Ancient Israel Monarchy - King Saul - Judges - Samuel and Saul 32 years?Reference to King Saul in 1 Samuel 13:1, is corrupt. 1 Samuel 13:1 literally reads: "Saul was a year old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years over Israel". (Miller & Hayes, 1986, p.129) Despite this, the King's Calendar has been able to fairly accurately determine when King Saul commenced his reign. The matter of determining any of these events when using standard solar year calculations are enormous, because not only do Biblical Dates not match up with known history, but are quite obviously 'self-contradictory'.
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King Saul - Introduction
In a recent article entitled: When was King Solomon's Temple Built? I discussed some of the difficulties encountered when trying to determine the Date for the Commencement of the building of Solomon's Temple.
Having provided some possibilities for this date if one were to rely on Biblical Years being true solar years (and not an artificial construct as the King's Calendar demonstrates), I then pointed out that according to 1 Kings 6:1, either 440 years or 480 years prior to the event (the Septuagint and Masorete disagree both are open to interpretation), the Israelites entered Canaan.
But according to the Book of Judges, 450 years elapsed between entry into Canaan and the end of Samuel's judgeship "plus" an unspecified time for the judgeships of Joshua and Samuel. The Bible says that the period of the Judges from the Time the people entered Canaan until the commencement of the reign of King Saul, was 450 years - PLUS - the unspecified years for Joshua and Samuel. See:
The matter of determining any of these events when using standard solar year calculations are enormous, because not only do Biblical Dates not match up with known history, but are quite obviously 'self-contradictory'.
But note that I say - 'when using standard solar year calculations'. In that article on Solomon, I presented a simple exercise in Deductive Reasoning which concluded that if we do not wish to dispense with the academic understanding of history, then failure to synchronise the Biblical chronological information with History results from our failure to apply it correctly.
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 viewed through this lense, the synchronous chronology for the Divided Kingdom period actually synchronizes. See: Divided Kingdom Chart
Despite the fact that the King's Calendar can reduce the overall time frame through the use of the artificial calendar, it is not an easy matter to determine exactly when King Saul commenced his reign, precisely because the information contained in the Book of Judges is both excessive and incomplete.
Additionally, Reference to Saul himself in 1 Samuel 13:1, is corrupt. 1 Samuel 13:1 literally reads: "Saul was a year old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years over Israel". (Miller & Hayes, 1986, p.129) Despite this, the King's Calendar has been able to fairly accurately determine when King Saul commenced his reign.
The Process of Determining King Saul's Reign
1. A brief look at the Divided Kingdom Chart will reveal that this period commenced upon the death of King Solomon in the Middle of 936 BCE. Continuing back further in history, the dates for Kings Solomon and David can be established.
Solomon Commenced 973 BCE
David Commenced 1010 BCE
2. 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. (apparently a reference to Leviticus 25:1-7, which requires that no crops be planted in every 7th year) In artificial years this takes us to November 1038 BCE.
3. From the age of Saul's son Ishbosheth (2 Sam 2:10, he was 40 years old) at the time of Saul's death, we know that Saul was around about Sixty years old when he died.
4. 1 Samuel 9:2 indicates that Saul was young, handsome and tall when he commenced to reign.
5. If Saul was something and one years old when he became king, and reigned something and two years, he will have been either 21 or 31 yrs old when he commenced his reign (in order to qualify as young and handsome), and reigned at least 32 or 42 yrs, to have left a 40 year old son.
6. Second Chronicles 36:21 as an indictment of the Monarchal period of Israel, together with First Samuel 9:2, and Second Samuel 2:10, as viewed through the King's Calendar artificial calendar appears to indicate that Saul's reign extended from the age of 31 years and that he reigned 32 years.
However, despite the 32 years mentioned above, out of the 490 years implied in Second Chronicles 36:21 up to the Commencement of King David's reign, there remain only 30 years left for the reign of Saul. There may in fact be an explanation of this two year discrepancy.
Two Year Discrepancy
Originally redactors may have had a genuine Solar Year record of Saul's reign, and may have known of and understood the situation with regard to the overlapping of reigns. Their view of the Monarchal period would have been just as that constructed by the 'King's Calendar'; that is, 460 years to the first year of David, plus Twenty-Eight Solar or Thirty Artificial years to the first year of Saul. By this Standard all of the 490 years will have been fulfilled.
If 1 Samuel 13:1 however is meant to indicate that Saul reigned Thirty-Two years there might be two reasons why it appears corrupt.
1. A redactor was unable to read a previous manuscript and was uncertain of the details. There may have been an artificial record of 473 years extending from the Exile to the first year of David (that record was excessive by virtue of the overlapping reigns involved in the synchronisms), plus a separate record of Thirty-Two (32) years for Saul, which then took the total to 505 artificial years. This may have confused later redactors who then 'fudged' Saul's details.
