship. SEE CORINTHIANS (EPISTLES TO).
That the two years' imprisonment, with which thee narrative in the Acts ends, did not terminate in the apostle's death, but that he was set at liberty, and suffered martyrdom under Nero at a later time, appears to have been the unanimous belief of the ancients (see the testimonies in Browne's Ordo Soecl. § 130). Indeed, in no other way is it possible to find a place for the three pastoral epistles, and especially to account for statements in the Second Epistle to Timothy (q.v.). Wieseler's forced explanations have satisfied and can satisfy no one. (See also Lange, Apostol. Zeitalter, 2, 386 sq., and Huther, in Meyer's Krit. exeg. Komm. p. 25 sq. Meyer himself, Ronzerbr. Einleit, p. 12 sq., owns that the three pastoral epistles "stand or fall together," and that, if they be genuine, the conclusion is inevitable; which he turns into an argument against their genuineness.) But if, after his release, the apostle visited not only Spain (as Ewald admits, Gesch. 6, 631, on the unquestionable testimony of Clemens Romans 100 5), but Greece and Asia, as is clear from the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, scant room is left for these movements between the late dates assigned; with almost one consent, by recent German writers, to the close of the first imprisonment (A.D. 63 and 64), and the year 65 or 66, which the ancients give as the date of Paul's martyrdom. So far, therefore, it is more probable that the first imprisonment ended in one of the years 58-60. Another consideration points the same way: when Poppsea's influence was established (A.D. 58- 65), which, after she became a proselyte or θεοσεβής (i.e. at least as early as 61), was freely used in favor of the Jews, it would certainly have been invoked against the apostle by his enemies (comp. Ewaid, 6:621); and, even if he escaped with life, his confinement would not have been of the mild character described in the concluding verse of the Acts, more especially as his "bonds in Christ were manifest in all the palace" (praetorium), (Php 1:13), and among his converts were some "of Caesar's household" (4:22).
We may add that if the Narcissus (q.v.) of Ro 16:11, was the celebrated freedman of Claudius, the Epistle to the Romans (q.v.), written shortly before the apostle's last visit to Jerusalem, cannot be placed so late as A.D. 58 or 59, for Narcissus died very soon after Nero's accession (Tacit. Ann. 13:1). SEE PAUL.
V. Results. — The following table exhibits at one view the Julian or calendar years of the most important Biblical events from the Creation, and also the Vulgar or Christian AEra, according to the preceding investigations (for a complete and self-verifying tabular construction of all the Scriptural dates, with their adjustment to' each other and the demands of history, and the authority upon which it rests, see the Meth. Quart. Review, October, 1856, p. 601-638). In cases where it is uncertain whether an event occurred in the latter part of one Julian year or in the beginning of the next, the earlier number is set down, and has a star prefixed. In the centuries adjacent to the birth of Christ, many events affecting Palestine are inserted from the Apocrypha, Josephus, and other sources, in addition to those properly Biblical.
1 4172 Creation of Adam. *131 4042 Birth of Seth. *236 3937 Birth of Enos. *326 3847 Birth of Cainan. *396 3777 Birth of Mahalaleel. *461 3712 Birth of Jared. *623 3550 Birth of Enoch. *688 3485 Birth of Methuselah. *875 3298 Birth of Lamech. *931 3242 Death of Adam. *988 3185 Translation of Enoch. *1043 3130 Death of Seth. 1058 3115 Birth of Noah. *1141 3032 Death of Enos.
*1231 2937 Death of Cainan. *1291 2882 Death of Mahalaleel *1423 2750 Death of Jared. *1557 2616 Birth of Japheth. *1559 2614 Birth of Shem. *1652 2521 Death of Lamech. 1657 2516 Death of Methuselah.
