KEY WORDS: Bible; chronology, ancient; prophecy; Exodus; captivity; Jericho; archaeology; Bronze Age, Middle and Late; Iron Age; jubilee year; sabbatical year; Velikovsky


A new biblical chronology is proposed which dates the exodus at 1591 BC. This chronology is constructed from the biblical text including the prophecies of Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The results are shown to be consistent with known sabbatical and jubilee years. The archaeological consequences of dating the fall of Jericho to the Middle Bronze (1551 BC ) are examined and followed through to the Iron Age. The new interpretation of Palestinian archaeological evidence suggested by the new chronology resolves some longstanding historical problems.


Scriptures have been written with much more profound purposes than chronology yet nowhere is it written that the details of the text are less true than the main message. "In the Bible, even if we regard it simply as the annals of the Hebrew race, we have a remarkable exception to the practice of all other nations of antiquity, in respect of keeping their national records, an exception so remarkable that it would be difficult or impossible to account for it apart from the Divine inspiration." Mauro [11, p2] is referring to the Bible's quality of maintaining an unbroken series of written records that allow dating of events from creation to Cyrus the Great. The credibility of biblical chronology is such that, until the 19th century, scholars determined the age of the world from biblical chronology. The most famous of biblical chronologists was Archbishop Ussher whose 17th century chronology placed Creation at 4004 BC. This chronology is still used in the margin of the King James and other versions of the Bible. Claims that Ussher placed creation at 9:00 a.m. October 23 are untrue. It was, in fact, the opinion of Dr. John Lightfoot, a contemporary of Ussher [7, p6].

Inerrancy and Chronological Criteria

Jesus said that the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). He gave His personal assurance that the Scripture is holy - free from impurity or corruption. Inerrancy is a doctrine supported by the Scriptures themselves and does not need rationalism or archaeology to validate them. Some may argue that the historical accounts in the Scripture are plain enough to be useful in demonstrating inerrancy. In principle this may be true. In practice, there are areas where the currently accepted history and archaeology are in contradiction to the plainest meaning of the biblical text. Is the Bible or is the current evidence and understanding deficient? For example, scholars once claimed that no king of Assyria named Sargon existed in the days of Isaiah the prophet. Decades later, the site of Sargon's palace was uncovered and his reign during the time of Isaiah was accepted. During this time believers had to respond by accepting the Scriptural statements as true by faith in their Author and to wait for God to vindicate Himself. Thus, it is impossible to justify the doctrine of biblical inerrancy by rational interpretations of evidences alone.

Biblical inerrancy rests not just on divine inspiration but also on divine interpretation of the Holy Spirit. An inerrant Bible interpreted by human wisdom alone can be just as misleading and dangerous as any human philosophy or religion. It has been the intent of the author from the beginning not only to use the evidence of the inerrant Bible but also to yield to the Holy Spirit's inerrant interpretation. This desire resulted in using the following criteria:

I deem a chronology which follows the above principles as a Biblically inerrant chronology (BIC). It should be pointed out that BICs are not necessarily unique and the construction below is not uniquely a BIC. Yet, it will become apparent that there are fewer options under BIC rules than might be expected.

Extra-biblical sources and astronomical dates

The Bible identifies dates only in terms of the reigns of its kings. Contemporaneous historical records are not alone sufficient to connect biblical events with our system of numbering years Anno Domini (AD). Chronologists must rely on later writers, particularly Ptolemy, an astronomer who lived in the 3rd century AD in Alexandria, Egypt. He gave us Ptolemy's canon which lists the kings of Babylon back to Nabonassar in 747 BC and which is accepted as accurate to that date. Josephus, a Jewish general and historian, was given access to the holy books of the temple in Jerusalem before it was destroyed by Titus in 70 AD. From these he composed the Antiquities of the Jews, a Hebrew history from Creation to his own day.

Generally speaking, most ancient astronomical data are unreliable for pinpointing absolute dates. In particular, Newton reports that the eclipses mentioned in Ptolemy's Syntaxis ( also called Almagest) are fabricated and " are useless for chronology" [12, p375]. These eclipses happened on the dates Ptolemy stated but he has calculated them according to his theories and then transferred the dates to other calendars. Under such methods any chronology, even a wrong one, would be consistent with the eclipses. Newton does refer to two astronomical texts which are useful because they are contemporaneous observations. The first, is dated to the 7th year of a king. Data for Venus and Mars and a conjunction of Mercury are sufficient to pinpoint the year to 523-22 BC which is the 7th of Cambyses by the conventional chronology. This would place the 1st of Cyrus at 538 BC. In addition there is a document VAT 4956 which is dated to the 37th of Nebuchadnezzar and contained even more detailed observations. The position of all the planets over many months are reported with their dates of observation. Together they form "quite strong confirmation" of the date 568 BC for the 37th of Nebuchadnezzar [12, p375].

Daniel's prophecy and the Persian empire

The initial date for this paper is AD 27, the date of Jesus' first passover. This occurred 46 years after the commencement of Herod's temple (John 2:20) in 20 BC. (Note that AD 27 less 46 years is the year -19 which, because there is no year 0, is 20 BC.) The timing of Jesus' ministry and death was prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27. From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the appearing of the Messiah was to be 69 weeks of years, i.e. 7x69 = 483 years. In the middle of the 70th week He was to put an end to sacrifices. The traditional Christian interpretation of Daniel [14, pp383-389] places the beginning of the 70 weeks at the decree given to Ezra by Artaxerxes I in his 7th year (Ezra 7:11-28), which was 483 years before the first year of Jesus ministry, 26 AD or 458 BC. This agrees with the date calculated from the kings and reigns of Ptolemy's Canon for the 7th year of Artaxerxes I . Then, 464 BC is year 1 of Artaxerxes I. Contemporaneous Persian business and official records confirm the accepted reign lengths of the preceding Persian kings back to Cyrus the Great yielding 538 BC for the 1st year of Cyrus. This is the year of his great edict releasing the Jews from captivity in Babylon under the Chaldeans. Ptolemy's Canon gives the same date for the 1st of Cyrus.

