Solomon's Temple: Jerusalem: Burning of the Temple. Nebuchadrezzar / NebuchadnezzarIf someone is going to state a date for any event in the history of Israel, then they can't provide that date in 'isolation'. This is to say that if someone uses the Bible to demonstrate that their date for something is correct, then you have to check to see if that date is supported by all of the surrounding Bible Chronology. Just about every academic alters the Biblical data wherever and whenever they choose. If the Bible is written by qualified commentators, then we ought to be able to conclude that the chronological information contained within it ought to be as trustworthy as any other ancient record, and its failure to synchronise results from Our failure to correctly apply that information. When was Solomon's Temple commenced? - 970 BCE When was Solomon's Temple completed? - 964 BCE When was Solomon's Temple destroyed? - 586 BCE
Does Anyone Really Know When Solomon's Temple was Built?
Given our great scientific and technological expertise to go with all the archaeological evidence at our disposal, you would think that this would be an easy question to answer. Wouldn't You? After all, every time you have read a book or done an internet search on the subject, the answer has been made plain for you to read.
But in fact, even the year of the Destruction of Solomon's Temple is not yet positively known. Some even suggest that what the Bible says about Kings David and Solomon is False. Despite such politically motivated claims however, Solomon's Temple did exist.
Archaeologists overseeing contested Islamic infrastructure work on Jerusalem's Temple Mount have stumbled on a sealed archaeological level dating back to the First Temple period.
The Israel Antiquities Authority announced that the find marks the first time archaeological remains dating back to the First Temple period have been found on the contested holy site. No archaeological excavations have ever beencarried out on the Mount due to opposition from religious leaders.
The sealed level, dated from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE, was exposed at the end of August in the area close to the southeastern corner of the raised platform surrounding the Dome of the Rock.
When Was Solomon's Temple Built?
What do the Experts Say?
When you read history books you will see two differing dates for the Destruction of the Solomon's Temple (587 BCE and 586 BCE) and numerous 'opinions' as to when it was built. There are two basic reasons for the lack of precision in determining the correct dates.
The first is that the non-Judaic world was not specifically interested in recording such information, and what recording does exist, does not use our modern day calendars.
The second reason for the difficulty, is that the Jewish chronological records are problematical.
Just on their own, the Biblical records for the period from the end of Solomon's reign to the fall of Samaria in 722 BCE (the period of the Divided Kingdom of Israel) are 'on the face of it', contradictory.
Experts vs. Biblical Chronological Reality
It is really easy for people to quote the Bible to prove a point that they wish to make, but quite often, the ordinary reader is unaware of the multitude of connected verses that can play havoc with what seems to be a straightforward matter.
In this section, what we are going to do, is to look at some of these associated Biblical references that create chronological problems when trying to working out when the First Temple in Jerusalem was Built. (If you must be lazy and go straight to the bottom line then do so. The answer you are looking for is there!)
Time Frame for Solomon's Temple:
Chronological Problems in the Bible.
When King Solomon died, Israel split into two kingdoms. The Northern kingdom of Israel was ruled by Jeroboam and the Southern kingdom of Judah was ruled by Rehoboam.
The Northern kingdom of Israel, or Samaria as it became known, ended when King Hoshea was taken captive by the Assyrian king in 722 BCE.
When you measure out biblical years between Solomon's death and the fall of Samaria in 722BCE, there is a discrepancy.
1. Rehoboam of Judah to the Fall of Samaria in 722BCE = 260 years
When you add up all the years from Rehoboam to 722 BCE as recorded for Judah, the total number of years is 260 years. This figure is based on 722 BCE being Hezekiah's 6th year of Reign and Hoshea's 9th year as per Biblical Texts in 2 Kings 18:10
And at the end of three years they took it; even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
2. Jeroboam King of Israel to 722 BCE fall of Samaria = 241 years.
When you add up all the reigns listed for the kings of Samaria, the total number of years to transpire during this same period is only 241 years. Since Rehoboam and Jeroboam both became king in the same year, there should be the same time lapse between the commencement of their reigns and the fall of Samaria in 722 BCE.
Reigns of Kings Recorded in the Bible.
The Biblical Variation is 19 years.
3. Rehoboam of Judah to the Fall of Samaria in 722BCE = 244 years
The King's Calendar maintains that it was the 6th year of Ahaz [Hezekiah's father] that Samaria Fell. The King's Calendar figure from Rehoboam of Judah to the Fall of Samaria would be 244 years. See:
The Temple is supposed to have stood for 429 years.
Add 36 years to the Line of Judah to find the commencement of the Temple.
The Temple was commenced in the 4th year of Solomon, and lasted until it's destruction in either 586 BCE or 587 BCE. [Depending on who you read.]
From the Destruction of the 1st Temple [Babylonian Exile] add 429 years to Solomon Commencing to build the Temple.
