Deciphering the Chronologies of Josephus


R.P. BenDedek 2017
R.P. BenDedek holding a little gift from a student Jan 2017

The contents of this page were first published many years ago on the old KingsCalendar website. That article was just a tease revealing some of the content of Chapter Twenty (Josephus) of ‘The King’s Calendar: The Secret of Qumran’ research results. I have included a little more information in this edition and also included an extra example for Part Two. In Chapter Twenty introduction of ‘The Secret of Qumran’ it is stated:

The Chronological record of the Biblical Narrative has demonstrated itself to be a completely unreliable record when approached in the same way as the records of other peoples. The ‘King’s Calendar’ however, has abandoned that traditional method. Defying logic, and accepting the data as it stands, but giving it a different value, the ‘King’s Calendar’ in applying that data has revealed that the biblical record is correct and synchronises with known history. The purpose here is to examine specific data provided by Josephus to demonstrate that the artificial construct was accepted as genuine historical data by the first centuries BC and A.D.

Specifically, in Part One we will examine nine references. In addition to demonstrating their validity (and erroneous calculations), and exploring novel data (not contained in the biblical narratives), the purpose will be to highlight Josephus’ obvious ignorance (and hence by extension, the rest of Jewish society generally), of the encryption which the biblical chronological data had in fact undergone.

In Part Two, Thirty-Two other observations will be made concerning other chronological references.

In Part One – Section One: Introduction:

What is presented here, is the end result, not the actual process of research. During that process four (4) things were deduced.

i) Josephus was ignorant of the encoding process in the Chronological data, and mixed true solar years with the artificial construct.

ii) He lacked a personal table of events; evidenced by the contradiction in relation to the time span between David and the Fall of Jerusalem.

iii) He lacked even the most fundamental knowledge of the chronological data provided by the Biblical narratives.

iv) In relation to events prior to 586 BC, he was confused. This is most obvious in relation to King David’s possession of Jerusalem and The Duration of Solomon’s temple.

Either the material was difficult for him to understand, or carelessness prevailed in its quotation. One even gets a sense that much of his data was provided by a third party, and that there was miscommunication as to which data applied to which events. Each of the abovementioned four points, will become obvious as we proceed.

In Part One – Section Four: Correcting Josephus’ Data

The purpose of this section is to provide the (correct) data that Josephus ought to have used in his calculations that lead to errors in the forgoing examples in Section Three.

i) Aristobulus to Titus / 173 solar years = 187.4 artificial years
ii) Cyrus to Aristobulus / The correct artificial figure is 471 years.
iii) Babylonian Exile to Cyrus / The Correct Chronological Reference is 52 artificial years.
iv) Monarchal Israel from David to the Babylonian Exile / 473.5 artificial years as per biblical narratives
v) Departure from Egypt to David / From the expulsion of the Hyksos to King David is 589 artificial years
vi) Founding of Jerusalem to David / The Correct figure is 995 artificial years
vii) Departure from Egypt to Babylonian Exile / The Expulsion of the Hyksos to the Babylonian Exile is correct at 1062.5 artificial years
viii) Founding of Jerusalem to the Babylonian Exile / This is a correct artificial figure of 1468.5 artificial years
ix) Babylonian Exile to Aristobulus / Artificially this is 525 years.
x) Error of 13.5 artificial years

The biblical narrative which is reflected in all the ancient sources contains an accumulative error of 13.5 years; the result of overlapping reigns. (Twelve years overlap Uzziah and Amaziah, one year overlap Jotham to Hezekiah, and 6 months assigned Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin)

The second section in Chapter Twenty is titled: Part Two: Thirty-Two Observations from which I now provide a few examples.

Example 17

Antiquities of the Jews – 9:7 Athaliah reigned 5 years
These can be seen in Appendix Five to be correct in solar years

Example 19.

Antiquities of the Jews – 9:8:5 Jehoash of Judah

In Antiquities 9:8:5 Josephus informs us that in Jehoash of Judah’s twenty-first (21st) year, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu came to power, reigning seventeen years. These twenty-one (21) years are correct in solar terms as can be seen in Appendix 5

Example 27

Combining Book XI (253 years) and Book XII (170 years)
423 years between the first year of Cyrus and the death of Judas Maccabeus c.161 BC

If we trace back 423 solar years from the death of Judas Maccabeus in 161 BC, we arrive at 584 BC. If on the other hand we trace it back in Artificial years, which is to say 390 Solar years, back from 161 BC, we arrive at 550BC, which is the most acceptable date for the commencement of King Cyrus’ reign over the Medes. As such, these two references when combined, exactly fit the stated parameters.

