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a review of the previous division by Moses of the land beyond Jordan among the two tribes and a half; and then the fulfilment of the command is related according to its historical progress (xiv. 1-xxi. 45), and a finish is given to this part by a closing sentence (xxi. 43-45), that points back to the beginning (xiv. 1-5). The book itself, however, could not close here, for we still need an account of the sending away and return of the fighting men belonging to the tribes beyond Jordan, who had, according to Moses' command and Joshua's consequent summons (i. 12-18), marched over the river with their brethren as auxiliaries (iv. 12, 13); which account follows in ch. xxii., as also the notice of Joshua's surrender of office and his death in ch. xxiii. and xxiv. Though the contents of these three last chapters are peculiar and varying from what is related immediately before, yet their original connection with ch. xiv.-xxi. and the whole book cannot be mistaken, if we only keep in view how, on the one hand, ch. xxiii. 1, in thought and expression, points back to ch. xxii. 3, 4, and these verses again to ch. xxi. 43-45; and how, on the other, the two speeches of Joshua in ch. xxiii. and xxiv. as plainly presuppose the division of the land as its conquest.*
CHRONOLOGY OF THE KINGDOMS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH.
By the Rev. DANIEL KERR, M.A.
THE history of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel, from the time of their unhappy schism under Rehoboam to the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, is confessedly one of the most intricate periods of ancient chronology. Dr. Hales has styled it the Gordian knot;' and if we consider the endless number of theories that have been proposed, the diversity of results that have been given, and the learning and ingenuity it has hitherto seemed to baffle, we might almost fear that it must be hopeless to unravel it. The following list presents the calculations of this period by some of the most eminent chronologists :
The sequel of this Introduction, comprising Date of the Book of Joshua, Credibility of the Book of Joshua, and Exegetical Helps, will be given in the next Number of the Journal.
These present a difference upon the whole of more than 50 years, while even between Hales and Usher, whose rival systems at present divide public opinion, the difference is 17 years. And yet there is no portion of history so loaded as this is with such a mass of minute chronological data, and that, too, of the most valuable description; for the two histories running parallel with each other, mutually express their respective dates in terms of one another, and show that originally they were exactly adjusted together. The difficulty of now recognising this harmony must arise from one of two causes, if not from both: that either great corruptions have entered through time into the figures of this period, a fate to which figures have been peculiarly liable in past ages, as all historical documents testify; or that the real principles on which the histories have been compiled have not yet been discovered. It is not, however, our design, in the present attempt, to show how previous conclusions have been reached, or what are their peculiar faults or excellencies; but to pursue an independent and in some respects a novel path suggested to us by the study of the history itself, and more accordant, we think, with the oriental idea of time.
The following principles have mainly guided us in arriving at the results to which we have come, and we shall therefore state them before proceeding to an analysis of the history.
1. The well-known fact that the historians of the Bible computed the years in current and not in complete time: that is, that the first and last years of a reign were considered as full though they contained each but a few months of the year. On this principle we find that generally the last year of the father is the first of the son, and that it becomes 2 years in the history, though actually one only in the chronology.
2. The second principle is, that, except where it is so stated in the history, no son should reign in conjunction with his father, as has been too often supposed, when two dates jarred a little with each other, in order to evade the difficulty. In two cases, and only two, the sacred historian has faithfully recorded such a fact, and left us to infer that in all such instances it was essential to his design that these remarkable events should be carefully noted. The correction of the chronology ensuing from ascertaining the duration of one of these periods of co-regency forms one of the peculiar features of our present scheme.
3. A third canon by which we have been guided is, that the notion of an interregnum, in its occidental sense at least, was unknown to the compilers of the books of the Kings and Chronicles. This resource has hitherto been a favourite one with chronologists, when coming in contact with an evidently corrupted
date, even where all the circumstances of the history are opposed to such an idea. In only one instance during the whole currency of these kingdoms is such a state of anarchy recorded, as might be called an interregnum, when several competitors successively contended with each other for the throne of Israel, and the kingdom was for five years rent into violent factions. Yet so far was the historian from treating this as an interregnum, that he throws the whole of that time afterwards into the reign of the successful aspirant. In regard to all the other so called interregnums, it will be found that a closer examination of the cases, with the aid of the instance alluded to, will account for them in a much more satisfactory way.
3. Lastly, another rule that has aided us not a little in our investigations is, that, wherever we observe a difficulty on the one side of the analysis balanced by a precisely similar difficulty on the other, we conclude that the one is the production of the other, and that such a correction is required as will rectify both. For example-if a king in one of the kingdoms requires, according to the dates given, to reign a certain number of years along with his father; and this is balanced by the next king on the other side requiring to reign the very same number of years with his, while yet the narrative mentions no such thing in regard to either: then it may be safely suspected that an error lies in the date of the former, and that by lowering it they should both be brought down to the year of their fathers' decease. Or, the opposite may occur, when the accession of a son is dated later than his father's death, and an unexplained interval is thus left between them, which is checked by a similar interval occurring on the other side before the accession of the king next in order. Or, in fine, if a son who should reign, according to the narrative, with his father, is required by the dates to reign only after him; but it is seen that there is a gap unnecessarily existing on the other side; then it may be at once concluded that this gap has been occasioned by the improper lowering of that son's accession, and is to be filled up by the shifting of it back the whole space of time that the interval indicates. Cases of all these kinds occur in the period under review.
These principles have conducted us to conclusions considerably different from those at present received, and have, we believe, enabled us to adjust the chronology of this important history, so as to approach much nearer the truth than it has hitherto been brought. The following table, as much abridged as possible, contains a scheme of the whole period included in our investigation, and is so constructed as to enable the reader to verify every date given, and judge for himself of every correction introduced.