Lay it to Heart

The Age of the Earth

The earth along with the universe is over 6,100 years old. It not billions of years old. The church should redirect its predominant reliance upon secular sources toward the Bible's consistently reliable historical chronology as the Bible includes an accurate and complete time table from Adam until Lord Jesus Christ. Many alleged uncertainties are resolved after further examination. The chronology from Adam to Christ is simple enough for elementary school children to learn and should be taught as a foundation for all other history. Secular schools perform the same task substituting evolution and vast amounts of time for creation and a young age of the earth. By starting with the correct overview of history, only then can Christians properly develop the background for other historical teachings.

God Created the Heaven and Earth in Six Twenty Four Hour Periods and Rested the Seventh

How long was the creation week? Some people try to stretch it out with the Gap Theory, the Day Age Theory or Time Dilation when it was really seven days.

The Gap Theory Is Wrong

A theory has been raised that a race of people existed before Adam. This is known as the Gap Theory that was popularized by Thomas Chalmers in the nineteenth century. The idea is that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Verse one says that God created the heavens and the earth. Verse two says the earth was formless and void. Supposedly the heavens were completed in 1:1 and then destroyed in order to be formless and void in verse two. This is also known as ruin and reconstruction. A race of people existed in the original earth and that is where the appearance of age has come from. This theory tries to accommodate the popular science of the day but is not consistent with the Bible. There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23). For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). There was a man named Adam, and according to Romans, death entered the world through him (Romans 5:12-15). If Adam were the first to sin, he was the first man because there were no men who did not sin. He called his wife Eve meaning she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). Adam and Eve were the first. There are plenty of Christian books that develop this further and can be researched if more help is required. One of these is "The Genesis Record".

Also, Exodus 20 says:
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

God used creation to explain our work week. This was given in the context of 24 hour days, not large periods of time. God is not a liar or a deceiver. God, through Moses, represented to the whole world, that he created the earth in six literal days just as we are to work six literal days and then rest. Creation was based on a 24 hour day. The gap theory disagrees with the Bible.

The Day Age Theory Does Not Work

The Hebrew word "yom" is said to mean a day and/or a period of time. The use of yom in the first chapter of Genesis is thought by some to be ambiguous because it could mean that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and/or periods of time. The word yom when used with a number always means a 24-hour period. Of the 359 times in the Old Testament that yom is used with a number the only time where it may not mean a 24-hour period is in Hosea 6:2. In Exodus 20:8-11 God told Moses to work six days a week and rest the seventh. He did not tell Moses to work six days and/or periods of time and rest the seventh. As an example to Moses, God said "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day." God did not mislead Moses, neither should we be misled in thinking that whether the day in Genesis was a day or an age, it does not make a difference. To think that the first week of earth was really billions of years is not consistent with the Bible. It was only seven days long.

Time Dilation Is Not Valid

Another theory suggests that the time was dilated in the far reaches of the universe. While the world was made in six days, the universe went through billions of years in the same period, and hence, a mechanism exists whereby light could travel great distances, stars could evolve and the universe could be very large. The Bible, however, says that the heavens and earth were made in six days. Remember the distributive law of multiplication.

If (A+B)*C = D then A*C +B*C = D

A similar logic applies here. If God made the heavens and the earth in six days then he made the heavens in six days and the earth in six days. Time dilation requires that God made the earth in six days but the heavens in billions of years. Again, this is not consistent with the Bible.

From the Creation to the Great Flood Was 1,656 Years

Genesis starts recording history with the beginning of the world and does not let up. Chapter 5 contains a complete chronology from Adam to Noah. Some students of the Bible have been misled by a "red herring" or "wild goose chase" by confusing chronology with genealogy. The verses in chapter 5 can be paraphrased 'and so and so lived so many years and begat a son, etc.' "Experts" are quick to point out that the Hebrew word used here for son really meant son, grandson or any generation following. Do not lose focus. It does not matter what generation from Adam Seth was, whether son, grandson, or great grandson. The point is that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, not 130 years old when maybe Seth was born or 130 years old when some ancestor of Seth was born. A genealogical gap is inferred by some, but the ancestral relationship is not important. The chronology is not affected by the genealogy. Genesis 7:11 completes the chronology from creation to the flood. The flood came in the second month of Noah's 600th years so 599 years is shown below. The time from creation to the great flood is summarized below:

