Encyclopaedia Biblica/Chronicles-Chrysolite

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In the Hebrew canon Chronicles is a single book entitled DVO'H "-QT^, 'Events of the Times'.

1. Names[edit]

The full title would be D'Cn nm Ifia, Book of Events of the Times ; and this again appears to have been a designation commonly applied to special histories in the more definite shape Events of the Times of King David, or the like (iCh.-jr24 Esth. IO2 etc.). The Greek translators divided the long book into two, and adopted the title nopoAeiTrd/xei/a, Things {o/tcn\ otniited \scil. in the other historical books ; cod. A adds /3ao-iAeui/ respecting the kings or Tiii' Waaiktiiav Iou6a : see Bacher, ZA I'M' V'iy^sff- ('95)1- Jerome, following the sense of the Hebrew title, sug- gested the name o'iChronicdn instead o^ Paralipomenon primus et secumius. Hence the English Chronicles.

2. Connexion with Ezra-Nehemiah.[edit]

The book of Chronicles begins with Adam and ends abruptly in the middle of Cyrus's decree of restoration. The continuation of the narrative is found in the Book of Ezra, which begins by repeating 2 Ch. 3t)22/. , and filling up the fragment of the decree of Cyrus. A closer examination of those parts of Ezra and Nehemiah which are not extracted word for word from earlier documents or original memoirs, leads to the conclusion that Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah was originally one work, displaying throughout the peculiarities of language and thought of a single editor (see 3). Thus the fragmentary close of 2 Chronicles marks the disruption of a previously-existing continuity. In the gradual compilation of the canon the necessity for incorporating in the Holy Writings an account of the establishment of the post-exilic theocracy was felt, before it was thought desirable to supplement Samuel and Kings by adding a second history of the pre-exilic period. Hence Chronicles is the last book of the Hebrew Bible, following the book of Ezra-Nehemiah, which properly is nothing else than its sequel.

Whilst the original unity of this series of histories can hardly lie questioned, it will be more convenient in the present article to deal with Chronicles alone, reserving the relation of the several books for the article HISTORICAL LITERATURE {q.v. , 14/ ). The author used a different class of sources for the history of the pre-exilic and the post-exilic periods respectively ; and thus the critical questions affecting Chronicles are for the most part quite distinct from those w hich meet us in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah. Besides, the identity of authorship cannot be conclusively demonstrated except by a comparison of results drawn from a separate consideration of each book.

3. Date[edit]

Of the authorship of Chronicles we know only what can be determined by internal evidence. The colour of the language stamps the book as one of the latest in the OT (see 11); but it leads to no exact determination of date. In i Ch. 29?, which refers to the time of David, a sum of money is reckoned by darics (but see Dram), which certainly implies that the author wrote after that Persian coin had long been current in Judea. 'J he chief passage appealed to by critics to fix the date, however, is iCh. 319^, where the descendants of Zerubbabel seen to be reckoned to six generations (so Ewald, liertheau, etc. ).

The passage is confused, and reads it so as to give as many as eleven generaliDns (so Zunz, NOld., Kuen. \ 'JS* 5 ; cp Kiln, g 54 3/') ; whilst on the other hand those who plead for an earlv date are disposed to a.ssume an interpolation or a corruption of the text, or to separate all that follows the naiiie of Jesaiah in V. 21 from what precedes (.Movers, Keil). It seems impossible, however, by any fair treatment of the text to obtain fewer than six generations, and this result agrees with the probability that Hattush (v. 22), who, on the interpretation which we prefer, belongs to the fourth generation from Zerubbabel, was a con- temporary of Ezra (Ezra .S 2).

Thus the Chronicler lived at least two generations after Ezra. With this it accords very well that in Nehemiah five generations of high priests are enumerated from Jeshua (Tiio/), and that the la.st name is that of Jaddua, who, as we know from Josephus, was a contemporary of Alexander the Great. That the Chronicler wrote after the period of the Persian supremacy was past has been argued by Ewald (Hist. 1 173) and others, from the use of the title King oi Persia (2Ch. 3623).

The official title of the Achaemenidae was not ' King of Persia,' but 'the King,' 'the Great King,' t .e 'King of Kings,' the 'Khig of the I--ind.s,' etc. (see KW) 1 iii^ 0151 ^ ('SjT-Y, and ttie first of these expressions is that used by Ezra (7 2- /. 8 1 etc.), Neh. (1 11 Siff.), and other Jews writing under the Persian rule (Hag. 1 i 15 Zech. 7 i Ezra 4 8 11 b6/. etc.).

What seems to be certain and imijortant for a right estimate of the book is that the author lived a consider- able time after Ezra, probably indeed (Nold. Kuen.) after 300 B.C., and was entirely under the influence ot the religious institutions of the new theocracy. This standpoint determined the nature of his interest in the early history of his people.

4 Character, its explanation[edit]

The true importance of Hebrew history had always centred in the fact that this petty nation was the people of 1 ^^^"^^' ^'^" spiritual God. The tragic interest which distinguishes the annals of Israel from the forgotten history of Moab or Damascus, lies wholly in that long contest which finally vindicated the reality of spiritual things and the supremacy of Yahwe's pur[)ose, in the political ruin of the nation which was the faithless depositary of these sacred truths. After the fall of Jerusalem it was impossible to write the history of Israel's fortunes other- wise than in a spirit of religious pragmatism. Within the limits of the religious conception of the plan and purpose of the Hebrew history, however, more than one point of view might be taken up. The book of Kings looks upon the history in the spirit of the prophets in that spirit which is still echoed by Zechariah (I5/): ' Your fathers, where are they ? and the prophets, could they live for ever ? but my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers ? so that they turned and said, Like as Yahwe of Hosts thought to do unto us ... so hath he dealt with us. ' Long before the Chronicler wrote, how- ever, there had been a great change. The new Jerusalem of Ezra was organised as a municipality and a church, not as a nation. The centre of religious life was no longer the living prophetic word, but the ordinances of the Pentateuch and the liturgical service of the sanctuar)-. The religious vocation of Israel was no longer national, but ecclesiastical or municipal, and the historical continuity of the nation was vividly realised only within the walls of Jcriis iliin and the courts of the temple, in the solcnui assembly and stately ceremonial of a feast day.

These influencos naturally operated most strongly on those who were olttcially attached to the sanctuary. To a Ix;viie, even more than to other Jews, the history of Isral meant aljove all things the history of Jerusalem, of the temple, and of the temple ordinances. Now the author of Chronicles lx;trays on every page his essentially levitical habit of mind. It even seems possible, from a close attention to his descriptions of s;icred ordinances, to conclude that his special interests are those of a common l>;vite rather than of a priest, and that of all levitical functions he is most partial to those of the singers, a member of whose guild Ewald conjectures him to have been.

To such a man the older delineation of the history of Israel, es|xx;ially in Sanmcl and Km^s, could not but apiHjar to be delicient in some directions, whilst in other respecis its nairative seemed superlluous or open to misunderstanding, as for example by recording, and that without condemnation, things inconsistent with the pentateuchal law. The hisioiy of the ordinances of worship holds a very small i)lace in the older record. Jerus;\lem and the temple have not that central place in the Book of Kings which they occu|)ied. in the minds of the Jewish community in post-exilic times. Large sections of the old history are devoted to the religion and politics of the northern kins;dom, which are altogether unintelligible and uninteresting when measured by a strictly levitical standard ; and in general the whole problems and struggles of the earlier period turn on [joints which had ceased to Ix; cardinal in the life of the new Jerusalem, which was no longer called upon to de- cide lx;tween the claims of the Word of Yahwe and the exigencies of political affairs and social customs, and which could not comprehend that men absorlx;d in deeper spiritual contests hatl no leisure for such things as the niceties of levitical legislation.

Thus there seemed to be rcwni for a new history, which should contine itself to matters still interesting to the theocracy of /ion, keeping Jerusalem and the temple in the foreground, and developing the divine pragmatism of the history, with reference, not so much to the prophetic word as to the fixed legislation of the Pentateuch (especially the I'riest's Code), so that the whole narrative might be made to teach that Israel's glory lies in the observance of the divine law and ritual.

5. Contents[edit]

1. Outline of Chronicles. The book falls naturally into three parts, i. Introdiictory resume (i Ch. 1-9). For the sake of systematic completeness the author begins with Adam, as is the custom with later Oriental writers. He had nothing, however, to add to the Pentateuch, and the period from Moses to David cotitained little that served his purpose. He, therefore, contracts the early history ( i Cli. 1-9) into a series of genealogies,' which were doubtless by no means the least interesting part of his work at a time when every Israelite was concerned to prove the purity of his Hebrew descent (see Kzra259 62, and cp Genk- Ai-cxilES, I. 3). The greatest space is allotted naturally to the trilxjs of jLi).\n and Levi (</</. v.) (23-423 6 [5 27-6 66]) ; but, except where the author derives his materials from the earlier historical books (as in 1 3i-i6 654-81), his lists are meagre and imperfect, and his data evidently fragmentary. Already, however, the circum- stances and interests of the author betray thentselves ; for even in these chapters his principal object is evidently to explain, in a manner consonant with the conceptions of his age, the origin of the ecclesiastical institutions of the post-exilic comniunity.

1 See the articles on the several tribes.

Observe th.it i Ch.O^-ija is excerpted (with merely clerical differences) from Neh. 11 ^I'-i^ (on the passage see Kzka, ii. which Uii 5 [*1. 8 15 I'l ") ; and that the age to which the genealogies in I Ch..Si7-j4 ;4nil Hjj.4o(cp9 35-44> and ee Hknjami.s, | o) are carried, jihows that ihcir puriiose i* to give the pedigree of ptjst- exilic families who traced tlicir descent frum iJavid and S.uil repectivelj'. In ch. 'J We. {Degftii.; cp more briefly /'ro/A*l i\iff. [K 1 ib.\) ha.s shown that xn>. ^ 25-33 43-5oa, funning the kernel of the chapter, reUite to pre-exilic Judah, whilkt vt>. 1017 18-34 34-4' 5o^'55 (like the greater part of 4 1-23) have reference to the circumstances of the p<t-cxilic community ; the chief aim of ch. 2 is to explain how the Calebiu-s, who Ijclore the fall of Jerusalem had their home in the S. of Judah, liad in post -exilic times to find new homc-s in the more northerly parts of Judah (sec Caleb, | 3/).

2. Israel before the schism ( i Ch. IO-2 Ch. 1 1. From the death of Saul (1 Ch. 10) the history becomes fuller and runs parallel with .Sanmel and Kings. The limita- tions of the authors interest in past times appear in the omission, among other i)articulars, of David's reign in Hebron, of the disorders in his family and the revolt of Absalom, of the circumstances of .Solomon's accession, and of many details as to the wisdom and splendour of that sovereign as well as of his fall into idolatry.

3. The Soulherii Kingdom \-i Ch. 12-30) In the later history the northern kingdom is quite neglc-cted, and political affairs in Judah receive attenti'.n, not in pro- portion to their intrinsic importance-, Inr. according as they serve to exemplify (Jod's help to the obedient and his chastisement of the retmllious. That the author is always unwilhng to speak of the misfortune-, of gcxnl rulers, is not to be ascribed with some critics to a deliberate suppression of truth, but shows that the Ixxjk was throughout composed not in purely historical interests, but with a view to inculcate a single i>r.iclical lesson.

4. Additions to Kinx-s- i- 'he more important additions which the Chronicler makes to the old narrative consists of (1/) statistic.il lists (1 Ch. 12, see D.wiD, II, iii.); [b) full details on points coiukh ted with the history of the sanctuary (see HlsroKK.M. LlTEKATUKK, 15) aiid the great fe.lMs (see I'l Asl'-s), or the arch;eology of the Levitical ministry (see Lkvites), iCh. l;J15 1G (these three chapters ex- panded remarkably from 2S. 6) 22-29 2 Ch. 29-31 3.'> 1-17 etc. ) ; and (t) narratives of victories and defeats, of sins and punishments, of ol)edience and its reward, which could be made to point a plain religious lesson in favour of faithful observance of the Law.

See the following pass.nges : 2Ch. 13;-2i (.M'ijah), 14 9-15 (Zerali). l.') i-i5(.\s.-i and the prophet A/ariah), 107-10 (Asa and Haii.mi), l!i 1-3 (Jehoshapliat and the prophet Jihu), 20 Ichosha- ph.it and .Moab, etc.), 21 i i-i7(Jehoram), 25 5-10 12-16 (.Vnia/i.ih)

These narratives often include jirophetical discourses, inculcating the same principle of the theocratic loii- dilions of success and failure, with nmch uniformity ot expression, and in a tone very different from that of the prophets who ajipear in .Samuel or Kings.

2. Attention should Ijc iliiected also to the short insertions, introduced often into the narratives excerpted from the older historical books, for the puri)ose of supplementing them at some point where they api>-ared to the author to ncx.'d explanation or correction.

Such are the notes on ritual i Ch. l.')27(i 28/' (David); 2 Ch. hiil'-iyi 61376 8 13-15 (Solomon); 236f/' 13 (mid.ilf) 18 (from TS) i< (deposition of Athaliah); 3*9 ('the Levitcs') 12 (from 'and the') 13, etc. ; the reflections in i Ch. 21 1/. (joabs census); 2 Ch. S I li (Solomon's wife's palace); 12 i.; (Kehoboani humbling himself); X^-^ib (Yahwe delivers Jehoshapbat) ; 2'J 3/' ^b (cause of .Ahaziali's wickedness); 2'i 27<z (to ' N'ahwe,' cause of plot acainst .Ama/iah); 20 21 (miitdlc) 23 {middle; consequences of Uz/iah's leprosy) ; 27 6 (eflects of Jolham's piety) : 33 23 (char- acter of Anion).

The minor variations of Chronicles from Samuel and Kings are analogous in principle to the larger additions and omissions, so that the whole work has a consistent and well-marked character, presenting the history in quite a different perspective from that of the old narrative.

6. Sources.[edit]

Here, then, a critical question arises. Is the change of perspective wholly due to a different selection of items from authentic historical tradition ? May we assume that everything which is new in Chronicles has been taken exactly from older sources, or must we judge that the standpoint of the author has not only governed the selection of facts, but also coloured the statement of them ? Are all his novelties new data, or are some of them inferences of his own from the same data as lie before us in other books of the OT?

To answer these questions we must first inquire what were the materials at his command. The Chronicler makes frequent reference to earlier histories which he cites by a great variety of names.

1. I'he Book of the Kinj^^s. That the names ' Hook of the Kings of Israel and Judah,' ' Ikiok of the Kings of Judah and Israel,' ' Book of the Kings of Israel,' and ' Affairs of the Kings of Israel' (2Ch. 33i8, Ileh.) refer to a single work is not disputed. Under one or other title this book is cited some ten times (iCh. 9i 2Ch. IGii 2r)26 27? 2826 33i8 8627 368, also 2O34 3232, noted Ijelow).

That it is not the canonical Kings is manifest from what is said of its contents.

It must have been quite an extensive work, for among other tilings it contained genealogical statistics (iCh.!>i), as well as other particulars, not mentioned in the existing Bouk of Kings (see 2 Ch. '2.1 7 'i'i 18 3t58) ; and it incorporated certain older writings of (or about) prophets -in particular the Dcbariin {Words, or r.ither J/a/A-ri-, i.e., History') of Jehu ben Hanani (jCh.--'034, where read with RV, 'which is'inserted in') and the Vision of Isaiah (2Ch.3232).

Now it is noticeable that, where the Chronicler does not cite this comprehensive work at the close of a king's reign, he generally refers to some special authority which bears the name of a prophet (i Ch. 2929, Samuel, Nathan, and Gad ; 2 Ch. 929, Nathan, Ahijah, and Iddo ; 12i5, Shemaiah and Iddo; 1822, Iddo; 2622, Isaiah). Never, however, are both the Book of the Kings and a special prophetic writing cited for the same reign. It is therefore highly probable that, in other cases as well as in those of Jehu and Isaiah (see above), the writings cited under the names of various prophets were known to the author only as parts of the great Book of the Kings.

Even 2 Ch. 33 19 (cp v. iS), where AV departs from the received Hebrew te.xt, but probably expresses the correct reading,! seems r.ither to confirm than to oppose this conclusion (which is now disputed by very few scholars) except in the case of Isaiah's historv of U/ziah (2 Ch. 2(522), where the form of the reference is different.

The references to these Dclbarim will thus not imply the existence of historical monographs written by the prophets with whose names they are connected ; they will merely point to sections of the Book of the Kings, which embraced the history of particular prophets, and were hence familiarly cited under their names.

2. The Midrash of the Book of the Kings. Whether the Book of the Kings is identical with the Midrash { RV, badly. Commentary) of the Book of the Kings (2 Ch. 2427) is not certain. On the one hand, the peculiar title would suggest a distinct work ; on the other hand, it is not apparent wh)', if (as its title shows) it was a comprehensive work, dealing with the kings generally, it should be cited for only one reign. The term 'Midrash,'"- moreover, from v-p to search out, investigate, as applied to Scripture, to discover or develop a thought not apparent on the surface, denotes a didactic or homiletic exposition, or an edifying religious story (such, for instance, as that of Tobit or Susannah) ; the Midrash here referred to will thus have been a work intended to develop the religious lessons deducible from the history of the kings. This, however, is just the guiding motive in many of the narratives, peculiar to Chronicles, for which the author cites as his authority, the Book of the Kings ; the last-named work, therefore, even if not identical with the Midrash of the Book of the Kings (as ILw. We. Kue. with much probability suppose), will nevertheless have been similar in character and tendency (cp below, 9, end).

1 ' The Seers ' : .so , RVmj,'., Bertheau, Kuenen, Ball, Oettli, Kautzsch. Budde and Kittel read Vlin his seers (cp j: 18). Those who follow MT (as Ew. Hist. I184, Keil) find in v. 19 an unknown prophet Hozai (cp AV"ig- RV).

2 Though common in Rabbinical literature, it occurs other- wise in the OT only in 2 Ch. 13 i2.

The Midrash of the prophet Iddo (aCh. 1822) will have been either a particular section of the Midrash of the Book of the Kings, or, more probably, perhaps, a separate work of the same character, which was attributed to Iddo as its author, or in which the prophet Iddo played a prominent part. For allusions to other authorities, see i Ch. 5 17 2827 2724 2 Ch. 3025.

3. Conclusion. All these writings must have been post-exilic works ; nor is it probable that, except for some of his statistical information, the Chronicler had access to any sources of early date other than the canonical histories of the OT. The style (see below, 1 1 ) is conclusive evidence that no part of the additional matter peculiar to Chronicles is an excerpt from any pre-exilic writing.

The general conclusion is that it is very doubtful whether the Chronicler used any historical work not accessible to us, with the exception of this lost Book of the Kings. Even his genealogical lists may have been derived from that work (iCh. 9i), though for these he may also have had other materials at command.

4. Sources of the Canonical Kings. Now we know that the two chief sources of the canonical Book of Kings were entitled Annals ['events of the times'] of the Kings of Israel and Judah resfjcctively. That the lost source of the Chronicles was not independent of these works appears probable both from the nature of the case and from the close and often verbal parallelism between many sections of the two biblical narratives. Whilst the canonical Book of Kings, however, had separate sources for the N. and the S. kingdoms, the source of Chronicles was a history of the two kingdoms combined, and so, no doubt, was a more recent work, in great measure extracted from the older annals. Still it contained also matter not derived from these works, for it is pretty clear from 2 K. 21 17 that the Annals of the Kings of Judah gave no account of Manasseh's repentance, which, according to 2 Ch. 83 iZf , was narrated in the great Book of the Kings of Israel.

5. Dependence of Chronicles on Kings. It was formerly the opinion of Bertheau, and other scholars (e.g. , Keil), that the parallelisms of Chronicles with Samuel and Kings are sufficiently explained by the ultimate common source from which both narratives drew. Most critics hold, however, that the Chronicler also drew directly from the canonical Samuel and Kings, as he unt|ucstionably did from the Pentateuch. This opinion is probable in itself, as the earlier books of the OT cannot have been unknown to the author ; and the critical analysis of the canonical Book of Kings shows that in some of the parallel passages the Chronicler uses words which were not taken from the annals but written by the author of Kings himself. In particular. Chronicles agrees with Kings in those short notes of the moral character of individual monarchs which can hardly be ascribed to a hand earlier than that of the final author of the latter book (cp e.^., 2Ch.2032/. [.Asa] with 1 K. 2243 ; 242 [Joash], with 2 K. I23 [2] [Jehoash] ; 25i-4 [Amaziah], with 2K. I42/. 5/, etc.). It is of course possible, as Bertheau (xliv. / ) and Kuenen ( 32 15) suppose, that the author of the chief source of Chronicles had already incorporated extracts from our canonical book of Kings ; and in general the connections of the successive historical books which preceded the present canonical hi.stories are sufficiently complex to make it unwise to indulge in positive assertions on a matter in which so many poss1t)i+itJes may be suggested.

1 Including the genealogies and statistical matter, which (in .so far as they are not colourless lists of names) .show unmistak- able marks of the Chronicler's hand, and must therefore be regarded as his compilations: see, e.g., the late expressins in I Ch. '230 4 21 2233383942 5i 2 etc.

7. Treatment of sources.[edit]

In studying Chronicles a sharp distinction onpht always to l>.- drawn lx;tween the parts excerpted (without substantial alteration) from the earlier canonical historical books and the parts peculiar to the Chronicler. The recently pul)lishcd edition of Chronicles by Kittel (SHOT), in which such excerpts are coloured light red, will materially assist the reader in doing this.

The question arises, What is the historical value of the passages peculiar to Chronicles? After what has iM-en saitl, it can hardly Iw doubtful that, excej)! for some of his statistical information, his one genuine ancient source was the series of the ' Former Prophets,' Sanmel and (more largely) Kings. The MS.S of these lx)oks which he employed preserved occasionally a better reading than is found in the existing M T ; but where he adds to the earlier narrative or departs from it, his variations are seldom such as to inspire con- fitience. In large measure these variations are due to his assumption, the validity of which he never questions, that the religious institutions of his own time must have existed in the same form in old Israel.

1. Hii^k Places. Living in a time when high places were universally regarded as idolatrous, the Chronicler could not imagine that a good king had tolerated them.

Thus, whereas i K. 15i4"J243 state th.it As.-i and Jehoshaphat dill not abolish the hijjh places, the Chronicler (aCh.Hs 176) says that they did abolish them.

2. Levitical Choirs. Again, he assumes that the Levitical organisation of his own time, and esjxicially the three choirs of singers, were established by David.

Had this really been the case, the silence of the older history would be inexplicable ; indee<l the Hook of Ezra-Nehcmiah shows that, even at the time of the return from Habylon, the system with which the Chronicler was familiar had not been elaborated, for the ' singers ' there still form a separate class not yet incorporated with the Levites.

(a) The narrative in 2 S. t> of the removal of the ark to Zion does not say a word respecting the presence of Levites upon the occasion. In iCh.l3 \b/. this omission is made good: the Levites, including the singers, take a prominent part in the ceremony ; the mishap of Uzzah is represented (1513) as due to the fact that the ark had not at first been properly carried by the Levites, and a psalm composed of parts of three post-exilic psalms (105 J-15 90 1-13(1 100 1 \t /) is placed in David's mouth (IO8-36).

(b) In I K.83 the ark is borne by priests (in accordance with Dt. 31 9, and all pre-exilii: allusions); but in 2Ch. .'>4 'Levites' is substituted for ' priests,' to bring the passage into conformity with the later Levitical law.

(c) In 2K.II Jeholada's assistants in the revolution which cost .\thaliah her life, are the foreign body-guard, which we know to have l)een employed in the temple down to the time of Kzekiel (44 7) ; but in 2 Ch. 'I'i the Carians (see Ciiekkthites) and the foot-guards give place to the l^cvites, in accordance with the rule of the second temple, which did not allow aliens to appro.-ich so near to the holy things. ' Delilierate altera- tions ' (He.) are in conse<nience introduced throughout the narrative : and a new colouring is imparted to the whole occiirrencak

(d) There are other incidental allusions, also, which show that the author is really describing institutions of a date later than the age to which he refers them. Thus (i.) not only do the gates mentioned in iCh.'iO (under David) presuppose the existence of a temple, but also the Persian name Pakiiar {q.i>.\ given to one of them (7. 18), shows that the writer is thinking of the po-.t-exilic temple, (ii.) The allusions in 2Ch.l3ii (in the speech put into Abijah's mouth) to the golden candlestick and the evening burnt-offering, point also to the usage of the same age : in the pre-exilic tenmle the number of golden candlesticks was not one but ten (iK. "49; see, however, Candlestick, $ i), and the evening sacrifice of the pre-exilic temple was not a holocaust but a cereal oblation (nmo : iK. I836 2 K. 16 15 Ezra 9 4). 2

1 S. portion of Rol)ertsoii Smith's article in the /."/> is here omitted ; and this and the following section ( 8) exhibit the (pre- sumably) more matured view expressed by the author in OTJCW (92), pp. 140-148 (cp ed. I, pp. 419-423).

2 Cp 1 Ch. 2l28-22i (exciismg David's sacrifice on Araunah's threshing-floor and explaining why he could not go to Giljeon); 3 Ch. 1 3^6<l (legalising the worship at the high-place of Gibeon ; cp iCh. IO39/); ~g/. (i K.865/, altered to harmonise with the practice of the post -exilic temple); and the short notices rclatmg to ritual, especially the functions of the singers, instanced above (J s, end ; cp | 7I2]).

In his descriptions of pre-exilic solemnities, as in the speeches which he places in the mouth of pre-exilic characters, the Chronicler is unconsciously an unimpeachable witness to. the religious usages and beliefs of his own time ; it is inconsistent with sound historical principles to treat his testimony with regard to antiquity as of etjual value with that of the older and more nearly contemporary historical writings, where the two, whether directly or by legitimate inference, are at variance.

8. The Chronicler's theories[edit]

Another principle traceable in the Chronicler's additions is the tendency not merely to lay .stress upon the doctrine of divine retribution, but also to represent it as acting immediately (see prophets the nnributive justice of (jod is manifest in the general course of the history the fall of the I lebrew nation is the fruit of sin and relx-llion against Yahwes moral commands but (jods justice is mingled with long-suffering, and the prophets do not suppose that every sin is punished promptly, and that temporary good fortune is always the reward of righteousness. The aim of very many of the additions made in Chronicles to the old history, is to show that in Israel retribution followed immediately on gnf)fl or l^id con- duct, especially on otx;dience or disoln-'dience to pro- phetic warnings.

