Academic Error : Reign of King Nebuchadnezzar (Part 2)

 

This article is Part Two of a larger article all of which was published years ago as one article on the old KingsCalendar website under the title How long did King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon Reign? This article is devoted to demonstrating that pieces of the historical jigsaw in relation to Ancient Near Eastern History that were thought to fit the jigsaw have actually been forced to fit; and many pieces thought by historians to have been superfluous and which were consequently thrown away, actually do belong.

‘The King’s Calendar: The Secret of Qumran’ operates on the premise that biblical chronology was encoded into (an artificial system). This was accomplished primarily before the Septuagint was created, but it did continue down to at least 104BC. The main issue in this article is that King Nebuchadrezzar’s reign is not precisely as claimed by historians. It is out by one year. The primary error was accepting that a fragment of a business document which refers to the 43rd year of Nebuchadrezzar refers to 43 regnal years rather than 42 regnal years and one accession year.

Another of the faults in determining his reign was in choosing Jeremiah 46:2 over Jeremiah 25:1. In shifting by one year Professor Wiseman’s dates for King Nebuchadrezzar, it was necessary to look at the reign of Kandalanu, a person about which almost nothing is known and about whom so many academics disagree. The shift also affects the date for Nebuchadrezzar’s battle with Pharaoh Necho, and this in turn demonstrates that Bible chronology for King Jehoiakim of Judah is in fact correct within the artificial chronological construct, and that his 11th and final year coincides with the 8th year of Nebuchadrezzar. You can view Part 1 and see the charts provided.

Part 2
6 : Nebuchadrezzar Captures Jerusalem 596 BC

Section 5. Finished at:
“One chronological event concerning which academia finds biblical narrative and chronology faulty, concerns the Death of Jehoiakim, and the captivity of his replacement King Jehoiachin.”

The first point to note here is that according to Wiseman’s chronology for Nebuchadrezzar, Jerusalem fell in 597 BC, not in 596 BC which is the King’s Calendar mathematical calculation for the event.

This difference of opinion will be discussed further on in relation to biblical data for King Jehoiachin. Academics reject the biblical reference to a 37 year confinement for Jehoiachin, because from both a 597 BC and 596 BC perspective, 37 years do not fit real history. (See: Appendix Six)Furthermore, given that Nebuchadrezzar’s last year is identifiable, if one accepts that he reigned 43 years, 597 BC must be the correct date for the first invasion of Jerusalem.

I make this point about the date for the capture of Jerusalem because it demonstrates graphically what was meant earlier when it was pointed out that while Josiah’s death and Jehoiakim’s 4th year were calculated by relying on biblical chronological data, the biblical data is never considered reliable.

The second point to note here is that whereas academics accept the Jeremiah 46:2 synchronisation of Jehoiakim’s 4th year with the accession year of Nebuchadrezzar, it is Jeremiah 25:1 that is correct. You can see that in Appendix 6; in Chapter 2 of the King’s Calendar, and in the last section of this article.

The third thing to note is that while biblical chronological data does not seem to make sense in it’s synchronisms in relation to Jehoiakim’s three years of tribute, this is only ‘apparent’ and not real. This will be discussed again in the next section.

The Point of this Section

Nebuchadrezzar’s campaign against Jerusalem dated here to 596 BC (not 597 BC) whilst a fact, poses some difficulties, not just in relation to biblical chronology or biblical narrative for that matter, but with the details provided in the Babylonian Chronicles.

The Babylonian Chronicles records only one campaign against Jerusalem at this time and provides details about only one unnamed king – Jehoiachin. Combining details from the Babylonian Chronicles and the biblical narrative, the academic picture is this:

In Kislev (c. December) Nebuchadrezzar set off for Jerusalem.

This was Nebuchadrezzar’s 7th year.

On Adar 2nd he captured the City

He took prisoner the king of Jerusalem (Jehoiachin is not named but he was taken to Babylon)

Jehoiachin reigned 3 months before he was taken captive – 2 Kings 24:12

Since it was not possible for Nebuchadrezzar to have accomplished everything necessary between Kislev and Adar 2nd, it has been determined that Jehoiachin had succeeded Jehoiakim prior to Nebuchadrezzar’s forces leaving Babylon. (Wiseman, 1961, p.33)

Bright (1981, p.327) suggests that Jehoiakim was earlier assassinated to make way for Jehoiachin in the hope of preventing a Babylonian invasion. Refer also to: Mitchell (Cambridge Ancient History, 1991, p.400). See also author’s footnote – Chapter 3 King’s Calendar.