Jeremiah and the dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar

Jeremiah prophesied in the 4th year of Jehoiakim that Judah and the nations would serve the Chaldeans king Nebuchadnezzar for 70 years (Jer 25:1-11). The 70 years started in the 4th year of Jehoiakim, the same year Nebuchadnezzar, in his 1st year, defeated Pharaoh Necho in the battle of Carchemish (Jer 46:2) and ended in the 1st year of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1; II Chr 36:21-23). The 70 years should start 608 BC or perhaps 607 BC inclusive reckoning. The fall of Jerusalem, 18 years later, ought to be dated to 590 or possibly 589 BC. In the second year of Darius the Great, 520 BC, in a prophetic message to Zechariah (Zech:1:1-12), the Angel of the Lord pleads for mercy for Jerusalem with which God has been angry 70 years (no temple had operated for 70 years). This should place the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 590 BC or 589 BC in agreement with Jeremiah's prophecy. Again ( Jer 27:7) he prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar, his son and his son's son would rule in Babylon until God judged them. According to Josephus [9, I.20], a priest named Berossus wrote a history of Babylon . He said the first Chaldean king, Nabopolassar, ruled 21 years. Then came his son Nebuchadnezzar, 43 years, and then his son Amel-Marduk 2 years. His brother-in-law, Neriglissar, overthrew him and reigned 4 years and was followed by his own son Labashi-Marduk 9 months. He was unfit to rule and was overthrown by a conspiracy who chose Nabonidus as their king. Nabonidus surrendered to Cyrus the Persian in his 17th year. Accordingly , from the battle of Carchemish (605 BC) to the fall of Babylon (539 BC) are 67 years, inclusive reckoning. Jeremiah disagrees with Berossus (and Ptolemy) on the length of the Chaldean dynasty, the number of its kings and their familial relationships.

What do Christian scholars say about the dates of the 70 years of the Chaldean empire? Jamieson, Fausset & Brown give the following on Jeremiah 25:11: "The seventy years probably begin in the 4th of Jehoiakim..., they end with the first year of Cyrus (Persian), who, on taking Babylon, issued an edict for the restoration of the Jews." [8, p626] This statement is faithful to the text but it fails to deal with the chronology. On Jeremiah 27:7, they say "Nebuchadnezzar had 4 successors...but Neriglissar and Labosoarchod were not in direct male line; so the prophecy held good for the son and grandson and the intermediate two were omitted. [8, p629] " Is this not a tacit admission that accepted history and the prophecy are in conflict? Payne [14, p339] gives several options. He says of the 70 years of Jeremiah's prophecy: "The exile extended technically from the first deportation of Judah in 605 BC to one of the following dates: 539 BC, the Persian capture of Babylon; 538 BC, the decree of Cyrus authorizing the return (to Jerusalem); 537 BC, by the fall of which the first exiles had come to Palestine; or 536 BC when the temple's reconstruction was commenced." Only the second option agrees to Ezra 1:1 that the 70 years ended with the decree of Cyrus. None of these options is 70 years long . Archer [3] uses accepted dates but does not mention Jeremiah's prophesy as a difficulty.

Berossus may have obtained his data from the memorial plate of the mother of Nabonidus. She says she lived "From the time of Ashurbanipal, the king of Assyria, in whose rule I was born: 21 years under Ashurbanipal, 4 years under Ashur-etillu-ilani his son, 21 years under Nabopolassar, 43 years under Nebuchadnezzar, 2 years under Amel-Marduk, 4 years under Neriglissar, in total 95 years" (Italics indicates numbers had to be supplied by scholars because they were missing from the tablet.) During this time the god Sin was not worshiped in his temple, but now she gives thanks to Sin "from the time of Ashurbanipal to the 6th year of Nabonidus, the king of Babylon, the son of my womb, for 104 years happy". [15, p311-12]. This suggests that in the accession year of Nabonidus she was 104 - 6 = 98 years old - not 95 years as the sum of regnal years above. There are 3 years missing. Later, in 1956, a second copy of this memorial was found [15, pp 560-1 ]. This time all the numbers were present. Some missing numbers were corrected : Ashurbanipal to 22 and Ashur-etillu-ilani to 3 years. However, the 6th of Nabonidus found in the original was now given as the 9th of Nabonidus. Had the 3 missing years been found?

The first business documents in the accession year of Labashi-Marduk's reign are dated to Nisan, first month and the last are dated to Sivan, third month. If Nabonidus assassinated Labashi-Marduk that same year, then the first business documents in his reign should be dated in or after the third month. Yet, they are dated to the second month. Thus, either Labashi-Marduk reigned one or more years before Nabonidus or that he did not precede Nabonidus at all. If the former is true then certainly the second copy of his mother's memorial plate cannot be true and the first copy must be amended to add a three year reign for Labashi-Marduk. If the latter is true then all the known historical sources, including Berossus, have the kings in the wrong order. A similar difficulty exists if Nebuchadnezzar followed Nabopolassar [13, p10-11].

