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Years before Birth of a Son.
While it is not within our object to enter into any discussion in regard to the comparative claims of the Septuagint and Hebrew chronologies, still, in order to afford the facility of comparing the two, I shall notice the points of difference between them, and give a parallel synopsis of both at the close. PERIOD I. FROM THE CREATION OF ADAM TO THE
Residue of Life. Whole Life. · 1. Adam, . .. 230
930 2. Seth, . . . 205
912 3. Enos, 190 715
905 4. Cainan, . . 170
910 5. Malaleel, . 165 730 6. Jared, . . . 162 7. Enoch, . . 165 200 365 8. Methuselah, (167) 187 9. Lamech, . 188 565
753 10. Noah to the flood, 600
(2242) 2262 The above table differs from a corresponding one drawn from the Hebrew in this : The lives of the
Codicum Vetustiorum Alexandrini, Ephraemi Syri, FridericoAugustani, subjunxit.” And Mai says (title-page), “Ex antiquissimo Codice Vaticano.” But as the first forty-six chapters of Genesis are wanting in this MS., we can easily account for the difference between Tischendorf and Mai in regard to some of the patriarchal numbers hereafter noticed.
tirst five and the seventh patriarchs, before the birth of the son who succeeded in the patriarchal line, in . the Hebrew, are just a century shorter, which century is added to the residue of life, making the whole life precisely the same; the years of Lamech before the birth of Noah are, in the Hebrew, one hundred and eighty-two, his residue five hundred and ninety-five, and his whole life seven hundred and seventy-seven years, instead of as above. In the Hebrew, then, the duration of the period is sixteen hundred and fifty-six years.
The various reading of one hundred and sixtyseven, in the life of Methuselah, is edited by Tischendorf.
PERIOD II. FROM THE FLOOD TO THE BIRTH OF
Years. Shem, after the flood to the birth of Arphaxad, 2 1 Arphaxad, to the birth of a son, . . . 135 2. Cainan, . . . . . . . 130 3. Sala, . . . . . . . . 130 4. Eber, . . . . . . . . 134 Peleg, .
. . 130 6. Reu, ... ..
. . . 132 7. Serug, . ..
. . . 130 8. Nahor, . . . . . . (79) 179 9. Terah, . . . . . . . . 70 10. Abraham born, . . . . . (1072) 1172
According to the Hebrew, the lives of the first seven patriarchs (excluding Cainan) are just a hundred years shorter before the birth of a son, Cainan is entirely omitted, and the years of Nahor, previous to the birth of Terah, are only twenty-nine, making the period two hundred and ninety-two years.*
The reading seventy-nine, in the life of Nahor, is found in many MSS., and is edited by Grabe, and by Field in an edition of the LXX recently published by the Society for Propagating the Gospel. But one hundred and seventy-nine is edited by both Mai and Tischendorf, and, in fact, by almost all editors of the LXX.
PERIOD III. FROM THE Birth Of ABRAHAM TO THE
EXODUS. In regard to the duration of this period there is no difference between the Septuagint and the Hebrew. By a wonderful agreement of almost all chronologers, both ancient and modern, this duration is estimated at five hundred and five years. The texts upon which this estimate is based are the same in the Septuagint as in the Hebrew. These texts are, Gen. xii. 4 and Ex. xii. 40, 41.
Abraham was seventy-five years old at the "Call,”
* Usher and some others — Hebraists — make this period three hundred and fifty-two years. This is done by making Abrahain to be born in the one hundred and thirtieth year of Terah, comparing Gen. xi. 32 with xii. 4.
and the exodus was four hundred and thirty years after. For, by the consent of all the chronologers, the four hundred and thirty years began when the patriarch, at the divine call, left his land and kindred. And Paul corroborates this in his statement that the law came four hundred and thirty years after the promise. (Gal. iii. 17.) This interpretation is strengthened by the particular reading of the Septuagint in Ex. xii. 40, this translation adding, after the words " who dwelt in Egypt,” the words " and in Canaan.” .
The chronology of this period, then, according to the Septuagint, is the same as in the Hebrew, viz. :
PERIOD IV. FROM THE ExoduS TO THE FOUNDATION
OF Solomon's TEMPLE. This period is shorter according to the Septuagint than it is according to the Hebrew, and that whether we determine the duration by the single text, I Kings vi. I, or by the details of the current history. In i Kings vi. I, it is said that the temple was begun four hundred and forty years * after the chil
* Five MSS. collated by Holmes and the Compl. Ed. have four hundred and eighty in 1 Kings vi. 1.
dren of Israel came out of Egypt, and in the current history only twenty years are assigned to Eli instead of forty, as in the Hebrew. In all other respects the details are the same in both.* And both are alike indefinite in regard to the time of Joshua and the Elders, and that of Samuel and Saul.
The duration of this period, then, according to the Septuagint, if we adopt the present reading of I Kings vi. 1, is four hundred and forty years; but if we adopt the details in the current history, giving to Joshua twenty-seven years, according to the ancient chronologers generally, and to Samuel and Saul forty, according to Paul (Acts xiii. 18-21), it is six hundred years, as follows:— .
Moses in the desert, . . . . . 40 Joshua, . . . . . . . . 27 Ist Servitude (Mesop.), . . Judges iji. 8 8 Othniel, . . . . . . • iii. 1140 2d Servitude (Moab), . . • iii. 14 . 18 Ehud and Shamgar, . . . " iii. 30 80 3d Servitude (Canaan), . . " iv. 3 20
* Clinton (Fasti Romani, vol. ii., Append. p. 226) says the details from which the chronology of the period is determined are precisely the same in the LXX as in the Hebrew; and he presents the details in parallel columns in which forty years are assigned to Eli in the LXX. Parker (in a recent elaborate work on Chronology) says the same. See next note.