Issues of Evidence Biblical Archaeology: Ancient Near East: Assyria, Babylon, Sennacherib, Sargon, Egypt.Those who put no trust at all in the Bible, have as much difficulty with this time period as those who do. The problem is two fold. Firstly, the Biblical Chronologies make no sense, and secondly, the Non Biblical Records don't provide as much detail as the Biblical Ones. Generally speaking, the history of the Ancient Near East at this time in history, is both known and understood. The problem is that when one attempts to make the Biblical Chronological Data and its Narrative (the story that goes with that data) 'fit' what we do know of this period of history, (as opposed to what we suppose), the necessary conclusion reached is that not only do the Biblical 'Synchronisms' fail, but that some of the chronological data is wrong and must be compressed (reduced).
Issues of Evidence Part 3: The Syro-Ephraimitic War
Laws & Rules of Evidence (1-4) - and - Issues of Evidence (1-3)
are different series in the quest to separate Academic Opinion from Factual Evidence.
The Syro-Ephraimitic War : 734 BCE - 732 BCE
As this article appears in the "Rules of Evidence & Archaeology" articles section of the King's Calendar, it is appropriate to be aware of and to read the legal notes and definitions (in the footnotes section)pertinent to issues in relation to "Evidence" and the 'provision of testimony', and to keep these things in mind when reading or studying anything in which 'authoritative' claims or statements are made.
Unlike the 4 part series: "The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology" this article does not focus on legal argument, but highlights the weaknesses in Academic Opinion (and therefore 'weaknesses in Law'), in relation to the Syro-Ephraimitic War 734-732 BCE.
A Legal Bibliography appears at the end of this article and some definitions ought to be born in mind so as not to confuse 'opinion' with 'evidence' when reading Academic posits.
This series deals with legal issues relating to evidence concerning:
Nebuchadrezzar (Nebuchadnezzar) :
King Hezekiah Of Judah
The Syro-Ephraimitic War.
The Syro-Ephraimitic war relates to events that occurred between 734 BCE and 732 BCE. The Bible tells us that because the Syrians and Israelites of the Northern Kingdom began to attack the Kingdom of Judah, King Ahaz of Judah appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III King of Assyria, who then campaigned against Damascus and Samaria. This resulted in the death of King Rezin of Syria, and the death or overthrow of King Pekah of Samaria. While the picture seems straightforward enough, in fact it is not. See:Original Historical Documents : A Proposed Solution to a Chronological Problem by Donovan A. Courville 1978 and the accompanyingchart 6
Generally speaking, the history of the Ancient Near East at this time in history, is both known and understood. The problem is that when one attempts to make the Biblical Chronological Data and its Narrative (the story that goes with that data) 'fit' what we do know of this period of history, (as opposed to what we suppose), the necessary conclusion reached is that not only do the Biblical 'Synchronisms' fail, but that some of the chronological data is wrong and must be compressed (reduced).
In this article we are going to look at what is actually known and what the Bible actually says. It is the claim of the 'King's Calendar', that the Biblical Data as it appears, is not understood because it was recorded in a 'coded' form, (What is the King's Calendar?), 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'.
As Davies (1992, The Mind of G-d. New York. Simon and Schuster p.225) points out, our concept of rational explanation is subjective, and even in its most refined and formalised sense, in mathematics, there is paradox and uncertainty (probability). 'There will always be', he says, 'truth that lies beyond, that cannot be reached from a finite collection of axioms. The search for a closed logical scheme that provides a complete and self consistent explanation for everything is doomed to failure
The most fundamental operational procedure of the 'King's Calendar', has been to ignore both the 'logical and illogical', both the 'apparent and real', and to investigate the outcomes of a mathematical hypothesis.
This Article will be divided into the following Sections:
5. The Players in the Syro-Ephraimitic War: 734 BCE to 732 BCE.
6. Looking First at the Bible
7. Tiglath-Pileser III
8. The Syro-Ephraimitic War: Ahaz appeals to Tiglath-Pileser III : 734 BCE
9. The King's Calendar Chronology 746 BCE - 731 BCE
10. Review of Summary Notes
Those who put no trust at all in the Bible, have as much difficulty with this time period as those who do. The problem is two fold. Firstly, the Biblical Chronologies make no sense, and secondly, the Non Biblical Records don't provide as much detail as the Biblical Ones.