Velikovsky [18, pp 103-113] analyzed the archaeological evidences of the Chaldean dynasty and found substantive evidences that Berossus' account was erroneous with respect to the order of the kings. For example, King Neriglissar stated he found the palace and the most important temple, Esagila, in a state of disrepair. This cannot follow the death of Nebuchadnezzar because he boosted of the extravagant care he took of all the Babylonian temples and his palace. According to Velikovsky, the Chaldeans came from Hattusas in central Turkey (textbooks usually refer to this city as the capital of the Hittite empire). If this identification is true, then Chaldean King Mursilis II can be identified as the Babylonian King Nabopolassar. He had two sons; the older was Muwatallis aka King Neriglissar and the younger was Hattusilis III aka Nebuchadnezzar. Neriglissar, according to Chaldean records, ruled after his father and was followed by his son, Labashi-Marduk. Nebuchadnezzar, rather than Nabonidus, usurped the throne from him and either had him killed or drove him into exile. Nebuchadnezzar then attempted to justify his legitimacy by claiming that he was the first born and incorporated Neriglissar's years into his own so that he appeared to reign from his father's death. Velikovsky concludes that what Berossus reported is a forgery. I believe the true history is as follows: the battle of Carchemish took place in the year that Nabopolassar died, 608 BC. Neriglissar became king and reigned 4 years until his death in 605 BC. Afterward Labashi-Marduk reigned a few months then was killed or driven away by Nebuchadnezzar who ruled 40 years, 604-565 BC. He was followed by his son Amel-Marduk and his grandson Nabonidus. I differ with Velikovsky 's view that there were two Neriglissars.

We then have three perspectives in operation: the Jewish, Nebuchadnezzar's and the historical. Since Nebuchadnezzar in his 8th year captured Jehoiachin (II Kings 24:12) and died 36 years later in the 37th year of Jehoiachin's captivity he is counted as ruling 44 years from the Jewish viewpoint. From Nebuchadnezzar's view he had an accession year plus 43 regnal years. From the historical view 4 regnal years of Neriglissar were followed by 40 regnal years of Nebuchadnezzar. The astronomers, in order to keep their calculations straight, used the last viewpoint so that Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year (605 - 37 =568) was 568 BC as indicated in the section on astronomical dating. Amel-Marduk succeeded Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:27). He supposedly reigned 2 years. In order for Nabonidus' mother to be 104 years in the 6th of Nabonidus Amel-Marduk must have ruled another 7 years. Amel-Marduk, who was followed by his son, Nabonidus. Nabonidus ruled 17 years. Belshazzar, the great grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, was co-regent with his father when Daniel interpreted the famous writing of the wall (Dan 5). This revised history agrees with Jeremiah's prophecy as to the number of kings, their familial relationships and their total reign.

The Divided Kingdom

From the 1st of Jehoiakim, here 611 BC, to the beginning of Hezekiah is a simple matter of adding the reigns of the Judean kings: Josiah 31 years, Amon 2 years, Manasseh 55 years and Hezekiah 29 years or 728 BC. In the 6th year of Hezekiah, 9th year of Hoshea, or 723 BC, Samaria fell to Assyrian King Shalmaneser V. Note that this is only 1 year different than the accepted date which supposes that Sargon II ruled 17 years. Actually, events in his reign are sometimes dated ambiguously. Each time, the same event is recorded, it is recorded 2 regnal years apart. Apparently, Sargon II attempted to steal the glory of the fall of Samaria from Shalmaneser V by adding the last two years of his reign to his own 15 years. In conventional history Sargon II ruled from 721-705 BC but should only be credited with the years 719-705 BC. Shalmaneser V should be credited with an extra 2 years (total 7 years) 726-720 BC. In this chronology, Sargon II and Shalmaneser V are moved back 3 years to 722-708 and 729-723 BC respectively. Table 1 summarizes the results to this point

538 BC to 723 BC

Shalmaneser V 729 1 (7 year reign)
Hezekiah's 1st regnal year 728 5
Fall of Samaria 723 8
Sennacherib's invasion 715 5
Siege of Jerusalem 710 11
Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoiakim 699 88
1st Jehoiakim 611 3
4th Jehoiakim, 1st Nebuchadnezzar
Battle of Carchemish
608 11
4th Zedekiah :Ezekiel's prophecy 597 7
11th Zedekiah : Jerusalem burned 590 25
Neb. dies; Jehoiachin released by A-M 565 27
1st Cyrus - end of exile 538 -

Thiele's interpretation of the late divided kingdom raises real difficulties during the reign of Hezekiah. In the record of King Sennacherib's 3rd campaign, conventionally dated to 701 BC, but here dated to 715 BC, he invaded Judah and Philistia. Having defeated the Egyptians and Philistines at Eltekeh , he captured the towns of Judah, deported 200,000 Jews and extracted tribute from Hezekiah. Then, Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem. On this the Assyrian records and the Bible agree. The Scriptures say that the fall of Samaria, here dated at 723 BC, was the 6th year of Hezekiah (II Kings 18:10). The invasion of Judah by Sennacherib, King of Assyria, shortly thereafter, was in the 14th year of Hezekiah (II Kings 18:13) - only 8 years apart. Thiele's chronology has the fall of Samaria in 722 BC, Hezekiah's accession year in 715 BC and his 14th year in 701 BC - 21 years apart . He insists that Hezekiah and Hosea had no contact at all. He says " is of paramount importance that synchronisms (II Kings 18:1, 8, 10) between him (Hezekiah) and Hosea be recognized as late and artificial." [ 12, p174], i.e. they are false. Clearly, this interpretation fails as a BIC. Other scholars resolve this by asserting that Hezekiah was co-regent with Ahaz during the time of the siege of Samaria. This is negated by the text of II Kings 16:2 and 17:1 which tells us that Hosea began to reign in the 12th year of Ahaz's 16 year reign and reigned for 9 years. Archer [3] resolves this by amending the 14th year of Hezekiah to the 24th. But the problem here is historical not textual. Anstey resolved this apparent contradiction by noting that Sennacherib's records refer to his third "campaign" not his third "year". He proposed [2, p213] that Sennacherib did not give a regnal year because his campaign did not take place during his own reign but in that of his father, Sargon II, 8 years after the fall of Samaria.

