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In the foregoing chronological tables, the numbers in the different columns are synchronical, taken collaterally, so that any event that has happened within the limits of the tables, may be found in front 10 to 17 different epochs. Thus, if the reader wishes to know in what year of the various epochs the death of Nahor the father of Abraham happened, he will at once see by a reference to Table IÍ. that this event took place in the year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Ussher, 1997, the year before the Incarnation 2007, in the year of the Julian period 2707, in the year from the Deluge 340, and in the year before the first Olympiad 1231, all of which correspond with the 15th year of the reign of Apachnas, king of the Egyptians: and the 31st of the reign of Europs, king of the Sicyonians : --which also correspond with the 941st year of the life of Noah :-the 439th year of that of Shen : -the 339th of Arphazad :--the 304th of salah:-the 274th of Heber :-the 210th of Reu :-the 178th of Serug :--and the 119th year of the life of Terah.
N. B.—The numbers in Table II. pointing out the years of the life of the different patriarchs, are all adopted to the com. mencement of the corresponding tabular years of the world; so that the year of the birth of any patriarch is not to be referred to the A. M. corresponding to the tabular year of his life, 1, but to the year immediately preceding. Thus Aaron was born some tim in A. M. 2430, but at the beginning of A. M. 24
II. shows hi have been in the first year of his life : yet, before the conclusion of that year he entered upon his second year, therefore A. M. 2432 corresponds to the tabular year of his life, 2.
BOOK OF JUDGES.
The personnelled the decade lites who
govern HE persons called Judges, D'un Shophetim, from yow shaphat, to judge, discern, regulate, and direct, were the
the Hebrew public from the days of Moses and Joshua, till the time of Saul. The word judge is not to be taken here in its usual signification, i. e. one who determines controversies, and denounces the judgment of the law in criminal cases; but one who directs and rules a state or nation with sovereign power, administers justice, makes peace or war, and leads the armies of the people over whom he presides. Officers with the same power, and nearly with the same name, were established by the Tyrians in new Tyre, after the destruction of old Tyre, and the termination of its regal state. The Carthagenian Sufetes appear to have been the saine as the Hebrew Shophetim; as were also the Archons among the Athenians, and the Dictators among the ancient Romans. But they were neither hereditary governors, nor were they chosen by the people: they were properly vicegerents, or lieutenants of the supreme God; and were always among the Israelites, chosen by him, in a supernatural way. They had no power to make or change the laws; they were only to execute them under the direction of the Most High. God, therefore, was King in Israel : the government was a theocracy: and the judges were his deputies. The office, however, was not continual, as there appear intervals in which there was no judge in Israel. And, as they were extraordinary persons, they were only raised up on extraordinary occasions, to be instruments in the hands of God of delivering their nation from the oppression and tyranny of the neighbouring powers. They had neither pomp nor state; nor does it appear that they had any kind of emoluments.
The Chronology of the Book of Judges is extremely embarrassed and difficult; and there is no agreement among learned men concerning it. When the deliverances, and consequent periods of rest, so frequently mentioned in this book, took place, cannot be satisfuctorily ascertained. Archbishop Ussher, and those who follow him, suppose that the rests, or times of peace, should be reckoned, not from the time in which a particular judge gave them deliverance; but from the period of the preceding deliverance, e. g. It is said that Othniel, son of Kenaz, defeated Chushan-rishathaim, Judges iii. 9. and the land had rest forty years. After the death of Othniel the Israelites again did wickedly, and God delivered them into the hands of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Amalekites ; and this oppression continued eighteen years, Judges ini. 15. Then God raised up Ehud, who, by killing Eglon, king of Moab, and gaining a great victory over the Moabites, in which he slew ten thousand of their best soldiers, obtained a rest
for the land, which lasted forty years, Judges iii. 15, 30. which rest is not counted from this deliverance wrought by Ehud, but from that wrought by Othniel, mentioned above; leaving out the eighteen years of oppression under Eglon, king of Moab: and so of the rest. This is a most violent manner of settling chronological difficulties: a total perversion of the ordinary meaning of terms, and not likely to be intended by the writer of this book.
