Earthquakes, Leprosy and Jotham's Govenorship.
On October 14th 2007 in the Jerusalem Post Judy Siegel-Itzkovich published an article entitled: 749 CE Golan quake shows another is overdue, in which mention was made of an earthquake in Israel in 749 BCE.
The discovery by Tel Aviv University scientists that a major earthquake (over 7 on the Richter scale) took place on the Golan Heights in the year 749 CE - and none of similar magnitude in some 975 years - means the area is long overdue for another one.
"Strong earthquakes were recorded in 31 BCE, 363 CE, 749 CE and 1033 CE, coming every 350 to 400 years."
Various dates from 746-749 BCE have been suggested for this earthquake, but according to a JSTOR article, 749 BCE is the correct date.
The Israelite prophet Amos, (father of Isaiah who commenced his ministry in the year that King Uzziah died), made mention of the earthquake.
Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he envisioned in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
King Uzziah of Judah, died a few years after the earthquake, having spent the last part of his life as a leper. 2 Chronicles Chapter 26:16-22
Athough there is no direct mention in the books of Kings, Chronicles, Amos or Isaiah of any connection between Uzziah's illness and the earthquake, Josephus in Antiquities Book 9 Chapter 10:4 does.
In the mean time a great earthquake shook the ground (21) and a rent was made in the temple, and the bright rays of the sun shone through it, and fell upon the king's face, insomuch that the leprosy seized upon him immediately.
(21) This account of an earthquake at Jerusalem at the very same time when Uzziah usurped the priest's office, and went into the sanctuary to burn incense, and of the consequences of the earthquake, is entirely wanting in our other copies, though it be exceeding like to a prophecy of Jeremiah, now in Zechariah 14:4, 5; in which prophecy mention is made of "fleeing from that earthquake, as they fled from this earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah;" so that there seems to have been some considerable resemblance between these historical and prophetical earthquakes.
What is interesting about Josephus' statements is that within the King's Calendar historical reconstruction of Israelite History, 749 BCE is the year in which it is calculated that Jotham (Uzziah's son) began his governorship. This is to say, that it was in 749 BCE that King Uzziah retired from public life.
It must be pointed out here that there is no mention in the Bible as to when Jotham took over his governorship. The King's Calendar, working solely from a computer generated mathematical formula, did something that no one else has ever done - it accepted that the chronological reference in 2 Kings 15:30 is not an error but refers to the Twenty years since Jotham commenced his governorship.
2 Kings 15:30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.
One reason no one accepts the accuracy of this Scriptural reference is that elsewhere, the Bible appears to contradict it. It says that Jotham reigned only 16 years and also that Hoshea King of Samaria commenced during the reign of King Ahaz of Judah, who succeeded Jotham.
2 Kings 16:1
In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
2 Kings 17:1
In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years.
However, when the King's Calendar accepted the Scriptural Reference as correct, and counted back the 20 artificial years on the calendar, the date arrived at was 749 BCE - The same year as the Earthquake - The same year the Josephus says the Uzziah became a leper.
There are a lot of problems within Biblical Chronology, the two biggest of which are Academic arrogance, and Anti-Biblical bias, and we should not let ourselves be fooled, just because someone has a specialist degree.
In 2004 I wrote an article just on that matter, and I should like to reprint it here.
Academic Opinion Versus Fact
(20th February 2004)
In the last newsletter I wrote about Academic opinions and arrogance, and made the statement that academics can refuse to examine an objection to some matter because their noses are out of joint. I also talked about their 'sometimes' failure to draw a clear distinction between 'Opinion' and 'Fact'.
In this issue I want to talk about this issue of 'Opinion versus Fact'.
Opinion Vs. Fact.
In the first Issue I made mention of the Battle of Qarqar and the erroneous opinion that Ahab was party to that Battle; and in the second issue, I made mention of 2 King's 15:30 which refers to the twentieth year of Jotham's reign, but which is rejected by everyone as erroneous.
When we read that some expert says this or that, we are naturally inclined to accept that they know what they are talking about, but in reference to the two cases sited above, the 'fact' of the matter is, that neither religious nor secular academics have ever 'proved' their theories to be correct, and the 'fact' that these points in history are constantly being challenged, examined and argued over, demonstrates clearly enough, that the 'chronological' aspect at the very least, has not yet been satisfied beyond everyone's doubt. [At this point, take note that between Ahab's death (c.853BCE current academic opinion) and the death of Menehem (in Uzziah's 39th year), 123 years elapse. If Ahab died c.853BCE, then Menehem died c.730 BCE. We will come back to this.]
'But what about the evidence?' you ask. Well what about it? The only people in antiquity to have recorded their history in any fashion similar to ourselves (sequentially and synchronously), were the Israelites, but the record that they left is excessive of what is known to have existed for the divided kingdom of Israel (From Solomon's death until Samaria fell in 722BCE).
