Page images


such old Accadian beliefs and practices as the sacred Jerusalem (Jer. vii. 18), were due to the immediate inness of the number seven (in reference to the 7 fluence of Assyria. During the Exile the worship of planets), the division of the month into weeks of 7 even the inferior Babylonian deities spread among the days, and the observance of the seventh as a day of Jews; and in Isa. Lxv. 11, we read that some, forget. rest, the observance of feasts at the new moon, the ful of God's "holy temple" at Jerusalem, "prepare a institution of religious prostitutes, the conception of table for Gad, and furnish the drink-offering unto vicarious punishment, and human sacrifice, especially MENI” (A. V. margin). Meni was the god of destiny, by fire. The Chaldean sabbath was observed on the called Manu in Assyrian, and Gad was the god of good 7th, 14th, 19th, 21st, and 2sth days of the month, and luck, whose name reappears in that of the city Baalwas called "a day of completion of labours" in Acca gad (Josh, xi. 17; xii. 7). The demonology of the later dian, and a “Sabbath" (explained as "a day of rest Jews may equally be traced back to Babylonia, where for the heart") in Assyrian. A Babylonian saints' the inhabitants lived in daily dread of evil spirits, of calendar for the inte alary month Elul lays down whom Asmodeus, in the book of TOBIT, may be taken the following prescriptions for the first sabbath of the as a type. It was only in this life, however, that the month :-“A sabbath: The prince of many nations spirits, either good or bad, were to be feared. The may not eat the flesh of birds and cooked fruit. He Assyro-Bahylonians looked forward to a dreary future, may not change the garments of his body. He may to an underground Hades, where the phantoms of not put on white robes. He may not offer sacrifice. dead kings and heroes sat on thrones (see Ixa, xiv. 9), The king may not ride in his chariot. He may not where all was darkness and squalor, and where the legislate in royal fashion. The general may not ap. spirits of the dead flitted like bats, with dust only for point by word of mouth a place of garrison. Medicine their food. Seven gates had to be passed before Hades may not be applied for the sickness of the body". was reached, and the souls of the dead might be called Many of these beliefs and practices were adopted by up from it by the magical rites of necromancer the Phænicians (who also adopted some of the Baby. (see Isa. Ixv. 4; viii. 19). For a select few only was lonian gods),and probably increased the fatal attraction “the land of the silver sky" reserved, where the of the Phoenician religion on Israel. The observance happy spirits feasted in light. of the Sabbath, though reinforced in the Law, went back, like the rite of circumcision, to the age of (c) Of PERSIA. The Persians were monotheists, Abraham. Direct Assyrian and Babylonian influence disciples of their great prophet Zoroaster. Ormazd upon Israel and Judah did not begin till the 9th and (Ahura-mazda, “the wise Being"), the principle of light 8th centuries B.C., and was naturally extremely strong and goodness, was held to be the one God who had during the Exile. Thus in Amos v. 26, a passage

created the world. In his name the Persian kings which should be translated “ Siccuth your king, and destroyed idols and idolatry in the countries they Chiun your image, the star of your god ”, we have an conquered. By the side of Ormazd was placed allusion to the two Assyrian deities Sakkut and Ahriman (Angrô-mainyus), the principle of darkness Caivann, the planet Saturn. MANASSEH, again, wor. and evil, who had introduced sin and misery into the shipped "the host of heaven” (2 Kings xxi. 3), and creation of Ormazd. While the world lasts Ormazd the exiles are described in 1:a. lxv. 3, as “sacrificing and Ahriman were believed to be equal in power; in gardens and burning incense upon the bricks”, in though finally Ahriman would be overcome, and evil contrast to the idolatrous worship of their fathers destroyed. This dualism was opposed to the strict upon the HIGH-PLACES and hills of Palestine (v. 7). monotheism of the Jewish faith, and allusions to it Small images or TERAPHIM were set up behind the may possibly occur in such passages as Isa. xlv. 7. doors of private houses (Isa. lvii. 8; Hos. ix. 1, 2), like Under Ormazd and Ahriman were vast multitudes of the clay images found under the floors at Nineveh. subordinate spirits, good angels and wicked demons. Horses and chariots were dedicated by the Jewish The angels were formed into a hierarchy, at the head kings to the sun (2 Kings xxiii. 11), as among the As. of which were the six Ameshaspentas or archangels. syrians, and later the Persians; and in Ezek. viii. 14, The Persians further believed in a fall of man, we read of “women weeping for TammUZ" in the brought about hy Ahriman, in a saviour, in a future north gate of the temple. Tammuz signified in Ac. state, and in the resurrection of the body. But be. cadian “the offspring” or “only son ", and was a yond the sympathy caused by a common monotheism, name of the Sun-god, called by the Semites Adonai it is difficult to discover any marks of influence exer. (Greek, Adonis), “ lord ". The wintry descent of the cised by Persian religion on the Jews, though sun after the summer solstice was commemorated by attempts have been made to ascribe to such an in& feast of wailing, which was among the other religious Anence the increased prominence given, after the customs that had passed from the Assyrians to the Exile, to the doctrine of a future life, as well as the Phoenicians. It is therefore uncertain whether the

