CHRISTIAN BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS.7

7: Chronologies: Secular and Sacred Calendars: (Infoplease Almanac. Ussher. Bedford.)
1. Infoplease Almanac: “History of the Calendar”: The purpose of the calendar is to reckon past or future time, to show how many days until a certain event takes place—the harvest or a religious festival—or how long since something important happened. The earliest calendars must have been strongly influenced by the geographical location of the people who made them. In colder countries, the concept of the year was determined by the seasons, specifically by the end of winter. But in warmer countries, where the seasons are less pronounced, the Moon became the basic unit for time reckoning; an old Jewish book says that “the Moon was created for the counting of the days.” Most of the oldest calendars were lunar calendars, based on the time interval from one new moon to the next—a so-called lunation. But even in a warm climate there are annual events that pay no attention to the phases of the Moon. In some areas it was a rainy season; in Egypt it was the annual flooding of the Nile River. The calendar had to account for these yearly events as well.
History of the Lunar Calendar: The lunar calendar became the basis of the calendars of the ancient Chinese, Babylonians, Greeks, and Jews. During antiquity the lunar calendar that best approximated a solar-year calendar was based on a 19-year period, with 7 of these 19 years having 13 months. In all, the period contained 235 months. Still using the lunation value of 291/2 days, this made a total of 6, 9321/2 days, while 19 solar years added up to 6,939.7 days, a difference of just one week per period and about five weeks per century. Even the 19-year period required adjustment, but it became the basis of the calendars of the ancient Chinese, Babylonians, Greeks, and Jews. This same calendar was also used by the Arabs, but Muhammad later forbade shifting from 12 months to 13 months, so that the Islamic calendar now has a lunar year of about 354 days. As a result, the months of the Islamic calendar, as well as the Islamic religious festivals, migrate through all the seasons of the year.
History of the Egyptian Calendar: The Egyptian year coincided precisely with the solar year only once every 1.460 years The ancient Egyptians used a calendar with 12 months of 30 days each, for a total of 360 days per year (In addition to the civic calendar, the Egyptians also had a religious calendar that was based on the 291/2-day lunar cycle and was more closely linked with agricultural cycles and the movements of the stars.). About 4000 B.C. they added five extra days at the end of every year to bring it more into line with the solar year. (1. The correct figures are lunation: 29 d, 12 h, 44 min, 2.8 sec (29.530585 d); solar year: 365 d, 5 h, 48 min, 46 secs (365.242216 d); 12 lunations: 354 d, 8 h, 48 min, 34 secs (354.3671 d). These five days became a festival because it was thought to be unlucky to work during that time. The Egyptians had calculated that the solar year was actually closer to 3651/4 days, but instead of having a single leap day, every four years, to account for the fractional day (the way we do now), they let the one-quarter day accumulate. After 1,460 solar years, or four periods of 365 years, 1,461 Egyptian years had passed. This means that as the years passed, the Egyptian months fell out of sync with the seasons, so that the summer months eventually fell during winter. Only once every 1,460 years did their calendar year coincide precisely with the solar year?
History of the Roman (Julian) Calendar: The Romans were superstitious that even numbers were unlucky, so their months were 29 or 31 days long. When Rome emerged as a world power, the difficulties of making a calendar were well known, but the Romans complicated their lives because of their superstition that even numbers were unlucky. Hence their months were 29 or 31 days long, with the exception of February, which had 28 days. However, four months of 31 days, seven months of 29 days, and one month of 28 days added up to only 355 days. Therefore, the Romans invented an extra month called Mercedonius of 22 or 23 days. It was added every second year. Even with Mercedonius, the Roman calendar eventually became so far off that Julius Caesar, advised by the astronomer Sosigenes, ordered a sweeping reform. 46 B.C. was made 445 days long by imperial decree, bringing the calendar back in step with the seasons. Then the solar year (with the value of 365 days and 6 hours) was made the basis of the calendar. The months were 30 or 31 days in length, and to take care of the 6 hours, every fourth year was made a 366-day year. Moreover, Caesar decreed the year began with the first of January, not with the vernal equinox in late March. This calendar was named the Julian calendar, after Julius Caesar, and it continues to be used by Eastern Orthodox churches for holiday calculations to this day. However, despite the correction, the Julian calendar is still 111/2 minutes longer than the actual solar year, and after a number of centuries, even 111/2 minutes adds up. The Gregorian Reform: The Julian calendar is phased out. By the 15th century the Julian calendar had drifted behind the solar calendar by about a week, so that the vernal equinox was falling around March 12 instead of around March 20. Pope Sixtus IV (who reigned from 1471 to 1484) decided that another reform was needed and called the German astronomer Regiomontanus to Rome to advise him. Regiomontanus arrived in 1475, but unfortunately, he died shortly afterward, and the pope’s plans for reform died with him. Then in 1545, the Council of Trent authorized Pope Paul III to reform the calendar once more. Most of the mathematical and astronomical work was done by Father Christopher Clavius, S.J. The immediate correction, advised by Father Clavius and ordered by Pope Gregory XIII, was that Thursday, Oct. 4, 1582, was to be the last day of the Julian calendar. The next day would be Friday, Oct. 15. For long-range accuracy, a formula suggested by the Vatican librarian Aloysius Giglio was adopted: every fourth year is a leap year unless it is a century year like 1700 or 1800. Century years can be leap years only when they are divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600 and 2000). This rule eliminates three leap years in four centuries, making the calendar sufficiently accurate. In spite of the revised leap year rule, an average calendar year is still about 26 seconds longer than the Earth’s orbital period. But this discrepancy will need 3,323 years to build up to a single day.