From the textual values of the synchronism in the Bible, table 2A was constructed and the end dates are completed and summarized in table 2.


723 9th Hoshea 1st 8 12th Ahaz 17:1 731
731 12th Ahaz Accession 12 17th Pekah 16:1 743
743 17th Pekah 1st 16 52nd Uzziah 15:27 759
759 52nd Uzziah 1st 51 27th Jeroboam II 15:1 810
810 27th Jeroboam II Accession 27 15th Amaziah 14:23 837
837 15th Amaziah 1st 14 1st Amaziah - 851
852 40th Joash 1st 39 7th Jehu 12:1 891
891 7th Jehu 1st 6 - 12:1 897

The date 810 BC for the 1st of Uzziah was reached by both Ussher and Anstey (Ptolemaic date). Amaziah's dates 851-823 BC inclusive leave an interregnum of 12 years. Anstey was of the opinion that this interregnum existed and that Uzziah was only 4 years old at his father's death. For 12 years, there was a regent ruling until Uzziah was 16. Ussher moved the synchronism 12 years so that no interregnum resulted.


Athaliah 897 6 Jehu 897 28
Joash 891 40 Jehoahaz 869 17
Amaziah 851 29 Jehoash 852 16
Interregnum** 822 - Jeroboam II 836 41
Uzziah (Azariah 810 52 Interregnum** 795 -
Jotham 758 16 Zachariah 772 1
Ahaz* 742 16 Menahem 771 10
Hezekiah 728 29 Pekiah 761 2
- - - Pekah 759 20
- - - Interregnum** 739 -
- - - Hoshea 731 9
Fall of Samaria 723 - Fall of Samaria 723 year 9 of Hoshea

*There is a two regency between Ahaz and Hezekiah **Period with no or unknown ruler

Assyriologists of the 19th century found ancient texts (eponym lists) which could be used to construct another independent chronology in the era of the divided kingdom. Inscriptions and annals also provided synchronisms between the reign of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III and the Israelite king Ahab as well as Shalmaneser V and Hosea. Unfortunately, the biblical and Assyrian chronologies disagreed by over 40 years. Anstey[2], on the basis of his own chronology, which was 7 years longer than Ussher's, insisted that 52 years were missing from the Assyrian records. Yet the seeming completeness of the Assyrian records was hard to deny and scholars like Thiele [17] sought a major revision in the understanding of the data in the biblical texts. His chronology reduced Ussher's dates over 40 years, introducing a series of co-regencies (where there is joint rule by 2 kings) without altering any data. These two approaches Anstey (longer chronologies) and Thiele (shorter chronologies) have many minor variations but they are irreconcilable.

The Assyrian king, Tiglath-Pileser III (T-P), reigned for 18 years (747 -730 BC) before Shalmaneser V. T-P attacked and defeated both Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel and received tribute from Ahaz all of which agrees to the Bible (II Kings 15:29-31, II Kings 16:7,9). But T-P also records receiving tribute from Menahem of Israel and Azariah (Uzziah) of Judah which according to this chronology happened at least 14 years after Menahem's death. Furthermore, the Bible records Menahem as paying tribute to an Assyrian king named Pul (II Kings 15:19; I Chr 5:26). In the shorter chronologies Menahem and Pekah were ruling in different parts of Israel at the same time for 10 years and then Pekah and Pekahiah 2 years. Thus, Pekah ruled only 8 of his 20 years alone. The Bible texts (II Kings 15:17-16:1), if given their plainest meaning, show that Menahem ruled from the 39th to 49th of Uzziah and died. Pekahiah ruled 2 years, the 50th and 51st of Uzziah and died. Pekah ruled 20 years from the 52nd of Uzziah. Jotham son of Uzziah reign 16 years from the 2nd of Pekah and Ahaz his son began to reign (accession year) in the 17th year of Pekah . Every year and every king from the 39th of Uzziah to the 16th of Jotham is accounted for. By the first principle of a BIC the biblical record should be preferred over a chronological construction based on Assyrian records. Instead of compacting the biblical chronology to fit all these events into the reign of T-P, a reevaluation of the Assyrian records should be made.

The annals of T-P are fragmentary with many campaigns undated [15, pp 282-84]. In particular, the campaign during which he collected tribute from Menahem and Uzziah are not dated but are found before the events of his 9th year. Several possibilities exist. First, the scribes who constructed these annals may have confused the records of two different kings named Tiglath-Pileser. According to Brinkman [5, p 312] the Assyrian king list recorded T-P as the son of Ashur-Nirari V whereas T-P in one of his inscriptions records that he is the son of Adad-Nirari. Second, like Sargon II, T-P may have stolen credit from a previous Assyrian king named Pul. Third, like Sennacherib, he may have conducted the campaign in the reign of the previous king named Pul. However, if these possibilities are given credence then there is a diminishing possibility of keeping the synchronisms between the earlier Assyrian and Israelite kings - unless the king lists and/or Assyrian eponym records are admitted to be lacking.