Accepting the academic version: If Jehoiachin was taken captive on Adar 2nd after reigning 3 months (+/- some weeks: 2 Chronicles 36:9 / 100 days.), then:

1. He had he been on the throne since sometime in December, in which case it could not have been against Jehoiakim that Nebuchadrezzar marched. Therefore the biblical narrative is wrong.

2. Jehoiachin was of necessity taken prisoner in Nebuchadrezzar’s 7th year. So 2 King’s 24:12 is incorrect is stating he was taken captive in Nebuchadrezzzar’s 8th year.

Since the Babylonian Chronicles are treated as ‘gospel,’ and they speak of only ‘one’ siege (Adar 2nd), and since that reference appears to necessitate that it was Jehoiachin who was captured on Adar 2nd. (by virtue of his being the only King taken back to Babylon), academics insist that the Babylonian Chronicles must be speaking of Jehoiachin when it refers to events of Adar 2nd.

What’s wrong with this picture?

There are two things that are wrong with it.

Firstly, these same academics who use biblical chronology and narrative in relation to Jehoiakim to support their chronologies for Josiah and Jehoiakim, maintain that the biblical chronology and narratives are wrong. We call this a hypocritical academic position.

Secondly, lacking understanding of issues relating to the provision of evidence, and the inherent investigative procedures necessary to understand why two firsthand witnesses can give conflicting accounts, they have taken the easy or dare I say, biased path in deciding what is true and what is not.

Failing to understand the foundational premises of biblical chronology, historians have failed to see how both direct documentary evidences can be right.

The King’s Calendar Perspective

1. Agrees that Nebuchadrezzar set off in Kislev/December for Hatti-land (Palestine)

2. It places his 7th Regnal year in 596 BC not 597BC

3. He did this because Jehoiakim had refused tribute for three years.

These years were 599 BC, 598 BC and 597 BC. Subsequent to the Battle with Pharaoh Necho.

These were the 5th, 6th and 7th years of Nebuchadrezzar – but –

The 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th biblical (artificial) years of Jehoiakim

4. In February of 596 BC, Jehoiakim commenced his 11th artificial regnal year

5. On Adar 2nd, March 5th 596 BC, Nebuchadnezzar or his agents – See Below – captured Jerusalem.

6. Jerusalem was captured or surrendered [Josephus Antiquities Book 10]

7. Jehoiakim in his 11th year, died – “slept with his fathers” 2 Kings 24:6.

– or –

8. Jehoiakim was killed by Nebuchadrezzar: Josephus Antiquities Book 10

Antiquities Book 10 Chapter 6: 3 He [Nebuchadrezzar] slew ….their king Jehoiakim, whom he commanded to be thrown before the walls

9. Nebuchadrezzar appointed Jehoiachin to be king during Jehoiakim’s 11th year, prior to Nisan.

10. Nisan of 596 BC (April 3rd) would commence Jehoiachin’s 1st Regnal year according to usual (Babylonian) tradition.

11. April 3rd 596 BC commenced Nebuchadrezzar’s 8th Regnal Year.

12. In June of 596 BC Nebuchadrezzar removed Jehoiachin from office. (3 months – 3 months 10 days after Adar 2nd)

Antiquities Book 10 Chapter 7: 1. BUT a terror seized on the king of Babylon, who had given the kingdom to Jehoiachin, and that immediately; he was afraid that he (Jehoiachin) should bear him a grudge, because of his (Nebuchadrezzar) killing his father (Jehoiakim)

13. Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon where he stayed prisoner for 37 (artificial) years.

597 to 595 Nebuchadrezzar

The Difficulties of this interpretation.

1. The Babylonian Chronicles record only one campaign against Jerusalem.
2. The king taken captive was King Jehoiachin.

Responses to these Objections

1. The Babylonian Chronicles records information relevant only to the Babylonians. It is not Judeocentric.
2. The information provided is only a summary. It is not a full detail of events.
3. No kings of Judah are identified by name in the Babylonian Chronicles.
4. In both The Babylonian Chronicles and the Israelite redactors accounts, we have summarisation and confusion relating to two separate events and they have presented them as one.

According to Josephus Nebuchadrezzar did not keep his word to “not harm” King Jehoiakim. Josephus records that Nebuchadrezzar killed Jehoiakim.

2 Kings 24:6 however, relates that King Jehoiakim “slept with his fathers.” This would normally mean that he died naturally.

2 Chronicles 36:6 however, says that Jehoiakim was taken prisoner to Babylon. “Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.”

Clearly Jehoiakim could not have suffered all three fates, and the Babylonian records mention none of them. But the “Second Kings” account does mention something interesting. 2 Kings 24

Verse 1: In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years; then he turned and rebelled against him.