From To Years Total
Adam Seth    130    130 Genesis 5:3
Seth Enos    105    235 Genesis 5:6
Enos Cainan      90    325 Genesis 5:9
Cainan Mahalalel      70    395 Genesis 5:12
Mahalalel Jared      65    460 Genesis 5:15
Jared Enoch    162    622 Genesis 5:18
Enoch Methuselah      65    687 Genesis 5:21
Methuselah Lamech    187    874 Genesis 5:25
Lamech Noah    182 1,056 Genesis 5:28
Noah The Great Flood    599 1,656 Genesis 5:32, 7:11

The Gnostics were a problem is the New Testament church. What did they teach? They taught two things in particular; that Jesus really did not come in the flesh and that a special knowledge is required to truly reach God. The Greek word gnosis is translated knowledge. The false teachers believed that a person had to have a special knowledge to be saved. Although the teachings have been modified, the attitude is the same. The Gnostics of today represent Genesis as allegorical, something to teach or instruct us, but not something that necessarily happened. To them Adam really did not come in the flesh. Well, if Adam really was not real, then was his sin real and did sin really enter the world? If sin did not really enter the world, then do we need Jesus to die on the cross to pay for our sins? Where do the doubts stop? The Gnostics' attitude also tries to degrade the laity for its lack of linguistic knowledge. Their attitude is such that unless a person consults the Scripture in its original language they cannot possibly understand what is really being said. Most of the time this is not true. Why? The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible, and by studying to show ourselves approved, we can handle accurately the word of truth, not needing to being ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15).

Someone has suggested that the years in Genesis had a different length. If they were shorter, then Methuselah, instead of living a length of 969 years, would really have lived some other age. Know and understand that a God who can raise someone from dead, as he did with Jesus, can certainly prolong the life of someone who is still living. Furthermore, with the ideal conditions that existed prior to the flood, life would be longer. A mist used to rise from the ground and water the earth (Genesis 2:6). The radiation coming from space and the sun, cosmic radiation, comprised of muons, electrons, protons, charged pions and neutrons, has a potential energy in the magnitude of 1017 electron volts in outer space (National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurement Report #75, May 1975). At sea level, the strength is diminished to 104 electron volts. That is a difference of 10 trillion to one. If the atmosphere were thicker then the radiation would be diminished even more. As radiation is harmful to life, a ten to one life span increase is not out of proportion when radiation is reduced, when cancer is not present, when disease has not spread, when war does not occur, when the gene pool is still rich, etc. Other "scholars" have suggested that the years were longer and in so doing the old earth could be reconciled with Genesis. This tries to follow the Day Age theory. Copernicus taught that with a given mass and a speed, a planet will have a determinable orbit. This would then demand that if the year were substantially shorter or longer, the earth's orbit would be closer to, or farther from, the sun, the result being too much or too little heat and light and an unlivable planet. The years in Genesis allow for only negligible differences in time.

It must be noted that scientists use significant digits. What does this mean? Data is reported with the same amount of precision as its sources. If the mass of an object is measured to the kilogram, the weight should be recorded to the nearest kilogram such as 90 kg, 100 kg, 110 kg, not 90.000 kg, 100.000 kg, or 110.000 kg. When God says Adam lived 130 years and begat Seth, does he mean 130 years, 130.0000000 years or 130 years, 0 months, 0 days, 0 hours, and 0.0 minutes? God's word uses significant digits. The degree of rounding is to the level of recorded information, so it could have been 130 years +/- 0.5 years. Some cultures round up all the time. In what century is 1996; not the nineteenth, but the twentieth. If a man reached his 109th birthday, the next day he could die in the 110th year of his life and in some cases, would be said to have lived 110 years. So what does this mean? Not a whole lot. By rounding, Genesis chapter 5 could vary as much as nine years. So where is the other five billions years? It is not there. The time from creation to the flood accounts for 1,656 years of history with the only allowable variations being due to only minor rounding.

