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CHAPTER FOUR: From the Death of Josiah to the Fall of Jerusalem
The narrative history of Israel from 606 BCE - 586 BCE


This is an historical summary of the apologetic arguments in Chapters Two and Three of the King's Calendar. It extends from the Death of Josiah at Megiddo to the Captivity of Zedekiah in Jerusalem,  and from the Battle of Carchemish to the Fall of Jerusalem.

Foreign Rulers include, Pharaoh Necho of Egypt, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Amel-Marduk of Babylon. Judaean Kings include  Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. The King's Calendar insists that the fall of Jerusalem and the burning of the Solomon's Temple occurred in 586 BCE not 587 BCE.


Introduction:

The purpose of the preceding chapters, was to lay a foundation for the 'King's Calendar', that is to say, to provide an 'apologetic' for the basis upon which it operates.

Many of the foundational premises upon which the 'King's Calendar' rests, needed explanation and justification. The overall justification for the 'King's Calendar' however, is it's 'mathematical probability'. This is to say that whilst in any given area of it's presentation some reasonable contrary argument might be forthcoming, the 'King's Calendar's' real strength lies in the fact that it is able to mathematically synchronise the biblical chronological data with almost two thousand years of ancient history. It does this not by any complex system, but by the most simple system of all. It simply changes the value of the word 'year'.

Nevertheless, having provided such a foundation in the preceding chapters, it is the purpose of this chapter to provide a narrative overview of the period covered in those chapters, before proceeding to demonstrate how the 'King's Calendar' mathematical construct, synchronises its' chronological Ancient Israelite History with what archaeologists and historians know today.

Judah's Last Decades. 606 BCE to 586 BCE

Introduction:
Having dispensed with all the arguments required to support the 'King's Calendar' perspective, a summary of  national events that occurred between the Death of Josiah and the Babylonian Exile in 586 BCE would be as follows:

1.    Josiah died around August in 606 BCE.

2.    Jehoahaz (Josiah's son) reigned three months before being taken captive by Necho to Egypt.

3.    Jehoiakim (Josiah's son) reigned eleven artificial years (606 BCE - 596 BCE)

4.    Jehoiakim was placed under tribute to Nebuchadrezzar early in 599 BCE

5.    At the end of 597 BCE Jehoiakim stopped paying tribute, and in the following March was killed by Nebuchadrezzar.

6.    Jehoiachin (Josiah's grandson) reigned three months in 596 BCE before being taken captive to Babylon

7.    Zedekiah (either Josiah's son or grandson) reigned eleven artificial years (596 BCE - 586 BCE) 

8.    Zedekiah was besieged for eighteen months, was then captured, blinded and taken captive to Babylon.

9.    In 586 BCE, the nation of Judah was taken captive, and the people transported to Babylon.

What follows in this chapter is a brief narrative on the various kings of Judah, and the events that overtook both their personal lives, and the fate of their nation.  It will be divided into the following sections:

1.    'King's Calendar' chronological overview

2.    The reign of Jehoahaz

3.    The reign of Jehoiakim

4.    The reign of Jehoiachin

5.    The reign of Zedekiah

 

1.    'King's Calendar' chronological overview

The 'King's Calendar' overview of the reigns of the last king's of Judah is provided here in order to refresh the reader's memory. Dates accorded Nebuchadrezzar, are as the 'King's Calendar' determines them to be, i.e. one year later than as per Wiseman (1985, 1961).

'King's Calendar Presentation
Josiah   29   20   Feb   608                
    30   22   Jan   607                
                                 
Jehoahaz A/ 31   25   Dec   607                
                                 
Jehoiakim   1   28   Nov   606            Nebuchadrezzar's    
    2   31   Oct   605           Artificial years    
                            Solar Years    
    3   2   Oct   604   A   A       604
    4   4   Sep   603   1   1   Nisan   603
    5   7   Aug   602   2   2   - " -   602
    6   10   Jul   601   3   3   - " -   601
    7   11   Jun   600   4   4   - " -   600
    8   14   May   599   5   5   - " -   599
    9   17   Apr   598   6   6   - " -   598
    10   20   Mar   597   7   7   13/4   597
                                 