(a) In I K.2248 we read that Jehoshaphat built Tarshish- ships (/.<., great merchant vessels) at Ezlon-geber for the S. Arabian gold-trade ; but the ships were wrecked before st:irliiig. For this the Chronicler seeks a religious reason. .\s i K. proceeds to relate that, after the disaster, .Ahaziah of Israel oflfered to join Jehoshaphat in a fresh enterprise, and the latter declined, the narrative of i K. 2248 is so altered in 2Ch.2035y: 3ji as to represent the king of Israel as having been partner in the ships that were wrecked; whilst in 7'. 37a there is an addition stating that Jehoshaphat was warned bvapiopbetof the certain failure of an undertaking in which he was assocuited with the wicked Ahaziah.

ii) In 2 K. 3 we read of a war with Moab in which Jehosha- phat was associated with the wicked house of -Ahab, and c.ime offscathless. In Chronicles this war is entirely omitted, and in its pl.ice we have (2 Ch. 20) an expedition of Jehoshaphat alone against Moab, Ammon, and Edom, in which the Jewish king, having opened the campaign with the assistance of the Levites with suitable prayer and praise, has no further task than to siK)il the dead of the enemy who have fallen by one another's hands.

(c) Kings states simply as a fact that Shishak invaded Judah and carried off the treasures of the temple and palace : the Chronicler inserts between i K. 1425 and 26 a notice explaining that this was because Rehoboam had forsaken Yahwe, but that, as he and his princes had humbled themselves, they should not be entirely destroyed (2 Ch. 122/'-8 ; cp 7'. 12).

(d) 'n Kings, Asa, who according to i K. 1.5 14 was a good king all his days, had in his old age (7'. 23) a disease in his feet. With the object, apparently, of accounting for this, the Chronicler explains (2Ch. I67-10 ; cp the addition in 7'. i2Al) that three years previously he had shown a distrustful spirit by contracting ari alliance with Benhadad (which is mentioned in i K.I517-22, without any mark of disapproval on the part of the narrator). The singular dates in 2Ch. I.')i9 10 1 (which place Haasha's invasion at a period which, according to i K. 1^33 1<)8, was ten years after his own death) are most naturally explained as an attempt to bring the fault sufficiently near the punishment.

(e) Similarly the misfortunes of Jehoash, Amaziah, and .\zariah are explained by sins of which the older history knows nothing (sCh. 24 23_/C 2.') 14-1620^ 20 5 16-20); 2 and Pharaoh Nccho himself is made a prophet, that the defeat ai.d death of Jusiah may be due to his rejection of a divine warning (2Ch. 352iy;), whilst on the other hand, Manasseh, whose character as dcpictel in 2 K. 21 1-18 2326 (cp 24 3 y: Jer. I54) is without a redeeming feature, is represented as a jienitent (2 Ch. 33 12^ 15^^) in order, it would seem, to justify his long reign.-* 1 Where the 'yet' of RV should be 'and also" (viz., as well as in the alli.-ince with Henhadad).

2 2 K. 15 5 mentions only the feet that Uzzi.ah became a lcj>er.

' Cp 1 Ch. 10 f}/^ (the cause assigned for Saul's death), 2 t t . 122(^(causeof Shishak's invasion), 21 io(^(causeof Libnah's rev olt), 227 25 20.* 28 5 19 2ayC(Ahaz's troubles attributed to his idolatrv), 3O12A In 2Ch.244-i4 2822/ 24yC the older narratives of Kings have been not less curiously transformed than in aCh. "3 (see .ibove, 7^); Be., ad loc.\ Kue.), | .SO ai, | 81 2 ; We. ProlA*), 1Q3, \()i/. (ET 194, i^i/.\. The correspondence between Hiram and Solomon (2Ch. 23-16: cp iK.52-9) has been rewritten bj- the Chronicler (with reminiscences from other parts of Kings) in his own style.

All this is entirely in the style of the Jewish ' Midrash '; it is not history, but ' Haggada,' moralising romance attaching to historical names and events. The Chronicler himself, it will be remembered (see above, 6 [2], gives the name of * Midrash ' to two of the sources from which his materials were derived. There need be no uncertainty, therefore, as to the nature of his work when it departs from the older narratives of S. and K.

9. Exaggerations.[edit]

Another peculiarity of the Chronicler is to be found in the incredibly high figures with which he deals. David (i Ch. 22 14) amasses 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver for the temple (contra.st the much more modest estimate of even Solomon's revenue in i K. 10 n/.) ; the army of Abijah numbers 400,000 men, that of Jeroboam 800,000, of whom 500,000 perish in one day (2 Ch. 13 3 17) ; Asa musters 580,000 soldiers, Zerah 1,000,000 (Hsg), Jehoshaphat 1, 160,000 (17 14-19), although in 20 12 he complains that he has ' no might,' Uzziah 307,500 (2613); of the army of Ahaz 120,000 are sl.iin in one day, while 200,000 women and children are taken captive (286 8).

Manifestly such figures cannot be historical. The past was magnified, as it was also idealised. The empire of David and his successors was imagined oh a scale of unsurpassed power and magnificence ; pre-exilic Judah was pictured as already in possession of the in- stitutions, and governed at least in its greater and better men by the ideas and principles which were in force at a later day. The past was read in the light of the present, and the history, where necessary, re-written accordingly. No doubt in many instances a traditional elentent lies at the basis of the Chronicler's representation ; but this element has been developed by him, and embellished with fresh details, for the pur- pose of giving expression to the ideas which he had at heart, and of inculcating the lessons which he con- ceived the history to teach. It is probable that the new conception of Israel's past history, and the char- acteristic didactic treatment of it, did not originate with the Chronicler himself, but had already appeared in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah or the Midrash of the Book of Kings, which he so frequently cites as his authorities (cp Be. xxxvii. ).

10. The genealogies[edit]

A usage, not peculiar to the Chronicler among OT writers, which must be carefully taken into account by the historical critic, is that of giving information that is reallv statistical in , ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^ narrative.' This is the principle which underlies many of the OT statements of genealogical relationships, and which alone explains the variations between different accounts of the genealogy proceeding from a single ancestor : information as to the subdivisions of clans, the intermingling of popula- tions, and the like, is thrown into a genealogical form (see Genealogies, i). The most striking example of the application of this principle is the ethnographical table of Gen. 10 (cp also 2220-24 25 1-4 13-16, and parts of 36) ; but these instances by no means stand alone ; there are many in i Ch.1-9.

Thiis it is avowedly the intention of 22442-45^9-55 42-5 11-14 17-23 to indicate the origin of local populations: in 243 Hebron, the town, has ' sons.' .Several of the names in 2 4 are also those of Kdomite clans (Wellh. Dc Geitti/'us etc. 2^/.) ; these came gradually to be treated as belonging to Judih, and the cnn- nection was afterwards exhibited artificially in a genealogical scheme. Caleb and Jerahmeel were not originally Israelite; Caleb belonged to the Edomite clan (Gen. 3<) 11) of the Keniz- zites (Jos. 146-14); and clans bearing the name of Caleb and Jerahmeel are in David's time (i S. 27 10, cp 30 29; note also the terms of Jos. 1415a) still distinguished from Judah: in course of time, however, they were regarded as an integral part of the tribe, and a genealogy was formed (i Ch. 2 18 25) to give expression to the fact.l

1 So in 722 Ephraim is not an individual, but the tribe ; and in 1. 21 kzer and Elead are, no douht, Ephraimite clans. Cp Bennett in Expos. Bib. chap. iv. esp. p. 87^

A different application of the same principle seems to lie in the account of the institutions of Levitical service which is introduced in connection with the transference of the ark to Jerusalem by David. The author is not concerned to distinguish the gradual steps by which the Levitical organisation attained its full develop- ment. He wishes to describe the system in its complete form, especially as regards the service of the singers, and he does this under the reign of David, who was the father of Hebrew psalmody [cp OTJC^^^ 223/.] and the restorer of the sanctuary of the ark.

11 Style[edit]

The style of the Chronicler has remarkable peculiari- ties. It is not merely that it presents characteristically late linguistic novelties (which are not confined to the vocabulary, but, as Konig's Syntax der hebr. Spiachc fully shows, extend to the Syntax), but it has also a numl)er of special mannerisms. Even the reader of a translation can see that this must be the case. Modern words, often with Aramaic affini- ties, inelegant syntax, cumbrous and uncouth sentences, in strongest possible contrast to the ease and grace of the earlier Hebrew historical lx)oks, these are the predominant marks of the Chronicler's style ; and so constant are they that there is hardly a sentence, not excerpted from Samuel or Kings, in which they are not observable.^ For details we must refer to the Intro- ductions and Commentaries (see e.g.. Be. xiv.-xviii. ; Dr. Introd. 535-540 ; V. Brown, Hastings' DB 1 389-391). It might be thought, by those unacquainted with the Chronicler's manner, that the speeches in Chronicles might form as a whole an exception to what is here stated, and that they might conceivably be based on some special sources of older date. But this would be a great mistake. The tone and literary style of the speeches which have parallels in Samuel and Kings are both very different from those which have been added by the Chronicler. The latter not only reflect, almost uniformly, the ideas and point of view of the Chronicler himself, but also exhibit frequently the same literary peculiarities. There can be no reason- able doubt that they are, one and all, his own compo- sition.'^

12. Bibliography.[edit]

He.'s work in the Kurzgef. Hdh. (ed. 2, 1873) is still a most helpful commentary ; .see also Keil ('70) ; Zockler in lunge's Bibelweik ('74); Oettli, Kg/. Komm. ('89); Rawlinson, speakers Comm. ('73); Ball (learned), EUicott's Cotnm. ('83); Bennett (suggestive). Expos. Bib. ('94). On isagogic questions (structure, sources, credibility of narrative, etc.), the principal works are De Wette, Krit. I'ersuck iiber die Gtaub^viirdigkeit d. Cliron. i8o5 {Bciirage, vol. 1); Keil, Apolog. I 'ersuch. ('33), and Eiiil.^^) ('7.3)1 138-144 ; Movers, Krit. Unterss. fiber die Bibl. Citron. ('34) ; Graf, ' Das Buch der Chron. als Geschicht.squelle,' in Die Gesch. Biicher dcs ATs (66), p. 114-247 (see also Be. viii.); Ew. Kist.\i6g ff.; De Wette- Schr. Einl. ('69), U 224-2^(3; We. t'roU*) 169-228 [ET, 171-227]; Kue. Ond.i'^) 28-32 (very thorough) ; Dr. //>%/. (") 516-540 ; Wildeboer, Letter- kunde, 25 ; Konig, Einl. 54. Cp al.so Bu. ' Vermutungen zum " .Midrash " des Buches der Konige' in ZA 77/', 1892, p. 37 ff. (speculative) ; Ki. Chronicles, Critical Edition, etc., with Notes, .SAY) 7' (Hebrew), '95; W. E. Barnes, ' Religious Stand- point of the Chronicler,' Avi. Joum. Sent. Lang, ami Lit., Oct. '96: 'Chronicles a Targum,' Ex. Times, 8316 yC ('97); An Apparatus Criticus to Chronicles in the Peshitta Version ('97) (contains a rather surprising number of variants in the primary MSS); F. Brown, art. 'Chronicles,' Ha.stings' DB ('98). \V. R. S. S. R. D.

, 1 The peculiarities in question may often be observed even in the short .sentences which the Chronicler sometimes intro- duces into a narrative otherwise e.xcerp'ed without material alteration from Samuel or Kings : e.g., i Ch. 21 t (icjO> 3 end (nrCN). " end (Sap), 2Ch. 23(2) 5ii^i3a 12 12 I83 end, -^ib, etc.

2 For illustrations see Dr., 'The Speeches in Chronicles,' Expositor, Apr. and Oct. 1895, pp. 247-254, 294/;, 304-307.




  • I. Difficulties (§§ 1-15)
    • Lack of System (§ 1-2).
    • Most dates late and hypothetical (§§ 3-15)
  • II. Sources of Help.
    • Astronomy (§ 16-17)
    • Egypt (§§ 18-22).
    • Assyriology (§§ 23-26).
    • Menander (§§ 30).
    • Caution (§ 27).
  • III. Results.
    • Earliest certain OT dates (§ 28).
    • Approximate earlier dates (§§ 29, 31)
    • Chronology of the several periods (§§ 32-37).
    • 1. Solomon to Jehu (§ 32).
    • 2. Certain dates: Jehu to fall of Samaria (§ 33).
    • 3. Chronology of N. Israel (§ 34).
    • 4. Chronology of Judah (§§ 35-37).


  • Introductory (§§39-42).
  • I. Life of Jesus (§§ 42-63)
    • 1. Baptism (§ 43).
    • 2. Length of public ministry (§§ 44-46).
    • 3. Its beggining (§§ 47-49).
    • 4. Year of death (§§ 50-56).
    • 5. Year of birth (§§ 57-62).
    • 6. Conclusions (§§ 63).
  • II. Life of Paul (64-80).
    • 1. Entry into Europe to imprisonment at Rome (§§ 64-71).
    • 2. Earlier period (§§ 72-75)
Confirmation of results (§§ 76-78).
    • 3. Closing period (§ 79-80).
  • III. Churches in Palestine (§ 81-82).
  • IV. Other Dates (83-84)


    • 1. OT data as 10 reigns (§ 7)
    • 2. Mahler's theories (§ 17).
    • 3. Assyriological dates (§ 25).
    • 4. Reigns: Solomon to Jehu (§ 32).
    • 5. Survey: Solomon to Herod (§ 38)
    • 6. Secular History (§ 41).
    • 7. Life of Jesus (§ 63).
    • 8. Paul's middle period (§ 71).
    • 9. Paul : first period (§ 75).
    • 10. Paul : last period (§ 80).
    • 11. Other dates (§ 84).



1 No fixed era[edit]

The advantages afforded by a fixed and uniform chronological system of defining historical events seem so evident that one might expect to find some such method of determining dates in use from the very earliest times. History, however, shows that a long development was needed to lead to this simple result. Only in connection with a universal history did the desire for a uniform and comprehensive method of determining dates spring up. The impulse towards a real universal history and a general chronology came, not when the attempt was made to collect and record all human events, but when men learned to look at them from a single point of view and to comprehend them in a single plan. The roots of such a universal history lie in the prophets of Israel, who regarded the plan of Yahwè as realising itself in the experience of the nations of the earth as well as in the history of Israel; and its actual beginnings, strange as it may seem, are to be found in the Apocalyptic writers, who regarded history as a comprehensive whole (see Apocalyptic, § 2). This mode of regarding history was continued by Christianity. It is not strange, therefore, that Christianity felt the need for a universal chronology and found a way of meeting that need, thus proving its own world-embracing significance. This is not the place to enter upon the long and involved history of the adoption of the Christian era, which, after its author, the Roman abbot Dionysius Exiguus of the first half of the sixth century, is also called the Dionysian era. In order, however, to obtain a fixed starting-point from which to reckon, we must simply state here that the year 1--i.e., the year of the birth of Christ--is equivalent to the year 754 of the era of Varro--i.e., the era of the city of Rome,--and to the first year of the 195th Olympiad; and, also, that King Herod died in the year 750 of the city of Rome, and so in the year 4 b.c. (cp. Schur. GJV 1343-345).

The same phenomenon of gradual arrival at a satisfactory chronological method is repeated in the narrower sphere of the national history of the several nations. We never find a settled era, a definite date from which years were counted, at the very beginning or even at an early period of a nation's history. If anything of this kind has seemed to appear in early times, it has always turned out to be in the highest degree uncertain, or really to rest on later calculations. Nor is the OT any exception to this rule. Only once had the Jews before Christ a national era, and that was for a very short time. When Simon the Maccabee had obtained from the Syrians complete freedom from taxation along with the acknowledgment of the political independence of Judea, documents and contracts were dated by years of Simon, the High Priest and Prince of the Jews, the first year of Simon the High Priest (1 Macc. 1341f. 1427) representing the 170th year of the era of the Seleucides (143-142 b.c.).[1]

On the other hand, since the time when the Jews fell under the dominion of Syria, they had used the so-called era of the Seleucidæ (greek script, I Macc. 111; greek script [Assyrian = Syrian], Jos. Ant. xiii. 67; hebrew script = æra contractuum}} amongst the Jews, and year deyawnāyē amongst the Syrians). This era has for its starting-point the defeat of Nicanor, the general of Antigonus, by Seleucus Nicator, and the final establishment of the dominion of the Seleucidæ in Syria and Babylonia in the year 01. 117, i--i.e., 312 B.C. It is used in the Books of the Maccabees, but there, it would seem, with this difference, that in the first book it begins, not, as was usual elsewhere, in the autumn, but in the spring of 312, thus about half a year earlier. [2] This era reached in general as far as the Syrian power, and although, usually, where states were able to obtain freedom they introduced new eras of their own, none was able to maintain itself so long as that of the Seleucidæ. It remained in use, indeed, among the Syrians for centuries alongside of the Arabic era, which counts from the Hegira (hijra, flight of Mohammed), 16th July, 622 a.d.

Real eras are not met with in the OT in earlier times. We cannot cite as an exception the practice of the Jews during the Exile, of counting the years since they were carried away from their land (hebrew script, Ezek. 3321 and 401; hebrew script, 2 K. 2527; also Jer. 5231, and Ezek. 12, and, without mention of the point from which the reckoning is made, Ezek. 81 201 291, 17). In truth, they desired nothing more eagerly than to be delivered from the need of counting in this way. Besides, there was along with it a reckoning from the final fall of Jerusalem (Ezek. 401), while Ezek. 11 (if the text has reached us intact) must rest on still a third mode of reckoning.[3] It is, moreover, a very unsafe hypothesis which ventures to retain in the case of the statement of 2 Ch. 161 (as a whole clearly untenable) at least the number 36 as based on trustworthy tradition, and proposes to find therein a trace of a Judæan era, thought to date from the division of the kingdom (Sharpe, Chronology of the Bible, 29; cp Braudes, Abhandl. 62). Nor, lastly, are we any more justified in finding any trace of a real era counting from the Exodus in the late passage 1 K. 61, where the building of Solomon's temple is assigned to the 480th year after that event. This number does not rest on tradition: it has been reached by calculation based on some hypothesis. No corroboration can be obtained from the numbers in the late Priestly Code--if the passages containing them are original even there--numbers which date the events of the journey through the wilderness by years from the deliverance out of Egypt (hebrew script; cp Ex. 161 191 Nu. 11 91 3338). Nor can any support, in fact, be found for the notion that the Jubilee period was turned to chronological purposes. There is not the slightest trace of a real carrying out of the regulations concerning it mentioned in Lev. 259ff.: even the Books of the Maccabees speak only of Sabbatic years, never of Jubilee years (1 Macc. 649 53; cp Jos. Ant. xiv. I62).

2. Miscellaneous data.[edit]

In spite of this lack of a proper era, the OT is not without notes and data intended to serve as a means of fixing events chronologically.

In addition to isolated observations (none the less important that they are incidental ) setting an occurrence in relation to another prominent event (e.g., to the death of the king, as in Is. 61 1428, or to an important expedition, as in Is. 201, to the building of a city, as in Nu. 1322, or to an extraordinary natural phenomenon, as in Am. 11), we generally find, in the case of any important OT personage, the year of his life or his reign specified; and in the books edited during the Exile the date of the events narrated begins to be given by years of the reigning king. Besides, there are the various synchronistic data often supplied by headings of books (e.g., in the case of certain of the prophets), and by the Books of Kings, which have a complete synchronistic record for the time of the coexistence of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Finally, the evidence of the contemporaneousness of certain events furnished at times by the historical narrative itself is of the highest importance.

3. Late origin.[edit]

The weightiest question, however, is, to what degree of credibility this chronological material can lay claim. Before undertaking the examination of this question for the several points of the history, we must premise some general considerations that thrust themselves on our notice. First of all, there is the remarkable fact that these chronological notes are to be found in greatest abundance in those parts of the historical books that are confessedly to be regarded as the youngest. In the Pentateuch they belong to the post-exilic Priestly Code or to additions of even later date; in the other historical books into which the older sources have been worked, they are due, in the main, to the latest exilic editors. Then, it must be regarded as proved that the superscriptions of the prophetic books containing detailed information concerning the time of the respective prophets do not come from the prophets themselves, but are much younger additions, such as the erudition of later ages delighted in. This appears from the inexplicable double date (by kings of Judah and of Israel) found in Hosea and Amos, as well as from the inaccuracy, or the crowding, of the data in Is. Jer. and Ezek. Nor is the remarkable addition in Amos 11, 'two years before the earthquake,' any excejition to this rule: the fact that a later event is employed to define the date shows that the statement is a subsecpient addition, and it is therefore very probable that it rests on the exegesis and calculation of the scribes (cp Hoffmann, ZATW 3123 ['83]). Lastly, it is remarkable that the text presents no uniformity of reading in the matter of re- cording dates: nay, that there are even to be found unfilled blanks. Thus in 1 S. 131 the numbers have been omitted from the formula giving the age of Saul and the length of his reign, and in GB the whole verse is omitted.[4] There are also other places in the LXX where such chronological data are lacking--e.g., Jer. 471 [BAR]--and elsewhere in the old versions we come on considerable variations from the traditional Hebrew text. All these are marks that indicate a late origin for the chronological numbers and warn us in the most emphatic way to submit them to a thorough examination.

4. Oldest period.[edit]

As regards the oldest period, with which Genesis deals, the time down to the Exodus, it is known that the numbers supplied by the Samaritan and the LXX texts, and even by the Book of Jubilees (dating from the first century a.d.), differ in many points from those of the Massoretic text. The divergence will be made most plain by a comparison showing the sum of the years according to each tradition. In Gen. 5 the period from the creation of the world to the beginning of the flood is, according to the Hebrew text, 1656 years; according to the Samaritan, 1307; and, according to GB, 2242. In Gen. 1110ff. the interval from the birth of Shem to the birth of Abraham is, according to the Hebrew text, 390 years; according to the Samaritan, 1040; and, according to the text of GB, 1270. In this no account is taken of the variations exhibited by the other MSS of G itself, nor is it inquired whether the tradition represented by any one given text is free from internal inconsistency (cp, e.g. Gen. 1110, 'two years after the flood,' with Gen. 532 76, and Gen. 1110a; further Gen. 124 with Gen. 1126, 32).

This state of matters shows, what was indeed probable to begin with, that there was no fixed tradition concerning the early history of Israel: that, indeed, even at so late a time as that of the LXX and the Book of Jubilees, there was no clear idea of how the period in question should be measured. Thus the numbers of the Hebrew text, since they are not earlier than the Priestly Code, go back at the best only to the fifth century b.c., and do not rest on tradition, but have been reached by the application of some artificial theory. Since they are useless, therefore, at least for chronology (if indeed one could ever have hoped to obtain such a thing for those earliest times) it is unnecessary to attempt to discover what the actual theory underlying them is.

It will be enough to mention that v. Gutschmid observed that 2666--the number of years resulting from the summation of the Massoretic numbers for the period (Gen. 5 to Ex. I240) from the creation of Adam to the Exodus[5]- is exactly two-thirds of 4000 years. These 4000 years he took to represent a period (of 100 generations of 40 years each) assigned for the duration of the world. In this way he sought to explain the artificial origin of the system (cp Nold. Untersuch. zur Krit. des AT III). It is worth while, however, noticing the relation in which, according to Oppcrt (GGN, 1877, pp. 201-223), the Chaldean numbers for the first ages in Bērōssus and the statements in Genesis stand to each other. The Chaldeans reckon from the beginning of the world to Alexander 215 myriads of years, of which 47 myriads represent the time from the first man to Alexander. Thus they allow for the creation 168 myriads of years. Now, the 7 days of the biblical account of the creation give 168 hours. Thus in the creation age a myriad of years is represented in the biblical account by an hour. Again, for the time of the first ten men down to the flood, the Chaldeans reckon 432,000 years,[6] Genesis 1656. If both numbers are divided by 72, we get 6000 and 23 respectively, and 23 years--i.e., 8400 days-- represent 1200 weeks, while 6000 years is 5 times 1200 years. Hence the Chaldeans seem to have reckoned 5 years (i.e. 60 months) as a lustrum (sosse), where Genesis has reckoned 1 week. 1656 years (Genesis) = 72 X 23 years = 72 X 1200--'i.e., 86,400-- weeks; 432,00 years (Chaldean) = 86,400 lustra. This remark- able relation, which can hardly rest on pure accident, presupposes a complicated calculation, and a very late origin for these numbers. Whatever be the theory underlying the numbers of Genesis, one thing, therefore, is certain: for a sure chronology of the times before the Exodus, the OT numbers, appearing as they do for the first time in the youngest sources of the Pentateuch, afford no security.

5. Exodus to Temple.[edit]

Thc case is no better with the chronology of the interval that extends from the Exodus to the building of the temple of Solomon. We have here, indeed, a check in 1 K. 61 which makes the building of the temple begin in the 480th year after the Exodus; but this number did not make its appearance till a time when the tempIe of Solomon was no more (cp above, § 1). It bears, moreover, the clear impress of being artificial; for it plainly counts from Moses to David twelve generations of forty years each, which we can easily identify as follows : Moses, Joshua, Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, Eli, Samuel, Saul, and David. This explanation of the origin of the number 480 is corroborated by the fact that the five "little" Judges in Ju. 10 and 12 appear to have been inserted into the Deuteronomistic Book of Judges later (on the object of their insertion, see Judges, § 9). Nor can anything certain be obtained from the individual numbers, since they are neither quite clear nor free from gaps.

It remains obscure, e.g., how the numbers relating to the supiemacy of the Philistines and the judgeship of Samson (131 1520 and 1631) are related to each other; how the twenty years from the arrival of the ark at Kirjath-jearim to the victory of Samuel over the Philistines are to be fitted into Samuel's history (1 S. 72); and how the ninety-four years of foreign oppression are to be combined with the data concerning the length of rule of the individual Judges.[7]

The tradition also presents gaps, however, since it does not mention the time during which Joshua was the leader of the Israelites, and in 1 S. 131 the numbers for Saul are entirely wanting. Finally, GBAL allows Eli in 1 S. 418 only twenty years instead of the forty of MT: and the frequently recurring round numbers--such as 40 for .Moses, Othniel, Deborah-Barak, Gideon, Eli (G 20) and David: 80 (= 2 X 40) for Ehud; and 20 (40/2) for Samson, for Eli (according to G), for Samuel, and (approximately) for Tola (23), and Jair (22)-go to set in still clearer light the unhistorical character of the data.

The matter may rest, then, as Noldeke left it at the end of his chronology of the period of the Judges (op. cit. 197), with the verdict that 'neither for the several divisions of the period of the Judges nor for its whole duration is a chronology any longer attainable.' It is, therefore, also useless to seek, by calculation from these numbers, to ascertain the time of the leadership of Joshua and the reign of Saul. The furthest we can go is to conclude, from passages like Am. 210 525, that an old tradition estimated the journey through the wilderness at forty years. (On the chronology of the Book of Judges, see Judges, § 15.)

