(Biblical) CHRONOLOGICAL CHARTS, AND TABLES.
1. Systematic tabulation being the only satisfactory method, to eye and understanding alike, of presenting Biblical, or any other numbers, this course has been adopted in the following charts. To ensure accuracy, “Section” paper has been used throughout.
The importance of this is, that, for the first time, (it is believed) Bible readers will have placed in their hands a series of Chronological Tables of the main dated events in the Old Testament, which they can test and check for themselves.
As a rule, the Chronological Charts already available are set before the reader, either on a scale so minute that they must be received or rejected as a whole or else so encumbered [burden] with extraneous (not forming an essential or vital part), matter relating to Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, &c., as to be hopelessly bewildering to the ordinary Bible reader.
2. The problems of Biblical Chronology cannot be solved by mere computation, after the manner of some. Neither must they be dealt with by arbitrarily (by chance, whim, or impulse) adopting a particular date, and reckoning from that onward to Christ, and back to Adam. This is a position that cannot be maintained; as the charts will show.
3. Again, the use of “Sothic cycles”, eclipses, and other astronomical methods for “setting” Biblical dates, has not been sought. On the contrary, any appeals for aid from such sources have been carefully avoided. If the record of the Scripture as to its own times and numbers is not self-contained, then it must be hopeless to supplement it by guesses and “explanations” as to the movements of the heavenly bodies, used mainly in support of human arguments and assumptions.
4. The position occupied in The Companion Bible is that all Scripture is “given by inspiration of God,” θεόπνενστος (theopneustos) = God breathed.
Therefore, the record of the dates and periods stated in the Bible are as much inspired as any other portion of it; and are as much to be relied on for accuracy as those statements upon which we rest in hope of eternal salvation. They must be as unreservedly received and believed as any other statements contained in its pages.
5. When it is stated that a certain king began to reign in such or such a year of the reign of another king, and that he reigned for so many years, it is accepted, and charted down accordingly.
6. One of the greatest difficulties which chronologers have to face is, and always has been, the apparent conflict between the record in 1 Kings 6:1, that Solomon’s temple was commenced
“in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt”; while in Acts 13:17—22 the same period amounts to 573 years; a difference of ninety-three years.
In the majority of cases 1 Kings 6:1 has been adopted by chronologers as being correct, St Pauls’ reckoning being left to take care of itself; or. they say he was “misinformed”, or “only speaking generally.”
The simple fact is; both are right.
The solution of the difficulty is that St Paul’s statement is according to Anno Mundi years (573)—the other on the principle of what we may call Anno Dei reckoning (480).
(See the “Lo-Ammi” periods chart 50 vii. 111).
The charts show that, on the plain and straight forward statements of the Scriptures themselves, the actual Anno Mundi period from the Exodus to the commencement of Solomon’s’ temple
was exactly 573 years, thus agreeing with St Paul, and absolutely verifying the reckoning in Acts 13:17—22.
But the four hundred and eightieth year of 1 Kings 6 is also as absolutely correct, only it is reckoned from the Exodus on a different principle—viz . according to God’s reckoning.
The difference in years between the two statements is, as already said, the ninety-three years of the servitudes
Now, to ignore ninety-three years in the lifetime of this world (“which is now 2 Peter 3: 7”) cannot be done without upsetting all other dates. Yet this is precisely what is generally done.
Understanding the “the four hundred and eightieth year” as being on Anno Mundi reckoning instead of according to “Anno Dei” reckoning, chronologers are compelled, in order to make things “agree”, to handle and compress the figures and facts of the Judges period in the most arbitrary manner.(Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle).
St Paul’s testimony is that “God gave (them) Judges about 450 years until Samuel the prophet” (Acts 13:20).
The adverb of time here translated until (έως, heōs, until, as long as), marks the completion of an action up to the time of the commencement of another. Here, it denotes the fulfilment of the time of the Judges, ending with the close of Samuel’s forty years, and the commencement of the kingdom. (Compare the use of έως—heōs—in Matthew 1:25 “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn Son: and he called His name JESUS ”)
The chart 50. iv exactly coincides with St Paul’s statement. The Judgeship period ends, and the kingdom time begins with Saul in 1000B.C.
7. The advantage of the SECTIONAL LINES in the charts will be apparent to all students of the Word of God. The difficulty experienced in making the two lines of the kings of Judah and Israel “agree” is overcome quite simply by setting the Davidian dynasty, and those of the kings of Israel, on what may be termed an interlocking system, by the use of the parallel horizontal section lines.
