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With regard to the verification of these Tables; the great practical difficulty concerns the absolute lengths of the reigns ascribed to each particular king, and the synchronisms of particular years of one reign with particular years of another. Nor can any single rule be devised which will apply alike to each, and reconcile them both together. But it is an obvious possibility that the lengths of the reigns might be reckoned by one rule, and the synchronisms by another; that the former, for instance, might be referred to some nominal apxý—and the latter to a true. distinction, in my opinion, does actually hold good: the lengths of the reigns are referred in every instance to a nominal ȧpx', but the synchronisms to the true. The reign of every king, where the contrary is not distinctly specified, is supposed to begin and to end with Nisan; the first month in the sacred year. Hence the years of their reigns are necessarily reckoned as full years; and current years are taken for complete. But no synchronism is ever referred except to the true date of the reigns in question, or to the month in which they actually began. If there is any doubt as to the existence of this double rule, I think it will be entirely removed by the analytical examination of each particular reign in its order.
First, then, as the reign of Solomon has been shewn to have begun in the spring, so, from 1 Kings xii. 1.3. 5. 12. 20. 25–33. may it be collected that it terminated in the spring: and, consequently, that he reigned
forty years complete. On this principle both the true and the nominal apx" of Rehoboam, and by parity of consequence of Jeroboam, alike will bear date from Nisan, B. C. 974. Hence the following synchronisms, 1 of Rehoboam. 1 of Jeroboam. Nisan B. C. 974-973. 17 958-957. Now the first of Abijam began in the eighteenth of Jeroboam: whence it seems a reasonable inference that Rehoboam reigned seventeen years complete.
Hence, again as before, both nominally and truly, 1 of Abijam. 18 of Jeroboam. Nisan B. C. 957-956. 955-954.
Now Abijam could not have reigned more than two years and part of a third year; for as his reign began in the eighteenth, so did Asa's in the twentieth, of Jeroboam. We may suppose, then, that he died about the middle of his third year, the Tisri, B. C. 955. The first year of Asa, therefore, will bear date truly from Tisri, but nominally from Nisan, B. C. 955: both in the twentieth of Jeroboam.
Hence 1 of Asa. 20 of Jeroboam. Nisan B. C. 955-954. 953-952.
Now the first of Nadab began in the second of Asac; yet the first of Asa had begun in the twentieth of Jeroboam. Both these statements would be true, if Jeroboam died in his twenty-second year, after the Nisan, but before the Tisri, B. C. 953. For, then, the first of Nadab would truly begin in the second of Asa, sometime before Tisri, B. C. 953.
Hence 3 of Asa. 1 of Nadab. Nisan B. C. 953-952.
Now Nadab died in the third of Asad, though he began to reign in his second. If so, Nadab did not reign
a 1 Kings xv. 1. 2. xiv. 21. 2 Chron. xiii. 1. xv. 25. d Ibid. xv. 28.
b 1 Kings xv. 9. c Ibid.
two years complete: and if he died in his second year, after the Nisan, but before the Tisri, B. C. 952, both he would die, and Baasha begin to reign, truly in the third of Asa; before the Tisri, B. C. 952.
Hence 4 of Asa. 1 of Baasha.
Now the first of Elah
Nisan B. C. 952-951.
began in the twenty-sixth of Asa: and this would be truly the case if Baasha died in his nominal twenty-fourth, after the Nisan, but before the Tisri, B.C. 929, in the true twenty-sixth of Asa.
And hence it is an obvious inference that the numeral notes at 2 Chron. xv. 19. and xvi. 1, which speak of the thirty-fifth and the thirty-sixth of Asa, respectively, the former of peace between Israel and Judah up to that year, the latter of an invasion of Judah by Baasha, as made in that year, are corrupt, the one for the twenty-fifth, and the other for the twenty-sixth ; in which case, but in which only, they might both be consistent with the truth. Compare Josephus, Ant. viii. xi. 4. xii. 1-6.
Again, 27 of Asa. 1 of Elah. Nisan B. C. 929—928. 928-927.
Now Elah died in the twenty-seventh of Asas: and this might be the case if he died in his nominal second, after the Nisan, but before the Tisri, B. C. 928 for that might thus be in the true twenty-seventh of Asa.
After the death of Elah, besides the seven days of Zimri, there was an interregnum of four years in length, perhaps taken up by the contest between Tibni and Omri; which extended from the true twentyf Ibid. xvi. 8. g Ibid. xvi. 10. 15.
e 1 Kings xv. 33. 15. 23.
h Ibid. xvi.
seventh, to the true thirty-first of Asa. But this is included in the twelve years ascribed to Omri.
Hence 28 of Asa. 1 of Omri. Nisan B. C. 928—927.
Now it is manifestly possible that Omri might die in his twelfth year incomplete; soon after Nisan, B. C. 917. In this case the reign of Ahab would actually begin in the true thirty-eighth of Asa', which would not expire until Tisri B. C. 917.
Hence 39 of Asa. 1 of Ahab. Nisan B. C. 917-916.
Now that Asa did not reign forty-one years complete may be inferred from 2 Chron. xvi. 13; which says that he died in his forty-first year. But it follows most clearly from 1 Kings xxii. 41, which makes the first of Jehoshaphat to begin in the fourth of Ahab. I infer, then, that Asa died at the end of his nominal, but the middle of his true, forty-first, Nisan B. C. 914: which might also be truly in the fourth of Ahab.
Hence 1 of Jehosh. 4 of Ahab. Nisan B. C. 914-913. 896-895.
The twenty-second of Ahab must thus have synchronised with the nineteenth of Jehoshaphat; and if Ahab did not reign twenty-two years complete, he would die in his twenty-second year, after the Nisan, B. C. 896. The circumstances of his death, which was in battle against the Syrians, render it almost certain that it took place in the spring quarter of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle: in which case, if he began to reign, as we have seen, about Nisan, B. C. 917, either he must have reigned more than twenty-two years, or he must have died in his twentysecond year, not long after Nisan, B. C. 896.
i 1 Kings xvi. 23. 29.