6. Temple to Nebuchadrezzar.[edit]

It is much harder to deal with the chronological dates for the period from the building of the temple by Solomon to the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar. In various important instances we now meet with statements concerning the year of the reigning king to which the event narrated belongs. Thus in regard to events of war we read: 'In the fifth year of King Rehoboam Shishak King of Egypt came up against Jerusalem' (1 K. 1425), and 'In the ninth year of Hosea the king of Assyria took Samaria ' (2 K. 176). So also in regard to home affairs: 'In the three and twentieth year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house' (2 K. 127). Clear as such passages seem to be, we need to know which year of a given king was called the first--the year in the course of which he ascended the throne, or the first complete year at the beginning of which he was already seated on the throne. Sound information on this point is still more indispensable, however, for the understanding of the further data for our period supplied by the Books of Kings. These give the sum of the years of reign of each several king. If, however, for any interval that can be defined by means of events related, we add together these amounts, the totals for the parallel kingdoms of Judah and Israel do not agree. The question becomes very complicated when at each accession the date is regularly defined synchronistically, by years of the contemporary ruler of the neighbouring kingdom of Israel or Judah. This synchronism again leads to a reckoning of its own. What we have first to do is to estimate the value of the various chronological data which form a sort of framework for the whole history of the period. Then we can determine the importance and range of the individual dates assigned by years of accession.

7. Reigns and synchronisms.[edit]

The statements concerning the duration of a reign as well as the synchronism of its beginning form parts of the brief reviews which pass judgment on each king from the standpoint of Deuteronomic law (see Kings, Books of, § 1ff..). The two chronological elements, however, have a diverse origin; for the synchronistic notes betray their character as 'subjective additions of the Epitomator.' It is clear, to begin with, that this noting of synchronism was not in actual use during the existence of the two kingdoms: apart from dates of accessions, we find it only once--at the fall of Samaria (2 K. 189 10), the point where the system comes to an end.

It would be natural to maintain that the very construction of the chronological notes leveals their diverse origin: the verb hebrew script has in the same sentence one meaning for the words that precede, and another for those that follow. It is to be construed as inchoative (= 'he became king') as well as progressive (= 'he reigned'). For instance, in 2 K. 1423 'In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel hebrew script (= became king, and also =reigned) forty-one years in Samaria.' If here and there (1 K. 1525 1629 2252: 2 K. 31 1513) hebrew script is added to hebrew script, this only proves, it would seem, a sense of the irreconcilability of expressing both the date of accession and the duration of the reign by the simple verb hebrew script. The double sense of this verb, however, is peculiar to such annals, and is to be explained by the brevity of the style. Exactly so in the list of kings of Tyre given by Josephus (c. AP. 118) from Menander of Ephesus, greek script is used in both senses at the same time: 'he became king' as well as 'and he reigned.'

The decisive proof, however, of the secondary character of the synchronistic numbers is reached only when we compare them with the years of reign. It then appears that the former has been attained by calculation from the latter, although the method that has been followed cannot in all points be discerned.[8] A tabular exhibition of the data will be the best way to make this clear. In the first column we give the date reckoned from an imaginary era of the division of the kingdom, and in the last the references from the Books of Kings.

TABLE I. Old Testament Data as to Reigns : Solomon to Fall of Samaria. SYNCHRONISMS AND LENGTH OF REIGNS.

Year according to imaginary era of division of Kingdom Israel Judah Reference to the Books of Kings
Synchronistic Data Length of reign Synchronistic Data Length of reign
According to Synchronism According to Tradition According to Synchronism According to Tradition
1 1st year of Jeroboam 22 years = 1st year of Rehoboam 17 years 17 years 1 Kings 14:20-21
18 18th " Jeroboam = 1st " Abijah 2 years 3 years 1 Kings 1^:'
20 20th " Jeroboam 20 years = 1st " Asa 41 years 1 Kings 15:1-2
21 1st " Nadab 1 year 2 years = 2nd " Asa 1 Kings 15:9
22 1st " Baasha 23 years 24 years = 3rd " Asa 1 Kings 15:33
45 1st " Ela 1 year 2 years = 16th " Asa 1 Kings 16:8
46 1st " Zimri 4 years 7 days = 17th " Asa 1 Kings 16:15
50 1st " Omri 12 years = 21st " Asa 1 Kings 16:23
57 1st " Ahab 22 years = 28th " Asa 40 years 1 Kings 16:29
60 4th " Ahab 19 years = 1st " Jehoshaphat 25 years 1 Kings 22:41
76 1st " Ahaziah 1 year 2 years = 7th " Jehoshaphat 1 Kings 22:52
77 1st " Jehoram 12 years = 8th " Jehoshaphat 21 years 2 Kings 8:1
81 5th " Jehoram = 1st " Jehoram 7 years 3 years 2 Kings 8:16-17
88 12th " Jehoram 12 years = 1st " Ahaziah 1 year 1 year 2 Kings 8:25-26
Sum of years of reign in Israel = 98 = Sum of years of reign in Judah = 95
89 1st year of Jehu 28 years = 1st year of Athaliah 6 years 6 years 2 Kings 10:36, 2 Kings 11:13
95 7th " Jehu 28 years = 1st " Jehoash 40 years 2 Kings 12:12
117 1st " Jehoahaz 14 years 17 years = 23rd " Jehoash 2 Kings 13:1
131 1st " Jehoash 16 years = 37th " Jehoash 37 years 2 Kings 13:10
132 2nd " Jehoash 15 years = 1st " Amaziah 29 years 2 Kings 14:12
146 1st " Jeroboam (II) 41 years = 5th " Amaziah 40 years 2 Kings 14:23
172 27th " Jeroboam (II) 63 years = 1st " Azariah 52 years 2 Kings 15:12
209 1st " Zechariah 1 year 6 months = 28th " Azariah 2 Kings 15:8
210 1st " Shallum 0 years 1 month = 29th " Azariah 2 Kings 15:13
210 1st " Menahem 11 years 10 years = 29th " Azariah 2 Kings 15:17
221 1st " Pekahiah 2 years 2 years = 40th " Azariah 2 Kings 15:23
223 1st " Pekah 20 years = 42nd " Azariah 52 years 2 Kings 15:27
224 2nd " Pekah = 1st " Jotham 15 years 16 years 2 Kings 15:32-33
239 17th " Pekah 27 years = 1st " Ahaz 16 years 2 Kings 16:1-2
250 1st " Hoshea 9 years = 12th " Ahaz 13 years 2 Kings 17:1
252 3rd " Hoshea = 1st " Hezekiah 2 Kings 18:1
258 9th " Hoshea 9 years = 7th " Hezekiah to Fall of Samaria 71 years 62 years 2 Kings 18:1, 2 Kings 18:10
258 years 241 years and 7 months = 258 years 260 years

This table shows that at the end of the 258th year after the division of the kingdom, there had elapsed 258 synchronistic years, 2417/12 years of reign in Israel, and 260 such years in Judah; and we have thus the singular equation 258 = 2487/12 = 260. The result is even more singular, however, when we examine separately the parts before and after the first point of coincidence obtained through a contemporaneous accession in both lines. Before the year of accession of Jehu and Athaliah there were only 88 years according to the synchronisms for 98 years of reign in Israel and 95 in Judah; but for the second part there are 170 years according to the synchronisms for only 1437/12 years of reign in Israel and 165 in Judah. Whilst thus, in the first period, the number, according to the synchronistic calculation, is smaller than the sum of the traditional years, in the second period, which is longer by about a half, it exceeds the traditional years not inconsiderably. Similar variations for smaller periods can easily be proved by a glance at the table. Nor can we equalizer the synchronistic and the traditional numbers by assuming that the latter represent a popular way of counting according to which from the middle of the first to the beginning of the third year was considered three years, as in the case of the siege of Samaria (2 K. 18 10). The excess of the traditional values in the period before Jehu could perhaps be thus explained, but not their defect in the following period. Nor is it possible by altering the individual numbers to bring the synchronisms into harmony with the years of reig ; even were one to alter all the synchronistic statements, this would do nothing towards removing the differences between the numbers for Israel and those for Judah. Thus, almost along the whole line, the discrepancy between synchronisms and years of reign is incurable.

We must not fail, however, to appreciate a remark- able agreement. The sum of the synchronistic years is very nearly equal to the sum of the years of reign for Judah (258 = 260). The slight dift'ereiice of two years can have no weight, and can perhaps be entirely removed. In the surprising statement of 2 K. 13 10 that the accession of Jehoash of Israel happened in the 37th year of Jehoash of Judah, we may follow v. i and change 37 to 39 ; for, according to that verse, Jehoahaz, who had acceded in the 23rd year of Jehoash of Judah, reigncd 17 years. In this way the sum of the years of reign in the hnes of Israel and Judah, according to the synchronisms, would be increased in each case by two years for Jchoahaz would have reignetl, according to the synchronism, i6 years instead of 14, and Jchoash 39 instead of 37 while the iradiiioual numbers would undergo no alteration. Kven without this slight cmen- d.ition adopted in the ^/t/Z/K-eilition of the LXX. and demanded by Ihenius. Klosterniann, and Kamphausen it IS apfwrent that it is the sum of the Judean years of reign that forms the basis on which the synchronistic iui!nl)ers are calculated. In this process, however, though the individual sums have not Ixx-n disregarded, it has Ixx-n impossible, especially in the case of the kings of N. Israel, to avoid important variations.

Care, however, has been taken not to alter the synchronism of events.' It is worthy of note that the following requirements are s,itisfied : Jeroboam's reign runs parallel with those of Rehoboam and .Abijah (i K. 14 30 1.^7) ; ISaasha is king during the reigy of Asa (i K. 1.^) 16) ; Jehoshaphat .survives Ahab and .\haziah, and reigns contemporaneously with Jehoram of lsr.-iel (i K. -J-J 2 /f. 50 ; 2 K. ^jjf-) ; the deaths of Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziaih of Judah fall in the same year ('2K.1>); Amazi.ih and Jehoash of Israel reign contemporaneously (2 K. 14 jr.) ; and Pekah is a contemporary of Jotham and Ahaz (2 K.. 1537 ir, 5^).

Although the synchronistic dates have thus not Ijeen attained without regard to tradition, they are obviously, as belonging to the youngest parts of the text, not a standard for chronolog}'. They apply to the past a method of dating with which it was quite unacquainted. This is true not only of the practice, which could never be carried out in actual life, of connecting the years of one kingdom with reigns of kings in a neighlxjuring kingdom, but also of the methodical practice, pre- su|)[X)sed in such a custom, of indicating in an e.vact and regular way the years within one and the same kingdom, by the years of reign of its king for the time iK'ing. In such te.xts as we can, with any confidence, assign to pre-e.\ilic times, we find nothing but popular chronologies associating an event with some other important event contcmporary with it (cp ' ^ '% -'" '"'V "^).

8. First attempts at chronology[edit]

The few dates accordmg to years of kings given in the older history (as, e.g. , i K. 14 25 ; 2 K. 127) may be ignored. They are too isolated, and must rest (r.i,'., in the writings and portions which treat of the latest pre-exilic times) on subsec]uent calculation, or be due to interpolation (cp also the dates introduced by the Chronicler in deference to the desire felt at a later date for exacter definition of time, of which the Books of Kings still knew nothing: 2C"h. 1823 I510-19, .ind especially 16 1) though it is perhaps possible that, even without there being a settled system, some pro- minent events might, occasionally and without set purpose, be defined by years of reign. In any case, dating by native kings must be regarded as at least older than the artificial synchronism between Judah and Israel.

9 Babylonian method[edit]

Dating by the years of kings was thus never systematically used by the Hebrews so long as they had national Kings. Th'^X learned this useful method from the Babylonians, and then introduced it into their historical works compiled during the exile (cp Wi. AT Untersuch., esijecially pp. 87-94). Thus the question how the Hebrews dealt with the year of a king's death i.e., whether they reckoned the fraction of a year that remained before the beginning of the next year to the deceased king, or made the first year of the new king begin at once disappears. There can Ix; no doubt that the synchronisms, as well as the dates and ye.ars of reign in general, presup[X)se the Babylonian method (the only satisfactory one), according to which the rest of the year in which any king died was reckoned to the last of his reign, and the first year of the new king was the year at the Ijeginning of which he already wore the crown.

^ 1 W'c need take no account of the independent narratives of CnKDNiCLKS {q.T., f 5); they do not agree even with the traditional years of reign.

  • Whether the account is correct need not here be considered.

11. Years of reign[edit]

By giving up the synchronisms we are thrown back for the chronology of the monarchy on the sums of the reign of the individual kings. The hope of finding in these numbers trustworthy material for chronology, and thus sohing the singular e<iuaiioii iiereby alwut 342 Israel itish yejirs represent aoo Judean years, could be realised only on one condition. One might simply sub- tract the 242 Israelitish year. from the total for Judah, and regard the excess of 18 years as falling after the con()uest of Samaria. Nor is there anything in the synchronism to prevent this operation, for that may have started from an incorrcxt calculation in putting the fall of Hoshea as late as the reign of Hezekiah. A clear veto, however, is laid on this procedure on other grounds. If we subtract the superlluous 18 years (6 years of Hezekiah and the last 12 of Aha/.) from the total for Judah, all that is left of Ahaz's reign parallel with the Israelitish years of reign is the first 4 years. Therefore I'ekah, who was nuirdered nine years Ix.fore the fall of Samaria (2 K. 176), nmst, at the accession of Ahaz, have Ix.-en already five )ears dead, which is impossible, since, according to 2 K. \^iff., this king was attacked by him. The exjx-'dient of simple subtraction, therefore, fails ; the embarrassing etjualion remains, alxiut 242 Israelitish years = 260 Judean : nay, since no objection can be raised against the contem- poraneousness of the deaths of Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah, 144 Israelitish years = 165 Judean.

If the totals are thus une(|ual, very great inequalities appear, naturally, in the details. F.lforts have been made to remove them ; but this has not been achieved in any convincing way.

2 K. l.'i 5, e.g., slates that during the attack of leprosjr from whicli his father Azari.ih suffered in the last years of his life, 'Jotham was over the palace and judged the ijcople of the l.ind.' Kvcn were we to found on this statement tlic theory that the years of reign of father and son ih.nt ran parallel to each other were counted twice over in the mimlR-rs 52 and 16 assigned to their respective reigns, and also to suppose that during all these 16 years the father was still alive, there would still remain 144 Israelitish years = 149 Judean.

Mistaken attempts of this kind are, moreover, the less to be taken into consideration that, as \\ ill appear (ij 35/'), even the lowest total of 144 years for the inter\'al from Jehu to the fall of Samaria is more than 20 years too high. Frc)n\ all this it results that the individual numbers of years of reign, as well as the totals, are untrustworthy and useless for the pur[X)ses of a certain chronolog)-, even if it be admitted that, within certain limits or in some points, they may agree with actual fact.

12. Basis of calculation.[edit]

The untrustworthiness of the numbers becomes plainer when the principle according to which they are formed is clearly exhibited.

In 1S37 K. Krey ^see below, \ 85) argued that, at le.ist in the case of the Israelitish kings, the several sums assigned to the respective reigns rest in general on an arlilicial fiction. He then thought that the series of kings uf Judah, and indeed those also of the house of Jehu, 'show no such artificiality ' ; but (ace. to Bleek-We. JiinM 265) he soon observed a playing with figures also in the items for Judah. 'lo begin with the kings of Israel down to Jehoram, we find an average reign of 12 years. In the case of Omri and Jehoram this is the exact number, whilst for Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab we have 22 1 (ie., in round numbers 2 x 12), and for the rest Nadab, Elah, and Ahaziah (the immediate successors of the kings provided with the double period) 2 years each. This is as if we had 8 kings with 12 years each, making a total of 96 - more exactly 98 years. Moreover, the totals for the first and the last four of these are each almo.st exactly 48. In the next part of the series, as We. emphasises, we have for the 9 kings from Jehu to Hoshea a total of 144 years, which makes an average of 16 for each. One might also urge the remarkable fact that, even as Jehu with his 23 years reigned about as long as his two successors, so the 41 years of Jeroboam II. also exactly equal the sum of the reigns of his successors.

1 Strictly, Baasha has exactly 34 assigned him.

In the Judean' line, on the other hand, a similar role is played by the figures 40 and 80. Thus, down to the destruction of Samaria in the 6th year of Hezekiah, we have Rehoboam + Abijah 20, Asa 41, Jehoshaphat + Jehoram + Ahaziah + Athaliah 40, Jehoash 40, Amaziah + Azariah 81, Jotham + Ahaz+Hezekiah 38 years; and from this point onwards till the last date, the 37th year of Jehoiachin, we have Hezekiah + Menasseh + Amon 80, and also Josiah+Joahaz +Jehoiakim+Jehoiachin 79 years. If we might still, with Kamphausen, be inclined to find in all this only a freak of chance, our suspicion would be raised on comparing the total for the kings ol Israel (circ. 2^0) with the number in i K. i (480), and still more on observing that 480 is also the total of years from the building of the temple of Solomon to the begin- ning of a new epoch the epoch that opens with the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus and the consequent possibility of founding the second Theocracy and setting about the building of the second temple. (The 36-7 years of Solomon from the building of the temple +260 years, to the fall of Samaria +1332 years, to the fall of Jerusalem +50 years of the Exile, give e.xactly 410 ye;irs )

There can hardly, then, be any ntistake about the artificiality of the total as well as of the various items. If .so, the origin of the present numbers for the years of reign of the individual kings, on which the synchronistic notices are founded, must fall in a period later than the victory of Cyrus over Babylon, and chronology cannot trust to the correctness of the numbers.

12. Result[edit]

For all that, it may be conjectured the numbers in individual instances an; correct ; but which are such cases, can be known only in some way independentof the numbers. Sometimes, indeed, the narrative of Kings or a prophetic writmg can decide the point ; but without help from outside we could not go fixr. In itself it cannot be more than probable that the last kings of Judah appear with the correct numbers. 'rhes.i numbers give Hezekiah 29 (2 Is.. I81 2), Manasseh 55 (21 1), Anion 2 (21 19), Josiah 31 (22i), Jehoahaz \ (232i), Jehoiakim 11 (2.336), Jehoiachin | (248), and Zedekiah 1 1 years (24 18) ; thus, 139I years in all, embodying an estimate of 133 years front the fall of .Samaria to the conquest of Jerusalem. Thus, the earliest that the dates according to years of kings can lay claim to consideration is in Jeremiah and lO/cekiel. Here grave mistakes in retrospective calcula- tion (for even they rest on that) seem to be excluded by the nearness of the time. Naturally no account can be taken of the statements of the Book of Daniel, which did not originate till the .second century B.C. ; it knows the history of the fall of the kingdom of Judah and of the exilic period only from tradition, and cannot be acc|uitted of grave mistakes (.see D.\nikl, ii. 9/". ).

13. From Fall of Jerusalem onwards.[edit]

For the last period, reaching from the fall of Jerusalem to the beginning of the Christian era, we have in the Hebrew OT itself but few historical records. Beyond the introduction of the law in the restored community the historical narrative does not conduct us. For the short interval preceding it we are referred to the statements in the prophets Haggai and Zechariah and in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. These, how- ever, show that the Jews had learned in the interval how to date exactly by years of reign. The writings mentioned give dates by years of the Persian kings. All difficulties in the way of a chronology of this period, however, are not thus removed. The names Darius and Artaxerxes leave us to choose between the several bearers of these names among the Persian kings. Hence both the first and the second of the three Dariuses have been regarded as the Dariawesh mentioned in the OT, and even all three Artaxerxes have been brought into con- nection with the Artahsasta of Ezr. -Xeh. Then, again, the transpositions and actual additions that the Chronicler allows himself to make increase the difficulty of know ing the real order of events. In the case of Darius, indeed, only the first can, after all (in spite of Havet and Imbert), be seriously considered.

14. Advent of Ezra.[edit]

The chief interest, accordingly, lies in deciding as to the date in Ezra 7 7/ which sets the return of Ezra in the seventh year of Artahsasta. It is to be noted that this passage (7:1-10) has been revised by the Chronicler (see EZRA AND NEHEMIAH, Books of), and in lth verses the date is open, from its position or lack of connection, to the suspicion of not being original. Kosters accordingly, leaving this datum wholly out of account, maintained (Hers/el, '94) that Ezra made his first appearance in Jerusalem with the Cola (see Iskakl, 57) immediately after Nehemiah's second arrival there, while Arta.xer.xes I. was still on the throne, and introduced the law then. V'an Hoonacker, on the other hand, accepted the datum of Ezra 7 7/., but believed that it had reference to Artaxerxes II., and accordingly set down the date of Ezra's arrival as in the seventh year of that king (397 H.C. ). [Marquart ('Die Organisation der jiid. (jemeinde nach dem sogenannten Exil,' Fundamenfe isr. u. jiid. Cesch., '96) ^ thinks that the careers of Nehemiah and Ezra can fall only a few decades earlier than the reported deportation of Jews to Hyrcania under Artaxerxes III., Ochus. Nehemiah's Artaxerxes was, he thinks, Artaxerxes II., Mnemon. He finds no trace of I%zra's presence in Jerusalem during the twelve-years' governorship of Nehemiah ; the reference to I",zra in Neh. 1236 is an addition of the Chronicler. Nehemiah, too, is nowhere mentioned in Ezra (Neh. 89 IO2 are interpolated). Internal evidence alone can determine the date of Ezra. Neh. 13 is connected naturally with Ezra9i-1044. Ezra's arrival then follows in the time after Nehemiah's return to Susa ; the text of Iv.ra 77 (which belongs to the redactor) has suffered in transmission ; 368 or 365 was the original date reported. Nehemiah's second arrival, at any rate, fell after the promulgation of the Law (Neh. 13 1); Marcjuart proposes to read in Neh. 136 'at the end of his days' [vz^\. implying a date between 367 (364) and 359. Cheyne, in a work almost devoid of notes, but called ' the provisional .summing up of special re- searches,' differs in some respects in his chronological view of the events alike from the scholars just referred to, and from I^d. Meyer, who is about to be mentioned. (See his Jnvish Religious Life after the lixile, '98, translated, after revision by the author, by H. .Stocks under the title Das religiose Leben der Ji/den nach dem Exil, '99). Like Marquart he doubts the correctness of the text of Neh. 5 14 ; but he is confident that the Artaxerxes of Ezra-Nehemiah is Artaxer.xes I., and that Nehemiah's return to Susa precetles the arrival of Ezra with the Gola. The incapacity of Nehemiah's successor (the Tirshalha?) probably stimulated Ezra to seek a firman from the king, though the terms of the .supposed firman in Ezra 7 cannot 1)6 relied u|)on. Ezra seems to have failed at the outset of his career, and it was the news of this failure, according to Cheyne, that drew Nehemiah a second time from .Su.sa. Klostermann's treatment of the chronology in Herzog cannot be here sunmiarised. El).]

Ed. Meyer's thorough discussion [Eittst. '96K how- ever, has convinced the present writer that we are not entitled to call in question the arrival of Ezra before Nehemiah, and consequently that the datum of Ezra 77/ may be right after all. If so, Ezra returned to Jerusalem with the Gola in 458 B.C., having it for his object to introduce the law there. In this, however, he did not succeed. It was not until after Nehemiah had arrived in Jerusalem in 445 B.C. clothed with ample powers, and had in the same year restored the city walls with his characteristic prudence and energy, that Ezra was at last able to come forward and introduce the law under Nehemiah's protection (445 B.C.). From this date onwards till 433 B.C. (cp Neh. 136) Nehemiah continued in Jerusalem. Shortly after 433 B.C. perhaps in 432 B.C. he obtained a second furlough. How long this lasted we do not know ; but its import- ance is clear from Neh. 184-31.

1. But the essay was completed 29th .\ugu.st 1895 ' (p. 28).

16. Later times.[edit]

The OT offers no further chronological material for determining the dates of the last centuries before Christ.

The apocalypse of Daniel cannot be held to bridge over the gap between Kzra and ibe lime of the Maccalccs with any certainty, for it is the peculi;>rity of these a)>ucalypscs to point to past events only in a veiled way, and it is, in fact, only what we know otherwise of the complications |>etwecn Syria and Egypt, and of the doings of Antiochus Kpiphaiies, that niake:< an understanding and an estimate of the descriptions in the Rook of Daniel possible. Besides, its intimation (S^i^ff.) that from the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar (586) to the death of Antiochus Kpiphanes (164), we are to_ reckon a periixl of 70 year-weeks 490 years shows how inaccurate the chronological knowledge of the writer was, and how much need we have to look around for other help.

16. Astronomical data[edit]

Astronomy would furnish the surest means for determining the cxait year and day of events, if the OT contained indubitable accounts of solar orlunar eclipses . However, such accounts are lacking. One might be tempted to go so far as to supixjse a solar eclipse to explain the sign on the sun-dial of Ahaz given to Hezekiah by Isaiah (Is. 388); pcrhaps also the 'standing still of the sun at Gitjeon' (Josh. 10 12-14).

17 Mahler's system[edit]

Rationalistic as this may seem Ed. Mahler (see ^'^'^ 38 f'"" title of work) has not been content to stop here, but has discovered many .solar eclipses in- timated in the OT : he even finds them in every pro- phetic passage that speaks of a darkening of the sun. In this way he has been able to determine astronomically a whole series of events. Before we can accept these results, however, we must examine more carefully the foundation on which they are reared.

For example, Mahler assigns the Exodus to the 27th March 1335 n.c. which was a Thursday, because fourteen days before that d.iy there occurred a centr.il sol.ir eclipse. This calculation rests on T.ilmudic data 1 that assign the darkness mentioned in Ex. 10 21 to the ist of Nisan, and explain that that d.-\y, and therefore also the 15th of Nisan, was a Thursday. In Kx. 10 22, indeed, we read of a darkness of three days ; but Mahler argues that this note of duration really belongs not to v. 22 but to v. 23, and is meant simply to explain how 'intense and terrifying was the impression which the darkness produced on the iiiliabitants of Egypt' 'so that no one d.ired for three days \.o leave his house." It is just as arbitrary to assume in (Sen. 15 '^ff. an eclipse enabling .\braham to count the stars before sunset, and then to use the eclipse for fixing the date of the covenant then con- cluded (Berith ben hab-lx-thfirim). The time at which search is to be made for this eclipse Mahler reckons x< 410 yearn before the Excxlus, since Kabbinic tradition thus explains the number 430 assi)jned in Ex. 1*240 to the itlay in Egypt, whilst on the other hand it makes the 400 years a.vsigned in (>en. 15 it to the bondage l)cgin with the birth of Isaac. The desired eclipse Mahler finds on 8th Oct. 176* h.c. about 430 years before the Exodus (1335 B.C. ; .sec above). Even more artihcial, if possible, is the Kabbinic exegesis of (Jen. '28ii and 8232 on which Mahler relies for the determination of the beginning and the end of the twenty-years] stay of Jacob in Haran. The solar eclipse indicated according to him in (ien. 28 11 (' l>ecausc the sun w.is set ') must have been, he argues, in the evening, and would thus l>e the eclipse that occurred on the 17th Feb. if 01 li.c, whilst (Ien. 3*232 ('and the sun rose upon him") must indicate a morning eclipse, which occurred on 3olh .May 1581 B.C. If we add that for the victory of Joshua at ( iil>eon (Josh. 10 12-14) he has found a solar eclipse calculated to have occurred on 31st Jan. 1296 B.C., we have for the earliest period the following items :

Mahler's supi'oski> Earlv Dates.