Certainly Josephus was confused enough to state that 514.5 years elapsed during the Duration of the Jewish Monarchy - Antiquities Book 10:8:4
2. The other explanation involves the uses of a Tishri New Year (September / October)
Although based on a Twenty-Eight ( 28 ) Solar year Reign for Saul using a Tishri New Year, the Redactors may have worked off a Nisan New Year (March/April). If there was a record that Saul was First Anointed Five Months prior to becoming king (He was anointed twice!), then his First Anointing may have taken place around May 1038 BCE (Tishri less Five months).
The Redactors however will have calculated it to be November 1039 BCE, which will have pushed Saul's reign back two artificial years both of which started in 1039 BCE (a. Jan / b. Dec.)
The combined total of Accession and Regnal years would then be Thirty-Two years
Saul's Two Annointings
There are two different anointing events listed in relation to Saul's Reign. One Relates to an event in which Saul is anointed 'Prince' - The Second, is one in which he is made 'King' .
Antiquities 6:5:4 directly informs of a second ordination by anointing. Klein (1983) argues that 'Prince' (Nagid), indicates Saul was made 'a king in waiting', before later being made King.
1 Samuel 9:16 - Samuel was instructed to anoint Saul as 'Prince'
1 Samuel 10:1 - The anointing takes place
1 Samuel 11:15 - After a variety of matters transpire, the people proclaim Saul 'King'.
The Corruption in 1 Samuel 13:1
Although it is not the actual position of the King's Calendar, there is another thing to consider with regard to 1 Samuel 13:1
It may be that 1 Samuel 13:1 originally referred to Samuel, who was 31 years old when he became judge, and judged Israel for 32 years. Samuel remember was consecrated unto the Lord during Eli's Judgeship, and Eli judged for only 40 years. Certainly Samuel could not have been older than 40 years when he became judge in his own right.
Certainly the 32 year figure appears to have created problems, for Josephus in Antiquities Book 6 indicates that combined, Samuel and Saul reigned over Israel for a total of 32 years.
Now he [Samuel governed and presided over the people alone, after the death of Eli the high priest, twelve years, and eighteen years together with Saul the king. And thus we have finished the history of Samuel.Antiquities 6:13:5
Now Saul, when he had reigned eighteen years while Samuel was alive, and after his death two, ended his life in this manner. Antiquities 6:14:9
Here we have a combined figure of 32 years. A figure which is suspicious for numerous reasons that relate to the relationship between Samuel and David - and - David and Saul.
Most commentators on Antiquities 6:14:9 believe it should read " Saul reigned Two and Twenty years.
That the reign of Saul is chronologically confusing is, from the King's Calendar perspective, indicative of failed redactorial attempts by those who did not understand the artificial calendar, to 'work it out for themselves'.
So the Salient Points are these:
There are no direct documentary evidences to indicate when or how long King Saul reigned.
The Corrupt 1 Samuel 13:1 suggests (based on ancilliary material) that Saul reigned 32 years.
The King's Calendar relying on an artificial construct and Second Chronicles 36:21 determines that Saul commenced as King in 1038 BCE and that he reigned 28 Solar years or 30 artificial years (which was recorded as 32 years because the 29 Solar year when he was annointed Prince was a double artificial year.)
The King's Calendar chart for Judges indicates that the 32 combined years for Samuel and Saul as suggested by Josephus, actually belong to Samuel.
First Samuel Chapter Thirty-One provides an account of Saul's death. With his three sons dead, and the battle going heavily against him, he commits suicide. The context of this battle is discussed in King's Calendar Chapter Eighteen. Within the James Et.Al.(1991) adjusted Egyptian Chronology, this battle against the Philistines will have taken place against mercenaries of the Egyptians and thus the battle was Egyptian inspired and lead.
The Philistines of whom we read so much in Scripture, were not an independent 'country of people' until around one hundred years after the events associated with Saul's death. These Philistines of Saul's day were the mercenaries of the 'sea peoples' who came from the Mediterranean somewhere near to the Aegean.
King's Calendar Reconstruction of the Reign of King Saul
Saul was most probably born c. 1067 BCE.
Made Prince during 1039 BCE
Made King in 1038 BCE.
Reigned 32 artificial years or 28 Solar Years
Died between September 1011 BCE & August 1010 BCE.
Probably During Spring of 1010 BCE
James P. Thorpe.I.J., Kokkinos.N., Morkot.R., Frankish.J. (1991) Centuries of Darkness. Rutgers Uni Press. New Jersey.
Miller,J.M., Hayes,J.M. (1986) A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. USA. Westminster Press.
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]