Jehoiachin A/ 11   20   Feb   596   8            
         3   Apr    596        8   3/4   596
Zedekiah   1   22   Jan   595   9   9   22/4   595
    2   25   Dec   595   10   -   -   595
    3   28   Nov   594   11   10   12/4   594
    4   31   Oct   593   12   11   30/4   593
    5   2   Oct   592   13   12   19/4   592
    6   4   Sep   591   14   13   8/4   591
    7   7   Aug   590   15   14   27/4   590
    8   10   Jul   589   16   15   15/4   589
    9   11   Jun   588   17   16   4/4   588
    10   14   May   587   18   17   23/4   587
    11   17   Apr   586   19   18   13/4   586

 

2.    The reign of Jehoahaz

Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he succeeded his father Josiah, in 606 BCE.(2 Kings 23:30-31) during the Nineteenth (19th) year of Nabopolassar of Babylon.

He reigned three months commencing around August/September.   By December he had been taken prisoner by Pharaoh Necho. He was then taken to Egypt, where he eventually died. 

According to the Babylonian Chronicles, (BM 22047- Line 12 /13), in Tishri (Sept/Oct) of that year, Nabopolassar mustered his army and travelled to Kimuhu to meet the renewed threat of Egyptian attack down the Euphrates Valley. He captured Kimuhu in Kislev (Nov/Dec).  Necho probably replaced Jehoahaz, while he was returning to Egypt.

Josephus, in his account (1) states that as Necho returned from battle  'he sent' for Jehoahaz to come to him to the city called Hamath, which belongs to Syria. Second Kings 23:33 maintains that Necho put Jehoahaz in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath.

It remains uncertain whether Necho travelled south to Jerusalem to capture Jehoahaz, or merely 'sent for' him.  In either case, it is apparent that Necho was still in the vicinity, and not so hard pressed that he could not find time to deal with minor regional matters.

In so far as Second Kings 23:29 relates that Necho was on his way to the King of Assyria when he was met by Josiah, there is no literary requirement to apply this statement specifically to the reference to Josiah's death, for the statement occurs only in summary form.  Indeed, the Second Chronicles account (35:20) omits reference to Assyria at all. 

The significance of this point is that academic opinion places Josiah's death and therefore Jehoahaz' accession in the Seventeenth (17) year of Nabopolassar at which time Necho was assisting the Assyrians to retake Harran.  The 'King's Calendar' places Josiah's death in the 19th year of Nabopolassar when there was no longer a 'king of Assyria' for Necho to assist.

Jehoahaz' reign was terminated prior to the commencement of  Jehoiakim's first regnal year circa 28th November 606 BCE.

 

3.    The reign of Jehoiakim

2 Kings 23:36 informs us that Jehoiakim (Eliakim 2 Ki 23:34) was twenty-five years of age when he began to reign, that he reigned eleven years, and that he did evil in the sight of the Lord. (2)      

Between them the books of  Kings and Chronicles record only thirteen verses on this king, but from the associated material in Josephus and the Babylonian Chronicles, the 'King's Calendar' can construct the following account.

Jehoiakim ascended to the throne of Judah sometime in November of 606 BCE, commencing his first regnal year on the Twenty-eighth day of that month.  The Egyptian Pharaoh and his army were once again attempting an assault on Babylonian territory at Kimuhu on the west bank of the Euphrates (south of Carchemish). 

The first duty of his reign was to agree to the tribute required by Necho when he took Jehoahaz. His was a 'taxing' reign.

In his second  year (Oct 605 to Oct 604) Nebuchadrezzar ascended the Babylonian throne (Aug 604).

In his third year (Oct 604 to Sep 603) Nebuchadrezzar marched through Hatti-land and laid siege to Jerusalem (Dan 1:1) taking the prophet Daniel captive at this time.

In his fourth year (Sep 603 to Aug 602) Nebuchadrezzar marched unopposed through Hatti-land but did not come to Judah.

In his seventh year (Jun 600 to May 599) as Nebuchadrezzar was returning from his dramatic and near disastrous battle with Pharaoh Necho II somewhere near Egypt, he laid heavy tribute on Jehoiakim. The said tribute was paid for three years.

