Ussher Comparison

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The following is a straightforward comparison of the dates arrived at by Ussher and my own:[1] It appears Ussher probably used the date Abraham entered Egypt as the starting point for the 430 years to the Exodus referenced in Exodus 12:40-41, which is probably why his early dates vary from my own by 200 years. After the Exodus his dates vary from my own by only 1-6 years.

Genealogies

The Patriarchs

Date Ussher's Date Name Reference
4204 B.C. 4004 B.C. Adam Genesis 5:3-5
4074 B.C. 3874 B.C. Seth Genesis 5:6-8
3969 B.C. 3769 B.C. Enos Genesis 5:9-11
3879 B.C. 3679 B.C. Cainan Genesis 5:12-14
3809 B.C. 3609 B.C. Mahalaleel Genesis 5:15-17
3744 B.C. 3544 B.C. Jared Genesis 5:18-20
3582 B.C. 3382 B.C. Enoch Genesis 5:21-24
3517 B.C. Methuselah Genesis 5:25-27
3330 B.C. 3130 B.C. Lamech Genesis 5:28-31
2548 B.C. 2349 B.C. FLOOD[notes 1] Genesis 7:6
3148 B.C. 2948 B.C. Noah Genesis 5:32, 9:29
2646 B.C. 2446 B.C. Shem[notes 2] Genesis 11:10-11
2546 B.C. 2346 B.C. Arphaxad Genesis 11:10,12-13
2511 B.C. 2311 B.C. Salah Genesis 11:14-15
2481 B.C. 2281 B.C. Eber Genesis 11:16-17
2447 B.C. 2247 B.C. Peleg Genesis 11:18-19
2417 B.C. 2217 B.C. Reu Genesis 11:20-21
2385 B.C. 2185 B.C. Serug Genesis 11:22-23
2355 B.C. 2155 B.C. Nahor Genesis 11:24-25
2326 B.C. 2126 B.C. Terah Genesis 11:26-32
2196 B.C. Abraham[notes 3] Genesis 11:32, Genesis 12:4, Genesis 25:7, Romans 4:19
2121 B.C. 1921 B.C. GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM, ABRAHAM ENTERS EGYPT[notes 4] Genesis 12:1-4,10
2096 B.C. Isaac Genesis 21:5, 25:20, 35:28
2056 B.C. 1837 B.C. Jacob Genesis 47:28, Genesis 30, 35
1926 B.C. JACOB ENTERS EGYPT[notes 5] Genesis 47:28
1756 B.C. Levi Exodus 6:16
Kohath Exodus 6:18
Amram Exodus 6:20
1576 B.C. 1571 B.C. Moses Deuteronomy 34:7, Exodus 7:7, Exodus 18:4-6, Exodus 2:22, 1 Chronicles 23:15-17, 1 Chronicles 26:24-26
1496 B.C. 1491 B.C. LEFT EGYPT, LAW OF MOSES GIVEN[notes 6] Galatians 3:16-17, Genesis 12:1-4, Exodus 12:40-41, Exodus 19:1
Gershom Deuteronomy 34:7, Exodus 7:7, Exodus 18:4-6, Exodus 2:22, 1 Chronicles 23:15-17, 1 Chronicles 26:24-26
1456 B.C. 1451 B.C. THE EXODUS ENDS[notes 7] Deuteronomy 29:5, Deuteronomy 8:2-4, Exodus 16:35, Numbers 14:33-34, Numbers 32:13, Joshua 5:6

Kings

Date Ussher's Date Name Reference
1016 B.C. 1012 B.C. SOLOMON BUILDS THE TEMPLE IN 4TH YEAR OF HIS REIGN[notes 8] 1 Kings 6:1
1033 B.C. Solomon 2 Chronicles 9:30
1021 B.C. 1015 B.C. Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 12:13
Abijah 2 Chronicles 13:1-2
Asa 2 Chronicles 16:13
954 B.C. Jehoshaphat 2 Chronicles 20:31
926 B.C. Jehoram 2 Chronicles 21:5,20
908 B.C. Ahaziah 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Chronicles 22:2
Athaliah 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Chronicles 22:2
886 B.C. Joash 2 Chronicles 24:1
864 B.C. Amaziah 2 Chronicles 25:1
826 B.C. Uzziah 2 Chronicles 26:3
783 B.C. Jotham 2 Chronicles 27:1
762 B.C. Ahaz 2 Chronicles 28:1
751 B.C. Hezekiah 2 Chronicles 29:1
709 B.C. Manasseh 2 Chronicles 33:1
664 B.C. Amon 2 Chronicles 33:21
648 B.C. 649 B.C. Josiah 2 Chronicles 34:1
632 B.C. 633 B.C. Jehoahaz 2 Chronicles 36:2
634 B.C. Jehoiakim 2 Chronicles 36:5
606 B.C. Jehoiachin 2 Chronicles 36:9
619 B.C. 620 B.C. Zedekiah 2 Chronicles 36:11
587 B.C. START OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY 2 Chronicles 36:20
517 B.C. END OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY Jeremiah 25:12

