Academic Newsletters Nos 1 - 26: Pharaoh Amenhotep II, was the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. Nebuchadrezzar's reign ended in 562 BCE. 'criminal investigation proceedures' ought not to be applied to archaeological and historical evidence. Is the Bible God Inspired or just the History of Israel? The Hyksos - and - Pharaoh Rameses II. The Burning of Solomon's Temple
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The 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep II, was the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. By the measure of Petrie's chronology, for the Exodus to have occurred in 1449 BCE, it would have taken place during Amenhotep II's co-regency during the last two years of the reign of Thothmes III. During these years, and again during his 7th and 9th years, Amenhotep II (contrary to tradition) left Egypt to campaign in Asia (Roux, 1985, p.235) and during these periods, the administration of the kingdom was left in the hands of the Grandvizier. Given this historically recorded situation, there can not be a valid refutation of the King's Calendar posit that Rekhmire was the Pharaoh of the Exodus with whom Moses Dealt.
The first thing to note about Nebuchadrezzar, is that no one is certain whether he reigned 43 years or 42 years. The current preferred reading is 43 years, but this is based on a business text relating to his 43rd year, that standing alone, offers no clue as to whether these 43 years "include or exclude" his accession year. Currently Nebuchadrezzar is believed to have ascended the throne of Babylon in 605 BCE., commencing his first regnal year in Nisan of 604 BCE (Wiseman, 1985, pp.18-19), reigning forty-three (43) years until 562 BCE. (Cambridge Ancient History,1991, p.240). This is not the picture however that Thiele paints. (Thiele, 1966, p.216 , Appendix 'G'). The only thing certainly known, is that Nebuchadrezzar's reign ended in 562 BCE. with the ascension of Evil - Merodach (Amel Marduk), which Wiseman (1985, p.9) dates to October 8th 562 BCE.
Written in 2005, they are related to the "Legal Rules" of Evidence and Expert Testimony. These articles look at the actual evidence provided by archaeologists and historians to support what amounts to their various opinions and presumptions. These are not necesssarily easy articles to read as they are written from a legal perspective. Some have argued that the laws that apply to evidence in a 'criminal proceeding' are more strict than those applied to civil cases, and that 'criminal investigation proceedures' ought not to be applied to archaeological and historical evidence.
When it comes to matters Biblical, there is a whole section of the Christian community that 'worships' the Bible like an idol, insisting that each and every word was virtually 'G-d dictated', or inspired to such an extent, that IT CAN CONTAIN NO ERRORS! They say this despite the very plainly obvious errors, such as 1 Samuel 13:1 "Saul was one year old when he commenced to reign and reigned two years". Their explanations for these types of occurrences ultimately contradict their basic premise, that there can be no errors in the Bible. On the other hand, modern 'liberal' academics are just as fanatically evangelical in their rejection of the 'reliability' of the Biblical documents. For the one, the Bible is sacrosanct, and for the other, a second rate piece of historical fiction. But when it comes to Biblical chronology, there can be no denying that there are a great number of problems within it. In touting their agendas, both the Academic and the Bible worshiper will indulge in 'arrogant' arguments designed to deceive the naive, and feed the ignorance of the listener.
Addressing two small but connected issues in relation to the Biblical Exodus from Egypt: The Hyksos - and - Pharaoh Rameses II: When you calculate the total of reigns to Rameses (which are provided in both year and months of reigns), there expires a total of 254 years. Josephus provides a list of dates of the Egyptian Pharaohs from the time of that expulsion to the time of Rameses II. Josephus determines from extant records, that Rameses II commenced +/- a few months, in 1300 BCE. Despite the current belief that Josephus' chronological data is incomprehensible, it is not.