  • Abraham's Berith lx5n hab-l)elb;'irim (Gen. 165 ff.) 1764 B.C.
  • Jacob's journey to Haran (Gen. L'S 11) . . 1601 "
  • Jacob's return home (Gen. 8231 (32)) . . . 1581 "
  • Exodus (Ex. IO21) . 27ih .March 1335 "
  • Joshua's victory at Gibeon (Josh. 10 12-14) . 1296 "

The attempt to do justice to Is. 38 8 by the assumption of a solar eclipse is at least more interesting. According to this theory, all the requirements of the narrative would l)e met if a solar eclipse had occurred ten hours Iwfore sunset, since in that case the index could have traversed over again the ten degrees which, owing to the eclipse, it had 'gone down,' and the dial would have again made its usual indication. Such an eclipse has, more- over, been found for 17th June 679 B.C., whence, since the sign in question belongs to Hezekiah's fourteenth year, his reign must have covered the years 693-1 64 B.C.

The further calculations which fix a whole series of dates on the ground of misunderstood passages are likewise quite unsatis- factory. Thus, .Vinos is made (897;) to announce to Jeroboam II. the solar eclipse of 5th May 770 n.t. ; Is. 1(>3 and .Micah36 are made to refer to that of the nth Jan. 689 B.C. in the time of Hezekiah ; and J<x;l, who is represented as living in the time of Manasseh, is made 10 indicate no fewer than three solar eclipses (21st Jan. 662, 27th June 661, and 15th .April 657 n.c; cp Joel 210834415). It is further urged that we should refer Ezek. 30 18 and 32 8 to the solar eclipses of 19th May 557 and ist Nov. 556 ; Nab. 1 8 to that of i6th March 581 ; ' Jer. 4 23 28 to that on 2ist Sept. 582 (in the time of Josiah); and Is. 8 22 to that on 5th March 702 B.C. (in the time of .Ahaz) ; and, finally, ih-it even the light against .Sisera can, according to Ju. ^20, be wiih certainty fixed for 9th -Aug. 1091 B.C.

By combining these ' results ' with the numbers of the OT Mahler believes himself justified in producing the following chronological table for the time of the Monarchy :

TABLE II. Mahler's remarkable Chronology : Divided Monarchy.

Kings of Judah Kings of Israel
945-928 Rehoboam 17 years 945-924 Jeroboam 22 years
928-925 Abijam ( = Abijah) 3 years
925-884 Asa 41 years 924-922 Nadab 3 years
922-899 Baasha 24 years
899-898 Elah 2 years
898 Zimri 7 days
898-892 Omri and Tibni 12 years
892-887 Omri
883-858 Jehoshaphat 25 years 887-866 Ahab 22 years
866-864 Ahaziah 2 years
860 (sic)-852 Joram 8 years 864-852 Jehoram 12 years
852 Ahaziah 1 year
852-845 Athaliah 7 years 852-824 Jehu 28 years
845-805 Joash 40 years 824-807 Jehoahaz 17 years
805-777 Amaziah 29 years 807-792 Joash 16 years
777-725 Uzziah 52 years 792-751 Jeroboam II 41 years
739 Zechariah 6 months
Shallum 1 month
738-728 Menahem ben Gadi 10 years
727-726 Pekahiah 2 years
725-709 Jotham 16 years 726-706 Pekah ben Remaliah 20 years
709-693 Ahaz 16 years
693-664 Hezekiah 29 years 697-688 Hoshea ben Elah 9 years
664-610 Manasseh 55 years
610-609 Amon 2 years
609-579 Josiah 31 years
579 Joahaz 3 months
579-568 Jehoiakim 11 years
568 Jehoiachin 3 months
568-557 Zedekiah 11 years

1 B. Talm. Shahbdth, 87-5, etc. ; see Mahler, Bibl. Chron.

It is only a pity that the imposing edifice thus erected in the name of astronomical science rests on a founda- tion so unstable an artificial phantom, dependent on a Rabbinical exegesis, itself a ntere creation of fancy.

1 Mahler finds here a reference to the fall of Nineveh. He argues that the battle against the Lydians in which the day became night (cp Herod. 1 103), a battle which preceded the fall of Nineveh fell, not on 30th Sept. 610 B.C. but on 28th May 585 n.c. -Again, the solar eclipse with the announcement of which Zephaniah (1 15) connects an allusion to the expedition undertaken by Phraortes against Nineveh at least twenty-five years before its final fall is (ace. to Mahler) one that happened on 30th July 607.

18. Help from Egyptian cnronology.[edit]

The OT itself having thus failed to give sufficient chronological data, we have to inquire whether the foreign nations, which so often come into ^^ ^^j^^g ^.^ ^^^^^^ consider in the first place the Kgyptians. It is to Egypt that the narrative of the origin of the people of Israel points ; thither escaped the remnant of the community of Gedaliah ; and in the interval between these times, as also later, the fortunes of Palestine were often intertwined with those of Egypt.

19. No Fixed era.[edit]

The Egyptians themselves possessed no continuous era : for the quite unique mention, on a stele from Tanis, of the 400th year of the king Nubti (according to Stcindorff probably none other than the god Set of Tanis), is too obscure and uncertain, and would not help us at all even were it more intelligible. Nor yet does the Sothis-period help us much. This was a period of 1461 years, at each recurrence of which the first days of the solar year and of the ordinary year of 365 days once again coincided for four years, or, what amounts to the same thing, the Dog-star, from whose rising the solar year was reckoned, again appeared on the ist of Thoth. The period was never used for chronological purposes. ^ Nor have the monuments fulfilled the expectation, not unreasonable in itself, that by the help of inscriptions giving dates accord- ing to two methods it would be {X)ssible, by calculation, to reach a more exact chronology for Egyptian hiotory. The most learned Egyptologists, indeed, can themselves | determine Egyptian chronology only through combina- ' tion with data from outside sources.

20. Period of certainty.[edit]

The conquest of Egypt by Cambyses in the year 525 B.C. furnishes i their cardinal point. Erom this event, the years of reign of the kings of the 26th dynasty ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^.j^j^ certainty by the help ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ supplied by the monuments, Herodotus, and Manetho. What lies before Psamtik I. , the first pharaoh of this dynasty, however, is in the judgment of Egyptologists more or less uncertain, and therefore for other chronological determinations the records of that earlier time are either not to be used at all or to be used with the greatest caution.

Still, even this short period, from 664/3 (the accession of Psamtik I.) to 525 B.C., is a help to us by supplying points of reference. Through synchronisms of Egyptian and Judean history several events of the time are to a certain extent fixed. Thus Necho II. (middle of 610 B.C. to beginning of 594 B.C.) is admitted to be the king who fought the battle at Megiddo that cost Josiah his life. So mention is made in the OT of Hophra (Apries), who reigned 588-569 B.C., and was even down to 564 nominally joint ruler with Amasis (see Egypt, 69). Thus we gel fixed points for the contemporaries of Necho II. Josiah, Jehoahaz, and Jehoiakim ; and for the contemporaries of Hojihra Jeremiah, and the Jews in Egypt (Jer. 4430) although neither for the battle of Megiddo nor for that of Carchemish can the year be determined from Egyptian data. On the other hand, these Egyptian data are sufficient to prove that the astronomical edifice of Mahler is quite impossible.

1 The confirm.ition that \\?i\\\KX (op. cit., p. 56 ^.) seeks for 1315 B.C. as the date of the Kxodus in the .statement that under Menephthah, whom he holds to Ije the pharaoh of the Exodus, was celebrated the beginning of a Sothic period, which may have happened in the year 1318 B.C., is certainly weak, since the pharaoh who according to Ex. 14 was drowned could not have reigned after that for 17 years. See Exodus.

21. 25th Dynasty.[edit]

For the time before Psamtik I. the rulers of the 25th dynasty may be fixed approximately. Tanutamon ruled alone only a short time and therefore may fall out of account. The data for his three predecessors do not agree (cp Egypt, 66/.).

Taharka reigned, according to the monuments, 26 years ; ac- cording to Manetho, 18 (var. 20). Sabatako's reign, according to the monuments, was uncertain ; according to Manetho it was 14 (var. 12).

Sabako reigned, according to the monuments, 12 years; ac- cording to Manetho, 8 (var. 12).

If we assign to Saba/ako Manftho's number of years ( fourteen y^and take, as our basis for the rest, the numbers of the monuments, we get the following : Taharka, 690-664 B.C., iabattiko, 704-690 B.C., and Sabako, 716-704 B.C. Still, according to the view of .Steindorff, to whom we are indebted for these data, Taharka may have reigned even longer than twenty-six years, perhaps along with Sabatako. ^ Since, however, Ed. Meyer gives .^abako 728-716, Sabatako circ. 704, and makes Taharka as early as 704 real master, although not till 689 official ruler, of Egypt (cp Gesch. Ae_^. 343^). all sure support is already gone. Besides, although according to Meyer (op. cit. 344) the identity of i^abako with the Assyrian Sab'i and the Hebrew niq (So', or, more correctly, Save' or Seweh) in 2 K. 17 4 is indubit- able, Steindorff has grave doubts as to the phonetic equivalence of these names, and finds no Egyptian datum for the battle of Altaku. It is, therefore, very difficult to get from Egyptian chronology any certain light on two OT statements relating to Egypt viz., that Sennacherib sent messengers to Hezekiah when he heard of the expedition of Taharka (2 K. I99 ; Is. 37 9). and that Hoshea of Israel had dealings with j<io of Egypt, and was therefore bound and put into prison by Shalmaneser (2 K. 174)-

22. Earlier times.[edit]

For the chronology of the OT in still earlier times, there is, unfortunately, nothing at all to be gained from Egyptology. According to i K. 11 40 14 25 (cp 2Ch. 122), .Shishak (.Sheshonk) was a contemporary of Solomon, and in the fifth year of Rehoboam went up against Jerusalem. In spite, however, of the Egyptian monument at Karnak bearing the list of cities conquered by him, his date cannot be determined on Egyptological grounds (on biblical grounds it is usually given as about 930 B.C.). As to 'Zerah the Cushite' (2Ch. 149^), we need not expect to find any mention of him in Egyptian sources (ZERAH).

The clay tablets found at Tell el Amarna (see IsR.\F.L, 6), indeed, make some important contributions to our knowledge of the relations of Palestine to Eg>-pt ; but for the chronology they afford nothing certain. We must get help from the chronology of Babylonia before we can, even approximately, determine the date of the correspondence. Then it seems probable that Amen-hotep III. and Amen-hotep IV. reigned in Egypt either about 1450 B.C. or about 1380 B.C., at which time, therefore, Palestine must have stood under the sceptre of Egypt : the contemporaries of Amen-hotep III. Burnaburias I. and Kurigalzu I. of Babylon are assigned by Winckler to 1493-1476 and 1475-1457 B.C. respectively, and the contemporary of Amen-hotep IV. Burnaburias II. to 1456-1422, whilst R. W. Rogers, on the other hand ( Outlines of the History of Early Babylonia, 1895, p. 56), gives 1397-1373 as the probable date of Burnaburias II., and C. Niebuhr [Chronol. der Gesch. Isr., Ae^^., Bab. u. Ass. von 2000-700 .c. untcrsucht, 1896) accepts only one Burnaburias and places him and his contemporary Amen-hotep IV. in the beginning of the fourteenth century B.C. As in these tablet inscriptions the name of the Hebrews has not so far been certainly discovered, so, in the Egyptian monuments generally, we cannot find any reminiscence of a stay of Israel in Egypt or of their departure. 1

1 On the inscription of Menephthah discovered in 1896, see Egypt, 58/, and Exodus, i, 3.

Theories about the pharaoh of the oppression and the pharaoh of the Exodus remain, therefore, in the highest degree uncertain. Neither Joseph nor Moses is to l>e found in Egyptian sources : supposed points of contact (a seven-years famine, and the narrative of Manetho about Osarseph-Moses in Josephus, c. Ap.l^jiS; on this cp Ed. Meyer, Gesch. Aeg. 376 f. ) have proved, on nearer examination, untenable.*

Apart, therefore, from the dates of the rulers of the twenty-fifth and the twenty-sixth dynasties, there is very little to be gained for OT chronology from Kgyptology. On Egyptian Chronology see also EGYPT, 41.

23 Help from Assyriology.[edit]

Assyriology offers much more extensive help. It is much better supplied with chronological material, since " P-^sesses for a series of 228 years, inscriptions containing careful lists of Eponyms, that is. giving the name of the oflicer after whom the year was called, and mentioning single important events falling within the year. These brief notes alone are quite enough to give the lists an extraordinary importance. Their value is further increased, however, by the fact that the office of I-4X)nym had to be held in one of his first years, commonly the second full year of his reign, by each king. Hence the order of succession of the Assyrian kings and the length of their reign can be determined with case, especially as names of kings are distinguished from those of other E[X)nyms by the addition of the royal title and of a line separating them from those that precede them (cp Assyria, 19^). The monumental cliaracter, too, of these documents, exem;>ting them, as it docs, from the risk of alteration attaching to notes in books, gives assurance of their trustworthiness. Nor is the incompleteness of the list supposed by Oppert a fact. In regard to the order of succession no doubt is possible.

24 Method[edit]

The establishment of this uninterrupted series of 228 years can be accomplished with absolute certainty (as we shall see below) by the help of an eclipse of the sun assigned by the list to the Ei)onym year of Pur Sagali of Gozan.^ In order to be able to determine the eclipse intended, however, and thus to fix the year astronomically, we have first to bring into consideration the so-called Canon of Ptolemy* next to these Assyrian Eponym lists, px-'rhaps the most important chronological monument of aiitic|uity. This Canon is a list giving the names of the rulers of Babylon T^abylonian, Assyrian, and Persian from N'abonassar to Alexander the Great (the Egyptian Ptolemies and the Romans are appended at the end), with the nuiulK-r of years each of them reigned, and the eclipses observed by the Babylonians and the Alex- andrians the years being reckoned according to the era of Nalwnassar^/.i'. , from that prince's accession. The trustworthiness of this document is proved, once for all, by the astronomical observations it records,* from which we le;\rn that the beginning of the era of Nabonassar falls in the year 747 H.c."

The Canon can be combined with the Assyrian Eponym lists, and the establishment of the latter with certainty effected in the following way. On the one hand, the Ptolemaic Canon assigns to the year 39 of the era of NalK)nassar, 709 B.C., the accession of Arkeanos ( =Sargina on the fragment of the Babylonian list of kings) ; and, on the other hand, As.syrian cl.ay tablets identify this year, the first of the rule of Sarrukln (/.^. , Sargon or Arkeanos) over Babylon with the

1 Cp also Wiedemann's review {TI.Z, 1894, No. 25, p. 633), of fjiroche's Questions chrcinoloi^iques (Angers, 1892), where the Exodus is assignoil to 1492. The judgment of this competent reviewer is that ' the book is well-meant, but brings the question of the Rxodus no nearer to a solution.'

2 KB, 1 210/

!* It liears the name 'Ptolemaic Canon' because it was in- cluded in his astronomical work by the geographer and mathe- matician Claudius Ptolemaeus, the contemporary of the Emperor Antoninus Pius (therefore circ. 150 A.t>.).

  • The proof is strengthened by the fragments of a Babylonian

list of kings published by Pinches in PS HA ft 193-204 (May, '84 1, part of which constitute an exact parallel to the beginning of the Circek list, and completely confirming its statements concerning tlic names and reigns of the rulers.

  • More exactly (since the dates are reduced to the common

Egyptian year) on the first of Thoth ( = 26th Feb.), not (as according to Babylonian oflficial usage might have been ex- pected) on the ist of Nisan ( = 3ist March) (cp Hommel, CBA, 488, and see below 26X

Eponym year of Mannu-ki-A.5ur-Ii' (.Schr. KAT^, 491) the thirteenth of Sargons rule in Assyria.' Hence we may identify this Eponym year of Mannu-ki-A5ur-li' (the thirteenth year of Sargon's reign in Assyria) Iike^*'ise with the year 709 B.t:. ; and, as the series is uninter- rujited, all its dates become known. We can, then, obtain astronomical confirmation of the correctne.ss of this combination (and so also of the tnist worthiness of the Ptolemaic Canon and the Assyrian Eponym lists) in the way hinted at already. For, if the Eponym year of Mannu-ki-A^ur-Ii' is the year 709 B.f'. , the Eponym year of Pur-Sagali, to which, as we saw above, there is assigned a solar eclipse, must I)e the year 763 B.C.; and astronomers have computed that on the 15th June of that year a solar eclipse occurred that would be almost total for Nineveh and its neighbourhood. Thus the Assyrian F-ixsnym list may safely be used for chrono- logical {)ur[)oses.

25. Result[edit]

On the ground of the statements of this list, then, we have, for the years 893-666 B.C., fixed points not to be called in question by which to date the events of this period in Israel ; for the Assyrian inscriptions not only supply direct informa- tion concerning certain events in Israel's own history, but also in other cases fix the date of contemporaneous events which the narrative of the OT presupposes. Then the Ptolemaic Canon, which from 747 B.C. on- wards accompanies the Assyrian Eponym list, continues when the Eponym list stops (in 666 B.C.), and conducts us with certainty down to Roman times.

We are thus enabled to determine Ijeyond all doubt the background of the history of Israel and Judah from 893 downwards, and obtain down to Alexander the Great the following valuable dates :


  • 890-885 Tuklat-Adar.
  • 884-860 Asur-nfisir-pal. ,
  • 859-825 Shalmaneser II. (.Sal-ma-nu-u55ir)
  • 824-812 Sam5i-Rammfin.
  • 811-783 Ramman-nirari (III.).
  • 782-773 Shalmaneser III. (.Sal-ma-nu-uS-iJir)
  • 772-755 Asur-dan-ilu (.V.^urdan I II.)
  • 754-746 Asur-niraru.
  • 745-727 Tiglat-pileser III. (Taklat-habal-iSarra)
  • 726-722 Shalmaneser III.
  • 721-705 Sargon (.Xrkeanos, 709-705, king of Babylon).
  • 704-681 Sennacherib (Sin-achi-irib).
  • 680-668 Esarhaddon (Esarhaddon, Asur-ab-iddin = Asaridinos in Pt. Can.).
  • 667 = first year of the reign of Asur-bani-pal, who perhaps reigned till 626.

The continuation is supplied by the Ptolemaic Canon which specifies the rulers of Babylon :

  • 667-648 Saosduchinos ( = .^ama5-5um-ukin).
  • 674-626 Kinilanadanos.
  • 625-^05 Nabopolassaros ( = Nabfi-habal-usur).
  • 604-562 Nabokolassaros (=Nabu-kudurri-u.sur, njfK'^"l3?23 and nVKn3133).
  • 561-560 Illoarudamos( = AviI-Marduk, ^l^D S'Ik).
  • 550-556 Neriga-solasaros ( = Nirgal-Sar-usur).
  • 553^539 Nabonadios ( = Nabu-na'id).
  • 538-530 Kyrus (= KuruJ, V^^t).
  • 529-523 Kambyses (= Kambuyija).
  • 521-486 Dareios I. ( = Darayavu5, trvi^).
  • 485-465 Xerxes ( = KhSayarSa, trillC'-Nl).
  • 464-424 Artaxerxes I. ( = Artakh.^atra, KWB'nrnK).
  • 423-405 Dareios II.
  • 404-359 Artaxerxes II.
  • 358-338 Ochus.
  • 337-336 Arogos ( = Arses).
  • 335-332 Dareios III.

Here follows Alexander the Great, who died in 323 B.C.

1 From the thirteenth year of his reign down to hLs death in the .seventeenth (and so, as the Ptolemaic Canon states, for five years) Sargon must have reigned over Babylon also.

With regard to this summary it is to be noted that (as is % matter of course in any rational dating by years of reign it is certainly the case in the Ptolemaic Canon) the year considered as the first of any king is the earliest year at the begin- ning of which he was already really reigning ; in the preceding year he had begun to reign on his predecessor's death. Short reigns, accordingly, which did not reach the beginning of the new year, had to remain unnoticed, as that of Laborosoar- chad (I^ba5i-Marduk) in the year 556, which, according to . . HerOssus, lasted only nine months.

26. Beginning of year.[edit]

It is further to be noted that the beijinning of 'he year did not fall in the two lists on the same day. The Eponym lists make the year begin on the first of Nisan, the 21st of March, while the I'tolemaic Canon follows the reckoning of the ordinary Epypti.-in year of 365 days, the beginning of which, as compared with our mode of reckoning, falls one day earlier everv four years. Thus, if in the year 747, as was indeed already the case in 748, the beginning of the year fell on the 26th of February, the year 744 woidd begin on the 25th. For a period of a hundred years this difference would amount to twenty-five days. Thus the beginning of the year 647 ii.c. would fall on the ist of February; ; and so on. Therefore for the period 747- 323 B.C. the beginning of the year would always fall somewhat near the beginning of ours.

27. Care necessary[edit]

If, then, the chronological data of the OT were trustworthy, as soon as one cardinal point where the two scries that of the OT and that just obtained came into contact could \x established ' necessary, ^^.j^j^ certainty, the whole chronology of the | OT would be at once determined, and the insertion of ; the history of Israel into the firm network of this general background would become possible. In the uncertainty, | however, in which the chronological data of the OT are j involved, this simple method can lead to no satisfactory ' result. All points of coincidence must be separately attended to ; and, although we may start out from a fi.xed point in drawing our line, we must immediately | see to it that we keep the ne.xt point of contact in view. - Unfortunately, in going backwards from the earliest ascertainable date to a remoter antiquity such a check | is not available. j

28. Earliest certain OT dates[edit]

The earliest date available, as being certain beyond doubt, for an attempt to set the chronology of the OT on a firm basis is the year 854 BC. in which Ahab king of Israel was one of the confederates defeated by Shalmaneser II (859-825) at Karkar (Schr. KGF, 356-371 and A'AT^-\ 193-200). Since, how- ever, the OT contains no reference to the event, it is of no use for the purpose of bringing the history of Israel into connection with general history till we take into consideration also the next certain date, 842 B.C., ; in which year presents were offered to the same .\ssyrian ! king, Shalmaneser II., by Jehu (A',-//'*-', 208-211). Within these thirteen years (854-842) must fall the death I of Ahab, the ri'igns of .\haziah and Jehoram, and the accession of Jehu. Of this period the most that need be assigned to Jehu is the last year, which may have been at the same time also the year of Jehoram's death ; for it may lie regarded as ciuite probaljle that it would be immediately after his accession that Jehu would send presents to the Assyrian king to gain his recognition and favour. On the other hand, the traditional values of the reigns reciuire for .\haziah two years (i K. 2252), and for Jehoram alone twelve years (2 K. 3i) : so there appears to be no time left for Ahab after 854. The death of Ahab, however, cannot he assigned to so early a date as 854.^ The reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoram, therefore, must be curtailed by more than one year. The course of events from 854 to the death of Ahab in the struggle with the Syrians has, accordingly, been ranged in different ways.

Wellhausen (//Cl*), 71) .suriposes that, in consequence of the universal defeat in 854, Ahab abandoned the relation of vassalage to .\ram that had lasted till then, and thus prcjvoked a Syrian attack on Israel. Then, by the victory at .Aphek in the second year and the capture of Benhad.id, he compelled the Syrians to conclude peace and to promise to deliver up the Gileadite cities they had won from Israel (i K. 20). As the Syrians did not keep their promise, he undertook in the third year of the peace the unfortunate expedition for the conquest of Ramoth-gilead, in which he met his death (i K. 22). Thus the death of .Ahab would fall about the year 851. Schrader, on the other hand, sees in Ahab's taking part in the battle of I^arkar a consequence of the conclusion of peace with Aram tfiat followed the battle of Aphek, and finds it thus pos.sible to assign Ahab's death to so early a date as 853. Kven if we inclined to follow the representation of Schrader (Wellhausen's is much more attractive), the Assyrian notice of the battle of ^arkar in 854 establishes at least one point, that the beginning of Jehu's reign cannot be earlier than 842, and the traditional numbers must be curtailed. On the question just discussed see also An A II.

1 Victor Floigl (G.\, 1882, pp. 94-96), indeed, supposes that Ahab fc-M before Karkar (/.(., in 854), and not before Ramoth-Gilead ;_but to accomplish this he has to treat the narratives of the Syrian wars (i K. 20 1-34 38-43 221-37) as quite untrustworthy.

29. approximate earlier dates.[edit]

The year 842 B.C. may, therefore, be assigned as that of the accession of Jehu. In the same year also perished Jehoram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, whilst Athaliah seized the reins of government in Jerusalem.

If from this date, ecjually important for both kingdoms, we try to go back, we can determine with approximate certainty the year of the division of the monarchy. The years of reign of the Israelitish kings down to the death of Jehoram make up the sum of ninety-eight, and those of the kings of Judah down to the death of Ahaziah the sum of ninety-live ; whilst the synchronisms of the Books of Kings allow only eighty- eight years. Since the reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoram of Israel must be curtailed ( 28), if we assume ninety years as the interval that had elapsed since the partition of the kingdoms this will be too high rather than too low an estimate. The death of Solomon may, accord- ingly, be assigned to 930 B.C. Wellhausen (//(/-', g f. ), indeed, raises an objection against this, on the ground of a statement in the inscription of Mesha ; but the expression in the doubtful passage is too awkward and obscure to lead us, on its account, to push back the death of Solomon to 950 B.C., or even farther.^

30. Menander.[edit]

In this connection it is not unimportant that the statements of Menander of Ephesus in regard to the Tyrian list of kings confirm the assignment of 930 B.C. as the approximate date of the death of Solomon.