From the Great Flood Until Israel Went to Egypt Was 582 Years

The Bible picks up the chronology again in Genesis chapter 11. Again scholars have incorrectly questioned the chronology because of the genealogy. Remember that the chronology is not dependent upon the genealogy. It does not matter whether Reu was Serug's father or grandfather. The time between Reu's birth and Serug's birth was still 32 years. Luke 3:36 adds a person named Cainan between Arphaxad and Salah that is not shown in Genesis chapter 11. The reason that Cainan was excluded from Genesis chapter 11 does not affect the chronology. Whether Arphaxad was Salah's father or grandfather does not affect the fact the Arphaxad was 35 years old when Salah was born. While a complete chronological table is at the bottom of this page, the time from the Flood to Egypt is summarized below:

From To Years Total
The Great Flood Arphaxad       2       2 Genesis 11:10
Arphaxad Salah     35     37 Genesis 11:12
Salah Eber     30     67 Genesis 11:14
Eber Peleg     34   101 Genesis 11:16
Peleg Reu     30   131 Genesis 11:18
Reu Serug     32   163 Genesis 11:20
Serug Nahor     30   193 Genesis 11:22
Nahor Terah     29   222 Genesis 11:24
Terah Abraham     70   292 Genesis 11:26
Abraham Isaac   100   392 Genesis 21:5
Isaac Jacob     60   452 Genesis 25:26
Jacob Egypt   130   582 Genesis 47:28

Israel Was in Egypt 430 Years

The chronology during this period is not substantial or well known. Exodus 12:40-41 tells us that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt 430 years. It uses the word "sons" and does not reference the patriarchs. Abraham was not a son of Israel. He was the grandfather. Isaac was not a son of Israel. He was the father of Jacob. Jacob was not son of Israel. Jacob's name was later changed to Israel. Only the twelve sons of Jacob and the following offspring can be counted as the sons of Israel mentioned in the 430 year duration. The 430 year period had to start when Jacob and his sons moved to Egypt. Some scholars refer to Galatians 3:16 and 17 which says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect." From this they argue that the time from God's first promise to Abraham until the Exodus was 430 years. Galatians 3:16 is not specific about which promise it is talking about although Galatians 3:6 does reference Genesis 15:6. Many promises were made. Which promise applied to Jesus? How was it confirmed? Genesis 12:3 says, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." When Egypt was spared from the 7 years of famine, certainly this promise was confirmed. Galatians is not clear on the details that apply to start of the 430 years. God gave a promise to Abraham that his seed would be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, for four hundred years (Genesis 15:13).This could not be correct with Ussher's chronology that starts the 430 years at the promise to Abraham and has the children of Israel in Egypt only 215 years from the time of Joseph's family came to Egypt. It cannot be determined from the passage in Galatians what the starting point is. To apply a specific duration to an unspecific starting point is not a legitimate method of chronology. Exodus 12:40-41, however, is clear and should be used for a chronological link. Overall, how long they were enslaved is not material. What is material is that God provides the time from when Israel went into Egypt until the Exodus.

From the Exodus Until the Building of the First Temple Was 479 Years

During the period between the Exodus and the building of the first temple Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness (Numbers 14:26-34) and then were ruled by judges of Israel. The Book of Judges does not provide a complete chronology that can easily be found. One of the problems is that time from the entrance into the promised land until the oppression from Chushanrishathaim (Judges 3:8) is not known. Another problem is that some of the judges are listed as coming after a previous judge. Does the use of "after" mean chronologically after or after as in the same line of thought, method of leadership, attitude, or support? In addition, the period of another judge, Samson, occurred during another event in the Book of Judges. Samson judged Israel during the 40-year period that the Israelites were given into the hands of the Philistines. Judges 15:20 says "And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years." 1 Kings 6:1 says, "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 Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD." The work started in the second month of the year. Rounding off to the nearest year gives 479. Although the exact details of the internal chronology are not fully developed, the overall impact is that the period from the Exodus to the building of the temple was 479 years.

From the Beginning of the Temple Until the Split Between Israel and Judah Was 37 Years

1 Kings 11:42 records, "And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years." As the construction of the first temple started only in the second month of the year, we subtract three years from forty leaving thirty seven years between the building of the first temple and the split between Israel and Judah.