conception of Satan as prince of the devils and of worship of Tammız was borrowed by the Jews di this world, and opposed to God as darkness to light. rectly from the Assyrians or mediately through the In Job i. 6-12, Satan appears among “the sons Phoenicians. This is not the case, however, with the of God " or angels (see 1 Kin. xxii. 21-23). And worship of the sun, moon, planets, and stars suppress the Pharisees, in opposition to the Sadducees, ed by Josiah (2 Kin. xxiii. 5; see Jer. xix. 13; Zeph. admitted the existence of angels and spirits and i. 5), which must have been imported directly from the doctrine of the resurrection (Acts 23. 8). An Assyria or Babylonia, the seat of ancient astronomy attempt has also been made to connect the belief of and astrology. This worship may possibly have been the post-exilic Jews in hierarchies of good and evil introduced by Anaz, whose inclination to adopt a spirits, of whom Asmodeus in Tobit is an example, foreign idolatry is shown by the altar modelled after with the similar belief of the Zoroastrian Persians. one he saw at Damascus, which he ordered Urijah to But though Asmodeus is undoubtedly a Persian word set up in the temple (2 Kin. xvi.), and whose acquain. (Aeshmô-daevo, “the spirit Aëshma", the demon of tance with Babylonian astronomy is indicated by the anger), the belief itself goes back to the Babydia! he erected in Jerusalem (2 Kin. xx. 11). We may lonians, from whom it was probably derived by tho notice that Ahaz used the brazen altar in the temple Persians as well as by the Jews. for the purpose of divination (2 Kin. xvi. 15), an art in which the Babylonians were the instructors of the (d) Of the PHENICIANS. A common language and ancient world ; cp. the history of BALAAM, Num. xxiii. 2, kindred, as well as proximity and commercial inter3; xxiv. 1. Connected with star-worship was the worship conrse, caused the Israelites to be more strongly at

The moon was naturally one of the chief tracted by Phænician belief and practices than by objects of adoration among a nation of astronomers those of any other people. The Phænicians shared like the Babylonians, and though the attributes of the the same religious beliefs as the Canaanites, Moabites, Babylonian moon-god were transferred by the Phoeni. Edomites, Ammonites, and Philistines, and, as has cians to their ASHTORETH, it is probable that the wor been already noticed, a large part of their mythology ship of "the queen of hearen” among the Jews, and the and their deities was originally borrowed from Baby. cakes or buns that were offered to her by the women of lonia. Phænician religion may be characterised as a

of the moon.


sensual nature-sorship, in which the worship of the had among the Phænicians. As might be expected, Sungod held the chief place. The Sun-god, called by we find Ashtoreth worshipped by the Pristines the general name of Baal (lord), or Moloch, MILCOM (1 Sam. xxxi. 10). Quite distinct from Ashtoreth (king), was worshipped under a great variety of forms was As Erag the goddess of iertility, symboheed by a and attributes, each of which became a separate god. cone of stone, or the upright stem of a tree stripped As the hot sun of summer he was called Baal-Kham- of its branches. Both the goddess and ber se bol mân Ammon), and as such placed at the head of the were called by the same name, Asberah. The word gods; as the waning summer sun, TAMutz or Adonis; is mistranslated "grove" and "grope" in the A V. as the god of destiny, Baal-Gad; as the patron of (2 Kin. xxi. 7; xxiii. 6, 13-15; Judg. vi. 39.7 Tyre, Baal-Tsur and Melkarth (" king of the city "); | Besides these deities the Phænicians also worshipped As the sun with long hair or rays, Baal Shemesh. In various subordinate gods, such as Pugm, Sakau, the short, the number of BAALIX was infinite; each state 8 Kabiri (the makers of the world, the interno had its own peculiar ones, and there was a new Bual civilisation, of ships, and of medicine, of whom the for each aspect under which the sun could be adored. eighth was Eshmun, identified by the Greeks with In course of time the word Baal became synonymous their Æsculapius); and they also adored defied rivers, with "god", and so even the deity of the river like the Kishon, and deited mountains, uke Peziel Tamyras was termed Baal-Tamar. Among the Philis. and Kasius. This sketch of Phonician regia tines the sun was compared to a great fly, and ac makes it hardly needful to point out the close recordingly worshipped under the name of Baal-zebub, semblance between the forms assumed by Irish ** lord of flies". The oracle of Baal-zebub at Ekron, idolatry and Pnænician religious belief. The Israchtes where answers seem to have been obtained from the were influenced by it (1) indirectly and : directiv. hum and inotions of flies, was consulted by AHAZIAH Indirectly, the Israelites, like their Placis 2 Kin. i. 2, 3, 6); and among the later Jews the name kindred, were inclined towards sun-worship; berce became a synonyme of Satan, whence the Beelzebul the woRSHIP ON THE HIGH-PLACES, which were exposed of the N. T. While the more spiritual side of sun. to the rays of the sun, and the representation the worship was reflected in the Assyro-Babylonian Bel. LORD under the image of a CALF, or rather os Erol Merodach Isa. xlvi. I), its grosser side was represented xxxii. 4; I Kin. xii. 2-33; Hos. viii. 5, 6; 1.3. In in the worship of the Moabite (and Midianite) Baal thus representing their national God, the Isrates Peor (Num. XXV. 3, sq.; Deut. iv. 3). When addressed identified Him with the Baal or Sun-god of the center as “ king" the sun was called Moloch by the Israelites, ' Semitic tribes, and though professing to regard : Milcox or MALCHAN by the Ammonites (2 Kin. xxiii, as the one true God, nevertheless came to untap 13; Zeph. i. 5), Melkarth by the Tyrians, and Malik by Him under as many forms or manifestations as there the Assyrians. In Jer. xlix. 1, we should render were high-places. Still it must be remembered tbs: "Malcham" rather than "their king", and the pro- i calf-worship was professedly a recognition of Jetara, bable meaning of the word translated brick-kiln" in and the prophets of SAMARIA accordings, wie 2 Sam. xii. 31, is "place of Moloch". Among the sanctioning it, regarded themselves as “ propbets ct Moabites the name Moloch or Milcom was replaced by the LORD": 1 kin. xi. 5, 6, &c. The direct es Caexosh (1 Kin. xi. 7), but both gods were essentially blishment of Phænician superstitions was due to the the same. To both children were burnt to death in marriage of Ahab to JEZEBEL: 1 Kin. X. $1. sacrifice (Jer. vii. 31; Chron, xxviii. 3; 2 Kin. iii. 27), The Baaliın of Phanicis were introduced into Ss a custom which we now know was ultimately of Ac maria and Judah, and the worship of the corecast cadian origin. The same wish to propitiate the fierce God of Israel in a degraded shape was put on be deity of summer heat caused the priests of Baal to same level with, or even below, that of these force cut themselves with knives (1 kin. xviii. 28). Since idols. The way had already been prepared by so

