The True Bible Chronology
In our previous post we examined the first period of bible chronology, from the Creation of Adam to the end of the flood a total of 1656 years which brings us to the year of the world 2470 A.F. (After Fall, i.e. that is after Adam’s fall into sin) or if you prefer 2470 B.C. likewise 43,656 years since the beginning of the first creative day.
Let us now examine the next two period’s in the true bible chronology, the period from the Flood to the Covenant with Abraham, at the Death of Terah, his Father, and thence to the Exodus and the giving of the Law, beginning with Link number 11 in the true bible chronology.
“Shem–begat Arphaxad… 2 years after the flood.” Gen 11:10
“Arphaxad lived…………. 35 years and begat Salah.” Gen 11:12
“Salah lived……………… 30 years and begat Eber.” Gen 11:14
“Eber lived……………….. 34 years and begat Peleg.” Gen 11:16
“Peleg lived……………… 30 years and begat Reu.” Gen 11:18
“Reu lived………………… 32 years and begat Serug.” Gen 11:20
“Serug lived……………… 30 years and begat Nahor.” Gen 11:22
“Nahor lived……………… 29 years and begat Terah.” Gen 11:24
“The days of Terah were 205 years and he died.” Gen 11:32 Link number 19
= 427 years
This, too, is very simple and exact. But the next period is not so easily traced; for the direct line of chronology is broken, until after the exodus of Israel from Egypt. Hence we would be quite unable to proceed, was it not that Paul and Stephen, as the mouthpieces of the Spirit, furnish the connecting link.
“The Period from the Covenant with Abraham to the Giving of the Law”
Paul declares that the length of this period was four hundred and thirty years, (Gal 3:17) Link number 20 in the true bible chronology. The Covenant included the promise of the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and though several times reaffirmed, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, it was always the same covenant. (See Gen 12:7,8; 13:14-18; 26:3,4; 35:9-12; 46:2-4; 50:24) As shown by a comparison of Gen 12:1-5, 7 and Acts 7:2-5, the covenant was made (according to the previous promise) as soon as Abraham had fully complied with the conditions on which he was to receive it: that was, as soon as he had entered Canaan, which he did immediately after the decease of his father, who died in Haran, on the way to Canaan.
Having the date of the covenant–just after Terah’s death–thus established by Stephen’s statement (Acts 7:2-5), and having Paul’s statement, that the Law was four hundred and thirty years after the covenant, the break in the Old Testament chronology is thus bridged by the New Testament.
But let us read the account carefully, and mark the particularity with which the bridge is constructed:
“Now the Lord had [previously, before he left Mesopotamia, or Ur of the Chaldees] said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house [brethren, etc.] unto a land that I will show thee; and [if you do so] I will make of thee a great nation,” etc. (Gen 12:1, 2 Compare Acts 7:2.)
This indicates that God had proposed the covenant to Abraham before Terah, his father, died, and before he came to dwell in Haran or Charran. But there was a stipulation, which demanded Abraham’s faith and obedience before the covenant should be actually made. This stipulation was that he must manifest faith in the promise that such a covenant would be made with him, by leaving his native country and kindred and going to the land to which he was directed. This Abraham did, and as his wife, his nephew Lot and his aged father shared his faith and desired to share his fortunes with him, they were permitted to do so, and the four started for the land of promise. His father Terah died on the way, in Haran, after which Abraham passed over into Canaan, that there he might secure and bind the covenant.
As Stephen declared to Israel: “When his father was dead, he removed him into this land wherein ye now dwell.” “So Abraham departed [out of Haran] as the Lord had spoken unto him.” (Acts 7:4; Gen 12:4) And the covenant was made just after he entered the land. (See Gen 12:5-7)
Thus we have the date of the covenant, and the beginning of the four hundred and thirty years, fixed as immediately following Terah’s death, and the chain of chronology complete to the giving of the Law. The first feature of the Law was the Passover, which was instituted the same day that Israel left Egypt. (Exod 12:41-43, 47, 50, 51)
In harmony with this we read: “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.” (Exod 12:40-42, 51)
Some may suppose that the statements of Moses and Paul (Exod 12:40-42 and Gal 3:17) are not in harmony, the one affirming that the sojourning of Israel was four hundred and thirty years, and the other, that from the covenant with Abraham to the giving of the Law was four hundred and thirty years, reasoning that if only four hundred and thirty years elapsed between Abraham’s coming into Canaan and the giving of the Law, the sojourn of the children of Israel in Egypt must have been much less. But it should be observed that the statement is not that Israel sojourned in Egypt four hundred and thirty years, but rather that the whole length of the sojourning of that people who for some time lived in Egypt lasted four hundred and thirty years:
“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.” The sojourning referred to began when Abraham first came into Canaan. (Heb 11:8, 9) Israel sojourned in Abraham and in Isaac and in Jacob, even as Levi paid tithes to Melchizedec, while yet in the loins of his father. (Heb 7:9, 10)
The covenant with Abraham took effect from the time that, leaving Haran or Charran; he set foot in Canaan, the land of promise. From that time, he and all Israel in him, yet unborn, became heirs of the things promised, and sojourners, or pilgrims, waiting on God for the fulfillment of the promise. This sojourning had lasted four hundred and thirty years, to a day, when Israel left Egypt, and received that first feature of the Law, the institution of the Passover.
The statements of Moses and Paul, therefore, refer to precisely the same period, thus giving most positive evidence that from the covenant with Abraham to the giving of the Law was four hundred and thirty years. Paul gave special emphasis to the fact that the Passover must be regarded as the beginning of the Law (which Moses also shows, Exod 12:42, 43, 47, 50), and Moses gave special emphasis to the exactness of the period, to a day.
Thus our second and third periods are clearly established. And when we mark the Lord’s particularity to a day, in furnishing this link in the chain of chronology, it gives us strong confidence, especially when we consider that such particularity was probably of no special interest to the Church of the past, and was given for no other than the present use.
Thus so far we have,
From the Creation of Adam To the end of the flood…………….. 1656 years
Thence to the covenant with Abraham……………………………427 years
Thence to the Exodus and the giving of the Law …………………430 years
Bringing us from the creation to the giving of the Law a total of 2513 years (the year of the world 1613 B.C.) 44,513 years since the beginning of the first creative day.
We will continue with this shortly.