A FRAMEWORK FOR BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGY

 

by Noel Rude

 

This year (2007-2008) equals the Jewish year 5768.  This approach reckons from the creation of Adam, and according to it there are yet 232 years to the close of the sixth millennium.  In Usher’s chronology Adam was created in 4004 BCE, which would mean that the six thousand years ended in the autumn of 1997.  If Usher was right then the prediction has failed that Messiah returns before the end of the sixth millennium (just as Adam and Eve were enthroned over the creation before the end of the sixth day).  But if the Jewish reckoning is correct, then the Messiah may very well not come in this or the next generation.

 

Though meticulous and informed by rabbinical and New Testament considerations, Usher’s chronology needs updated in light of subsequent findings.  Rabbinical sources predict that the first messiah should have come at the beginning of the 5th millennium, which according to the Jewish reckoning didn’t begin until 239 CE.  Therefore Jesus was a couple centuries too early to have been the messiah, and therefore it too may need adjusted.

 

What I propose here is an alternative model that is sensitive to all information available today (historical, rabbinical, archaeological) and that also looks for pattern and beauty.  Biblical studies are so jaded from the reigning materialism that to suggest that beauty be used as a guide to truth sounds ridiculous.  Still, if beauty is a principle guide to truth in physics, why not in biblical interpretation?  Consider this from David Gelernter (1997):

 

The sense of beauty is a tuning fork in the brain that hums when we stumble on something beautiful. We enjoy the resonant hum and seek it out. And when we return numb and weary from a round of shoveling the grim gray snow of life, beauty is the hearth, beauty’s the fire, beauty’s the cup of coffee (the fragrance, the saucer’s clink, the curl of cream) that makes the whole business seem almost worthwhile. Strangely enough, beauty is also a truth-and-rightness meter, and science and technology could not exist without it. Its tuning-fork hum guides scientists toward truth and technologists toward stronger and more useful machines. It leads the way forward.

There is the ever-present danger when you discuss beauty in science, mathematics, and technology that readers will assume the word is being used metaphorically. Could a mathematical proof, scientific theory, or piece of software be beautiful in the real, literal way that a painting or symphony or rose can be beautiful?

Yes.

 

Now the chronology of the Bible is pretty straightforward except for three places.  It is not clear in what year of his father Terah that Abraham was born, it is not clear where to begin the 430 years given in Exodus 12:40-41, and thirdly the chronology of the kings of Judah and Israel is complex and controversial.  I start with three assumptions:

 

ü       Abraham departed Harran (when he was 75 – Genesis 12:4) at the death of his father;

 

ü       The 430 years in Exodus 12:40-41 began with the birth of Isaac;

 

ü       The chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah as worked out by Edwin Thiele (1951) and Gershon Galil (1996) are basically correct (within a very few years at least).

 

The Assumptions

 

The first assumption is based on Acts 7:4—

 

Then came he [Abraham] out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. [1]

 

And according to this reckoning we find that the Covenant of Circumcision came in the 43rd jubilee of Adam:

 

 

———————— 43 jubilee cycles ————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— 1656 years —

— 427 years —

— 24 years —

—— 1 year ——

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Adam created

 

1656

Flood

Genesis 5:1-32

2083

Death of Terah

Abraham departs Harran

Genesis 11:10-32

2107

Passover

Covenant of Circumcision

Genesis 17:1-27

2108

Passover

Isaac born

Genesis 21:5

                   

 

The second assumption—that the 430 years begin with the birth of Isaac—is based on Galatians 3:16-17:

 

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

 

Abraham’s singular seed, of course, was Isaac, which Paul is here presenting as a type of Messiah or second Adam. Exodus is not particularly clear as to when to begin the 430 years, except that the Passover is the exact anniversary of some event 430 years before (Ex 12:41):

 

וַיְהִי

And it came to pass

מִקֵּץ שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה

At the end of the four hundred and thirty years,

וַיְהִי בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה

even the selfsame day it came to pass,

יָצְאוּ כָּל־צִבְאוֹת יהוה

That all the hosts of the LORD went out

מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃

From the land of Egypt.

 

The one event in Genesis that is emphasized as occurring at a set time is the birth of Isaac.  It was to occur ‘according to the time of life’ (Gen 18:10):

 

וַיֹּאמֶר

And he [God] said,

שׁוֹב אָשׁוּב אֵלֶי

I will certainly return unto thee

כָּעֵת חַיָּה

According to the time of life;

וְהִנֵּה־בֵן לְשָׂרָה אִשְׁתֶּ

and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.