Reform Adopted Gradually: The Gregorian reform was not adopted throughout the West immediately. Most Catholic countries quickly changed to the pope’s new calendar in 1582. But Europe’s Protestant princes chose to ignore the papal bull and continued with the Julian calendar. It was not until 1700 that the Protestant rulers of Germany and the Netherlands changed to the new calendar. In Great Britain (and its colonies) the shift did not take place until 1752, and in Russia a revolution was needed to introduce the Gregorian calendar in 1918. In Turkey, the Islamic calendar was used until 1926.
A Better Calendar? Despite its widespread use, the Gregorian calendar has a number of weaknesses. It cannot be divided into equal halves or quarters; the number of days per month is haphazard; and months and years may begin on any day of the week. Holidays pegged to specific dates may also fall on any day of the week, and few Americans can predict when Thanksgiving will occur next year. Since Gregory XIII, many other proposals for calendar reform have been made, but none has been permanently adopted. In the meantime, the Gregorian calendar keeps the calendar dates in reasonable unison with astronomical events.
Adoption of the Gregorian Calendar: The Gregorian reform was not adopted throughout the West immediately: Year Country: 1582 Catholic states of Italy, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, and Poland. 1584 German and Swiss Catholic states. 1587 Hungary. 1700 German, Swiss, and Dutch Protestant States, Denmark and Norway. 1752 Great Britain and its possessions (including the American colonies). 1873 Japan. 1875 Egypt. 1918 Russia. 1924 Greece. 1925 Turkey. 1949 China.”))
(History of Calendars (Egyptian, Lunar, Roman, Gregorian Reform — When & Where). Copyrights. Infoplease.com Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education Inc. All rights reserved: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0002061.))) (Awaiting permission. I still have not received reply. I’ll try again.)
2. Ussher: (Oxford’s Cyclopedic Concordance) “Remarks. The Chronology of the Old Testament, as given In the Hebrew text, is represented with much accuracy by the marginal dates inserted in many editions of the Authorized English Version. These dates, reduced to system by Archbishop Ussher (Annales Veteris Testamenti, 1650), were first added to the English Bible by Bishop Lloyd, in the great edition of 1701. The dates of Archbishop Ussher for this period are convenient for keeping the succession of events, but are not authoritative, as is agreed by the most conservative scholars. They are only one of several possible arrangements. Opinions of chronologers as to the ‘ era of Creation ‘ vary indeed by many centuries. (Ussher 4004, Hales (Sept.) 5411 B.C., Jewish reckoning 3760 B. C., Alexandrian 5503 B.C “The question is, in fact, insoluble.”
Annals of the World: Preface: “Despite his success as a churchman, Ussher is perhaps most famous for having dated the start of the creation to the evening before 23rd October, 4004 B.C. Ussher calculated this timing in his Annals, a work of biblical chronology which he published in Latin in 1650 (Hartlib noted its progress through the press with great interest), and which was translated into English in 1658. The book was the fruit of many years labour; as early as the summer of 1640, Ussher had been reported ‘spending constantly all the afternoones’ in the Bodleian working at it (Constantine Adams to Hartlib, Hartlib Papers, 15/8/3A–4B). In the Annals, Ussher developed the chronological work of many earlier scholars, in particular Joseph Justus Scaliger (who had pioneered the use of the Julian period in calendrical calculations) to provide a framework for dating the whole Bible historically. He argued that, although scripture itself only tended to take notice of entire years, the Holy Ghost had left clues in the Bible which allowed the critic to establish a precise chronology of its events, through the application to the text of the results of astronomical calculations and its comparison with the dates of pagan history. Ussher’s system had the advantage of preserving several attractive numerical symmetries, for example the ancient Jewish notion, adopted by Christians, that the creation anticipated the birth of the Messiah by 4,000 years, but it was also heavily dependent on classical chronologies and on an interpretation of the calendar which already seemed outdated to many scholars. Although not wholly original, Ussher’s work was nevertheless influential and became widely accepted, not least because its dates were later incorporated into the margins of some editions of the Authorized Version. However, Ussher’s chronology rested too heavily on the Hebrew text of Old Testament to escape controversy even in his own day. Its findings were attacked by those who were persuaded that the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) or the Samaritan Pentateuch (both of which presented different chronologies from the Hebrew) were more reliable witnesses to the dictation of the Holy Ghost, or that they concurred more closely with the evidence of astronomy and pagan history. Yet, in the opinion of Hartlib, and perhaps of many others, Ussher’s critics were churlish individuals who were unwilling to admit their own debts to his scholarship. Despite such debates, most seventeenth-century readers of the Bible would have agreed with Ussher that it ought, in principle, to have been possible to establish an accurate and detailed biblical chronology. Illustrated opposite is the title-page from the Annals, engraved by Francis Barlow and Richard Gaywood. This shows a number of the crucial figures and episodes from Ussher’s chronology. Adam and Eve are flanked by the figures of Solomon and Nebuchadnezzar, the builder and destroyer of the first Temple, which is also shown both in its glory and after its fall. The engraving also depicts the second Temple, built after Cyrus allowed the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, and its eventual destruction. The figures of Cyrus and of Vespasian (who was Emperor at the time of the destruction of Herod’s Temple, in A.D. 70) flank a depiction of the Last Supper. This copy of the Annals has also been extra-illustrated by the pasting in of a contemporary engraved portrait of Ussher, which shows him holding ‘God’s Word’, the Bible, in his hand. It was executed for the London printseller, Peter Stent, who advertised it for sale in 1653, 1658, 1662, and 1663.))