From the Split of Israel Until the Temple Destruction Was 396 Years

The books of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles follow the reign of the kings of Judah and Israel. The same type of link is used from successor to successor as found in Genesis chapter 5 and chapter 11. Solomon reigned 40 years followed by Rehoboam for 17 years, and so on. Critics who rely upon secular sources state that the years cannot simply be added up because some of the reigns overlapped in what are called co-regencies. For example, while Jehoshaphat was king, his son Jehoram also became king and reigned with him. Although coregencies may have existed, they were not counted twice in the Biblical record. In Ezekiel chapter 4 God tells Ezekiel to get a tile and inscribe on it "Jerusalem". He was to lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. This was to signify what was to happen to Jerusalem in the coming days. Ezekiel was to also get an iron pan and set it between himself and the city. This pan was to represent Israel. Ezekiel was to lie down on his side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it. He was to bear their iniquity for the number of days that he was to lie on his side. Each day corresponded to a year of iniquity. For Israel he was to lie on his left side 390 days and for Judah he was to lie on his right side forty days, a day for each year. In this prophecy, Israel and Judah are separated. The iniquity of each is taken separately.

This prophecy provides information as to the time after Solomon. Judah and Israel were not referred to as separate nations until after the ten tribes separated at the end of Solomon's reign. Therefore, Israel must have been separated from Judah at least 390 years. According to the chronologies in the books of Kings and Chronicles, the elapsed time of separation between Judah and Israel was 385.5 years, the difference only being attributable to rounding. If the coregencies had been incorporated into the chronologies, the time would number less than 390 years, not more. Therefore, it must be concluded that any coregencies that did exist, are not in the chronologies in the Bible. These time lines should be trusted above and beyond that which the world puts forth as they are from God, not from the world. God's motives are pure, man's are not. The following is a table for the chronology from the split of Judah and Israel to the destruction of the temple:

From To Years Total
Rehoboam Abijam     17     17 1 Kings 14:21
Abijam Asa       3     20 1 Kings 15:1-2, 8
Asa Jehoshaphat     41     61 1 Kings 15:9-10
Jehoshaphat Jehoram     25     86 1 Kings 15:24, 22:41-42
Jehoram Ahaziah       8     94 2 Kings 8:16-17, 25
Ahaziah Athaliah       1     95 2 Kings 8:25-26
Athaliah Jehoash       6   101 2 Kings 11:1-3
Jehoash Amaziah     40   141 2 Kings 12:1
Amaziah Azariah     29   170 2 Kings 14:1-2
Azariah Jotham     52   222 2 Kings 15:1-2
Jotham Ahaz     16   238 2 Kings 15:32-33
Ahaz Hezekiah     16   254 2 Kings 15:38-16:2
Hezekiah Manasseh     29   283 2 Kings 18:1-2
Manasseh Amon     55   338 2 Kings 20:21-21:1
Amon Josiah       2   340 2 Kings 21:18-19
Josiah Jehoahaz     31   371 2 Kings 21:25-22:1
Jehoahaz Jehoiakim       0.25   371 2 Kings 23:29-31
Jehoiakim Jehoiachin     11   382 2 Kings 23:34-36
Jehoiachin Zedekiah       0.25   382 2 Kings 24:6, 8
Zedekiah Ezekiel 4       4.3   386 Ezekiel 1:1-2 4:1-8, 2 Kings 24:16-18
adjustment for rounding       3   390 Ezekiel 1:1-2 4:1-8
Ezekiel 4 Exile       6.7   397 2 Kings 25:1-2

Follow up consideration should be given to Isaiah 37:30, "And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof." This follows the pattern of the sabbath years and jubile found in Leviticus 25:3 and following. Every seventh year, the land was given rest. They did not plant or harvest crops. They could go into the field and eat what grew by itself. After seven sabbath years the year of jubile followed. It also was a year of rest for the land.