Verse 2: And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, and bands of the Arameans, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by the hand of His servants the prophets.

It is possible that the actual submission of Jehoiakim to Nebuchadrezzar was not to Nebuchadrezzar himself but to his commanders.

What is significant about 2 Kings 24:1,2 is that Mitchell (Cambridge Ancient History, 1991, p.398 ) refers to the Chaldeans and Arameans as elements of Babylonian garrison troops. Refer also to: Bright. J. (1981) A History of Israel. 3rd Ed. Philadelphia. Westminster Press. (p.327)

It has been the assumption that since the Bible says that Nebuchadrezzar overthrew Jehoiakim, that it means that Nebuchadrezzar personally did what the Bible attributes to him. What is likely is that Nebuchadrezzar sent garrison troops ahead of his own arrival.

Having appointed Jehoiachin personally, or by proxy, he determined that this was not a good decision, for, as Josephus points out, the death of Jehoiakim may lead to later insurrection.

With only a summary of events in the Babylonian Chronicles to guide them; a summary which does not identify Judaean Kings, academics have concluded that the biblically portrayed events are totally incorrect. As we have seen however, it is possible to see how all the stories fit together.

Nebuchadrezzar did invade Jerusalem in his 7th Regnal Year – and –
Jehoiachin was taken prisoner in Nebuchadrezzar’s 8th Regnal Year

For a more detailed integration of the accounts in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, together with Josephus’ narratives and the data contained in the Babylonian Chronicles, Go to: CHAPTER THREE: Jehoiakim 606BC. to 596 BC located in the Chapter Precis Page

7 : Academic Mathematical BS

Throughout this article I have said many times that academics use Bible chronology to justify their own theories, despite the fact that they constantly maintain that Bible chronology is misleading.

In this Section, which forms a natural bridge between the two invasions of Jerusalem, I want to demonstrate academic mathematical fudging.

Academics know that Nebuchadrezzar’s reign ended in 562 BC, and they (incorrectly) assign him a 43 year reign preceeded by an ascension year in 605 BC. Therefore his First Regnal Year commences in 604 BC. From this they can calculate that the Babylonian captivity commenced in 587 BC.

Furthermore, because both Zedekiah and Jehoiakim each had 11 year reigns, by adding these 22 years to 587 BC, they can determine that Jehoiakim ascended the throne of Judah in 609 BC, which by implication is the year in which King Josiah is alleged to have died.

Furthermore, they use Jeremiah 46:2 to support their claim that Jehoiakim’s 4th year was Nebuchadrezzar’s accession year. (It is Not! Jeremiah 25:1 is correct)

But look what happens when you actually count out these years:

587 BC – Zedekiah’s 11th year.
588 BC – Zedekiah’s 10th year.
589 BC – Zedekiah’s 9th year.
590 BC – Zedekiah’s 8th year.
591 BC – Zedekiah’s 7th year.
592 BC – Zedekiah’s 6th year.
593 BC – Zedekiah’s 5th year.
594 BC – Zedekiah’s 4th year.
595 BC – Zedekiah’s 3rd year.
596 BC – Zedekiah’s 2nd year.
597 BC – Zedekiah’s 1st year.

From this Table we can see that in 597 BC, which is supposed to be Nebuchadrezzar’s 7th year and the one in which he campaigned against Jehoiakim for refusing to pay tribute, and during which year he set Jehoiachin on the throne of Judah, it was actually King Zedekiah who was ruling. So what happened to Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin?

Not a Problem. As many historians will tell you, this is not really a problem because obviously Zedekiah really only reigned 10 years not 11 years.

So let’s change this calendar a little and delete one year from Zedekiah’s reign.

587 BC – Zedekiah’s 10th year.
588 BC – Zedekiah’s 9th year.
589 BC – Zedekiah’s 8th year.
590 BC – Zedekiah’s 7th year.
591 BC – Zedekiah’s 6th year.
592 BC – Zedekiah’s 5th year.
593 BC – Zedekiah’s 4th year.
594 BC – Zedekiah’s 3rd year.
595 BC – Zedekiah’s 2nd year.
596 BC – Zedekiah’s 1st year.