however the heat of the sun creates as well as mon (1 Kin. xi. 5); and the whole people bad “sered destroys, the Sun.god was worshipped as both Baalim and Ashtaroth” and “ Asberab", "the goude

creator and destroyer, and symbolic pillars were ac. of Aram, and the gods of Zidon, and the goes of

cordingly dedicated to Melkarth. The ox, the sun's | Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and I usual symbol, denoting his strength, was originally the gods of the Philistines", in the time of the derived from Babylonia, where the image of the Judges: Judg. iii. 7; 1. 6. JOAss, Gideca's father, winged bull, called the kirubu or cherub, guarded the had an aitar to Baal, under which dame, however, be honse from the entrance of evil spirits, The cherub may have worshipped Jekorah (Judg. ri. 33; sod 23 was adopted into Phænician art. The twocherubs made soon as GIDEON was dead, the Israelites sonbined for Solomon (1 Kin. vi. 23--28), the “carved figures Baal-verith, “Baal of the Covenant", at Shectes; of cherubims and palm-trees and open flowers" (1 Kin. while JoxATHAN, Moses' grandson (not Marases vi. 29), were the work of Phænician artists, with as A.V.) was priest to the tribe of Das of a gues whom palm-trees and open flowers were favourite image, which seems to bave been a Baal: Judy. Itzi. devices. Like the rest of the Semitic race, the 30. The immoral institutions connected with the Phænicians were worshippers of nature and its gene- , Phænician religion were common in Judab as early as rative powers, and every god therefore was provided the reign of REHOBOAM (1 Kin. xiv. 24; 21. ILLINO with a goddess. Thus by the side of Baal stood and in both the northern and southern kirzurs Baaltis or ASHTORETH, the Greek Astarte, in Assyrian children were burnt or made to pass through tbe fire Ixtar 1 Kin. xi. 5, 3. Ashtoreth was properly the i in honour of the Sun-god. MANASS ES was the frest, female reflection of the sun-god when regarded as the however, who rentured to set up an image of Astrah Creator, and conseqnently there could be as many and build altars to the host of heaven in the temple Asitoreths or ASHTAHOTH as there were Baals itself : 2 Kin. xxi. 4–7: XX. 6, 11, 12. Baalim, Hence it is that we have the plural in the sense of “goddesses" in Judg. X. 6; 1 Sam. vii. 4; IV. COMMERCIAL RELations. xii. 10; and corresponding to Baal-Khammân, we The trade of Western Asia in ancient times folleted find in Phoenician inscriptions Tanith, “the face FOUR main ROTTES :

