Chronology

(Note:  A collection of charts which detail the dates of the Bible from many perspectives is available through this website.  Also available is Volume 2 of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. This volume is entitled "The Time Is At Hand" and deals step-by-step with building the chronological framework of the Bible with specific emphasis on the time of the Lord’s return. Please see the Available Literature link.)

“Of that day and hour knoweth no man…”  (Matthew 24:36)  Many will quote this text and immediately dismiss anyone’s attempts at explaining time in the Bible.  This is unfortunate.  Among other things, we should surely ask ourselves why the Bible is so very full of time-keeping records.  If time were not important to Jews and Christians, why would God waste so many pages of the Bible keeping track of it?  (Luke 19:44)  Why also would He pin so many important hopes and expectations of His people on chronological prophecies like Daniel 12:1, 7, 11, 12, etc.?

The fact is, time in the Bible, both literal and symbolic, is there for our learning.  (I Peter 1:10-13)  When the Bible uses time symbolically, it uses a day for a literal year.  Thus, for instance, in Revelation 11:3, 1260 DAYS symbolize the 1260 YEARS when the Bible was hidden from the general public  by the priests of the Roman Church.  Likewise in Revelation 11:2, the 42 months represent the same period in alternative symbols.  A month is 30 days (= years); 42 of the are the 1260 years of verse 3. In verse 11 of this prophecy, 3-1/2 days equal the 3-1/2 literal years during the French Revolution when the Bible was totally outlawed.  We mention these verses only as examples of the consistency of prophetic time symbolism which uses a day to represent a year.

In addition to symbolic time, however, the Bible keeps a record of literal, historical time.  By careful comparison of texts and by one or two correspondencies to known historical events, it becomes possible to document the Bible dates using our own calendar numbers.  The record is:

1.

From Adam’s creation to the end of the Great Flood was

1656 years

2.

From the Flood to the great Covenant with Abraham was

427 years

3.

Then, to the exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Law Covenant was

430 years

4.

From the Law until the land of Canaan was divided was

46 years

5.

The period of Judges was

450 years

6.

The period of the Kings was

513 years

7.

The desolation of the land was

70 years

8.

From the end of the desolation to the year A.D. 1 was

536 years

Since the Bible notes great 1000-year periods  forming a “week” of millennia, it is interesting to note that from A.D. 1 (in #8 above) to the beginning of 1873 A.D. is 1872 years.

The total being 6000 years.

Thus, mankind is (since 1873) in the seventh Millennium of his existence—a time during which the Scriptures indicate that God would begin His intervention in the affairs of earth to do away with all that has plagued this poor race.  Who can question that the last century and a quarter has seen the most momentous changes in history?

SOME DATES

Based upon the above-summarized Biblical chronology, some dates of interest are these:  (including some secular dates of interests)

1.

The creation of Adam

4128 B.C.

2.

The fall of Adam

4126 B.C.

3.

The great flood dried up

2472 B.C.

4.

The Great Pyramid completed

2140 B.C.

5.

The Abrahamic Covenant

2045 B.C.

6.

Jacob’s Death

1813 B.C.

7.

The Exodus and Law

1615 B.C.

8.

Israel’s entering Canaan

1575 B.C.

9.

Saul enthroned

1119 B.C.

10.

The division of Israel into 10 & 2 tribes

999 B.C.

11.

Israel’s last king dethroned

606 B.C.

12.

The Edict of Cyrus

536 B.C.

13.

The birth of Jesus, about October1st

2 B.C.

14.

The death of Jesus, April 3rd

33 A.D.

15.

The beginning of the7th1000-year period since Adam’s disobedience

1875 A.D.

 

Of course, this brief and undocumented summary only can whet the appetite for confirmation of these matters.  But our purpose here is to state our confidence in the accuracy of the Bible both as a time-keeper and a time-predictor.

 

By the way, the Matthew 24:36 text (mentioned at the beginning of this kernel) does not refer to Jesus’ return, but rather to the date when Jesus intervenes to begin the peaceable phase of his Kingdom, once the old religious and political systems (heaven and earth) have fallen apart.  THAT date we do not specifically know.

 

Back to Doctrinal Kernels Index.