Nothing is random or haphazard in the Bible, though it may seem that way at first reading. In Part I, we carefully organized all of the early Biblical time data and put together a precise timeline, with creation as year zero, and the great flood coming in the 6,023rd year. We ended the discussion with the nation of Israel being split apart into Judah and Israel, 10,082 years after creation. The exhaustive study of the chronology of the kings of these two divisions discloses that Israel was destroyed by Assyria in the 10,304th year, and Judah and the temple in Jerusalem were destroyed by Babylon in the 10,426th year.
Archaeological and historical records show that Pharaoh Thutmose III, the Pharaoh in power in Egypt during Israel’s exodus from his country, died in the Red Sea while pursuing them in 1447 BC (year 9566.) Secular records also document that King Ahab, a wicked ruler of Israel, ended his reign in 853 BC, which was the 10,160th year. One more comparative piece of historical evidence is the appointment date of Judah’s King Zedekiah in 597 BC, or year number 10,416. The interval between these dates is the same in Biblical and historical accounts- 594 years and then 256 years. We can now align our modern day calendar with the Biblical calendar to provide meaningful dates for events discussed in the Bible. If 1447 BC was 9,566 years after creation, the beginning of our universe was actually 1,447 + 9,566, or 11,013 BC. The flood of Noah’s day occurred 6,023 years later in 4990 BC. Abraham entered the land of Canaan in 2092 BC, and Jacob’s family left Canaan and entered Egypt in 1877 BC. Forty years after the exodus from Egypt, the young nation came into Canaan in 1407 BC. Construction of the great temple by King Solomon started in 967 BC, and the nation was divided 36 years later in 931 BC. Also, we can now compute the destruction date of the 10 tribes of Israel to be 709 BC, and the end of the 2 tribes of Judah to have occurred in 587 BC.
As discussed earlier, the tower of Babel and the resulting division of the land into continents during Peleg’s era can now be dated as sometime between 3153 BC and 2914 BC. This traumatic event coincides precisely with the theory that it triggered the start of the Mayan calendar (in 3114 BC), and man’s earliest writings (around 3100 BC).
Judah and Jerusalem were destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BC, and then Babylon in turn was conquered by the Medes and Persians in 539 BC. In that year, King Cyrus sent the exiled Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, which started 2 years later. There are good secular records of the Persian Kings, as well as various Bible verses to help with the dating. In Jeremiah 29:10, God declares that after 70 years (after they lost their freedom in 609 BC), he would cause the people to return to Jerusalem. The temple was rebuilt and dedicated in 515 BC. The book of Ezra speaks of this event as during the third day of the month Adar in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius (522-485 BC). The prophet Nehemiah began to rebuild a wall around the city in 445 BC, and it was completed in 433 BC (Nehemiah 2:1, 5:14). The latest entry chronologically in the Old Testament is in the book of Esther, concerning the 10 sons of Haman. Verses 3:7 and 9:1 speak of the 12th month of the 12 year of the reign of King Ahasuerus, which would be 391 BC.
The Bible is silent for 384 years until the New Testament message begins in the year 8 BC, focused on the life of Christ. Several events in His life are very significant, and we can now pinpoint these dates using some secular records and many pieces of information found in the Bible. Galatians 4:4 speaks of the birth of Jesus as a perfectly planned time in history, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” Wicked King Herod was ruler when Jesus was born, and he wanted the baby dead. Magi came following a star to find Jesus, and King Herod asked them to search for him and report back as to the location. When the Magi did not return, Matthew 2:16 states that Herod ordered all boys in Bethlehem 2 years old and younger to be killed. This order must have been 2 years after the Magi saw the star. Good secular records document that Herod died in 4 BC, so Jesus was born in 6 BC or earlier. Luke 2:1,5 speaks of a world tax decreed by Caesar Augustus when Mary was with child. Historical documentation proves that this tax was instituted in 7 BC.
Backtracking for a minute, when Israel came out of Egypt in 1447 BC, God instructed Moses that the nation was to observe feast days and sacrifices once they reached the land of Canaan in 1407 BC. These activities were actually signs pointing to the life of Christ and His salvation program. One of those customs was the Jubilee Year, which was to be observed every 50 years. And one of the feast days was the annual Day of Atonement. Leviticus 25:9-10 ties these together nicely: “Then shall thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the 10th day of the 7th month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the 50th year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land…and ye shall return every man unto his family.” This symbolized that Christ atones for our sins, and that he gives us liberty from the bondage of our transgressions. 7 BC, the birth year of Christ, is a Jubilee Year, and the Feast of Atonement in that year using the Jewish Biblical calendar translates to October 2, Christ’s actual birthday.