According to the careful discussion that Franz Ruhl has devoted to this statement (see below, 85 end), preserved to us in three forms (first, in Josephns, c. ^/. 1 8 ; second, in the Chron. of Euseb., and third, in Theophilus <//////<'/. iii. 100 22), we may, assuming v. Gutschmid's date of 814 B.C. for the foundation of Carthage, fix on 969-936 as the period of reign of Kipa)/u.o or Hiram, and on 878-866 B.C. as that of EtflolPaAot or Ethb.Val. Now, Ahab was son-in-law of Ethba'al (1 K. IC 13), and since Ethba'al at his accession in the year 878 B.C. was tliirty-si.x years old, he could quite well have had a marriageable daughter a few years later, when Ahab, who according to i K. 1(3 29 reigned twenty-two years (about 872-851 B.C.), ascended the throne. Moreos'er, Menander mentions a one-year famine under Eithobalos, which even Josephus {Ant. viii.13 2) identities with the three -year famine that, according to i K. 17, fell in the beginning of the reign of .Ahab. Further, Eiromos (grg- 936) may be identified with Hiram, the friend of Solomon (cp 1 K. 5182477 329107?;), and, whether we adopt the opinion that Hiram, the contemporary of David (2 S. 5 11), was the same person as this friend of Solomon's, or suppose that the name of the better -known contemporary of Solomon has simply been transferred to the Tyrian king who had relations with David, the year 930 n.c. for the death of Solomon, agrees excellently with this Phifnirian synchronism.

1 We. translates lines 7-9 thus : ' Omri conquered the whole land of Medaba, and Israel dwelt there during his days and half the days of his son, forty years, and Kamos recovered it in my days.' He thus arrives at an estimate of at least sixty years for Omri's and Ahab's combined reigns, since only by adding the half of Ahab's rei^n to the part of Omri's reign during which Moab was tributary, is the total of f.irty years attained. It is to be noted, however, that ' Israel,' which We. (so also Smend and Socin, Die Inschr. des K. Mesa von Moab, 1886, p. 13) supplies as the subject to 'dwelt' (3P'l), is lacking in the inscription, and that even with this insertion the construction is not beyond criticism. Is it, in the undoubted awkwardness of the passage, not possible to translate thus ' Omri conquered the whole land of Medaba, and held it in possession as long as he reigned, and during the half of the years of vty reign fiis son, in all forty years. _ Hut yet in my reign Chemosh recovered it.' In that case there is no ground for ascribing so many as sixty years to the reigns of Omri and Ahab. Nay, the possibility is not excluded, that 2 K. 3 5 is right in making the revolt of .Moab follow the death of Ahab, and then the futile expedition of Jehoram of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah against Moab could be taken as marking the end of the forty years.

31. Before the schism.[edit]

If it has been dinTuult to attain sure ground in the early period of tlic divided monarchy, it is even less possible to determine anything with certainty atmut the period preceding Solomons death. If the data of the OT concerning the reigns of Solomon and David (40 years each, i K..2ii 11 42) have any value, David must have attained to power about the year 1000 B.C.

Concerning Saul, even iS. l;Ji gives us no real information, and regarding the premonarchic perifxl the most that can Ix; .s;\id is that, according to the discoveries at 'rell-el-Amarna the Hebrews were, about the middle of the fifteenth century B.C., not yet settled in Canaan.'

32. Schism to Jehu.[edit]

For the time, therefore, from the partition of the kingdom down to the year 842 B.C., we must Ix: content with the following estimate :


Kings of Israel Kings of Juoah.
930 (?) -854 Jeroboam of Israel and his contemporaries Rehoboam and Abijah in Judah.
Nadab "
Ba'asha Asa of Judah certainly contemporary with Ba'asha.
Elah "
Zimri "
Omri "
Ahab " Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, contemporary with Ahab
854 Ahab at battle of Karkar Ahaziah, and Jehoram.
854-842 Ahab's death
Ahaziah, king of Israel
Jehoram " " Jehoram, king of Judah
842 Death of Jehoram of Israel Death of Ahaziah of Judah

33. Certain dates 842-721.[edit]

From 842 B.C. onwards, there is no fixed point till we come to the eighth century. Then we have one in the eighth year of the Assyrian king Tiglalh-pileser III. (745-727) /.f., 738 1!. ( . In that year, according to the cunei- form inscriptions, this king of Assyria received the tributu of Men.-ihem of Israel. When the OT tells of this (2 K. 15 19 /: ) it calls the Assyrian king I'ul : although elsewhere (2 K. I029 16 10) it uses the other name, Tiglalh-pileser. Of the identity of the two names, however, there can he no doubt (A'.//"' 223 ff., COT, 1 219), and we are not to think of the reference l)eing to a Hal)ylonian king, or an Assyrian rival king, or to assume that Tiglath-pileser himself, at an earlier j)eriod, twenty years or more liefore he Ix-came king over Assyria, while still bearing the name of I'ul, made an expedition against the land of Israel (so Klo. Sam. u. Kfl. ['87] p. 496). If we add that .Ahaz of Judah procured for hiin.self through a payment of tribute the help of Tiglath-])ileser against the invading kings, Pekah of Israel and Rczin of Damascus ; that, accord- ingly, the As.syrian king took the field against Philistia and Damascus in 734 and 733 ; and that in 732, after the conquest of Damascus, Ahaz also appeared in Damascus to do homage to Tiglath - pileser, there remains to Ix,- mentioned only the etiually certain date of the l)eginning of the year 721 11. C. (Hommel, (UiA 676) for the conciucst of Samaria, to complete the list of assured dates between 842 and 721.

34. North Israel 842-721.[edit]

The attempt to arrange the kings of Xorth Israel during this [)eriod is hampered by fewer difliculties in the interval 842-738 than are to Ix; found in that Ix,'tw(x'n 738 and 721. If we assume that Menahem died soon after paying tribute, we shall still ha\e in the 113 years reckoned by the traditionary account from the accession of Jehu to the death of Menahem a slight excess, since for the period 842-738 we need only 104 years. Still, we can here give an approximate date for the individual reigns. The latest results of Kautzsch (in substantial agreement with Rrandes, Kaniphausen, and Riehm) are the following:' Jehu 841-815, Jehoahaz 814-798, Jehoash 797-783. Jeroboam II. 782-743 (or l)efore 745), Zechariah and ."-ihallum perhaps also in 743, Menahem 742-737 (or 745 to after 738). For the last period, on the other hand, from the death of Menahem to the conquest of Samaria, the traditional reckoning gives thirty-one years, whilst from 737 to 721 we have hardly sixteen. The necessary shortening of the reigns

1 We modify them only to the extent of giving as the first year of a rcipn the year .it the K-ginning of which the king was already in power, and adding in parentheses the figures of We., in so far as they are to be found in his IJG.

is accomplished by Kautzsch in this way : Pekahiah 736, Pekah 735-730, Hoshea 729-721. Wellhausen has abandoned his former theory that Pekahiah and Pekah are identical, and makes the latter begin to reign in (+-) 735. To Hoshea, the last king of Israel, he assigns an actual reign of at least ten years, although he assumes that according to 2 K. 17 4/. he came under the power of Assyria before the fall of Samari.i.

35. Judah 842-734.[edit]

For the Judean line of kings the starting-point is hkewise the year 842 H.r., in which Ahaziah of Judah met his death at the hanti of Jehu. amd Athaliah assumed the direction of the gosernment. On the other hand, we do not find, for the next hundred years, a single event independently determined with jx-rfcct exactness by years of the reigning king of Judah. We must come d<nvn as far as 734 It. <;. before we attain certainty. We know that at that time Ahaz had already come to power, and we can only suppose (according to 2 K. l.'i^y/! I that he had not long Ix^fore this succeeded his father, during whose lifetime I'ekah of Israel and Rezin of Damascus were already preparing for war. The presents of King .Ahaz to Tiglath-pileser in the year 734 B.r. delivered Judah from the danger that threatened it, and in 732 K.r. in the conquered Damascus the same king did homage to the victorious Assyrian, and offered him his thanks (cp 2 K. I67/: and Schrnder, K.\T 257/:). It is still diflicult, how.ver, to allot the intervening time to the se\eral kings of Judah ; for the traditional values for the reigns require no less than 143 years from the first year of .\thaliah to the death of Jotham, whilst between 842 B.C. and 734 H.c. there are only 108 years at our disposal. It is, therefore, necess.ary to reduce seM-ral of the items by a considerable amount, and it is not to be wonderefl at that different methods of adjustment have been eiuiiloyed. The synchronism of events Ix-tween the hist<jry of Israel and that of Judah is too inadecjuate to secure unanimity, and the mention (not quite certain) of Azariah of Juflah in .Assyrian inscriptions for the ye.ars 742-740 (cp Schr. K.\l-, 217^) does not make up the lack. On one point, hovsever, there is agree- ment : that it is in the cases of .\maziah, Azariah (Uzziah), and Jotham that the deductions are to be made.

1 On early traces of certain elements afterwards forming part of Israel, see Iskaei , f 7/ ; Egypt, | 58/ ; Asher, | 1/

The years 841-836 B.r. for .Athali.ah are render*<l tolerably certain by the data concerning Jeho.ash, the infant .son of Ahazi.ah (2 K. 11 1^4^). Then we need have no mi.sgivings alxiut giving Jehoash, who was raised to the throne at so young an age, about forty years. If we take these years fully, we obtain for the reign of Jehoash 835-796 B.C. The date of his death may, indeed, be pushed still farther back ; but in any case his tinie as determined by these data cannot Ixi for wrong, for he must have been a contemporary of Jehoahaz the king of Israel (814-798), and, according to 2 K. 12 18 j^. , also of Hazael of Aram (ace. to Winckler 844-abou'. 804 [?] ). I'Voni 795 to 734 there are left only 61 years, and in this interval room must be found for Amaziah with twenty-nine years, Azariah with fifty-two, and Jotham with si.xteen no less than ninety-seven years. Even if we allow the whole sixteen years of Jotham, who, according to 2 K. Ids, conducted the government during the last illness of his father, to be merged in the fifty-two years of Azariah, we do not escape the necessity of seeking other ways of shortening the interval. Amaziah's reign is estimated too high at twenty-nine years. The only thing that is certain about him is that he was a contemporary of Jehoash of Israel (797-783; cp 2 K. 14 8^). It is pure hypothesis to assign him nine years (We.), or nineteen years (Kamph. and Kau. ), instead of twenty-nine. The smaller number has the greater probability, since the defeat that he brought on himself by his wanton challenge of Jehoash of Israel best explains the conspiracy against him (2 K. 14 19/ ), and he would therefore hardly survive his conqueror, but much more probably meet his death by assassination at Lachish not long after 790 R.c. (cp also St. (J 17, I559). From the death of Amaziah to 734 reigned Azariah and Jotham. To discover the boundary between the two, we must bear in mind the Assyrian inscriptions already mentioned, which apparently represent Azariah as still reigning in the years 742-740, and nmst keep in view that Isai.ah, who cannot be thought of as an old man when Sennacherib marched against Jerusalem in the year 701, receiv^ed his prophetic call in the year of the death of Uzziah (Isa. 61). Accordingly, we cannot be far wrong in assigning the death of Azariah and the accession of Jotham as sole ruler to 740 B.C. More than this cannot be made out with the help of the materials at our disposal up to the present time.

36. 734-686 B.C.[edit]

If now the year of the conquest of Samaria (721 B.C. ) were fixed with certainty according to the year of the king then reigning in Judah, this would appear the next resting-point after 734 B.C. The data of the O'V do not agree, how- ever, and none of them is to be relied upon. This is true even of the datum in 2 K. 18 13, lately much favoured by critics, that Sennacherib's expedition against Palestine in the year 701 B.C. was in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah (so We. /D'/' ['75] p. 635^ ; Kamph. Die Chrotiol. der Hebr. Kdnige ['83 | p. 28 ; Guthe, Das ZukiinftsbUd des Jes. ['85] p. 37, and St. (7^7, 1 606 / ). In order to maintain the datum, it is not enough to say, The people of Judah are more likely to have preserved the year of Hezekiah in which their whole land was laid waste and their capital, Jerusalem, escaped destruction only through enduring the direst distress, than to have preserved the year of Hezekiah in which Samaria fell.' The unusual (cp 2K. I819) prefixing of the numeral before r,ia (cp Duhm, Jesaja, 235) of itself indicates a later origin, and this is confirmed by what we have already found as to these chronological data not belonging to the original narrative. The number fourteen is based, not upon historical facts, but upon an exegetical inference from Is. 385, and a consideration of the twenty-nine years traditionally assigned to Hezekiah, and must there- fore rank simply with the scribe's note Am. 1 1 : ' two years before the earthquake. ' ^

1 This is forcibly urged by Kau. (cp. Kamph. op. cit. 94) and ha.s received the assent of Duhm {I.e.) and Cheyne (Jntr. Is. 218).

Even when we come to the seventh century, the expectation that at least the death of Josiah in the battle of Megiddo would admit of being dated with complete accuracy by material from inscriptions is not fulfilled. From Egyptian chronology, which does not mention the date of the battle, we gather only that it must have been after 610 B.C. , since the conqueror, Necho II., did not begin to reign till that year. There is, therefore, nothing left but to take as our fixed point the conquest of Jerusalem in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar i.e., 586 B.C. (2 K. 253 8). For the intervening time we have to take into consideration, besides the death of Josiah, the data supplied by Assyriology, which place Sennacherib's expedition against Hezekiah in 701 B.C. and imply Manasseh's being king of Judah in the years 681-667 (cp Schr. KAT(2), p. 466).

For the whole time from the death of Jotham to the conquest of Jerusalem, tradition requires 155 years of reign, whilst from 734 B.C., when Ahaz was already seated on the throne of Jerusalem which year, if not that of his accession, must have been at least the first of his reign to 586 B.C., we have only 148, or, since we may reckon also the year 734 B.C., 149 years. The smallness of the difference of seven years, however, shows that we have now to do with a better tradition. Where the mistake lies we cannot tell beforehand. All we can say is that it is not to be sought between the death of Josiah and the fall of Jerusalem, since for this interval twenty-two years are required by tradition, and this agrees with our datum that Josiah must have died shortly after 610 B.C.

Let us see whether another cardinal point can be found. In 701 Hezekiah was reigning in Jerusalem. When it was that he came to the throne, whether before or after the fall of Samaria (721 B.C.), is the question. In Is. 1 428 we have an oracle against Philistia, dated from the year of the death of king Ahaz, a chronological note which, like Is. 61, may have import- ance, if the oracle really belongs to Isaiah. Winckler and Cheyne [but cp Isaiah, SDOT, Addenda^ regard it as possible that the oracle may refer to agitation in Syria and Palestine, in which the Philistines shared, on the accession of Sargon (721 B.C.), when Hanun, king of (Jaza, induced them to rebel, in reliance on the help of Sib'e, one of the Egyptian petty kings (cp above on Sabaka, Sab'i, So', Seweh, 21). On this theory- the death of ,'\haz would have to be set down about the year 720 B.C. As, however, the authenticity of the oracle is not certain, in fact hardly probable (cp Duhm, who even conjectures that originally there may have stood, instead of Ahaz, the name of the second last Persian king. Arses [ = .\rogos]) it is not safe to take it as fixing the death-j-ear of Ahaz. Of greater value is the section relating to the embassy of Merodach- Baladan of Babylon to Hezekiah (2 K. 20 = Is. 39). Merodach-Baladan was king of Babylon from 721 to 710. When, later, he attempted to recover his position, he held Babylon for so short a time that an embassy to the west would be impossible. Thus, Merodach-Baladan must have sought relations with Hezekiah between 721 and 709. The beginning of the reign of Merodach-Baladan, when in the year 721 or 720 he obtained possession of Babylon and held it against Sargon, commends itself as the point of time most suitable. After the battle of Diir-ilu, which both parties regarded as a victory for themselves, it must have seemed natural to hope that the overthrow of tl.e Assyrian kingdom would be possible, if the west joined in the attack. Moreover, Sargon once describes himself (Nimrud inscr. , 1 8) as ' the subduer of Judah,' ^ which seems to mean that, on the suppression of the revolt in Philistia, Hezekiah resumed the payment of the tribute that had been imposed. In view of this, Winckler seems to be justified in placing the appearance of the embassy of Merodach-Baladan before Hezekiah in the year 720 or 719. Approximately, then, the year 721 may be regarded as assured for the year of the death of .Ahaz.

1 For fuller details see Isaiah, i. 6, Sargon.

The first year of Hezekiah's reign is thus 720 B.C. rather than 728 (Kau. ), or 714 (We. and others). The discrepancy of four years, which is all that now remains between the sum of the years of reign from the death of Ahaz to the conciuest of Jerusalcn), and the interval 720- 586 B.C. i.e., l)etwoen 1 39 years of reign and 135 actual vears cannot be removed otherwise than by shortening the reign of one or more of the kings. 'Ihe account of the closing portion of the line of kings has already IxMsn found to merit our confidence. The shortening must j therefore l)e undertaken somewhere near the Ijcginning of the line of kings from Hezekiah to Josiah. The most obvious course is to reduce the long reign of Manasseh from fifty-five years to fifty-one ( VV'e. . indeed, assigns him only forty-five). This, however, may seem arbitrary, and it will be simpler as well as less violent to divide the shortening among all the four reigns. If, that is to say, in the case of the years of reign of the kings from Hezekiah to Josiah, tradition included (according to popular practice) the year of accession and the year of death, we may reduce the numbers for Hezekiah, Manasseh, Anion, and Josiah by one each, and assign j them twenty-eight, fifty-four, one, and thirty resjxjctively. Thus we get the following series : Hezekiah 720-693 i (28 years), Manasseh 692-639 (54 years), Anion 638 (i | year), Josiah 637-608 (30 years), Jehoahaz 608 {\ year), Jehoiakim 607-597 (n years), Jehoiachin 597 (| year), ; and Zedekiah 596-586 (11 years). The control over | the date of the death of Josiah from Egyptian history which is to a certain extent possible turns out to be not unfavourable to our results, since I'haraoh Necho II. began to reign in 610 B.C., and, as early as the end of 606, or the beginning of 605, encountered the crown prince Nebuchadrezzar at Carcheniish (cp, on the date of this battle which, in Jer. 462, is inaccurately assigned to the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Winckler, A T Untersuch. 81 ). Hence the year 608 B.C. for the battle of Megiddo possesses the greatest probability. That, among the numerous dates for the last decades of the kingdom of Judah which the OT furnishes, little inaccuracies, such as that in the passage (Jer. 462) just cited, appear, is intelligible on the ground (ajiart from others, as, e.g., in the case of Ezek. 332i) of their being the result of later calculation. At all events, these variations are not to be accounted for, with Hommel (GBA 755), by the sui)position that the Jews reckoned theyears of Nebuchad- rezzar, as well as those of their own kings, from the day on which they ascended the throne to the corresponding day in the following year. The Jews, in adopting the exact Babylonian chronological system, and applying it to their own past history, did not mutilate it and render it futile.

37. After 586[edit]

Beyond the points already referred to ( 13/.), the chronology of the times after the conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. presents no difficulties worth mentioning. The C!anon of Ptolemy supplies an assured framework into which the data that have been preserved can be fitted without trouble.

38. Summary of Results.[edit]

This tabular survey gathers together the dates we have established. At the end is appended a continuation indicating the most important dates down to the last century B.C. K. M.

TABLE V. - Tabular Survey : Death of Solomon to Herod the Great.

Certain Dates. Probable Dates. ISRAEL JUDAH.
circ. 930 1st year of Jeroboam. 1st year of Rehoboam.
930-854 Reigns of Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, part of reign of Ahab. Reigns of Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, part of reign of Jehoshaphat
854 Ahab at battle of Karkar.
854-843 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Jehoram. Rest of reign of Jehoshaphat : reigns of Johoram

and Abazlah.

842 Death of Jehoram (at the hands of Jehu). Tribute of Jehu to Shalmaneser II Death of Ahaziah (at the hands of Jehu).
841 1st year of Jehu (841-815). 1st year of Athallah (841-836).
835 1st year of Jehoash (835-796).
814 1st year of Jehoahaz (814-798).
797 1st year of Jehoash (797-783).
795 1st year of Azarlah (789-740).
789 1st year Jotham (739-734).
782 1st year of Jeroboam II(782-743).
743 Zecharlah, Shallum.
742 1st year Menahem (742-737).
738 Tribute of Menahem to Tiglath-pileser III.
736 Pekahlah.
735 1st year of Pekah (735-730)
734 Tribute of Ahaz to Tlglath-pileser.
733 1st year of Ahaz (733-721).
732 Ahaz does homage to Tiglath-pileser at Damascus.
729 1st year of Hoshea (729-721).
721 Fall of Samaria
720 1st year of Hezeklah (720-693). Embassy of Merodach-baladan from Babylon.
701 Sennacherib's army before Jerusalem.
692 1st year of Manasseh (692-639).
638 1st year of Amon (638).
637 1st year of Josiah (637-608).
628 Battle of Megiddo. Jehoahaz, king.
607 1st year of Jehoiakim (607-597).
604 1st year of Nebuchadrezzar (604-562).
597 Jehoiachin, king.
596 1st year of Zedeklah (596-586).
Dates. The more important dates of the succeeding centuries.
561 1st year of Evil-Merodach(56i-56o). Liberator of Jehoiachin from prison.
538 1st year of Cyrus (538-53).
521 1st year of Darius I. (521-486).
515 Completion of building of second temple.
464 1st year of Artaxerxes I. (464-424).
445 1st Visit Of Nehemlah to Jerusalem. Building of city-wall.
433 Return of Nehemiah.
circ. 432 2nd Visit Of Nehemiah to Jerusalem. On the advent of Ezra and the Introduction of the law see above, 14
332 End of Persian Power : Alexander the Great.
320 Beginning of Ptolemaic dominion in Palestine, which continued with short interruptions till 198.
312 Beginning of the Era of the Seleucidae.
197 Palestine under Syrian dominion.
157-16 Antiochus IV. Epiphanes.
167 Insurrection of Mattathlas the priest, of Modein (ti66).
165 Reintroduction of regular service in the temple.
160 Judas Maccabaeus (166-160) falls in battle against Bacchides.
143 Execution of Jonathan (leader of Maccabean revolt since 160)
142-35 Simon High-priest and Prince.
134-104 Hyrcanus I.
103 Aristobulus I. king.
102-76 Jannaeus.
75-67 Alexandra.
66-63 Hyrcanus II. and Aristobulus II. 1
63 Taking of Jerusalem by Pompey. Palestine a part of the Roman Province of Syria.
62-40 Hyrcanus II. under Roman sovereignty.
40 Invasion of Parthians. Antigonus made king (40-37)
37-4 B.C. Herod the Great.

1 On the dates of the Maccabees cp We. //(;(2), 229, n. 2 ; and ed. 263, n. 3 ; 3rd ed. 275, n. 2.


39. NT chronology: importance[edit]

The chronology of the New Testament is of great (subsidiary) importance for the study of the origins of Christianity. From the order of the events in the primitive period it will txi possible to draw conclusions with regard to the influence of one event upon another ; the rapidity of the historical development will enable us to measure the power of the original impulse ; and only when the events have received their place in contemporary history can they be fully understood.

40 Difficulty[edit]

Unfortunately, the task is attended with serious diffi- culty, the causes of which need to Ix; brietly descril)cd. (1) The first Christians themselves had no interest in chronology, whether with reference to events concerning them as Christians, or with reference to events of secular history. This was due not only to their separation from the world and their limited horizon, but also, and still more, to their sense of superiority to the world (Phil. 820), which seemed to them already in process of dissolution ( i Cor. 731), and to their feeling that they had already begun to live in eternity. (2) The historical traditions of the Christians were formed wholly with the purpose of promoting Christian piety, and were therefore restricted to a small number of events, the choice of which was often, as it were, accidental, and the arrangement ac- cording to subject rather than to time. Our chrono- logical interest has, accordingly, to be satisfied with inferences and combinations which often remain, after all, very problematical ; and the gai)s in the traditions prevent us from constructing anywhere a long chrono- logical sequence. (3) Of at least a part of the traditions the historical trustworthiness is subject to such grave doubt that we can venture to use them only with great reserve, if at all. (4) In the NT, apart from some vague notices in the I'ourth Gosjiel, the only writer who professedly gives chronological data is the author of the Third (Jospel and Acts. He gives no account, however, of the means by which he obtained these data. We are, therefore, unable to check his statements, and can treat them only as hypotheses. As far as we know, the old Catholic fathers Irena;us, Tertullian, Clement of Alex- andria, Julius Africanus, and Hippolytus were the first to make chronological calculations. Whether they based them on any independent tradition or limited themselves to inferences from our Gospels is uncertain ; the latter is the more probable view. Their data can receive only occasional mention here.i (5) It has not yet been found possible to give exact dates to certain of those events of profane history which come into question. (6) Further difficulty is caused by the complicated nature of the ancient calendar, and by the different usages in reckoning time and in beginning the year. .Side by side with the various eras we have various methods of reckoning by the years of reigning monarchs.^

In the following article the years are designated by the numlx.TS of our current Dionysian era, on the origin of which see Ideler i^Hamib.'l^t^ff.). Hy this reckon- ing the year i B.C. coincides with the year 753 A.IJ.C. and the year i a.d. with the year 754 .x.L'.c. The years are treated as beginning on ist Jan., as was the case according to the Varronian reckoning in the period under consideration.

^ The facts in detail are to a large extent given by Bratke and Hilgenfeld in articles on the chronological attempts of Hippo- lytus in ZU'T, 1892.

2 An excellent guide through this labyrinth is Ideler's //aWii. abridged and in part improved in his Leiirb. (see below, 85). The most important tables (of the Sun and moon, and of eras) are brought together from astronomical works by (hinipach, Hiilfsiiiittel d. rechnend. Chronol. 1853. See further liouchei, Hemerologie, 1868; E. Muller in Pauly's ReaUncyc. d. class. Alt. s.v. Mra.; Matzat, Kdm. Chronol. two vols. 1885-84. Special service to NT Chronology has also been rendered by Clinton, Fasti Hellenic!, 1830, 2 ed. 1851 ; Fasti Komani, 1845- 50 ; and by J. Klein, Fasti Consulares, Leipsic, 1881. Further bibliographical notices, and many original contributions to the subject, are to be found in Schiirer, CJl', i. (1690), where, in an appendix, is given a table (taken from Clinton) of parallel years by Olympiads, and by the Seleucid, Varronian, and Dionysian eras. The third appendix discusses the months of the Jewish Calendar, and on p. 630 /. a bibliography of the very large literature of that subject is to be found. Important for the chronology of the NT are also Wie.seler, Chronol. Syn. der vier Evangelien, 1843; Chronol. d. a/>. Zeitalters, 1848; and art. ' Zeitrechnung ' in PKE, 1866; Reitr. zur richtigen li'Hrdi- gung der Kvang. 1869; Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1865; Lightfoot on ' The Chronology of St. Paul's Life and Epistles' in Biblical Kssays (posthumous), 215^ See also B. W. Bacon, 'A New Chronology of the Acts,' Kxposiior, Feb. 1898.

