This page uses Javascript.

TorahTimes Messianic Ministry

Teaching Truths about Torah, Time, and Messiah


A Comparison of Chronologies

Clinton, Beecher, Jones, Thiele, Gregg

The Scroll of Biblical Chronology is in column 2. The other columns feature a Δ for difference from the Scroll. This figure shows the difference between the other chronologies and the Scroll of Biblical Chronology.

             Fasti         | Scroll      | Dated Events | Chronology     | Mysterious 
             AD 1834       | AD 2014     | AD 1907      | AD 1993        | AD 1951
             H.F. Clinton  | D.R. Gregg  | W.J. Beecher | F.N. Jones     | E.R. Thiele
             BC   AM       | BC     AM   | BC           | BC   AM        | BC
             ---------- Δ  | ----------- | -----  Δ     | --------  Δ    | ----- Δ
Adam         4138      -1  | 4139†  1    |              | 4004    1 -135 |     
The Deluge   2482 1656 -1  | 2483*  1657 |              | 2348 1656 -135 |  
b. Abram     2130 2008 -2  | 2132   2008 |              | 1996 2008 -136 | [2166]5 +34
Jacob->Egypt 1840      -2  | 1842   2298 |              | 1706 2298 -136 | [1876] +34  
Exodus       1625 2513 -7  | 1632*  2508 | 1498  -134   | 1491 2513 -141 | [1446] -186 
d. Moses     1585 2553 -7  | 1592†  2547 | 1459  -133   | 1452 2552 -140 | [1406] -186 
Cushan Rish  1558 2580 -14 | 1572   2568 | 1441  -131   | 1400 2604 -172 | [1378] -194
d. Eli       1128 3010 -14 | 1142   2998 | 1142     0   | 1122 2882  -20 | [1069]  -73
Saul         1096 3042 -7  | 1103†  3037 | 1102     0   | 1095 2909   -8 | [1049]  -54
David        1056 3082 -7  | 1063†  3077 | 1063     0   | 1055 2949   -8 | [1009]  -54
Solomon      1016 3122 -7  | 1023   3117 | 1022     0   | 1015 2989   -8 |  [971]  -52 
Rehoboam      976 3162 -7  |  983   3157 |  982     0   |  975 3029   -8 |   930   -53
Fall Samaria  721      +1  |  720   3420 |  718    -2   |  721 3283   +1 |   723    +3
14th Hezekiah 713      +2  |  711†  3429 |  710    -1   |  709 3295   -2 |   701   -10
Jehoiachin ex 597       0  |  597   3543 |  597     0   |  597 3407    0 |   597     0
F. Jerusalem  587       0  |  587   3553 |  586    -1   |  586 3418   -1 |   586    -1

*confirmed by astronomical calculations
†confirmed by Sabbatical year or Jubilee year synchronism

Discussion

H.F. Clinton (first column) did not have the benefit of Astronomy for his Deluge date. He had to work using the biblical numbers alone and only connected up to BC dates at the fall of Jerusalem. Clinton has 2482 BC for the flood. The Scroll differs by one year: 2483 BC. The Scroll of Biblical Chronology confirms the 2483 BC flood date via Astronomical Calculation of the month lengths and the weekdays of various events. The Scroll also confirms the Exodus date via Astronomical Calculation, matching the date for the giving of the Torah on a Sabbath day.

The Scroll of Biblical Chronology is confirmed by Sabbatical Year and Jubilee Year synchronisms at many points. They are not all listed in the brief number of dates. The synchronisms are marked †. The details of the Scroll Charts show exactly 390 years that Israel sinned and 40 years that Judah sinned between the Exodus and the exile of Jehoiachin. Also in these 420 years the sum of land Sabbaths that Israel and Judah did not keep is exactly 70.

The first comparison with F.H. Clinton’s 1834 chronology shows that none of the synchronisms are contrived. The Δ column shows the differences, and the explanation of the Scroll of Biblical Chronology is far more parsimonious with the textual evidence at every point, e.g. it is not assumed that Isaac was weaned at age 5, but rather that the sojourn predates the arrival in Haran as the Scripture states. It is not assumed either what the gap between the conquest and the first oppression should be, but rather the number of sabbatical years that drop off or add to the 70 year count was computed for every permutation. This gives the elders period at 14 years, and Samuel at 19.