Beginning of the Flood
1658 8515 End of the Flood. *1659 2514 Birth of Arphaxad. *1694 2479 Birth of Salah. *1724 2449 Birth of lber. *1758 2415 Birth of Peleg. *1788 2385 Birth of Reu. *1820 2353 Birth of Serug. *1850 2323 Birth of Nahor. * 879 2294 Birth of Terah. *1949 2224 Birth of Haran. *1997 2176 Death of Peleg. *1998 2175 Death of Nahor. *2007 2166 Death of Noah. *2009 2164 Birth of Abram. *2019 2154 Birth of Sarah. *2027 2146 Death of Reu. *2050 2123 Death of Serug. *2084 2089 Death of Terah. 2085 2088 Abram's Departure from Haran. *2095 2078 Birth of Ishmael. *2097 2076 Death of Arphaxad. *2109 2064 Circumcision instituted.
Promise of Isaac.
2110 2063 Birth of Isaac. *2127 2046 Death of Salah. *2146 2027 Death of Sarah. *2149 2024 Marriage of Isaac. *2159 2014 Death of Shem. *2169 2004 Birth of Jacob and Esau. *2184 1989 Death of Abraham. *2183 1985 Death of Eber. *2009 1964 First Marriage of Esau. *2332 1941 Death of Ishmael. 2246 1927 Flight of Jacob from Home. 2253 1920 Marriage of Jacob to Leah and Rachel. 2254 1919 Birth of Reuben by Leah. 2255 1918 Birth of Simeon by Leah. 2256 1917 Birth of Levi by Leah.
Marriage of Jacob with Bilhah.
2257 1916 Birth of Judah by Leah.
Birth of Dan by Bilhah. Marriage of Jacob with Zilpah.
2258 1915 Birth of Naphtali by Bilhah.
Birth of Gad by Zilpah.
2259 1914 Birth of Issachar by Leah.
Birth of Asher by Zilpah. Birth of Zebulon by Leah.
2260 1913 Birth of Dinah by Leah.
Birth of Joseph by Rachel.
2266 1907 Departure of Jacob from Laban. 2278 1895 Sale of Joseph by his Brethren. 2288 1885 Dreams of the Baker and Butler. *2289 1884 Death of Isaac.
2290 1883 Promotion of Joseph. 2298 1875 First Journey of the Patriarchs into Egypt. 2209 1874 Migration of Jacob's Family to Egypt. *2316 1857 Death of Jacob. *2370 1803 Death of Joseph. 2435 1733 Birth of Moses. 2475 1698 Flight of Moses into Midian. 2515 1658 Exodus of the Israelites. 2516 1657 Setting up of the Tabernacle. 2554 1619 Return of the Israelites to Kadesh.
Death of Aaron.
2555 1618 Death of Moses.
Entrance of the Israelites into Canaan.
2561 1612 Conquest of Canaan completed. *2580 1593 Death of Joshua. *2598 1575 Subjugation by Chushan-Rishathaim. *2606 1567 Deliverance by Othniel. *2646 1527 Subjugation by Eglon. *2664 1509 Deliverance by Ehud. *2474 1429 Judgeship of Shangar.
Subjugation by Jabin.
*2764 1409 Deliverance by Barak. *2804 1369 Subjugation by the Midianites. *2811 1362 Deliverance by Gideon. *2811 1322 Usurpation by Abimelech. *2854 1319 Appointment of Tola as Judge. *2877 1286 Appointment of Jair as Judge. *2899 1274 Subjugation by the Ammonites. *2917 1256 Deliverance by Jephthah. *2923 1250 Appointment of Ibzan as Judge. *2930 1243 Appointment of Elon as Judge.
