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fore that the fourteenth of Nisan might coincide with March 30. If so, it would fall upon the fourth day of the week, or Wednesday: and consequently the tenth of Nisan on the seventh, or the Saturday. For if, in the year of Exodus, the third of April fell on the Saturday, then, in the year after the Exodus, it would fall on the Sunday and if April 3 in that year was a Sunday, March 30, before it, must have been a Wednesday.
On this principle, if Nisan 14. March 30. was a Wednesday, Nisan 1. March 17. was a Thursday: and if the Tabernacle was set up on that day, it was set up on the Thursdays. But it would not follow from this fact that the Tabernacle service began on the Thursday. The business of setting up the Tabernacle, which was preliminary to that commencement, might occupy one or two days' time; and the actual commencement of the service might not take place until the Saturday; that is, until the third of Nisan. There are many reasons to render it probable that the Levitical service would originally begin either with the evening of the Sabbath, or the evening of the first day of the week; and we saw in Dissertation xii. vol. i. p. 413, that it appears to have finally ceased on one of those two days in particular. This fact seems to me to be intimated in the account which is given of the offerings of the princes, or heads of the tribes h; which began as soon as the
erection and consecration of the Tabernacle were duly completed, and which lasted for twelve days in order. It is reasonable to suppose that all this began and continued so as to be over before the time when the passover was celebrated; that is, before the fourteenth day of the month and therefore, that it began and was completed between the first and the fourteenth, after the one, but before the otheri. In this case, nothing is more probable than that it began on the second of Nisan, which would be on the Friday; and ended on the thirteenth, which would coincide with the Tuesday.
Moreover it appears from Numbers x. 11-33. that after all these things the cloud was first removed from the Tabernacle on the twentieth of the second month; and the people journeyed subsequently without interruption until the twenty-third. It is an obvious conjecture that this stopping at the end of a three days' journey, beginning with the twentieth of Jar, was for the sake of the rest on the sabbath; which would thus coincide with the twenty-third. And if the fourteenth of Nisan fell on the Wednesday, and Nisan now consisted of twenty-nine days, this conjecture would be true; for the twenty-first and twenty-eighth of Nisan, the sixth, the thirteenth, and the twentieth, of Jar would necessarily be Wednesdays also; and therefore the twenty-third would be a Saturday. We may collect too from Numbers xi. 18. 31, 32. that the supply of the quails, which ensued so soon after the arrival at Taberah, ensued on the twenty-fourth and consequently on the first day of the week. In this case the supply of quails, like that of manna, took place on the first day of the week in this year, as that had taken place on the first day of the week the year before it:
i Numb. ix. 1. 2-5.
and this upon the twenty-fourth, as that did upon the sixteenth of the same month.
It constitutes no difficulty, that we suppose the fourteenth of the Jewish Nisan to fall, in two successive years, on the same day of the week. This could not be the case with any day in the solar year, nor with any day in the lunar, as such; but it might be the case with a day which made part of a solar year in one year, and part of a lunar in the next: which, as we have already observed, was probably true of the fourteenth of Nisan in the year before, and the year after the Exodus respectively. A. M. 2445, B. C. 1560, the fourteenth of Nisan, if we are right in the conclusions established, coincided with the seventh of April; and A. M. 2446, B. C. 1559, with the thirtieth of March: both of which must have fallen on the Wednesday if either of them did so. If, however, A. M. 2446, B. C. 1559, the moon was at the full on March 30. 11. 24. in the morning; A. M. 2445, B. C. 1560, it was at the full ten days, twenty-one hours, before that; viz. April 10. 8. 24. in the morning. This day would answer to the seventeenth of Nisan, and both would fall on the Saturday. They would coincide also with the day when the passage of the Red sea took place; at which time, it might almost be conjectured from Exod. xiv. 19, 20. Joshua xxiv. 7. that the night was light, or the moon was at the full.
Moreover, if B. C. 1559, A. M. 2446, the new moon of Nisan fell on the tropical March 15; then after the lapse of thirty-nine years, B. C. 1520, A. M. 2485, the year of the Eisodus, it admits of proof that it would fall on April 3*: that is, in the year of the Eisodus, the
*This computation will stand as follows:
Anticipation to be added for two
neomenia of Nisan coincided with the vernal equinox, which still fell upon that day as before. It may be proved also that they both coincided with the first day of the week. For if A. M. 2446, April 3 fell on the Sunday, then A. M. 2474, after one solar cycle, it would fall on the Sunday again; and A. M. 2485, at the end of the eleventh year of a second, its place would again be Sunday. This too would be an observable coincidence; for as the entrance into the promised land, after a forty years' wandering in the wilderness, was so far a new epoch in the history of the Jews; what fitter conjuncture of circumstances could be selected to characterise that epoch, than the time when the neomenia of Nisan, the vernal equinox, and the first day of the week all appear to have fallen out together?
B. C. 1521. A. M. 2484. New moon, March
B. C. 1520. A. M. 2485. New moon, March
Moon new again, April
According to the method of calculation, before referred to, the sun entered the vernal sign in the same year, on April 3. 13. 6. 34. the hours, in each instance, being reckoned from midnight.
On the Chronology of the Kingdoms of Judah and of Israel. Vide Appendix, Dissertation xi. supra.
THE chronology of the kings of Judah, from Solomon downwards, and as far as they run parallel with each other, that of the kings of Israel, upon which I did not enter in the preceding Dissertation, is yet of so much importance, and encumbered with so many difficulties, that its consideration may justly be pronounced a desideratum. I trust, therefore, that no apology will be requisite for devoting to this subject the following pages.
I shall assume for the present, that no more is known of the chronology in question than the data already established: viz. that the first of Solomon coincided with B. C. 1014, and the fourteenth of Hezekiah, either wholly or in part, with B. C. 710; and therefore his first, either wholly or in part, with B. C. 724. The first of Hezekiah then, B.C. 724, being considered as an intermediate period, the two following Tables will exhibit a synopsis of the order and succession of the reigns in question, of their Scriptural or historical lengths, and of the years before Christ in which they began, from the first of Solomon to the last of Zedekiah.