Trying to sort out what happened when and involving who, is often a matter of guesswork and assumption. Peet. T.E. (1924. p 75) points out that "Archaeology is not an exact science, and deals more often in probabilities and possibilities than in irrefutable demonstrations.'
It is believed that Tiglath-Pileser III came to power in Assyria in 745 BCE, and that he took tribute from King Menehem of Israel. By the end of Tiglath-Pilesar's campaign against Rezin and Pekah in 732 BCE, only 13 years of his reign had transpired. During these 13 years, we are supposed to believe from the Bible that Menehem and Uzziah lived some time and died, and that Uzziah's son Jotham reigned 16 years to be succeeded by Ahaz of Judah in time to appeal to Tiglath Pileser between 734 BCE and 732 BCE.
Not only does this type of mathematical connundrum make our heads spin, but when one adds to this the fact that the Assyrian records are considered both incomplete and corrupt, there does not seem to be too much to rely on in determining the precise order of events and personages.
It is the King's Calendar claim, that in fact there is something to rely upon - the Biblical Chronology. But this is not to say that we should rely on the Biblical Narrative or rely on the chronology using a standard chronological scheme. But more of that later. Let's begin by looking at the background to this period of time.
2. Background Overview 745 BCE to 701 BCE
745-727 BCE Tiglath-Pileser III commences reasserting Assyrian power after a 50 year dormancy and in 743 BCE (Thiele 1966, p.97) Tiglath-Pileser III takes tribute from Menehem of Israel. Right here there is a problem because some think that Menehem's tribute relates to 738 BCE. (Miller & Hayes 1986, p.332)
Between 745 BCE and 734 BCE (11 years) In Judah: Uzziah dies after a long illness that resulted from sin (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Jotham, his son ascends the throne and reigns 16 years Ahaz ascends the throne (to be able to appeal to Tiglath-Pileser III 734/732BCE)
Between 745 BCE and 732 BCE (13 years) In Israel: Menehem dies. Pekahiah takes over in Israel for 2 years Pekah kills Pekahiah and reigns for 20 years. Hoshea takes over from Pekah by 732/731 BCE.
734/32 BCE Tiglath-Pileser III campaigns against Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel.
732 BCE Damascus occupied, Rezin killed. Within 12 months, Hoshea murders Pekah, King of Israel.
725/22 BCE Shalmaneser IV campaigns against Hoshea of Israel.
722 BCE Samaria captured. Both Sargon and Sennacherib claim the Victory.
720 BCE Sargon's Campaign in Southern Syria-Palestine
714/12 BCE Sargon's Ashdod campaign.
701 BCE Sennacherib invades Judah and holds Hezekiah (in his 14th year) under siege.
3. Cornerstone One: Hezekiah's 14th year.
Remembering that this article is primarily written to show the weakenesses in academic arguments that provide specific dates and details, I do not propose to explain everything discussed here. You can find the King's Calendar Apologetics for this time period in the following two articles.
701 BCE is one of two cornerstones upon which is built all chronological schemes that seek to synchronise Biblical information with what is known of the history of the Ancient Near East from between the commencement of the Reign of King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria, and the third campaign of Sennacherib of Assyria.
I believe I am correct in saying, that there is no evidence to prove that Sennacherib's campaign in 701 BCE occurred in Hezekiah's 14th year of reign. Only the Bible provides this synchronisation. That Sennacherib of Assyria beseiged him is mentioned in both Assyrian and Biblical Records, but there is no mention in Sennacherib's records of Hezekiah's year of reign. All we apparently know for sure, is that the year was 701 BCE. See:
Living in China as I do, I no longer have access to research texts on the Ancient Near East, so I cannot be certain that there is no extant record (other than the Biblical) to indicate that 701 BCE was Hezekiah's 14th year. I do not however recall there being any.
Interesting enough, if you count backwards from 586 BCE or 587 BCE (Commencement of the Babylonian Captivity), you will find that in Solar Year counting, Manasseh, Hezekiah's son, commenced to reign in either 695 BCE or 696 BCE. If Hezekiah's 29th year year was 696 BCE, then 701 BCE would have been his 24th not 14th year. This however would result in a contradiction of 2 Kings 18:13 which states that Samaria fell in the 6th year of Hezekiah.
If 701 BCE was Hezekiah's 14th year, then 709 BCE was his 6th year; but if 701 BCE was his 24th year, his 6th year would have been 716 BCE. Neither date corresponds to the 722 BCE placement of the fall of Samaria.
