Nebuchadnezzar and those 80 years

James Ussher's chronology of 1650 and later chronologies have been used extensively in many editions of the King James Bible. They show the fall of Jerusalem as occurring around 586 BC, and follow Ptolemy's secular Canon of Kings (160 AD) - a list which excluded Darius the Mede.

However, about 80 years needs to come off from each year published by Greek historian Herodotus (and later altered for political purposes). It appears Herodotus lived many years later than the period (484 BC - 425 BC) normally allotted to him, and thus when Alexander's teacher Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) refers to Herodotus as a historian — and there appear no personal references to Herodotus's name prior to this — Aristotle was speaking of him as a contemporary.

Click here for the four Persian kings that followed Cyrus the Great.

Click here for a reconciled Greek history.

The early church (and Jewish chronology) were very conscious of Daniel's 69 sevens prophecy that after 70 years of exile in Babylon, which had begun during the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 25:1-11, Daniel 1:1 the Jews were permitted to return to Jerusalem. There then followed "7 sevens" - of rebuilding the city and the walls - followed by "62 sevens" and then the Messiah would be cut off. Therefore, 70 years + 69 times 7 years meant there must have been 553 years prior to March 31 AD click here when the crucifixion occurred which takes us back to 523 BC (there is no year zero). Thus the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign involved coming to Jerusalem in 524 BC then taking Daniel and the others away perhaps around March 523 BC. Although the year is mentioned, the day and month is not. The destruction of the city occurred in his 19th year, in the month of July/August 506 BC rather than Ptolemy's account of 586 BC.

This introduced an 80 (or so) year discrepancy back to the foundation of the temple, which Ussher recorded as occurring in 1012 BC (instead of 931 BC). However, his use of that year being the "480th year" since the Exodus fails to account for 94 "enslaved" / uncounted years during the period of the Judges, as seen in Paul's account in the Book of Acts click here for these years. So it introduced a nett discrepancy of 14 years (or so) — the Exodus was recorded by him as occurring about 1491 BC (rather than 1505 BC) and Adam created in October, at the Jewish start of 4004 BC (rather than 4018 BC).
Click here for a summary of these years (4004BC - 1491BC) as published in Answers in Genesis.

PostScript - the Seventh Day Adventist Church

  1. James Ussher declared Jesus was born at start of 4 BC, exactly 4,000 years after Adam, and showed his crucifixion and resurrection occurring in 33 AD when Jesus was 36¼ years old (37 years from conception).
  2. A timeline chronology was then put together by an American Baptist preacher named William Miller which acknowledged these dates, and then added a new year 1843-1844 a year that came 2300 years after 458-457 BC, Miller's assumed year via Ptolemy for Ezra's return to Jerusalem from Babylon. William Miller assumed Ezra's was the "command to rebuild Jerusalem" in Daniel 9:25, not the clear command to do so that came to Zerubbabel from Cyrus. That assumed year was followed by 483 years, or 69*7 years to 26-27 AD, James Ussher's thirty years of Jesus when he was baptised by John with William Miller assuming it was the baptism, not the crucifixion that saw Jesus "cut off" in Daniel 9:26.
    Now the "2300" reference came from Daniel 8:14, an obscure prophetic word about Alexander the Great and then the endtimes "Antichrist" world ruler, who would deceive the world by being able to understand riddles and (for a season) have ongoing prosperity. The scripture had declared that the scripture itself would not be understood until the end time prior to Christ's return.

    Click here re the "Great Disappointment", many people's subsequent name for that year. William Miller himself then died, five years later.

  3. A follower of his, Ellen G White who helped found the Seventh Day Adventist Church, adjusted Christ's crucifixon from 33 AD to 31 AD following his assumed baptism by John in 27 AD.

Click here for Preterism, an English word based on the Latin word "praeter" for all who believed the prophecies in the Book of Revelation were "prior", took place in 70AD-135AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. A derogatory term apparently first used in 1843 by GS Faber, an Anglican writer and vicar in Durham in England who wrote

"to consider certain vituperative (censuring) prophecies as already accomplished in the course of the first and second centuries; whence, to commentators of this School, we may fitly apply the name of Preterists." — The Sacred Calendar of Prophecy 2nd Edition 1843

Click here for further background to Premillenial and Postmillenial positions and Dispensationalism, terms promoted strongly in the Scofield Reference Bible (first published 1909).

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