Annals: Letter to Readers ….”The first Christian writer, (that I have known of) who attempted from the Holy Bible to calculate the age of the world, was Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch. Concerning this whole account, he states: “All times and years are made known to them who are willing to obey the truth” (Theoph. ad Autolyc. l. 3.) But concerning the exactness of this calculation he later states: “And haply we may not be able to give an exact account of every year, because in the Holy Scriptures there is no mention of the precise number of months and days” For the Scripture normally notes only entire years and not the days and months in each instance. Hence summing the years may give an inaccurate total because the partial years were not included. But granting this one thing, (and this is a most reasonable assumption) that the Holy Writers had this purpose in noting the years of the world in their various places with such diligence. They sought to reveal to us the history of the world that otherwise, no one could know. This, I say, being granted, we affirm that the Holy Spirit has anticipated this doubt. He has started and ended each of the periods, on which a series of time depends and added the very month and day. For example, the Israelites left Egypt on the 15th day of the first month. Nu 33:3. In the 480th year after their exodus, in the second month on the second day, Solomon began to build the temple. 1Ki 6:1. The months and days given for the start and end of the period show that 11 months and 14 days are to be taken away. The period is not 480 whole years, but only 479 years and 16 days. 2Ch 3:2 “Those who promise to give us an exact astronomical table of time, from the creation to Christ, seem to me more worthy of encouragement than praise in that they attempt a thing beyond human capacity.” Thus states David Paraeus, who, among the most recent of our writers, calculated the number the years to Christ’s time from the Holy Scriptures. Therefore he says, abandoning astronomical calculations, he used the civil time of the Hebrews, Egyptians and Persians as the only way to do this accurately. But if I have any understanding in this matter, it does not matter what rule we use to measure the passing of time, as long as it starts and ends with a certain number of days. Anyone could with D. Paraeus, by some equal measure of years, define the time between the foundation of the world and Christ’s time. Also it would be very easy without the help of any astronomical table, to set down how many years happened during that interval. The passing of time in any civil year from a season to the same season again is simply a natural astronomical or tropical year. Anyone can do this who is well versed in the knowledge of sacred and profane history, of astronomical calculations and of the old Hebrew calendar. If he should apply himself to these difficult studies, it is not impossible for him to determine not only the number of years but even the days from the creation of the world. Using backward calculations, Basil the great, told us we may determine the first day of the world. “You may indeed learn the very time when the foundation of the world was laid. If you return from this time to former ages, you may endeavour studiously to determine the day of the world’s origin. Hence you will find when time began.” {Basil. in Hexamer. Homil. 1.} the nations in various ages used different methods of calculating time and years. It is necessary that some common and known standard be used to which these may be reconciled. The Julian years and months are most suitable to the common collation of times. These starts on midnight, January 1, A.D. Using three cycles, every year are uniquely identified. For example, the Roman indiction {a} of 15 years, the cycle of the moon {b}, or golden number of 19 and the solar cycle {c} (the index of Sunday or Paschal days) containing the period of 28 years. It is known that the year 1650 A.D. is identified with the numbers of 3 in the Roman indiction {a}, 17 in the lunar cycle and 7 in the solar cycle. (I do not say that of the year of the birth of Christ, which is still disputed among the learned.) Since our Christian period comes long after the creation of the world, counting years backward is difficult and error prone. There is a better way. Modern chronologers have extrapolated these three cycles backward to the year when all the cycles would start at 1 on January first. This creates an artificial epoch of length 7980 years based on the product of the three cycles multiplied together. Lunar Cycle Solar Cycle Years of Interdiction Total 19 times 28 times 15 = 7980 Years 19 Years 28 Years 15 Years I think this was first noted by Robert Lotharing, Bishop of Hereford, in England. 