*2940 1233 Appointment of Abdon as Judge. *2948 1225 Subjugation by the Philistines. *2988 1185 Deliverance by Samson. *3008 1165 Appointment of Eli as Judge. 3018 1125 Capture of the Ark by the Philistines. 3049 1124 Restoration of the Ark by the Philistines. 3068 1105 Deliverance by Samuel. *3080 1093 Accession of Saul. 3083 1084 Defeat of the Ammonites by Saul. *3090 1083 Birth of David. 3100 1073 War of Saul with the Philistines. 3103 1070 Capture of Agag by Saul. *3105 1068 Secret Anointing of David by Samuel. 3110 1063 Combat of David with Goliath. 3111 1062 Flight of David from Saul's Court. 31:2 1061 Refuge of David at Gath, etc. 3113 1060 Death of Samuel. 3118 1055 Second Sparing of Saul by David. 3119 1054 Residence of David at Zikiag. 3120 1053 Accession of David at Saul's Death. 312T 1046 Coronation of David over all the Tribes. 3128 1045 Defeat of the Philistines by David. 3129 1044 Expulsion of the Jebusites by David. 3130 1043 Removal of the Ark to Jerusalem. *3136 1037 Kindness of David to Saul's Family. 3138 1035 Adultery of David with Bathsheba. 3139 1034 Birth of Solomon. *3140 1033 Incest of Amnon with Tamar. 3130 1023 Rebellion of Absalom. 3158 1015 Usurpation of Adonijah. 3159 1014 Birth of Rehoboam.
Appointment of Solomon as Viceroy.
3160 1013 Accession of Solomon at David's Death, 3163 1010 Founding of Solomon's Temple.
3170 1003 Dedication of Solomon's Temple. 3200 973 Accession of Rehoboam.
Secession under Jeroboam I.
3203 970 Apostasy of Rehoboam. 3204 960 Invasion of Judah by Shishak. *3217 956 Accession of Abijah over Judah. 3220 953 Accession of Asa over Judah. 3221 951 Accession of Nadab over Israel. 3223 950 Accession of Baasha over Israel. *3226 947 Birth of Jehoshaphat. 3284 939 Invasion of Judah by Terah. 3245 928 International War. 3246 927 Accession of Elah over Israel.
Accession of Zinmri over Israel. Secession under Omri of Israel. Accession of Tibni over Israel
*3250 923 Birth of Jehoram II.
Death of Tibni.
*3256 917 Appointment of Ahab as Viceroy. 3258 915 Accession of Ahab over Israel.
Gout of Asa.
3261 912 Accession of Jehoshaphat over Judah. *3267 906 Birth of Ahaziah II. 3277 896 Appointment of Jehoram II. as Viceroy. 3278 895 Accession of Ahaziah I. over Israel. 3279 894 Accession of Jehoram I. over Israel. 3283 890 Second Appointment of Jehoram II. as Viceroy. *3286 887 Accession of Jehoram II. over Judah. 3289 884 Birth of Jehoash I.
Accession of Ahaziah II. over Judah.
*3290 883 Accession of Jehu over Israel.
Usurpation of Athaliah over Judah.
*3296 877 Accession of Jehoash I. over Judah. *3311 862 Birth of Amaziah. *3318 855 Accession of Jelloalaz I. over Israel. 3335 838 Accession of Jehoash II. over Israel 3336 837 Accession of Amaziah over Judah. *3338. 835 Appointment of Jeroboam II. as Viceroy. *3349 824 Birth of Uzziah. *3350 823 Accession of Jeroboam II. over Israel. 3365 808 Accession of Uzziah over Judah. *3367 806 Birth of Jotham. *3331 782 Death of Jeroboam II., followed by an Interregnum in Israel.
Earthquake and Leprosy of Uzziah. Appointment of Jotham as Viceroy.
*3397 776 Birth of Ahaz. 3403 770 Accession of Zechariah over Israel
Accession of Shallum over Israel.
3404 769 Accession of Menahem over Israel. *3414 759 Accession of Pekahiah over Israel *3416 757 Accession of Pekah over Israel. *3417 756 Accession of Jotham over Judah.
Appointment of Ahaz as Viceroy.
*3422 751 Birth of Hezekiah. 3431 742 Subjugation of the Ammonites by Jotham. 3433 740 Accession of Ahaz over Judah. 3436 737 Death of Pekah, followed by an Interregnum in Israel. *3444 729 Accession of Hoshea over Israel. 3445 728 Subjection of Hoshea by Shalmaneser. 3447 726 Accession of Hezekiah over Judah.
