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Old 10th February 2009, 11:20 AM
Rob Rob is offline
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Location: Sicily, Italy
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Default Possible Years for the Exodus

The possible year of the Exodus and the year in which the people of Israel entered the Promised Land can be known to the year by taking into account these points:

1. The year in which Israel entered the Promised Land was a Sabbatical Year, for on that year God ordered them not to sow, but eat the fruits of the Land (Lv 25:1-3):

{25:1} And the Lord spoke to Moses on mount Sinai, saying:
{25:2} Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them: When you will have entered into the land which I will give to you, rest on the Sabbath of the Lord.
{25:3} For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall care for your vineyard, and you shall gather its fruits.

That year would have been the first Sabbatical Year celebrated by the ancient Jews and the start of the sabbatical/jubilee year cycle.

2. The first Jubilee Year must have been celebrated 49 year later, that is after this first Sabbatical Year (the year of the entrance of Israel into the Promised Land). That would have been the earliest occasion for the Jubilee Year. The ancient Jews could not possibly celebrate a Jubilee earlier, for then they would have contradicted a law set by God (Lev 28:8-12):

{25:8} You shall also number for yourselves seven weeks of years, that is, seven times seven, which together makes forty-nine years.
{25:9} And you shall sound the trumpet in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, at the time of the atonement, throughout all your land.
{25:10} And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and you shall proclaim a remission for all the inhabitants of your land: for the same is the Jubilee. A man shall return to his possession, and each one shall go back to his original family,
{25:11} for it is the Jubilee and the fiftieth year. You shall not sow, and you shall not reap what grows in the field of its own accord, and you shall not gather the first-fruits of the crop,
{25:12} due to the sanctification of the Jubilee. But you shall eat them as they present themselves.

Nor would they have celebrated it later for the same reason.

From this information we must gather also that the Sabbatical Year we are looking for is not any Sabbatical year, but a particular one, more exactly the Sabbatical Year that begins the cycle.

Technically speaking the year in which the ancient Jews entered the Promised Land would have been a Jubilee Year too, since the Sabbatical Year that coincides with the Jubilee Year is both the last Sabbatical of the former cycle and the first of the new cycle. However that Jubilee Year could not have been celebrated because the sabbatical/jubilee year cycle was just beginning, so the Jews had to wait 49 years from their entrance in the Land before they could celebrate their first Jubilee.

Therefore any Sabbatical Year that happens to coincide with a Jubilee Year is amongst the ones that we are looking for.

3. The time frame for the Entrance into Palestine cannot be later than 1000 B.C., for the reign of Solomon and David is attested at around the year 900. Beside many events do take place before and after that which make a date a 1000 B.C. and later impossible.

4. The Exodus could have not occurred before 1700 B.C. for at that time the horse was not yet introduced in Egypt. Besides Genesis describes Joseph riding horses with chariots, and that happened 430 year earlier than the Exodus (Ex 12:40)

{12:40} Now the habitation of the sons of Israel, while they remained in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.

So even a 1600 year is too early. However I am not sure if those 430 years are to be taken literally or it is just a symbolic number. For some reasons I believe that Israel stayed much less in Egypt, this taking into account the genealogy described in Genesis and the amount of people leaving Egypt (roughly 600,000 not counting children). 430 years are nearly 16 generations, and by some rough calculations I made there should be a little less than double the number of people after 16 generations (1,000,000) especially since Exodus tells us that Israel multiplied and got very strong in Egypt. In any case years after 1700 are way too early.

So a time frame of 1699 B.C. to 1100 B.C. is quite reasonable.

Ron has found the exact Sabbatical and Jubilee Years, this is explained in greater detail in his book “Important Dates in The Life of Jesus and Mary”.

Briefly, Sabbatical years would begin on the month of Nisan (the month in which Passover was celebrated), and end the following Nisan, that is around March/April, occurring every 7 years.

Jubilee Years would begin in autumn on the Tishri 10 (Day of Atonement) and end the following year with a 49 year cycle. Therefore a Jubilee Year would have overlapped a Sabbatical Year beginning roughly 6 months after the beginning of the Sabbatical Year and end 6 months after the end of the Sabbatical Year. That is why Jubilee Year have a cycle of 49/50 years because they begin in the same calendar Year as the Sabbatical Years do, but end in the next calendar year (according to the Jewish Calendar in which the beginning of the year is counted with the start of Nisan, not January).

See the following picture to have an idea:

The jubilee Years proposed by Ron use this formula: 64/63 B.C. - or + 49. For the time period we are interested in they would be (B.C.): 1142, 1191, 1240, 1289, 1338, 1387, 1436, 1485, 1534, 1583, 1632. These happen to be Sabbatical Years too.

With these information we can know the year in which Israel entered he Promised Land. How about the year in which they left Egypt, the Exodus Year?