 

And it was prophesied to occur ‘at the time appointed’ (Gen 18:14):

 

הֲיִפָּלֵא מֵיהוה דָּבָר

Is any thing too hard for the LORD?

לַמּוֹעֵד אָשׁוּב אֵלֶי

At the time appointed I will return unto thee,

כָּעֵת חַיָּה וּלְשָׂרָה בֵן׃

According to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

 

And when the prophecy was fulfilled the precision of the time is emphasized (Gen 21:2):

 

וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד שָׂרָה לְאַבְרָהָם

For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham

בֵּן לִזְקֻנָיו

a son in his old age,

לַמּוֹעֵד

at the set time

אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים׃

of which God had spoken to him.

 

The rabbinical approach begins the 430 years at the Covenant between the Parts (Gen 15:7-21).[2]  Nevertheless it is also understood that Isaac was born on Passover, as in Rashi to Gen 18:10—

 

כָּעֵת חַיָּה.

according to the time of life”.

כָּעֵת הַזֹּאת לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה,

According to this time next year,

וּפֶסַח הָיָה,

and it was Passover,

וּלְפֶסַח הַבָּא נוֹלַד יִצְחָק

and at the following Passover Isaac was born

מִדְּלֹא קָרִינָן כְּעֵת אֶלָּא כָּעֵת׃

because it is not written at a time but at the time:

כָּעֵת חַיָּה.

according to the time of life”.

 

Beginning the 430 years at the birth of Isaac (as indicated in Gal 3:16-17) provides a pattern where there are 43 jubilee (49 year) cycles from the creation of Adam to the year of the miraculous birth of Isaac (a type of the 2nd Adam) is followed by 43 decades.[3]

 

 

—————— 43 jubilee cycles ——————

 

– 430 years –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 1656 years –

– 427 years –

— 24 years —

— 1 year —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Adam

created

 

1656

Flood

Gen 5:1-32

2083

Death of Terah

Abraham departs Harran

Gen 11:10-32

2107

Passover

Covenant of Circumcision

Gen 17:1-27

2108

Passover

Isaac born

Gen 21:5

2538

Passover

Exodus from Egypt

Ex 12:40-41

                       

 

The number 43 seems to separate times of exile and redemption (and vice versa), as in the following:

 

ü      The 1290 days in Daniel 12:11 equal 43 prophetic months

 

ü      The 2nd temple was destroyed 43 years after the beginning of Messiah’s ministry

 

ü      Messiah ascended to heaven 43 days after his death

 

We now observe another pattern of jubilee cycles emerging—this one terminating in the Exodus.

 

 

————————————— 47 jubilee cycles —————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————— 20 jubilee cycles —————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

———— 18 jubilee cycles ————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

­–10 jubilee cycles–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

235

Enosh born

1558

Shem born

1656

Flood

2048

Abraham

40 years old

2538

Exodus

                   

 

The idea that biblical chronology should be organized within 49 year cycles is old, dating at least to the 2nd century BCE Book of Jubilees.  Thus where Genesis has (Gen 5:5), “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died”, Jubilees 4:29[4] has,

 

And at the close of the nineteenth jubilee, in the seventh week in the sixth year thereof, Adam died, and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation, and he was the first to be buried in the earth.

 

In our quest for pattern we found that Isaac, the messianic type, was miraculously conceived in the 43rd jubilee of Adam.  Now we see jubilee patterns beginning with Enosh who receives special mention in Genesis 4:26—

 

וּלְשֵׁת גַּם־הוּא יֻלַּד־בֵּן

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son;

וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ אֱנוֹשׁ

and he called his name Enosh:

אָז הוּחַל לִקְרֹא בְּשֵׁם יהוה׃

then it was begun to call upon the name of the LORD.[5]

 

Both Adam (אָדָם) and Enosh (אֱנוֹשׁ) are generic words for ‘human’—the latter especially ‘man’ in his frailty and ignorance, as in Psalms 9:20—

 

כ  קוּמָה יהוה

19 Arise, O LORD;

אַל־יָעֹז אֱנוֹשׁ   

let not man prevail:

יִשָּׁפְטוּ גוֹיִם עַל־פָּנֶי׃

let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

שִׁיתָה יהוה מוֹרָה לָהֶם   

20 Put them in fear, O LORD:

כא  יֵדְעוּ גוֹיִם אֱנוֹשׁ הֵמָּה סֶּלָה׃

that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

 

And as in Psalms 103:

 

יד  כִּי־הוּא יָדַע יִצְרֵנוּ     

14 For he knoweth our frame;

זָכוּר כִּי־עָפָר אֲנָחְנוּ׃

he remembereth that we are dust.

