The True Bible Chronology
After examining the first three periods of Bible Chronology, we believe that we have established that from the creation to the giving of the Law a total of 2513 years elapsed. Let us now examine the forth period of bible chronology
The “Period from the Exodus to the Division of Canaan among the Tribes”
Note: Link number 21 in the true bible chronology begins with Num 10:11
Israel’s forty years, or “day of temptation in the wilderness” (Deut 8:2; Psa 95:8-10; Heb 3:8, 9), was followed by six years of war in Canaan, and the dividing of the land among the tribes. One year, one month and five days elapsed from their going out of Egypt to their leaving Sinai for Paran. (Num 33:3; 10:11-13) And it was then, from Kadesh-barnea in the wilderness of Paran, that the spies were sent. (Num 13:3-26; 32:8-13)
One of these, Caleb, when applying for his portion at the division of the land (Joshua 11:23; 10:42), said, “Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land, and I brought him word again…And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spoke this word…while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.” (Joshua 14:7, 10, Link number 22)
Thus it will be seen that it was forty-five years from the spying of the land to its division among the tribes, as affirmed by Joshua, and a little over a year from the exodus to the sending of the spies, making forty six full years and a fraction * from the exodus to the division of the land. As the first forty years of this period were passed in the wilderness, as shown by many scriptures, notably Acts 7:36 and Heb 3:9, the remaining six to the division of the land were spent in Canaan, conquering and taking possession of the land of promise.
*Note: We take account of only the complete years, more accurate account being impossible. Sometimes, as above, the years are fractionally long. And again some are short, as in the case of Zedekiah’s reign. Zedekiah is said to have reigned eleven years (2 Chron. 36:11; Jer. 52:1); yet, from Verses 3 to 7 of the latter chapter, it is clear that his actual reign was ten years four months and nine days. We believe that these fractional parts of years counterbalance themselves; and that the Lord has thus overruled and arranged the matter is our confidence, supported by the outcome and the results deducible from it, and the accuracy to a day, even in large periods, already noticed, thus illustrating God’s care and particularity in this matter, (See Gen 7:11, 13; Exod 12: 40, 41).
We now have established that,
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
Thence to the division of Canaan………………………………………. 46 years
Bringing us from the creation to the division of the land a total of… 2559 years.
Let us now examine the fifth period of bible chronology beginning with Link number 23 in the true bible chronology, Gods “Timepiece”.
“The Period of the Judges”
We come now to what would seem to be the most difficult portion of chronology, the period from the division of the land to the anointing of Saul as king; it is usually termed the period of the Judges, though the Judges did not fill the office continuously. The record given in the books of Judges and 1 Samuel mentions nineteen periods, approximating a total of four hundred and fifty years; but they are disconnected, broken, lapped and tangled so much that we could arrive at no definite conclusion from them alone and should be obliged to conclude as others have done, that nothing positive could be known on the subject, were it not that the New Testament supplies the deficiency. The Apostle Paul states that after God divided their land to them by lot,
“He gave unto them Judges about [during] the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the Prophet. Link number 23 and afterward they desired a king, and God gave unto them Saul.” Acts 13:19-21 Link number 24
The Greek word rendered “about” in the common version is hos Strong’s # 5613, and has the significance of “during” or “while”. The same writer uses the word in three other places where the common version translates it “while”, viz.: Acts 1:10; 10:17; Luke 24:32. This passage would be better translated, “He gave unto them Judges during the space of four hundred and fifty years.”
The Syriac reads thus–“And for four hundred and fifty years he gave them Judges, until (i.e. during or up onto) Samuel the prophet“–the last of the “Judges.”
“Some might contend here that … Acts 13:19 merely specifies “about 450 years,” and was not meant to be taken as an exact figure. But this argument appears very weak when we analyze similar Scriptures containing the same Greek word hos that is translated “about” in Acts 13:19. For example, in all of the following cases it is evident that an exact number of years were specified, even though the word “about” was used:
In Luke 2:37, Anna the prophetess was described as a widow of “about” (hos) fourscore and four years. In Luke 8:42, Jairus’ daughter was said to be “about” (hos) twelve years of age. (Compare Mark 5:42, “for she was twelve years of age“–Rotherham) And most conclusive of all, a reference in the very same chapter of Acts as that under discussion, in the preceding verse, Acts 13:18: Here the Israelites are said to have wandered in the wilderness “about (hos) the time of forty years.” Yet it is very clear from Acts 7:36 and Deut 1:1-3 that this period was exactly 40 years in length.