From the Temple Destruction to the Restoration Was 70 Years

The destruction of the temple occurred in the eleventh year of King Zedekiah's reign which was six or seven years after Ezekiel's prophecy with the tile and iron pan. God indicated that the exile would last 70 years. Some scholars fix the exile from 605 BC to 538 or 535 BC. The temple was supposedly destroyed in 586 BC. These dates vary from God's prophecy. In Jeremiah 29:10 we are told that the Jews would be in Babylon for seventy years. What is often ignored is Jeremiah 25:11 that says, "And this whole shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." For the whole land to be a desolation and a horror, Jerusalem had to be destroyed. In Daniel 9:2 the Bible says, "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." How could Jerusalem be a desolation without being destroyed? 2 Chronicles 36:19-21 says, "And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." Zechariah 1:12 says, "Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?" Again, the Bible mentions Jerusalem having been destroyed 70 years. God also reminds his people in Zechariah 7:4-7. "Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?" If Jerusalem had been destroyed for only 51 years, the priests would not have fasted over the period of 70 years for the priests inhabited Jerusalem. The seventy year period prophesied in Jeremiah 25:11 and Jeremiah 29:10 did not start until Jerusalem was destroyed. History has been reconstructed improperly. The world accepted chronology has this period of complete desolation lasting from 586 BC to 535 BC or about 51 years which is incorrect. But even if the incorrect chronology is used, however, the error will only be about 20 years.

From the Restoration of the Israel Until the Crucifixion was 483 Years

This is often referred to as the Seventy Weeks of Daniel. The period of time from the Daniel the prophet and the restoration of Israel as a nation until the time of Christ is not strongly documented by either the Bible or man. Secular historians such as Manetho, Herodotus, or Josephus are not trustworthy. The world is convinced of a solid time line established back to the beginning of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar but their foundation is suspect. Look in the book of Daniel, chapter 9. Daniel is told that from a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem that there would be seven weeks and sixty two weeks until the Messiah was to come. These weeks are really "sevens", that is, it would be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens until the Messiah. These sevens are sets of seven years as in verse 27 where the tribulation is spoken of as the final week. Here the units of time are seven years. Therefore from the decree mentioned there would be 483 years until the Messiah comes the first time and then is cut off. There was more than one decree involving the restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple. Cyrus made the first decree (Ezra 1:1-4), Darius made the second (Ezra 5:3-7), and Artaxerxes made the last two (Ezra 7:11-16 and Nehemiah 2:1-8). The decree by Cyrus should be considered as the terminus a quo (beginning). The passage in Daniel chapter 9 is first intended for Daniel to know and understand the future. Start in verse one. Read through the chapter and answer the questions

Question Answer
Who observed the book of the number of years for the desolation of Jerusalem? Daniel
Who gave attention to God? Daniel
Who prayed in sackcloth and ashes? Daniel
Who confessed their sins? Daniel
Who asked for the restoration of Jerusalem and the sanctuary? Daniel
Who did Gabriel appear to? Daniel
Who did Gabriel say he came to give instruction and insight to? Daniel
Who gave supplications at the beginning of which a command was given? Daniel
Who did Gabriel say he had come to tell? Daniel
Who was highly esteemed? Daniel
Who was told to give heed to the message? Daniel
Who was told to gain understanding? Daniel
Who was to know and discern the significance of the decree? Daniel

Daniel was to see the decree issued that began the "seventy weeks" of Daniel. In Daniel 1:21, the Bible mentions that Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus. That is when the first decree was given. Daniel was not around during the other decrees so they should not be counted. Some people suggest that Cyrus only commanded the Temple to be rebuilt but not Jerusalem. Would it make sense to rebuild a temple where the city around it was destroyed? No it would not. What did God say about it? Isaiah 44:28-45:1 reads, "That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." Cyrus was prophesied to perform all God's desire in Isaiah 44:28. He declared of Jerusalem "She will be built" and of the temple "Your foundation will be laid." People look at the book of Ezra but miss the book of Isaiah. They focus on a false teaching known as The Prophetic Year. This teaching along with secular history leads people to believe that Cyrus captured Babylon in 535 BC. Instead of asserting that Cyrus' success was around 444 BC and that secular history is wrong, scholars have reinterpreted Daniel chapter 9 as being driven by the decree of Artaxerxes. The time around 444 BC is within the narrow window of when the order was given but the wrong king is given credit for it and years between that and the destruction of the temple are lengthened by the world. Ninety one years of history have been added to the chronology. With that considered, it only matters to a maximum of 91 years, not 4,000 years, not 4 billion years. Some Christian scholars prefer to state the age of the earth as 6,000 to 10,000 years. The actual difference allowing for interpretation is far less.