Note 1. A straightforward reading of the Bible does not correspond with accepted History.
Note 2. Academics rely on the Bible in synchronising 701 BCE with Hezekiah's 14th year and 722 BCE with his 6th year. Neither source is a reliable witness.
The Fall of Samaria (The Northern Kingdom of Israel) is the second cornerstone upon which is built all chronological schemes that attempt to synchronise Biblical data with known history. King Hoshea of Israel (Samaria) lost his kingdom in 722 BCE when it fell to the Assyrians after a three year seige. Hoshea reigned 9 years.
In 1843 Paul Emil Botta uncovered the ruins of Sargon´s palace, where a wall relief called "The Display Inscription" records Sargon's victory over Samaria. In it Sargon boasted: "At the beginning of my rule, in my first year of reign, I besieged and conquered Samaria . . . I led away into captivity 27,290 people who lived there . . . I caused others to take their portion. People of the lands, prisoners my hand had captured, I settled there. My officials I placed over them as governors."
(Bright 1981, p275 and Herrmann 1981, p.250 favour a victory completed by Shalmaneser).
Additionally, the primary text reading of the Biblical Text suggests that King Hoshea's imprisonment occurred prior to, or at the very beginning of the three year siege. (Mitchell: Cambridge Ancient History 1991, p.339 and Ahlstrom 1993, p.670)
Whilst it is presumed that Hoshea's 9th year was 722 BCE, (721 BCE according to some), by solar year reckoning, he must have commenced in 730 BCE., two (2) years after Rezin of Damascus was killed by Tiglath-Pileser III. This is not the picture painted in either the Bible or the Assyrian records.
If however, Hoshea's 9 year reign were to be concluded in 724 BCE., at the beginning of the siege, then his first year will have been 732 BCE; the same time that Rezin of Damascus was killed by Tiglath-Pileser III. The Assyrian records however provide no specific data to indicate exactly when Hoshea became king or was taken captive.
In addition to this problem, Second Kings Chapter Eighteen Asserts that the 3 year siege of Samaria commenced in the 4th year of Hezekiah and ended in his 6th year. If as mentioned previously, Hezekiah's 14th year fell in 701 BCE., then 715 BCE was his first year, and the Bible is incorrect to suggest that he was on the throne in 722 BCE.
If as was hypothesised in the last section, 701 BCE was Hezekiah's 24th year, then his reign would have commenced in 725 BCE, in which case, he was in his 2nd, 3rd and 4th years during the Assyrian siege of Samaria, not his 4th, 5th and 6th years as mentioned in the Bible.
Note 3. Neither the Assyrian nor Biblical Texts clearly indicate the year in which Hoshea became king.
Note 4. Neither the Assyrian nor Biblical Texts clearly indicate the year in which Hoshea was taken captive.
Note 5. The Biblical Account is suspect in it's synchronisation of the reigns of Hezekiah and Hoshea.
5. The Players in the Syro-Ephraimitic War: 734 BCE to 732 BCE.
According to the Bible, 701 BCE was Hezekiah's 14th year, and his 6th year was in 722 BCE when Hoshea of Samaria lost his kingdom. Hoshea came to power by either killing Pekah of Samaria, or assuming power when someone else killed Pekah.
Hoshea's rise to power resulted from the crushing defeat of King Pekah of Israel/Samaria, and King Rezin of Damascus, by King Tiglath-Pileser III. Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Damascus came to the attention of Tiglath-Pileser III because of their harrassment of King Ahaz of Judah - or so we are told!
The direct players in this affair:
King Tiglath-Pileser III
King Rezin of Damascus Syria
King Pekah of Samaria Israel
King Ahaz of Judah
King Hoshea of Israel
The indirectly involved players:
King Uzziah of Judah - on the throne when Tiglath-Pileser III came to power.
King Jotham of Judah who succeeded King Uzziah and preceeded King Ahaz.
King Menehem of Israel who apparently paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III
King Pekahiah of Israel, son of King Menehem of Israel who was killed by King Pekah
There is one point concerning which we must remain clear when dealing with this period of history. That is, that only the Biblical records provide us with a sequential chronological picture of events. The non Biblical records were not at all concerned with portraying a sequential chronological picture. They were only concerned with recording the feats of the various Assyrian Kings. And some of those records were wrong!