טו  אֱנוֹשׁ כֶּחָצִיר יָמָיו     

15 As for man, his days are as grass:

כְּצִיץ הַשָּׂדֶה כֵּן יָצִיץ׃

as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

טז  כִּי רוּחַ עָבְרָה־בּוֹ וְאֵינֶנּוּ

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;

וְלֹא־יַכִּירֶנּוּ עוֹד מְקוֹמוֹ׃

and the place thereof shall know it no more.

 

And as in Job 28:

 

יב  וְהַחָכְמָה מֵאַיִן תִּמָּצֵא   

12 But where shall wisdom be found?

וְאֵי זֶה מְקוֹם בִּינָה׃

and where is the place of understanding?

יג  לֹא־יָדַע אֱנוֹשׁ עֶרְכָּהּ

13 Man knoweth not the price thereof;

וְלֹא תִמָּצֵא בְּאֶרֶץ הַחַיִּים׃

neither is it found in the land of the living.

יד  תְּהוֹם אָמַר לֹא בִי־הִיא   

14 The depth saith, It is not in me:

וְיָם אָמַר אֵין עִמָּדִי׃

and the sea saith, It is not with me.

 

Also Adam (אָדָם) and Enosh (אֱנוֹשׁ) occur together in parallel, as in Isaiah 56:2—

 

אַשְׁרֵי אֱנוֹשׁ יַעֲשֶׂה־זֹּאת

Blessed is the man that doeth this,

וּבֶן־אָדָם יַחֲזִיק בָּהּ

and the son of man that layeth hold on it;

שֹׁמֵר שַׁבָּת מֵחַלְּלוֹ

that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it,

וְשֹׁמֵר יָדוֹ מֵעֲשׂוֹת כָּל־רָע׃

and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

 

And as in Psalms 8:5[4]—

 

מָה־אֱנוֹשׁ כִּי־תִזְכְּרֶנּוּ 

What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

וּבֶן־אָדָם כִּי תִפְקְדֶנּוּ׃

and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

 

And as in Psalms 90:

 

ג  תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּא      

3 Thou turnest man to destruction;

וַתֹּאמֶר

and sayest,

שׁוּבוּ בְנֵי־אָדָם׃

Return, ye children of men.

ד  כִּי אֶלֶף שָׁנִים בְּעֵינֶי

4 For a thousand years in thy sight

כְּיוֹם אֶתְמוֹל

are but as yesterday

כִּי יַעֲבֹר

when it is past,

וְאַשְׁמוּרָה    בַלָּיְלָה׃

and as a watch in the night.

 

The order of Psalms 8 is reversed in Psalms 144:3—

 

ג  יהוה מָה־אָדָם וַתֵּדָעֵהוּ

LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him!

בֶּן־אֱנוֹשׁ וַתְּחַשְּׁבֵהוּ׃

or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

 

Bullinger’s Two Assumptions

 

Moving on from the Exodus the key scripture is 1Kings 6:1—[6]

 

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif [זִו], which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

 

The temple was seven years in building (1Kings 6:37-38):

 

In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif [זִו]: And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul [בּוּל], which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.

 

This, then, expands our chronology to the year of Adam 3025:

 

 

– 43 jubilees –

— 1 year —

– 430 years –

– 480 years –

— 7 years —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Adam

created

 

2107

Passover

Covenant of Circumcision

Gen 17:1-27

2108

Passover

Isaac born

Gen 21:5

2538

Passover

Exodus from Egypt

Ex 12:40-41

3018

Iyar (Zif)

4th year of Solomon.

He began to build temple

1Kings 6:1

3025[7]

Heshvan (Bul)

11th year of Solomon.

The temple was finished.