597 BC – Jehoiakim’s 11th year.
598 BC – Jehoiakim’s 10th year.
599 BC – Jehoiakim’s 9th year.
600 BC – Jehoiakim’s 8th year.
601 BC – Jehoiakim’s 7th year.
602 BC – Jehoiakim’s 6th year.
603 BC – Jehoiakim’s 5th year.
604 BC – Jehoiakim’s 4th year but not according to historians
605 BC – Jehoiakim’s 3rd year.
606 BC – Jehoiakim’s 2nd year.
607 BC – Jehoiakim’s 1st year.
608 BC – Josiah’s last year – out by one year

So the first thing to notice is that adding the 22 years assigned in the Bible to Zedekiah and Jehoiakim interferes with current academic chronology which puts the death of Josiah in 609 BC. Not to worry though, many academics will just say Josiah died around 609 BC, perhaps in 608 BC. It is one way to solve a problem, but in the process, creates another.

The Other Problem:

By the reckoning of the chronology provided above, Jehoiakim’s 4th year, the year which apparently corresponds to Nebuchadrezzar’s accession year, (as per Jeremiah 46:2) is now 604 BC, not 605 BC. Coincidently, this happens to be the year insisted upon by The King’s Calendar.

To correct this faulty chronology, historians would have to assign Zedekiah a 10 year reign and Jehoiakim a 12 year reign.

587 BC – Zedekiah’s 10th year.
588 BC – Zedekiah’s 9th year.
589 BC – Zedekiah’s 8th year.
590 BC – Zedekiah’s 7th year.
591 BC – Zedekiah’s 6th year.
592 BC – Zedekiah’s 5th year.
593 BC – Zedekiah’s 4th year.
594 BC – Zedekiah’s 3rd year.
595 BC – Zedekiah’s 2nd year.
596 BC – Zedekiah’s 1st year.

597 BC – Jehoiakim’s 12th year.
598 BC – Jehoiakim’s 11th year.
599 BC – Jehoiakim’s 10th year.
600 BC – Jehoiakim’s 9th year.
601 BC – Jehoiakim’s 8th year.
602 BC – Jehoiakim’s 7th year.
603 BC – Jehoiakim’s 6th year.
604 BC – Jehoiakim’s 5th year.
605 BC – Jehoiakim’s 4th year – this fits better.
606 BC – Jehoiakim’s 3rd year.
607 BC – Jehoiakim’s 2nd year.
608 BC – Jehoiakim’s 1st year.
609 BC – Death of Josiah – at last the desired outcome.

But what if 596 BC is the year of the Babylonian Captivity?

586 BC – Zedekiah’s 11th year.
587 BC – Zedekiah’s 10th year.
588 BC – Zedekiah’s 9th year.
589 BC – Zedekiah’s 8th year.
590 BC – Zedekiah’s 7th year.
591 BC – Zedekiah’s 6th year.
592 BC – Zedekiah’s 5th year.
593 BC – Zedekiah’s 4th year.
594 BC – Zedekiah’s 3rd year.
595 BC – Zedekiah’s 2nd year.
596 BC – Zedekiah’s 1st year.

597 BC – Jehoiakim’s 11th year – fits nicely
598 BC – Jehoiakim’s 10th year.
599 BC – Jehoiakim’s 9th year.
600 BC – Jehoiakim’s 8th year.
601 BC – Jehoiakim’s 7th year.
602 BC – Jehoiakim’s 6th year.
603 BC – Jehoiakim’s 5th year.
604 BC – Jehoiakim’s 4th year – not according to historians
605 BC – Jehoiakim’s 3rd year.
606 BC – Jehoiakim’s 2nd year.
607 BC – Jehoiakim’s 1st year.

608 BC – No King at all! -:- Oops!

609 BC – Josiah’s last year.

This synchronism also does not fit the picture painted for us by historians. At the end of the day, the academics we trust so much are just pulling the wool over our eyes.

(Refer to: James et.al. (1991, p.162) comments in relation to hypercritical treatment of the biblical narratives, and poor methodology. See also Miller & Hayes (1986, p.74) in relation to ‘attitudes’ of historians.)

To view the King’s Calendar Perspective, go back to Part 1 of this article to Section 4 Chart, or go to Appendix 5

8 : The Fall of Jerusalem: The Babylonian Exile 586 BC

When one views the King’s Calendar perspective of the reign of Zedekiah, one can immediately see two things. The first is that in accordance with the stated biblical chronology, Zedekiah reigned 11 years, albeit artificial years. The second thing is that in true solar years, Zedekiah reigned only 10 years.

In his 8th regnal year, (post Nisan April 3rd 596 BC) Nebuchadrezzar replaced Jehoiachin in favour of Zedekiah. This coincided with Jehoiakim’s 11th artificial year. Had he lived, Jehoiakim would have commenced his 10th true Regnal year at Nisan.