When, for instance, it is stated in 2 Kings 8:16. “In the fifth tear of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel (Jehoshaphat then being king of Judah), Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.”
Chart 50 vii shows this; and, while vindicating the accuracy of the statement in the text—followed in the A.V. & R.V. (with a doubtful note in the latter) as to Jehoshaphat being at that time
king of Judah—it shows further that that Jehoshaphat had joined his son with him in associate-kingship in the third year before his death.
The extreme value to the student of this principle will be seen in this and other instances, especially in the Ezra-Nehemiah period. See Chart 50.vii.5.
8. In Chart 50 vii 7, 8,9,10, are given a few of the significant periods of 430, 450, 490, and 1000 years. The tables will enable others to follow up these figures on the same lines; and doubtless, many other important periods will be noted by those who delight in searching into the wonders of the Word of Life. This, by means of the Section lines, can be done accurately.
9. In the Charts themselves the terminus a quo is the Creation of Adam; while the terminus ad quem is the Crucifixion (Although the Charting is continued on to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus). The unit of measurement is the number of years given as the lifetime of Adam: viz 930. (Gen 5:5.)
Commencing with this, and taking each link as it follows, the chain is seen to extend in perfect sequence until it ends with the “Cutting off of the Messiah” at the close of the sixty-ninth of the seventy-sevens of Daniel 9:25—26 in A.D. 29. That is 4,033 from the creation. It shows also that the period from Adam to the Nativity was eighty jubilees (on anno mundi reckoning, but see note on page (chart) 70) or 4000 years.
Each shaded column represents 100 years (it is the same in the detail charts) consisting of 10 sections of 10 years each.. Every year, therefore, beginning from beginning to end is shown, and nothing is left, in this respect, to chance or guesswork.
The figures to the left of this shaded column are B.C. dates: that is, they are reckoned from the common era of A.D.0. But, all are agreed that the birth of Christ took place four years
earlier:--therefore, for any date required from the Nativity itself, these four years must be deducted in each case.
On so small a scale it is almost humanly possible to avoid some slight overlappings in connections with the periods of the kings, owing to the use of the ordinal and cardinal numbers, and the absence in most cases as hints as to the time of year at which some of the reigns began or ended. But the “charting” has been done with the most careful and anxious exactitude, and the “interlocking” system, above referred to, has reduced such minutæ to (it is believed) the narrowest limits.
10. The principle employed in the Scriptures of this “interlocking”, or cross-checking, is of great significance and importance.’
On the charts, these are set down exactly as they are given. No attempt is made to manipulate the figures, e.g.:-
a) When the record says “in the thirty and eigth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel, and Ahab…reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years “ (1 Kings 16:29), it is charted accordingly, and this indicates that Ahaziah was joined in co-regency with his father Ahab for two years before the death of the latter, in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:51).
b) In 2 Kings 1`4:23 it is stated—“in the fifteenth year of Amaziah, the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam (II) the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years.”
Now, Amaziah’s twenty-nine years of reigning in Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:2) end, as the chart shows, in the fourteenth year of Jeroboam; and, as Uzziah, Amaziah’s son, began his reign in the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam (2 Kings 15:1), it follows that a gap of thirteen years intervenes in the line of Judah between Amaziah and Uzziah.
No attempt is made to bridge this gap, much less to curtail or ignore it.
The Scriptures are silent as to the reason for this break. The interval stands there, a plainly recorded fact, and is charted down accordingly.
In the same way there is an interval of twenty-four years on the Israel side between Jeroboam II and his son Zechariah’s accession. But Scripture gives no detail as to how the intervening space was occupied.
In the case of the Davidian dynasty, the periods omitted (shown in black) were not to be included in the Anno Dei reckoning.
11. The “LO—AMMI” periods. It will be noticed at once that, in many instances, from shortly after the entry into the Land and onwards, there are wide differences between the chart dates and the “received dates” for certain events.
For instance, Jehoiakim’s fourth and Nebuchadnezzar’s first years (Jeremiah 25:1) are charted as 496 B.C., whereas the generally “received” date is “606” B.C. (according to some,
605 604). This means a discrepancy of 108—110 years; and shortens the period between the year in which Judah became tributary to Babylon, and the Gentile supremacy over the land of Jerusalem began, and the time of Christ, by those 108—110 years.