Every time you see or hear an historian or archaeologist quote chronological material from the Bible, they are 'pulling your chain'. They manipulate your trust in the Bible and direct it toward 'themselves'. You see, THEY not only cannot fit the Biblical chronological data into known history, but as it is currently perceived, it does not in fact, fit into known history. The true history of the Jews was concealed in an artificial calendar, which transformed twelve real years into thirteen artificial years, and thereby lengthened history.
So while in one place they will quote Scripture to back up what they say, in another place, they will simply dismiss what the Bible says, and adjust the figures to suit themselves. The 'King's Calendar' does not do this. It accepts the Biblical Chronological figures as they are, but gives each year a value of 336 days instead of 365 days.
This of course might be considered to be idiotic, but to quote Davies. P. [1992 The Mind of G-d. New York. Simon and Schuster. p.25] ' A powerful theory is one that is highly vulnerable to falsification, and so can be tested in many detailed and specific ways'. The 'King's Calendar' claim that the Biblical Chronological Data is recorded in years of 336 day years, can be demonstrated, by synchronizing all the synchronous material and seeing if it fits into the known history for this period. No one else has ever been able to do it, AND THAT IS A FACT.
So when academics talk about Biblical Times in a 'factual' manner, in fact they are really only giving you their opinion, and some of it is extremely highly qualified. Their opinions are worth hearing, and deliberating upon, and examining, but never be misled into believing that they are speaking 'factually'.
Now take for example the matter of King Uzziah's son Jotham. The Bible makes it plain that he reigned as governor for his father after his father fell ill, and no one knows when the event occurred, except for Josephus' mention of an earthquake around that time. The Bible says that Jotham reigned sixteen years, but most academics will make his reign disappear as a co-regency, because it is the only way they know how to fit his reign into all of the other chronological data.
The fact of the matter is, that between 750BCE and 701 BCE (Hezekiah's fourteenth year) when Sennacherib invaded Judah, everything recorded in the Bible 'appears' to be topsy turvy, and no one has yet been able to figure it all out.
1. Currently historians require Menehem of Israel to be alive in either 743 BCE or 738BCE (depending on which historian you follow), and his last year according to the bible was the 49th of the 52 years that Uzziah reigned.
2. Therefore until 701 BCE which is Hezekiah's 14th year, 49 years must pass; being the three years left to Uzziah, the sixteen year reign of Jotham, the sixteen year reign of Ahaz and Hezekiah's fourteen years.
3. Therefore, Menehem (if we follow ordinary solar years) must have died in 750 BCE (not 730BCE as mentioned previously),
4. This is an impossibility from an historical point of view because he could not have had dealings with Tiglath-Pileser III, because he did not take the throne of Assyria until 745 BCE.
5. So there is a problem.
Everyone makes guesses, they opinion, and they presume, but they don't actually know how it all fits together, and to this day they continue to argue over this and that in an effort to marry all the chronological and historical data. And should you check the lengths of the reigns that they assign to the various kings of this period, you will see that they don't agree with what the Bible says, let alone each other, but they will still use the Biblical quotes to prove that they are right.
At the end of the day, they are not offering 'facts', just 'learned opinion', and as far as that is concerned, they are even still arguing over when the various dynasties of Egypt ruled, disagreeing with each other by up to 200 years, and caught up in that disagreement, is the whole question of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt under Moses.
In the final analysis, despite what they appear to say, the boys in the 'know', don't actually 'KNOW'; they are still trying to work it all out.
The 'King's Calendar' on the other hand, relying totally on the chronological information provided in the Bible, has been able to demonstrate that it is correct, and that apart from some small disagreements with CURRENT OPINION, demonstrates that the history recorded within it, neatly fits within (broadly speaking) the understanding of Ancient Near Eastern History.
Assyrian, Babylonian and Israelite History 8th Century by R.P. BenDedek
The 'King's Calendar' reconstruction of Biblical chronology for this time period, has as it's firm foundation, the established 'academic' fact that King Hezekiah of Judah had his 14th regnal year in 701 BCE. Working back through history, the 'King's Calendar' finds little fault with the Biblical chronological references, however, it becomes obvious that some of the king's have been misidentified. Part of academic confusion over this particular period of Israelite history, results directly from reliance upon the biblical narratives which clearly state that it was King Ahaz of Judah who appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria for assistance, during the Syro-Ephraimitic War against Rezin of Damascus, and Pekah of Israel.
Most Recent Social Commentary
Putting Women and Gays in their place
by R.P. BenDedek
April 25, 2013
The Western World is asleep or otherwise so preoccupied with its politically correct agendas, that it doesn't see the forest for the trees. Islam today, is like the Christianity of the Middle Ages - determined by hook or by crook to convert the world, and like the Roman Catholic Church of old, is full of people whose 'method of conversion choice' is the sword (or in our case - terrorism).
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (http://www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" 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.