CHRONOLOGICAL CHARTS

From the very first chapter of Genesis God shows us that His work on Earth is being carried out according to a predetermined timeline. The better we understand that timeline, the better we can see God's hand throughout man's history.  

The first chart on this page, a full Bible chronology from the time of Adam, is the same as the one found on the home page, but is repeated here for the sake of completeness.

Click here for Chart 1: Full Bible Chronology

The second chart focuses on the period known as the Divided Kingdom. It starts with the year after Solomon's death, when the 12 tribes of Israel had split into ten tribes comprising the Kingdom of Israel, led by Jeroboam, and two tribes comprising the Kingdom of Judah, led by Solomon's son Rehoboam.

The chronology of the Divided Kingdom has proved to be one of the most difficult challenges Bible students have had to face. In previous centuries Archbishop James Ussher and Sir Isaac Newton studied this subject at length. In more recent times, Martin Anstey, Edwin Thiele and Floyd Nolen Jones have added new thoughts to this field of endeavour.

Whereas for many years Ussher's numbers were the benchmark, of late it has been Thiele who has been the most quoted and referenced.

 

Time has caught up with Ussher's chronology, in that it no longer fits the "seven day blueprint" that Genesis 1 and 2 provide (see "THE SEVEN DAY BLUEPRINT").

Thiele, on the other hand, is considered to have solved all the difficulties the Biblical text contains in the period of the kings of Israel and Judah. However, unknown to most Bible students, Thiele did this by setting aside many clear passages of Scripture, and instead giving more credence to the Assyrian records, which he pronounced to be "sure", "established" and "historical truth".

Thiele's famous work "The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings" expounds his theories. It contains throughout, a line of thought that calls the Biblical record into question. For instance, on page 134 (of the 1983 version of this book) he states "When the editors of Kings were bringing that book into its final shape, they did not understand dual dating [a dating method invented by Thiele] for Pekah; and this fact was responsible for the synchronisms of II Kings 17 and 18."

The first issue with the above quote is that Thiele doesn't seem to acknowledge divine authorship of the Scriptures. Secondly, he claims that the "synchronisms" mentioned in these chapters are in error. Which synchronisms is he calling into question?

II Kings 18:9-10 gives us the highly significant information that Samaria fell to the Assyrians in the 9th year of Hoshea, king of Israel, which it states is the 6th year of Hezekiah, king of Judah. Thiele says on page 135 "A careful survey of the account of Hezekiah's reign shows that when he began his reign Hoshea and the nation of Israel were gone." In other words, he is saying II Kings 18:9-10 is wrong!

This is a total denial of the word of God.

This highly regarded scholar doesn't believe that the numbers in God's word can be trusted.

More can be found about Edwin Thiele's work on the page "BIBLE CHRONOLOGY".

When I began my study of the Biblical numbers more than a decade ago I had doubts too. I had heard the usual statements about "scribal errors" that supposedly explained difficult passages. Now, however, after detailed study of the chronological numbers of Scripture over all this time, I can honestly say that I am not aware of one Biblical number in this field that cannot be logically explained or accounted for. Not one.

Yes, there are certainly many difficulties. This, however, is precisely in line with what the Author of Scripture Himself says. He states in Proverbs 25:2 that it is His glory to conceal matters, but "the glory of kings" to search them out. That is exactly how it is with Biblical numbers. They haven't always been written in an easy to follow manner. Rather, they have been constructed with great complexity by a highly superior Mind, but still in such a way that they can be "searched out". And, of course, this too is by design. God is basically saying that if we want to get to know Him, and understand Him, we are going to have to spend time deeply studying His word.

The complex manner in which Biblical numbers are presented, as indeed all Scripture is presented, is just another proof of their divine authorship.

Some chronologists would have us believe that Israel started its years in Autumn, but Judah started theirs in Spring, or vice versa. They also believe that sometimes kings arbitrarily switched from one method of recording their regnal years, to another. However, all this is irrelevant, as the Scriptures were inspired by God, and He is not bound by the recording methods of men.

God tells us in Ex 12:2 when the year is meant to start. He is consistent, and so He consistently employs the method of starting the regnal years of kings on Abib/Nisan 1. The arguments raised against this have all been negated, and in no way are such alternative methods required to work out the details.

Click here for Chart 2: The Divided Kingdom of Israel and Judah