6. Looking First at the Bible
The Bible records that Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem in Hezekiah's 14th year
We are told that this event occurred in 701 BCE.
The Bible tells us that Samaria fell in Hezekiah's 6th year.
We are told that that occurred in 722 BCE
The Bible says that Hezekiah reigned 29 years
Also that Ahaz before him reigned 16 years
And that Jotham before him reigned 16 years.
And that Jotham succeeded his father King Uzziah of Judah.
When was King Uzziah's Last year?
Using 701 BCE as the 14th Year Hezekiah + 14 + 16 (Ahaz) + 16 (Jotham) = 747 BCE.
Using 722 BCE as Hezekiah's 6th year + 6 + 16 + 16 = 757 BCE
King Uzziah died 2 years after King Menehem of Samaria.
According to 2 Kings 15:8-13, Zechariah succeeded his father Jeroboam II in the 38th year of Uzziah.
Shallum, who slew Zechariah, commenced his reign in the 39th year of Uzziah.
2 Kings 15:17 records that Menehem commenced to reign in the 39th year of Uzziah and reigned 10 years.
Therefore Menehem was replaced in the 50th year of Uzziah which is confirmed by 2 Kings 15:23.
As Second Kings 15:2 records that Uzziah reigned 52 years, he reigned 2 years longer than Menehem.
According to Tiglath-Pileser's record, he (Tiglath-Pileser) took tribute from Menehem.
But According to No. 1 Result: Menehem died in 749 BCE, 4 years before Tiglath-Pileser became King.
And According to the No. 2 Result: Menehem died 759 BCE, 14 years before Tiglath-Pileser became king.
In Either Case, King Uzziah of Judah lived two years longer than King Menehem.
King Menehem's Tribute to King Tiglath-Pileser III
Both the Biblical and Assyrian records state that Menehem paid Tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III
According to the Results above, Menehem died before Tiglath-Pileser became King.
Academics put the date at either 743 BCE or 738 BCE.
If we permit Menehem to die in 743 BCE and allow that date as the year in which Menehem paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser, then between 743 BCE and the Syro-Ephraimitic War in 734 BCE, a period of only 9 years expire.
During these 9 years, Uzziah reigned 2 years, Jotham reigned 16 years, and Ahaz was already on the throne of Judah.
18 + years of Biblical History take place in 9 years.
But, In the 52nd year of Uzziah, (2 Kings 15:27), Pekah (who killed Menehem's son Pekahiah) began to reign in Samaria, for a period of 20 years.
2 Kings 15:30 records that Hoshea killed Pekah, and this we are told occurred around 732/731 BCE.
Therefore 732/731 BCE occurs 22 years after Menehem's Tribute to Tiglath-Pileser in 743 BCE.
To further confound the issue,
2 Kings 15:32 records that in Pekah's 2nd year, Jotham commenced to reign his 16 years.
Therefore Jotham died in Pekah's 18th year, which was 20 years after Tiglath-Pileser took tribute from Menehem.
As Hoshea killed Pekah in Pekah's 20th year circa 732 BCE, Jotham must have died at the very beginning of the Syro-Ephraimitic war, which only took place 9 years after Menehem died.
Something is terribly wrong!
Note 6: The Biblical records finish King Menehem's reign prior to that of King Tiglath-Pileser III Note 7: Academics have King Menehem on the throne of Samaria 4 to 9 years prior to the Syro-Ephraimitic War thereby requiring King Uzziah to die 2 to 7 years prior to that war.
The Purpose of the synchronous chronological records provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, was to give a synchronous account of the sequential reigns of the Kings of Israel and Judah.
The Fanciful explanations (given by those who believe that every word in the Bible as it now is, appears there by the design and will of God), to explain away the so-called errors, requires at the very least, that the redactors (which Ultimately means God himself), were pretty lousy in clearly recording the details (forgetting to mention co-regencies etc); or that they (HE) got the details wrong. Those who preach that no one can add to or take away from the Scriptures, should not be adding what is plainly not there.
Remembering that this article is primarily written to show the weakenesses in academic arguments that provide specific dates and details, I do not propose in this article, to argue against all the theories that those who believe in Biblical or Academic Infallibility, put forward.
You can find the King's Calendar Apologetics for this time period in the following two articles.
The First Thing to Note about Tiglath-Pileser III is that nothing is absolutely certain.
