Sunday, April 08, 2007

About the 240 missing years

By: Yosef ben Ruach

Edited by: Paul D. Newman



Many Hebrew scholars believe that in the year 2007, the earth is 6007 years old. However, in contrast to this, the Orthodox rabbinic calendar tells us that the earth is only 5767 years old.

If we subtract 5767 from 6007, we can see that there is a difference of some 240 years between the Nazarene and Orthodox calendars; but who is right? And why would this question be important?

This question is important because it takes away one of the anti-missionary arguments that Yahshua is not the prophesied Mashiach.


One Thousand Years per Day

The Apostle Kepha (Peter) tells us that in prophecy, a day with YHVH is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day:

Kefa Bet (2nd Peter) 3:8
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing:
That (in prophecy) one day with YHVH is as a thousand years;
And a thousand years is as one day.


Why does Kepha tell us that we should "not forget this one thing"?

Both Nazarenes and Orthodox Jews acknowledge that the seven days of the creation week symbolize a seven-thousand year plan for the earth. Each prophetic day represents one thousand years of the earth's history. Many commentators believe that one can find Yahshua in this creation week

On the first day, Elohim created 'light' and 'darkness.'

B'reisheet (Genesis) 1:3-5
3 Then Elohim said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
4 And Elohim saw the light, that it was good; and Elohim divided the light from the darkness.
5 Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.


Scripture also tells us that Yahshua is the 'light' that was created on the first day.

Yochanan (John) 1:1-5
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.
2 He was in the beginning with Elohim.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.



Not Sun Worship

Many commentators also believe that Yahshua HaMashiach is also symbolized by the sun, which was created on the fourth day, to divide the day from the night:

B'reisheet (Genesis) 1:14-19
14 Then Elohim said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.
16 Then Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
17 Elohim set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good.
19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


However, if:
1. the sun is symbolic of the Mashiach, and if
2. the sun was created on the fourth day, and if
3. one day in Prophecy is as a thousand years,
4. then we should expect that the Mashiach would have to be born in-or-around the 4,000 year mark (i.e., at the start of the fourth prophetic day).


We should note that by no means does this lend any support to the sun worship that is normatively practiced in Christianity on the first day of the week. However, what it does show is why the 240 year discrepancy between the Nazarene and the Orthodox and Karaite Jewish calendars becomes an issue.


The 240 year discrepancy

Orthodox Judaism informs us that in the year 2007 CE, we are now 5767 years from the Creation. Therefore, if we take this present Jewish year (5767) and subtract the number of years since Yahshua's birth (2007), we would get the year 3760 (rather than the year 4000).

There is 240 years' difference between the years 3760 and 4000. For Yahshua to have come in the year 3760 (and not the year 4000) would not fulfill the prophecy of the creation week in Genesis (that Yahshua was supposed to be born in the year 4000).

The problem is that if we are 5767 years from the Creation (as the Orthodox and Karaite Jews believe), then Yahshua cannot be the Mashiach.

There is a problem with the rabbinic and Karaite calendars, however.


The Count According to the Tanach (the Old Testament)

If one makes detailed calculations in the Tanach (the Old Testament), Scripture indicates that in the year 2007 CE, the earth is approximately 6007 years old. [For those wishing to verify this count, I have provided the necessary details at the end of this study.]


Adam to the Flood: 1656 years
Flood to the birth of Abraham 454 years
Abraham to the Exodus 430 years
Exodus to the First Temple 480 years
First Temple to the Exile 393 years
Exile to Second Temple 72 years
Total 3,485 years



Thus, at least according to the Tanach (the Old Testament), approximately 3,485 years passed from the Creation until the building of the Second Temple.

Next, to count how many years there were between the building of the Second Temple until the year 2007 (i.e., now), we must switch to the Western (Roman) Gregorian calendar. The reason for this is that Scripture does not record these dates for us. Therefore, let us now shift to the Gregorian (Western) calendar.

Ezra 6:15 tells us that the Second Temple was finished in the sixth year of the reign of the Persian King Darius:

Ezra 6:15
15 Now the Temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.