The Septuagint derives its name (derived from Latin septuaginta, 70, hence the abbreviation LXX) from a legendary account in the Letter of Aristeas of how seventy-two Jewish scholars (six scribes from each of the twelve tribes) were asked by the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus in the 3rd century BC to translate the Torah for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria. The Greek version, known as the Septuagint, welcomed by the Alexandrian Jews, spread quickly throughout the countries in which Greek was spoken; it was utilized by different writers, and supplanted the original text in liturgical services. The other books of the Old Testement were not translated until later in time. Our current Bibles are based on the Masorah and the text we follow therein "was already fixed, at the latest, about 200 B.C. and perhaps a century earlier"
If we follow the Septuagint version of 1 Kings 22:47, which is to say 3 Kings 16:28, and have a deputy ruling not Edom but Syria during Jehoshaphat's reign, then the 'King's Calendar' suggests that by the beginning of Ahab's reign, Ben-Hadad I was deceased and that Ben-Hadad II, was a minor. From this perspective then, Ben Hadad II was only just beginning to exercise his military and political muscle in 868 BCE when he besieged Samaria (1 Kings 20). It would be sometime before he would become leader of the Syro-Palestinian Coalition which withstood Shalmaneser in 853 BCE. Placing his death circa 850 BCE, the 'King's Calendar' would give Ben-Hadad II a reign of at least 18 years. His minority would date from around 883 BCE to around 868 BCE (at which time he was old enough to lead his troops and be drinking himself drunk 1 Kings 20:16), a period of about 15 years. With a Fifteen (15) year minority and a further reign of 18 years (868-850 BCE), Ben-Hadad II will have reigned a total of around 33 years, until his murder by Hazael. Objection to this interpretation seems certain, but it appears to be more plausible than accepting that the leader of a strong coalition could be defeated by a vassal kingdom, and remain in that subjection right up to the stand-off against Assyria at Qarqar.
Since Academics put Ahab's death in 853/852 BCE, and Biblical Direct Evidence equates this with Ahab's 22nd year and Jehoshaphat's 19th year, there are 16 Biblical years in Judah and 14 Biblical Years in Israel, until Jehu takes power. The 'Biblical Direct documentary Evidence' provides circumstantial evidence that 853 BCE is not the year in which Ahab died. Of course in a court of law it would be argued that the Bible contradicts itself at this point and is therefore unreliable as a witness. The Court, declaring it to be an unreliable witness would 'require' that no future Biblical evidence be presented by archaeologists and historians in support of their claims. Take the Bible away from them and they quite often have Nothing to work with to substantiate their claims. - Most academics kill off Ahaziah of Judah and Jehoram of Israel around 842/841 BCE. If you count back 95 or 98 years from there, you have Solomon dying around 940 - 936 BCE. This would be considered a 'little early', but would pass as a general reference to Solomon's death. Continuing back the other 80 years of David and Solomon's reigns however would put David on the throne around 1020BCE. This would not be acceptable to Academics
At various times throughtout these Series of Newsletters, attention has been drawn to some 'apparent' Scriptural contradictions, which, under the scrutiny of the 'King's Calendar', are found not in fact to be 'contradictory'. The most famous of these are the dates provided for the Burning of the Temple in 586 BCE. Jeremiah 52:12 records that this event occurred on the 10th day of the 5th month of that year, and 2 Kings 25:8 records that it occurred on the 7th day of the 5th month. These are in fact two different chronological perspectives, the one being artificial and the other being the Babylonian. Jeremiah 52:28,29 in reference to the two exiles (596 BCE and 586 BCE), records that they occured in the 7th and 18th years of Nebuchadrezzar.