-two inland, two marie. (i.e. reflection) of Banl". In time, however, Ashtoreth (1) The first inland cararan-route led out of Egypt, came to represent the moon, which might be con- through Palestine, eastward across Cæie-Syra to sidered the fainter reflection or wife of the sun CARCHEMISH (near the modern Biredjik) co tbe Euwhence the title Ashtoreth-Karnaim, “ of the two phrates; then across Mesopotamia by Harran to the horns" (Gen. xiv. 5. as the moon Ashtoreth was Tigris, and so by Nineveh to Babylon and the

Persian addressed as "QUEEN OF HEAVEX (Jer. vii. 18). In Gulf. (2) The second cararan-route led along Assyria, after the establishment of the system the western coast of Arabia, through Mekka and of astro-theology, Istar or Ashtoreth was identified the ancient MIDIAN into nortbern Egypt Sd with the planet Venus, and was further divided Palestine. (i.) The first of the sea-routes was frons into two deities, one the goddess of love, and the Phænicia by Cyprus or CHITTIM and the islands of other of war.

But in Assyria the female deities took the Ægean to Sicily and Malta, the northern coast of & rank and determinate character, which they never Africa, and finally Tartessus (probabiy near Gibraltar)



in Spain. At an early period Phænician sailors seem PHAT made an unsuccessful attempt to revive the trade to have ventured through the Straits of Gibraltar to Ophir (1 Kin. xxii. 48, 49), and the "ships of Tarinto the Atlantic, and even to have made their way shish” or merchantmen spoken of by Isaiah (ii. 16), to the Cassiterides or Scilly isles. (ii.) The second sea taken in conjunction with the fact that JONAR " found route started from EZION-GEBER, in the Gulf of a ship going to Tarshish" at JOPPA (Jon. i. 3), would Akabah, down the Red Sea, and along the southern imply that in the later days of the monarchy the coast of Arabia (Hazar-maveth: Gen. x. 26) to OPHIR Israelites became rivals of the Phænicians, even in or Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. The sea-routes the Mediterranean itself. Indeed, JERUSALEM is were followed by the PHENICIANS, the first of the described as a commercial rival of Tyre in Ezek. inland routes by the MIDIANITES and ISHMAELITES xxvi. 2, and Hosea (xii. 7) refers to the merchants of (Gen. xxxvii. 25; xxxix. 1), the TEMANITES and SAMARIA. The latter carried on an export trade in SABEANS (Job vi, 19), the DEDANITES (Ixa. xxi. 13), oil by sea with Egypt (Hos. xii. 1), and fine linen and and other nomad tribes;