In his tenth year (Mar 597 to Feb 596)  believing that Nebuchadrezzar was about to engage Egypt again, Jehoiakim refused tribute in the belief that Necho would assist him (Josephus: Antiquities 10:6:1-2 [87-88] - Whiston 1993 p.272)

In his eleventh year, (commencing  20th February 596 BCE) he was killed by Nebuchadrezzar.

Concerning Jehoiakim's death (3)

In December of 597 BCE Nebuchadrezzar left Babylon for Syria-Palestine.  By February 20th 596 BCE (Jehoiakim's Eleventh and last Regnal year) he had already refused to pay tribute.  On (March Fifth) the second day of Adar (Babylonian Chronicles) Nebuchadrezzar  came up to Jerusalem, where, although Jehoiakim did not withstand him but received him openly (Josephus), Nebuchadrezzar yet killed him. This event occurs prior to the first of Nisan (April 3rd) and occurs within the seventh regnal year of Nebuchadrezzar.

Nebuchadrezzar then installed eighteen year old Jehoiachin as king in Jerusalem.  Three months later (June 7th) during Nebuchadrezzar's eighth (8th) regnal year, he 'sent' for Jehoiachin  After besieging the city, he took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon where he remained for Thirty-Seven years.  

 

Sequence of Events:  The Reign of Jehoiakim

Reign   Year   Month   Date   Activity of Note  
                   
1   606   Nov   28   Jehoiakim Chosen by Pharaoh Necho & under Tribute  
2   605   Oct   31      
                Nebuchadrezzar succeeds Nabopolassar (Aug 604) marches  
3   604   Oct   2   through Hatti-land,  besieges  Jerusalem (Dan 1:1)  Daniel taken  
                captive.  Travels from Syria-Palestine to Babylon and back again   
                before returning to Babylon by Nisan 1st  603 BCE.  
                   
4   603   Sep   4   Nebuchadrezzar's 1st year  marches unopposed in Hatti-land  but does   
                not enter Judah.  (between May and December of  603 BCE)   
                   
5   602   Aug   7   Nebuchadrezzar's 2nd year (Mar/Apr) Nisan 602 BCE  
6   601   Jul   10   Nebuchadrezzar's 3rd year (Mar/Apr) Nisan 601 BCE  
                   
    600   Mar/Apr       Nebuchadrezzar's 4th year Nisan 600 BCE  
7   600   Jun   11   Jehoiakim's 7th year  
    600   Dec       Nebuchadrezzar's near disastrous battle with Pharaoh Necho II  
8   599   May   14 1 Heavy tribute laid on Jehoiakim - Tribute paid for three years   
9   598   Apr   17 2    
                   
10   597   Mar   20th   Jehoiakim's 10th year commences  
    597   Apr   13th 3 Nebuchadrezzar commences 7th regnal year  
    597   Dec       Tribute not paid -  Nebuchadrezzar marches to Hatti-land.  
                   
11   596   Feb   20th   Jehoiakim's Last year commences  
    596   Mar   5th   Nebuchadrezzar captures and kills Jehoiakim  
                   
    596   Mar       Nebuchadrezzar appoints Jehoiachin as king.  
    596   Mar       Nebuchadrezzar leaves Jerusalem  
                   
    596   Apr   3rd   Nebuchadrezzar commences 8th Regnal Year  
                   
    596   Jun   7th   Nebuchadrezzar captures Jehoiachin  
    596   Jun       Zedekiah appointed King  
                   
1   595   Jan   22nd   Zedekiah commences 1st artificial year.  

 

4. The Reign of Jehoiachin

When Jehoiakim refused to pay his tribute to Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuchadrezzar marched on Jerusalem, entered the city and killed Jehoiakim. This occurred on Adar 2nd or March 5th 596 BCE.  In his place, Nebuchadrezzar appointed Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin, as king.

Although no reason is provided, within a few months (Early June)  Nebuchadrezzar sent for Jehoiachin to be taken captive.  It appears that Nebuchadrezzar did not personally attend the brief siege. Later in the year Jehoiachin was sent to Babylon, where he was kept under house arrest  for Thirty-Seven (37) years, until released by Amel-Marduk, in 561 BCE.

Jehoiachin was replaced by Zedekiah.