1. The records for this period in history, in both the Eponym and Babylonian Chronicles (written c. 500 BCE), leave much to be desired. (Cambridge Ancient History, 1991, p 339/340)
2. The exact length of Tiglath-Pileser's reign is not certain. Grayson.A.K. (Cambridge Ancient History, 1991, p.71/72) includes the accession year in his chronology for Tiglath-Pileser, whereas Thiele (1966, p97) appears not to. (The same applies to King Nebuchadrezzars reign.)
3. Tiglath-Pileser's campaign which resulted in Tribute from Menehem, is accepted by Thiele (1966, p.97) to have been in 743 BCE, but others considered it to have been in 738 BCE. (Miller & Hayes 1986, p.332)
With Respect to Menehem's Tribute Miller & Hayes (1986, p.332) point out that there are two differing records for the same event.
One states that Menehem of Israel, Rezin of Damascus and Tubail of Tyre, paid tribute,
The other that Menehem, Rezin, and Hiram of Tyre paid tribute. (Considered Incorrect)
Hiram succeeded Tubail of Tyre, and was involved not in the above mentioned campaign, but in the 734 - 732 BCE. campaign.
You can read something of the chronological difficulties involved in determining when Tiglath-Pileser III campaigned against Menehem in this article: Menahem and Tiglath-Pileser III (William H. Shea : Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1 ( Jan., 1978 ), pp. 43-49)
So far in this King's Calendar article, we have accepted the 743 BCE dating for Menehem's tribute, quite simply because to accept a 738 BCE dating would make the figures even more ridiculous. Menehem's tribute is associated with one of Tiglath-Pileser's campaigns, but a careful reading of 2 Kings 15:19 suggests that Menehem's tribute was voluntary, in which case, it is not linked to any campaign or invasion but with ensuring the survival of his dynasty. Miller & Hayes, (1986, p.327) maintain that the Assyrian text supports the voluntary nature of the tribute. A voluntary tribute might be attributed to an awareness of Menehem's own impending death, and may have been paid to ensure the survival of his dynasty.
If however, Menehem died before Tiglath-Pileser became king, and the tribute resulted from a military threat, then 2 King's 15:19 may refer to military action engaged in by Tiglath-Pileser III prior to his accession to the throne. Records of this period are very poor, and it seems unfeasible that Tiglath-Pileser III could have commenced his reign in 745/744 BCE, and achieved the new found military strength and success by 743 BCE, had he not previous to his accession, demonstrated considerable military ability. It is not altogether unreasonable to consider that he may have begun an extension of Assyrian power prior to his predecessors' death.
Another possibility for the confusion surrounding Menehem, is the possibility that just as a successor's name has been recorded in the place of a 'predecessor', (Hiram in place of Tubail), it is also possible that to Menehem has been ascribed the deeds of his son Pekahiah. It may have been Pekahiah who paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III, to ensure his own continued authority.
But to accept that Menehem was on the throne of Samaria in 738 BCE, would require that within 6 years, Pekahiah and Pekah reigned a combined 22 years, in time for Hoshea to be king of Samaria, and that Uzziah completed his final two years of reign, was succeeded by Jotham for 16 years, and that Ahaz had ascended the throne of Judah.
The issue of Menehem's tribute is however, quite important, not just in relation to the chronological placement of his reign. As mentioned, the Assyrian records provide 2 conflicting accounts. In One (at least) they have misidentified one King. This is important, for it has bearing on the record purporting to name Ahaz as the King of Judah during the Syro-Ephraimitic war.
Note 8: Tiglath-Pileser's records leave much to be desired.
Note 9: There is academic disagreement as to when King Menehem of Samaria paid tribute.
Note 10: Assyrian records contain innacuracies in identification of Kings and Events.
8. The Syro-Ephraimitic War: Ahaz appeals to Tiglath-Pileser III : 734 BCE
In Section 7 it was pointed out that the Assyrian records provided 2 conflicting accounts in relation to Menehem's tribute, and that this has bearing on the record purporting to name Ahaz as the King of Judah who appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III leading up to the Syro-Ephraimitic war.
There are three reasons why it is important.
Firstly, because the Assyrian records are interpreted as indicating that Ahaz is specifically mentioned in a summary inscription from Calah, as ‘Jehoahaz [Ya-ú-ha-zi] of Judah’
Secondly, because it is only a presumption that Ahaz' real name was Jehoahaz.