As Jehoiachin commenced his accession year prior to Nisan, April 3rd 596 BC (as per Finegan) saw him commence his first true Regnal year. When he was replaced by Zedekiah, that year was Zedekiah’s accession year, and so in true regnal years, he did not commence until Nisan of 595 BC which was Nebuchadrezzar’s 9th true Regnal year. Zedekiah’s first artificial year however, commenced in January of 595 BC.

On 17th April 586BC, Zedekiah commenced his 11th and final artificial year. At almost the same time, (Nisan) he commenced his 10th True Regnal Year.

On the 9th day of the 4th month of Zedekiah’s 11th year (2 Kings 25:2,3) Nebuchadrezzar finally broke into Jerusalem.

On the 7th day of the next month in the 11th year of Zedekiah, the Jerusalem Temple was burned to the ground.

This happened according to 2 Kings 25:8, in the 19th year of Nebuchadrezzar.

Here we see that the 11th year of Zedekiah was the 19th year of Nebuchadrezzar, which is confirmed in Jeremiah 32:1 which indicates that the 10th year of Zedekiah was the 18th year of Nebuchadrezzar. It follows then that Nebuchadrezzar’s 19th year was Zedekiah’s 11th year.

But there are some Problems with this! Before discussing those problems, let’s first look at the King’s Calendar Perspective.

King’s Calendar Perspective of the Reign of Zedekiah
Yellow numbers with dark blue background refer to Solar Years as from Nisan of each quoted year

Reign of Zedekiah - 491
In this chart we note on the right that Jehoiakim died in the 7th year of Nebuchadrezzar and that Zedekiah commenced his 1st artificial year and first Regnal year in 595 BC. His 10th Regnal year in real years and his 11th artificial year were equivalent to Nebuchadrezzar’s 18th year

1. Jeremiah 52:28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year.. Note: When Jehoiakim was killed.

2. Jeremiah 32:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the 10th year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the 18th year of Nebuchadrezzar.

3. 2 Kings 25:8 Now in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar..

4. Jeremiah 52:29 in the 18th year of Nebuchadrezzar, from Jerusalem, eight hundred thirty and two persons;

5. Jeremiah 52:30 in the 23rd year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews

We see from this chart that:

The 10th True (solar) Regnal Year of Zedekiah, [left 2nd column – dark blue background] is the 18th Regnal year of Nebuchadrezzar [based on a 42 year reign – 2nd column from the Right].

This bears out the Jeremiah 32:1 synchronism of 10th to 18th year.

The 2 Kings 25:8 synchronism [11th to 19th] appears incorrect.

Jeremiah 52:29 indicates that Nebuchadrezzar took prisoners in his 18th year.

An 11th Artificial year Synchronism would be with the 18th of Nebuchadrezzar.

Unless that is, there is something else unseen in biblical chronology.

In the chart below synchronizing the reigns of Zedekiah and Nebuchadrezzar’s we can see that their reigns are recorded in both

True Solar Years (Extreme Left/Right Columns)
– and –
Artificial years (Yellow Background)

Nebuchadrezzar's artificial years

Zedekiah’s 10th Year Synchronises with Nebuchadrezzar’s 18th year – and –
Zedekiah’s 11th year Synchronises with Nebuchadrezzar’s 19th year – and
Both References refer to the same year

In the foregoing sections mention has been made of the way in which academics manipulate Scripture to suit their purposes, whilst at the same time maintaining that the biblical chronological details are incorrect. But as I stated in academic Deceit and Manipulation

It is the claim of the ‘King’s Calendar’ that the biblical Ddta as it appears is not understood because it was recorded in a ‘coded’ form and it has been our failure to understand this that has prevented us from discovering the truth. We have been presumptuous in believing that the biblical redactors were obliged to record data in a way that fits our own perceptions of what is ‘Rational’ and ‘Logical.’

The King’s Calendar Mathematical hypothesis is that each biblical year has a value of 336 days, thereby creating an artificial 13th year for every 12 solar years recorded. (What is the King’s Calendar?)

What we saw in the chart above, is that even ridiculously incorrect chronological references can be seen to have correct application, if one only knows how to apply them.

Having “chronologically speaking,” come to the end of the Kingdom of Judah, there is only one more thing to discuss in relation to the reign of King Nebuchadrezzar; his death, and the release from captivity of King Jehoiachin of Judah.

9 : The Death of Nebuchadrezzar & Jehoiachin’s Release

King’s Calendar Chapter 2 deals with Jehoiachin’s release in detail. This section, will deal with the issue more concisely.

Nebuchadrezzar’s Death.