500 years later Joseph Scaliger adapted this to chronological use and called it by the name of the Julian Period, because it extended the cycle of Julian years back in time and forward. The cycle starts at noon, January 1, 4713 BC. and is a leap year. Here the lunar cycle is 1, the Solar cycle is 1 and the Interdiction cycle is also 1. Hence 1 AD is the year 4714 of the Julian period and is identified by the Roman Indiction of 4, lunar cycle of 2, solar cycle of 10. Moreover we find that the years of our forefathers, the years of the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews were the same length as the Julian Year. It consisted of 12 months containing 30 days. (It cannot be proved that the Hebrews used lunar months before the Babylonian captivity.) 5 days were added to the 12th month each year. Every 4 years, 6 days were added to the 12th month. I have noted the continual passing of these years, as set forth in the Bible. Hence the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign and the beginning of his son Evilmerodach’s reign was in the 3442 year of the world. (3442 AM) By collation of Chaldean history and the astronomical cannon it was in the 85 year of Nabonasar. This was 562 BC. or 4152 JP. (Julian Period) From this I deduce that the creation of the world happened in the beginning of the autumn of 710 JP. {d} Using astronomical tables, I determined the first Sunday after the autumnal equinox for the year 710 JP which was October 23 of that year. I ignored the stopping of the sun, in the days of Joshua and the going back of it in the days of Hezekiah. (See the notes in my Annals for 2553 AM and 3291 AM) From thence I concluded, that from the preceding evening of October 23, marks the first day of creation and the start of time. I ignored the difficulties raised by chronologers who are occupied by the love of contention, as Basil notes. Hence I deduce that the time from the creation until midnight, January 1, 1 AD. was 4003 years, 70 days, 6 hours. Also based on the death of Herod I conclude that the birth of our Saviour was four full years before January 1, 1 AD. According to our calculations, the building of Solomon’s temple was finished in the 3000th year of the world. In the 4000th year of the world, Mary gave birth to Christ Lu 2:6 (of whom the temple was a type). Joh 2:21 Hence Christ was born in 4 BC. not 1 AD. {e} But these things, (which I note at the present) God willing, shall be more fully explained in our “Sacred Chronology”. This I intend to write with a “Treatise of the Primitive Years” and the “Calendar of the Ancient Hebrews”. In the meantime I thought it best to publish the “Annals of the Old Testament”. Based on this foundation, I included a chronicle of all foreign affairs that happened in Asia and Egypt. These include events before the beginning of the Olympiads and matters relating to Greece and Rome and other areas. In doing the sacred history, I have followed the translation of Janius and Tremellius, using their Hebraism’s and the information from their work. In doing the secular history, I have noted the writings of their ancient authors or the best translation from the Greek of their works. In particular I used James Dalechamp translation in Athenaeus. Although in noting the chapters I observed the edition of “Natalis Comes”. From these I have written this history using material from Codomanes, Capellas Emmias, Pezelius, Eberus, Salianus, or any other chronologer, which I had. However, I always referred to the original authors and did most of my work directly from their writings and not second hand sources. Since my purpose was to create an accurate chronology, I may not have followed the exact wording of these writers in every case, but I have preserved the intent of their writings. Of the many historians, who lived before Julius Caesar, the passing of time leaves only four of note: Herodotus, Thucidides, Xenophon and Polibius. The last one is poor and inaccurate in many places. These I esteemed the most authentic for their antiquity. I used them to correct the frequent errors in chronology of Diodorus Siculus. However in matters that related to Alexander the Great, they are silent. For this period, I also followed not only Diodorus but Curtius and Arrian to try to determine the history of that period. I used the following abbreviations: ADYears from the start of the Christian era. AMYear of the World from creation. BCYears before the Christian era. JPJulian Year starting at January 1, 4713 BC. NKNorthern Kingdom of Israel. SKSouthern Kingdom of Israel. After the time denoted by AM, one of four letters may be affixed; aAutumn bWinter cSpring d Summer. Other things the prudent reader will figure out for himself. I wish you the enjoyment of these endeavours and bid you farewell. London, July 13, 1650 AD. Rev. James Ussher.))