1Kings 6:37-38

                       

 

When was the temple dedicated?  That it was more than a year later we learn from 1Kings 8:2—“And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.”  Bullinger (1921) suggests it took was three years “at least for the furnishing and ending of all the work (1 Kings 7:13-51)”:

 

For in 1 Kings 8:2 it was dedicated in the seventh month, though it was finished in the eighth month. Therefore it could not have been the same year; and it may well have required three years for the completion of all the interior work described in 1 Kings 7:13-51.

 

And if we perceive beauty as a reliable guide to the truth, we will notice with Bullinger that 70 weeks (שְׁמִטָּה) separates the Dedication from the Exodus:

 

 

————————————— 70 weeks —————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—— 480 years ——

——— 7 years ———

——— 3 years? ———

 

 

 

 

 

 

2538

Passover

Exodus from Egypt

Ex 12:40-41

3018

Iyar (Zif)

4th year of Solomon

He began to build temple

1Kings 6:1

3025

Heshvan (Bul)

11th year of Solomon

The temple was finished.

1Kings 6:37-38

3032

Tishri (Ethanim)

14th year of Solomon?

Dedication of the Temple

1Kings 8:2

               

 

Bullinger (1921) also suggests:[8]

 

Thirty jubilees bring us from the Exodus to the opening of Christ’s ministry, when, opening Isaiah 61:2, he proclaimed ‘the acceptable year of the Lord’ in a seven-fold prophecy (see Luke 4:18-21).

 

If the Exodus occurred in the year 2538 of Adam (1656 + 427 + 25 + 430), then (as we saw above) a search for pattern shows the Exodus to have occurred in the 18th jubilee of the Flood, the 20th jubilee of the birth of Shem, and the 47th jubilee of the birth of Enosh.  These numbers aren’t very interesting (the Exodus is bound to be a jubilee of a couple of datable events in Genesis), but when we consider Bullinger’s intuition that Messiah’s ministry began in the 30th jubilee of the Exodus, then there emerges an interesting pattern of jubilees beginning with Enosh that point to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry:

 

 

——————————————77 jubilee cycles—————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

———————————50 jubilee cycles———————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—————————48 jubilee cycles—————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

——————40 jubilee cycles——————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————30 jubilee cycles————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— 20 jubilee cycles —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-10 cycles-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

235

Enosh

born

1558

Shem

born

1656

Flood

2048

Abram 40 years old

2538

Exodus

3028

Temple dedicated

3518 Artaxerxes I begins reign

4008

Messiah begins ministry

                               

 

Thus just as 77 generations separate the New Testament Messiah from God, so also there are 77 jubilee cycles from Enosh to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

 

The 77 Generations from Jesus back to God (Luke 3:23-38)

1 Jesus

2 Joseph

3 Heli

4 Matthat

5 Levi

6 Melchi

7 Janna

8 Joseph

9 Mattathias

10 Amos

11 Naum

12 Esli

13 Nagge

14 Maath

15 Mattathias

16 Semei

17 Joseph

18 Juda

19 Joanna

20 Rhesa

21 Zorobabel

22 Salathiel

23 Neri

24 Melchi

25 Addi

26 Cosam

27 Elmodam

28 Er

29 Jose

30 Eliezer

31 Jorim

32 Matthat

33 Levi

34 Simeon

35 Juda

36 Joseph

37 Jonan

38 Eliakim

39 Melea

40 Menan

41 Mattatha

42 Nathan

43 David

44 Jesse

45 Obed

46 Booz

47 Salmon

48 Naasson

49 Aminadab

50 Aram

51 Esrom

52 Phares

53 Juda

54 Jacob

55 Isaac

56 Abraham

57 Terah

58 Nahor

59 Saruch

60 Reu

61 Peleg

62 Eber

63 Sala

64 Cainan

65 Arphaxad

66 Shem

67 Noah

68 Lamech

69 Mathuselah

70 Enoch

71 Jared

72 Maleleel

73 Cainan

74 Enosh

75 Seth

76 Adam

77 God

 

And just as Noah blessed Shem with (Gen 9:27), “… and he [God] shall dwell in the tents of Shem”, and just as God said (Lev 25:10), “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family”, so also God sent his son to dwell in the tents of Shem in the 50th jubilee of Shem.

 

And just as (Luke 3:23) “… Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age …” at the beginning of his ministry, so also this was in the 30th jubilee of Israel at Sinai.

 

If the facts ever confirm the chronology suggested above, then this would provide evidence that Jesus was indeed the prophesied Messiah.