Scripture records Nebuchadrezzar’s death in an inadvertent manner, when it completes the story of the events that took place in Jerusalem, in the 7th and 8th regnal years of Nebuchadrezzar. King Jehoiachin of Judah commenced to reign before Nisan of 596 BC and was a few months later taken prisoner. According to the Bible, he was released 37 years later by the King who succeeded Nebuchadrezzar.

2 Kings 24:8 informs us that: Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned in Jerusalem three months; 2 Kings 24:12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon,….and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his [Nebuchadrezzar’s] reign.

2 Kings 25:27 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach [Amel Marduk] king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison.

Amel Marduk [Evil-merodach] was Nebuchadrezzar’s son who reigned for two years from 562 BC to 560 BC, before being slain by his sister’s husband, Neriglissar [Nergal-sharezer]. According to Professor Wiseman (1985, p.9) Amel Marduk’s accession date and therefore Nebuchadrezzar’s death occurred on October 8th 562 BC.

As previously stated, the only thing known for certain chronologically about Nebuchadrezzar is the year of his death. Therefore, from the perspective of biblical references to Jehoiachin, we know for sure when he was released. [Maybe!]

As also stated previously, Nebuchadrezzar has been assigned a 43 year reign for 2 reasons:

A fragmentary piece of archaeological evidence quotes Nebuchadrezzar’s 43 rd year.

The only known year prior to Nebuchadrezzar with certainty is 648 BC when the throne of Babylon became vacant. Commencing Kandalanu in that year gives Nebuchadrezzar a 43 year reign. However nothing is certain about the events in relation to Kandalanu.

Concluding therefore that Nebuchadrezzar had a 43 year reign, it is easy to calculate the various other events in his life. It is therefore calculated that the two invasions of Jerusalem must have occurred in 597 BC and 587 BC, with Nebuchadrezzar commencing his reign in 604 BC.

Having so far demonstrated the academic lack of evidence in relation to the reign of Kandalanu and the synchronisms between Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and Josiah and Jehoiakim of Judah, it is now time to demonstrate that the biblical references to Jehoiachin’s release are correct, and thereby demonstrate that Nebuchadrezzar reigned only 42 years.

Jehoiachin’s Release

A slight problem. As quoted above, 2 Kings 25:27 informs us:

And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach [Amel Marduk] king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison.

From this we might deduce that Jehoiachin was released about 3 days prior to Nisan of 561 BC, (in the ascension year of Amel Marduk – which began on October 8th 562 BC.)

However, Jeremiah 52:31 informs us:

And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison.

From this we might deduce that Jehoiachin was released about 5 days prior to Nisan of 560 BC (in the 1st Regnal year of Amel Marduk – which began in Nisan of 561 BC.)

Problem No.1

The first problem is that the two references have a two day variance. The King’s Calendar answer to this is that one reference is provided in real solar years, and the other in artificial years.

From the perspective of a 586 BC Babylonian Captivity, the King’s Calendar artificial calendar demonstrates that the New artificial year (Jehoiachin’s 38th) commenced on March 20th 561 BC. Since King’s Calendar Months are of 28 day lengths, 2 Kings 25:27 demonstrates conformity with the artificial calendar.

If the reference in Jeremiah 52:31 is a solar year reference, then Nisan 1st in the Babylonian Calendar must fall approximately on March 23rd 561 BC. Unfortunately no record has ever been found by this writer, that indicates the exact date for Nisan in that year.

The bottom line however, is that these two references are not contradictory.

More importantly, they indicate that Jehoiachin was released in 561 BC, prior to Amel Marduk’s coronation and commencement of his first regnal year.

Problem No.2

The second problem with these verses is that the actual year in which Jehoiachin was released is not precisely stated. One cannot be sure if the wording in relation to the year Amel Marduk began, and his 1st year, refer to the accession year and 1st year (respectively), or if they both mean accession year, or both mean 1st regnal year.

As can be seen in the discussion in Chapter 2 and in the chart in Appendix Six Chapter Precis Page, and also in the article entitled: How Historians Deceive Us and Manipulate biblical chronology Jehoiachin’s 37 artificial years (equal to 35 solar years) do coincide with a 42 year reign of Nebuchadrezzar, and synchronize with both 2 Kings 25:27 and Jeremiah 52:31.

Since Nebuchadrezzar’s 8th regnal year was Jehoiachin’s 1st regnal year, then Jehoiachin’s 35th solar year (37th artificial year) is Nebuchadrezzar’s 42nd year. This is mapped out in a chart in Appendix Six.