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel connects history between the restoration of Israel and the time when Christ was crucified. Luke 3:1 indicates that John the Baptist began his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Secular history holds that Tiberius Caesar Nero Caesar Augustus began his reign on September 19, 14 AD and reigned until March 16, 37 AD. The fifteenth year of Tiberius' reign began September 19, 28 AD and lasted until September 18, 29 AD. John the Baptist started his ministry shortly before Jesus who began his ministry when he was about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23). Jesus' ministry lasted 2 to 3-1/2 years which puts the crucifixion around 31 to 33 AD.

There are a couple things to bear in mind when looking back to the time of Jesus' birth. The first is that there is not a year known as 0 BC. The calendar goes from 1 BC to 1 AD. The second is that typical scholars like to hint that Jesus must have been born around 4-6 BC. The question is why? Josephus reports that an eclipse of the moon occurred the night following the day of a fast where Herod had Matthias the high priest burnt (Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17, Chapter 6, 4. (166-167), from The Works of Josephus Complete and Unabridged, Translated by William Whiston, New Updated Version, page 462, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts 01961-3473). Herod died shortly after. Based on this astronomical reference, the date of Herod's death is placed at 4 BC. Josephus, however, is not a reliable historical source and cannot be trusted for chronology relating to the life of Jesus. If Jesus had been born in 4 BC or earlier, he would start His ministry at the age of 32-34, which differs from the account in Luke.

James Ussher

Archbishop James Ussher lived from 1581 to 1656 AD. He developed a chronology that showed the world beginning in 4004 BC. The information available suggests his interpretation varies in four primary areas. First of all, he incorrectly interpreted Exodus 12:40-41 as mentioned above. Ussher also shows the length of the kings after Solomon until the destruction Jerusalem as 387 years not 394. He also has the period after the destruction of Jerusalem until the restoration of Israel as 50 years not 70. The Archbishop interprets the date of the order to rebuild the temple per Daniel chapter 9 as 538 BC not 444 BC. Ussher mistakenly drew from Josephus for some of his work. With all of these differences the time line varies only by about 150 years.

Egyptian Records

Manetho is said to be basis for history of antiquity before Christ. His histories are inaccurate. Egyptian chronologies extend far beyond the Great Flood and show the lies portrayed by the Egyptian historians and rulers. Egyptian records in their nature cannot be trusted. First of all, they support, teach and embrace the false religion of Egypt. It is their nature to lie. Records were destroyed from time to time for selfish purposes. Queen Hatshepsut was taken from the Canon of the Kings because she was a woman. How does that affect chronology? King Tut decided to worship a new god Amen, not the old god, Aton. He was born Tutankhaten meaning "his life is pleasing to Aten." He changed his name to Tutankhamen meaning "his life is pleasing to Amen" and upon doing so had the scribes chisel Aten off the monuments and put Amen in its place. When king Tut died, the names were changed back. This clearly shows the corruption of records for selfish and impure motives. Similar events happened with Assyrian kings. There were several Tiglath-Pilesers and Shalmanessers. They were also "chiselers." For example, Tiglath-Pilesser III has been found written over Shalmanesser IV. They shortened or lengthened the regnal durations that were engraved in stone to suit their own desires. If Tiglath-Pilesser did not like the previous Shalmanesser, he would have his workers shorten his recorded life span. The record corruption would also be reversed after the death of the corrupting king.

Sothic Cycle

The Egyptians used the Sothic cycle for the beginning of their calendar cycle. It started the day when the heliacal rising of the star Sirius occurred on the Egyptian new year. This cycle repeats itself every 1460 years (J.B. Burg M.A., F.B.A., Editor, The Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd edition, page 168, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1928). The heliacal rising occurs the last day when the star rises just before sunrise. The Sothic cycle cannot be used for setting historical dates because astronomic reprogression, or working backwards all of the eclipses and star patterns, is unreliable. A new Sothic Cycle started in 1321 BC and repeated in 139 AD. Between these dates occurred at least two astronomical events that prevent the cycle from being used. The first is God changing the shadow for Hezekiah as mentioned in 2 Kings 20:11. The other is referenced in the Book of Joshua where the sun stood still for about a day while Israel pursued and destroyed the enemies of God (Joshua 10:12). What was the actual effect on the stars? We do not know. We were not there. God has not told us either. Therefore, we do not know, neither do the "experts" know, and as a result, we cannot rely upon the Sothic Cycle to set periods of history. In addition, in a prior Sothic Cycle, darkness came on Egypt during the day. It lasted for three days (Exodus 10:21-23). Did this affect the sun and stars or did God just prevent light from reaching the Egyptians? We cannot be sure.