In this case, Josephus' intention appears to have been to subtract the time difference between the Fall of Samaria (722 BCE) and (586 BCE) the Fall of Jerusalem (136 Solar Years) from 1062.5 years, to arrive at a balance of years that he presumed would apply to the period between Exodus and the fall of Samaria. This ought to have resulted in the following equation : 1062.5 less 136 = 926 years. Remembering that Josephus was unaware of the artificial construct, any years he personally calculates will be in solar years. What he appears to have done is subtract the time difference between 701 BCE, when Sennacherib invaded Hezekiah in Judah, and the Exile in 586 BCE., or 115 Solar years. From his original source quoting a time span of 1062.5 years between the Exodus and the Babylonian Exile, and which he believed to be recorded in True Solar years, Josephus erroneously deducted 115 solar years (701 - 586 BCE), instead of 136 years (722 - 586 BCE), resulting in a 947 year calculation for the period 'Exodus to Fall of Samaria', instead of 914.5 years.
Jeremiah 32:1 records that that Jerusalem fell in the 10th year of Zedekiah which was the 18th year of Nebuchadrezzar. 2 Kings 25:8 records that Jerusalem fell in the 11th year of Zedekiah which is the 19th year of Nebuchadrezzar. How can they both be right? Jerusalem did in fact fall in accordance with both of these Scriptural References! Zedekiah's 10th SOLAR year was his last year, and Nebuchadrezzar's 18th. Solar Year. Zedekiah's 11th ARTIFICIAL year was his last year, and Nebuchadrezzar's 19th Artificial Year. Some may like to dispute the findings of the 'King's Calendar', and some may believe that there are no errors in the Bible. The 'King's Calendar' however, demonstrates quite effectively that the Bible is an accurate Historical document.
The matter of Jehoiakim's death is problematical, for while the Babylonian Chronicles mentions only one siege of Jerusalem and one king taken captive, the Biblical book of Chronicles indicates that there were in fact two sieges and that both Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin were taken captive; and while Josephus mentions that Jehoiakim was killed, the Book of Kings story makes no mention of his murder, but merely says he died, and thus appears to indicate that it was a natural death. The difficulty for academics is to try and marry the Biblical narratives with the Babylonian Chronicles, when in fact they don't synchronise chronologically. This results from an incorrect understanding of Biblical Chronology due to its' artificial nature, and additionally, because the Babylonian Chronicles being both a summary of events, and not being Judeocentric, OMITS mention of one of the three named Biblical kings during this period of time. Academics must therefore COMPRESS Biblical events to make it all fit together. Jehoiakim's 11th artificial (Biblical) year commenced on February 20th of 596 BCE - the 7th year of Nebuchadrezzar. By April 3rd, he was dead, and Jehoiachin was on the throne. The Babylonian chronicles whilst recording that Nebuchadrezzar besieged Jerusalem on Adar 2nd or March 5th 596 BCE. does not mention the death of the king. It does mention however that the (ONE) king was taken captive and replaced by another. Therefore Academics assume that this refers directly to Jehoiachin.
In relying upon Biblical Chronological details for this period, the academics do two extraordinary things. Firstly, they uncharacteristically treat the data as though it were correct, and this, despite the fact that they blatantly and 'justifiably' deny the reliability of all the chronological data for the preceding fifty (50) years, - and - Secondly, to make the data fit, they insist that a two year old child (Manesseh) was made to co-reign with his father (Hezekiah). If in dealing with the previous fifty year period they are going to insist that the redactors got it wrong, then upon what basis do they now insist that they have correct the details, especially when Hezekiah had apparently been informed that he would have his life extended for 15 years beyond the 701 BCE invasion. The basis for their calculation is, by their own admission, completely untrustworthy.
The Bible says in 2 Kings 15:27, that Pekah reigned for 20 years. No one credits him with such a reign. The 'King's calendar' likewise finds this reference erroneous, and although granting to him a longer reign than does anyone else, it demonstrates that in fact he only reigned 12 Regnal/solar years or 14 artificial years. The most logical explanation for this error is that it is a transcription error altering twelve to twenty. According to 2 Kings 16:5 King Ahaz, Jotham's successor, sent to Tiglath-Pileser III for assistance against Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Samaria (Israel) during their campaigns from 734 to 732 BCE. There are two different accounts of this appeal. In One, the Assyrian King comes to Ahaz' help, and in the other, he does not. Explanation for this error can be found in the fact that it was not Ahaz, but Jotham who successfully appealed to the Assyrian Monarch during the Campaigns from 734 - 732 BCE. References to Ahaz going to Damascus to meet with the King of Assyria, will in fact refer to Ahaz going to meet with Tiglath-Pileser's successor Shalmaneser, before or after the commencement of the siege of Samaria which ultimately resulted in the end of Hoshea's reign.