Notes

  1. The Flood occurred in the 600th year of Noah's life, so since Noah was born 1,056 Years After Creation, the Flood occurred 1,656 Years After Creation. For an exact date for the Flood, see Genesis 7:11 where the Flood was said to begin on the 2nd month, 17th day. This was presumably according to the Jewish calendar whose first month is Nisan (Esther 3:7) making this the month Iyar which typically falls from April-June, so the Flood appears to have begun around May. The Ark came to a rest on the 7th month, 17th day (Genesis 8:4), the month Cheshvan, so roughly September. Mountaintops were seen on the 10th month, 1st day; the Hebrew month Tevet - probably in December. The waters had receded fully by the 1st month, 1st day, Nisan, approximately March. The Earth had dried enough that Noah and the animals left the Ark on the 2nd month, 27th day, probably May. (Genesis 8:13) The dove and possibly other birds as well left even earlier. (Genesis 8:12)
  2. Noah's genealogy is given differently and doesn't mention who Noah's firstborn child was. Noah was 500 at the age of his firstborn (Genesis 5:32) but Shem's firstborn, Arphaxad, was born two years after the Flood when Shem was 100 years old and Noah was 602 years old. (Genesis 11:10) Thus, even though the timeline is continued through Shem just because of his importance as the progenitor of the Jewish people, he was not actually Noah's oldest child. Ham or Japheth apparently was. Given Japheth's being mentioned first in Genesis 10 he may well have been the oldest, born two years earlier before Shem.
  3. Abraham's genealogy is given similarly to Shem's, he is mentioned in conjunction with his other two siblings yet is actually the youngest of the three. (Genesis 11:26) Terah's firstborn was born when he was age 70 but a comparison of Genesis 11:32 and Genesis 12:4 reveals Abraham was not born until Terah was age 130. Haran appears to be the oldest and Nahor born sometime between Haran and Abraham, given the following evidence:
    • Haran died before his father Terah did, and before Abraham and Terah even left Ur. (Genesis 11:28)
    • Haran's son Lot appears to have been around Abraham's age, possibly even several decades older, and they traveled to the Promised Land together. (Genesis 12:4-5)
    • Nahor ended up marrying his brother Haran's daughter, Milcah (Genesis 11:29), and may have been age 90-100 when Abraham left (which in those days was roughly middle-aged - Genesis 11:19-23).
    • Nahor began having children before Abraham did, 12 male children and possibly an equal amount of female children, probably 20-30 children in all. (Genesis 22:20-24)
    It appears there was a pre-Flood practice adopted by early Mesopotamia of only giving the age of the eldest child, which causes confusion when an ancestor is a younger child (as in the case of Shem and Abraham).
  4. While Bible chronologists commonly begin the 430 year sojourn of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41) at this point, it makes no sense to me for the sojourn to have begun during Abraham's lifetime. Abraham after all simply passed through Egypt on his way to Canaan. (Genesis 12:10-13:1)
  5. Jacob spent the final 17 years of his life in Egypt and lived 147 years (Genesis 47:11) so he must have entered Egypt in the 130th year of his life. Per Exodus 12:40-41 the Israelites stayed in Egypt for 430 years exactly to the day. It would make no sense for this count to have begun earlier when Abraham first entered Egypt, as many chronologists have decided, as Abraham left Egypt on his way to Canaan. Rather, it would appear to begin when Jacob entered Egypt when his son Joseph held power and influence. It was during the lifetime of Joseph that Israel continuously stayed in Egypt, much of that time in slavery to the Egyptians. (Genesis 47:6-11) Therefore if the Israelites left Egypt in 1497 B.C. then they must have entered it 430 years earlier, in 1927 B.C.
  6. The Israelites had been in Egypt exactly 430 years to this point (Exodus 12:40-41, Galatians 3:16-17). After this point they would
  7. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years. (Numbers 14:33-34)
  8. According to 1 Kings 6:1, Solomon's temple was built 480 years after the Israelites left Egypt, so if Solomon's temple was built in 1016 B.C. then the Exodus must have ended in 1496 B.C. Since Solomon reigned for 40 years, and the temple was built in his 4th year, this was 36 years before the start of Rehoboam's reign.

Sources

  1. Ussher, James. Timeline of the Bible. Creation Ministries International.
    Ussher, James (1658). "The Annals of the World." E. Tyler.