“The Annals of the Old Testament from the Beginning of the World The First Age of the World 1a AM, 710 JP, 4004 BC 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Ge 1:1 This beginning of time, according to our chronology, happened at the start of the evening preceding the 23rd day of October in the year of the Julian calendar, 710. 2. On the first day Ge 1:1-5 of the world, on Sunday, October 23rd, God created the highest heaven and the angels. When he finished, as it were, the roof of this building, he started with the foundation of this wonderful fabric of the world. He fashioned this lower most globe, consisting of the deep and of the earth. Therefore all the choir of angels sang together and magnified his name. Job 38:7 When the earth was without form and void and darkness covered the face of the deep, God created light on the very middle of the first day. God divided this from the darkness and called the one “day” and the other “night”. 3. On the second day Ge 1:6-8 (Monday, October 24th) after the firmament or heaven was finished, the waters above were separated from the waters here below, en-closing the earth. 4. On the third day Ge 1:9-13 (Tuesday, October 25th) when these waters below ran together into one place, the dry land appeared. From this collection of the waters God made a sea, sending out from here the rivers, which were to return there again. Ec 1:7 He caused the earth to bud and bring forth all kinds of herbs and plants with seeds and fruits. Most importantly, he enriched the garden of Eden with plants, for among them grew the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Ge 2:8,9 5. On the fourth day (Wednesday, October 26th) the sun, the moon and the rest of the stars were created. 6. On the fifth day (Thursday, October 27th) fish and flying birds were created and commanded to multiply and fill the sea and the earth. 7. On the sixth day (Friday, October 28th) the living creatures of the earth were created as well as the creeping creatures. Last of all, man was created after the image of God, which consisted principally in the divine knowledge of the mind, Col 3:10 in the natural and proper sanctity of his will. Eph 4:24 When all living creatures by the divine power were brought before him, Adam gave them their names. Among all of these, he found no one to help him like himself. Lest he should be destitute of a suitable companion, God took a rib out of his side while he slept and fashioned it into a woman. He gave her to him for a wife, establishing by it the law of marriage between them. He blessed them and bade them to be fruitful and multiply. God gave them dominion over all living creatures. God provided a large portion of food and sustenance for them to live on. To conclude, because sin had not yet entered into the world, God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Ge 1:31 8. Now on the seventh day, (Saturday, October 29th) when God had finished his work which he intended, he then rested from all labour. He blessed the seventh day and ordained and consecrated the sabbath Ge 2:2, 3 because he rested on it Ex 31:17 and refreshed himself. Nor as yet (for ought to appears) had sin entered into the world. Nor was there any punishment given by God, either upon mankind, or upon angels. Hence it was, that this day was set forth for a sign, as well as for our sanctification in this world Ex 31:13 of that eternal sabbath, to be enjoyed in the world to come. In it we expect a full deliverance from sin and its dregs and all its punishments. Heb 4:4,9,10 9. After the first week of the world ended, it seems that God brought the newly married couple into the garden of Eden. He charged them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil but left them free to eat of everything else. 10. The Devil envied God’s honour and man’s obedience. He tempted the woman to sin by the serpent. By this he got the name and title of the old serpent. Re 12:9 20:2 The woman was beguiled by the serpent and the man seduced by the woman. They broke the command of God concerning the forbidden fruit. Accordingly when sought for by God and convicted of this crime, each had their punishments imposed on them. This promise was also given that the seed of the woman should one day break the serpent’s head. Christ, in the fulness of time should undo the works of the Devil. 1Jo 3:8 Ro 16:20 Adam first called her Eve because she was then ordained to be the mother, not only of all that should live this natural life, but, of those also who should live by faith in her seed. This was the promised Messiah as Sarah also later was called the mother of the faithful. 1Pe 3:6 Ga 4:31. 11. After this our first parents were clothed by God with raiment of skins. They were expelled from Eden and a fiery flaming sword set to keep the way leading to the tree of life so that they should never eat of that fruit which they had not yet touched. Ge 3:21, 22 It is very probable, that Adam was turned out of paradise the same day that he was brought into it. This seems to have been on the 10th day of the world. (November 1st) On this day also, in remembrance of so remarkable an event the day of atonement was appointed Le 23:27, and the yearly fast, spoken of by Paul, Ac 27:9 termed more especially by the name of nhsteian. On this feast all, strangers as well as native Israelites, were commanded to afflict their souls that every soul which should not afflict itself upon that day should be destroyed from among his people, Le 16:29 23:29 12. After the fall of Adam, Cain was the first of all mortal men that was born of a woman. Ge 4:1 130 AM, 840 JP, 3874 BC 13. When Cain, the firstborn of all mankind, murdered Abel, God gave Eve another son called Seth. Ge 4:25 Adam had now lived 130 years. Ge 5:3 from whence it is gathered, that between the death of Abel and the birth of Seth, there was no other son born to Eve. For then, he should have been recorded to have been given her instead of him. Since man had been on the earth 128 years and Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters Ge 5:4 the number of people on the earth at the time of this murder could have been as many as 500,000. Cain might justly fear, through the conscience of his crime, that every man that met him would also slay him. Ge 4:14,15 235d AM, 945 JP, 3769 BC 14. When Seth was 105 years old, he had his son, Enos. This indicates the lamentable condition of all mankind. For even then was the worship of God wretchedly corrupted by the race of Cain. Hence it came, that men were even then so distinguished, that they who persisted in the true worship of God were known by the name of the children of God. They, who forsook him, were termed the children of men. Ge 4:26 6:1, 2 325d AM, 1035 JP, 3679 BC 15.
