Topical Study tool for Students: Jubilee Years This article has been designed for students as a quick study tool. It is a Topical Excerpt from Seder Olam Rabbah (No.3) (The Sojourn in Egypt to The Judgeship of Joshua) The discussion here revolves around the assertion that there was a Jubilee Year in connection with the life of Ezekiel that demonstrates connection with the ancient History of Israel.
This study in Jubilee Years is an exercise in Futility.
Joshua to Ezekiel's Vision in 14th year Exile
All chronological details, even in extra Biblical texts, require investigation. When Extra Biblical references are unique, they need especial investigation given their promise of providing additional historical information. The discussion here revolves around the assertion that there was a Jubilee Year in connection with the life of Ezekiel that demonstrates connection with the ancient History of Israel.
Seder Olam Rabbah says:
Now Israel stayed 850 years from the time they entered [Canaan under Joshua] until they left [Babylonian Exile], these are complete Jubilee periods. And so it says (Ez. 40:1): "In 25th year of our exile, on the day of the New Year, on the tenth of the month, 14 years after the destruction of the of Jerusalem - When did he Ezekiel have this vision? At the beginning of a Jubilee period. If they staid for 17 entire jubilee periods, how can there be an excess of 17 years? One has to say that 14 years Israel spent at Gilgal, seven when they were conquering and seven when they we distributing.
a). Note that despite referring to the years in the Land, the 850 appears to be equated with the 14th year of Ezekiel's Exile - or - 572 BCE. [Although the Kingscalendar will say this is the year 573 BCE] The most obvious difficulty is that if Jerusalem had already been destroyed 14 years, then one can hardly equate that year with ' they entered until they left '.
The Reference relates to:
17 Jubilee years
A 17 year flaw in the chronology.
A Precise Measurement of Time 850 years
The Israelites entering Canaan
Ezekiel's 25th year of Captivity c.573/572BCE or -
Ezekiel's Original Captivity 596 BCE.
b.Basic Solar Year Calculations. [Ref: Footnotes: Solar Year Calculations]
Adding the 850 years to important events in Ezekiel's life, results in the following.
572 BCE + 850 = 1422 BCE Israel Enters Canaan Close *** 586 BCE + 850 = 1436 BCE Israel Enters Canaan Not Close 596 BCE + 850 = 1446 BCE Israel Enters Canaan Close the Exodus [1449 BCE KingsCalendar]
*** Close because the King's Calendar calculates the year the year of Entry into Canaan at 1412 BCE. The problem for anyone trying to calculate this date is that it must be 440 or 480 years earlier than the 4th year of Solomon, and currently no one can provide that date. The King's Calendar puts Solomon's 4th year at 970 BCE [Line 416] and counts 480 artificial years to Line 895 or 1412 BCE and another 40 artificial years to Line 935 for the Exodus at 1449 BCE.
c. Understanding the 850 years.
Measuring 850 years in both Solar and Artificial Years.
Seder Olam Rabbah 572 BCE + 850 solar years = 1422 BCE Entrance to Canaan [Maybe] Seder Olam Rabbah 572 BCE + 850 artificial years = 1356 BCE No Match KingsCalendar Entry to Canaan 1412 BCE 850 solar years = 562 BCE No Match KingsCalendar Entry to Canaan 1412 BCE 850 artificial years = 628 BCE [L895 45].
There appears to be no real relationship to anything.
I have spent many hours trying to work out this chronological problem. I also spent many hundreds of hours working on Josephus before I was able to 'deconstruct' his errors.[King's Calendar Chapter 20].
I know from experience that when a figure is incorrect, there is a reason for it; carelessness. However the important thing is that the carelessness usually comes from duplicating or omitting a certain chronological reference.
d. There are 2 points to note in deconstructing this 850 year figure.
iSeder Olam Rabbah introduces these 850 years in conjunction with: Caleb said to Joshua (Jos. 14:7): "I was 40 years old when Moses, the Eternals servant, sent me from Kadesh Barnea........and so the figure appears to be calculated from the 2nd year of Entry into Canaan.
ii.Seder Olam Rabbah appears to relate it to Ezekiel's "25th year of our exile, on the day of the New Year, on the tenth of the month, 14 years after the destruction of the of Jerusalem."
Therefore, the component parts ought to consist of the following:
38 Wilderness [40 2 years]
440 or - 480 Solomon's 4th year (MSS/LXX divergence Explanatory note**)
36 Balance of Solomons reign
393.5 Biblical years to the exile
14 To Ezekiel's 25th year
A total of 921.5 or - 961.5 years.
There are 480 years [Masorete] between the 'Coming out of Egypt' and Solomon's 4th year. The Septuagint records 440 years. Most academics delete the 40 years of wilderness wandering from the 480 years.
In my attempts to deconstruct the 850 year figure, several methods produced reasonable but problematic results. There was one however, that produced a good result. However like the others, and in similar fashion to the deconstructions of Josephus' figures, it assumes that 'carelessness' played a large part in the original construction.
The 'best fit' deconstruction:
Discarding the larger figure in the 'component parts' list above, and changing the end parameter from Ezekiel's 25th year to his 1st year, the figures become:
New Total 896.5 years which is 46.5 years excessive
In trying to find where 46.5 excessive years could have come from, I created the following table of errors:
1. The calculation has as it's first parameter the second year of the Wilderness Wanderings.
2. The calculation was made however from the second year of entry into Canaan : + 438 years
3. The calculation had as one component part, the 4th year of Solomon.(Temple Commenced)
4. The calculation used as one component part, the 11th year of Solomon. (Temple Completed)
5. The calculation includes the remaining 29 years of Solomon's reign : + 29
6. The calculation uses the Biblical years assigned to the reigns up to 596 BCE : 382.5
Total: 849.5 years.