Ashur-Dan's solar eclipse

There is a significant statement recorded in the 10th year of Ashur-Dan III who reigned supposedly to 772-755 BC. In the text accompanying the eponym year named Pur-Sagale (the Assyrians named each year) is a statement that there was a solar eclipse in the month of Simanu (May/June). Astronomers have calculated that there was a solar eclipse on June 15, 763 BC which was visible in Assyria. This would seem to confirm the Assyrian eponym and king lists. However, the details of time and place are missing. There is not enough information to be absolutely sure about this eclipse. But note that 3 years have been added to this chronology in the Chaldean period so that the 10th of Ashur-Dan III is now 766 BC. There was no solar eclipse visible from Assyria in May/June of that year. At least 25 additional years must be added between T-P and Ashur-Dan III to make his 10th year have a solar eclipse in the late spring of 791 BC. Such a date would require a major adjustment to the accepted biblical chronology to keep the accepted synchronisms between the earlier Israelite kings Ahab, Jehu and Jehoash and Assyrian kings Shalmaneser III and Adad-Nirari III. It is not hard to understand why historians and chronologists want to keep such a valuable independent confirmation of the conventional chronology.

There were two regnal year systems in ancient times. Mesopotamians counted years of rule, that is regnal years, according to the accession year method. This means that the year in which a king died was credited to him as a full year. The following king would not start his first year until after the following New Year. The total chronological years then are the same as the sum of the regnal years. The Egyptians and Phoenicians, on the other hand, used the non-accession year method. This meant that the year in which a king died was also the first year of the following king. The total chronological years is the sum of all the reigns less one year for each change in reign. The Egyptian method was used between the Israelite kings Jeroboam I and Jehu and between the Judean monarchs Jehoram and Athaliah.

Ezekiel's prophecy

A verification of this dating exists in the book of Ezekiel which connects the beginning of the reign of Jeroboam I with the fall of Jerusalem to the Chaldeans. God instructs Ezekiel (Ezekiel 4:5) to lie on his side for 390 days, one day for each year of the sin of Israel, and 40 days for Judah. Since the sins of Israel and Judah are reckoned separately, the reference must be to the era of the divided kingdom. The sins and thus the divided kingdom must have begun at least 390 years before the prophecy. The prophecy is dated to the 5th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin or the 4th year of Zedekiah (Ezekiel 1:1), which according to this chronology is 597 BC. This makes the 1st year of Jeroboam at the latest 986 BC (inclusive reckoning) the same as that tabulated in the Table 3. The following textual values in Table 3A of the synchronisms between the kings of Israel and Judah in the Bible show one method of calculating the end dates. These are summarized in Table 3. Of the shorter chronologies, none conform to the prophecy of Ezekiel.

897 BC 12th Jehoram 1st 11 18th Jehoshaphat II Kings 3:1 908 BC
908 BC 18th Jehoshaphat Accession 18 4th Ahab 22:41 926 BC
926 BC 4th Ahab 1st 3 38th Asa 16:29 929 BC
929 BC 38th Asa Accession 38 20th Jeroboam I 15:9 967 BC
967 BC 20th Jeroboam I 1st 19 1st Rehoboam - 986 BC


Solomon 1026 40 Solomon 1026 40
Rehoboam 986 17 Jeroboam I 986 22 (21)
Abijah 969 3 Nadab 965 2 (1)
Asa 966 41 Baasha 964 24 (23)
Jehoshaphat 925 25 Elah 941 2 (1)
Jehoram 1st time 909 co-rex Omri 940 12 (11)
Jehoram 2nd time 904 8 Ahab 929 22 (21)
Jehoshaphat dies 901 - Ahaziah(corex) 909 2 (0)
Ahaziah yr 1 897 1(0) Jehoram 908 12 (11)
Athaliah yr 1 897 - Jehu 897 -
*numbers in brackets are the chronological years for the Egyptian method.


A summation of the reigns of the judges and enemy oppressions reveal that there is a major discrepancy with I Kings 6:1 which states that the temple construction began in the 480th year since the exodus. Mauro [11, p41] states that no other era produces "a greater lack of unanimity among chronologists of repute." Many have searched in vain for a way to compress the years in Judges to fit the total. Each is forced to amend some reigns. The favorite is to amend the years of Ehud who is the only Israelite to have ruled 80 years. Ussher changed this number to 20 years which does not qualify as a BIC. Others have reduced it to 18 and even 8 years. Another approach makes the oppression by the Ammonites and Philistines coincide. This is insufficient by itself and other amendments are also necessary. All amend at least one text to save amending the other. No chronological compression of the period of the judges has ever been generally accepted. Neither can Paul's statement be reconciled to the 480 years. In Acts 13:20 he says that the Israelites wandered 40 years in the wilderness, conquered the seven tribes of Canaan and were ruled by judges for 450 years until Samuel. If, to these 450 years, we add 40 for the wandering in the wilderness, about 22 years of Saul after Samuel's death, 40 years of David and 3 years of Solomon we arrive at a total of 555 years rather than 480. To reconcile Paul to the text in I Kings it was proposed by some, including Anstey, that the 480 years were not chronological but were the result of summing the years in which there was an Israelite judge. That is, the 480 years represent the number of judgeship years while years of foreign oppression or years without judges were omitted from the total.

