Seder Olam Rabbah is Jewish literature of second century A.D that deals with Bible Chronology.
Why is Seder Olam Important?
Because it was the first real attempt to work out the history of Creation. Unfortunately, it has a major flaw:
1. Rabbi Yose's order is viewed by all authorities as the only accepted Rabbinic count from creation. But there is a difference of 170 years between Rabbinic chronology and conventional chronology. Conventional chronology states that the Persians ruled Israel from 539 BC to 332 BC (207 years). Rabbinic chronology says the Persians ruled for 52 years.]
2. Since the historical records of Israel will have taken precedence over the profane, it would have been necessary to compress secular history. [The reverse happens today]. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Persian Period (539-332 BCE), measuring approx. 207 years was reduced to 52 years, a discrepancy of 155 years.
What is the Seder Olam Rabbah?
Listed in point fashion, are concise details provided in four websites1, that give insight into this Question.
1. Jewish literature of second century A.D
2. Dated to about 160 AD.
3. It was first printed in 1514.
4. It is a Midrashic chronological work
5. Generally regarded as a work of the tanna Jose b. Halafta. [The "tannaim" were the masters of the "oral law," i.e. the men who wrote the Talmud.]
6. It is terribly flawed in the chronology it presents
7. Results in Adam having been created in 3760 B.C.
8. It attempts to chronologise ancient history from various ancient Israelite historical works
9. It is a chronological record extending from Adam to the revolt of Bar Kokba
10. It is complete only up to the time of Alexander the Great;
11. From Alexander to Hadrian occupies a very small portion at he end of 'chapter' 30.
12. Originally the "Seder 'Olam" was more extensive
13. In its present form the work consists of thirty chapters
14. Each ten chapters forms a section, or "gate."
15. It probably consisted of two parts
16. The 2nd part dealing with the post-Alexandrian period, has been lost
17. Many passages quoted in the Talmud are missing in the present edition of the "Seder 'Olam."
18. The writing style follows that of the Sadducees.
19 It is similar to the Ethiopic Book of Jubilees, although more coherent.
20. It records the destruction of the Second Temple as the year 3828 from Creation.
21. The author relates the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel to the time between the destructions of the 1st and 2nd temples.
1 These points were taken from:
Other Worthwhile Online Research sites:
The Kingscalendar Website offers 7 full length and 15 short topical studies on Seder Olam.
7 full length articles on Seder Olam Rabbah
(No.1): A Chronological Study of Seder Olam Rabbah
(No.2): Adam to Joseph : Seder Olam Rabbah
(No.3): The Sojourn in Egypt to The Judgeship of Joshua
(No.4): The Period of the Judges -Seder Olam Rabbah
(No.5): Samuel, and Ark of the Covenant
(No.6): Time Compression: Samuel, Saul and David
(No.7): Reviewing Chronological Totals from Adam to Solomon.
15 short topical articles.
1. What is the Seder Olam Rabbah
2. Seder Olam Chronological Chart : Adam to Abraham:
3. Seder Olam & The 430 year Covenant with Abraham:
4. Joseph in Seder Olam Rabbah:
5. Seder Olam & The Pharaoh who knew not Joseph:
6. Seder Olam & Israel Wandering in the Wilderness:
7. 850 year/17 Jubilees, Joshua to Ezekiel's Vision in 14th year Exile:
8. Comparing Seder Olam Rabbah, Josephus, Book of Judges:
9. Ehud, 80 years of Peace, Jud 3:30 and Erroneous Chronology:
10. How Long was the Ark of the Covenant at Kiriath Jearim?:
11. Seder Olam Confusing Chronology : Samuel, Saul and David:
12: Chronological Discrepancies regarding Samuel, Saul & David.
13: Apportioning the 63 years left for Samuel & Saul
14: How many days in a Biblical year?
15: Chronologies of Samuel,Saul, David & Solomon
Cyrus The Great : Reference File
R.P.BenDedek is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' and a guest columnist at Magic City Morning Star News.
"The King's Calendar" [ on sale - while the economic recession is on], is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls. See Chapter Precis page.
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