From this comparative study of the usage of the Greek word hos, it seems quite probable that the 450 years of Acts 13:19 was meant as a fairly accurate statement of the length of time involved, perhaps plus or minus a few months.” (True Bible Chronology, Pages 25, 26)
The statement of the length of this period of the Judges, by the Apostle, we accept as a specially designed solution of the problem. In only two instances–the four hundred and thirty years from the Covenant to the Law, and this period of the Judges–is there any reasonable uncertainty about the Old Testament chronology, and both are clearly stated in the New. Can we suppose that this merely happened so?
It is more reasonable to suppose that God first hid the matter, by leaving the Old Testament record incomplete, and later supplied the deficiency in the New Testament, so that in due time, when attention should be called to it, those having sufficient interest to compare the accounts might find the missing links supplied in a manner calculated to teach dependence upon the Great Time-Keeper.
Since this appears to be a “stumbling stone” for some let us break it down applying the Scriptural account itself.
Old Testament proof of Paul’s total:
“Therefore the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years.” Judges 3:8
“And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.” Judges 3:11
“And the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.” Judges 3:14
“So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel, and the land had rest fourscore years [eighty years].” Judges 3:30
“And the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.” Judges 4:3
“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time.” Judges 4:4
“So let all thy enemies perish, O Jehovah: But let them that love him be as the sun when he goes forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.” Judges 5:31
“And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah: and Jehovah delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.” Judges 6:1
“And the angel of Jehovah came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. And Gideon said unto him, Oh, my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Jehovah bring us up from Egypt? But now Jehovah hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. And Jehovah looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee?” Judges 6:11-14
“So Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.” Judges 8:28
“And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and spake with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father… And Abimelech was prince over Israel three years.” Judges 9:1-22
“And after Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in the hill-country of Ephraim. And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.” Judges 10:1, 2
“And after him arose Jair, the Gileadite; and he judged Israel twenty and two years.” Judges 10:3
So what do we have thus far, let’s see
Thus far we have a total of 301 years, this is confirmed by Jephtha. Thus two thirds through the judges God confirms that our process is correct. In Judges 11:26 Jephtha points out that Israel had possession of Ammon’s land for three hundred years before Ammon tried to recover it. It was in this year (the 301 st See Judges 10:8) that Ammon began his oppression. (See also Judges 11:12, 13)
“And they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel that year: eighteen years [oppressed they] all the children of Israel that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.” Judges 10:8
“And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.” Judges 12:7
“And he had thirty sons; and thirty daughters he sent abroad, and thirty daughters he brought in from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.” Judges 12:9
“And after him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.” Judges 12:11
“And he had forty sons and thirty sons’ sons that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.” Judges 12:14
“And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah; and Jehovah delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.” Judges 13:1
Samson’s judgeship coincides with the last half [twenty years] of these forty years in which the LORD delivered the children of Israel into the hands of the Philistines (See Judges 15:20; 16:30, 31) and therefore will not be counted separately here.
“And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head… And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that [Eli] fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.” 1 Sam 4:12-18
(See also 1 Sam 1:9) Samuel’s judgeship follows Eli’s and has strange limits (See 1 Sam 7:15, but he died well into the period of the kings 1 Sam 25:1); nevertheless his final recorded act of deliverance of Israel restored the ark of the testimony. (See 1 Sam 5:1; 7:2)
“And it came to pass, from the day that the ark abode in Kiriath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah.” 1 Sam 7:2
The period of judges is apparently reckoned as having ended here. (Compare 1 Sam 8:5; 6:1; 4:18; 7:14)
Note: The account of 1 Sam 8:1 should not be considered as Samuel appointing additional judges, but rather deputies (See Deut 16:18 and 1 Sam 8:5)
Thus we have another,
139 years total
139 years added to our previous 301 years gives us a grand total of 450 years as confirmed by the Apostle Paul (Acts 13:20)
“To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no truth in them (they have erred).” Isa 8:20
Thus we have shown through a clear Biblical chronology the following,
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
Thence to the division of Canaan……………………………………………….. 46 years
The period of the Judges………………………………………………………… 450 years
Bringing us from the creation to the end of the period of judges a total of 3009 years (the year of the world 1119 B.C.) 45,009 years since the beginning of the first creative day.