We know Moses spent forty years in the desert but from Joshua's conquest to the first oppression is stated only as a generation, after which the Israelites did what was right in their own eyes and God delivered them into the hands of Cushan-rishthaim. Fortunately, Josephus records these numbers; Joshua ruled for 25 years after which there was an interregnum of 18 years. The Bible also lacks an explicit connection between Samson and Samuel. The most logical point to connect the two is the battle of Mizpah where Samuel defeated and finally freed the Israelites from the forty-year oppression by the Philistines. This puts Samuel directly after Samson. Josephus also states there were 12 years until the crowning of Saul. Anstey's total of 594 years for Judges is too high due to his inclusion of 40 years for Eli. In Table 4, I propose 568 years (569 inclusively) from the exodus until the construction of the temple.

- 1023 BC to 1591 BC





Moses 40 0 40 1591
Joshua 25 0 65 1551
Interregnum 0 18 83 1526
Cushan-rishthaim 0 8 91


Othniel 40 0 131 1500
Eglon/Moabite 0 18 149 1460
Ehud 80 0 229

Jabin/Canaanite 0 20 249 1362
Deborah/Barak 40 0 289 1342
Midianites 0 7 296 1335
Gideon 40 0 336 1295
Abimelech 3 0 339 1292
Tola 23 0 362 1269
Jair 22 0 384 1247
Ammonites 0 18 402 1229
Jephthah 6 0 408 1223
Izban 7 0 415 1216
Elon 10 0 425 1206
Abdon 8 0 433 1198
Philistine/Samson/Samuel 40 0 473 1158
Samuel 12 0 485 1146
Saul 40 0 525 1106
David 40 0 565 1066
Solomon's Temple 3 0 568 1026
Total* 479 89 - -

*N.B. If the exodus is counted as Year 1, then Solomon's Temple is Year 1+479 = 480

Sabbatical and Jubilee Year in Hezekiah's Reign

Is there any confirmation of the date 1591 BC? Every seventh year in the Jewish calendar was a year of Sabbath rest. From the fall (month of Tishri) to the next fall no crops were planted. The Jews were to live off the extra abundant harvest of the sixth year and that which grew in the seventh year of its own accord. The Jews were to cancel the debts of their fellow Jews from servitude (Deut 15:12). Schurer [16, pp39-46], a famous scholar of Jewish history, concludes that there are several known sabbatical years. One sabbatical year is stated in I Maccabees as occurring in the year 150 of the Seleucid era. Schurer determined this to be 164/63 BC (Tishri to Tishri). Josephus also mentions a sabbatical year when Jerusalem fell to Herod three years after his appointment by the Romans, dated to 40 BC [10, XIV.16.sec 2]. Shurer identifies 38/37 BC as a sabbatical year . While Jerusalem was under siege God promised Hezekiah a harvest so abundant that they need neither sow nor plant any crops for two years (Isa 37:30). This was God's usual blessing for a sabbatical year followed by a year of jubilee (Lev 25:8-11). To fit with the other known sabbatical years, it must be dated to 710 BC, 19th year of Hezekiah, and 709 BC the year of Jubilee. Thus, it was 5 years from Sennacherib's invasion in the 14th year of Hezekiah until the siege of Jerusalem. After 5 years of warfare one can understand his need for a sign from heaven.

Since 1591 BC was the first year of a sabbatical cycle 1585 BC ought to be a 7th or sabbatical year. This in line with previous known dates of sabbatical years. But also the exodus was the first year in the jubilee cycle. The first year of Jubilee would be 1542 BC. It is 833 years before 709 BC, the next known year of jubilee. Since 833 is divisible by 49 it is also in line with the previous dates of jubilee years. Only by adding or subtracting multiples of 49 can this alignment be maintained. Given that Solomon's temple is dated to 1023 and there are at least 480 but not more than 620 years to the Exodus only 1542, 1591 and 1640 BC are possible dates for the exodus.


Archaeologists have divided ancient history into many eras. From the patriarchs to the captivity and Jeremiah the prophet is covered by the eras Middle Bronze(MB) II, Late Bronze(LB), Iron Age (IA) I and Iron Age II. Under the revised scheme the exodus and the Israelites under Joshua invade Canaan in MB II, and not in LB age as is conventionally accepted. The United Kingdom occupies the Late Bronze and the Divided Kingdom the Iron Ages.





Middle Bronze Age II

1900- 1550


Late Bronze Age



Iron Age I



Iron Age II



A specific problem area for biblical apologists is the archaeology of Jericho. The book of Joshua claims that the Israelites marched around the town for seven days, watched its walls fall, charged straight into the city and burned it without taking any spoils. After its conquest God cursed it so that nobody would rebuilt its gates. It was not until King Ahab's day that Jericho's gates were rebuilt. Archaeologists, have placed the fall of Jericho and the conquest at the end of the Late Bronze, circa 1300 BC. At this time there is no city at Jericho for Joshua to conquer, no great wall which collapsed and no devastating burning. Furthermore, there is little sign any invasion in the land of Canaan. Although there is no city at the end of the Late Bronze era, there is a city labeled city IV, which meets uniquely the requirements for the biblical Jericho of Joshua's day. According to Wood [19] city IV was burned to the ground. Its upper walls were situated on top of the Early Bronze walls. These walls toppled outward (almost unique in archaeological sites) and the fallen bricks provided the attackers with a convenient ramp to enter the city. In the rubble of city IV, there were found pots and jars containing charred wheat. This is not unusual except for the quantity - six bushels. Normally in a long siege this grain would have been used up or if not would have been carried off as booty by the attackers. Afterwards, the city remained uninhabited until the beginning of the Iron Age era. The problem of identifying city IV with Joshua's time is chronology. Although city IV was initially dated to 1400 BC by Garstang subsequent work by Kenyon re-dated it to the Middle Bronze era or 1550 BC. The traditional conservative dates around 1400 BC and the liberal dates around 1320 BC were judged incompatible. Wood [19] together with Bimson and Livingstone [4] have attempted to redate this city to 1400 BC from its pottery. From this chronology, it would appear unnecessary. The city of Jericho fell in 1551 BC, the same date used by Kenyon. This implies that the conquest occurred in the Middle Bronze.