First Revolt of Hoshea from Assyria.
3448 725 Imprisonment of Hoshea by the Assyrians.
3449 724 Second Revolt of Hoshea from Assyria. 3450 723 Siege of Samaria by Shalmaneser. 3453 720 Assyrian Captivity. 3459 715 Capture of Ashdod by Sargon. 3160 713 Invasion of Judah by Sennacherib.
Diversion of the Assyrians by Tirhakah.
3161 712 Discomfiture of Sennacherib.
Sickness of Hezekiah.
3463 711 Ambassadors of Merodach-Baladan to Hezekiah. *3464 709 Birth of Manasseh. 3476 637 Accession of Manasseh over Judah. *3509 664 Birth of Amon. *3525 643 Birth of Josiah. *3531 642 Accession of Amon over Judah. *3533 640 Accession of Josiah over Judah. *3539 634 Birth of Jehoiakim. *3540 633 Conversion of Josiah. *3541 632 Birth of Jehothaz II. 3545 628 Reformation by Josiah. 3550 623 Repairs of the Temple by Josiah. *3514 619 Birth of Zedekiah. *3557 616 Birth of Jehoiachiin. 3564 609 Slaughter of Josiah by Pharaoh-Necho.
Accession of Jehoahaz II. over Judah. Accession of Jehoiakim over Judah.
3567 606 Invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar as Viceroy.
Deportation of Daniel.
3570 603 Dream of Nebuchadnezzar interpreted by Daniel. 3575 538 Accession of Jehoiachin over Juidah.
First general Deportation by the Babylonians. Accession of Zedekiah over Juliah.
3584 589 Seige of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. 3585 588 Destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
Second general Deportation by the Babylonians.
3591 582 Third general Deportation by the Babylonians. 3612 561 Release of Jehoiachin by Evil-Merodach. 3635 538 Capture of Babylon by "Darius the Mede." 3637 536 Decree of Cyrus for the Return of the Jews.
Return under Zerubbabel.
8633 535 Foundation of the Second Temple. 3653 520 Renewal of Building the Second Temple. 3656 517 Completion of the Second Temple. 3690 483 Divorce of Vashti. 3394 479 Marriage of Esther. 3699 474 Plots of Ilaman against the Jews. 3700 473 Deliverance by Esther. 3714 459 Second Decree for the Jews' Return.
Beginning of Daniel's 70 Weeks. Arrival of Ezra at Jerusalem.
3715 458 Divorce by the Jews of their Gentile Wives. 3726 447 Information to Nehemiah of Jerusalem's State. 3727 440 Visit of Nehemiah to Jerusalem. *3738 435 Return of Nehemiah to Persia. 3763 410 Reformation at Jerusalem resumed by Nehemiah. 3767 406 Close of the O. T. Canon.
332 Samaritan Temple built on Matthew Gerizim. 320 Ptolemy I. (Lagi) conquers Palestine. 319 Onias I. Jewish High-priest. 314 Antigonus seizes upon Palestine.
302 Simon (the Just) Jewish High-priest. 301 Ptolemy (Lagi) again reduces Palestine. 273 Eleazar Jewish High-priest. 264 Palestine the Scene of War between Egypt and Syria. 260 Manasses Jewish High-priest. 234 Onias III. Jewish High-priest. 219 Simon II. Jewish High-priest. 218 Antiochus the Great seizes the most of Palestine. 217 Palestine again reverts to Egypt. 202 Antiochus retakes Palestine. 199 The Egyptians once more occupy Palestine.
Onias III. Jewish High-priest.
198 Antiochus again seizes Palestine. 193 Palestine finally ceded to Egypt. 176 Palestine once more a Syrian Province.
Hieliodorus attempts to plunder the Jewish Temple.