Sir John Marsham, aware of this difficulty, has struck out a new hypothesis: he supposes that there were judges on each side Jordan; and that there were particular wars in which those beyond Jordan had no part. He observes that from the Exodus to the building of Solomon's temple was four hundred and eighty years, which is precisely the time mentioned in the Sacred Writings, 1 Kings vi. 1. and that from the time in which the Israelites occupied the land beyond Jordan, to the days of Jephthah, was three hundred years. But in reckoning up the years of the judges, from the death of Moses to the time of Ibzan, who succeeded Jephthah, there appears to be more than three hundred years; and from Jephthah to the fourth year of Solomon, in which the foundation of the temple was laid, there are again more than one hundred and fifty years : we must, therefore, either find out some method of reconciling these differences, or else abandon these epochs; but, as the latter cannot be done, we must have recourse to some plan of modification. Sir John Marsham's plan is of this kind : the common plan is that of Archbishop Ussher. I shall produce ihem both, and let the reader choose for himself.
Who the author of the Book of Judges was, is not known: some suppose that each judge wrote his own history; and that the book has been compiled from those separate accounts; which is very unlikely. Others ascribe it to Phinehas, to Samuel, to Hezekiah, and some to Ezra. "But it is evident, that it was the work of an individual, and of a person who lived posterior to the time of the Judges, see ch. ii. 10, &c. and most probably of Samuel.
The duration of the government of the Israelites by judges, from the death of Joshua to the commencement of the reign of Saul, was about three hundred and thirty-nine years. But as this book does not include the government of Eli, nor Samuel, but ends with the death of Samson, which occurred in A. M. 2887; consequently, it includes only three hundred and seventeen years: but the manner in which these are reckoned is very different, as we have seen above; and as will be more particularly evident in the following tables, by Archbishop Ussher and Sir John Marsham,
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THIS BOOK, ACCORDING TO ARCHBISHOP USSHER.
2599 the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord ; the idol
The land enjoys rest about sixty-two years.
2662 atry of Micah, the conquest of Laish, and the idola
Second servitude, under Eglon, king of Moab, which try of a part of the tribe of Dan, are to be referred, lasted eighteen years. which are mentioned, ch. xvii. and xviii. 2585 Ehud delivers Israel.
2679 The story of the Levite and his concubine, and the war
After him appears Shamgar, and the land enjoys rest which succeeded it, ch. xix. XX. xxi.
to the cightieth year, from the termination of the first This includes a period of about twenty-two years, deliverance, procured by Othniel, ch. iii. 15–30. viz. fifteen for the time of the elders who survived Joshua,
The third servitude, under the Canaanites, which lasted and seven years of anarchy and rest, after which the Is. twenty years, ch. iv. raelites fell under the domination of Chushan-rishathaim,
Deborah and Barak deliver Israel.
9719 king of Mesopotamia.
From the deliverance procured by Ehud, to the end The first servitude, under Chushan, which lasted eight of the government of Deborah and Barak, was forty years, began in 2591, and ended in 2599. Othnici deli 2591
A. M. About this time the Assyrian empire was founded by
Death of Jair, ch. x. 5.
2816 Minus, son of Belus. The Assyrians had, previously to
Jephthah is chosen judge, and defeats the Ammonites. 2817 this, reigned five hundred and twenty years over a
Forty-two thousand Ephraimites slain at the passage pert of Asia; but Ninus forming a league with Arious, 2737 of Jordan. Jephthah governs six years, ch. xi. xii. king of the Arabs, conquered the whole of Asia, and
Troy is taken by the Greeks, after a siege of ten governed it for seventeen years. He reigned in all fifty
years. two years.
Death of Jephthah. Izan governs seven years. 2920 The fourth servitude, under the Midianilcs, which
Elon succeeds him, and governs ten years.
2823 lasted seven years.-Judges vi.
2752 Semiramis dies, aged 62, having reigned forty-two Gideon delivers Israel. 2759 years: she is succeeded by Ninyas.
2830 From the rest procured by Deborah and Barak, to the
Abdon judges Israel eight years, beginning from 2840. 2840 deliverance by Gideon, are forty years, ch. vi. vii. viii.
Eli judges Israel after the death of Abdon, forty After the death of Gideon the people fall into idolatry.
2848 Abimelech, natural son of Gideon, kills seventy of his
The sixth servitude, under the Philistines, which lasted brethren, ch. ix.
2768 forty years, ch. xii. 1. It began seven years after the Abimelech is proclaimed king by the Shechemites. 2769 commencement of the government of Eli. He reigas three years, and was killed at the siege of
The birth of Samson, ch. xii. 24.
