| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 76 of 304 INDEX | |
the chronology of the Kings rests, and we cannot do better than to allow him
to introduce the subject to us in his own quaint style.
Some of the perplexities of this subject reside in the two methods
adopted by the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and others by reasons that
do not appear upon the surface. Dr. Lightfoot says:
'In casting up the time of the collateral Kingdoms, your only way is to
lay them in two columns, one justly paralleling the other, and run them
both by years, as the Text directs you. But here is nicety indeed, not
to see how strangely they are reckoned, sometimes inclusive, sometimes
otherwise -- for this you will easily find; but to find a reason why
they be so reckoned ... Ahaziah 2 years older than his father (2 Chron.
22:1,2); Jotham reigning 4 years after he is buried (2 Kings 15:30);
Joram crowned king in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 1:17 with 1
Kings 22:51), and in the 22nd year of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 8:16), and
after Jehoshaphat's death (2 Chron. 21:1)'.
To the superficial reader, such statements seem irreconcilable with
sober fact, yet there is not one but yields to a reasonable explanation, when
all material evidence is sifted.
We are indebted to Willis J. Beecher for providing a key to some of
these chronological problems. Among other things he has shown that the Bible
does not reckon the first year of a king from the date of his accession to
the throne, the year begins either with the preceding, or following New
Year's Day, i.e. the new moon before Passover. To make this essential rule
quite clear let us take an imaginary example. A king ascends the throne on
June 21st, 1950. The day and the month are ignored, and according to whether
it be Israel or Judah that is doing the reckoning, the year will be put down
either as 1950 dating back to the preceding April or Passover, or it will be
dated as 1951, commencing with the following April or Passover, and the whole
of the year 1950 will be credited to the king that had died. The
chronological system was not written for the kings, the kings had to conform
to the chronology, and only completed years count.
Judah's method would reckon the whole of 1950 to the reign that had
ended. Israel's method was to reckon 1950 to the king who had died, and to
count the broken years also as one to the king that succeeded. Consequently
there is considerable difference in the total length of the reigns if the
numbers are mechanically added without the recognition of certain principles.
Upon investigation we discover that the period of the Kings falls into
three great groups of parallel datings which have the advantage of commencing
together at the commencement of each group.
The accompanying chart (page 104) will show these groups, and the way
in which they interlock. We start with Rehoboam for here the two kingdoms
run together. The proof of the dates given in this chart is yet to be given;
for the moment they can be ignored.
The accession of Jehu is a convenient break. We read in 2 Kings 9 that
immediately after his anointing, Jehu drove out to Jezreel and being met by
Joram and his question 'Is it peace, Jehu?' and he answered:
'What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her
witchcrafts are so many ... and Jehu drew a bow with his full strength,