This article relates to the chronological picture painted by the biblical books of Kings and Chronicles. In the First article on this topic, titled: The Chronological History of the Bible Makes No Sense I pointed out that “in addition to not understanding how the biblical chronological data was provided, most people also don’t understand what our academic knowledge of history is composed of.”
That article like this one, relates to the chronological picture painted by biblical synchronisms. The King’s Calendar chart from which these articles are drawn is found in Appendix No. 4 Two Solar Year Time Line Charts found on the Chapter Precis Page.
The first article took us backward and forward in time from the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC and the reign of King Jehu of Israel in 842/41 BC. What was demonstrated by the biblical synchronisms is that smack dab in the middle is an overlap of years.
That article demonstrated that backtracking from 586 BC, King Ahaz’ reign commenced in 740 BC, but that coming down through time from 842 BC, when King Jehu of Israel commenced, King Ahaz’ reign commences 720 BC. It is a lot to get your mind around.
Today’s article generally covers the period commencing at the death of King Solomon with the reign of King Jeroboam the first and ending with King Jehu slaying King Ahaziah of Judah and King Jehoram of Israel in 842 BC. Our commencement date for the first year of King Jeroboam is 931 BC as per Edwin R. Thiele.
Please note that using 931 BC as the starting point for the reign of Jeroboam gives us more years to play with than some of the later dates provided by various people. (As a side point, the King’s Calendar starting point is in 936 Bc.)
To start with, I wish to draw to your attention that the Bible records 98 years of reigns transpiring in the northern Kingdom of Israel during the same period that only 95 years elapse in the southern Kingdom of Judah. (Appendix 13 which is freely available provides all of the Scriptural references for the reigns of the Kings of Judah and Israel.)
The First Problem:
The reigns of Rehoboam and Jeroboam both synchronize quite well and according to the biblical data, King Abijah – son of King Rehoboam of Judah – commences in the 18th year of King Jeroboam of Israel. All is fine so far, but as you can see in the chart below, there is a slight problem with the accession of King Abijah’s son King Asa who, according to 1 Kings 15:9, commenced in the 20th year of King Jeroboam and reigned 41 years.
From the chart below you can understand that one has to decide whether in King Jeroboam’s 20th year, King Asa of Judah ascended the throne (his accession year during his father’s 3rd year) or commenced his first year of reign.
The real problem here is not what to do with that year, but what to make of King Jeroboam’s replacements. His son Nedab is supposed to ascend or commence in Asa’s 2nd year which just so happens to be in Jeroboam’s 21st year (at the earliest), but then he is replaced by King Baasha in Asa’s 3rd year which happens to be Jeroboam’s 22nd and last year.
Note: I suggest that you go to Appendix 4 and play around with the figures and see what you come up with in synchronizing the reigns of Abijah, Asa, Nedab and Baasha.
It would seem that King Nedab must have been co-reigning with his father, and that upon the death of his father he was killed by Baasha, who, in this Appendix 4 chart commences his first year (as opposed to ascends) in King Asa’s 3rd year.
Note: If you were tempted to shift Asa’s first year to 911 BC that would shift Nedab’s first year to 910 BC and shift Baasha’s first year to 909 BC. It may make you feel good to do this but you will soon regret it.
The Second Problem:
Having commenced Baasha’s first year in the 3rd year of King Asa we follow the synchronisms down to the 24th year of Baasha which is the 26th year of King Asa. According to 1 Kings Chapter 16, Baasha’s son Elah commenced to reign in the 26th year of King Asa. The way the story then unfolds it would appear that this was his ascension year upon the death of his father. The following year was actually his first regnal year – but he is assigned a two year reign.
As you can see in the following chart, in the 27th year of King Asa, Elah was killed by Zimri who almost immediately was killed by Omri who according to 1 Kings 16 reigned 12 years, six of which were in a place called Tirzah. According to 1 Kings 16:23, Omri commenced to reign in King Asa’s 31st year. This is quite problematical because if we commenced the 12 years as from Asa’s 31st year, it would throw all subsequent synchronisms out of whack.
The Solar Year Placement of Reigns
I am not even going to attempt to explain how this information with regard to King Omri is supposed to work in ‘Solar Year’ reckoning, but you can see the King’s Calendar synchronization of this period in Appendix Five (5) in which you will see the 12 artificial years recorded in blue on the right of the DATES and in pink in a column on the left you will see the Six Solar Years listed commencing in Asa’s 31st year.