Thirdly, reliance on the Biblical texts makes it appear that it was Ahaz, when in fact, the Biblical account is self contradictory.
If the Assyrian records cannot be trusted to be accurate in the identification of kings, it can only be presumption that they have got the name right in this identification.
If Jehoahaz is the correct name in the Assyrian record, that does not mean that it refers to Ahaz. Jotham's real name could have been Jehoahaz, and Ahaz' real name - Ahaziah. Uzziah did not reign under his assigned name, and obviously neither did Ahaz. Therefore, it is justifiable to assume that Jotham also did not reign under his real name, and that name may have been Jehoahaz. This becomes more than justifiable, when one not only considers the chronology of events, but the Biblical narrative text as well.
When you read the Biblical Texts relating to the Syro-Ephraimitic war, several discrepancies become obvious.
1. Both Jotham and Ahaz are named as the Victims of Rezin and Pekah
2. That Rezin and Pekah Did and Did Not Conquer Ahaz.
3. That Tiglath-Pileser Did and Did Not Hearken to Ahaz.
4. That Rezin and Pekah acted in Unison, separately on their own.
The King's Calendar apologetics in relation to these points appears in the article entitled: Assyrian, Babylonian & Israelite History 8th Century. What becomes quite obvious when you examine the details, is that the redactors confused the names of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, which is why Hezekiah is described as being in his 6th year during the fall of Samaria. It was actually the 6th year of Ahaz.
NOTE: There is only one Scripture quote which is incorrect within the King's Calendar Scenario. 2 Kings 15:27. It states that Pekah reigned 20 years.
Note Also: Within the King's Calendar perspective, 2 Kings 15:30 is assumed to be correct, referring to the 20th year since Jotham first began to reign as Govenor for his sick father.
However, It is also possible that the redactors may simply have made a transcription error, recording 20 instead of 12.
Note 17: The King's Calendar Reconstructions has Jotham on the Throne of Judah during the Syro-Ephraimitic War
Note 18: The King's Calendar reconstruction finds only one Biblical quotation to be incorrect.
Note 19: The King's Calendar reconstruction finds that the Biblical Narratives have confused the names of three successive kings - Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
10. Review of Summary Notes
The summary notes found throughout this article indicate that a straightforward reading of the Bible does not correspond with accepted History (1), and that Academics rely on the Bible in synchronising 701 BCE with Hezekiah's 14th year and 722 BCE with his 6th year. Neither of these sources appears to be reliable (2).
Furthermore, Neither the Assyrian nor Biblical Texts clearly indicate the year in which Hoshea became king (3) or was taken captive (4).
Not only is the Biblical Account suspect in it's synchronisation of the reigns of Hezekiah and Hoshea (5), but appears to demonstrate that King Menehem of Samaria died prior to the reign of King Tiglath-Pileser III (6). Academics however, who disagree (9) over when King Menehem of Samaria paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser, ultimately place King Menehem on the throne of Samaria a mere 4 to 9 years prior to the Syro-Ephraimitic War (7).
Whilst the Biblical records are generally not considered trustworthy, not only do Tiglath-Pileser's records leave much to be desired ( 8 ), but it is evident that the Assyrian records contain innacuracies in identification of certain Kings and Events (10). Not only do the Assyrian records not actually specify and therefore identify the name Ahaz as that belonging to the King of Judah who paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser (11), but the name that the records do identify, (Ya-ú-ha-zi / Jehoahaz), may in fact belong to King Jotham (15), since Ahaz' real name could well have been Ahaziah (12).
Academic identification of Ahaz as the Ya-u-ha-zi of the Assyrian records is a presumption deriving from Biblical Records (13), which upon close examination, are found to be self-contradictory (14). It is entirely possible that as neither Uzziah nor Ahaz are referred to in the Bible by their correct name, that the same applies to Jotham, and that his real name was Jehoahaz (15), and that it was he, Jotham/Jehoahaz who was king of Judah during the Syro-Ephraimitic War (16), not Ahaz.
The King's Calendar Computerised Mathematical Reconstruction of the Divided Kingdom Period of Israel, not only demonstrates that it was King Jotham who was on the Throne of Judah during the Syro-Ephraimitic War (17), but finds that the general confusion concerning this event and this general period of time, derives from the Biblical Narrative's misidentification of the names of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (19). From a chronological viewpoint, the King's Calendar finds only one chronological quotation to be incorrect ( 18 ), and that is in relation to the length of reign accorded King Pekah of Samaria.