and the second of the inland girdles of home make were sold to the merchants : routes by the Syrians. This latter route formed the Prov. xxxi. 24. Commercial intercourse with Phænicia military road followed by CHEDORLAOUER (Gen.xiv.)and continued to be carried on at all times, and had doubtthe later kings of Assyria, Egypt (2 Kin. xxiii. 29), and less much to do with the introduction of Baal-worship. Babylonia. There was also direct maritime trade Wheat, honey, oil, and balm were exported thither between Phænicia and the Delta; two maritime routes (1 Kin. y. 11; Ecek. xxvii. 17; Acts xii. 20), timber, from the mouth of the Euphrates, followed by the fish, and other “wares" being received in return (i CHALDEANS (Isa. xliii. 14), one to India, the other along Kin. v. 6, 9; Ezra iii. 7; Neh, xiii. 16). southern Arabia to Africa; a caravan-road traced ont by the conquests of Tiglath-pileser from Nineveh V, SCIENCE, LITERATURE, AND ART. across Persia and Afghanistan to the SINIM of Dar. It is difficult to trace Egyptian influence upon the distan (Ixa. xlix, 12) and the Punjab; and another Israelites in either one of these respects. It is other. caravan-road across Asia Minor from Carchemish to wise as regards Assyria and Babylonia. The dial of the Hellespont. Under the later Assyrian kings, Ahaz points to his acquaintance with Babylonian whose wars with Tyre and Zidon were made in the science, and we may gather from Prov. xxv. I that interest of the Assyrian merchants, CARCHEMISH, HEZEKIAU established a library where scribes were close to the great ford over the Euphrates, became employed in copying and editing old books, like the the chief centre of inland West-Asia trade. Along libraries with their staff of scribes and copyists found this road must have been brought the goodly Baby. in every great Babylonian and Assyrian city. Though lonish garment mentioned in Josh. vii. 21, as well as papyrus or parchment were generally used for writing much of the ivory used by the Israelitish and purposes, in Jer. xxxii. 10, 11 we seem to have a Phænician kings and nobility (1 Kin. x. 18; 2 Chron. reference to a contract inscribed in the Assyrian ix. 17; 1 Kin. xxii. 39; Amos vi. 4; Cant. vii. 4; manner on a clay tablet, and, after the signatures of Ezek. xxvii. 6), though a good deal of this was also sup- the witnesses, covered by an outer coating of clay, on plied by the caravans of Arabia (18a. xxi. 13 ; Ezek. which the heads of the contract were written, with a xxvii. 15), and the ships that traded to Ophir (1 Kin. docket of papyrus attached to it by a string. In art, I. 22). Lapis lazuli, moreover (A. V. "sapphires ") the Israelites were the pupils of the Phænicians (BCD would have come from Babylonia (Cant. v. 14; Ezek. 1 Kin. vii. 13, 14; V.6, 18, &c.), and Phænician art was xxvii. 13). In order to secure this trade, SoLOMON mainly borrowed and adapted from Assyria and Babybuilt or fortified Baalbek and TADMOR (? Palmyra) to lonia. Thus the devices of cherubs, palm-trees, pomethe south of Carchemish and the usual route (1 Kin. granates, lions, and the like in SOLOMON'S TEMPLE ix. 19), and the stream of commerce was thus for a were Phænico-Assyrian, and the architectural details of time diverted to a new and more direct road across the temple itself have been traced back to Phænicia the desert. But it soon returned to the old track, and Assyria. Babylonia was the original home of the whil: the trade, whether of northern or of southern column as used in Western Asia and Europe, as also Arabia, remained in the hands of the nomads : Isa, ii. of seas or reservoirs in temples : 1 Kin, vii. 23. Tho 6, 7. This trade was for the most part in spices and cherubs seen by Ezekiel (x.) resemble those of Assyrian gold: 1 Kin. x. 15. It was through his commercial art, and the Assyrian and Babylonian gods were relations, probably, that Solomon became known to carried about in arks. The “pattern" of the altar at the queen of SHEBA. His alliance with Hiram of Tyre Damascus, again, which Ahaz ordered to be imitated was a strictly commercial one. The united fleets of in the temple at Jerusalem (2 Kin. xvi. 10, 11), was no Israel and Phænicia sailed every three years from doubt Assyrian. Just as the Phænicians borrowed ELATI and Ezion-geber to Ophir, bringing back gold, the Egyptian sphinx, 80 also did they borrow the silver, ivory, sandal-wood, ebony, precious stones, Assyro-Babylonian cherub; but whereas the sphinx apes, and peacocks. The Mediterranean, however, was not represented among the Israelites, probably on the Phoenicians kept in their own hands, although the account of its idolatrous connection, the cherub was Israelitish merchantmen were called "ships of TAR- freely introduced into the decoration of the temple. SHISH", like the Phænician merchantmen whose main To the Phænicians the Israelites also owed their destination was Tartessus. It is little wonder that this alphabet, which had been adapted from the Egyptian commercial alliance should have brought with it the in- hieroglyphics by the Phænicians of the Delta at a troduction of Phænician manners and customs, luxury very early date. What influence the Phænicians may and idolatry. Solomon also organised an inland trade have had upon Hebrew literature it is impossible to with Egypt, whence he imported horses and chariots say, but when we remember that Kirjath-sepher "the (1 Kin. 2. 28, 29*), some of which were afterwards sent hook-town" (Josh. xv. 15; Judg. i. 11) was among to Carchemish, and resold to the Hittites and Syrians. the places conquered by the Israelites upon their A horse cost 150 shekels of silver, a chariot with its entrance into Canaan, and that Phænician literature, three horsea 600 shekels. This trade in horses with more especially historical literature, went back to a Egypt brought the Israelites into contact with E. period anterior to that of Hiram and David, we are gyptian idolatry, and was therefore strongly opposed justified in believing that some influence it must by the prophets: Ira. xxx. 16; Deut. xvii. 16; Ps. have had. At all events, Josephus, quoting from XX. 7. After the death of Solomon and the division Menander of Ephesus and Dius, asserts that Soloof the kingdom, Isrnelitish trade languished, only to mon and Hiram propounded riddles to one another on be revived at intervals of prosperity. Thus JEHOSHA the penalty of paying a fine if they were not guessed,

and that Hiram was unable to solve the riddles • The word rendered "linen yarn" in the A. V. should rather

of Solomon until a Tyrian named Abdemon came bocaravans,"

to his aid.

Being an Introduction to the Revised Chronological Summary of Bible History."

BY THE REV. S. G. GREEN, D.D. [The Chief English Authorities : Archbishop USHER, Annales Veteris et Nori Testamenti, 1650–34; and

Dr. WILLIAM HALES, A New Analysis of Chronology, 1819–14.]

I. Chronological data in the Bible itself.

Abram's entrance into Canaan and Jacob's departure. II. The first trustworthy synchronism with secular Again, Joseph was 30 years old when made governor history, and consequent calculations. Other synchron. Egypt (Gen. xli. 46). Add to this the seven years of isins: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. plenty and two of famine, and we find Joseph to save III. Note on New Testament chronology.

been 39 when his father was is); so that his death, a IV. The Era of the Creation.

the age of 110 (Gen. 1. 26, would be 71 Fears after, id. 2-6 years after Abram's migration.