41. Parallel Dates.[edit]


AUGUSTUS CAESAR, 30 BC - 19 th Aug. 14 A.D., and TIBERIUS, 19th Aug. 14 AD. - 16th March 37 A.D.

  • 37 B.C.-4 B.C. Herod the Great.
  • 2-19 B.c., Temple begun (Jos. Aid. XV. 11 I ; see Schurer, 1301).
  • 4 B.c.A A.D. Archelaus ethnarch of Judrea Samaria and Idumea (deposed and banished to Viennd in Gaul).
  • 4 B.c.-39 A.D., Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perrea (banished to Lugdunum). On his relations to Aretas see § 78.
  • 4 B.c.-34 A.D., Philip, tetrarch of the north-eastern (After his death his tetrarchy was governed as part of the province of Syria.)
  • 6-41 A.D. by Roman procurators, with their residence in

The territoiy of Archelaus was governed Czsarea. Of these the fifth. beginning in 36 A.D., was Pontius Pilate. 36, Pilate sent to Rome to answer for his conduct. 36 Passover Vitellius in Jerusalem. 37: Vitellius'made war, at the Emperor's command, on Aretas in retaliation for the latter's war against Antipas. At the news of the emperor's death hostiliries suspended.

CALIGULA, i6th March 37-24th Jan. 41.

  • 37. Herod Agrippa I. receives from Caligula the title of

king with the tetrarchies of Lysanias(see Schurer, 1600- 604) 'and of Philip : in

  • 40, also that of Antipas; and in
  • 41, also the provinces of Judrea and Samaria, previously

governed by procurators.

CLAUDIUS, 24th Jan. 41~13th Oct. 54.

  • 44 Death of Herod Agrippa. at Caesarea. The territory

of Agrippa after his death governed by procurators.

  • Expulsion of Jews from Rome.

NERO, 13th Oct. 54-9th June 68.

  • 52-56/60,2 Antonius Felix - procurator of Palesline.
  • 56/62 [61?], Porcius Festus - procurator of Palesline.
  • 62[61]-64, Albinus - procurator of Palesline.
  • 64, 19th July, Burning of Rome.
  • 66, Outbreak of Jewish war.

GALBA, OTHO, and VITELLIUS, 9th June 68-20th Dec. 69.

VESPASIAN-Proclaimed Emperor 1st July 69 in Egypt while engaged in putting down the Jewish insurrection. Recognised as Emperor in the East at once; throughout the Empire not until after the death of Vitellius. Died ~ 3 r d June 79.

  • 70, Destruction of Jerusalem.

TITUS, 79-81.

DOMITIAN, 81-96.

  • 93-96, Persecutions of Christians, especially in Rome and Asia Minor.

NERVA. 96-98. TRAJAN, 98-117.

  • 111-113, Correspondence with Pliny, governor of Bithynia, on the subject of the Christians in that province.

HADRIAN, 117-138.

  • Insurrection of the Jews under Bar-kokheba.

1 Legates in Syria who had occasion to interfere in ^h government of Palestine were : (i) perhaps at first 3 B.C.-2 B.C., and certainlv I ,

later 6 A.D. -(at latest) 1 1 a.i.. ' / Q"""""^-

7 A.D. Census instituted in Juda^t and Samaria. (2)35-39 A.I >., /,. I'ite/lius.

'* That Felix entered on his office in 52 (or possibly 5.3) and that Albinus arrived in Palestine at latest in tbc summer of 62 are directlv attested facts. That Festus succeeded Felix in 60 or 56 is only inferred. See below, $ 65/

  • On the day of his birth, for determining which there are no

historical data, but for which the church, after much vacillation, finally settled on 25th Dec, see Usener, Rcl.-gesch. Inters. vol. I.

42. Plan of article[edit]

Our investij^ation will treat the problems of NT chronology in the following order : the chronology- of the life of Jesus (43-63). That of the life of Paul (64-80). that of the churches in Palestine ( 81 -82), other dates (83-84).

The first and second of these divisions are wholly separate from each other.


The questions here relate to the year of Jesus' birth '^ {57+). the year of his public appxsirance (. 47+). his age at his entrance upon his ministry (43), the duration of his ministry ( 44+), and the year of his death (55+).

43 Baptism of Jesus[edit]

I. The Age of Jesus at his baptisw. It is not surprising that tradition is meagre. In itself, as a mere tale of years, ttie matter hatl no interest for 'he early Christians. That Jesus was a man of mature years was enough : why should they care to incjuire how long he had livoil quietly at Nazareth ? We have to consider only two passjiges. ( 1 ) Jii. 857. If the foolish question. I ' Thou art not yet fifty yejirs old, and hast thou mxii I .Xbraham ? ' were autlientic. it would only give a su|Jcrior limit, plainly put as high as fxjssibie on the ground of the general impression from Je.sus s ap|)earance. From this no inference as to any definite iuiml)er could Ijc drawn, for among the Jews a man Ix-gan to l)e elderly at fifty years, and the remark would merely have ine:iiit, ' You are still one of the younger men.' If the (|uestioii is not authentic, it either te.stifies to the impression n)ade by the account of Jesus in the tradition, that he wius in the best years of life (cp Nu. 43 39 824/ |. or else the half-century, as an age which he had not yet .-ittained. is intended to form an ironical contrast to the many centuries from .\braham to the then pres-nt time. In the anci-nt church, Irenieus (ii. 'J'25) is the only writer to make use of this p.nssage for chronology ; he remark.5 that the presbyters in Asia .Minor had on the ground of it ascrilx-tl to Jesus an age of forty to fifty years.

(2) Lk. ;i23. The text is here not quite certain, and the sense of the most probable reading is obscure. (What does dpx^ficoi mean? In the Sin. Syr. it is omitted from the translation. ) In any case, the presence of w(Tfl { ' al)out ' ) forbids us to use the number as if it were e.xact. It merely tells us that Jesus stood in the Ugin- ning of adult manhood, and leaves undecided the c|uestion whether he had just entered on his thirtieth year or was already over thirty.

.Moreover, whether the numl)er comes from actual historical recollection at all is made uncertain by the fact that, according to Nu. 4 3 39. from thirty to fifty was the canonical age for certain ritual acts. It is signilicant that these two gosix;ls, from Asia .Minor, in so many ix)ints similar, give for the age of Jesus in these two pass;iges the two limits of this canonical term of years.

44 Public Ministry[edit]

2. The Length of Thie Public .Ministry of Jesus. The evidence here points on the whole to one year. The 'three years ' in the jiarable of the fig-tree (Luke 13:7) are either arbitrarily chosen to designate a short period or are to be coniKcted with the fact that the fig-tree commonly lx?ars fruit in three years (for the opposite view, see Wieseler, .Synopsr. 202 Jf. ). The ' three days ' of Lk. I,'i32 e.xpress by a [)roverbial numlx-r l)oth brief time and fi.xed limit (for the opposite view, Wei/.siicker, Untersuchungen, 311). From Mark and Matthew we get no light, be- cause of the arrangement of the material by subjects. The plucking of the e.ars in .Mk. 223 may indicate th time when the grain was ripe ; but that nmst have been lx;twt"en the middle of .\pril and the middle of June, before which time the harvest in Galilee is not endetl. Thus, if the incident was in the early months of Jesus' ministry, it does not imply a duration of more than one year. One ye;\r seems to have been the idea of the third evangelist, w ho, like all the writers of the second century except Irenaus, and like many Fathers of the third century, may very well liave understood literally the quotation from Is. 61 1/. which he puts(Lk. 4 19) into the mouth of Jesus.

In any case, a place can l)e fouiul without diflficuky within the limits of one year for the entire contents of the .SynoiJtical gospels, while to fill out several years the material is rather meagre. The feeling, shared (for insuince) by Beyschlag {Lehen Jesu, 1 133). that it is a violent and unnatural prtx:ess ' to crowd the whol development into the space of one year, is balanced by the feeling of the men of the second and third centuries. F'.ven repe;ited visits to Jerusiilem, if the Synoptical gospels really imply them, .ire, in view of the nearness of Galilee to Jerusalem and of the many feasts (cp the Ciospel of John), easily conceivable within one year. The early (Christian lathers were not tiisturlied in their assumption of a single year by the Fourth Gospel with its journeys to the feasts.

45. Fourth Gospel[edit]

In the Fourth Gospel, apart from 64, if wc accejjt the most common interpretation of ioprrj (Jn. 5i) as meaning Pentecost, the feasts group themselves into the course of a single year: 2 13 Passover ; 5 1 Pentecost ; 7 2 Talx:rnacles ; IO22 Dedication; 11 55 Passover. Irenaeus alone (ii. 223) finds three passovers mentioned in the public life of Jesus ; and, since he takes the second not from 64 but from 5 1, he, as well as Origcn (on Jn. 43s lom. 1339). must have had at 64 a different te.xt from any known to us. The Alogi, also, according to Kpiphanius [I her. 51 22), found mentioned in Jn. only a passover at the beginning and one at the end of the ministry. I'ositive ground for assuming the later inter[X)lation of 64 (which could well have lieen suggested by the substance of the following conversation) may 1x3 found in the designation of the feast there, which is d.fferent from that in 213 and 11 55, a designation combining (so to speak) 5i and 72. So also the introductory formula ^v U i-y-^vs ( ' was at hand ' ) is suitable only in 2 13 72 11 55. where a journey to the fe;xst, which does not here come in question, is to be mentioned.

Moreover, the meagreness of the narrative in Jn. is much more comprehensible if the writer thought of the whole ministry as included between two passovers. He can hardly have regarded the narrative in chaps. 3-5, and again that in chaps. 7-11. as sufficient to fill out in each case a whole year. Otherwise, if the saying with reference to the harvest (Jn. 435) is to be regarded as anything more than a proverbial phrase (u.sed for the purpose of the figure which Jesus is employing) there would be a period of nine months for which no- thing would be told but the conversation with Nicodemus and the bajnizing work of the disciples, and a stay of si.x months in (lalilee for which we should have nothing but chap. 6.

46. One year[edit]

If, on the other hand, only one year elapsed from the purification of the temple to the destruction of the 'temple of his body,' we should have: 2 13-5 1, only fifty days ; 5i-72, perhaps 127 days ; 72-10 22, perhaps fifty-eight days; 1022-121, perhaps 119 days. In reality, however, even this year will have to he shortened somewhat at the beginning ; for the purifica- tion of the temple, which the Synoptists likewise connect with a passover (but with the last one), cannot have happened twice, and, while it is incomi)rehensible at the beginning, it cannot be spared at the end of the ministry. Whether, then, the baptism of Jesus was before a passover, or whether the journey to John in the wilderness may have followed a journey to the passover in Jerusalem, it is wholly impossible to decide. In the latter case the complete absence from the narrative of the baptism of all recollection of such a connection would be singular ; in the former it would be strange that Jesus stayed away from the passover in Jerusalem. On the other hand, since the forty days of the temptation are surely a round number drawn from OT analogies, they may safely Ix: somewhat reduced ; and the walk with the disciples through the ripe corn- fields in Cialilee on the sabbath is then chronologically quite possible, even if the baptism was not until immediately after the passover.

47. First appearances : Luke 3:1-2[edit]

3. The Year of the Public Appearance of Jesus. In Lk. 3i / we have, as the last of Lk.'s several chronological notes ( 1 5 26 2 i / ), a notice of the date of the public appearance of the Baptist. This notice is clearly the product of careful investigation, and it is extremely unlikely that the evangelist would have taken so much pains about fixing this date if he had not supposed himself to be at the same time fi.xing the year (for the Christian, the only year of real importance in the history of the world) of at least the beginning of the Messiah's ministry, which last, together with the baptism of Jesus, Lk. regarded, as appears from the whole tenor of his narrative, as the immediate consequence of the appearance of the Baptist. Whether he was right in this .short allowance of time for the preaching of the Baptist we need not decide ; if the ministry of the Baptist really did last longer, it is easily comprehensible that the previous time should have escajjed his knowledge. What year, then, does Lk. mean ? Following previous writers on the life of Jesus. B. Weiss and Beyschlag have taken as the starting- point for Lk.'s reckoning the year 12 A. D. , in which Tiberius was made co-regent with Augustus. There is no proof, however, that such a method of reckoning was ever used. Neither the coins, to which Wieseler ' appealed, nor the great dignity of Tiberius, adduced by Schegg,'-^ which is in any case to be ascribed to flatterers, can establish this hyjx>thesis ; and we shall have to take the death of Augustus as the starting-point. Now, Mommsen* has proved that until the time of Nerva the reckoning usually employed was by consuls, but that when for any rea.son a reckoning by the years of the emjieror's reign was desirable, the years were counted from the exact date of the beginning of the reign.'* Accordingly, Lk. njust have reckoned the years of Tiberius as Ijeginning with 19th August, 14 A. D.* The fifteenth year ran from 19th August 28 A. D. , to i8th August, 29 .\.u. Although we cannot control the sources from which Lk. derived his information,'* it is plain from the table of dates given above that the notices in Lk. 3 1 do not contradict one another, and we have no reason to doubt Lk.'s information. We say this in spite of the fact that in one point he shows himself not perfectly well-versed in Jewish affairs : the Roman custom of having two consuls has perhaps led him to misinterpret the fact that in the time of the high-priest Caiaphas (from about 18 A.D. to Easter 36 A.u. ), the latter's father-in-law, Annas, who had been high priest in 6-15 A.n. , was the real leader of the Sanhedrim. Lk. has taken this to mean that the two were high priests at the same time (cp the same error in Acts 4 6).

48. The temple.[edit]

(2) In Jn. 220, forty-six years are said to have elapsed from the beginning of the building of the temple to the beginning of Jesus' ministry and the cleansing of the temple. If the forty- six years are treated as already past, this brings us to A.D. 28. Everything, however, is here uncertain the position of the cleansing of the temple at the lx;gin- ning of the ministry, and the authenticity of the conversation, as well as the evangelist's method of reckoning (on the supposition that the number comes from him).^

1 Beitr. 190-92.

2 Todesjahr lies Konigs Herodes und Todesjahrjesu Christ i, 18S2. pp. 61-63.

3 Das romisch-germanische Herrscherjahr ' in Neues Archiv der Geselhcha/t fiir alterc deutsche Gesihichtikunde, 1890, pp. 54-65.

  • The imperial era introduced by Nerva, which took as a

basis the tnbunician year beginning with loth December, the tribunician ycir in which the emperor ascended the throne counting as the first ot" his reign, did not actually come into common use until the time of Trajan.

8 The method of reckoning the years of the emperor's reign (namely beginning with ist Tishri 766 A.u.c.) represented by Gumpach {I.e. 93) as having been the universal custom, according to which he makes the fifteenth ye.ir of Tiberius begin with ist Ti.shri 27 A.D., no one besides himself has ventured to accept.

6 Keim assumed, without any foundation, that Lk. had Josephus {.A nt. xviii. 3 ^) before him, and th.-it he supposed the two revolutions there mentioned as occurring in the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate, which began in the twelfth year of Tiberiu.s, to have been in the thirteenth and fourteenth years of Tiberiiis, and so hit on the fifteenth vear for the Baptist. This is, however, in contradiction witii the fact of the large number of single notices in Lk. 3 i, which implies careful investigation ; and is in itself impossible, since Josephus first mentions the Baptist in xviii. 62, and has already relate*! the death of Philip, which happened so late as the twentieth year of Tiberius.

7 Has the evangelist perhaps used Nerva's method of reckoning? That yields the year 28 A.D. On the different interpretations of the number, sec Sevin, Chronol. Jesu^), 1874, pp. 11-13.

49. The Baptist.[edit]

(3) The public appearance of Jesus was contemporaneou. with the imprisonment of the Baptist (Mark 1:14 = Matthew 4:12 ; Mk. 6:17-18 = Mt. 14:3-4; cp Lk. 3:18-20). Jesus was baptized shortly before that (Mk. lu/. and parallels). and the e.\ccution of the liaptist happened in the course of Jesus' public ministry (Lk. 7i8/. = Mt. 11 a/. ; Mk. ()i9-a9= Mt. Us-xa ; with Mk. 614-16= Lk. 97-9= Mt.

The execuliuii is related also by Joscphus (.J/i/. xviii. 5 i/".), who docs not nive the c.vact date, but is led to mciitioti the matter in coniicctiun with the defeat of Antijias hy Arctas (in the summer or autumn of 36 A.U.), which the nation believed to l>c a judgment of (iod fur the murder of John. Arctas's reasons for making the war are said to have been two : (1) the divorce of his daughter by Antipas in order that the latter might marry Herodias; (2) boundary disputes. From this K.eim, Holtzm.tnn, Hausrath, Schenkel, and Sevin have inferred that this divorce, the rebuke of which by John led, according to the Synoptists, to John's death, must have been not lonj; Iwfore 36 a.d. A judgment of Clod, however, may well be delayed for six years, provided the crime which the people believe to be punished by it is not forgotten ; whilst a favourable moment for executing human vengeance does not always arrive immediately. More- over, it appears that boundary disputes were fuially needed to bring about the actual lontlict.l

From this war, therefore, we can draw no inferences about the date of the l!a|jti-ii's martyrdom. Aa to the marriage itself, there is, in the tirst place, no reason to doubt the synoptical tradition that the baptist's courage occasioned Iiis imprison- ment, riie account of Josephus neither excludes the assumption tliat the tetrarch waited for a good pretext Ijcore arresting John nor makes it imixjssible that his arrest and execution should have liecn separated by a short imprisonment (cp Mk. 6 20 ; Mt. 1 1 2). That Herodias's daughter w.-is too old to d.ince at the feast is shown by A. von Clutschmid (Literarisclus Centralblatt, 1874, p. 522) to l>e wholly undemonstrable, and a banquet at M.ichaerus is not inconceivable. That, according to Josepiius, Macharnis should have been at one time in the possession of -Gretas and shortly afterwards in that of Antipas, we cannot indeed explain (cp Schiirer, I 365) ; but since Josepluis finds no difficulty in it, it has no force as an argument. Since, I however, we cannot fix the date of the marriage, the whole 1 matter does not help us much, 2 and we can only say that there ' is no sufficient evidence that the journey to Rome, on which Antipas made the acquaintance of his brother's wife, and liis return to the tctrarchy, >oon after which the marriage occurred, were not between 27 and 30 A.l).

The history of the Baptist presents, therefore, no insujierable obstacle to the view that the fifteenth year of Tilxjrius = 29 A.D.

50. Jesus' death[edit]

4. The year of Jesus' Death. Since the crucifixion certainly happened under Pontius Pilate, its earliest possible date is 26 A.D. . the latest 35 A.o.

The complete publicity of Jesus' death and its character as a civil event, its well-understood im- 1 portance as the starting-point of Christianity, its unique i impressiveness, and its connection with the Jewish ; passover, must have m.ade it a chief object of the ] awakeiiinsj chronological interest of the early Christians, and at the same time have given ground for Ixilieving j that the date could be fixed with reasonable certainty.

51. Luke's Method[edit]

(a) This suggests that probably the chronological interest of the third ' Evangelist (Lk. 3i /. ) was engaged as little for the first public appearance of Jesus as for that of the Baptist : that it was directed towards the date of the Lord's death. He prefcrreil, however, not to interrupt his narrative of the Passion by a chronological notice, and therefore worked back from the date of the cnicifixion to the date of the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and so to that of the beginning of the ministry of the Baptist. This is confirmed by the fact that the date in Lk. 3i/ is, with the exception of the 'acceptable year of the Lord' in 1 19, the last date that Lk. gives. If, as we have concluded above, Lk. really had a whole year in mind, he must have put the death of Jesus into the next (the sixteenth) year of Tiberius that is, at the passover of 30 a.d. a

\ Sec the account, with criticism, of Keim's theory and of Wieseler's objeciinns to it, in Schiirer, 1 368 ./C

^ Clemen, Chron. iter ^aul. BrUfe, thinks otherwise, and reckons out 33 a.d. ; but hi> argument is wholly inconclusive.

A different view is held by Hratke, Sttui. it. h'rit., 1892, who holds that I.k. regarded the fifteenth year of Tiberius as identical with the ' acceptable year,' and put the death of Jesus into that ye.ir, 29 a.d. Arguments similar to Hratke's are to be found in Sanclemente, /V vulgaris irrtr emetuiationf, 1703, and in Caspari, C lironolo^sch-gtographisclu KinUitung in das Lebrn Jtsu, 1869.

That Lk. had worked back one year from the sixteenth yer of I iberius wxs the view of Julius Africanus.' On the other hand, C:iemcnt of .\lcxandria took Lk.' fifteenth year of Tiberius .-us the year of Jesus' death ; as did probably 'I'ertullian, whose statement that Christ was crucified in the consulate of the two liemini (2(^ A.D.) doubtless rests on Lk. 'A i /., and wa.s perhaps made on purpose to avoid confuhion from the later method of reckoning (cp above, i 47) whicli would have led him to the year 38 A.o. The statement in the received text of Tertullian that Jesus revealed himself ' anno xii. Tibcrii Caaris ' cannot be harmonised with Terlullian's other notices, and looks like an ancient correction intended to combine the statement in the text th.it Jesus was crucified in the fifteenth year of 1 iberius with the later tr.-iditional view of a three-year ministry.

52. Pilate.[edit]

{b) The theory explaining the conduct of Pilate at the trial of Jesus by the censure rftci\cd from Rome Ix-'tween 31 and 33 A.u. lacks all founda- tion ; and so does the theory (Sevin, p. 135) that the hostility lietween Pilate and Hero<l (Lk. 2312) was possible only after the complaint against Pilate (as to the date of the complaint, cp SchUrer I411), in which Antipas had a share. Hostility l)etwe<-n the Roman procurator and Herod's heir must have been the rule, not the exception.

53 Temple[edit]

(c) If, in spite of what has been said atove, the fourth Evangelist counted three passovers in the public life of Jesus (cp al>ove, 45), and the period of forty-six years from the beginning of the building of the tem|jle is to l)e taken seriously (cp 48), his chronology also would yield the year 30 for the death of Jesus.

54. Day of Crucifixion.[edit]

(d) A final decision cannot be reachetl from the Jewish Calendar. On the one hand, the .Synoptists put the crucifixion on Friday, the 15th Nisan, John on Friday the 14th (Mark 15:42, Luke 28:54, Matthew 27:62, John 19:31).

55. Jewish Calendar.[edit]

On the other hand, although the astronomical new moons have lieen computed for the possible years with a difference of but a few minutes between the computation of Wurms and that of Outiemans, and the days of the week can be found, difficulty is caused by various irregularities in the Jewish calendar- system. First, the beginning of the month was determined, not by the astronomical new moon, but by the time when the new moon was first visible, which depends partly on the weather and on the se.-xson of the year, ami is always at least from twenty-four to thirty hours later than the astronomical new moon. In order to prevent too great divergence of the calendar, it was prescrilxjd, however, that no month should in any case last more than thirty days, and that no years should contain less than four or more than eight such ' full ' months. Secondly, the intercalary years create complication.

A thirteenth month was added to the year whenever on the i6th Nisan the barley was not yet ripe; but this was forbidden in the sabbaticiil years, and two intercalary years in succession were not .-illowed. I he only sabbatical year in our j)eriod (com- puteil by the aid of i .\lacc. (54953, "<' J"*- -"' "i^'- l'** ' cp 1j I 2) u-.as, according to Schiirer, 33-3^ A.D. ; according to Sevm and others,'* 34-35 A.D. Any one of the six preceding years might have been an intercalary year.

' So also Schiirer, 1 369. Cp. Gelzer, S. Julius A/ricanus utui die byzaif.iiiische Chronolot;ie , 1S80, 1 4"^.

- On the attempts to reconcife this discrepancy see the com> mentaries and the books there mentioned.

Cp Wurms in Bengel's ./ri7/.y: d. Th^ol., 1886, vol.

Ideler, Hamib. 1 477-583 ; Wieseler, Ckronol. Sytwpse der

Belr. zur richtigen It'iirdi^'HH^ Ew. UHidereviiHgelisehenOesch., 1869; Clumpach, X'eberden

Vier J<Tz>. (1843), ^"^^ Betr. zur richtigen M'urdigiing der altjUd. Kaletuler, 1848 ; Oudemans, Kct'. dt I'h^oi. 1863 ; Caspari, Chronol.-geogr. Einl. i. d. Ltb. Jesu Chrisii, 1869; Schwarz, Der Jiid. Kal. historisth w. a%trotu>misch untersnckt, 1872 ; Zuckermann, Materialien zur EttHvickelung der altjAd. Zeitrechn. im Talmud, 1882.

< Cp, besides the above-mentioned work of Gumpach, Caspari, 21-25; Sevin, 58-61; Anger, De tfi/xtrum in Atis Aposto. lorum rntione, 1833, p. 38; Herzfeld, GescM. d. Isr. 2458^; Zuckermann, Veber Sabt'athjahrcyclus und Jobel-perntde, Kreslau, 1857 ; GrStz, Gesch. d. Jud. iii. 1878, p. 636-639 ; Rilnsch, in Stud. u. Knt. 1870, p. 36iyC, 1875, p. 589^;

At the end of 28-29 a.d., however, lli(;rc was no need of an intercalated month, because the 15th Nisaii fell on i6ih April 29 A.U., and on 5th April 30 A.D. (so according to Wurms ; according to (iauss and -Schwarz one day lat>;r). At the end of 30-11 there may have been an intercalar>' month, for the islh Nisan would otherwise have fallen on 26th or 27th March, 31 a.u., but with an intercalary month on 24th .April. In 32 a.d., the 15th Nisan fell on 12th .April ; in 33 A.u., on 2nd -Vpril. If, however, 33-34 \vas a sabbatical year, an extra month would have had to be inter- calated at the end of 32-33, and then the 15th Nisan would have fall-^n on ist May, 33 a.u., and 21st .\pril, 34 a.u. ; whereas if 34-35 was the sabbatical year, the extra month would not have l)een inserted until the end of 33-34- Thus, in 31 a.u. the 15th N isan would have remained 2nd .\pnl. The Jewish empirically determined dates all fell, however, one or two days later than these astronomical dates.