We now turn to Beecher’s Chronology. Beecher does not go back before the Exodus. He says of Ussher, “He regards the biblical numbers for the time before Abraham as chronological, which I think is a mistake” (pg. 16). The Δ = -134 at the time of the Exodus tells the whole story for Beecher’s chronology prior to the death of Eli. This is the exact sum of the years Israel was oppressed by foreign nations up to the time of Samuel. Beecher collapsed all the oppressions out of the chronology and put only the years of the Judges. He made a slight mistake though. Samson’s 20 year judgeship was during the Philistine I oppression, and he left out the Philistine II oppression of 20 years. The net result is 0 since he gave back what he took away. Beecher’s remaining dates differ little from mine. Where I have put Δ=0 but the dates show ±1 are cases of my dating from Tishri. Beecher puts the base year without going back to Tishri of the previous year. So the dates are the same in all cases where I put Tishri of the year preceding.

Turning to the last comparison, Thiele’s chronology we see Δ = -53 for the date of Rehoboam. This difference is easy to explain. Thiele departed from the synchronisms stated in Scripture in favor of using dates determined by Assyrian archaeologists who influenced him while at the University of Chicago. Sadly, Thiele was so greatly influenced by the secular viewpoint that he wrote these astonishing words about the Scripture:

33. Hezekiah—Judah—715—686
  2 Kings 18:1-20:21; 2 Chronicles 29:1-32:33
  Synchronisms: late and artificial accession = 3d of Hoshea
                                    4th year  = 7th of Hoshea
                                    6th year  = 9th of Hoshea

These synchronisms came into being because the final editor of
Kings did not understand dual dating for Pekah. pg 174.

Ponder the implications of those words. It is not simply a claim of scribal error. Indeed there is no evidence that a Scribal error occurred. Thiele implies that an editor took over the Hebrew text and edited in his own opinions. It is my guess that Thiele’s chronology took over Evangelical Christianity not because Thiele was a Seventh Day Adventist, but because men with secular leanings in Churches everywhere latched on to his chronology and promoted it with a vengeance. Evangelical Christianity may say their believe scripture is without error, but it is for certain that Evangelical Christianity has not built on a foundation based on that truth. I think Thiele was unwittingly deceived by the claims to scientific objectivity put forward by his secular mentors at the U. of Chicago.

We may prove that Scripture confirms that the synchronisms are not a late edit. Ezekiel 4:5 states that Israel sinned for 390 years, “And I, I have given to you the years of their iniquity for the number of days, three hundred and ninety days. Then you will have borne the iniquity of the house of Israel.” The text says, “I have given to thee the years of their iniquity:” נָתַ֤תִּֽי לְךָ֙ אֶת־שְׁנֵ֣י עֲוֹנָ֔ם. The ESV mistranslates “punishment.” As pointed out before, Israel sinned for 134 years between the Exodus and the 4th year of Solomon. To find the balance of years: 390 - 134 = 256. Thiele’s chronology 930-723 = 207. And 256 - 207 = 49. The chronology accepted by the Evangelical Christian world is at least 49 years short. But the 134 years should be added to this. The date of the Exodus given is 1446 BC. So the shortage is really 186 years (1632-1446).

          Exodus to 4th of Solomon  Δ 480-1  Reh+3 to Hezekiah 1   Total   Δ-390
Clinton:  613 years                 134      246                   380     10              
Gregg:    613 years                 134      256                   390      0
Beecher:  480 years                   1      256                   256     134
Jones:    480 years                   1      249                   249     141           
Thiele:   ?                           1      215                   215     175                      

-------------Notes---------------

1. Fasti Hellenici VOL. I. Oxford, MDCCCXXXIV (AD 1834), Henry Fynes Clinton, Esq. M.A.

2. The Dated Events of the Old Testament Willis J. Beecher, AD 1907.

3. The Scroll of Biblical Chronology Daniel R. Gregg, AD 2014.

4. The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings Edwin R. Thiele, AD 1983.

5. The bracketed dates are filled in from Andrew Steinmann, From Abraham to Paul, AD 2011. Steinmann’s dates met with the approval of Eugene H. Merrill and this means they would be acceptable to Bryant Wood also. These dates fairly define the standard among most evangelical Christians.