This res20 1. It is in the Bible itself that all chronological data cording to Usher, A.1. 239, according to Asles, u. for the Scripture history must be sought from the

8619. beginning to about 1000 years B.C. The material is to

(4) Prom the Death of Josep to the Eroma-This be found first in the genealogies, afterwards in other period is the most difficult of all to determine 343 notes of time. With occasional breaks and uncertain.

rately from the Scripture data. The Apostle Pon, ties, the main conclusions are tolerably clear.

indeed, seems to throw light upon it in Gal. t. 17, Four periods may be specified before we come into

where the interval between the call of Abraran and any contact with the authentic dates of secular history:

the giving of the Law is set down as "45) sears." Bot (1) From the Creation to the Deluge.-The dates of

it is uncertain whether he specified this date on his own this era are ascertained by easy calculation from Gen. inspired authority, or simply adopted the current as V.-"the book of the generations of Adam"-where putation, according to the LXX. version of EIN E the age of each antediluvian patriarch at the birth of

40 (where the words in italics are an addici ca to the his eldest son is given. The total of 1656 years is thus

Hebrew text):"Now the sojourning of the charen of readily reached this being the date accepted

by Israel and their fatherewho dwelt in Eqpt as Usher, and specified in the common chronology" as

Canaan, was four hundred and thirty years that of the Deluge. But this computation is peculiar ing to the Hebrew (and English anthorized tert to the Hebrew text; the Septuagint adding to the

this passage, the time seems limited to the res lepo lives of six of the patriarchs* 100 years each before

in Egypt. Compare also Gen. xv. 13; Acts nii. bere their eldest sons were born, and six years to that of the round number 400 years appears to be a sized one other (Lamech). The whole genealogy, therefore,

to the period of oppression. The genealogies, bov. is 606 years longer in the LXX.; and Dr. Kales, ac

ever, seem to forbid the hypothesis of so long as I cepting the authority of the latter (save in the six

in Egypt; and a possibly decisive clue to the chrono years added to Lamech), makes the total duration of this perplexed period is the statement that is ze is the era :2.56 years. This, it may be added, is the reckon brought out of Egypt “in the fourth generata ing of Josephus.

(Gen. xv. 16), Moses, who appears to bare been the (2) From the Deluge to the migration of Abram, out

great grandson of Leri Exod. vi. 16-20, being cart of Haran into Canaan. The dates here are supplied in

years old at the Exodus. Usher and Hales adopt the Gen. xi. 10-26, "the generations of Shem;" the calcu- reckoning of St. Paul, and adding 430 years to the

date of Abraham's migration, bring out that of the lation being exactly similar to the preceding, and giving, according to the Hebrew text, 292 years up to 114 years as the time from the death of Joseph to the

Exodus as A. N. 2513 and 376 respectively. This gres adds 100 years again to the lives of sixt of the patri- departure from Egypt. archs before their eldest sons' birth; (2) adds 50 to the

II. In proceeding to investigate the chronology life of one (Nahor), and (3) interposes a Cainan be the period after the Exodus, we for the first time are tween Arphaxad and Salah, making a difference of 130 aided by an important synchronism with secular his years. This raises the total. up to the birth of tory: "Abram, Nahor, and Haran," to 1072. To each of

(i) This was, it is true, mans generations suheequent these numbers add 75 for the age of Abram at his en. to the settlement of Israel in Canaan; butit enabits tas by trance

upon Canaan (Gen. xii. 4), and we have for this the aid of Scripture data to travel backwards with se period, Hebrew 967. LXX. 1147 years.

According to certainty. This earliest point of contact between the Josephus, the period was 1069 years.

But Usher, in Bible history and the annals of the nations is gres to following the Hebrew text, finds it necessary to add us by an inscription in the palace-temple of Kerosk. 60 years to the age of Terah at Abram's birth (comp. relating to the exploits of Sheshonk, or Sesoneris, Gen. xi. 32 with xii. 4), raising the date of the migra- king of Egypt, the Shishak of Scripture. Tte hiero tion to A.M. 2083, as in the Table (1656+357 +60). Hales, glyphic represents, among other conquests, the

end though in the main agreeing with the LXX., concurs in jugation of the kingdom of Judah, and bears the dete adding this 60 years, but rejects the 130 years of Cainan

of the 21st year of Sheshonk's reign. The intas, as an interpolation (notwithstanding Like iii. 56). His accordingly, of which we read in 1 Kings vs. * date is, therefore, A.M. 3333 (2236+1147+60-130).

be assigned to the 20th year of that king, which yn With regard to the comparative probability of the chronises therefore with the 5th year of Rebobis. two computations, it may be observed, that according Now the Egyptian datat enable us to place the screen to the shorter or Hebrew reckoning, the patriarchsion of Shishak approximately a few years later than Shem, living for 502 years after the Flood, would have

1000 B.C.-probably, according to the most exsct ebreed been contemporary with Abram for 210 years (or at logers, six

or seven years later, or 993–in which case the ! least for 150), and that the time specified could hardly invasion of Judah must be assigned to about have been sufficient for the spread of population and

(2) This, calculating backwards, gives the folosing the growth of kingdoms, e.g. that of Egypt. The series :longer computation, therefore, as adopted by Dr.