175 Jason purchases the Jewish High-priesthood. 173 Jewish High-priesthood conferred on Menelaus (Onias). 170 Antiochus Epiphanes plunders the Jewish Temple. 167 The Syrian General Apollonius besieges Jerusalem and supplants the Worship of Jehovah, but is at length resisted by Mattathias. 166 Judas Maccalaeus routs the Syrians. 164 Jewish Temple Services renewed, 25th Kisleu. 163 Antiochus acknowledges the Jews' Independence. 161 Alcimus reinstated as Jewish High-priest.
Judas Maccabaeus succeeded by Jonathan.
152 Jonathan nominated as Jewish High-priest. 147 Jonathan takes the Field against Demetrius. 145 Jonathan goes over to Demetrius. 144 Jonathan declares for Antiochus. 143 Jonathan succeeded by Simon Maccabaeus. 142 The Jews freed from Foreign Tribute. 141 Simon gets Possession of the Citadel of Jerusalem. 140 Simon becomes Hereditary Prince of the Jews. 138 War between Simon and Antiochus Sidetes. 135 Simon succeeded by John Hyrcanus as Jewish Prince and High-
priest. 63 Jerusalem taken by Pompey. 40 Herod (the Great) appointed King by the Romans. 37 Herod takes Jerusalem by Storm.
Ananel (a Babylonian) Jewish High-priest.
33 Jesus and Simon successively Jewish High-priests. 21 Herod begins the Reconstruction of the Temple. 6 Births of John (the Baptist) and of CHRIST. 5 Matthias Jewish High-priest. 4 Death of Herod the Great.
Joazar, Eleazar, and Joshua successively Jewish High priests. A.D. 1 Beginning of the Vulgar Christian Era. 6 Archelaus banished to Gaul.
Coponinu Procurator of Judmaa.
7 Joazar (son of Boethus) Jewish. High-priest.
Christ's Visit with his Parents to Jerusalem.
9 Ambiviu. Procurator of Judaea. 11 Tiberius made Associate Emperor. 12 Annius Rufus Procurator of Judaea.
Ananus Jewish High-priest.
14 Tiberius succeeds Augustmus as sole Emperor. 15 Valerius Gratus Procurator of Judaea. 21 Ishmael (son of Phabi) Jewish High-priest. 22 Ileazar (son of Ananus) Jewish High-priest. 23 Simon (son of Camithus), and next (Joseph) Caiaphas Jewish High- priests. 25 Christ baptized by John. 26 Pontius Pilate Procurator of Juamea. 28 John the Baptist beheaded. 29 (Crucifixion of Christ. Martyrdom of Stephen. 30 Conversion of Paul. 32 Conversion of Cornelius.
36 Pilate succeeded by Marcellus as Procurator. Jonathan (son of Ananus) Jewish High-priest. 37 Caligula Roman Emperor. Theophilus (brother of Jonathan) Jewish High-priest. 39 Herod Antipas banished to Gaul. 40 Claudius Roman Enperor. 41 Herod Agrippal Ruler of Palestine. 42 Simon Cantheras Jewish High-priest. 43 Matthias (son of Ananus) Jewish High-priest. 44 Elionaeas (son of Cantheras) Jewish High-priest.
Martyrdom of James. Death of Herod Agrippa I.
45 Cuspius Fadus Procurator of Judmae. 47 Tiberius Alexander Procurator of Judaea. 48 Joseph (son of Kami) succeeded in the Jewish High priesthood by Ananias (son of Nebedaeus). 49 Ventidius Cumanus Procurator of Judaea. 53 Felix Procurator of Judaea. Herod Agrippa II. "King" of Trachonitis, etc. 54 Nero Roman Emperor. 55 Poreius Festus Procurator of Jumaea.
Ishmael (son of Fabi) Jewish High-priest.
56 Paul's First Arrival in Rome. 62 Martyrdom of James (the Less).
Albinus Procurator of Judaes. Joseph Kabi Jewish High-priest.
64 Martyrdom of Paul. 65 Gessius Florus Procurator of Judaea. 66 Breaking-out of the final Jewish War.
Cestius Gallus besieges Jerusalem.
67 Vespasian General of the Roman Forces in Judaea.
Theophilus succeeded by Phannius as Jewish High priest.
