With the almost unanimously accepted date of 586/7 B.C (a few accept 588 and WTS uses 607) for the destruction of Jerusalem, this chronology starts by adding back the total of the ruler-ships of the kings of Judah from Rehoboam to Zedekiah. This amounts to approximately 390 years. Ussher look a literal reading of the Bible. He did not try to reinterpret the Bible in the light of any non-biblical source.
586 B.C + 389 years = 975 B.C for the 1st year of Rehoboam.
1 Kings 11:42:
'…the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was 40 years.'
975 B.C + 40 years = 1015 B.C for the beginning of Solomon’s reign.
1 Kings 6:1 NJB:
'In the 480th year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel...he began building the temple of Yahweh.'
1015 B.C less 3 years = 1012 B.C for Solomon’s fourth year.
1012 B.C + 479 years = 1491 B.C for the date of the Exodus.
It is 390 years from Rehoboam’s first year to Zedekiah’s last year. During this period there is only one co-regency which is that of Jehoshaphat and his son Jehoram, whose rulerships overlap by 4 years (2 Kings 3:1; 8:16; 8:25; 9:29).
1. That he knew for certain the date of the death of Nebuchadnezzar II--which was 562 BC.
2. That this was also the date that Nebuchadnezzar's son Evil-Merodach began to reign.
From this date, he worked backward, using the meticulous dates that appear throughout I and II Kings, each of which gives a date of a king's accession with references to a year of reign of another king--except that kings of the Southern Kingdom after the conquest of the Northern Kingdom are listed only with their ages and lengths of reign, and King Jehoiachin is referenced by how many years he had been a captive when Evil-Merodach acceded to his throne. That sequence definitely places the division of the kingdoms at 975 BC, and the beginning of Solomon's reign at 1015 BC. I_Kings 6:1 states that Solomon broke ground on the Temple in the fourth year of his reign--and that this event took place in the four hundred eightieth year since the Exodus of Israel. This places the Exodus at 1491 BC. (The sequence also places the Fall of Jerusalem at 588 BC, because it happened 11 years after Jehoiachin was taken captive.)
2. Based on Assyrian Data
Modern scholars seek to make the Bible fit in with the chronologies of other nations. For example, Thiele makes a number of assumptions from observations of Assyrian stone tablets that, he believes, warrant a revision of the king list in I and II Kings. Thiele's sole warrant for favoring his date over Ussher's is his attempt to reconcile the king lists of the Divided Kingdoms Northern and Southern with the chronology of the Assyrians. The point being that in the absence of non-biblical sources, Thiele too would adopt Usshers chronology, since Usshers Chronology is based on exactly what the Bible says when taken at face value.
Ussher calculated King Jehu as having acceded to the throne of Israel (and also killed King Ahaziah of Judah) in 884 BC. However Thiele argues that The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III mentions a king identified as Jehu, son of Omri as paying tribute to King Shalmaneser III in 841 B.C. Shalmaneser III mentions that in the eighteenth year of his reign he went against "Hazael of Aram", shut him up in "Damascus, his royal city", and "received tribute of the men of Tyre, Sidon and of Jehu, the son of Omri".’
This is a 43 year difference with the Bible. Which is correct - the Bible or the Assyrian inscription? Thiele opts for the later and moves forward the date of Jehu's campaign from 884 BC to 841 BC. That movement alone accounts for 43 of the 45 years by which the Ussher and Thiele dates of the Exodus and the Temple are discrepant.
Thus Thiele assumes that the Assyrian inscription is correct, and that the Bible is in error.
Is the Assyrian inscription correct?
Faulstich discovered that much of the information on the Black Obelisk that is attributed to Shalmaneser was taken from earlier monuments. This plagiarism was so common in Assyrian history that the father of Shalmaneser III pronounced a special curse on kings who tried to steal his fame by ascribing to themselves deeds he had done. Faulstich goes on to document inconsistencies among the Black Obelisk, the Tigris Inscriptions, the Statue Inscriptions and the Bull-Colossi. This type of historical revisionism results in the collapsing of historical events into a shorter time frame. Ref: Faulstich, E.W., History, Harmony & The Hebrew Kings, Chronology Books, Spencer, Iowa, pp. 143—157, 1986.
Does Thiele's proposed revision fit in with the rest of the Bible?
To make the Bible fit in with the Black Obelisk, Thiele was forced to compress greatly the history of the Northern Kingdom after Jehu. To collapse the Biblical history, he created overlapping reigns of kings so that the total length of the period is significantly shortened.
For example, the Bible says that Uzziah was 16 years old when his father (King Amaziah) died, and Uzziah was made king. And Uzziah reigned 52 years. Thiele argues that Uzziah's reign overlaps with that of his father, so when his father died, Uzziah had already been reigning 24 years!! This would mean that Uzziah began to reign 8 years before he was even born!!. This is illustrative of how much Thiele has to twist the straightforward reading of the Bible inorder to fit it in with the Assyrian chronology. He has to insist that a person was made king eight years before that person was even born - and in direct contradiction to the clear reading of Scripture. Scripture actually says -
‘And they brought him [Amaziah, Uzziah’s father] on horses, and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David. And all the people of Judah took Azariah [Uzziah] who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah’ (2 Kings 14:20,21).
‘In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah [Uzziah] the son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem …’ (2 Kings 15:1,2).
By all rules of exegesis, one would conclude that Uzziah was made king after the death of his father when he was 16 years old. This event happened in the 27th year of Jeroboam.
A second example.
The Bible clearly says that: 1) Menahem began to reign in the 39th year of Uzziah, and Menahem reigned for 10 years, followed by his son, Pekahiah, who reigned for two years (Tables 1 & 2); 2) Pekahiah was murdered by his commander, Pekah, who in turn reigned for 20 years. By normal rules of exegesis, this would be the most normal way to understand the text.‘In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah [Uzziah] king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, ten years in Samaria’ (2 Kings 15:17).
‘And Menahem slept with his fathers. And Pekahiah his son reigned in his place. In the fiftieth year of Uzziah [Azariah] king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, two years. … But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a commander of his, conspired against him and struck him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and fifty men of the Gileadites with him. And he killed him and reigned in his place. … In the fifty-second year of Uzziah [Azariah] king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, twenty years’ (2 Kings 15:22—27).
However Thiele states that Pekah began to reign in the 39th year of Uzziah!!! This is not a reinterpretation of Scripture. It is a direct contradiction. Thiele is throwing the Bible out of the window.
Once again, a simple reading of Scripture DOES NOT SUPPORT the secular chronology proposed by Thiele. Rather a straight forward reading of Scripture gives the Ussher chronology. This may vary from our current understanding of secular history, archaeology or evolution, but IT IS WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY SAYS.
While Ussher assumed the primacy of Scripture, Thiele assumed the primacy of secular historical records (what Ussher called "profane history"). Pierce in particular contends that Thiele had no right, according to the accepted canons of Biblical scholarship, to impart different meanings to verses that follow the same pattern without sufficient reason--an argument that William of Occam might have made. Even if Thiele did have that right, Pierce maintains that Thiele's clues, such as they are, are not even grounded in anything approaching certainty.
A straight forward reading of Scripture fixes the date of the Exodus at 1491 B.C. THIS IS THE DATE GIVEN BY A STRAIGHT FORWARD READING OF THE BIBLE. This is only contested by the existence of a single Assyrian tablet that mentions a king named Jehu, son of Omri. If we follow through with Thiele's adjustment, we are forced to compress or deliberately omit many succeeding reigns and so are forced to deny the overt meaning of Scripture in many places. See http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v...chronology.asp