Accession of Rehoboam, 5 years earlier. Hales, seems the more consistent with the facts of

of Solomon, 40 years earlier (1 Kings the history.

xi. 42).


of David, 403 years earlier (Sam. (3) From Abram's migration to the death of Joseph.Here some computation in detail is necessary. Abra

4, 5) ham, being 100 years old at the birth of Isaac (Gen.

of Saul, 10 years earlier (Acts xiii. 9 luces xxi. 5), had at that time been in Canaan for 25 years;

(3) For the period between the Exodus and ibe Isaac was 60 at the birth of Jacob (Gen. xxv. 26),

and accession of Saul, the Scripture data are apparently Jacob was 130 when he stood before Pharaoh (Gen. irreconcilable. These arexlvii. 9). We thus reach a total of 215 years between a. The explicit statement (1 Kings vi. 1) that Sado

• Alam, Seth, Enos, Cainan. Mahalaleel. Enoch. t Arhand. Salah. Eber. Peleg. Reu. Serug.

This may be vindicated from Gen. xi. 3. by supposing Abram the youngest of the three, mentioned first because he was greatest

. It is possible, however, to refer this number to the entire statement of the verse.

+ See Brugsch's Histoire de l'Egypte, etc. : Rawlinson's Aceint History; and Smith's Dictionary of the Bide, articie "Shishak


mon's temple was begun in the 480th year after the tions of Egypt, Persia, and especially of Assyria, as Exodus.

published by Sir H. Rawlinson in 1862 from the recently. 6. The declaration of St. Paul (Acts xiii. 20, received disentombed cylinders. It is not pretended that no text) that the period of the Judges lasted for 450 years. difficulties or apparent discrepancies remain; and some

c. The assignment by Jephthah (Judg. xi. 26, of 300 of the dates may yet have to be rectified. But the net years as the period during which the Israelites had held result is not only the general but the remarkable con. the trans-Jordanic territory, i.e. since the close of the firmation of the sacred records. 40 years' wandering.

Thus, the date assigned to Zerah (Osorkon II.) on d. The successive periods of oppression and deliver the Egyptian monuments corresponds with that of ance specified in the Book of Judges, amounting to Asa's reign (2 Chron. xiv. 9); while the death of Shal370 years,* or with the judgeship of Eli to 410. It to maneser and the accession of Sargon the usurper (Isa. this be added the period of Joshua and his immediate xx. 1) nearly correspond in the Assyrian records with successors, the reckoning b is approximately made out. the downfall of Samaria * in the Bible history. A con

e. The genealogies, as of David and several others, siderable difficulty is then encountered in the adjustwhich cover the interval between the conquest of ment of the Ninevite and Jewish histories during the Canaan and the days of Saul.

contemporaneous reigns of Sennacheriband Hezekiah; On these it may be remarked, that a is a definite and this is perhaps hardly yet settled; the main facts, historical statement, which can scarcely be said of any however, as detailed in Scripture, being abundantly of the rest. The reading of big doubtful, and is in confirmed. Two points of further contact between the fact rejected by Lachmann as well as Tischendorf (in Jewish and Gentile world are in the battle between his last

edition), on the authority of the earliest MSS., Josiah and Necho, son of Psammetichus king of Egypt, which by a transposition apply the 450 years to the in which the Jewish monarch was slain, and in the period between the birth of Isaac and the occupation destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The of Canaan. In d the recurrence of the number 40 (as dates of these events are well ascertained from inde. also 20 and 80) suggests a want of literal exactness; pendent sources, Biblical and secular. In fact, from besides which, it is more than probable that some of the rise of the Babylonian empire onwards there is the oppressions and judgeships were contemporaneous practically no difference between chronologers. Usher in diiferent parts of the land. The computation of places the downfall of Jerusalem in B.c. 388; Hales, Jephthah, c, if strictly taken, disagrees with all the B.C. 586. The dates of Cyrus, of Darius, of Xerxes other reckonings, and is probably only a rough esti. (the Ahasuerus of Esther), and of Artaxerxes Longi. mate. But the genealogies in e seem decisive in their manus (Ezra vii.), are all determined with equal clear. confirmation of a, being utterly inconsistent with any ness from Greek and other authorities; and here the other reckoning. With much confidence, therefore, Old Testament history ceases. we revert to 1 Kings vi, 1 as the basis of calculation, the assumption that the number 480 is a mistake of III. The chronology of the New Testament is asso. some transcriber being as needless as it is unsup ciated with that of the early Roman empire, and may ported.: According to Josephus, the number of years be accurately determined, almost from year to year, was 592.

