Monday, March 4, 2013

Did Herod Build the Temple in a Jubilee Year?

It sounds like a stupid question.  But I think I can build a strong case for this and ultimately determine the year the gospel began.  Let's start with the testimony of the famous fourteenth century Samaritan chronicler Abu'l Fath.

At 84:1-5 in his chronicle he writes that from Creation till the end of the days of Azqayya the High Priest is said to be 4,100 years. From the start of the Fanuta till this date is said to be 1,046 years. This would make the time since Entry 1306 years. These dates assume a period of 3,054 years from Creation to the start of the Fanuta, which is correct, as was shown above. His officiate is said to have lasted 21 years. In his days came Alexander the Macedonian.

The death of Alexander is mentioned at 92:9-11. Descriptive but not narrative material about Azqayya then continues till the mention of his death at 93:14-15. It says at 92:10-11 that when Azqayya heard of Alexander’s death he worried about the fate of the Samaritans under the next ruler. The length of time from the death of Alexander till the death of Azqayya is not directly stated. As it is implied that he never knew the policy of the next ruler, it could not have been long.

Alexander died on 6/11/323 BCE, about three months from the start of the Samaritan year in March. AF always works in whole elapsed years unless there is some special reason otherwise. When he says Azqayya died 4100 years from Creation, he means he died in the year 4101 AM, as did Alexander. [AM = Anno Mundi]. The start of the Samaritan year starting in March 1 BCE. will be 4100 + 322 = 4,422 years from Creation. The year starting in late March 1 CE will then be 4424 AM, starting 4,423 years from Creation, or 1630 of Entry, starting 1,629 years from Entry.

Yet the important thing to see is that 322 BCE is at least a sabbatical year (4102/7 = 586) and that the first 49th year in the Seleucid period was fourteen year later (322 - 14 = 308 CE).  The Jubilee was 307 CE.  We can calculate the 49th years and Jubilees that followed as:

259-258, 210-209, 161-160, 112-111, 63-62, 14-13, 36-37, 85-86, 134-135, 183-184

This system would seem to confirm that the bar Kochba revolt occurred not only on a sabbatical year (= the numismatic evidence) but specifically during a Jubilee which makes sense given the superior significance of the Jubilee.

But there is more, so much more ...

Email with comments or questions.

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