2771 Marriage of Samson; he begins to deliver Israel, and Tola governs after Abimelech twenty-three years. 2772 continues twenty years.
2867 The commencement of the kingdom of the Lydians,
Samson burns the corn of the Philistines, and kills a under Argon, who reigned in Sardis. This empire con thousand of them with a jaw-bone of an ass, Judges xv. 2868 tinued five hundred and five years.--Herodot. l. i. c. 7. 2781 Samson is betrayed by his wife, delivered into the
Semiramis marries Ninus, and reigns forty-two years hands of the Philistines, and has his eyes put out. The over almost the whole of Asia. Jair succeeds Tola, and same year he pulls down a temple, in the ruins of which governs twenty-two years.
2789 himself and multitudes of the Philistines are buried, The fifth seroitude, under the Philistines, which lasted
2887 eighteen years.
2795 The death of Eli, and the beginning of the governGod delivers the Israelites who dwelt beyond Jordan, ment of Samuel, who delivers Israel from the oppression from the Ammonites, &c. ch. x. 18. 2799 of the Philistines, 1 Sam. vii. 14.
This is in substance the chronology of Archbishop Ussher on this period : the correctness of which is justly questioned.
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE BOOK OF JUDGES ACCORDING TO THE SCHEME OF SIR JOHN
Years after the Exodus.
the Exodus, Joshua governs Israel twenty-five years from the Ex
Abimelech reigns three years at Sichem.
293 odus, to the sixty-fifth ycar after that deliverance.
Tola judges Israel twenty-three years. Death of Joshua, aged 110 years.
Jair judges Israel twenty-two years. Government of the elders.
40 Fifth servitude under the Ammonites, beyond Jordan, Anarchy and idolatry, thirty.four years after Joshua. 65 three hundred years after the Israelites had taken posses. First servitude under Chushan, lasts eight years.
99 sion of the land. This servitude lasted eighteen years. 340 Othniel, son-in-law of Caleb, defeats Chusban.
Jephthah delivers Israel.
363 Forty years' rest.
107 While the Ammonites oppressed Israel on the other Second servitude under Eglon, who oppressed the Jews side of Jordan, the Philistines afflicted those on this beyond Jordan, and a part of the Benjamites, eighteen side of that river. This servitude lasted forty years; years.
during which Samson and Eli were judges : but they did Ehud slays Eglon, and delivers his country.
not wholly deliver Israel. They were not delivered till Peace of fourscore years beyond Jordan; which con. the time of Samuel, three hundred and eighty-three years tinues till the invasion of the Midianites.
after the Exodus.
383 Third servitude under Jabin; who chiefly oppressed During this interval God raised up Ibzan, who judged the tribes which dwelt in the northen parts of Canaan. Israel seven years: and This servitude lasted twenty years.
185 Elon, who judged ten years: and Shamgar kills 600 Philistines and delivers Israel. 194 Abdon, who judged eight years; but neither the year
Deborah and Barak defeat Sisera; aided by the tribes of the commencement of their office, nor of their death, of Zebulun and Naphtali.
203 can be exactly ascertained. Rest of fort years; which continues to the two hun.
Saul reigns forty years.
03 dred and forty-third year of the Exodus.
Darid reigns forty years.
443 Fourth servitude under the Midianites, which lasts se
Solomon begins to reign, four hundred and seventy-six ven years. 243 years after the Exodus:
476 Gideon delivers Israel, assisted by Asher, Zebulun, And lays the foundation of the temple in the fourth and Naphtali.
These are the schemes of those two great chronologists, as exhibited by Calmet.
Dr. Hales, dissatisfied with these schemes, and with all others hitherto published, strikes out a new path; and, following the chronology of Josephus, with some corrections, makes the whole period, from the time of Joshua and the elders, who survived him, to the election of Saul, four hundred and ninety-eight years, which he accounts for thus :
In the general introduction of his Analysis of Scripture Chronology, he endeavours to show that the interval from the Exodus to the foundation of Solomon's temple, was six hundred and twenty-one years : from which, subtracting one hundred and twenty-three years, (namely forty years from the Exodus to this return, eighty years from the two reigns of Saul and David, and the three first years of Solomon,) the remainder is four hundred and ninety-eight years.
But,” says the learned and indefatigable Doctor, "although we are indebted to Josephus for this, and for supplying some material chasms in the sacred annals; such as-1. The administration of Joshua and the elders, twenty-five years. 2. The ensuing anarchy, eighteen years. 3. The administration of Shamgar, one year: and, 4. Of Samuel, iwelve years. Still his detail of the outline there given requires correction.