68 Galba Roman Emperor.
Simon (son of Giorias) ravages Judaea.
63 Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian successively Roman emperors.
Three Jewish Parties in Jerusalem.
70 Titus destroys Jerusalem. 71 Bassus sent to take charge of Judmea. 72 Fulvius Sylva sent as Roman General into Judaba. 79 Titus Roman Emperor. 81 Domitian Roman Emperor. 96 Banishment of the Apostle John to Patmos.
Nerva Roman Emperor.
98 Trajan Roman Emperor.
Close of the N.-T. Canon.
VI. Controversies and Literature. — The distance of the Creation from the Christian sera, which has been stated with about 140 variations, is given in the Indian Chronology, as computed by Gentil, at 6174 years; in the Babylonian, by Bailly, at 6158; in the Chinese, by Bailly, at 6157; in the Septuagint, by Abulfaragius, at 5508; while Jewish writers bring it down below the computation of Capellus, namely, 4000, and one, Rabbi Lipman, to so contracted a sum as 3616.
1. The chronology of the English Bible was regulated by the views of Usher (Annales Vet. et Nov. Test. first ed. fol. Lond. 1650, 1654), who followed, in general, the authority of the Hebrew text. Other chronologers have put themselves under the guidance of the Septuagint and Josephus, maintaining that the modern Hebrew text has been greatly vitiated in the whole department of chronology,. and more especially in the genealogical tables which respect the antediluvian patriarchs, as well as the ten generations immediately after the Flood. The examination above does not sustain this conclusion. Yet the shortened scheme, adopted by Usher from the Masorite Jews, is recent in its prevalence among Christians when compared with the more comprehensive chronology of the Septuagint. This last was used before the advent of our Lord, and, being followed by the Greek fathers of the Church, was generally current, till, in the eighth century, a disposition to exchange it for the Rabbinical method of reckoning was first manifested by the venerable Bede. Roman Catholic authors, however, have usually adopted the latter, from the influence of the Latin Vulgate, which strictly follows the Hebrew numbers. Isaac Vossius, in his treatise 'De Vera AEtate Mundi (Haggai 1659, 4to), was the first of any note who forsook the Hebrew dates. Pezron, in his work L'Antiquit' des Tems retablie et defendue contre les Juifs et les nouveaux Chronologistes (Amist. 1687, 12mo), produced a great impression in favor of the lengthened period advocated by Vossius. It was not, however, till the middle of the last century that Jackson produced his great work, the Chronological Antiquities (Lend. 1752, 3 vols. 4to). He advocated the longer chronology of the Septuagint. In the beginning of the present century Dr. Hales published the first volume of a laborious work entitled A New Analysis of Chronology, an undertaking which ultimately extended to four volumes, chiefly in confirmation and illustration of the conclusions of Jackson. Mr. Faber, in his work on pagan idolatry, offers some judicious observations on the chronology of ancient history, treading generally in the footsteps of Hales. The Origines of Sir William Drummond proceeds also on the ground supplied by the Septuagint chronology. A detailed statement of grounds for admitting the authority of the Septuagint in preference to that of the original Hebrew may be found in a preliminary dissertation prefixed to the first volume of Dr. Michael Russell's Connection of Sacred and Profane History, from the Death of Joshua to the Decline of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (Lond. 1827, 3 vols. 8vo).
2. Upon the data we have considered above, three principal systems of Biblical Chronology have been founded, which may be termed the Long System, the Short, and the Rabbinical. All, or almost all, have erred on the side of claiming for their results a greater accuracy than the nature of the evidence upon which they rested rendered possible. Another failing of these chronologers is a tendency to accept, through a kind of false analogy, long or short numbers and computations for intervals, rather according as they have adopted the long or the short reckoning of the patriarchal genealogies than on a consideration of special evidence. It is as though they were resolved to make the sum as great or as small as possible. The Rabblins have in their chronology afforded the strongest example of this error, having so shortened the intervals as even egregiously to throw out the dates of the time of the Persian rule. The German school is here an exception, for it has generally fallen into an opposite extreme, and required a far greater time than any derivable from the Biblical numbers for the earlier ages, while taking the Rabbinical date of the Exodus, and so has put two portions of its chronology in violent contrast. We do not lay much stress upon the opinions of the early Christian writers, or even Josephus: their method was uncritical, and they accepted the numbers best known to them without any feeling of doubt.