56. Days of week.[edit]

If we take the days of the week into account, in the years 29, 32, and 35 AD., neither the 14th nor the 15th Nisan could possibly have fallen on Fritlay. On the other hand, if 33-34 was not a sabbatical year (and so 32-33 not an intercalary year), the i4ih Nisan may have been celebrated on Friday, 4th April 33, which would correspond to the view of the Fourth Gospel. This year, however, is excluded if Jesus died on the 15th Nisan, and it is impossible in either case if, as is more likely, 33-34 was the sabbatical year, and so 32-33 had thirteen months. > There is, therefore, no great probability on the side of 33 A.D. On the other hand, the 15th Nisaii may have fallen on Friday, 23rd April 34 .\.D. This is hardly possible for the 14th Nisan, as the astronomical new moon occurred at 6.42 p.m., 7lh April, so that the ist Nisan can have been put at the latest on 9th .April (so Sevin, 144). No other line of evidence, however, points to the year 34, and this reckon- ing by the calendar suits just as well the year 30 of Lk. 3i /, for in that year the astronomical new moon occurred at 8.08 p.m., 22nd March, so that the ist Nisan may have been put on Friday, 24th March, and the 15th have fallen on Friday, 7th April. -

57. Jesus' Birth[edit]

5. The Year of Jesus' Birth. Dionysius E.xiguus, according to the proofs given by Sanclemente (/.t:. 4 8) and confirmed by Ideler {Handbuch, ; 383 f. ), started in his reckoning from the incarnation, and followed the common method for the years of reigning monarchs. His view was that Jesus was born on the 25th December, 754 A.U.C. , and so he counted the whole year 754 as I .A.D. The view defended by Noris and Pagi, that he assigned the nativity to 25th December 753, and ignored the five following days, is wrong.

In this reckoning, which gradually came to be universally accepted, Dionysius departed from the dating for which Irenaeus [Adv. hcBr. iii. 25) and Ter- tuUian {Adv. Jud. 8) are the oldest witnesses; which dating, based only on the information given in the Gospels, put the nativity in 751 .A.U.C. = 3 B.C. Dionysius, perhaps because he had no means of fixing the date of the census under Quirinius in Lk. 2, or the death of Herod in Mt. 2. seems to have reached his result by putting the public appearance of Jesus one year later than that of John ( 1 5th year of Tiberius, Lk. 3 1 / ), and reckoning back thirty years. Since we have seen that the thirty years of Lk. 3 i /. is a round number, perhaps drawn from the O T, we are thrown back on the narratives of the nativity.

Wieseler in Stud. u. Krit. iSgs, p. 527.^ '> Caspar! in Stud, u. Krit. 1877, pp. 181-190; Riess, Geburtsjahr C/iristi, 18S0, p. 457^ 229-236 ; and other works mentioned in Schiirer, I 297;

1 See for the year 33 a.d. the exact reckoning in Schegg, p. 49/1

2 So also Gumpach, HUlfsm. d. rechnend. Chronol. 1853, p. 94.

58. The Baptist.[edit]

(a) Lk. gives two points, (i.) He says (I36) that Jesus was six months younger than the Baptist, whose conception happened under Herod. It does not however, follow that the birth of Jesus fifteen months later was also under Herod, and, even if the evangelist thought so, his view cannot have rested on documentary evidence. Perhaps Lk. may have drawn his inference from the fact that the Baptist died six months before Jesus.

59. The Census.[edit]

(ii. ) Lk. says (2 1-5) that Jesus was born at the time when a census, ordered by Augustus for the whole empire, was being taken in Jud;ea and Galilee, and that this was while Cyrenius (undoubtedly Publ. Sulpicius Quirinius) was governor in Syria. ^ Such a census, however, was legally im- |X)ssible in the reign of Herod, and a governorship of Quirinius in .Syria before Herod's death is chronologically impossible, since at the time of Herod's death (4 B.C.) Quinctilius Varus (who put down the insurrection follow- ing that event) was still governor in S\Tia. whilst his predecessors were Sentius Saturninus (9-6 B.C.) and Tilius (attested for 10 B.C. ). Joscphus, who relates the last j'ears of Herod in much detail, has no knowledge of such a census, but says that the census of 7 A.D. was the first, and something altogether novel for the Jews. It may Ije that Quirinius was governor of Syria for a short time (3-2 B.C.) as successor to Varus, as he cer- tainly was afterwards from 6 a.d. until (at the latest) II .v.D. ; but in his first (problematical) governorship a census for Judea, which had fallen to the share of Archelaus, is likewise impossible. On the other hand, the census in Judaea under Quirinius in 6-7 A. D. , after the deposition of Archelaus, is well attested (cp Jos. Ant. .wii. 125 xviii. 1 1 and 2i .xx. 62, BJ, xi. 1 1. Acts [= Lk. ] 537). and may have been in fulfilment of a general imperial command intended to be executed as occasion should arise in the several provinces. This could, how- ever, have applied only to imjx^rial provinces (including, therefore, Jud Ka), not to senatorial provinces : that is, it would not be universal. Further, (i)even this census could not have included the (ialileans, who were subjects of Antipas ; and (2) it must have been taken as the basis for a poll and property tax, at the actual, not at the ancestral, home of the subject, for the latter would have been in most cases hard to determine, and such a procedure was in general impracticable. (3) Moreover, Mary could not possibly be affected by it, because she was not of the lineage of David (cp Gk.veai.ogiks, ii. K and in such cases the authorities dealt with the male representatives of the women.

60. Luke's method.[edit]

The account in Lk. rests, therefore, on a series of mistakes, and the most plausible view is that the evangelist, or the tradition which he followed, for some reason combined the birth of Jesus with the census under Quirinius, and assigned to the latter a wrong date.^

Perhaps Lk. simply confused Archelaus with his father, for the former was very probably, like .\ntipas, occasionally called Herod. This confusion of the two Herods would have been all the easier if after Herod the Great's death Quirinius really was for a while governor of Syria. The same confusion may have caused Iren.-eus and Tertullian to adopt the year 3 B.C. for the birth of Jesus. The imperial census of Lk. is perhaps a confusion of the census under Quirinius, put incorrectly into the year 3 B.C., with the remembrance of the census of Roman citizens throughout the empire which was actually ordered by Augustus in 6 B.C., for the two events lay only two years apart. Lk. , who (cp 47 above, on the two high priests in Lk. 82) was none too well informed on Jewish matters, may have inferred from ' the family of David ' that Joseph s home was really in Bethlehem, antl have suppo.sed this fact to be the true means of combining the already current tradition of the birth in Bethlehem with the incontestable tradition that Jesus was a Nazarene.

1 See the conclusive investigation by Schfirer, 1 ^33i^

2 A chronological error is not without analogies in l.k. The case of Thoudas (.\cts > ^6/) is well known, and the colleclioii for the poor in -Acts 1 1 28/ is perhaps confused with that of Acts 21, whilst the combination of the various famines in the time of Claudius into one world-wide famine (Acts 11 28) is ver>- closely analogous to the case of the census.

If these suppositions are admissahle, the kernel of truth in the narrative would \x that Jesus was lrn not far from the end of the Hcrodian peri(xl. and that the Roman rule was set up in his earliest thildhcxKl. In both thcM- political occurrences an inner connection with the events which brought in the Kingdom of God was doubtless obsTved in very early times, and the interest in making the closeness of this connection as clear as possible may have led to the enrichment of the narrative.

61. The Star[edit]

(d) I'rom Mt. we have as chronological evidence the star and the slaughter of the innocents. Rationalising attempts however, to subject this star to astronomical laws do violence to the idea of the narrator. The star moves in its own free paths, appears and disappears, travels and stands .still. Kven if the evangelist is wrong, and a conjunction or a coniet lies at the basis of the story, it is imi>ossible to determine from what phenomena astrologers of ' the East ' sup|X)sed themselves able to draw such inferences. The star shines only in the legend, and derives its origin from Nu. 2I17 and the aixxalyiJlical imagery (cp Rev. 12 i). It has l>een matched by similar legendary stars at the birth and at the death of many of the great men of the heathen world.

62. The Innocents.[edit]

As to the murder of the innocents, if it were a historical fact. Jesus nmst l)e supfx)sed, since the male children were killed ' from two years old and under.' to have beeti not less than a vear old even if the murder was just lx.-fore Hcrfxls death ; and in that case, since Herod died shortly Ixfore the Passover of 4 B.C., Jesus nmst have been born at the latest in 5 B.C. Josephus. however, although he narrates with the most scrupulous exactness all the horrors of Herod's last years, has no knowledge of the murder of the children. On the other hand, he gives almost exactly the same storj' as relating to Moses (Ant 11:9:2)

All the other suspicious circumstances in the narrative in Mt. 2 cannot be set forth here. In view of the natural tendency of legends to connect im[X)rtant events with one another and to mirror their nmtual relations, we cannot infer from .Mt. more than that Jesus was probably l)orn shortly liefore or after the death of Herod the s;ime result that we reached from Lk.

63. Conclusions[edit]

The only results which have a very high degree of probability are the date 30 AW for the death of Jesus, and the |x;riod of al)out one year for the length of his public ministry. Hesides this, it is also probable that Jesus was Ijorn in the :ii,'it.it>(l times when death was snatching the sceptre from tin- hand of Herod the (ireat. and when with his sucoi-sM>rs the Roman rule in Jud;ea was coming again in sight.

TABLE VII. Life of Jescs. probable Dates,

  • circa 4 B.C. Birth of Jesus.
  • circa 28/29 AD. beginning of public work.
  • 30 A.D. Death of Jesus.


64. Paul's journey to Rome[edit]

The starting point for Pauline chronology must be the journey to Rome, for here we can make connection with the dates supplied by Roman history.

65. Festus[edit]

The events immediately preceding namely, the arrival of Festus in Palestine, the beginning of the proceedings against Paul (Acts 2r>i-6). the hearing and the appeal (2.')6-ii), and (27 1) the shipment of the prisoner probably followed one another rapidly ; but the actual date of the arrival of Festus is matter of dispute (see the literature in Schiirer. C/l', 1 484/. n. 38, to which must now Ije added O. Holtzniann, XT Zeif^^'cscA.. 1805. p. 125/: 248; Blass, Acta Ap. 1895, p. 21/. ; Harnack. Die C/iron. <ier ultchristl. Lit. 1 [97])- I" or the most part the preference is given to the year 60 or 59 A.D. , since it was at the latest in the summer of 62 (more probably in that of 61 ) that Albinus succeeded Festus. and for the events related of Festus" s term of office one year will suffice. 'ITie objection to an earlier date is that it might not leave room Un the events of the life of I'aul, an<l that, ac- cording to Acts24io. at the imprisonment of I'aul, Felix had alre-ady lieen in (jftice ' many years ' Hk iro\\Q)V iriiiv). (That the courtly Josephus casually mentions Po|)p.Ta as Nero's wife, which she did not become till si-veral years later, caimot Ije adduced as a serious argument in the same direction. )

By the sitle of this conmionly received date, however, a much earlier one h;is been advocated recently.'

Thus Kellner pro|)oses Nov. 54 A.D. ; W'elxrr and O. Holtzmaim. the summer of 55 ; Hlass and Harnack, 56 (Harnack. 55?). Whilst C). Holtzniann takes his start from Tacitus. Harnack starts from the chronology of Eusebius. the claims of which to our confidence his lalxjurs have materially enhanced. I le shows that there is no ground for the common suspicion of the dates given by Eusebius for the procuratorships preceding and following that of Festus.

Eusebius d.itc for the year preceding the .-xccession of Felix dilTers from that of Tacitus by only one year. Nor is the difference .my greater in the date of his removal. According to Tacitus, Pallas fell into disfavour a few days Ixrfore the fourteenth birth- day of Hritannicus, which fell in the middle of Feb. J5 A.IJ. According to Josc-jihus, Pallas obtained of Nero an acijuittal for his brother Felix from an accusation made by the Jews after hi> recall. Now, as Nero ascended the throne on the 13th Oct. 54 A.I>., the time left under him by these two dates is clearly too .short for the events narrated by Josephus. 'Iwo solutions are possible. Tacitus may be wrong by a year in the age of Britannicus ; it may have been his fifteenth birthday, so that it was not till 56 that Pallas fell into disfavour; or else even after his fall Pallas may still have had access to the Km|)eror. Now, Kusebius in his Chronicle supports the year 56 as that of the accession of F'estus, since he assigns it to the second year of Nero (Oct. 55 to Oct. 56; on the textual certainty of this date see Harnack, 236, n. 2). If Felix entered on his office, as according to Fusebius he did, between Jan. 51 and Jan. 52 (according to Tacitus between Jan. 52 and Jan. 53), he could in the summer of 56 be described in ca.se of need, if we compare the avenige length of procuratorships, as having been in office (K iroAAuf cruif.

Any objection, in fact, to this nunilx.T 56 for the accession of Festus, sup|K)rted by Tacitus and 1 u.sebius, could come only from the recjuirements of the life of Paul. We shall, therefore, leave the question open for the present.

From the date thus obtained for the relegation of the prisoner to the tribunal at Rome, let us in the first place make our way backwards.

66. Felix.[edit]

If, as we shall see to lie probable, Paul carried out the plan mentioned in -Acts 20 16. his arrest must have been at Pentecost under the procurator Felix, who (24 27) prolonged the proceedings for two years until his retirement from office. This mention of Felix and the two-years impri.sonntent in Caesarea are. indeed, regarded as unhistorical by Straatman {J'aulus, 1874). van Manen {/'aulus, 1, De handelingen dfr Apostelen, 1890), and esi^ecially by Weizsacker (.//. Zei taller, 1886, pp. 433-461); but the improbability of certain details, on which they rely, is not conclusive, and, on the other hand, the rise of this circumstantial narrative cannot be explained on the ground that it is a doublet to Acts 2;')/. That Felix should hold over the pri.soner for the chance of a change of sentiment in Jerusalem, and, this change not having come about, should finally leave him in pris<in in the hope of leaving one |X)pular deed to \yc remem- bered by, agrees with his character and the habit of procurators. That Acts tells nothing about these two years is much less surprising than its silence about the year and a half in (T'orinth and the thrt^ years in Ephesus. That a provisional imprisonment of two years could lie imposed even on a Roman citizen is

1 By Kellner (the article ' Felix ' in HergenrOthcr's Kirchfn- Ux.m (Roman Catholic). 1887 ; Z./. kutk Thfol. 1888), Weber (Kritische Gach. tier Kxegtst des q. Kaf>. des Kditicrhriffit 1889, p. ijjJF-), O. Holtzmann ( .c), Blass (Ac), Harnack (I.e.) following such older scholars as Bcngel, Suskind, and Kettig.

shown by the two-years imprisonment in Rome. It is likewise obvious that Paul would not have had his case transferred to Rome except in dire necessity. The dry notice in Acts 24 27 is, therefore, without doubt trustw\)rthy, and the arrest of Paul is to be put two years earlier than the arrival of Festus that is, at Pentecost 54 or 58.

67. Philippi to Jerusalem.[edit]

For the events liefore the arrest in Jerusalem we give the dates in two numbers : one on the as.sumption that this hapix-'ncd at I'entecost 54 ; the )ther, that it was in 58. The journey to Jerusalem from Philippi (Acts 204-21 16), which is related, with the exception of the episode at Miletus (2O16-3S), from the 'we-source,' was Ijegun after ' the days of unleavened bread,' and there is no reason for supposing that Paul did not carry out his j)lan (20 16) of arriving at Jerusalem by Pentecost. The itinerary from the beginning of the Passover is given us as follows; At Philippi (P;\ssovcr) seven days; to Troas five days ; at Tro.as seven days ; to Patara eight days, in all twenty-seven days. This leaves twenty- two days before Pentecost, which was ample for the journey to Jerusalem except in case of a very exception- ally unfavourable passage from Patara to the co.ast of Syria. Of these twenty-two days twelve were occupied as follows : At Tyre seven days, to Ptolemais one, to Ca;sarea one, to Jerusalem two to three ; so that ten days remain for the voyage from Patara to Tyre (which in ordinary weather required four to five days) and for the stay at Ctesarea, the duration of neither of which is stated. From the stops, which in view of the brisk coasting -trade were surely not necessary, we may infer that satisfactory progress was made by the travellers. The departure from Philippi, which was the conclusion of Paul's missionary career, is, therefore, to be put just after the Passover of the year of the arrest.

68. Ephesus to Philippi.[edit]

For the dates earlier than this point, the chronologist would be wholly at sea without Acts ; and no good reason appears for not trusting the information which it gives. On the great journey which ended at Jerusalem, Paul had started from F.phesus (i Cor. 168/.; Acts 19), and journeyed by way of Troas, where he carried on his work for a short time (.\cts20i does not mention Troas at all), to Macedonia (2Cor. 2i2 /. Ts)- That he st.ayed there long is not likely ; for, if he had done so, the length of his stay would probably have bien given as in the case (Acts 20 3) of Greece (Corinth). Moreover, the plans made in Ephesus (iCor. I65; 2 Cor. 1 15/) had in view only a short stay in Mace- donia, for (i Cor. 168 cp c'. 6) Paul expected to leave Ephesus after Pentecost (which fell somewhere between 15th .May and 15th June) and to be in Corinth so early that, even if he should not decide to pass the winter there, his visit should, nevertheless, not be too short. This would allow at most three months on the way. Now, he may have waited rather longer in Macedonia, in order to learn the impression made by Titus (the bearer of 2 Cor. ) ; but, even so, we cannot reckon more than from four to five months for the whole journey. In Corinth itself he stayed (Acts203) three months, and then returned to Macedonia, where he surely did not stay long, since he had been there just three months earlier. Moreover, he had, no doubt, formed in Corinth his plan of being in Jerusalem by Pentecost, and the additional time which the unexpectedly long journey (occasioned by Jewish plots. Acts 20 3, which m.ade the direct route impossible) nmst have cost him would of itself have forbidden an unnecessarily long stay. He probably, therefore, reached Philippi but little before the Passover ; and we have for the whole journey from Ephesus through Troas, Macedonia, Greece, and back to Macedonia perhaps eight to ten months namely, about the space of time from Pentecost 53/57 to Pass- over 54/58. In the summer 1 of 53/57 in Macedonia

1 Or autumn ; see Corinthians, | 3.

Paul wrote 2 Cor.; at the end of this year or the beginning of the next in Corinth, Romans, and the letter of introduction for Phoebe to the Christians at Ephesus (Rom. 16 1-20). About this time may belong, too, the undoubtedly authentic note Tit. 812-14; in which case the Macedonian Nicomedia is meant, and the plan for the winter was not carrietl out.

69. Ephesus.[edit]

The stay in Ephesus had lasted, according to Acts 19 81022, over two years and a quarter (Acts 20 31 speaks of three years), so that Paul must have come to liphesus at Pentecost or in the summer of 50/54. From there, after he had already sent one letter to Corinth (iCor. ."jg), he wrote in the beginning of 53/57 our i Cor. , and later had occasion to write to Corinth for yet a third time (2 Cor. 73 : the letter is perhaps preserved in 2 Cor. 10-13).'

70. Corinth[edit]

From this long st.ay in Ephesus, which doubtless formed the .second great epoch in Paul's missionary activity in the Greek world, we go back to the first - namely, the first vi^it to Corinth (.\ctsl8i-i8 ; cp I and 2 Cor. ). This ap[)ears to have la.sted about two years, since to the one year and a half of 18 n must be added, in case 18 11 refers only to the time spent in the house of Tilius Justus, the previous time, in which Paul was trying to work from the syna- gogue as a Ixase, as well as the later 'iKaval rnxipan of 18 18. How much time lay, however, lx;tween the departure from Corinth and the arrival at iiphesus in 50/54 vve cannot tell, although the very sketchiness of our only authority (.\ctsl8 i8-19i) makes it easier to believe that the author is drawing here (except for the words, V. 19, l<7e\dJ)i>-v. 21, ^Aojtos) from a written source than that he relies on oral tradition or his own imagination. Oral tradition would either have omitted the journey altogether, or have narrated what happened at Jerusalem in some detail. All suspicion of ' tendency ' is excluded by the brevity and obscurity of the passage. For the journey thus barely mentioned in .Acts one year would be ample time. In that case Paul would have left Corinth in the summer of 49/53, having arrived there in the summer of 47/51. In the beginning of this jjeriod of two years i I'hess. was written. (The genuineness of 2 Thess. nmst be left undetermined. )

Before the long stay in Corinth falls the Macedonian mission, with the necessary journeys, which, however, occupied but one day each (.Actsien-lS i). For the whole journey from Troas to Corinth a few months would suffice. It is, therefore, possible th:it Paul set out after the opening of navigation in March of the same year in the summer of which he arrived for his long stay in Corinth.

71. Results.[edit]

Up to this point the probability of the chronology is very considerable. The results may be summarised as follows :

TABLE VIII Life of Paul : Entrance into Europe to Imprisonment at Rome.

  • Spring 47/51. Departure from Troas, followed by mission in Macedonia.
  • Summer 47/51-Summer 49/53. Corinth and Achaia. 1 Thess.
  • Summer 49/53-Summer 50/54. Visit to Jerusalem and Antioch ; journey through Asia Minor to Ephesus.
  • Summer 50/54-Pentecost 53/57. Ephesus.
  • Pentecost 53/57-Passover 54/58. Journey by way of Troas and Macedonia to Achaia and return to Philippi.
  • Passover-Pentecost 54/58. Journey, with the contribution, from Philippi to Jerusalem.
  • 54/58-56/60. Imprisonment in Cesarea.
  • Autumn 56/60- spring 57/61. Journey to Rome.
  • 57/61-59/63. Imprisonment in Rome.

1 See, however, Corinthians, 18.

72. Earlier period.[edit]

Passing now to the period before 47/51 A.D. , we find that -Acts supplies us with far less trustworthy accounts and is wholly without dates ; nor have we any Pauline epistles written in these years. Highly probable, nevertheless (just because of the peculiar way in which it is given), although not without editorial additions, is the representation preserved in Acts 15:40-l6:8, that Troas was the goal of a zigzag journey from Antioch in Syria through the interior of Asia Minor. The seeming restlessness (Acts 166-8) at any rate in the laiter jxirt of the inland journey may imply that the time occupied was comparatively short. In that case, the start from Antioch might fall in the year 46/50 ; but even that is very problematical.

73. Galatians 1:1-2[edit]

We are, therefore, thrown back for the chronology wholly on Galatians 1:1-2. Here however, it is not pcrfectly plain whether the fourteen years in 2 1 include or follow the three years in 1 18. For the former view ntay he adduced the change of prepositions /terd ( after ' ) and 5id ( ' in the course of,' RV*.') ; but this can be explained lx;tter thus. .\n firtira ('then') having Ixx-n introduced in 1 21 Ixnwccri the two tireira of 1 18 and 2 I, btd was used, instead (jf /ufrd, in order not to exclude the space of time lietwecn the two firfira. of IT. i3 and 21 namely, the fifteen ilays in Jerusalem. (Perhajjs, also, in 2i the three years had completely elapsed before the first visit, whereas the second visit may have been made in the course of the fourteenth ye;ir. ) On this view seventeen yexrs would have elapsed from theconversion of I'aul to the conference in Jerusalem, out of which time he h.id sf)ent three years in Arabia and fourteen in Syria and Cilicia (1 17 21 ). The latter period was certainly, the former (at least for Damascus) proliably, occupied in the work of an ajxistle (CJal. I23 2?/.). After the conference in Jerusalem followed a stay in Antioch (2 11-21). Since 3i/. is introduced without any sign of transition, the simplest supposition is that this irpoypa.((>(tv (;ii; RV ' ojxjn setting forth") and its results (that is. the mission in Galatia) come chrono- logically after, but not too long after, the events narrated previously. This would agree, also, with the most natural interpretation of Gal. 2s.

74. Acts[edit]

If we look now at the parallel narrative in Acts, there is, in the first place, no doubt that in I6:1-35 we have the same events described as in Gal. 2. In Acts, as in Galatians, Paul and Barnabas come with others in their company to Jerusalem, and return to Antioch after arriving at an understanding with the church in Jerusiilem. To .\ntioch come also, in Ixnh cases (although in Acts no mention is made of a visit of Peter), members of the Jerusalem church, who niii;ht in Acts also, just as in Galatians, have been saiti to come from James. In Acts 11 27-30 1224/. however, we find, besides, mention of another earlier journey of Paul and Barnabas from .Xniioch to Jerusalem and back again, after the journey from Damascus to Jerusalem (Acts 926-3o = Gal. I18). Since Clal. l2o-2i makes this im- possible as a separate visit to Jerusalem, the two visits from .Vntioch (.'\cts 11/ and .Acts 1.')) must have been really one , and this would explain the further ix)ints of resemblance that on both occasions (in one case after, in the other iK'fore, the journey of the ai)ostles) prophets come from Jerusalem to Antioch 11 27 I532), and that both times, although in different ways, a contribution of money plays a part ( .Vets 1 1 28/ Gal. 2 10). C'p also ' to the elders' (.Actsllio 102). Now, although this visit is in general more accurately described by Actsl.'), there are many reasons for thinking that it is chronologically placed more correctly by .Acts 1127^

The insertion by mistake at the end of ch.ap. 14 is easy to under- .stand : for whilst large parts of chap. 13/1 and the whole of chap. 15 are certainly the work of the final author of Acts( .otice that the style is the same as in Acts 1-V.'), at the s.-inie time the 'we source ' can be detected (as is now more and more widely held) as far back as 13 i, and we can ascribe to it the return to .\ntioch

!14 26<j) as well as the later departure for the journey of lli6_/fl without the intervening narrative), although we can no longer restore the original connection. Accordingly, since the author had not been able beiore .Acts IS/T to give a coni rete account of any Gentile mission, an undated account (perhaps not perfectly accurate) of a conference in Jerusalem (to which the missionaries came from Antio h) which treated the subject of Gentile missions could be inserted after 13/. better than e.-irlier. The author m.iy have had some reason to suppose that the contri- bution of money (the fact but not the date of which he had learned : it was not mentioned in his source as the occasion of the la viitit of Paul to Jerusalem: Act* 21) mut have l>ecn brought on the occ.ikion of the earlier slay in Antioch. If so, we c;in see how, in cunscijueiicc of the two period* of roidcnre in Anti<x:h, he w.n.s led to sujjpose that there had been two visits to Jerusiilcm, and so to create a contradiction to (iai. I/. All this ticcumcs still more proliabie if the districts visited in Acts isy. could be called (jalatia by I'aul : a possibility which can now lie regarded as proved, as is the im(>us,bility that Paul should have t.illed them Cilicia (Gal. 1 21) (see Galatia). On the other hand, it can l>e seen in Acts l.'> 1 /] yoff. that at the conference the great question was about the .Syrian Christians, not about those whose conversion is related in Acts Vi/.

If these hypotheses are correct, between the conference in Jerus;ilem (Gal. 2i^. ) and the journey from Troas to Macedonia (.\ctsl68-ii) lie the missionary journey (Acts 18/. ) begun and ended at Antioch, and the zig-zag tour through Asia .Minor (Aclsl536-168), the beginning of the original account of which has Ix-en, doubtless, somewhat confused by the insertion of .Acts ir>. One year, however, is not enough for these journeys.

