The Interphased Chronology of Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah And Hoshea -- By: Harold G. Stigers

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 09:2 (Spring 1966)
Article: The Interphased Chronology of Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah And Hoshea
Author: Harold G. Stigers

The Interphased Chronology of Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah And Hoshea 1

Harold G. Stigers

Up until the appearance of The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings 2 by Edwin Thiele in 1951, the possibility of the harmonization of the dates for the Hebrew kings as given in the Book of Kings seemed impossibly remote, if not actually irreconcilable. The apparent conflict of data is seemingly due to the fact that an eye-witness account takes things as they are with no attempt being made to harmonize apparently contradictory data, nor to state outright the clues as to the relationships which would make it possible in an easy manner to coordinate the reigns of the kings. Living in the times of the kings of Israel and Judah, and understanding completely the circumstances, and writing a message, the significance of which is not dependent on the dates being harmonized, the authors of the records used in Kings felt no need of explaining coordinating data.

However, if the dating were to be harmonized, the viewpoint that the present text of the Old Testament represents a careful transmission of the Hebrew text through the centuries, 3 would receive a great testimony to its accuracy. Now, with the work of Thiele, that testimony has, in a great measure, been given, but not without one real lack, in that for him, the chronology of the period of Jotham through Hezekiah is twelve years out of phase. 4 In this point for him the chronology is contradictory and requires the belief that the synchronisms of 2 Ki. 18:9, 10 and 18:1 are the work of a later harmonizing hand, not in the autograph written by the inspired prophet. 5

The method correlating the synchronizations between the Judean and Israelite kings of the time of 753/52 B.C. to 685 B.C. will be basically the same as that used by Thiele: the use of absolute correspondences

between Biblical events and Assyrian chronology, working both ways therefrom and supporting the chronology by interpretation of Biblical data. By charting them on a spine of years B.C., as seen in the accompanying chart, the correspondences and problems are more easily seen and solution found.

The Problems

There are three problems in this period: one relating to the length of the reign of Ahaz, one relating to the reign of Pekah of Israe...

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