The chief advocates of the Long Chronology are Jackson, Hales, and Des Vignoles. They take the Sept. for the patriarchal generations, and adopt the long interval from the Exodus to the Foundation of Solomon's Temple. The Short Chronology has had a multitude of illustrious supporters, owing to its having been from Jerome's time the recognized system of the West. Usher may be considered as its most able advocate. He follows the Hebrew in the patriarchal generations, and takes the 480 years from the Exodus to the Foundation of Solomon's Temple. The Rabbinical Chronology has lately come into much notice from its partial reception, chiefly by the German school. It accepts the Biblical numbers, but makes the most arbitrary corrections. For the date of the Exodus it has virtually been accepted by Bunsen, Lepsius, and Lord A. Hervey. The system of Bunsen we may regard as constituting a fourth class of itself, based upon theories not only independent of, but repugnant to the Bible. For the time before the Exodus he discards all Biblical chronological data, and reasons altogether, as it appears to us, on philological considerations.
In the post-diluvian period Hales rejects the Second Cainan, and reckons Terah's age at Abram's birth 130 instead of 70 years; Jackson accepts the Second Cainan, and does not make any change in the second case; Usher and Petavius follow the Heb., but the former alters the generation of Terah, while the latter does net. Bunsen requires "for the Noachian period about ten millenia before our sera, and for the beginning of our race another ten thousand years, or very little more" (Outlines, 2:12). These conclusions necessitate the abandonment of all belief in the historical character of the Biblical account of the times before Abraham. The writer does indeed speak of "facts and traditions;" his facts, however, as far as we can perceive, are the results of a theory of language, and tradition is, from its nature, no guide in chronology. It is, however, certain that no Shemitic scholar has accepted Bunsen's theory. For the time from the Exodus to the Foundation of Solomon's Temple, Usher alone takes the 480 years; the rest adopt longer periods, according to their explanations of the other numbers of this interval; but Bunsen calculates by generations. The period of the kings, from the foundation of Solomon's Temple, is very nearly the same in the computations of Jackson, Usher, and Petavius: Hales lengthens it by supposing an interregnum of 11 years after the death of Amaziah;
Bunsen shortens it by reducing the reign of Manasseh from 55 to-45 years. The former theory is improbable and uncritical; the latter is merely the result of a supposed necessity.
3. The best authorities on chronology in general are Ideler's thorough Handbuch d. math. u. technisch. Chronologie (Berl. 1825, 2 vols.) and Handbuch d. Chronol. (Berl. 1831). The methods and results of these works most pertinent to Biblical chronology are also pursued in the first part of Browne's excellent Ordo Sceclorume (Lond. 1844). Comp. Matzka, Chronol. in all. s. Epochen (Wien, 1844). Jarvis's Introd. to the History of the Church (N. Y. and Lond. 1845) is a fundamental investigation of ancient aeras with reference to the Christian, and is remarkable for the evidence there given of an error in the Roman annals between B.C. 45 and A.D. 160, in consequence of which the author carries every event between these points one year farther back. A synopsis of the argument is given in Strong's Harm. and Expos. of the Gospels (N. Y. 1852), Append. I.