Now in the 10th day of the second month of this year (Sunday, November 30th) God commanded Noah that in that week he should prepare to enter into the Ark. Meanwhile the world, totally devoid of all fear, sat eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage. Ge 7:1, 4, 10 Mt 24:38 35. In the 600th year of the life of Noah, on the 17th day of the second month, (Sunday, December 7th), he with his children and living creatures of all kinds had entered into the Ark. God sent a rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights. The waters continued upon the earth 150 days, Ge 7:4, 6, 11-13, 17, 24. 36. The waters abated until the 17th day of the 7th month, (Wednesday, May 6th) when the ark came to rest upon one of the mountains of Ararat. Ge 8:3, 4 37. The waters continued receding until on the 1st day of the 10th month (Sunday, July 19th) the tops of the mountains were seen. Ge 8:5 38. After 40 days, that is on the 11th day of the 11th month (Friday, August 28th) Noah opened the window of the ark and sent forth a raven. Ge 8:6,7 39. 7 days later, on the 18th day of the 11th month (Friday, September 4th) as may be deduced from the other 7 days mentioned in Ge 8:10, Noah sent out a dove. She returned after 7 days. 25th day of the 11th month, (Friday, September 11th) He sent her out again and about the evening she returned bringing the leaf of an olive tree in her bill. After waiting 7 days more, 2nd day of the 12th month, (Friday, September 18th) he sent the same dove out again, which never returned. Ge 8:8,12
The Second Age of the World 1657 AM, 2366 JP, 2348 BC 40. When Noah was 601 years old, on the 1st day of the 1st month (Friday, October 23rd), the 1st day of the new post-flood world, the surface of the earth was now all dry. Noah took off the covering of the ark. Ge 8:13 41. On the 27th of the 2nd month, (Thursday, December 18th) the earth was entirely dry. By the command of God, Noah went forth with all that were with him in the ark. Ge 8:14, 15, 19 42. When he left the ark, Noah offered to God sacrifices for his blessed preservation. God restored the nature of things destroyed by the flood. He permitted men to eat flesh for their food and gave the rainbow for a sign of the covenant which he then made with man. Ge 8:15-9:17 43. Man’s lifespan was now half the length it was previously…….

3. Bedford’s The Scripture Chronology Demonstrated by Astronomical Calculations, and also by the Year of Jubilee, and the Sabbatical Year among the Jews: or an Account of Time from the Creation of the World, to the Destruction of Jerusalem as it may fed from the Writings of the Old and New Testament. by a Method hitherto Unattempted; and which was first proposed by the Learned Archbishop Ussher. In which the Hebrew Text is vindicated, and the Objections of it, as consisting of many Mutilations, and numerical Alterations, casionally considered 3 and the Authority of the Samaritan and against it, as consisting of many Mutilations, and numerical Alterations, are occasionally considered; and the Authority of the Samaritan and Septuagint Versions, in Opposition to the Original Copy, is confuted. Together, with The History of the WORLD, from the Creation, to the Time when Dr. Prideaux began his Connexion; Illustrated with a great Variety of Tables, Maps, and Copper Plates; by Arthur Bedford M. A. Rector of Newton……. M.DCC.XXX. (1730). London.
(Psal.19. 1,2,3,4,5. The heavens declare the glory of GOD, and the firmament sheweth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth; and their words unto the ends of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun; which is as bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoyceth as a giant to run his course. Psal. 89. 5. The heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD; thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the faints. Psal. 5.18. Known unto G O D are all his works, from the foundation of the world. Psal. 17. 24,25,26,27. GOD that made the world and all things therein, who is LORD of heaven and earth, who giveth to all life and breath and all things, hath determined the times before appointed That they should seek the L O R D, if haply they might seek after him, and find him, tho’ he be not far from every one of us.)
To the Reader: When it pleased GOD to remove me from Bristol to a private Living in Somersetshire, where I had more Leisure for my Studies, I happen’d to read over the Preface of the most learned Archbishop Usher to his Annal, in which he mentioned his Opinion concerning a more exact: Method of a Chronological System of the Sacred Scriptures by the Help of Astronomy, and a competent Skill in the Jewish Learning. I was far from thinking myself so well skilled in either of these Studies, as to undertake a Work of this Nature; however several Texts of Scripture coming into my Memory, made me endeavour to attempt it. I made many Calculations to no Purpose, and bestowed many an Hour about it, with this View, that if it was above my Ability to perform it, it could but be buried in Oblivion; but if GOD would enable me to do it, it might be useful. Sometimes I despair’d of Success, and laid the Design aside, at other Times I had Hope, and then fell to it again. At last I flatter’d myself, that I had succeeded, and then digested my Thoughts into some Method. After this, coming to London, to assist in the Correction of the Arabick Psalter, and New Testament, for the Benefit of the poor Christians in Asia, I shewed my Thoughts to some Friends, who advis’d me to publish them to which I comply’d, with a Design not to have exceeded fourscore or an hundred Pages in the whole. A few Sheets being printed off, I was informed, that a Work of this Nature was intended to be publish d from the Papers of the most famous Sir Isaac Newton. Upon this I stopp’d, expecting great Assistance in my Design from that most able Hand. When it was publish’d, I found his Astronomical Observations to be very few, and even those not to be satisfactory. And as the Septuagint and Samaritan Versions would destroy the Authority of the Hebrew Text, by Placing the Date of the Creation too far forward; so I found, that Sir Isaacs Hypothesis would have the fame Consequence, by bringing the History too far backward.
[Two instances of Isaac Newton’s poor Chronology of Scripture is given in which he had plainly contradicted Scripture (Animadversions on Sir Isaac Newton’s Book, titled, The Chronology of antient Kingdoms amended. London. Printed in the Year 1728.) Bedford writes: “Thus the Chronology of this learned Author puts the whole Scripture History into Confusion, and therefore he should not have mentioned in the least, that he had made his System agreeable to those sacred Writings…..So that when this learned Author saith, that he hath made his Chronology agree with Scripture, he can only mean the Scripture of his own Making.”]