It becomes apparent therefore that both 2 Kings 25:27 and Jeremiah 52:31 are speaking of the accession year of Amel Marduk (which commences in 562 BC and ends in Nisan of 561 BC), placing Jehoiachin’s release around March 18th 561 BC.

(I know how difficult it is to keep all this information in your head so let me just summarize here. In the 37th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, on the 25th day of the 12th artificial month (about March 17th/18th) he was released ….BEFORE his 38th artificial year which commenced on March 20th 561 BC.

It is the calculation of the King’s Calendar that Amel-Marduk commenced his first regnal year no later than March 23rd 561BC but the actual date is not confirmed)

The thing most demonstrated in this section is that the biblical synchronisms demonstrate that Nebuchadrezzar reigned 42 years plus one accession year – not 43 years plus one accession year.

Please Note:

If you place Zedekiah’s 11th and last year in 587 BC, which is the year currently stated by academics to be the year of the Babylonian Captivity, then Jehoiachin’s release in his 37th artificial year, just prior to Nisan of the New Year, results in his freedom being granted around March 8th 562 BC. Since Amel Marduk did not succeed Nebuchadrezzar until October 8th 562, a 587 BC date for the Babylonian Captivity and the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, cannot be correct.

10 : Article Summary

At the beginning of this article I described it as analogous to a jigsaw puzzle, pointing out that many pieces in the historical jigsaw puzzle have been forced into place, and that many pieces that actually belong there have been discarded. I suggest that this happens because of academic anti-biblical bias.

What we have been looking at in this article are those pieces which up until now have seemed to fit, but in reality do not.

Some of those pieces include:

1. The commencement date for King Kandalanu of Babylon.
2. The current chronology for the death of King Josiah of Judah
3. The accepted synchronisation of the reigns of King Jehoiakim of Judah and King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon
4. The identity of the King who was captured on Adar 2nd in 596 BC
5. The Date for the Burning of the Temple and the Babylonian Captivity
6. The length of King Jehoiachin’s Captivity

The single biggest point that I have made in this article is one of academic hypocritical treatment of the biblical narratives and biblical chronology. Whilst constantly maintaining that these archaeological and historical Direct Documentary Evidences are untrustworthy, unreliable and just plain wrong, these self same academics use those documents whenever such use assists in the promulgation of some theory. It is just plain hypocritical!

Once it is accepted that biblical chronology has been passed down to us in a coded form; once we can get our heads around our own religious and / or academic arrogance; and once we start to treat historical biblical documents with the same dignity as any other nation’s historical documents, it is possible to see that the chronological data recorded therein is reliable and trustworthy, and, for the most part, agrees with modern calculations in relation to Ancient Near Eastern chronology.

It is the hope of the King’s Calendar that historians and other academics will overcome their ‘loss of face’ and ‘anti-biblical bias’ and take a fresh look at their results, for clearly, some of them are wrong.

11 : Conclusion

Given that historians can provide no actual evidence for their chronological determinations, there can be no refutation of the King’s Calendar chronological determinations unless it can be proved either that the King’s Calendar mathematical process is mathematically incorrect, or that the mathematical hypothesis of the King’s Calendar is unjustified.

Needless to say, given that the King’s Calendar computer generated mathematical synchronisation of the biblical chronological data for the Divided Kingdom generally demonstrates the accuracy of the current academically determined history of Israel, the only way to prove that the King’s Calendar mathematical hypothesis is wrong, is to prove beyond reasonable doubt that two specific chronological determinations which are separated by biblical time, are in fact wrong, thereby demonstrating that the King’s Calendar value for biblical years is incorrect.

Until that time, the legitimacy of the King’s Calendar chronology for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and Kings Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah of Judah, remains incontestable.

Therefore, from all that has been discussed in this article, the following chronological realities are stated:

1. In 604 BC King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon ascended to the throne of Babylon
2. In 603 BC King Nebuchadrezzar commenced his first regnal year
3. On Adar 2nd in 596 BC during his 7th year King Nebuchadrezzar captured King Jehoiakim of Judah, replacing him with King Jehoiachin.
4. Three months later in his 8th Regnal year Nebuchadrezzar took King Jehoiachin prisoner
5. In 586 BC during his 18th Regnal year King Nebuchadrezzar captured King Zedekiah of Judah who was in his 11th artificial year
6. In October of 562 BC King Nebuchadrezzar died after a 42 year reign
7. In March of 561 BC Amel Marduk, successor to King Nebuchadrezzar, released King Jehoiachin from prison, in the last few days of Jehoiachin’s artificial 37th year reign.
Moreover we see that:
8. There is no ‘legally demonstrable evidence’ to prove that King Nebuchadrezzar reigned 43 regnal years plus his accession year.
9. There is no ‘legally demonstrable evidence’ to prove that King Kandalanu commenced his first regnal year in 648 BC

I hope you have found this interesting and would draw your attention to the four part series on the Rules of Evidence Series so that you might understand better why we must not just accept what historians and archaeologists tell us.