One of the earliest Christian systematic chronologies is the Pentabiblion of Julius Africanus (in the 3d cent.), of which only a few fragments remain. Another is the Chronicon of Eusebius (4th cent.), of the Latin translation of which by Jerome an edition with notes was published by Scalirer in 1658; and the Armenian version has since been discovered and published, with a Latin translation, at Venice, 1818. There is also a famous Spanish commentary upon this chronicle by Alfonso Fostato (Salamanca, 1506, 5 vols. fol.). The Chronicon Paschale (ed. Dufresne, Par. 1689, fol., and by Dindorf, Bonn,.1832) is a Byzantine work arranged upon the basis of the Easter festival. There is also the Jewish Chronicon mundi majus et minus, or Seder Olam (סֵדֶר עוֹלָם, in Hebrew, Amsterd. 1711, 4to; in Latin, with a commentary, by J. Meyer, Amsterd. 1649, 4to), the former part of which is reputed to have been composed about A.D. 130, while the latter is of more recent date.
The foundation of the modern science of chronology may be said to have been laid by J. Scaliger in his work De Emendatione Temporum (Par. 1583, fol.; enlarged, Leyd. 1598; also Geneva, 1629). Another important work of that age is that of D. Petavius (or Petau), De Doctrina Temporum (Par. 1627, 2 vols. fol.), with its continuation, Uranologion (Par. 1630, fol.), and the abridgment, Rationarium Temporum (Par. 1630, 8vo, and since). Other important treatises bearing more or less directly on Biblical chronology, besides those mentioned above, are: Calvisii Opus' Chronologicum (Lips. 1605, and since); Riccioli, Chronologia Reformata (Bon. 1669); Florentini, De anno primitivo (Aug. Vind. 1621); Labbii et Briettii Chronologia historica (Par. 1670); Des Vignoles, Chronologie de l'Histoire Sainte (Berl. 1738, 2 vols. 4to), Marsham, Canon Chronicus (Lond. 1672.; Lpz. 1676; Frcft. 1696); Newton, Chronology (Lond. 1728); Blair, Chronolgy and History (London, 1754, 1768); Kennedy, Astronom. Chronology (London, 1672); Playfair, System of Chronol. (Edinb. 1784); Clinton, Fasti Hellenici (Oxf. 1824-30); Clemencet, L'Art de verifier les dates (Par. 1818). More specific are: Vitringa, Hypotyposis hist. et chronologie (Havn. 1774); Bengel, Ordo-temporum (2d ed. Stuttg. 1770); Bennigsen, Biblische Chronologie (Lpz. 1784); Frank, Nov. syst. chronologice (Gott. 1788; abridgm. Dess. 1783); Tiele, Chronol. d. alt. Test. (Brem. 1839); Archinard, Chronol. sacree (Par. 1841); Seyffarth, Chronol. sacra (Lpz. 1846); Akers, Biblical Chronology (Cincin. 1855); Anon. Palmoni (Lond. 1851); also Capellus, ChronologiSacra (Par. 1655); Allen, Chain of Script. Chronol. (Lond. 1659); Bedford, Script. Chronology (Lond. 1730); Cunninghame, Chronology, etc. (Lond. 1834 sq.); Bosanquet, Chronology of Daniel (Lond. 1848); also Assyr. and Heb. Chronology compared (in the Jour. Royal As. Soc., Lond. 1864, p. 148 sq.); Fausset, Sacred Chronology (Oxf. 1855); with many others of less extent. Compare also Prideaux, Old and New Testament Connected; Shuckford, Sacred and Profane History of the World Connected; 'Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions et BellesLettres; Michaelis, Zeitrechnung von der Sindfluth bis Salomo (in the Gotting. Mag. der Wissensch. I Jahrg.); Gesenius, De Pentateuchi Samarit. Origin' (Hal. 1815); Hegewisch, Einl. in die hist. Chron. (Alt. 1811); Beer's Abhandlungen zur Erldut. d. alten Zeitrechn. (Leipz. 1752); Silberschlag, Chronologie der Welt (Berl. 1783); Parker, Chronology (Lond. 1859); Rockerath, Biblische Chronologie (Minst. 1865); Lewin, Fasti Sacri (Lond. 1865); Shimeall, Bible Chronology (N.Y. 1860); Von Gumpach, A ltjid. Kalendar(Briiss. 1848), and Zeitrechn. d. Bab. u. Assyr. (Heidelb. 1852). SEE VULGAR ERA.