 

The Millennial Week

 

Additionally this chronology (as opposed to the traditional Jewish one that puts us in the year 5768) also has Jesus in range of Elijah’s prophecy as preserved in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97b; Abodah Zarah 9a):

 

תָּנָא דְּבֵי אֵלִיָּהוּ

The words of Elijah were studied:

שֵׁשֶׁת אֲלפִים שָׁנָה הֲוֵי עָלְמָא

The world endures six thousand years—

שְׁנֵי אֲלָפִים תּוֹהוּ

Tohu two thousand,

שְׁנֵי אֲלָפִים תּוֹרָה

Torah two thousand,

שְׁנֵי אֲלָפִים יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ

the days of the messiah two thousand.

 

Jewish and Christian exegetes long saw support for the millennial interpretation in Psalms 90:4, as the Ramban in his commentary on Genesis 2:3:

 

וְדַע

And you know

כִּי נִכְלָל עוֹד בְּמִלַּת לַעֲשׂוֹת

that included also in the expression “to make” [Gen 2:3]

כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי בְּרֵאשִׁית

are the six days of Genesis.

הֵם כָּל יְמוֹת עוֹלָם

They are all the days of the world,

כִּי קִיּוּמוֹ יִהְיֶה שֵׁשֶׁת אֲלָפִים שָׁנָה

because its development will be six thousand years,

שֶׁלְּכָ אָמְרוּ

as they said [Sanhedrin 97a; Genesis Rabbah 19:8],

יוֹמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּ הוּא

the day of the Holy One Blessed be He

אֶלֶף שָׁנִים

is a thousand years [Psalms 90:4].

 

Psalm 90 commences the Fourth Book of Psalms and is titled, “A Prayer of Moses the man of God [תְּפִלָּה לְמֹשֶׁה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִים].”  It is not unreasonable that it should be read in light of Genesis 1.

 

ג  תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּא   

3 Thou turnest man to destruction;

וַתֹּאמֶר

and sayest,

שׁוּבוּ בְנֵי־אָדָם׃

Return, ye children of men.

ד  כִּי אֶלֶף שָׁנִים בְּעֵינֶי

4 For a thousand years in thy sight

כְּיוֹם אֶתְמוֹל כִּי יַעֲבֹר

are but as yesterday when it is past,

וְאַשְׁמוּרָה בַלָּיְלָה׃

and as a watch in the night.

 

The connection to the days in Genesis is at least as early as the 2nd century BCE in the Book of Jubilees 4:30 (as in Charles 1923):

 

And he [Adam] lacked seventy years of one thousand years [Gen 5:5]; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens [Ps 90:4] and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge [Gen 2:17]: “On the day that ye eat thereof ye will die.” For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.

 

When Elijah says, “Tohu two thousand [שְׁנֵי אֲלָפִים תּוֹהוּ],” we compare the land’s initial state (Gen 1:2), “and the land was tohu [וְהָאָרֶץ הָיְתָה תֹהוּ],” with the beginning of the 3rd day where it says (Gen 1:9), “… and let the dry land appear … and God saw that it was good [וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה ... וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב]”.

 

From the millennial perspective it is observed that if tohu represents lawlessness in the land of Israel (Jer 4:23), “I saw the land and behold tohu [רָאִיתִי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְהִנֵּה־תֹהוּ],” then the law entered the land with Abraham at the beginning of the 3nd millennium which is also the millennium of the Exodus and Covenant.

 


 

Six Thousand Years of History

First Millennium

1

130

235

687

930

987

Adam’s creation begins year one

Seth born

Enosh born

Methuselah born

Adam dies

Enoch taken

Second Millennium

1000

1056

1536

1656

1757

1948

Methuselah is 313 years old

Noah born

God allots 120 years (Genesis 6:3)