1015 BCE [586 BCE + 429]
1016 BCE [587 BCE + 429]
In What year was Solomon's Temple Built?
Based upon the figures listed in the foregoing sections, there are now 5 dates for When Solomon Commenced Building the Temple.
Southern Kingdom Figures:
Construction of Solomon's Temple to Rehoboam to 722 BCE
1018 BCE = 722 BCE + 36 + 260 years
Fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE + 429 years
Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE + 429 years
King's Calendar Figures for Southern Kingdom:
Construction of Solomon's Temple to Rehoboam to 722 BCE
1002 BCE = 722 BCE + 36 + 244 years
Northern Kingdom Figures:
Construction of Solomon's Temple to Jeroboam to 722 BCE
999 BCE = 722 BCE + 36 + 241 years
We end up with 5 different dates for Solomon's Temple Commencement.
Problem No. 3
1 Kings 6:1 says that between the commencement of the building of Solomon's Temple and either:
The Exodus Event
Entrance of the Israelites into Canaan,
480 years elapsed.
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
Since we have 5 dates for The Commencement of the building of the First Temple (Solomon's Temple), we now have 5 possible dates for the Exodus and 5 possible dates for Joshua leading the people into Canaan.
Some writers have a far too simplistic attitude toward Biblical Chronology when pontificating on what is and is not the correct date for a specific event. As we are now about to see, once you extend the chronological date for one event, by connecting it to other chronologically related events, the problems become compounded.
Let's now look at how these 5 dates for Solomon's Temple, affect the reading of 1 Kings 6:1.
1 Kings 6:1 - 480 years
to the Commencement of Solomon's Temple.
IF 1 Kings 6:1 refers to the Exodus
If the Exodus occurred 480 years earlier than the Building of the First Temple, then Entry into Canaan occurred 40 years later. This is to say that Entrance into Canaan occurred 440 years earlier than Solomon commenced to Build the Temple.
- But -
If 1 Kings 6:1 refers to Entrance into Canaan
If Entrance into Canaan under Joshua occurred 480 years earlier than Solomon commenced to build the Temple, then the Exodus occurred 40 years earlier.
If these dates refer to the Exodus, then we deduct 40 years to the Entrance into Canaan. If they refer to the Entrance into Canaan, we have to add 40 years back to the Exodus.
The 10 Dates:
1479 Exodus - 40 to Canaan = 1439 ... or ... Canaan. + 40 to Exodus = 1519
1482 Exodus - 40 to Canaan = 1442 ... or ... Canaan. + 40 to Exodus = 1522
1495 Exodus - 40 to Canaan = 1455 ... or ... Canaan. + 40 to Exodus = 1535
1496 Exodus - 40 to Canaan = 1456 ... or ... Canaan. + 40 to Exodus = 1536
1498 Exodus - 40 to Canaan = 1458 ... or ... Canaan. + 40 to Exodus = 1538
All of these dates are considered too early for either event.
But Note that a new problem now arises.
The Bible, in listing off time periods for each and every one of the different judges who judged Israel, from Joshua to the commencement of King Saul's reign, provides [in addition to specified periods of conflict], a specific number of elapsed years totalling 450 years. However, it does not tell us how many years that Joshua and Samuel judged Israel. For articles on this topic, See:
We know that David reigned 40 years and that Solomon reigned for 3 years prior to commencing the building of the Temple. Therefore, this 450 year period in Judges, blows out to 493 years. But to this must be added the judgeships of Joshua and Samuel.
We have already exceeded the 480 year period of 1 Kings 6:1
If we reduce all of the above mentioned years by just the 450 years listed in the Book of Judges (without accounting for Joshua or Samuel), we arrive at the following figures for the Commencement of Saul's reign.
Even though we have not added any amount for Joshua and Samuel, these figures For the commencement of King Saul's reign are untenable, except perhaps for the highest three, 1085-1088 BCE. But these were based on an impossible Exodus date of 1538 BCE. (Worth Noting: Josephus and the Hyksos)
Are You Confused?
Firstly let me tell you that none of the original 5 dates for the commencement of Solomon's temple, all of which were calculated from Biblical References, were acceptable dates for the event, according to archaeologists and historians.
I could have spared you this whole exercise, but hopefully by now, you have begun to understand how complex all the issues are.
If someone is going to state a date for any event in the history of Israel, then they can't provide that date in 'isolation'. This is to say that if someone uses the Bible to demonstrate that their date for something is correct, then you have to check to see if that date is supported by all of the surrounding Bible Chronology.
One academic on one site produced Scripture to support his dates for King Josiah and King Solomon, but when the Biblical chronology was applied to the intervening time period, [between Solomon and Josiah - as listed in the Bible], it became quite obvious that one of those dates had to be wrong. The intervening time did not match what the Bible said.
That academics fail to synchronise 'all' Biblical Chronological references is what happens when they fail to look 'outside of their little boxes'. Just about every academic alters the Biblical data wherever and whenever they choose.