Those who put no trust in what the Bible records, are often unaware that there is little to trust in what historians maintain are the facts. Archaeology and History are not exact sciences, and much depends on educated guesswork, based upon fragmentary traces of evidence.
Whilst academics have generally done a marvellous job of putting all the pieces together, it is only the Biblical Evidentiary Documents (Kings and Chronicles) that specifically set out to define and proclaim the sequential chronological history of the Ancient Near East.
In as much as that was their purpose, then barring normal human error, that is what we should expect to discover in these books. That we do not, ultimately derives from the fact that those chronological records are not recorded in an expected manner.
In as much as the chronological picture that they present for the period 745 BCE to 701 BCE is concerned, the problem is further compounded by human error, which resulted in the misidentification of three kings. Nevertheless, the chronological data as it stands, is correct.
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.
I hope that this current article has been of assistance to you!
CREDIBILITY - Worthiness of belief. To entitle a witness to credibility, he must be competent.
Human testimony can seldom acquire the certainty of demonstration. Witnesses not infrequently are mistaken or wish to deceive; the most that can be expected is that moral certainty which arises from analogy. The credibility which is attached to such testimony arises from the double presumption that the witnesses have good sense and intelligence, and that they are not mistaken nor deceived; they are further presumed to have probity, and that they do not wish to deceive.
To gain credibility, we must be assured, first, that the witness has not been mistaken nor deceived. To be assured as far as possible on this subject, it is proper to consider the nature and quality of the facts proved; the quality and person of the witness; the testimony in itself; and to compare it with the depositions of other witnesses on the subject, and with known facts. Secondly, we must be satisfied that he does not wish to deceive: There are strong assurances of this when the witness under oath is a man of integrity and disinterested.
CREDIBLE WITNESS - A credible witness is one who is competent to give evidence, and is worthy of belief. In deciding upon the credibility of a witness, it is always pertinent to consider whether he is capable of knowing the thing thoroughly about which he testifies. 2. Whether he was actually present at the transaction. 3. Whether he paid sufficient attention to qualify himself to be a reporter of it; and 4. Whether he honestly relates the affair fully as he knows it, without any purpose or desire to deceive or suppress or add to the truth.
'Direct Evidence is evidence of the facts in issue themselves and will be constituted either by the testimony of a witness who perceived the event or the production of a legally admissible document which constitutes the fact in issue.'(Bates,1985,p.2)
'Circumstantial Evidence is evidence of facts which are not in issue, from which a fact in issue may be inferred. (Bates, 1985, p.2)
Presumption and assumption are not permitted as evidence in legal issues. (See Bates, 1985, p.46)
Opinions, Assumptions and Presumptions are not facts in relation to evidence. Ligertwood (1988, p.284) in discussing 'opinion evidence' makes it clear, that opinion is an attempt to establish a fact from other facts. [For a sociological explanation of why presumption is often accepted as fact, see Bates, 1985, p.46]
Presumption can rightly be described as an attempt to establish as a fact something for which no legal evidence or proof exists.
In law, expert witnesses are not permitted to become involved in final decision making with regard to the 'fact' of a disputed matter or issue. [Gobbo. Et.Al.(1979, p.430) Cross on Evidence 2nd Edition. Sydney. Aust. Butterworths Pty.Ltd.]
Bates.F. (1985) Principles of Evidence. 3rd Edition. Sydney The Law Book Company Limited.
Freckelton. I.R. (1987) The Trial of the Expert. A Study of Expert Evidence and Forensic Experts. Melbourne.Aust.Oxford University Press.
Gobbo. J.A., Byrne. D., Heydon J.D. (1979) Cross on Evidence 2nd Edition. Sydney. Aust. Butterworths Pty.Ltd.
Ligertwood. A.L.C. ( 1988 ) Australian Evidence. First Edition. Butterworths P/l. North Ryde
Vinson.D.E. (1985) How to Persuade Jurors. American Bar Association Journal 72, 76
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.Values are:'X' = any given number of 'real/solar' years364 = perceived days in the sectarian calendar'Y' = number of days calculated336 = 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'.
Copyright 2013 is held by the nominated authors on this article page.
About the KingsCalendar Publisher
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.