Flood

Peleg born

Haran born

Third Millennium

2006

2008

2083

2108

2538

2982

Noah dies

Abraham born

Terah dies, Abraham departs Haran

Birth of Isaac

Exodus

David reigns over all Israel & Judah

Fourth Millennium

3015

3018

3049

3261

3396

3978

David dies, Solomon ascends throne

Solomon begins temple

Rehoboam reigns, kingdom divided

Assyria conquers Samaria

Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem

Jesus born

Fifth Millennium

4008

4011

4051

4302

4457

4618

4984

Jesus began ministry

Jesus’ resurrection

Temple destroyed

Council of Nicea

Fall of Rome

Muslims conquer Jerusalem

Leifr Eiríksson departs Greenland

Sixth Millennium

5047

5048

5435

5436

5473

5770

5878

5919

5929

5948

Battle of Hastings

Rashi founds Yeshiva

Fall of Constantinople

Gutenberg Bible

Expulsion from Spain, Columbus departs

USA founded; Bastille stormed

Herzl founds World Zionist Organization

Holocaust began

Israeli state founded

Six Day War

When it says, “Torah two thousand [שְׁנֵי אֲלָפִים תּוֹרָה],” we notice that it is the 3rd day when God says (Gen 1:11), “Let the land bring forth … fruit trees bearing fruit after its kind [תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ ... עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ],” and we compare (Gen 2:9), “and the Eternal God made to grow from the ground … the tree of life in the midst of the garden  [וַיַּצְמַח ה׳ אֱלֹהִים מִן־הָאֲדָמָה ... עֵץ הַחַיִּים בְּתוֹ הַגָּן].”  Symbolically the tree of life is the Torah or wisdom of God (Prov 3:18): “She [חָכְמָה] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her …”  And when the word is internalized and lived (Prov 11:30), “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise [חָכָם].”

 

The Gospels extend this period of Torah to its own age (Luke 16:16) “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

 

But how do we get the next two days—the 5th and 6th—to equal “the days of the messiah two thousand [years]”?  Well, the Messiah is Adam (as also in Romans 5:14), and if Adam is to name the creatures (Gen 2:18-20) this accords with the 5th and 6th days wherein God brought them forth (Gen 1:20-25).  Therefore Adam is formed first at the beginning of the 5th day (Gen 2:7), which is why Paul speaks of Adam/Messiah (Col 1:15), “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”.

 

The two thousand years of Messiah (messiah son of Ephraim in midrashic reckoning) conclude when as it says (Gen 1:27), “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

 

Allegorically the waters are the nations (Isaiah 2:2; 17:12-13; Rev 17:15), and thus it’s on the 5th day that God said (Gen 1:20), “Let the waters bring forth …”  The 5th and 6th millennia are the times of the waters/nations and the time of Israel’s exile (Luke 21:24): “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

 

It’s also the time of Ephraim’s birthright (Gen 48:19): “… and his seed shall be the fullness of the nations [וְזַרְעוֹ יִהְיֶה מְלֹא־הַגּוֹיִם]”—which is what Paul is referring to when he says (Rom 11:25) “… that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles [τ πλήρωμα τν θνν] be come in.”  And there is also the allusion in Jeremiah 31 (Jer 31:9), “… for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn [כִּי־הָיִיתִי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְאָב וְאֶפְרַיִם בְּכֹרִי הוּא].”

 

Psalms 80 concerns Joseph (verse 2) and connects Genesis 48 where Israel conveyed the birthright with his right hand on Ephraim’s head:

 

 

יח  תְּהִי־יָדְ

17 Let thy hand be

 

עַל־אִישׁ יְמִינֶ

upon the man of thy right hand,

 

עַל־בֶּן־אָדָם

upon the son of man

 

אִמַּצְתָּ לָּ׃

whom thou madest strong for thyself.

 

יט  וְלֹא־נָסוֹג מִמֶּךָּ

18 So will not we go back from thee:

 

תְּחַיֵּנוּ

quicken us,

 

וּבְשִׁמְ נִקְרָא׃

and we will call upon thy name.

כ  יהוה אֱלֹהִים צְבָאוֹת הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ   

19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts,

 

הָאֵר פָּנֶי

cause thy face to shine;

 

וְנִוָּשֵׁעָה׃

and we shall be saved.

     

 

The 5th and 6th days are thus described in Psalms 110:1—

 

לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר

A Psalm of David.

נְאֻם יהוה לַאדֹנִי

The LORD said unto my Lord,

שֵׁב לִימִינִי

Sit thou at my right hand,

עַד־אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶי הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶי׃

until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

 

 

 

————————————— One Cosmic Week —————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— 2000 years —

— 2000 years —

— 2000 years —

— 1000 years —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

And the land was tohu

Gen 1:2

2000

And God said, Let the land bring forth …

Gen 1:12

4000

The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luke 16:16

6000

… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Rev 20:

7000

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God …

Rev 20:12

                   

 

 


 

References:

 

Bullinger, Ethelbert William.  1921.  Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance.  Fourth Edition, Revised.  London: Eyre & Spottiswoode (Bible Warehouse) Ltd.  Available on line at http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/.