The King’s Calendar Reconstruction
The King’s Calendar reconstruction in Appendix Five (5) as can be seen immediately above, demonstrates how Ahab’s reign synchronizes with that of King Omri. The previous Solar Year chart shows Ahab commencing to reign in the 38th year of Asa but in that Solar Year presentation that is the 11th of Omri, unless you had decided to commence Omri’s 12 years as from the 31st of Asa in which case Ahab would have commenced in the 8th year of King Omri.
Biblical Chronology isn’t looking that easy about now is it? That’s OK, but it is going to get worse.
The Next Problem
As you can see in The Solar Year Placement of Reigns Chart (two charts back) the reigns of Kings Jehoshaphat and Ahab are aligned with the Scriptural references. Unfortunately, by the time you get to the end of Jehoshaphat’s reign, things have become a little muddled again.
ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH THIS CHART IS THIS
The chart above doesn’t look too problematical does it? Well except for Jehoram of Judah’s Eight (8) years of reign incorporating three years of his father’s reign and obliterating his brother’s reign. The two kings Jehoram and their obliteration of the reigns of the two kings Ahaziah is explained by many as a false narrative. Some believe that Jehoram of Israel and Jehoram of Judah were the one and the same person. You can do your own research on that.
The big problem is to be found in the 2nd year of King Jehoram of ISRAEL (the right side of the chart). According to the experts, King Ahab was involved in the Battle of Qarqar that year. And therein lies the rub. The Battle took place in the Spring of 853 BC and the first of spring 853 BC (if we are following the normal practice) is the commencement of the first regnal year of Ahab’s son King Jehoram who was slain in 842/841 BC.
To get Ahab ruling in 853 BC and his son Jehoram being killed in 842 BC requires time compression. This one little problem takes up a whole chapter of ‘The King’s Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.’ The content of that chapter is dealt with in the articles titled Rules of Evidence Parts 1-4. You can also read about this problem in an article about the relationship between King Ahab of Israel and Ben-Hadad of Syria.
The real problem for this time period is the synchronizations of reigns that would allow King Ahab to be at the Battle of Qarqar in 853 AND for his successors to complete their reigns by 842/41 BC in order to allow Jehu to commence his first regnal year in 841 BC.
(The King’s Calendar however demonstrates that Ahab died in 863 BC and that Jehu commenced to reign in 848 BC)
The following chart is the final result of the King’s Calendar reconstruction of reigns for this time period and is arrived at after long and careful explanation and synchronizations.
This chart is found in Chapter Eight: 883 BCE to 849 BCE Jehoshaphat to Ahaziah & Ahab to Jehoram
The King’s Calendar Reconstruction
Subsequent to Ahab’s defeat at the hands of Ben-Hadad, Jehoram, undoubtedly at the mercy of Syria, may or may not have participated in the battle of Qarqar. One thing that remains certain however, is that in the four (4) years subsequent to the Battle of Qarqar, Syria was left in peace by Assyria.
During this time, it would appear that Israel was brought into Syria’s sphere of influence, for we are informed that together with Ahaziah of Judah (who reigned only one year), Jehoram made war with Hazael of Syria (2.Kings 8:28). The ‘Kings Calendar’ places this event at 849 BCE.
That year, the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III crossed the Euphrates westward for the ninth time in his 11th year (Nisan 849 BCE to 848 BCE), enjoying again some success in his campaign. (Miller,J.M., Hayes,J.M. (1986) A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. USA. Westminster Press – Page 286. Text V – Black Obelisk.)
Although Shalmaneser’s records still list Ben-Hadad as leader of the coalition of kings that withstood him in 845 BCE., the ‘King’s Calendar’ indicates that Hazael was in power by 849 BCE. when Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah went to war with him. That Ben-Hadad is still listed by Shalmaneser as leader of the coalition in 845 BCE, may result from court recorders making the same mistake as some modern historians, in assuming that the coalition had remained unchanged for almost a decade. (Judaica ‘Jehoram’ Vol 9, p.1323.)
Whatever you may think about the above presentation, the previous article about chronological problems indicates quite clearly that if King Jehu commences his reign in 842/41 BCE then by the time you go down 100 years in history, you are faced with a big mess.
I hope that this little article has been of assistance in understanding some of the complex problems involved in Biblical Chronology.
You can also read at this article about some of the problems associated with when King Solomon’s Temple was built, in which you will find this record of the reigns of the two kingdoms.
(Other Academic Articles on this New Site)
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