We are told that the ancient Jews had to wander 40 years in the desert. What does it exactly mean? Is it literally 40 years? And also did those 40 years begin as soon as they left Egypt or at some point during their journey through Sinai?

At a certain point during their journey through Sinai, and many complaints by the Jews, some scouts are sent in Palestine to report about the Land. After their return 40 days later, the majority of the scouts report false news at which the people react with fear. At this point God tells Israel that it will have to wander 40 years in the desert (one year for each scouting day). This episode is reported in Number 13 and 14, in the middle of the journey. So the first assumption would be to believe that the 40 years are to be counted from this particular episode and murmuring, however this assumptions is false for the following reason.

In Deuteronomy chapter 1 verse 3 we are told:

{1:3} In the fortieth year, on the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, Moses told the sons of Israel all that the Lord had instructed him. And so he spoke to them,

At this particular point in time the Jews are in the steppes of Moab, that is the later Perea the strip of Land beyond the Jordan. Moses is still alive, but after his death Joshua crosses the Jordan with Israel and shortly after celebrates the Passover in Gilgal. This Passover must have been the one celebrated in the first month of the 41th Year, so 2 month later than this episode. That was the first Passover available. Joshua would have not waited more than a year to enter.

Besides it was fitting for the Jews to enter on the first Month of Nisan (or around that time)of the 41th year for then the manna ceased just before Easter, exactly 40 years before the first manna felt on the ground (on the second month):

{5:10} And the sons of Israel stayed at Gilgal, and they kept the Passover, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, in the plains of Jericho.
{5:11} And on the following day, they ate unleavened bread from the grain of the land, and cooked grain, of the same year.
{5:12} And the manna ceased after they ate from the grain of the land. And the sons of Israel no longer made use of that food. Instead, they ate from the grain of the present year, from the land of Canaan.

Since the Jews counted years inclusively, the year of the Exodus being the first, the 41th year was exactly 40 years after the Exodus. Therefore when God told Moses that they would wonder 40 years in the desert He meant 40 literal years from the Exodus Year, and not 40 years after a particular episode happening in the middle of the journey. God is all-knowing so He knew that Israel would have wandered 40 years right from the beginning, and did not need to wait a certain amount of time in order to know this, as if His decisions were dependant on time or particular events.

Therefore the Year of the Exodus can be known to the year by subtracting 40 years from those previous dates given for the entering of the Promised Land. In our particular case we will have to add 40 years since the dates are BC so they tend to increase in value as we go back in time.

Example: 1142+40=1182

So the possible years in which the Exodus occurred are (B.C.): 1182, 1231, 1280, 1329, 1378, 1427, 1476, 1525, 1574, 1623, 1672.

Notice that perhaps some of the years are too early or too late by accepted standards. I included them just to get a feeling of the time frame.

This is as closest as I can get with this reasoning. Dates of Passover for each year can be determined using Moon Phases, and that could help to some extent in pinpointing or excluding some of these years. I do have some reasons to believe that the First Easter was not celebrated in March and the very first days of April, by taking into account the description of events in Exodus. But I would have to get into greater details in order to explain this.

So far this is what can be known with Scripture and the knowledge of Sabbatical Jubilee Years as explained by Ron.

Any comments on dates or reasoning?
For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain (Phil 1:21)
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Old 10th February 2009, 12:56 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Scripture say 430 years, and you discount that statement, giving it no chronological weight, but then you weigh heavily the claim by historians that the horse was introduced into Egypt about 1700 BC. You also weight too heavily, without any stated basis, that the reign of David was about 900 B.C.

430 years: true

1700: not established; researchers often make similar such statements, and then later, in the wake of new evidence, give a very different time frame for an 'earliest' event.

900: not established.

your count of the population is not established as a basis for the length of time in Egypt because the Israelites were slaves, so that the population growth would have been slowed by their oppression.

You conclusion follows from your premises, but you did not establish your premises. Also, you weight the evidence of Scripture too lightly, and extra biblical evidence too heavily.
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Old 10th February 2009, 01:27 PM
Rob Rob is offline
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Location: Sicily, Italy
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You are right, those limits for the time frame are not established, that was a poor argument. Let's see if I can set at least the bottom limit using the lenght of reigns for the kings.

How about the actual reasoning for the years themselves based on the sabbatical/jubilee cycle?
For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain (Phil 1:21)
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Old 10th February 2009, 02:41 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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The approach that I would use is merely to study the OT chronology, without seeking any particular date. Just do basic research into the topic, and the date of the entrance into the Holy Land may emerge from that study. If you try to rush to that conclusion, you will likely err.

I did not seek the year of Christ's return. Merely by studying eschatology (and even Biblical chronology), I arrived at the same date three different times, by three different approaches. This understanding developed without any attempt to find the year of Christ's return.
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