“For, 1. The year ascribed to Shamgar's administration is too short, as is evident from Deborah's account, Judg. v.6; I have therefore included it, with David Ganz, in Ehud's enormous administration of eighty years, and transferred the one year to Joshua's, making that twenty-six years. 2. I have restored Abdon's administration of eight years, omitted by Josephus, and deducted it from the eighteen years he assigns to the anarchy, thereby reducing the latter to its correct length of ten years. 3. I have dated the first division of the conquered lands in the sixth year, which Josephus reckoned in the fifth year; because Caleb was forty years old when Moses sent him as one of the spies from KadeshBarnea, in the second year after the exode ; consequently he was thirty-nine years old at the exode; and therefore seventy-nine years old, forty years after at the arrival in Canaan ; but he was eighty-five years old when he claimed and got the hill of Hebron for an inheritance; and therefore 85 — 79= 6 years after the arrival in Canaan. Compare Numb. x. 11. xiii. 6. with Josh. xiv. 6—15. 4. Josephus has omitted the date of Samuel's call to be a prophet, 1 Sam. iii. 1-19. which St. Paul reckons four hundred and fifty years after the first division of lands, Acts xiii. 19, 20. and which, therefore, commenced with the ten last years of Eli's administration of forty years. This last most important chronological character from the New Testament, verifies the whole of this rectification; while it demonstrates the spuriousness of the period of four hundred and eighty years in the present Masorele text of 1 Kings vi. 1. from the exode to the foundation of Solomon's temple."
Following the chronology of Josephus, in preference to the Hebrew text, his table of the Judges is as
follows:Years. B. C.
18 1271 Second division of lands,
7 1247 I. Servitude to the Mesopotamians,
1240 2 Othniel,
S 1230 II. Servitude to the Moabites,
18 1524 VI. Servitude to the Philistines, 40 20 1222 3 Ehud and Shamgar,
20 1202 III. Servitude to the Canaanites, 20 1426
40 30 1182 4 Deborah and Barak,
10 1152 IV. Servitude to the Midianites,
1366 VII. Servitude to the Philistines, 20 11 12 5 Gideon, 1359 15 Samuel,
1122 6 Abimelech,
1319 71 Tola,
498 1110 "The only alteration here made, in the present text of Josephus, is, the insertion of Tola and his administration of twenty-three years, (Judg: x. 1, 2.) which are inadvertently omitted between Abimelech and Jair, Ant. 5. 7. 15. page 56. but evidently were included in the original scheme of Josephus, as being requisite to complete the period of six hundred and twenty-one years, To Abdon no years are assigned by Josephus, Ant. 5.7. 15. page 215. perhaps designedly, for Clemens Alexandrinus relates that gome chronologers collected together the years of Abatthan and Ebron, Abdon and Elon,) or made them contemporary. But we may easily reconcile Josephus with SCRIPTUBE, by only deducting eight years from the eighteen years' interregnum after Joshua, which will give Abdon his quota of years, and leave that interregnum its juster length of ten years.
“It is truly remarkable, and a proof of the great skill and accuracy of Josephus in forming the outline of this period, that he assigns, with St. Paul, a reign of forty years to Saul, Acts xiii. 21. which is omitted in the OLD TESTAMENT! His outline also corresponds with St. Paul's period of four hundred and fifty years from the division of the conquered lands of Canaan, until Samud the prophet." See Dr. Hale's Chronology, vol. i. page 16, 17. vol. ii. page 28. 5–8.
Another method of removing these difficulties has been lately attempted in a new edition of the Universal History; but of conjectures there is no end: if the truth be not found in some of the preceding systems, the difficulties, I fear, must remain. I have my doubts whether the author of this book ever designed to produce the subject in a strici chronological series. The book, in several places, appears to have been composed of historical memoranda, having very little relation to each other, or among themselves; and particularly what is recorded in the beginning and the end. There is, however, one light in which the whole book may be viewed, which renders it invaluable: it is a most remarkable history of the long-suffering of God toward the Israelites, in which we find the most signal instances of his justice and his mercy alternately displayed: the people sinned, and were punished; they repented, and found mercy. Something of this kind we meet in every page. And these things are written for our warning: none should presume, for God is just: none need despair, for God is MERCIFUL,