There is also a three part series not yet on this new site entitled ‘Issues of Evidence‘ which commences with the reign of Nebuchadrezzar.

Issues of Evidence Part 1 : Nebuchadrezzar
Issues of Evidence Part 2 : King Hezekiah of Judah
Issues of Evidence Part 3 : Syro-Ephraimitic War

R.P. BenDedek
Email: rpbendedek@hotmail.com
www.facebook.com/reb.bendedek
Articles at iPatriot.com

Author of
The King’s Calendar : The Secret of Qumran
“Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story”

Bibliography, Citations and References
Full Bibliography can be found at the bottom of the Chapter Precis Page

Aharoni. Y. (1978 ) The Archaeology of the Land of Israel. Philadelphia. Westminster Press. p.183
Bright. J. (1981) A History of Israel. 3rd Ed. Philadelphia. Westminster Press.
Clines. P.J.A. (1972) Australian Journal of biblical Archaeology. ‘Regnal year Reckoning in the Last years of the Kingdom of Judah.’ Published by: The Australian Society for biblical Archaeology. Vol 2 p.30
Finegan.J. (1965) Handbook of biblical chronology : Principles of time reckoning in the ancient World and problems of chronologies of the Bible. Princeton University Press. New Jersey p.204
Gardiner. A. (1961) Egypt of the Pharaoh’s. Oxford University Press. The Ancient Military Road between Egypt and Palestine. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. No. 6
Herrmann,S. (1981) A History of Israel in Old Testament Times. Philadelphia. Fortress Press.
Jagersma,H. (1983) A History of Israel in the Old Testament Period. Philadelphia. Fortress Press
James P. Thorpe.I.J., Kokkinos.N., Morkot.R., Frankish.J. (1991) Centuries of Darkness. Rutgers Uni Press. New Jersey.
Marston. C. (1935) The Bible is true: The lessons of the 1925-34 excavations in Bible lands summarized and explained. Australia. Angus and Robertson.
Mazar. B. (1986) The Early biblical Period. Jerusalem Exploration Society. pp.231/47
Miller,J.M., Hayes,J.M. (1986) A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. USA. Westminster Press.
Mitchell Cambridge Ancient History Vol III Part 2. (1991) U.K.Cambridge University Press p398
Peet. T.E. (1924) Egypt and the Old Testament. University Press of Liverpool page 75
Ragozin.Z.A. (1889) Media, Babylon and Persia : including a study of the Zend-Avesta or religion of Zoroaster, from the fall of Ninevah. T.Fisher Unwin. The Story of the Nations Series:19.
Robinson,T.H. (1932) A History of Israel. Vol I. Oxford. Clarendon Press.
Rogers, Robert William : (1900) “The History of the Chaldean Empire. “A History of Babylonia and Assyria Volume II Published 1900 A.D. Assyrian International News Agency Books Online [b]www.aina.org[/b]
Roux.G. (1982) Ancient Iraq. Suffolk. Penguin Books p..308 Citing:
Oates.J. (1965) Iraq XXVII ‘Assyrian chronology 631-612BC.p135-59
Reade.J. (1970) JCS CCIII ‘The Accession of Sinsharishkun’ pp 1-9.
Wiseman.D.J. (1961) Chronicles of the Chaldaean Kings (626-556 BC) in the British Museum. Trustees of the British Museum. London,
Wiseman.D.J. (1985) Nebuchadrezzar and Babylon. The Schweich Lectures. Oxford University Press
Josephus online
Columbia Encyclopedia : Nebuchadnezzar.
Everything2: Babylon’s Last Kings
Mechon Mamre Hebrew – English Bible: According to the Masoretic Text

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Author: R.P. BenDedek

R.P. BenDedek was born in 1953 and grew up in Brisbane Australia. 2003 to 2017 he has been teaching in The People's Republic of China. Along with photographic stories from China he has been writing social and political commentaries since 2004. He was the temporary editor of Magic City Morning Star from 2009 - 2016 and currently has a column at iPatriot.com. He is the author of a chronological history of ancient Israel titled 'the King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' and author of 'Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story.' He is divorced; has 5 children and 16 grandchildren. He is a 4th generation Australian from a racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse family. He has no time for Sociopathic Ideologues or Useful Idiots.

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