Josephus' motive for writing appeared to be to show the Greeks that the Romans were an unworthy unestablished nation and to make the Hebrew nation look as old as possible. Josephus was wrong about chronological events and cannot be trusted for history. He directly contradicts the Bible. For example in Josephus says that the construction of the temple began 592 years after the Exodus (Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 8, Chapter 3, 1. (61), from The Works of Josephus Complete and Unabridged, Translated by William Whiston, New Updated Version, page 216, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts 01961-3473). This contradicts the Bible. This is not the only place where Josephus strays from the Bible. Josephus even contradicts himself. There are a least fifty different places where Josephus' books disagree with each other. For example, in Josephus' book The Antiquities of the Jews Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, was said to have reigned 21 years (Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, Chapter 11, Section 1). In Josephus' book Against Apion, Nabopolassar reigned 29 years (Flavius Josephus, Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book 1, Section 19). In situations like these, the police ask the question "Are you sure you don't want to change your story?" Although Josephus just cannot seem to get it right, some scholars prefer Josephus to the Bible. To read more about Josephus, click here.


Herodotus was prone to exaggeration. For example, his account of the Babylonian walls cannot be verified. It does not make since that the manpower or materials were available to create such a wall as was said to exist around the perimeter of the city of Babylon. The city was said to be 14 miles square with a wall 50 royal cubits wide by 200 royal cubits high (Aubrey de Sélincourt, Translator, A.R. Burn, Editor, Herodotus The Histories, Book One, Section 181, page 113, Penguin Books Ltd., 27 Wright Lane, London, England 1972). This would be approximately 88 feet by 350 feet. A royal cubit was 3 inches longer than a standard cubit. It does not appear that ancient Babylon would have walls of this size. The remains of a wall this size or its foundation are not present today. Many scholars believe Herodotus to have exaggerated. Herodotus was known as a heavy imbiber. In addition, Herodotus procured his date from creative sources. He did not know the details of Cyrus's death so he visited a necromancer to read the entrails of a chicken. It is no wonder that his account varies from that of Xenophon and Cestias (Rex Warner, Translator, Xenophon, The Persian Expedition, Chapter 8, page 90, Penguin Books Ltd., 27 Wright Lane, London, England 1972).


Eclipses have been used to determine the beginning of historical periods. According to the Cambridge addition of History, the Early and Late Assyrian periods were linked together by the occurrence of an eclipse on the morning of June 15, 763 BC (John Bourdam F.B.A., et al., Editor, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part I, page 245, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England 1982). As it turns out, however, God moved the shadow of the sun for King Hezekiah (1 Kings 20:11). What was the actual effect on the path of the heavenly bodies? We do not know. We were not there. One thing is sure, as a result, we are not sure of the astronomical path and therefore, astronomic reprogression cannot be used to set dates for this period as this eclipse occurred on the other side of history.


Those who believe the Bible should start studying it closer and not rely upon the false teachings of the world. In most cases the Bible gives periods rounded off to the year. While that may vary a small amount the age of the earth of approximately 6,123 years. An attempt has been made to use durations to the level of accuracy provided in the Bible.  Some cases have lengths of time to the month.  Most, however, are only to the year. An overall table of chronology is shown below.

Historical Summary

1,655 years from the creation to the great flood
   582 years from the great flood until Israel went to Egypt
   430 years while Israel was in Egypt
   479 years from the Exodus until the beginning of the first temple
     37 years from the beginning of the temple until the split between Israel and Judah
   397 years from the split of Israel and Judah until the first temple destruction
     70 years from the destruction of the first temple until Israel was restored
   483 years from the restoration of Israel until the crucifixion
1,992 years from the crucifixion until 2023
6,125 years total