At once, it may be said, “Here is manifest error! We are told that leading chronologers are ‘agreed’ that that the point of contact between sacred and profane chronology, therefore the first certain date in Biblical history, is the accession of Nebuchadnezzar to the throne of Babylon in B.C. 625.”
But the chart of the “Lo-Ammi” periods (50. VII. 11) shows that chronologists have mixed up Anno Mundi reckoning with the Anno Dei reckoning.
The black portions of the columns in the charts show the times when the children of Israel were in servitude or under usurped authority (as in Athaliah, &c.), and therefore such periods were not to be reckoned, while Israel was “Lo-Ammi, “Not My People!”
Take, for example, from the Exodus to Jehoiakim’s Captivity. On “received” dates this period is 1491—599 = 892 years. According to the charts this period is 1491—489 = 1003 years.
A difference of 110 years
The explanation is in the charts, and shows that the Anno Mundi includes the ninety-three of servitude in the Judges, and the three intervals in the Kings (together twenty years), totalling 113 years. Deducting this 113 from 1002, or adding it to 892, we have 889 and 1005 respectively.
Allowing for the portions of years at the beginning and end of this period, and the overlapping at the intervals, it will be seen that these figures are practically identical.
The same Anno Dei reckoning removes the difficulty presented by “the four hundred and eightieth year,” and shows that every time from the time of Eli to the Usurpation of Athaliah is ninety-three years out of place in the ordinary reckoning; from Joash to the end of Amaziah every date is ninety-nine years wrong; and from Uzziah’s death to the Captivity every date is 113 years wrong.
This is not inference but fact, as those who use the charts can test for themselves. This one date in 1 Kings 6:1, having been accepted by almost all the “leading Chronologers” as representing literal Anno Mundi years, has become the pivot upon which all Chronology, “sacred” and secular, has been made to turn, and all the “received” dates gathered “monumental” or other sources, as well as by “computation”, have been forced to “fit in” accordingly.
12. This also applies to the JUBILEE YEARS. (1 Jubilee year = 50 years) On Anno Mundi reckoning, from the entry into the Land until the Nativity, there are exactly twenty-nine Jubilees;
[29 X 50 = 1450] but on Anno Dei reckoning there are only twenty-five jubilees (the number of grace again, 5 X 5 = 52. See Ap 10); and the Sabbatical years accordingly, as shown on the charts.
13. THE SCALES of the detailed charts explain themselves.
14. The EZRA—NEHEMIAH period (50. vi. and vii. 5).According to “received” dates, the building of the second temple was begun 536 B.C., and finished 516—515 B.C., and the walls of Jerusalem were built by Nehemiah in 444B.C. that is seventy—two years later, and ninety—one years from the going forth of the decree to build Jerusalem.
Now, in the second year of DARIUS HYSTASPES (Haggai. 1:1) the LORD’S HOUSE was not built. Hence the word of Jehovah: 1:4 “is it time for you to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?” Ceiled = (to overlay (the ceiling of a building or room) with wood, plaster, etc.)
“Go up and BUILD the house” (verse 8).
If this be so, we may ask—When was Jerusalem rebuilt
On “received” dates, we are asked to believe that this was completed by Nehemiah in 444, i.e. seventy two years later. According to this dating the Temple was finished and dedicated in 516 B.C., seventy-two years before the houses and walls of Jerusalem were built!
The charts show that the going forth of the decree build JERUSALEM was issued in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes (Asteiages = “Darius the Median,”—the father of Cyrus), and in the forty—second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. This was just at the close of the great king’s seven years of “madness” (See the Structures of Ezra—Nehemiah,
and Ap 58.)
This decree to build Jerusalem was in 454 B.C.; and the decree of Cyrus to build the Temple was issued in 426 B.C.; twenty-eight years later.
An illustration from the book of Exodus may help to illustrate the principle on which the books of Ezra Nehemiah are placed in the Jewish (and our own Bible).
The specification of the Tabernacle, its material and furniture, is placed first (canonically), beginning with the ARK. Then the construction itself follows. The order is reversed in actual building; and the chronological order comes first.
It is the same here. The building of the House of God being paramount, the decree, &c., concerning it comes first (canonically), on the same Divine principle.
Afterwards we have the detail of the setting for the gem, so to speak—the building of Jerusalem. Just as the Tabernacle was (chronologically) built first (Exodus 36) to contain the ark, so here, the city was built first to contain, guard and protect the “House of Jehovah.”
