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readers, at once, into the very center of his subject, like Homer in the very opening of his poem,
Semper ad eventum feftinat; & in MEDIAS RES
To ascertain the true date of Solomon's accession, it is necessary, that Usher's radical mistake, in connecting the first year of historical time with the number of the Julian Period 710, instead of 706, be rectified.
From the creation to the demise of David, the inter, mediate space is 2991 astronomical years, the last incomplete, at his death. Solomon's reign is therefore dated from the Hebrew month Nisan, A. M. 2991; to this sum add the antemundane numbers of the Julian Period, 705, and the first of Solomon coincides with A. P. J. 3696. In the 40th of his reign he died, and that year, as incomplete, is accounted the first of Rehoboam. From the 39th, therefore, of Solomon exclusively, are the 390 years of forbearance with the apostate tribes computed : SOLOMON'S ACCESSION,
World. J. Per. B. Chr. Historical Arrangements 2991 3696 1017 Ulher's Annals
2991 3701 1013 Falconer's Tables
Obvious is the incongruity of Usher's notations for the number of the Julian Period, and the years before the vulgar era. Falconer does not follow him implicitly, year by year, and deviates so much farther from truth, by injudicious correction,
SOLOMON'S DEATH. '
World. J. Per. B. Chr. 3031 3737 977 3029 3739 975
s of the
he inter [incom
EXPIRATION OF THE 390 YEARS.
3420 4130584 Falconer's Tables
4132 582 The true quantity of the interval from the 39th of Solomon, to the inth of Zedekiah, excluding both, is a problem easy of solution. It is divided into three periods, as in the subjoined scheme.
this fium - Period,
that year, ekoboam. velv, are
2. Revolt of Tribes. 2. The two thrones vacant. 3. Reduction of Samaria.
40 Amaziah 29 Amon
52 Josiah Jchoram 8 Jotham
In col. 1. the 41st of Asa, and 25th of Jeholhaphat are, as current, accounted severally the first of the
subsequent reigns. Thus are the 95 years of this first period reduced to 93: and 93+165+132=390, the last of this number ending some time in the fourth Hebrew month of the xth of Zedekiah. This prince was taken into custody, and transported one full year, after the ultimate term of the Divine patience with the offending house of Israel.
It has been noted, that Usher assigns but 4000 years from the creation to the true historical year of the Incarnation, and that this number is deficient by eight years. Of these 4 have been restored by transferring the date of the creation from the 710th to the 706th of the Julian Period. The Primate retrenches the 23d and 24th of Jeholhaphat, the 40th of Jehoash, and the 16th of Ahaz, not only without authority, but in direct contradiction to every criterion of historical truth. Thus are the 390 prophetical years either reduced to 386, or their expiration brought four years lower than their defined period. But be these four years restored to the reigns of Jeholhaphat, Jehoash, and Ahaz, then chronology will perfectly accord with history, the true year of our Lord's birth with A. M. 4004, and the Vulgar computation with 4008. Thus far concerning those arrangements, which affect the Sacred History alone. It remains to examine
2. The synchronisms of the Sacred and Gentile History. In his advertisement Mr. Falconer notes, “ Whether we adopt the extended calculations of Eratoshenes, or those more contracted by Sir I. Newton, the scripture history is equally distinct from the profane;
and the taking of Troy, wherever, it is placed, has no reference to the Jewish history, or any of the kingdoms connected with it.”
This position is rather bold than just. If it be fusceptible of a good meaning, penetration, in no common degree, is requisite to make the discovery. The Scripture History is distinct from the Profane, because the records of both are distinct. But if those records which contain an account of the kings in Judah and Israel suggest plain intimations of affinity with the royal family of Tyre, and of a famine in Israel and Phænicia, in the reigns of the contemporary princes Ahab and Ethbaal, it seems strange to affirm, that the annals of Tyre have no reference to the Jewish history. Should it appear, from any record, not formally proved to be a counterfeit, that Troy was overthrown in the archonship of Menestheus, an Athenian magistrate, coexistent with Jehoshaphat in Judah, the man who would assert, that such an event had no reference to the history of the Jews or Athenians, might justly be sufpected of sceptical infatuation.
From various, arbitrary and equivocal, positions of Herodotus, and other authorities, equally controvertible, this writer postulates, that Troy was demolished in the I 2th of Rehoboam, which year he marks in parallelism with A. P. J. 3754, and before the vulgar era 960. These notations, however, indicate the 18th of that reign ; or the 60th year prior to the 18th of Jehoshaphat. That arrangement has not the recommendation of one decisive synchronism ; this of Sir I. Newton
cfored E, then
and the arning Story
derives confirmation, equal to the highest degree of moral certainty, from a train of circumstances in chronology, genealogy, and history, all superior to chance, collusion, or imposture.
If these remarks be just, with respect to co-existent characters and events, among jews and gentiles, while the former had national records, and a royal calendar ; it can scarcely be presumed, that these CHRONOLOGICAL TABLES will afford light sufficient, through that dark period, from the overthrow of Jerusalem to the expedition of Xerxes.
On the principles of the old artificial chronology, this prefatory discourse has considerable merit ; but a system, constructed on precarious notions, and at variance with nature and science, can add nothing to the general stock of knowledge, in comparison of which mere erudition and learning avail little. Not altogether without utility are the Tables. For, engrossed on good clean paper, and a sizeable leaf, they may probably soon find their way to those aromatic repositories,
Where pepper, odors, frankincense, are sold.
in vicum vendentem thus et odores, Et piper, et quidquid chartis amicitur ineptis. Hor.