In addition, in them we see an extremely important deviation from all that has gone before in the ‘King’s Calendar.’ For the First time, we are encountering the artificial construct in relation to the tabulation of the reigns of non-Jewish kings.

Someone has gone to the trouble of researching non Jewish history and converting that solar history into the artificial construct, and as has been pointed out previously, Josephus was ignorant of the artificial calendar.

For all his ignorance, Josephus once again provides correct chronological data.

Chapter Conclusion

That Josephus worked from original, chronologically correct artificial and solar year data is self evident. It is equally obvious that he had great difficulty in both understanding and applying that data.

Despite the complexities of his chronological compositions however, they are far from incomprehensible and can assist in accurately guiding us through Israelite history.

From this study of Josephus’ data it also seems reasonable to believe that he had access to at least Six (6) original, artificially correct chronological pieces of datum that are no longer available to us. These are:

1.That Jerusalem was founded 995 (artificial) years prior to David’s reign.

2.That ‘an’ Exodus (Hyksos expulsion from Egypt) occurred 589 years prior to David’s reign

3.That 525 years elapsed between the Exile and Cyrus’ kingship in Babylon.

4.That 995 years elapsed between the commencement of David’s reign and that of Aristobulus in 104 BC.

5.That 423 years elapsed between Cyrus’ accession as King of the Medes, and the death of Judas Maccabeus.

6.That 908.5 years elapsed between the Israelite entrance into Canaan under Joshua, and the Babylonian Exile.


The chronological calendar of Josephus’ references is found in Appendix 12, and may be accessed online via The Chapter Precis Page. See also Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BC (Appendix 5)

I spent quite a lot of time over several years breaking down Josephus’ material and separating artificial years from true solar years, and otherwise working out how he made the errors he did. It was a rewarding experience.

I hope this insight may provide some insight for you.

The KingsCalendar The Secret of QumranR.P. BenDedek
Articles at

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

Academic Articles on the New Website as at Jan 11, 2017

Synchronous Chronology of Ancient Israel and Judah
Assumptions and Limitations of ‘The Secret of Qumran’ Research
Methodology of The Secret of Qumran: King’s Calendar
King Ahab of Israel and Ben-Hadad of Syria
Bible Misidentification of Kings 8th Century BC
Did Queen Athaliah Really Kill ‘All’ the Royal Children?
Adad-Nirari III and his Western Campaigns: Tribute from Jehoash of Israel
1 Kings 6:1 : Solomon’s Temple and 480 years
Chronological Differences LXX (Septuagint) and MSS (Masorete)
In Search of the Pharaoh of the Exodus
Pharaoh of the Exodus Revealed
When Did Rameses and Merneptah/Merenptah Reign?
How, When, where Did King Josiah Die?
Who was King Hezekiah’s Father and How long was Hezekiah sick?
Bible History Error: Kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezkiah of Judah
Choosing Onias III as ‘Teacher of Righteousness’
Kings of the Ancient Near East from 934 to 522 BC

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 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.

4 thoughts on “Deciphering the Chronologies of Josephus”

  1. Josephus’ work may have been played with in more recent time, yet he did place King David’s death in 1347 BCE, by our dating of the years he gave, and that puts him in the Amnarna Age. Related to this he identifies Akhenton as king Solomon’s father-in-law by what the Egyptian king did and that was not to drop the title of Pharaoh as a name, but he changed his given name and it is not used by another pharaoh afterward. Josephus had access to the historical records that the Bible was written off of. The Qumram caves preserved the Hebrew scripts that were destroyed elsewhere throughout the Roman Empire in 71 CE when the language was Outlawed and forbidden to be spoken, written or read, along with the Religion of the people to be practiced no more under the pentaly of imprisonment and/or death, is that not correct? That is why it is hard to find Hebrew writing from CE 71 to CE 485 and why the Hebrew scholars of those time writings are of the accepted languages in their local regions and not Hebrew. As in the book of Acts (chapters 21-22) show that before the time of the seige of Jerusalem, the Hebrews still spoke Hebrew as their offical language, not Greek as it was spoken by foreigners (not even by the Romans officals using Latin), as Paul was accused of being an Egyptian terrorist, as the Egyptians spoke Greek. But he spoke in Hebrew to the Jewish people of Jerusalem, not latin, or Greek, or Aramaic (as in Greek texts the word is found as Hebrew as the language spoken, though the hebrew is related to the “proto-vannic” language as first identified in the early 1800’s). Is this not so?

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