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Ifaac's birth, was the land divided.” The election of the fathers, rightly dated from the call of Abraham, was about 520 years before this divifion; and of Isaac's birth no mention'occurs in the context. The order of the apostle's words, and the strain of his argument, require the computation to proceed in the descending reries from the partition, and by no means admit the retrograde order thence to the birth of Isaac.

The history of Ruth is entirely omitted in the course of the Annals; but in the tract on Sacred Chronology *, is referred to the days of Ehud or Shamgar. Its true date is necessary to determine the time of Obed's birth : And every circumstance favours the suppofition, that Elimelech retired into the land of Moab, in the time, of the famine, during the seven years war with Mi. diant. After ten years, Naomi, having heard that the Lord had visited his people, in giving them bread, re. turned, with Ruth, to Bethlehem. Arrangement of the Chronology from the Exodus to Saul.

Years after the Exodus A. M. 2515 Moses dies .

Joshua succeeds 40 Joshua dies . 40

80 No supreme magistrate 20

100 War with Cushan.. 8

. 108 After Othniel's victory 40 reft over all Canaan War with Eglon - 18 After Ehud's victory, rest 60 over all Canaan - 226 Rest continues, south 20 War with Jabin, north 246 War with Midian, south 7 Rest after Barak’s victory 253

148

166

* P. i. c. 12.

+ Jud. vi. 3-11.

After

Afier Gideon's victory 40 rest over all Canaan 293

3 Abimelech dies - 296 Eli judges in S. and W. 23 Tolah dies * - 319 The Philiftine war begins í Jair judges in N. and E. 320

4. War with Ammon begins 324 17 Jair dies - - 341 1 Jephtha subdues Ammon 342 5 - - dies - 347 7 Ibzan dies - 354 1 Elon succeeds .

355 Eli dies. The ark taken 4 Samuel succeeds - 1 End of the Philistine war 360

4 Elon dies · · 364

8 Abdon dies - 372 Samuel judges all Ifrael I

373 defeats the Philistines 7

380 -- anoints Saul, and abdicates the govern-> 16

A. M. 290.

359

396

ment

From the first year of Eli's government, coincident with the last of Tolah, both excluded, to the death of Abdon, the. intermediate years, common to contemporary judges, are 54, equivalent to the sum retrenched in the Annals, from Joshua's ministry, and to the abridged space between the death of Samson and the accession of Saul.

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Chronology of the Kings.

CHAP. I.

Rules of Computation. TTERE begins a new era, not measured by genera

1 tions, as in the patriarchal ages ; neither by alternate periods of war and reft; but by the reigns of kings, in a regular series. Few and obvious are the rules of computation.

1. Moses ordained, that the years, from the Exodus progressively, thould begin, about the time of the vernal equinox, with the month Abib or Nisan, the term whence the Hebrew festivals were to be regulated; though he retained the primitive order of the months, in buying, selling, and the other transactions of civil life. From chis month also were the reigns computed. For if any king ascended the throne a few days before the same month, it was reckoned to him for a whole year; and with the return of the same month began his second of the new reign t.

• Josephus, Ant. I. 3. z.

+ D Levis Rites and Ceremonies of the Jews, p. 23; and Sir J. Newton's Chronol. ch. iv. p. 296.

THE

The reigns in Judah were computed from this source; though with respect to Hezekiah, Josiah, and their successors, the Metropolitan contends, that their years were computed from the vacancy of the throne. His arguments are fallacious. · 2. REIGNS of a few days, or months, are included in those before or after, agreeably to the expressed notations of time.

3. PARTNERSHIP in royalty is never to be admitted, except on the authority of the sacred writers, for one or more years. The last year of David was not comprehended in the first of Solomon ; for though the latter was anointed in the currency of that year, yet was his accession not reckoned from the date of his consecration, much less from the foregoing Nisan, as in the Annals ; but from the first month of the subfequent, the 81 ft from the inauguration of Saul *.

Asa reigned 41 years t. But he died in the 41st, and the last, as incomplete, was the first of Jeholhaphat, though not so marked in the Annals. Neither was the 40th of Jehoalh the first of Amaziah, though the Primate, without the least colour of historical evidence, puts them in coincidence. In the like arbitrary manner, is the first of Hezekiah lost in the 16th of Ahaz. With respect to joint reigns of more than one year, the rule is determinate.

4. If the years common to two sovereigns were full, all belong to the senior. If he died during the currendy of

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the last, that was accounted the first of the successor. From notations abundantly decisive, certain it is, that Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign while his father was king of Judah. The reign of the fon had a two-fold commencement:-One, two years before the other Jehoram ascended the throne of Samaria, while Jehoshaphat was living ;-another, after his decease, in the fifth of that other Jehoram. These characters of time are infallible; though it is difficult to reconcile all the terms of coincidence, Whatever was the duration of the joint reign *, the 25th and last of the father, as incomplete, and that only, is reckoned to the son, by the first rule.

“ Uzziah was a leper unto the day of his death, and he dwelt in a several house; and Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land +.", In what year of his reign this malady was inflicted, is uncertain. The text denotes continuance of time. An interval of six years may, though with less certainty, be supposed. But the notations of time, in the context, evince that the 52 years, ascribed to the father, were full, prior to the sole reign of the son.

5. IŅ these two reigns (for none other is to be admitted as common to two sovereigns), the genealogies require, that the specified ages of Jehoram and Jotham be computed from the first commencement of their respective reigns; and as the precise date of the conjunct sovereignty is, in neither case, defined, a sufficient

* Four years seem to be the most probable quantity. + 2 K. xv. 5:

number

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