From Creation to the Present

From To Years Total
Era Reference
Adam Seth    130    130 4,102 3,972 BC Genesis 5:3
Seth Enos    105    235 3,972 3,867 BC Genesis 5:6
Enos Cainan      90    325 3,867 3,777 BC Genesis 5:9
Cainan Mahalalel      70    395 3,777 3,707 BC Genesis 5:12
Mahalalel Jared      65    460 3,707 3,642 BC Genesis 5:15
Jared Enoch    162    622 3,642 3,480 BC Genesis 5:18
Enoch Methuselah      65    687 3,480 3,415 BC Genesis 5:21
Methuselah Lamech    187    874 3,415 3,228 BC Genesis 5:25
Lamech Noah    182 1,056 3,228 3,046 BC Genesis 5:28-29
Noah The Great Flood    599 1,655 3,046 2,447 BC Genesis 5:32, 7:11
The Great Flood Arphaxad        2 1,657 2,447 2,445 BC Genesis 11:10
Arphaxad Salah      35 1,692 2,445 2,410 BC Genesis 11:12
Salah Eber      30 1,722 2,410 2,380 BC Genesis 11:14
Eber Peleg      34 1,756 2,380 2,346 BC Genesis 11:16
Peleg Reu      30 1,786 2,346 2,316 BC Genesis 11:18
Reu Serug      32 1,818 2,316 2,284 BC Genesis 11:20
Serug Nahor      30 1,848 2,284 2,254 BC Genesis 11:22
Nahor Terah      29 1,877 2,254 2,225 BC Genesis 11:24
Terah Abraham      70 1,947 2,225 2,155 BC Genesis 11:26
Abraham Isaac    100 2,047 2,155 2,055 BC Genesis 21:5
Isaac Jacob      60 2,107 2,055 1,995 BC Genesis 25:26
Jacob Egypt    130 2,237 1,995 1,865 BC Genesis 47:28
Egypt Exodus    430 2,667 1,865 1,435 BC Exodus 12:40
Exodus First Temple    479 3,146 1,435    956 BC I Kings 6:1
First Temple Rehoboam      37 3,183    956    919 BC I Kings 11:42
Rehoboam Abijam      17 3,200    919    902 BC I Kings 14:21
Abijam Asa        3 3,203    902    899 BC I Kings 15:1-2, 8
Asa Jehoshaphat      41 3,244    899    858 BC I Kings 15:9-10
Jehoshaphat Jehoram      25 3,269    858    833 BC I Kings 15:24, 22:41-42
Jehoram Ahaziah        8 3,277    833    825 BC II Kings 8:16-17, 25
Ahaziah Athaliah        1 3,278    825    824 BC II Kings 8:25-26
Athaliah Jehoash        6 3,284    824    818 BC II Kings 11:1-3
Jehoash Amaziah      40 3,324    818    778 BC II Kings 12:1
Amaziah Azariah      29 3,353    778    749 BC II Kings 14:1-2
Azariah Jotham      52 3,405    749    697 BC II Kings 15:1-2
Jotham Ahaz      16 3,421    697    681 BC II Kings 15:32-33
Ahaz Hezekiah      16 3,437    681    665 BC II Kings 15:38-16:2
Hezekiah Manasseh      29 3,466    665    636 BC II Kings 18:1-2
Manasseh Amon      55 3,521    636    581 BC II Kings 20:21-21:1
Amon Josiah        2 3,523    581    579 BC II Kings 21:18-19
Josiah Jehoahaz      31 3,554    579    548 BC II Kings 21:25-22:1
Jehoahaz Jehoiakim   0.25 3,554    548    548 BC II Kings 23:29-31
Jehoiakim Jehoiachin      11 3,565    548    537 BC II Kings 23:34-36
Jehoiachin Zedekiah   0.25 3,566    537    536 BC II Kings 24:6, 8-18
Zedekiah Ezekiel 4        4.3 3,570    536    532 BC Ezekiel 1:1-2, 4:1-8, 2 Kings 24:16-18
Rounding adjustment        3 3,573    532    529 BC Ezekiel 1:1-2 4:1-8
Ezekiel 4 Exile        6.7 3,580    529    522 BC II Kings 25:1-2
Exile 70 Weeks of Daniel      70 3,650    522    452 BC Jeremiah 25:11 & 29:10, Daniel 9:2, Zechariah 1:12
70 wk's Daniel Crucifixion    483 4,133    452      31 BC/AD Daniel 9:24, Isaiah 44:28, 45:1
Crucifixion 2023 1,992 6,125      31 2,023 AD Secular history

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