In Luke 1:36, the Bible tells us that when Mary conceived Jesus, her cousin Elisabeth was 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist. Elisabeth’s husband Zacharias was a priest, and he served in the temple in the 2nd half of the 4th month every year (Luke 1:5, I Chronicles 24:10). Luke 1:23-24 informs us that when he finished his service, he went home and she conceived soon thereafter. When we work out all the details, Zacharias went home about July 6, 8 BC, Elisabeth conceived approximately July 9, Mary conceived about 6 months later on January 9, 7 BC, and Jesus was born 38 weeks later on October 2, 7 BC. One more proof that we are on the right track is that Jacob’s birth was 2000 years earlier in 2007 BC and King David, who typified Christ, became King 1000 years previous in 1007 BC!
The Baptism of Jesus Christ really symbolizes the announcement that the savior was here to begin his ministry on earth. In Luke 3:1-3 we read that in the 15th year of the reign of Caesar, John the Baptist did baptize Christ, which historical records tell us would have been in 29 AD. Luke 3:23, translated literally from the original Greek says, “And Jesus Himself was about 30 years beginning”. Jesus would have been baptized at about 35 years old, not “about 30″, so the question must be asked “beginning from when?”. Matthew 2:15 gives us the solution, stating “…Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Jesus would have been at least 2.5 years old leaving Egypt, making it 32.5 years or less in 29 AD since He had been out of Egypt. One note that must be mentioned, in counting from BC years to AD years, you have to subtract one year, as there is no year zero.
The death of Christ is obviously a very important event, and we can know the day and the year accurately. The Bible is quite clear that Jesus died on a Friday, and was entombed before the Saturday Sabbath began on Friday at sundown (Mark 15:42-43). Passover, another Jewish observance, demonstrated that Christ was the sacrificial lamb, shedding his blood to pay for our sins. It was to be the 14th day of the 1st month, designated by moon phases, not days of the week, and in 33 AD that was April 1, a Friday. In other nearby years, Passover did not fall on a Friday, leaving April 1, 33 AD as the clear and accurate choice.
Although there are some other proofs requiring more complex studies, we can tie together the announcement date and the date of Christ’s death conclusively by applying Daniel 12:12, written about 500 years before the birth of Christ, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1,335 days.” This is speaking about the Lord Jesus, who must wait to come at an appointed time, and then do his work on earth for a period of 1,335 days. Christ’s work was finished on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the earth, and the church age began. Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, was another National Israel tradition, and its observance was always 50 days after the first Sabbath after Passover. In 33 AD, Christ died April 1, the next Sabbath was April 2, and Pentecost was May 22. Counting backwards through the calendar 1,335 days from Pentecost, we arrive at September 26, 29 AD (if we count the first and last days). Is September 26 the day Christ’s work began – when he was announced and baptized? The Jewish people had also been instructed to observe a memorial of the Jubilee each year on the 1st day of the 7th month (Leviticus 23:24), a yearly reminder that Christ is the essence of the Jubilee, the savior. In 29 AD, September 26 was indeed the 1st day of the 7th month, the memorial of the Jubilee!
We can now summarize the dating of the significant events of Christ’s life. He was born on the Day of Atonement in a Jubilee Year, October 2, 7 BC. Christ was announced and baptized on the memorial of the Jubilee, Sep. 26, 29 AD. He died on the cross on Friday Passover, April 1, 33 AD and resurrected two days later on Sunday April 3. Finally, he completed his work on Pentecost, May 22, 33 AD when 3000 souls were saved (Acts 2:41), starting the church age.
Clear historical records demonstrate that Jerusalem was finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. We also know that, by studying the life of Apostle John, that the Holy Bible was completed in about 95 AD.
[Part III will explore the Biblical evidence that we are indeed in the very final days of this Creation.]
Vince Des Roches resides in Napa Valley, California.
His website – http://www.areyouwatchingorsleeping.com/ – contains a great deal of information on history’s timeline, end times, and God’s Salvation Plan.