The idea that the Israelites inhabited Palestine in the Middle Bronze is not new. Velikovsky in 1952 suggested that the Amalekites who attacked Moses in the desert after the exodus are the same as the Hyksos of Egyptian history who overpowered the Middle kingdom Egypt (dynasty XII). These Hyksos kings ruled for centuries until overthrown by Ahmose I, the first ruler of dynasty XVIII. Archaeologically, the Hyksos and therefore Joshua, belong to the latter part of the Middle Bronze. Courville [6] reexamined reports for some archaeological sites in order to reposition the exodus, and in particular Shechem. Shechem was burned by Gideon's son Abimelech. The residents when overwhelmed took refuge in the temple of Baal Berith. The archaeologists excavating Shechem found a city which had been a major fortification with tower and walls 17 feet thick. It had been burned severely and contained a large temple which had a stronghold within it which had been burned also. It was initially identified with the Shechem of Abimelech. Later, however, it became apparent from the pottery that the temple and city belonged to the Middle Bronze IIC. This was much too early for the time of Abimelech according to standard chronology. A diligent search was made of the later strata for the Israelite temple. A lesser temple was found but it had not been burned. The city showed a steady decline through the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. The temple of Baal Berith was not found. Like Jericho, the archaeological evidence fit well with biblical history but not the chronology.

The hypothesis that the conquest belongs in the Middle Bronze means the archaeological evidences of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages must be reevaluated. If it can be shown that there is a reasonable interpretation for them then the hypothesis remains viable. James [7, pp 163-203] showed that there is a reasonable interpretation. Major characteristics of the Late Bronze era are increased population and wealth; the temples are magnificent, the artwork is fine and the literature rich with deep religious feeling. Since, in the conventional thinking, the Israelites had not yet conquered the land archaeologists attribute these artifacts to the Canaanites, in particular, the treasure of Thutmose III (Late Bronze) which he put on display on a wall of Karnak. The rich Canaanite treasures far surpassed anything that the Israelites would ever make in later years yet there was not one work, basin or utensil dedicated to any of the Canaanite gods. Velikovsky considered these treasures to be stolen from the temple of Solomon. James notes the richness of the Late Bronze artifacts generally and ascribes them to the era of the United Kingdom. He also points out that the study of the plans of Solomon's temple has regularly lead to a comparison with Late Bronze temples both within and without Palestine. If David and Solomon belong to the Late Bronze then these great works of architecture, art and literature are Israelite.

Following the end of the Late Bronze is the Iron Age I. Archaeological remains are sparse and poor showing little art or wealth. Conventionally, Solomon is identified with the Iron Age. Archaeologists identify the Iron Age gates at Hazor, Megiddo and Lachish with Solomon since he built fortifications in these areas However, these type of gates also appeared in Ashdod of Philistia where Solomon is not known to have built. Also, the description of the magnificence of Solomon's buildings in the Bible was not matched by the temple remains in the Iron Age. The poverty of Iron Age I would fit well with the era of Jehu and his sons when they were under oppression from the Syrians. Iron Age II follows in which there is considerable improvement is material goods and military fortifications. After the death of the Syrian King Hazael, King Jeroboam II and King Uzziah led a revival of Israelite power. Uzziah rebuilt many of the old fortifications but not to the greatness of Solomon. He recaptured Edom, Philistia and other areas. The fortifications attributed to Solomon in Iron II are more appropriately attributed to Uzziah, particularly those at Ashdod. Thus, the placing of the conquest in the Middle Bronze era leads to reasonable explanations for the remains of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages and even resolves some longstanding difficulties.


Table 6 is a summary of important dates in the proposed chronology from the crucifixion to the exodus.There is general acceptance of 538 BC as the 1st of Cyrus. Jeremiah's 70 years (52+7+11 Table 6) put the 4th of Jehoiakim at 608 BC. An 11 year reign for him puts the 4th of Zedekiah at 597 BC. Ezekiel's 390 years inclusive reckoning (11+115+263 in Table 6) put the beginning of the divided kingdom at or near 986 BC. A 40 year reign for Solomon puts his 4th year and the building of the temple at or near 1023 BC. Adding 480 years of judges to 89 years of oppression (569 inclusively) puts the exodus at or near 1591 BC.








30 AD

- -


Ezra's Decree

458 BC



Bible & Ptolemy's Canon

End of Exile
1st of Cyrus



Persian Records
Ptolemy's Canon

Fall of Jerusalem





Ezekiel's prophecy





Battle of Carchemish
4th of Jehoiakim





Fall of Samaria





Divided Kingdom














Bible & Josephus
*Generally Accepted Dates

The initial differences between this and the generally accepted chronology are small. Only 3 years difference at the time of Shalmaneser V, Hezekiah and Hoshea. This, however, is very important since it renders the astronomical confirmation of the standard chronology void. During the divided kingdom the difference increases by 53. This chronology uses a "longer" chronology because the shorter ones produced contradictions and failed to provide any reasonable explanation for the prophecy of Ezekiel. From the temple to the Exodus adds another 89 years. This resulted from realizing that no chronology requiring 480 years as in Ussher's could do so without altering some individual years of judges. Thus, another interpretation was needed. Although Anstey provided such an interpretation his construction was not in accord with the years provided by Josephus. Using Josephus resulted in a date for the Exodus of 1591 BC which aligned with previously known Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

This chronology has put great reliance not just on the historical data of the Bible but also the texts of the prophets. This is not standard procedure for scholars. The use of prophetic texts may not be generally acceptable yet they are just as inspired and "inerrant " as the rest of Bible. The Jews would not have allowed the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel to be set aside as holy if even one of their prophecies had failed.