Many see these Scriptures as contradictory however if you actually read 2 Kings 21:17, it says, "Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?". So the question begs asking, 'How can they be contradictory accounts?'. The Book of Kings provides a summary of his life, but by inherent admission, does not give a complete account. The Book of Chronicles provides the same account as in Kings, and then continues further to an account of his captivity, repentance and release. This account is also problematical for historians. The problem for historians is that the Bible maintains that the combined totals of the reigns of Manasseh (55 years), Amon (2 years), Josiah (31 years), Jehoiakim (11 years), and Zedekiah (11 years), amounts to one hundred and ten years (110 years), which would require Manasseh to commence his reign in 697/696 BCE, prior to Hezekiah's death.
The Southern Kingdom (Judah) timeline, according to the Bible, only records 473.5 years for this period. Josephus is obviously in error, but as is argued in the 'King's Calendar' Chapter 20, such errors arise because Josephus was not a very organised person; he little understood what was before him; he appears to have had at his disposal materials that were 'supplied' to him, and he never kept track of what he had previously written. He was, to put it clearly, 'very sloppy'. This does not mean however that he made anything up, or that the information upon which he relied was erroneous. In The Jewish War. Book One - Chapter III [Cornfeld 1982, p.25. Ch. III (1) 70.], Josephus maintained that from Cyrus to Aristobulus, 471 years elapse. However he later amended this in Antiquities 13:11:1 to 481 years. (Cornfeld, 1982, p.25). Interestingly enough, these 481 years in Antiquities, are exactly the number of SOLAR YEARS to elapse BETWEEN the Babylonian Exile and Aristobolus, which is to say, that they include the total number of years from 585 BCE to 105 BCE inclusive. As such these years constitute the number of years transpiring 'between' these parameters, but not including them.
Jeremiah's prophecy initially refers to the captives sent to Babylon in 604/603 BCE. 2 Chronicles 36:21 however, indicates that the people taken captive in 586 BCE at the time of the destruction of the temple was in accordance with and to fulfill Jeremiah's Prophecy, and that these seventy years were ordained because the land had not received its Sabbath year rests. This inherently implies two things: 1. That Jeremiah's prophecy was given in relation to the Babylonian exile of 586 BCE (not the 603 BCE captivity nor the 596 BCE overthrow of Jehoiachin) – and - That there had been a period of 490 years during which the 'Sabbath Rest' of the land had not been complied with.. The implications of 2 Chronicles 36:21 are problematical. In Chapter 28: 1, in the story of Jeremiah's conflict with Hananiah, which is dated to the 4th year of Zedekiah, i.e. 592 BCE., Hananiah maintains that the exile will end in two (2) years While Jeremiah expresses his hope that it will be so, he also expresses some doubt. In hoping that the prophecy was true, Jeremiah is saying that 'he hopes that his own prophecy is false'.
There is one thing of which we may be certain, despite some claims to the contrary, nobody has ever proved that the Biblical portrayal of Israelite History is 'fictitious'. What some Academics do claim is that 'their findings' do not support this or that particular matter. What I have demonstrated in the last few weeks is that none of such academic findings are 'irrefutable'; all of their findings are constantly being 'tweaked' and challenged in many different ways by many different people in many different academic fields. Note the importance of matrilineal descent within the 18th dynasty. Not only because it ensured dynastic survival, but because it plays an important role in substantiating Moses' historical existence within this dynastic family structure. The Pharaoh's daughter who pulled Moses from the bull rushes was in fact Hatshepsut.