But to return from this Digression; After a few Sheets of this Work had been printed off, I was advis’d by some Friends, contrary to my first Inclinations, to enlarge the Work by several other Additions, and particularly by a History of the World from the Creation, until the Time when Dean Prideaux began his learned Connection, and to add what could be found for this Purpose, in the Writings of the most authentick Eastern Historians, such as Sanchoniatho, Abul Pharagius, Elmachinus, Eutychius and Josephus; and Proposals for Subscriptions were printed accordingly. [Of the many booksellers and scholars, reverends and ministers, we find the names of John Gill, Samuel Wright, ….] As soon as Sir Isaac Newton’s Chronology was extant, I found it contrary to all Mankind, and utterly destructive of the Scripture History, which made me oblig’d to confute it (Animadversions on Sir Isaac Newton’s Book, entitled, The Chronology of antient Kingdoms amended. London, Printed in the Year 1728.); in a small Octavo printed for that Purpose, and this delay d the other Work for some Time. When I began to think on the Particulars promis’d in the Proposals, I found the Work to be much more difficult, and to require much more Time to finish it, then I at first imagin’d, and, as I fear, beyond my Abilities. However, I was oblig’d to perform what I had promised. I hope that I have reconciled the Differences of Numbers throughout the Old and New Testament, so that there is no need to alledge, that any of them were alter’d by Transcribers, but that the Original is still preserve! pure and entire. I hope, that I have reconciled the various Accounts of Time among the Chaldeans, Grecians, ‘Persians and Egyptians, and made them agree with those of the Hebrew Bible, in Opposition to the Septuagint, and especially the Samaritan Version, who place their Account too high, as well as others, who place it too low……. (Befford apologizes of some uncertain points, and explains more of his aim, one of which is to demonsrate that many or most of the ritual and ceremonies were observed on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath, and that only among the Jews from Moses to Christ was it altered to the 7th day Sabbath, and then restored by Christ’s resurrection and continued in the Church; and that the Feasts of the OT are types of the NT realities…..
(The large folio book is divided into 8 Books and an Appendix, and these are subdivided by chapters. From Creation to the Flood, of Ancient years and Months, Astronomical Time of the Moon, Years and Duration of the Flood, of Paradise, of Noah’s Ark, World History before the Flood from Eastern Historians, of the Ark, Objections and Observations. The History continues from the Flood to Abraham, then to the Exodus, onto the Christ. Bedford treats of the Exodus and the Wilderness, then to Canaan, to the Temple, to Babylonian Captivity, and from Destruction of Jerusalem to Christ. The 1st Appendix is on the Stature of Men of the Antediluvian World; and the 2nd, is an Abstract of World History from the Flood to the Assyrian Monarchy by Nimrod.) (Bedford is quite learned and devoted to Christ and God’s Word; he is meticulous and thorough, with many new views not generally known before, and some clearly original. He innovates the Year Zero separating the year before Christ and the Year after Christ; he explores the details of Genesis with painstaking diligence, bringing in science and history, astronomy and geography, and much more. The sizes of the giants of the pre-flood centuries he calculates to be 10 times that our in accordance to the longevity of the ages recorded; his research and studies in Biblical Chronology is unsurpassed even by Ussher. Many have benefited from his work, and many have produced like works inspired and encouraged by his, but none has surpassed him. From him we inherit a host of popular views of ancient Bible Times, too many to count; but we might mention Bullinger’s Companion Bible is the best example; works like the Schofield Reference Bible and Dakes Annotated Bible also are by-products. Of Commentators like Gill and Clarke and many others I need not remind the reader, my Reflections would swell if I gave some more extracts of this great work.)
8. Modern Works: I omit the many modern writers on the Book of Genesis and its many matters of great importance. I have examined a good number of this endless stream of Solomon’s “of writing many books there is no end” and see no need to extract or cite from them. This example alone I may give: “In the Beginning, the Opening Chapters of Genesis” by Henri Blocher, Translated by D.G. Preston, from the French to English, © Inter Varsity Press, 1984. This excellent work treats hundreds of doctrines (like the text, inspiration, interpretation, science, religion philosophy, and the like) in strict exegesis of the Text, from creation to man in Eden and the fall to the flood and the ancient world (Chapters 1-2, 2-3, 4-11). He contends for a enlarged view of inspiration and interpretation; he harmonizes whenever possible; he rejects what would deny or destroy scripture and faith. (I cannot understand his remark that Calvin was one of the best Hebraist of his day; although he studied Hebrew and Greek.) The book closes with an Appendix: Scientific hypotheses and the beginning of Genesis (pages 213-231) in which he argues against the mental defects of both scientism (naturalists) and anti-scientism (creationists). The catastrophe of the fall of man, and the flood of Noah, ruined creation, and they of the Creation Research Society and like groups (Fundamentalists, Catholics and Protestants) interpret the earth and the universe in the light of this divine change. The creationists in a literal and a restrictive interpretation of the Text, rejects the geo-chronology of science, although most ordinary Christians readily concede to science. They insist on an early or young earth and universe (10,000 years or so), with time-measurements untrustworthy, and are willing to say that God created the earth and the universe with the appearance of age. Blocher surveys the controversy of dating and the various views developed from the theories and data. He favors a non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and cannot rely on the unclear understanding of the present young geo-chronology, but regards that the evidence points to a very old earth and universe with not only catastrophe and entropy (classical) but transformations or evolution (non-Darwinian). He declares: ”Nothing in the idea of creation excludes the use of an evolutionary procedure” (p.226). He concludes that some form of evolution exists, that its exact definition and description is at best vague, and that faith does not rely on established science but revelation; and anti-scientism does harm and creates confusion or ignorance. Seeing we know little of what and how he created to deny what is in evidence. But man is in the Bible a unique animal, which with man share some basic natural affinities in varied ways and degrees, but far less in design and destiny. ((This last trend of evolutionary principles in creation, even an evolutionary God, has continued to surface in many recent works of the last few decades. Both orthodox fundamentalists and the unorthodox Bible believer are being compelled rationally to interpret and incorporate the new discoveries, science, and theology.))