The 850 year figure does not synchronise with the balance of the Biblical Data and therefore is quite logically erroneous. The processes involved in 'deconstructing and reconstructing' the error can be quite complex, but ultimately the simplest explanation of an error is the most likely.
It would seem that this 850 year calculation is a miscalculation.Refer Footnotes: 850 Years Additional Note.
Re: 850 Years Additional Note I have spent considerable time trying to work this period of Jubilees out in both Solar and Aritificial years and with a mixture of both. While knowledge of the Jubilee calendar exists, it is difficult to determine if the process was followed.
In reference to the 70 year of Babylonian Exile, Second Chronicles 36:21 implies that the Babylonian Exile was necessitated by the failure to observe the land's 'Sabbath Year' rests, and that this had been an ongoing problem for 490 years. [Leviticus 25:1-7 requires that no crops be planted in every 7th year - 70 years of exile for each Sabbath year equals 490 years.]
This being so, it might be assumed that the Jubilee years were not kept either. If this be the case, then there will have been no record of such years in the Historical Records, and any tabulations made about them, will have been made by the 'proto-Essenes' at the time of converting the Solar year History into an Artificial year one.
Whilst Seder Olam Rabbah indicates that the Jubilee period ought to fall in Ezekiel's 14th year, the only indication I can find of a jubilee year, is one that was alleged to have occurred in 603 BCE. This would mean that 800 years before, it fell in 1403 BCE, which is 9 years after the Entry into Canaan (as per King's Calendar).
If the Essenes attempted to calculate such Jubilee periods in the artificial calendar, their calculations will have been skewed by at least the 13.5 years of overlapping reigns.
Re: Solar Year Calculations
The Biblical Data as it stands exceeds available history for the parameters it sets. The KingsCalendar, which assigns each Biblical Year a value of 336 days, reduces the overall Biblical Data by roughly 8%.
When working in Solar Years, many problems arise. For example, Counting from 586 BCE to 701 BCE in literal Solar Years makes:
a). 701 BCE Hezekiah's 24th year not his 14th year.
b) 702 BCE Hezekiah's 23rd year
c) 703 BCE Hezekiah's 22nd year
d) 713 BCE Hezekiah's 12th year
e) 722 BCE (Fall of Samaria) Hezekiah's 3rd year not his 6th year.
f) 724 BCE (Siege of Samaria) Hezekiah's 1st year not his 4th year.
g) 729 BCE Ahaz' 12th year
h) 730 BCE Ahaz' 11th year
i) 730 BCE Hoshea of Samaria 1st year
j) 734-732 BCE Syro-Ephraimic War Ahaz & Pekah.
k) 740 BCE Ahaz' 1st year.
However When working in Solar years counting down from the accepted date for the commencement of the reigns of Jehu (Israel) and Athaliah [Judah], that is, from 841 BCE to 701 BCE, the following is the result.
a) 701 BCE = Ahaz 13 th year
b) 702 BCE Hoshea commences to rule in Samaria
c) 703 BCE Pekah's 28th year.
d) 713 BCE Ahaz' 1st year (18th of Pekah)
e) 722 BCE Jotham's 8th Year & Pekah's 9th Year
f) 724 BCE Jotham's 6th Year & Pekah's 7th Year
g) 729 BCE Jotham's 1st year & 2nd Year of Pekah
h) 730 BCE Uzziah's 52nd year
i) 730 BCE Pekah's 1st year
j) 734-732 BCE Syro-Ephraimitic War must have been fought by Uzziah.
k) 740 BCE Uzziah's 42nd Year & Menehem's 4th year.
Result: Solar Year Calculations are insufficient to understand Biblical and Extra Biblical Chronology.
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 Five to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
General formula for Biblical Data conversion:
The formula for constructing the artificial calendar was:
'X' times 364 equals 'Y' days
'Y' days divided by 336 equals 'Z' artificial years.
'X' = any given number of 'real/solar' years
364 = perceived days in the sectarian calendar
'Y' = number of days calculated
336 = number of days in an artificial year
'Z' = artificial years = 1.083'X' and represents the original number of the converted years plus 8%.
To reverse the process by hand:
'Z' years times 336 equals 'Y' divided by 364 equals the Number of 'X' years converted.
To see how effective this method is, SEE:Appendix 5:Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE:
The Principle of Linear Causality
The King's Calendar is a very simple approach to Biblical Chronology. It substitutes a value of 336 days for every year listed in Scripture. As far as the Divided Kingdom is concerned, when you use this 336 day year value, the synchronisms actually work. To see how effective this method is, SEE:Appendix 5: Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE
Because it is a mathematical system, the King's Calendar must abide by certain mathematical rules, the most important of which, is that if you change any date for any day, month, or year every other day, month, or year is effected and must also change. It's like a 'domino effect'. Chronological references cannot be 'forced' to fit, and nor can they simply be ignored or 'compressed' as is the usual case with historians and archaeologists.
If any King's Calendar chronological determination disagrees with anything in the history books, it must argue the case as to why the history books are wrong, or why the evidence for an assertion is untrustworthy. If the King's Calendar successfully defends its' position, then the history books cannot be treated as definitive, and if the King's Calendar is 'proven' wrong, then every other chronological reference it provides is also wrong.
Because of this, the King's Calendar Chronological Reconstruction of Israel's history is unique, in that its' methodology can be scientifically (mathematically) tested and demonstrated to be either true or false. Its' chronological predictions are able to be 'proved' or 'disproved'.
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R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up 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.
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