Secular historians inform us that the sixth year of the reign of Persian King Darius took place in approximately 515 BCE. When we add 515 years to the 2007 years that have elapsed since Yeshua's birth, we find that the Second Temple was built approximately 2520 years ago:

Second Temple built 515 BCE
Years elapsed since Yeshua's birth 2007
Total 2520 years


Now, to find the approximate age of the earth today (in the year 2007), we should add the number of years from the Creation to the building of the Second Temple (3,485) to the number of years from the building of the Second Temple until now (2,520). This will give us the approximate age of the earth in the year 2007 CE:

Creation to the Second Temple 3,485 years
Second Temple to 2007 CE 2,520 years
Years since the Creation (approximate) 6,005 years


If the earth is some 6007 years old, but the Orthodox and Karaite calendars tell us that the year is 5,767, then the Orthodox and Karaite calendars must be missing some 240 years. But how can this possibly be?

Can there be an error in the rabbinical and Karaite calendars? And if so, how can we verify these errors?


The Seder Olam

Interestingly, the Orthodox rabbis and the Karaite sages do not determine their chronology by the record found in the Tanach. Rather, both of these groups determine their chronology according to Orthodox rabbinic custom. Both of these groups use a book called the 'Seder Olam Rabbah' (literally, the 'Great World Order').

The Seder Olam Rabbah (or just 'Seder Olam') was written circa 240 CE; and even Judaism acknowledges that it is inaccurate. Under the heading 'Seder Olam,' the Encyclopedia Judaica tells us:

"Yose b. Halafta, the presumed author of Seder Olam Rabbah, probably had access to old traditions that also underlay the chronological computations of the Jewish Hellenistic chronographer Demetrius (third century B.C.E.). The most significant confusion in Yose´s calculation is the compression of the Persian period, from the rebuilding of the Temple by Zerubbabel in 516 B.C.E. to the conquest of Persia by Alexander (331 B.C.E.) to no more than 34 years."

What is this passage actually saying? And what is the "compression of the Persian period," to which the Encyclopedia Judaica refers?

Secular history tells us that the 'Persian Period' lasted 185 years. It started in 516 BCE, and lasted until the conquest of Judea by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE. This equates to 185 years. However, the Seder Olam tells us that the Persian Period lasted only 34 years. 185 years minus 34 years gives us a discrepancy of some 151 years in the Persian period alone.

However, let us note that the Seder Olam states that "the most significant confusion in Yose's calculation is the compression of the Persian period," indicating that there are other confusions as well.


The Period of the Medes

Secular history records for us that the Medes established their empire circa 625 BCE. They then ruled 109 years, until the Persian period began (in 516 BCE, see above). By compressing the 109 years of the Medes to just 18 years means that there were some additional 91 years that were lost.

If one adds the amount of time 'compressed' out of the Persian period with the amount of time 'compressed' out of the Median period, one gets an alteration to the calendar of some 242 years:

Years lost in the Period of the Medes 91
Years lost in the Persian Period 151
Total years lost by the Seder Olam 242


It is important that we remember that the number 242 is only a rough approximation. Each calculation can be off by as much as a year, due to the fact that the Medes, the Persians, the Hebrews and the Romans each have their own calendar, all of which begin at different times of the year.

Our purpose here is not to calculate the age of the earth down to the minutest detail. Rather, our purpose here is simply to reaffirm that the rabbinic and the Karaite calendar counts are missing some 240 years.

When we restore these approximately 240 years to the rabbinical and Karaite calendar count of 5767, we come up with the number 2007.

5767 + 240 = 6007.

If we take this number 6007, and subtract the 2007 years of the common era, this means that Yahshua would have (in fact) been born in-or-around the year 4000 from creation, confirming the fact that Yahshua was the prophesied Mashiach.

6007 - 2007 = 4000 (the fourth day).