Finally, the best explanation of the charts will be found in the charts themselves. They are presented in the order set forth on Page 3 of the Appendixes.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE TWO BOOKS AS A WHOLE.
ACCORDING TO THEIR CANONICAL ORDER.
A1| EZRA. THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE
A2 | NEHEMIAH. THE REBUILDING OF THE WALLS
(A1, above) EZRA. THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE
A1 B | 1: 1—4 (N†) THE PEOPLE- EMANCIPATION
C | 1:5—2:70 (P) THE RETURN - UNDER ZERUBBABEL
D | 3:1—6 (Q) THE ALTAR – BUILDING – AND - FEAST
D | 3:7—6:22 (Q) THE TEMPLE – BUILDING -AND - FEAST
C | 7:1—8:36 (P) THE RETURN UNDER EZRA
B | 9:1—10:44 (N) THE PEOPLE- DEDICATION - DISORDERS OVERCOME
(A, above) NEHEMIAH- THE REBUILDING OF THE WALLS
(Introversion and Alternation)
A2 |E | 1:1—6:19 (K†) THE WALL-REBUILDING- DISORDERS OVERCOME
F | H |7:1—4 (N) JERUSALEM – CHARGE OVER
J | 7: 5—73- (P) THE RETURN UNDER ZERUBBABEL
G |7: -73—8:18 (Q) FEAST OF THE SEVENTH MONTH
G | 9:1—10:39 (N) FEAST OF THE SEVENTH MONTH
F | H | 11:1—36 (N) JERUSALEM – RESIDENTS IN
J | 12:1—26 (N) THE RETURN UNDER EZRA
E| 12:27—13:31 (K) THE WALL – DEDICATION – DISORDERS OVERCOME
*In Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible, and the early printed editions of the Hebrew text, these two books are always treated and reckoned as one book: the 685 verse being numbered from the first verse of Ezra to the last verse of Nehemiah; the middle verse of the one book being given by the Massorites as Neh 3:32; while of the ten Sedarim (or cycles for public reading), the fourth begins at Ezra 8:35 and ends with Neh 2:10. See note at the foot of 632. Moreover, the note which the Massorites place at the end of book are placed at the end of Nehemiah, and not at the end of Ezra. Cp note on the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, p 366.
The Structure of the one book is set forth as above, the two Divisions being given in their CANONICAL ORDER.
EZRA confines himself mainly to the events connected with the TEMPLE.
NEHEMIAH confines himself mainly to the events connected with the WALL and the CITY.
Ezra comes first in the Canonical Order, because the TEMPLE is more important than the WALL. Morally and spiritually.
Nehemiah follows, because the WALL is of secondary importance.
When the whole of the events are looked at in their CHRONOLOGICAL and HISTORICAL order, a different Structure is necessarily observed: this Structure is determined by certain fixed points, common to both Orders.
These fixed points determine the place of the remaining events recorded in the two parts respectively. See Table of Events Appendix 50 and Chronological Structure, and the Harmony of Events in Ap 58.
† The letters of this font (in brackets) correspond with the same letters in the CHRONOLOGICAL STRUCTURE.
A HARMONY OF THE EZRA-NEHEMIAH HISTORY See Appendixes for Appendix 58.
Charts: - From Adam 4004 years—The “Cutting Off of Messiah”
43—49 = 1. From the Creation to the Flood 4004—2348.
50 & 51. = II & III from the Flood to Abraham.
52 & 53 = III & IV from Abraham to the Exodus.
54 & 55 = IV from the Exodus to the Kingdom.
56—60 = V from the Kingdom to the Captivities.
61 from Ezra—Nehemiah to the destruction of Jerusalem.
62 = VII (1) Details of the Exodus Week in 1491 B.C.
63 = VII (2) General Plan of the “Forty Years.”
64 -- 66 = (3 to 4) Details of the First two years 1491—1490.
67 = VII (5) Details of the Ezra—Nehemiah Period.
68 = VII (6) Details of the Prophets and Kings.
69 = VII (6) The Prophets and Kings (cont 4).
69 = VII (7, 8, 9, 10.) Examples of the Important periods of 430, 450, 490, & 1000.
70 = VII (11) the “LO-AMMI” Periods.
70 = VII (12) “The going forth of the Commandment” Dan 9:25.