Here I wish to outline a rather odd pattern that has emerged, or rather has become apparent. All dates are based on the Ussher chronology.
The first inkling of a pattern was suggested by the parallel between the gentile captivity, that began with the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, and the Egyptian captivity. What is so curious is that both captivities are said to have lasted 430 years. Hmmmm, such a curious repetition of history seems to indicate that God had set the duration for both events - deliberately - for some purpose. The prophet Ezekiel divided the period gentile captivity into two periods, vis 40 + 390 years.
Now, the opposite of captivity is kingdom, and what is truely remarkable is that the Kingdom of Israel (the time during which Israel had a king) was 40 + 40 + 40 + 390 years.
Infact, the period of Israels monarchy divides neatly into two sub periods - the period of united kingdom, and the period of divided kingdom. It so happens that the divided kingdom lasted 390 years, and the united kingdom lasted 120 years under three successive monarchs - each reigning 40 years!!
Consider this for a moment - the Kingdoms of the Gentiles lasted 390 + 40 years according to Ezekiel.
The Kingdom of Israel lasted 390 + 40 + 40 + 40 yrs.
It seems almost certain that these two durations were meant to parallel one another. Part of the meaning of this is that God gave equal time to Jew and Gentile. Fairness prevailed. But there is undoutedly a deeper meaning.
430 yrs - Egyptian Captivity
395 yrs - Wilderness and Judges
40 yrs - Saul
40 yrs - David
40 yrs - Solomon
390 yrs - Divided Kingdom
430 yrs - Gentile Captivity
The whole pattern centers on two numbers 40 + 390
The Bible tells us that the Egyptian Captivity lasted 430 years.
Ezekiel foretold that the Times of the Gentiles would be a time of captivity that would also last 430 years. He divided this period into two parts, 390 + 40 years.
It therefore comes as quite a surprise to discover that the period of Israelite Monarchy prior to the Gentile Captivity divides naturally into 40 + 40 + 40 + 390 years. During the reigns of Saul (40 yrs), David (40 yrs) and Solomon (40 yrs) the Kingdom of Israel was united. However, after Solomon the Kingdom of Israel became divided into a Northern Kingdom (consisting of 10 tribes), and a Southern Kingdom (consisting of 2 tribes – Benjamin and Judah). The divided kingdom lasted 390 years – from it’s beginning down to it’s last monarch.
To complete this pattern, we find that the period of the Judges (including the wandering in the Wilderness) comes to 395 years – an approximation to 390.
A basic pattern can be seen. The Egyptian Captivity lasted 430 years. This was followed by the period of the Judges lasting 395 years. However, Samuel was the last judge of Israel, during which time Saul was king, so the period of the judges comes to 395 + 40 years.
Then there is the reign of King David lasting 40 years.
After the reign of King David, Solomon became King and reigned 40 years. It was during Solomon's reign that Israel began to practice idolatry. Consequently the kingdom became divided, and remained so for 390 years, until the Gentile Captivity.
Finally, the gentile captivity itself, would last 430 years, according to Ezekiel.
Oddly enough, the end of the 430 years coincides with the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks in 165 B.C resulting in Jewish independence for the first time in 430 years ! This independence was to last just over 100 years until the Romans came to occupy Judea.