Again, this does not lend any credence to the Christian practice of worshipping and serving the sun on the first day of the week of the Roman solar calendar (the 'sun' day), or the lunar sabbatarian practice of worshipping and serving the moon on the phases of the moon. It simply proves that Yahshua fulfills the prophecy of how the sun was created on the fourth day of the week.

B'reisheet (Genesis) 1:14-19
14 Then Elohim said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.
16 Then Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
17 Elohim set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good.
19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.



Notes:

For those who want to check the calculations in the Tanach:

Adam to Flood (1656 years)
Adding the ages of the fathers' at the time of birth of the stated son from Genesis 5: Adam 130, Seth 105, Enosh 90, Cainan 70, Mahalaleel 65, Jared 162, Enoch 65, Methuselah 187, Lamech 182. Noah according to Genesis 7:6, is 600 years old at the time of the flood.

Flood to Abraham (427 years)
Adding the ages from Genesis 11. Shem 2, Arphaxad 35, Shelah 30, Eber 34, Peleg 30, Rue 32, Serug 30, Nahor 29. Terah lived 205 years.

Abraham to the Exodus (430 years),
Galatians 3:17 "Now I say this; The Law of the Levitical Priesthood, which came into existence 430 years after the (Abrahamic) covenant was already ratified by YHVH - does not do away with, nor abolish the promise. "

Exodus to Temple (480 years)
1 Kings 6:1 "In the 480th year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the moon Ziv; the second moon of the year - he began to build the House of YHVH."

Temple to Nebuchadnezzar (406 years)
I & II Kings 36; Years left in Solomon's reign 6, Yehu (11:42) 22, Yohash (12:1) 17, Rehoboam 14, Yohahaz (13:1) 2, Abiyahm (15:1) 1, Yohash (13:10) 1, Asa (15:9) 14, Amatsyah (14:1) 1, Nadab (15:25) 26, Jeroboam (14:23) 23, Baasha (15:33) 37, Azaryah (15:1) 1, Elah (16:8) 1, Zechariah (15:8) 4, Zimri (16:15) , Shallum (15:13) 7, Omri (16:23) 11, Menachem (15:17) 3, Ahab (16:29) 2, Pekahiah (15:23) 16, Yehoshephat 1, Pekah (15:27) 1, Ahaziah (22:51) 15, Yotham (15:32) 4, Yoram (2K 3:1) 11, Ahaz (16:1) 7, Yehoram (8:16) 3, Hoshea (17:1) 1, Ahazyah (8:25) 29, Hezekiah (18:1) 55, Manasseh (21:1) 31, Josiah (22:1) 3, Yehoiakim (23:36).

Nebuchadnezzer to Mashiach (601 years)
Jeremiah 25:1, Flavius Josephus


1656 Years + 427 Years + 430 Years + 480 Years + 406 Years + 601 Years = 4,000 Years from the Creation Week to Yahshua's birth.


Note: Some scholars may take issue with the date of Yahshua's birth; whether it actually took place in 0 BCE, 1 BCE, 4 BCE, or somewhere in between. Some may also take issue with the exact time periods as extracted from the Tanach, plus or minus a year.

It is not our purpose in this particular article to pinpoint the age of the earth to within a month, or to specify the exact year of Yahshua's birth, within a year. Rather, our purpose here is only to demonstrate that there is a 240 year subtraction from the rabbinic and Karaite calendars; and that this subtraction is not valid.

It should also be stated that there is a great deal of rabbinic literature supporting their decision to subtract 240 years from their calendar. I have purposefully chosen not to reproduce their literature here, in that I believe any rabbinical tradition that contradicts the 66 books of Scripture in any way is not valid. Rather, I believe that Scripture is the highest and best authority regarding all calendar issues.

May He bring you wisdom and understanding.

Shabbat Shalom,Yosef ben Ruach A servant of our Master The Israelite sect of the Nazarenes Re-establishing the original faith of the apostles www.nazareneisrael.org To understand why Nazarene Israel was the original faith of the apostles, please go to www.nazareneisrael.org/bookstore.shtml, and request your free copy of Nazarene Israel: The Original Faith of the Apostles.

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