The hindrance hinted at in Acts 166 /. may jjerhaps have lxx;n connected with the winter season, if the date (.March 47/51) which we have ventured to give above for the passage from Tro.as to .Macedonia is correct. In that case the missionaries would perhaps have passed the preceding winter in .Antioch (.Acts 14 26); the missionary journey of .Actsl3y'. would then fall in the open se;ison before this winter ; and thus the departure from .Antioch related in Acts 13i ^i \\ould have been two years before the passage from Troas to Kuro|)e (that is, in the spring of 45 49), and the conference in Jerusalem immediately b-fore perhaps (if we may infer from analogies) at the time of the Passover. The conversion of Paul would fall ((jal. 1 18 2i) fourteen or seventeen years earlier that is, in the year 31/35 or 28/32. When Gal. was written is for the general chronology a matter of indifference.'

75. Results[edit]

The table given above should therefore be prefixed :


  • 31/35 or 28/32. Conversion of Paul. Three-years stay in Arabia and Damascus.
  • 34/38 or 31/35. First visit to Jerusalem. Eleven or fourteen years work in Syria and Cilicia.
  • 45/49. Conference in Jerusalem, mission in Galatia. One-year journey through Asia Minor to Troas.
76. Famine[edit]

Three further passages can perhaps serve as proof of the results reached above. '-^ The first (.ActsllzS), containing the mention of the famine under Claudius, loses, iiuleed, its significance, if the visit there mentioned had .as its object the agree- ment aljcut the mission-fieUls, not the bringing of a contribution ; but it perhaps explains the mistaken combination (.Actsl 1 30 12 i) of this journey (of 45/49 A. n. ) with the death of James the son of Zebedee, which hapixined (.Acts 12 19-23) iK-tween 42 and 44. Josephus tells {Ant. XX. 62 and 26 iii- ir>3) of a famine in Jud:ea, which can well be put in one of these years, .and so could have hcen foreseen in the preceding year (cp Schiircr, 1 474, n. 8). By a singular coincidence there was in 49 also, one of the alternative years for the journey of Paul and Barnalxis to Jerusalem, a much more widely extended famine (see, for authorities, Schurer, ib.). It is possible, then, that the author knew that the conference was in a famine )ear, but connected it by mistake with the famine of 44 instead of that of 49, and that this assisted the confusion which resulted in the creation of an extra visit to

1 For the different possibilities see the Introductions to the NT ; for the latest hypotheses, Clemen, Chrotiol. d. /auiin. Brifft, 18 .3.

2 VVe can make nothing of the statement in .Acts 21 38. Even were its .-luthenticity beyond dispute, we have no means whatever of determining the year of the sedition referret to, and Wieseler's choice of 56 or 57 A.i>. (Chron. 79) is devoid of any solid foundation. Nor is it pos.sible to infer any date from the account in Acts 'Ihf. of .Agrippa and Berenice's presence in Caarca at the time when Paul's case was decided.

Jerusalem. The confusion of the two famine years is the more pardonable Ixxause l)oth fell under Claudius ; the transformation of the two local famines into one which affected the whole empire is easily explicable. All this, hcjwever. is simply a possibility. If the year of the conference was 45 A.I)., the two journeys dis- tinguished by Lk. would fall so close together that we can easily understand their being regarded as distinct, on the supposition that Lk. knew nothing of the raising of a collection and its delivery on the occasion of Paul's last journey to Jerusalem, but did know of a famine alwul the time of the conference and of succour given to the primitive church through Paul.

77. Expulsion of Jews.[edit]

The second notice is that of the expulsion of the Jews from konu; under Claudius, which was (ActslSiy. ), before Paul's arrival at Corinth. The year however, of this edict, which Suetonius {Claud. 25) also mentions, is not certain. "Wieseler ( Chronol. 1 20- 128) conjectures, without conclusive arguments, that it was issued in the year of the expulsion of the mathematici ( Tac. Ann. xii. ,')2; l)io(^assius606) that is, in 52 A. D. whilst Orosius (76, 15 ed. /^ngemeister, 1882) gives as the date, on the authority of Josepiius (in the existing text of whose writings we find no mention of the matter), the ninth year of Claudius = 49 .\.D. a date not fa\ourablc to the earlier alternative reached above for the year of Paul's arrival in Corinth, the summer of 47/51. Orosius's statement, however, cannot be verified.

78. Aretas : Paul's conversion.[edit]

Finally, from Acts 9 24 ff. and 2 Cor. 11 32 f., it appears that Pauls first visit to Jerusalem was occasioned b\' a persecution at a time when a viceroy of Aretas, king of the Xabatteans, resided at Damascus. The latest Damascene coins with the head of Tiberius (which form one of the proofs brought together by Schtirer, 1 615 /. n. 14, to prove, against Marc]uardt and Mommscn, that Damascus was not all the time under Arabian rule) belong to the year 33-34, and it is in itself not probable, though it is ])0ssible, that Damascus was given to Aretas by Tiberius, who died in March 37 A.D. , while under Caligula such favours are well known. If Caligula's reign had already begun, the flight of Paul would have fallen at least two years later than all but one of the dates assigned for it alx)ve. However, the argument is uncertain. Nothing known to us makes the possession of Damascus by Aretas in the last years of Tiberius actually impos- sible. If that should be excluded by discoveries of coins or other new evidence, we should then (the often assailed genuineness of 2 Cor. 1132/. being pre- supposed) have to combine the numbers in Gal. 1 18 2 1 (so that there would be only fourteen years between Paul's conversion and the conference in Jerusalem), or to shorten the time estimated for the mission in Asia Minor and Europe, or else to omit from the life of Paul the two-year imprisonment in Ciesarea under the procurator Felix.

At the same time, the coins of Tiberius for the year 33-34 exclude the j'ear 28 as that of Paul's conversion. If we assign the imprisonment to 54, the data of (jal. 1 /". must Ix.' explained as referring to the total of fourteen years, so that Pauls conversion would fall in 31. In favour of this is its nearness to the death of Jesus. For 1 Cor. l'3^ does not well permit an interval of any length lx;tween Jesus' death and Paul's arrival at Damascus. Conver.sely, the same consideration de- mands that, if we regard 58 as the date of the imprison- ment, we should calculate from the statements in (Jal. \ f. a period of seventeen years, so that 32 would Ije the year of Paul's conversion. Neither series, accordingly, conflicts with what we know of those times ; but it may readily Ije asked : Are we warranted in casting discredit on the statements of Eusebius ?

79 Closing period.[edit]

How now stands the case with reference to the close of Paul's life? The travellers set out for Rome in the autumn of 56 or 60, and arrived in the subsequent year (Acts 27-28). For the next two years Paul was kept in easy imprisonment, and to this period belong Colossians and Philemon, though some assign them to the Cpesarean imprisonment. After the lapse of the two years began the trial, about which we have some information from a note to Timothy now incorporated in 2 Tim., and from Philippians. Of its duration and i.ssue we know nothing. The prediction that I'aul would die without meeting his friends again (Acts 20 25-38), the sudden breaking off of Acts, and the utter absence of all trace of any later activity on the part of the apostle, will always incline one to believe that Paul's presentiment was fulfilled, and that his trial ended in a sentence of death. If so, the great ajxjstlc died in the course of the year 59 or 63. In either case his martyrdom was before the persecution of Nero, and hatl no connection with it. Nor does any of the older narratives conflict with this. When Eusebius in his Chronicle assigns the death of Peter and Paul to the fourteenth or thirteenth year of Nero (the numl)er varies in different texts) i.e., 68 or 67 .\.D. he is in conflict with himself, for he elsewhere sets this event in the beginning of the persecution of Nero, which beyond all question was in the summer of 64 ; and more- over, as Harnack insists {I.e. 2^1 f. ), his date lies under the suspicion of being occasioned by the legendary twenty-five years stay of Peter at Rome, in combination with the story that the ajx^stles left Jerusalem twelve years after the death of Jesus; 30 -i- 12 + 25 'u^ke 67. But neither is the tradition of the contemporaneous death of the two apostolic leaders by any means so well grounded as Harnack assumes {I.e.). In Eusebius, the contemporaneousness lies under the same suspicion as the date. Clem. Rom. chap. 5 gives no hint of it, and the summary introduction of other sufferers in chap. 6 gives us no right, in face of the enumeration of the sufferings enduretl by Peter and Paul during the whole of their apostolic activity, to apply all that is said in chap. 6, and therefore the death of these apostles, to the persecution of Nero. 'The testimony of Dionysius (Eus. //A' ii. 2r>8). &ix<f>u) (h tt]u 'IraXiav o/xoae SiSd^avTes iiJ.apT6frr)aav Kara top avrov Kaipov (' AhcT both teaching together as far as to Italy, they suffered martyrdom at the same time") is to lie taken em grano salts. If the two great apostles died a violent death for their faith in Rome under Nero, it is easy to see how tradition might lose sight of the interval of one year or five years, and bring the two martyrdoms together. The rapidity with which in the popular memory Paul receded behind Peter, a pheno- menon already noticeable in Clem. Rom. and Ignat. {ad Rom. 4), admits of a peculiarly simple explanation if Paul was withdrawn from the scene so much sooner.

80. Was Paul liberated ?[edit]

Whatever testimony can be found in the literature down to Eusebius for the liberation of Paul from his first imprisonment at Rome has been collected anew by Spitta ( Zur Gesch. Lit. des Urchrist. 1). In truth, all that can be taken account of before Eusebius is the apostle's intention intimated in Rom. 1524and mentioned in the Muratorian fragment (except that the a|X)stle's plans were so often upset by events), the Pauline fragments of the Pastoral Epistles (if they ought not also to be brought within the period of missionary activity known to us, since otherwise they would present the post-captivity labours as a strange repetition of \\hat preceded the captivity), and the expression Wp^a r^j Si'trewj ' boundary of the west ' in Clem. Rom. It is only the last that we can take seriously. Since, however, Ignatius sjaeaks of Rome as hvai.% {' west,' ad Koin.1-2), and Clement himself has immediately before opposed 5i<r to iio.ro\i] ('east'), meaning therefore at least Rome among other places, it is not at all diflicult, fspecially k<fping in view the Pauline metaphor of the dviiv (conriict), to sup[K)se that it is this SOffn, [i.e.. Koine) that is indicatetl as Tp>xa. If, in spile of this, the hyix)thesis of the liberation of Paul should Ix* accepted, we should have to add to our chronological table: 59/63. Liberation of Paul; July-Auj;. 64.-- Martyrdom. The a[xjstle's eventful life would thus end with a period completely obscured in the [xjpular memory, a period the events of which have not left a trace behind.

TABLE X. Life of Paul: Last Period.

  • 56/60 (autumn). Paul set out for Rome.
  • 57/61 (spring).- Arrival in Koine.
  • 57/61 Kasy imprisonment ; Col. Philem.
  • 59/63. Death of Paul.


  • 59/63. Liberation of Paul.
  • 64 July-Aug. Martyrdom.


81 Earliest events[edit]

If the dates so far accepted are correct, the whole Palestinian development descrilx.-d by the author of Acts (almost our only authority for this period) between the death of Jesus and the conversion of Paul, finally culminating in the death of Stephen and the dispersion of the church in Jerusalem, must be crowded into the limits of two years, or [)ossibly even of a single year.

The traditions are, however, very scanty. According to I Cor. 15 1-7 there haiajx-ned in this space of time the appearance of Jesus to Peter and the twelve (as to the time and place of which it is not {xjssibk; to reach a certain conclusion, hut with which the return to Jeru.salem is most clearly connected), his apix-arance to the 500 brethren ([jcrhaps to be identified with the occurrence narrated in Acts 2, which in that case was in Jerusalem, and, if Acts 2 is correct, fifty days after the death of Jesus), the conversion of him who afterwards b.-came head of the church of Jerusalem, James the Lord's brother (since this lx>yond doubt happened at the time of the ap[)earance to him mentioned in i Cor. l.'>7), and the conversion (by the same means) of many who after- wards Ix'came missionaries. The necessitv of a repre- sentation of the Hellenists (.-\cts ti 1-6) suggests that from the return of the twelve until that time a considerable [x-riod hadelat'sed, which is, however, very insufficiently filled out by the narratives in chaps. 3-5.

82. Later events[edit]

2. As to the later events, in the narratives in Acts 84-4 . !ti-3o 9 ji-11 18 11 19-24 illustrating the geographical extension of Christianity, the author plainly does not nu-an to assert that the events descrilx.'d followed one another in mutually exclusive periods of time. If the accounts are historical, the missionary ojx'rations of Philip and Peter were undertaken while Paul was working in Damascus and Antioch (including Syria) in 31/35 or 32/36^ A.D. The anonymous beginnings of Christianity in Damascus and .Antioch belong, of course, to the time before Paul took hold in those places. If the recollections lying at the basis of Acts 1 1 22-26 are approximately correct, Harnabas nmst have left Jerus;ilem finally for Antioch not very long after Pauls first visit to Jerusalem in 34/38 or 35/39 A.I)., and Philip may by that time have already removed to Ca;sarea (.\cts840).

3. After these events we hear nothing until the death of James the son of Zebedee betwetin 41, the year in which Mero<l .\grippa I. began to rule over Judrea, and 44, the year of his death (Actsl2i/' ). If the account in Acts is correct, alxjut this same time Peter left Jerusalem permanently (.\ctsrj 17 i, and James the Lords brother must have already Ix-i-ome the leader of the church (Actsl'2i7). With this agrees excellently the abun- dantly attested old Christian tradition that the twelve left Jerusalem twelve years after Jesus' death (see relT. in Hamack, Chronologic, 243). It may be in error simply in transferring to the twelve what applied only to their head. Peter. At all events Acts tells us nothing of the ten left after the death of James. The twelfth year would Ix.- 42 A.D. In that case Herod must have sought, immediately after his accession, by his proceedings against the Christians to secure the confidence of the Jews.

4. If the results reached alxjve with reference to what we read in Acts 15 11 27.^ and L'}/ a""*-* "ght, our next information relates to the year 45 or 49, when Peter, Paul, and Barnabas gather again at the conference round James, at whose side (Gal. 29) ap[x-ars John, the son of Zelxxlee. Paul and Harnabas return to Antioch ; Peter Ic-aves Jerusiilem again very soon, and lives for a while among the Christians at Antioch ((Jal. 'In ff.).

5. In 54/58, when Paul comes to Jerusalem with the contribution, James is master of the situation (Acts 21 18). This is the hist information from the N 1' about the church in Palestine.

6. According to the received text of Josephus (,-//. xx. 9i), James .suftered martyrdom in 62 that is. under the high priest Ananos (son of the high priest of the same name known to us from the tJospels) but Ixfore the arrival in Judiea of Albinus, the successor of the pro- curator I'estus. (.After I'estuss early tleath Annas had Ixicn a|ji)ointed high priest by Agrippa II.) The passage is not free, however, from the suspicion of Christian inter- polation. Hegesippus ( Kus. Hli ii. 23 11-18) seems to have put the death of James somewhat nearer to the destruction of Jerusalem.'

Shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem (A.n. 70) the Christians removed to Pel la in Peraa. The year is not certain, but was probably 67, when, after the down- fall of Cestius, Jewish fanaticism overreached itself.


83 Other dates[edit]

Here can be mentioned only those few points on which a stray ray of light happens to fall. In the nature of the case, detailed discussions can be given only in the s[x;cial articles.

1. Peter. That Peter, the last trace of whom we found in A.D. 45/49, or foniewhat I.Uer, at Antioch, was later a travelling missionary after the manner of Paul, is to be inferred from the allusions to him in I Cor. 1 12 822 95. I Pet. 5 12/., even if the epistle was not written by Peter, implies his intimate association with Paul's former companions ,Silvaiuis and Mark, and I Pet. li/. his missionary activity in the jjrovinces of .\sia Minor. For this latter there was rixjm at any rate after the imprisonment of Paul in 54/58, and for most of the provinces even before that time : namely, from the moment when Paul transferred his chief activity to Macedonia, Achaia. and Asia. In regard to Peter's stay in Rome, for which 1 Pet. 5 13 is an argument (it is certainly to Ixi put later than the en<l of Paul's trial), and in regard to the question whether it was in the persecution a.^ter the fire in Rome (July 64) that he suffered martyrdom (cp Clem. Rom. 5), see Peter. The as.sum[)tion of a contemporaneous martyrdom of Paul and Peter finds no support in the earliest documents : see above, 79.

2. John. As to John's residence in I".phesus and his end, see John.

3. Whilst the persecution under Nero was doubtless in the main limite<l to Rome, the last years of Domitian. especially in Asia Minor, in consecjuence of the insistence on the worship of the Emperor, may have been a jx;riotl of many contlicts with Christianity."

1 For further discussion, with references to sources and biblio- graphy, -see Schiirer, 1 486/

  • Cp especially Neumann, Der rdmiscke Staat u. die tUlgt-

meine Kirche, :8r,o, \Tjff'.; Ramsay, The Church in the Koman EtHpirf, 1893, p. i^iff.

84. NT writings.[edit]

To this time (say 93-96 ) many scholars assign Hebrews and I Peter (while others carry them down to the reign of Trajan), as well as the Apocalypse of John (see the special articles). Not nuich later, perhaps about the end of the first century, were written Ephesians, the Third Gospel, and Acts. Otir Gospel of Mark must, apart possibly from some later additions, have been written before this ; there is no need to suppose a nuich later date than 70. The Fourth tiospel, after which, probably, came the Johannine epistles, can well, by reason of its near rela- tion to Lk. and for other reasons, have been written at the same time as, or not long after, the Third Gospel. The first third of the second century best suits the latest books of the NT Matthew, the Pastoral Epistles, and James, all of them doubtless products of the Roman church. Jude may have been written somewhat earlier, 2 Peter somewhat later. See the Introductions to the NT and Harnack, Chronologie, 246-50, 245/., 451-64. 475-91,651-81.


  • 31/35 or 32/36 - Work of Philip and Peter in Palestine.
  • 34/38 or 35/39 - Barnabas removes to Antioch
  • Between 41 and 44 - Death of James, son of Zebedee. Peter leaves Jerusalem ; James leader.
  • 45/46 - Conference(Gal. 29). Peter soon resides at Antioch (Gal. 2:11+).
  • 52/53 - Paul brings contribution to Jerusalem (Acts 21 18).
  • Later. Peter becomes a travelling missionary.
  • 62 or later? - Death of James.
  • 67 ? Christians remove from Jerusalem to Pella.
  • 70. Destruction of Jerusalem.
  • Not much after 70. Our Gospel of Mark written.
  • 93-156 (?) Heb. and 1 Pet. (acc. to many) ; Apoc.
  • About end of century. Eph., Lk., Acts, Jn., Epp. of Jn.
  • First third of 2nd century. Jude, Mt., Past. Epp., Ja., 2 Pet.

H. v.S.

85. Bibliography[edit]

BIBLIOGRAPHY. A. Old Testament. lde\er, Handb. Her math. u. tech. Chron. 2 vols. 1825-26, and Lchrb. dff Chrou. ^^ -D-ui-- -u^ 1831; H. Brandes, Ahluuidlungcn zur q^^^,^ ^^^ Q^^.f, i, Aiterthu,,,, 1874; Schrader, Kcilinschri/tcn u. Geschichtsforschuiig, 1878 ; B. Netfler, Ziisanuiicnhaiig dcr A Tlk/ten /.eitrcchnung iiiit der Pro/a)ii;rsi/i. .Miinster, 1879, P'- ' '885, pt. iii. 1886; Hommel, Ahrissdi-rbal'.-as.. ti. israelii. Gesch. in Tahellcnfonn, Leipsic, 1880; Floigl, Gesch. des semit. Alterthums, Leipsic, 1882; Schrader, KAT^), 1S83 (CO/', 1885-88); Mahler, Bibiische Chron. u. Zeitrechnungder Hebr. 1887 ; Lederer, l^ie Bibiische Zeitrechnung-, 1888 ; Winckler, .4 T Untersuch. 1892 ; Kautzsch, HS, 1894, BeilaKen,pp. 1 10-135 (a tabular chrorological =iiimmary from Moses to the end of the second century B.C.; ET by J. Taylor) ; ' Zeitrechnung ' by Riehm in his H li B, 1884, pp. 1800- 1825; andbyGust. Rosch, /"/v" A'(2) 17 444-484; Carl Niebuhr,Z>/V Chronol. der Gesch. Israels, Aeg. Bab. u. Ass. von 2000-700 v. Chr. untersuclit, 18,6.

Oh particular points also the follo'Ming : For the time of the Judges : Noldeke, Unterstich. zur Kritik des A T, 173-198. For the Monarchy (besides the histories of Israel): Wellhausen, _' Die Zeitrechnung des Buchsder Runige sell der I heilungdes Reichs ' in the /DT, 1875, pp. 607-640; Rrey, 'Zur Ziitiecbnung des B. der Konige in ZIl'J', i77, pp. 404-408 ; W. R. Smith, Proph. 1882, pp. 145-151, 401-404 (2nd ed. 403-406), 413-419 (2nd ed. 415- 421); Kamph. I'ie Chron. iter hebr. t\ anise, 1883, cp ZA TIV, 8193-202 ['85]; Klostermann, Sam. u. h'on. ['87], pp. 493-498; Riihl, 'Die Tyri>che Konigsliste des Menander von Ephesus' in the Rhcin. Mus./iir Pliil. n.s. [ 95], pp. 565-578, and 'Chron. der Konige von Lrael u. Juda,' in Deutsche Zt.f. Gescltichts- luiss. 1244-76, 171 [95]; Benzinger, ' Kon.,' 1899 (A'//C).

For the Chronology of the Persian times. Kuencn, ' De chron. van het Perz. tijdvak der Joodsche geschied." in Proc. Amsterdam Royal Academy, Literature Section, 1890, trans- late! into German in Bu.'s edition of Kue.'s Biblical essays, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, etc. ['94], 212-251 : A. van Hoo- nacker, Zorobabel et le second temple, etude sur la chron. des six premiers chapitres du livre cfpsdras, 1S92, and Nehemie en Ian 2 1 ct A rtaxerxes I. ; l.sdras en tan 7 cC A rtaxerxi-s II. (reply to Kue.), 1892 ; Kosters, Hei herstel van Israel in het Perz. tijdvak, i*'94 ; Ed. Meyer, Die F.ntstehung des Juden- tums, 1896; Charles C. Torrey, I'/ie Compos tion and Hist. Value 0/ Ezra-Neh., 1896.

B. New Testament. See the literature cited in the course of the article, especially 40 (note) and 51-56 (notes). Cp also C. H. Turner in Hastings' DB.

K.M. (1-38, 85); H.v.S. (39-84). _


(xpycoAiGoc). one of the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse (Rev. 21 10). It is not improbable that in ancient times the term was applied to a particular shade of Beryl {q.v.). See Precious Stones. In modern usage Chrysolite is the name generally given to the yellow or yellowish -green varieties of olivine, the transparent varieties being known as peridote (cp Topaz).

XpvtrdAtOos in is used to translate tarsii'm Ex. 28208931 Ezek '28 13 (cp Ezek. 1 16 Aq [BAQ transliterate], Dan. 106 Theod. [see Sw.]). In Ezek. 28 13 AVi'g. has 'chrysolite,' but elsewhere EV 'beryl,' which more proliably represents loham ;

see Bi-.KYi., 3, TakshisH, -SroNiiOK.

  1. Whether the numbers 1-5 that are found on silver shekels and half-shekels with the inscription hebrew script refer to another era than this of Simon's, and, if so, to some pre-Christian era, has not been decided. That Simon had coins stamped, however, it hardly to be doubted (cp 1 Macc. 156; also Schürer, op cit. 1192ff. 636.6:)
  2. So Schürer, op. cit. 133; We., however (IJG 129f. 208), regards this assumption as unnecessary (cp Year, § 9).
  3. In that case, nothing would meet the requirements of the passage but a reckoning that counted from the reform of Josiah (622). Of any such mode of reckoning we know nothing, any more than we do of a reckoning by the Jubilee periods, or of a Babylonian era meeting the requirements of the text (cp Kue. Einl. 260 n. 4) Wi. (AT Unters. 94-96) therefore alters the text, and reads Ezek. 11 thus, hebrew script [read hebrew script] hebrew script, or hebrew script [read hebrew script] hebrew script, which must be understood like 81, and give an earlier date than 81. It would be better, however, to assume the original reading to have been 'in the fifth year' (cp the following verse)--i.e. hebrew script, -- and that from the fact of Jeremiah's having predicted seventy years for the Exile (2511, cp 2910) while Ezekiel gave only forty (46), a later writer drew the inference that Ezekiel prophesised thirty years after Jeremiah, and accordingly inserted as a date in Ezek. 11 the thirtieth year of the Exile (Duhm).
  4. GL follows MT, GA is lacking at this point (see further Dr. TBS).
  5. The number 2666 results from the creation of the world to the beginning of the flood (cp Gen. 5), +290, the sum of the years from the flood to the birth of Abraham (cp Gen. 1110ff.) + 75 to the departure of Abraham from Haran (Gen 124 +215 to the departure of Jacob for Egypt (= 25 to the birth of Isaac [Gen. 215], +60 to the birth of Jacob [Gen. 2526], +130 years of Jacob's life [Gen 479 28]), +430 years of stay in Egypt (Ex. 1240).
  6. Cp KAT(2) 419 n.
  7. If we reckon together the numbers for this period, we get as follows:--40 (stay in the wilderness) +40 (Othniel, Ju. 311) +80 (Ehud, 330) +40 (Deborah-Barak, 531) +40 (Gideon, 828) +23 (Tola, 102) +22 (Jair, 103) + 6 (Jephthah, 127) +7 (Ibzan, 129) +10 (Elon, 1211) +8 (Abdon, 1214) +20 (Samson, 1631) +40 (Eli, 1 S. 418) +20 (Samuel, 1 S. 72 +40 (David, 1 K. 211) +4 (Solomon, 1 K. 61 = 440 years. If we deduct the 'little' Judges (Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon -- 70), we shall have a total of only 370 years. For Joshua and Saul, for whom the numbers are lacking, there still remain, to complete the 480 years, according to the first calculation 40 years, according to the second 110. If, however, we are to insert between the periods of the several Judges the 94 years of foreign oppression (=8 [Cushan Rishathaim, Ju. 38] + 18 [Eglon, 314 + 20 [Jabin, 43] +7 [Midianites, 61] +3 [Abimelech, 922] +18 [Ammonites, 108] + 20 [Philistines, cp 131 1520 and 1631]), we get 534 or 464 years--according to the first reckoning already 54 years too many, with nothing left for Joshua and Saul; according to the second, only sixteen years for these two together, a period far from sufficient for the deeds of both.
  8. It has recently been shown by Benzinger (Comm. zu duen Königen, 1899, pp. xviii.-xxi.) that the synchronisms start from two different points and proceed upon two distinct methods of reckoning, one of which is followed by preference in the Hebrew text and the other in GL.