Events During The Reign Of Saul -- By: Gordon H. Lovik

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 12:3 (Fall 1969)
Article: Events During The Reign Of Saul
Author: Gordon H. Lovik


Events During The Reign Of Saul

Gordon H. Lovik

Registrar Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis

The period of Old Testament history from 1107 to 1011 B.C. can be understood chronologically because of two Scripture verses. In I Kings 6:1 the dedication of the temple in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign (966 B.C.) occurred 480 years after the exodus. This demands that the exodus be dated at 1445. The children of Israel spent the next forty years in wilderness wanderings, not able to enter the promised land until 1405. In Judges 11:26, Jephthah in an “official diplomatic parley” declares that the children of Israel were in Amorite country (Canaan) 300 years before the Ammonite oppression began (1105).

In agreement with Joseph Wesley Schmidt’s “The Joshua-Judges Chronology” and the “Chart of Old Testament Patriarchs and Judges” by John C. Whitcomb, Jr., this writer accepts the dates for the Ammonite oppression as 1105–1087 and the Philistine oppression from 1087 to 1047. In 1047 Israel defeated the Philistine army at Ebenezer.

All of this dating with accuracy was made possible as a result of Edwin R. Thiele’s work, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. By using the Assyrian eponym lists, Edwin Thiele was able to ascertain that the battle of Qarqar was in 853 and that this took place in the last year of Ahab’s reign. With 853 fixed as the last year of Ahab, the data in the Massoretic text made it possible to ascertain the date of the first year of Jeroboam I and the schism between Judah and Israel. Then with an interval of 78 years between the accession of Jeroboam I and the death of Ahab, and with the latter taking place in 853 B.C., the date 931 B.C. is the year of Jeroboam’s accession and of the schism between Judah and Israel.

The length of the reign of Solomon is forty years (I Kings 11:42), of David forty years (II Sam. 5:4), and of Saul and his family (Ishbosheth-Abner) forty years (compare Acts 13:21; I Sam. 13:1;

II Sam. 2:8–11). There must be an overlapping of reigns during

David’s first seven and one-half years while he was in Hebron. This means that Solomon reigned from 971–931, David from 1011–971 (the first seven and one-half years in Hebron), and Saul from 1043–1011, with the final seven and one-half years of his dynasty in Mah...

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