Between February 20th and the end of June, three kings had reigned on the Judean throne, of which Jehoiachin and Zedekiah were both appointees of Nebuchadrezzar. According to the biblical narratives and Josephus, two kings were taken captive, only one however was taken to Babylon. The other was killed. The Babylonian chronicle however, makes no mention of the killing of a king, and mentions only one siege of Jerusalem.

 

5.    The Reign of Zedekiah (4)

Zedekiah came to the throne of Judah mid-596 BCE. commencing his first regnal year in February of 595 BCE. He was twenty-one years of age when he commenced to reign, and reigned eleven years (2 Kings 24:18). According to Scripture, 'he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.'

We are informed that he rebelled against Nebuchadrezzar, so that on the tenth day of the tenth month of his ninth year, Nebuchadrezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. The siege lasted about eighteen months, until on the ninth day of the fourth month of his eleventh year, a breach was made in the city walls. Zedekiah fled the expected carnage, only to be caught on the plains of Jericho.

He was taken to Nebuchadrezzar who was at Riblah.  His sons were slain in his presence before he himself was blinded and taken prisoner to Babylon.

On the seventh day of the next month, the great temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.  (5)

According to the 'King's Calendar' presentation of the data, the siege commenced at the beginning of March 588 BCE. Sometime close to the 18/19 th of July 586 BCE. Nebuchadrezzar's troops entered Jerusalem. Around August 15/16 th 586 BCE. the temple was destroyed.

With the Temple Destroyed, the nation defeated and its' king in captivity, the nation entered into what is termed the Babylonian Exile.

 

Chapter summary:

With Nebuchadrezzar's rise to the throne of Babylon, and his rivalry with Egypt for supremacy of the Ancient Near East, Judah's fortunes could, (had it not been for the political short-sightedness of it's successive kings), been much different than  transpired.

In the space of twenty years, four kings had succeeded to Judah's throne, but none had succeeded in providing national security or peace.

The presentation of the 'King's Calendar' for this period in history, which is based on a mathematical construct, and justified by its' examination of all the collated documentary evidence, demonstrates that the chronological data provided in the Biblical Narratives, is correct, and that it has been transmitted to us, within an artificial chronological construct.

To view the 'King's Calendar' presentation of the biblical chronological synchronistic data for the divided kingdom of Israel from 936 BCE.  to 606 BCE. refer to Appendix five (5)

 

TO EPILOGUE PART ONE

 

 

ENDNOTES:

1.    Antiquities 10:5:2 (81)  Whiston (1993, p271)

2.    For Example Jer 26:22-23 slew Uriah the prophet

3.    This summary of events leading up to Jehoiakim's death, is the 'King's Calendar' interpretation of the data provided in the Biblical Narratives, Josephus, and the Babylonian Chronicles.  All of the points listed were argued and justified in the preceding chapters, in connection with establishing a one year shift in the current placement of Nebuchadrezzar's reign. The sources for the specific dates provided are: 13/4/597 and 3/4/596 Nisan First dates as per Finegan (1965, p.206).    Jerusalem was taken on Adar 2nd (5/3/596), which is approximately 28 days earlier than Nisan 1st. Jehoiachin's captivity on  7/6/596 is equivalent to 94 days (3 months 10 days artificial calendar ) from March 5th. and is equal to the length of Jehoiachin's reign. 2 Chronicles 36:9 lists Jehoiachin's reign as 3 months and 10 days, while 2 Kings 24:8 records it as 3 months. While one may be a specific length, and the other an approximate length, it is possible that one is given in the Babylonian system, and the other in the artificial.   3 months 10 days in the Babylonian reckoning is approximately 100 days to 13.6.586. Clines (1972, p.30) Jehoiachin may have reigned as little as two and a half months (75 days or 19/5/586)

4.    With respect to the reign of Zedekiah, the Biblical Chronologies, Biblical contradictions, and the 'King's Calendar', it is interesting to note that Jeremiah 32:1 indicates that Zedekiah's 10th year was Nebuchadrezzar's 18th year, and 2 Kings 25:8 indicates that Zedekiah's 11th year was Nebuchadrezzar's 19th year.   The 'King's Calendar' demonstrates that whether one speaks of an artificial or solar year calendar, these references are correct. 

5.    7th day of the 5th month as per the Babylonian Calendar: the 'King's Calendar' equivalent is 10th day of the month. Jer 52:12  




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