GENESIS: Generations of the Sons of Noah: Gentiles:

The Generations of the Creation continues in its history, toldoth, after the Flood in Noah’s three Sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 7 sons or descendants of Japhet are given, and 7 grandsons of his are named; and these are said to have divided and populated their lands, in tongues, families, and nations (goim, 1st occur.). The sons and offspring of Ham were 5, and his grandsons were 5, and his great grandsons were 2; but Cush is first noticed as father of Nimrod the Mighty (Gibbor), and emphatically, the Mighty Hunter (Gibbor–Tzaiyid (Saidh) before or against the Lord (YHWH), whose kingdom extended from south Shinar or Sumer and Babel, to the north in Assyria and Armenia and Turkey; namely from Persian Gulf to the mountains of the very north, whence originates the Two Great Rivers of the pre-Flood age. Nimrod’s Kingdom being the first Mesopotamian power and civilization, which centuries later developes into Sumer and Accad, the Sumerian-Akkadian civilization and world. Ham’s generations is resumed: from his son Mizraim or Egypt he had 7 grandsons (and one of them progenerated the Philistines and Phoenicians); and from Canaan Ham’s grandsons were 11; and the Canaanites disseminated the east coast of the Great Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the land between the Great Sea and the Jordan River with the Sea of Galilee north, to the Dead Sea south, the country and land to be known as Canaan, Israel, and Palestine. Last we have Shem’s sons were 5; Shem’s grandsons were 5; one great grandson; one great great grandson (Eber or Hebrew); two great great great grandsons (Peleg and Joktan, in Peleg’s day the earth was divided (‘niphlegah, from palag); and Shem’s 4th great grandsons were 13, and these Joktanites settled and inhabited from Mesha to Sephar of the East (Sephorah Har haqQedem), which I am agreed with those who think the lands or countries of the Arabs, ancient Arabia and Saudi Arabia, or from Iraq to Yemen to Oman, and from Red Sea to Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, (a land mass that looks like a Big Boot. Iraq at the top, Yemen at the heel and back sole, and Oman the vamp and front sole, and the toe of the boot reaching to the Gulf of Oman and the United Arab Emirates).
The generations of Noah’s Sons are the families and nations, their history and languages, from the time of the Flood to days of Moses. These nations, the Goim or Gentiles or Ethnos or Ethne, or ethnic groups, are revealed in Genesis to have descended and originated from one common stock. Their genesis was the same in language and culture. They originated according to the Text in the Mesopotamian geography, and first established themselves as a simple civilization in the land of Shinar, which will later be called Summer, Accad or Akkad, and Babel and Babylonia or Babylon and Chaldea. They feared global or universal dispersion and migration beyond Mesopotamia, so they set about to build a city, and with a High Tower reaching to heaven, and with a name to match. Mankind at this time of human history, now some hundreds of years after the Flood, this based on the Genealogy of the Nations in chapter 10, is united in their effort to create a kingdom or domain which would prevent and protect against future crisis or catastrophe, human or divine. But God as Lord, not far removed from man, watches and judges to save, and that too, to fulfill His purposes for all generations and the dispensations therein. Man’s union will come to no good, and like before the Flood, so now, after the Flood, united mankind, global humanity, will not be able to be stopped from the impossible and unimaginable. Man is intent on evil. Man must not attain his progress in this way, and at this time of human experience, so he must be confused (balal) in speech to match his confusion in heart and mind. This confusion (babel) will naturally and of necessity scatter and disperse them in migration and exploration. Thus, the earth will be populated by the Gentiles in a new dispensation which will continue to the present, and its features and details will be unfolded in the pages of the Bible.
We will not review so many ancient records of the ancient peoples from the centuries before and after Abraham, but will reserve that treatment for the future, at the close of the times and generations of the Patriarchs, and the close of Genesis with Joseph and Israel in Egypt.

GENESIS: Generations of Shem and of Terah.

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About mjmselim

Male, 65, born in Jamaica, USA since 1961, citizen in 2002; cobbler for 40 plus years, Christian since 1969; married to same wife since 1979; 6 daughters and 2 sons, with 7 grandkids. Slowly adapting to the digital world of computers and internet; hobby in digital editing.
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