 

Charles, Robert Henry.  1923.  The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament.  Oxford: Clarendon Press.

 

Galil, Gershon.  1996.  The Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Middle East, Vol. 9.  Brill Academic Publishers.

 

Gelernter, David.  1997.  Truth, Beauty, and the Virtual Machine.  Discover Magazine (Science, Technology, and The Future).  September 1.  Available on line at http://discovermagazine.com/1997/sep/truthbeautyandth1217.

 

Thiele, Edwin R.  1951.  The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, A Reconstruction of the Chronology of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. University of Chicago Press. Later reprinted by Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.

 

Finegan, Jack  1998.  The Handbook of Biblical Chronology: Principles of Time Reckoning in the Ancient World and Problems of Chronology in the Bible.  Revised edition.  Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.

 

Jack, J. W.  1925.  The Date of the Exodus.  Edinburgh:

 

Lorenzini, Massimiliano.  Undated.  Evidence for the Early Date of the Exodus.  Article available on line at http://www.angelfire.com/nm/massimolorenzini/exodus.html.

 

Rohl, David.  1996.  Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest.  New York: Crown Publishers.  First British edition: A Test of Time: The Bible - from Myth to History, Arrow Books Ltd., 1995.

 

Scherman, Nosson.  1998.  The Stone Edition of the Chumash: The Torah, Haftaros, and Five Megillos With a Commentary Anthologized from the Rabbinic Writings.  Brooklyn, New York: ArtScroll Mesorah Series.

 

Stewart, Ian.  2007.  Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of SymmetryPerseus Books Group.

 

Ussher, James.  1650.  Annals of the World: James Ussher’s Classic Survey of World History.  ISBN 0-89051-360-0  (Modern English republication, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003)

 

Zee, A.  1999.  Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics.  Princeton University Press.

 


 

[1] Genesis says simply (Gen 11:26), “And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran”, and then (verse 32), “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.”  But in chapter 12 verse 1 it says, “… and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”  Up to this point Genesis has been precise, telling us in exactly what year of each father the next son was born.  Here, however, it is not clear that Abraham was the firstborn.  Acts 7:4 would have have Abraham born when Terah was 130 (205 - 75) years old.

[2] The Rabbinic tradition, according to the Stone Chumash (Scherman 1998) at Genesis 15:7-21, puts the Covenant between the Parts when Abraham was 70 (five years before he left Harran!), and begins the count to the Exodus then (Ex 12:40): “The Covenant between the Parts (Genesis 15:7-21) took place 430 years before the Exodus”.

[3] Here I begin the 430 years in 2108 with Isaac’s birth and not in Adam’s jubilee (in 2107 with the miraculous conception of Isaac) based on the patterns that we will see emerge.

[4] Thus (18 × 49) + (6 × 7) + 6 = 930.  The English translation provided here is from Charles (1923), available on line at http://www.ccel.org/c/charles/pseudepigrapha/jubilee/4.htm.

[5] I have altered the KJV of this clause to reflect the passive הוּחַל ‘it was begun’.

[6] Any literal reading of Scripture puts the date of the Exodus in the mid 2nd millennium BCE, but this dating has been rejected by almost all modern scholars who put it more than three centuries later.  For an exposition of the traditional, older date, see Jack (1925), and for an on line survey see “Evidence for the Early Date of the Exodus” at http://www.angelfire.com/nm/massimolorenzini/exodus.html.  David Rohl (1996) offers an interesting and controversial reconstruction of Egyptian history amenable to the biblical text.

[7] Here, for what it’s worth, the completion of the Temple (3025) follows the Covenant of Circumcision (2107) by six times 153 years, which is the number of fish in John 21:11, and which Bullinger (1921) notes is the gematria of בני האלהים ‘the sons of God’.

[8] This cannot differ much from any chronology that takes the biblical text seriously, such as those of Edwin Thiele (1951) and Gershon Galil (1996).  If our chronology differs but a year or two from Bullinger’s 30 jubilees hypothesis, beauty as a guide to truth suggests Bullinger will eventually be proven right.