The King's Calendar however, is bound by the mathematical priciple of 'linear causality' - Alter one thing and everything must be changed.
Let's now do a very simply exercise in Deductive Reasoning.
What is the Bible?
Premise 1. The Bible is a written account of a nation and its History, by the inspiration and guidance of G-d.
Premise 2. The bible is a non-G-d inspired history of a nation and its people, written and compiled by qualified authors, commentators and redactors.
If they were not qualified then there is no point in any academic quoting their figures to support academic theories. See:
If Premise 1. is correct, and the Bible is inspired by G-d, we ought to be able to conclude that non-alignment between the Biblical Chronological information and History results from:
a) Our Failure to correctly apply that information
b) Our Current Knowledge of History is Erroneous
If Premise 2. is correct, and the Bible is written by qualified commentators, then we ought to be able to conclude that the chronological information contained within it ought to be as trustworthy as any other ancient record, and its failure to synchronise results from:
a) Our failure to correctly apply that information
b) Our current knowledge of History is Erroneous.
Both premises similarly conclude, that if we do not wish to dispense with the academic understanding of history, then failure to synchronise the chronological information results from our failure to apply it correctly.
"What is the Bible?"
What we 'today' call the Bible, did not even begin to come into existence until the 2nd century after Christ. For both Jews and Christians, the process of deciding what went in and what stayed out was long and arduous.
The Old Testament books of the Bible were compiled between the Time of Moses and the beginning of the 5th Century BCE. Their collation from being Ancient Records into a comprehensive work of Jewish Writings, began between the 5th and 3rd Centuries BCE. at which time the first portions of the Septuagint were constructed. This is to say that the Jewish holy writings were translated into Greek. No one knows exactly how long this process took, although it is believed that at least the first 5 books of the Bible were completed by the middle of the 3rd Century (c.250 BCE) Chronological Differences: LXX and MSS
It is known that in Babylon, a highly righteous remnant of Jews called the Hasidim were in control, and there is every suggestion that they were well versed in Cyphers and Codes. (See: Chapter 1)
The fundamental premise of the King's Calendar, is that the chronological history of the Jews was transcribed from what we can loosely call 'True Solar Year History', into an artificial construct in which Jewish history was divided into years comprised of 12 months, each of 4 weeks, with each having 7 days - a total of 336 days per year.
When we work from this mathematical foundation, the following is what results in the search for the Commencement of the building of Solomon's Temple.
Remember all those dates at the beginning of this article?
Let's take another look shall we?
The Biblical Records for the Southern Kingdom of Judah record 393 years transpiring between the Destruction of Solomon's Temple [Babyonian Exile] and the commencement of the Divided Kingdom Period [Solomon's Death].
The Synchronisms that result when using the artificial construct indicate that only 380 years exist, the balance disappearing because we failed to understand what the synchronisms were indicating.
However, when these years are converted into real solar years, the total is only 350 years. Therefore, the Divided kingdom of Israel commenced in 936 BCE.
When you add the 36 artificial years back to the commencement of Solomon's Temple, the real date arrived at is 970 BCE.
When you add the 480 years back to Joshua's Entrance into Canaan, the real date is 1412 BCE, and when you calculate back to the Exodus Event, the real date is 1449 BCE. (This coincides with dates provided by Academics who support an 18th Egyptian Dynasty Exodus)
As for the question regarding the time frame of the Period of the Judges, that is made a little complex by the lack of information about Joshua and Samuel, and the corrupt passage in 1 Samuel 13:1 which literally reads:
"Saul was a year old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years over Israel". (Miller & Hayes, 1986, p.129)
Jephthah judged Israel between 1152-1147 BCE (Dated by City of Heshbon)
Judges 3:30 contained a transmission error, relating to Ehud (18 years rendered as 80 years)
Judges 13:1 reflects oppression concurrent with the Judgeships of Samson and Eli, not independently of those judgeships.
The Key to Understanding the Chronology of the Bible
2 Chronicles 36:21 indicates that the Babylonian Exile was necessitated by the failure to observe the land's 'Sabbath Year'rests. This is apparently a reference to Leviticus 25:1-7, which requires that no crops be planted in every 7th year.
When one calculates 490 years backward in history using the artificial construct, and begins to follow Biblical Data down to the Destruction of Solomon's Temple, one finds that the Bible Synchronisms for the Divided Kingdom of Israel are totally accurate.
So - The Questions and the Answers.
When was Solomon's Temple commenced? - 970 BCE
When was Solomon's Temple completed? - 964 BCE
When was Solomon's Temple destroyed? - 586 BCE
I hope you have enjoyed this exercise.
Miller,J.M., Hayes,J.M. (1986) A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. USA. Westminster Press.
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'.
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.
Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
R.P. BenDedek writes social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both at KingsCalendar, and as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News in Maine USA.He has been teaching in China since 2003 and currently (2013) is working in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province.