The "Harmony of the Gospels” has naturally enlisted Reckoning back then 490 years from the fourth year much thought and research for its elucidation; and of Solomon, or B.c. 1014, we should have the Exodus o although certainty is unattainable, the labours of Gres. B.C. 1191; the entrance on Canaan B.C. 1454, and from well, Dr. Robinson, Tischendorf (in his Synopsis Eranthat time to the accession of Saul, B.c. 1099, there would gelica), with a host of others, have brought out valuable, be 355 years to account for, including (1) the remainder and in the main concurrent, results.

A main quesof Joshua's life ( 25 years according to Josephus); (2) tion is that of the feast referred to in John v. 1, which, the days of the elders who “overlived Joshua" (gene- with the majority of critics, we take to be the Passover. rally set down at 10–20 years); (3) oppressions by the The dates in the Acts are chiefly determined by the heathen and deliverances by the Judges; (1) Eli's judge time of Herod Agrippa's death, A.D. 14; with the ship of 40 years; (5) the judgeship of Samuel (more annals of the Roman emperors and procurators. than 20 years, 1 Sam. vii. 2, but how long is not stated). The dates covering this period, as given in the Table, IV. It only remains to note the relation between the embody the most probable conjectures, as supported two eras, A.M. and B.C. In the earlier part of the Table by minute indications, which it would occupy too much it will be seen that the date of the creation is placed by room to specify in detail.

Usher at 4001 B.C.; by Hales at 5411. The former (1) The discrepancies between the different systems reckoning makes exactly 4000 years between the Creabecome slighter as the history advances, and when we tion and the birth of Christ (4 B.c.), the Christian era, reach the period of the kings of Israel and Judah, as adopted in the sixth century from Dionysius the course is comparatively easy. Of both kingdoms Exiguus, a Roman abbot, having been placed, as it is the chronological annals are carefully furnished by the now generally agreed, four years too late. Partly perScripture writers; but it will be found that the sum of haps the Jewish notion that the world is to last the years in the northern kingdom falls short of that in through 6000 years of conflict and 1000 of peace, these the sonthern by 19 years, || a discrepancy which is met, millenniums corresponding with the six days and the either by supposing an interregnum twice in the his- sabbath of creation, has led to an arrangement so sus. tory of Israel; the first time after the reign of Jero- piciously symmetrical; the advent of the Saviour

thus boam II., the

second after that of Pekah; or else by coinciding with the dawn of the “fifth day" of the adding 10 years to the reign of the former monarch, world's history. The estimate of Dr. Hales rests on and 9 to that of the latter.

no such à priori ground, but is taken simply from the (5) The synchronisms in this period are established comparison of dates. Perhaps the question is one that by the comparison of the sacred records with the dates

cannot be even approximately determined. If, howgiven in the “ Canon of Kings" preserved in the works ever, we take the LXX. reckoning (in the main, as of Ptolemy, the mathematician and astronomer (2nd adopted by Dr. Hales) of 3763 years from the Creation century A.D.), who computes from the "era of Nabo. to the Exodus, while by another computation we have nassar," B.C. 747 ; as also with the monumental inscrip- shown that the Exodus probably took place 1494 years

B.C., we have 3257 years from the Creation to the Chris. • See Judges ill. 8, 11, 14, 30 ; iv. 3 ; v. 31 : vi. 1 ; viil. 38; ix. 22; tian era ; and this is as near to a positive determination x. 2, 3, 8; mii 6, 9, 11, 14; xv, 20; Xvi. 13; 1 sam. iv. 18. See on this point Introduction to Judges in Speaker's Com

as we can arrive. De Vignoles, in the preface to his mentary, though the period there proposed seems too short.

Chronology of Sacred History, asserts that he collected : The reasons, such as they are, for taking the phrase (in the upwards of two hundred different calculations, the 4-th year, &c.) as an interpolation, may be seen in the Speaker's shortest of which reckons only 3483 years between the Comment iry, supplementary roce on 1 kings ví.

An ingenious attempt has been made to tuconcile all the calcu. creation of the world and the commencement of the Lations by interpreting the coming out of the land of Egypt" la vulgar era, and the longest 6984.1 the era of the settlement of Israel peacefully in Canaan, Josh. uri. H (Lieutenant Conder, C.E., in Chissell's Biblicul Educalor. • It is observable (2 Kings xviii. 9, 10) that Shalmaneser came up Vol JU... The phrase, however, will hardly admit of such a Against Syria, and at the end of three years "they (the Assyrians) meaning

took it." It would seem as though Shalmaneser were in some way 1 The numbers are, in Judah from Rehoboam until the 5th year removed before the final capture of the city. His death and the of Hezekiah, 259 years in Israel, from Jeroboain to the fall of accession of argon is an explanation all the more remarkable. as Ginaria in that year, 200 yenrs. But it must be noted that in many the name of the latter is not given in the history. See Rawlinson's eves incomplete years are given as complete. The dates in Ancient Monarchies. Vol. II. pp. 29, 30. our Table mostly correspond with those of Canon Rawlinson's t. Mr. W. L R. Cates, Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th elition, Anc. Hist.

VOL V., p. 713.

« PreviousContinue »