Amenhotep II commenced somewhere between 1447 & 1425 BCE Over a six generation period therefore, (concerning which the same information is available to all) what commences as a Forty-Five (45) year discrepancy in the commencement date for Amenhotep I, concludes with a 22 year discrepancy in the application of the data for the reign of Amenhotep II. It is obvious that precise dating is impossible and that one is free to choose the chronological table which best suits one's particular purpose. There is recorded therefore, within the chronological history of the Jews as found in both Biblical and extra-biblical documents, two chronologically distinct Exoduses, and attempts to pass off the Mosaic Exodus as a legend reflecting the Hyksos Exodus are nothing more than 'unscientific' and anti-religious attempts to dissuade people from their trust in the historical accuracy of the Bible, and by that means, to turn them from their religious faith.
Adad-Nirari was king of Assyria from 810-783 BCE, and between 805 and 803 BCE commenced a series of western campaigns. The Saba'a Inscription mention of Adad-Nirari's 5th year (806/05 BCE), appears to indicate that it was in that year that he reached Damascus BUT there is disagreement as to whether one is meant to read that it was in this year that he reached Damascus, or merely that it was in this year that he commenced his western campaigns. The accepted dating for this Damascus campaign has been 801 BCE. - 800 BCE., although there are alternatives. The point to be made here is that while we are often tempted to accept what the 'Bible Knockers' say is EVIDENCE, the reality is that such evidence is usually subject to ongoing academic disagreement. One very important academic disagreement that has sprung up in the last few years, and which was mentioned in passing in the last newsletter, is that Academics are arguing over the placement of certain of the Pharaonic Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, disagreeing by up to as much as 200 years
When we read that some expert says this or that, we are naturally inclined to accept that they know what they are talking about, but in reference to the two cases cited above, the 'fact' of the matter is, that neither religious nor secular academics have ever 'proved' their theories to be correct, and the 'fact' that these points in history are constantly being challenged, examined and argued over, demonstrates clearly enough, that the 'chronological' aspect at the very least, has not yet been satisfied beyond everyone's doubt. - "A powerful theory is one that is highly vulnerable to falsification, and so can be tested in many detailed and specific ways".(Davies. P. [1992 The Mind of G-d. New York. Simon and Schuster. p.25]) The 'King's Calendar' claim that the Biblical Chronological Data is recorded in years of 336 day years, can be demonstrated, by synchronizing all the synchronous material and seeing if it fits into the known history for this period. No one else has ever been able to do it, AND THAT IS A FACT.
The issue to which I wish to draw attention, is that Academics can sometimes refuse to examine an issue, simply because of their own threatened or offended pride. For instance Immanuel Velikovsky was apparently the first to call attention to the Harvard excavation report on the relation between the Ostraca House and the Osorkon House, but he did so in the context of questioning the very science of archaeology itself, which is why archaeologists did not take him seriously at the time (cf. Ramses II and His Times, p. 246). However, the basic problem he describes must be taken seriously. Note here the call is for the actual problem to be taken seriously, and not as one might say, 'to be like a baby thrown out with the bathwater.' In other words, the problem was not addressed, because the speaker who raised the issue was not appreciated.
But what facinates me, is that many 'fundamentalists', while publicly preaching the Bible to be the Word of God, will, when confronted by the anomolous situation between the chronological facts of history and the chronological record of the Bible, maintain that biblical chronology is not important, saying "we don't feel that the historical information is important". Now while we have this type of person maintaining that the Bible is actually the Word of God whilst ignoring the facts of history, we also have others who while maintaining that the Bible is inspired of God, have so sold out to 'academia', that they just accept as gospel everything that they are told, and have given up even bothering to find the answer to this chronological problem, or worse, have allowed themselves to be convinced that God does not exist at all.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]