Aardsma claimed [1, p1] that the "historicity of the Old Testament is currently facing a challenge of unprecedented severity". He thinks that secular archaeologists may provide as serious an intellectual challenge to the faithful as Darwinism. Therefore, it is important to use the lessons we have learned from the challenge of Darwinism. The hidden strength of creationists lay in their humility to put their complete trust in God's Word, ahead of their own professional training, knowledge and understanding, and their courage to withstand the mocking and jeering of the press and peers. They have built their positions of faith and practice on the foundation of inerrancy. Biblical scholars would do well to follow them when the facing the new challenges to the historicity of the Old Testament.


The proposed date for the Exodus, 1591 BC, is based on BIC rules. It uses all the actual textual data and its prophecies and also its sabbatical years and jubilees. With the inclusion of the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel in the construction, the Battle of Carchemish must be 608 or 607 BC and the beginning of the divided kingdom before 980 BC which puts the construction of Solomon's temple prior to 1015 BC. The exodus must be at least 480 years (1495 BC) before that. From the known years of jubilee the latest date for the exodus is 1542 BC. This negates both the old conservative and old liberal dates for the exodus as well as all the accompanying guesses as to its pharaoh and dynasty. The new BIC chronology call for a major revision in the interpretation of biblical and Palestinian archaeology. The conquest of Canaan must precede the end of the Late Bronze Age and likely should be placed in the middle of the Middle Bronze II. The archaeology proposed by James and aided by Wood, Bimson and Livingstone would suit the requirements well. This places David and Solomon in the rich Late Bronze Age; Jehu and Joash in the impoverished Iron Age I where they suffered under the Syrians; and Uzziah and Jeroboam II at the beginning of the Iron Age II when Israelite power increased. Thus, BIC rules not only conform to the standards of inerrancy but also help resolve several difficulties in the reconciliation of biblical chronology and archaeology.


First, I would like to thank Ian Taylor, who patiently listened to the progress of my research. I would like to express my appreciation to Judy Young in providing valuable knowledge of the historical evidences of Assyrian and Egyptian sources. Her knowledge was very impressive and the spirit of her criticism always fair. I must thank Tom Goss for his contribution in managing the research to the point of fruition. Although the first steps in this study were initiated by curiosity and encouraged by several people it was the faithfulness of the Lord to answer many prayers which ultimately led to this final work.


[1] Aardsma, G., "A new approach to the chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel", 1993, Institute for Creation Research, San Diego.

[2] Anstey, M., "The romance of biblical chronology" , 1913, Marshal Bros., London.

[3] Archer, G., "The encyclopedia of biblical difficulties" , 1982, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.

[4] Bimson, J.J. and Livingstone, D.P. , Redating the exodus ," Biblical Archaeological Review", Sept/Oct 1987 pp. 40-53, p. 66

[5] Brinkman, J.A. Comments on the Nassouhi king list and the Assyrian king list Tradition, "Orientalia,"Vol 42, p306-19

[6] Courville, Donovan, "The Exodus and its problems", 1971, Challenge Books, Loma Linda

[7] James, Peter, "Centuries of darkness", 1991, Rutgers U. P., New Brunswick, N.J.

[8] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.M.&Brown, D. , "Commentary: practical and expository on the whole Bible", 1974 (edition)

[9] Josephus, Against Apion, "Josephus: Complete works", (translated Whiston), 1960, Kregel Pub.

Grand Rapids, MI.

[10] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, "Josephus: Complete works", (translated Whiston), 1960, Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.

[11] Mauro, Phillip, "The wonders of biblical chronology", 1987, Grace Abounding Ministries, Sterling, VA.

[12] Newton, R., 1977, "The crime of Claudius Ptolemy,"John Hopkins U.P. Baltimore.

[13] Parker, R.A. & W.H. Dubberstein, "Babylonian Chronology 626 BC - AD 75", 1956, Brown University Series; Brown University Press.

[14] Payne, J.B., "Encyclopedia of biblical prophecy", 1973, Harper&Row, New York.

[15] Pritchard, R., 1969, "Ancient near eastern texts relating to the Old Testament", Princeton U.P. Princeton, N.J.

[16] Schurer, E., "A History of the Jewish people in the time of Christ", 1924, Clark, Edinburgh.

[17] Thiele, E.R. , "The mysterious numbers of the Hebrew kings", 1965, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

[18] Velikovsky, I., "Rameses II and his times", 1978, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, N.Y.

[19] Woods, B., Did the Israelites conquer Jericho?, "Biblical Archaeological Review", Vol 16, Mar/Apr 1990, pp 44-57.

Paper presented at the International Conference on Creation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
© 1998 along with the Conference's Proceedings by the Creation Science Fellowship, Inc. (CSF). Proceedings are available by writing to CSF, P.O. Box 99303, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-4303, or by emailing ( Web Site: ( Reprinted by Permission. August 19, 1998.

Other papers by by Alan Montgomery:

A CHRONOLOGICAL MODEL FOR THE BIBLE: Part 1. THE EXODUS, JOSHUA AND JUDGES The Stratigraphy of the 19th Dynasty in Asia Minor