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1 Kings 6:1 (KJV)

1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

It is said that King Solomon started building the house of God after four hundred & eighty years after they left Egypt.

But if we follow the narration of Paul in Acts 13 we get different figures

Acts 13:17 (KJV)

17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

If we add forty years of David's reign & solomon's three years of reign we get the figure of five hundred & seventy three years.

So how can we reconcile the above figures?

  • The Septuagint has 440 years. I prefer this (even smaller) figure. – Lucian Jan 23 '18 at 21:41
  • Apparently, 450 years is the figure one gets when adding together all the time periods mentioned in Judges and First Samuel, spanning from the death of Joshua, recorded near the beginning of the Book of Judges, and ending with the seventh chapter of the First Book of Samuel, right before Saul is proclaimed king in the following two chapters. However, the judges reigned simultaneously over the various cities of Israel, as opposed to kings, which are usually only one at a time for any given state. – Lucian Jan 23 '18 at 22:45
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In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD. (1 Kings 6:1) [ESV throughout]

As noted in the question, Paul's account of this period of history is 93 years longer:

Paul - Acts   573 years  
1 Kings 6:1   480 years  
  Difference   93 years

During the period of Judges, Israel went through several cycles of following after false gods; being oppressed by foreign powers; calling out to the LORD who sent a deliverer. Five of the periods were so bad, the LORD sold, or gave His people over to someone else:

Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. (Judges 3:8)

And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. (Judges 4:2-3)

The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. (Judges 6:1)

So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites, and they crushed and oppressed the people of Israel that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the people of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. (Judges 10:7-8)

And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. (Judges 13:1)

These periods add up to 93 years:

Sold to Cushan-rishathiam         8 years
Sold to Jaban king of Canaan     20 years
Given to Midian                   7 years
Sold to Philistines & Ammonites  18 years
Given to Philistines             40 years
  Total                          93 years

The missing 93 years can be reconciled by subtracting the years the Israelites "belonged" to someone else because the LORD had sold them or given them to over another king or people. Apparently, the LORD only counted those years during which the nation was counted as solely His and "overlooked" those years which could be counted as serving other than the LORD because of the actions He took.

  • Suggested phrasing for your last sentence: ...counted those years during which the nation acknowledged that they belonged to Him – KorvinStarmast Jan 23 '18 at 20:35
  • Your call, but I think that it's hard to say there was ever a time they did not "belong to Him" as they were his chosen people. (You will be my people and I will be your God ... Jeremiah 30:22) – KorvinStarmast Jan 23 '18 at 20:37
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    Why did you not include Judges 3:14 in your list ? – Lucian Jan 23 '18 at 23:39
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    @RevelationLad: Seems rather random. – Lucian Jan 24 '18 at 7:45
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    Judges 2:14 includes Eglon to the group, just as Judges 2:16;18,3:15 includes Ehud to the group of judges. – user21676 Jan 24 '18 at 21:40
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Aside from a tallied 574 years between the Exodus and the fourth year of Solomon, yet the time period between Sihon/Og and the end of the Joshuaic war must be accounted for(Acts 13:19), which sum amounts to 7 years according to the account of Caleb; Caleb was 38 at the Exodus, for two years later he was 40, at the valley of Eschol[Num 10:11-13{2nd year of the Exodus};33{3 days later},12:15{7 days later},13:21-26{Eschol};30{Caleb's courage},32:8-9{Kadeshbarnea = Eschol}, Deu 2:14;24{38 years from Eschol to Sihon}, Jos 14:7 = Caleb 40 years old at Kadeshbarnea/Eschol in the 2nd year of the Exodus], and so forty years later after leaving Egypt he turned 78(38 years after Kadeshbarnea - Deu 2:14), at the border of Sihon king of the Amorites[Deu 2:14;24]; seven years later he claimed to be 85 years old, at the end of the Joshuaic war(Jos 14:10). So the total number of years between the Exodus and the 4th year of Solomon(i.e. when the 480th year total was presented - 1Ki 6:1), is 40 years in the wilderness, plus 7 years till the end of the Joshuaic war, plus 450 years of judges(which includes Eli's reign), plus 40 years of Saul, plus 40 years of David, plus 4 years of Solomon, which equals 581 years. Now 581 minus 480 is 101 years; that means at least 101 years out of the 581 must not be counted for some reason to get to 480, which reason is attributed to the years where Israel was considered not 'free', that is, the time periods in the book of Judges where they were ruled by their oppressors. The total number of these must therefore add to 101 years, and this should constitute the sum of those reigns recorded in Judges 3:8{8 years};14{18 years},4:3-4{20 years},6:1{7 years},10:8{18 years},13:1{40 years}, only 111 years is the result, meaning there had to be at least 111 years of oppression, not at most 101; thus to reconcile this difference of 10 years, one must add fifty to the former number of 101 and subtract 40 to get 111 years of oppressors. Now adding 50 unmentioned years to the total 581 years as calculated above would result in a total 631 years between the Exodus and the fourth year of Solomon, but when from this number is taken away the 40 year reign of Eli, and the 111 year reigns of the oppressors, the result is 480 years.

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There are issues with the Judges chronology, but the example given here is not one of them.

This 450 year reference is one of those rare examples where the King James Version of our Bible lets us down. Compare the following quotes from the ESV, NIV, and Amplified, and notice how the original text is translated differently to that given in the opening question.

The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. (Acts 13:17-20 ESV)

The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great and numerous during their stay [as foreigners] in the land of Egypt, and then with an uplifted arm He led them out of there. For a period of about forty years He put up with their behavior in the wilderness. When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave their land [to our ancestors] as an inheritance—this took about four hundred and fifty years. (Acts 13:17-20 AMP)

The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness; and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. All this took about 450 years. After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. (Acts 13:17-20 NIV)

The modern versions translate the text correctly this case, and it may be verified by comparing the historical context previously mentioned in Act 7:6.

So, the '450-year' approximation does not actually refer to the Judges period at all. What it is referring to may be summarised as follows:

  1. 400 years enslaved (compare Acts 7:6 and Genesis 15:13)
  2. 40 years wandering
  3. 7 years conquering promised land
  4. 1-2 years distributing inheritance

TOTAL = 449 YEARS (approx 450)

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King Saul and King David both reigned as King 40 years, this is the 80 years.

The 400 years is the time the children of Jacob were servants of Egypt (Gn 15:13) and so the Lord gave them 400 years of milk and honey (peace and protection)in the land of Canaan. So yes as God planned that they would be in Egypt 400 years until the Lord returned to bring them out of Egypt God also knew that in the 400 year in the land of Canaan the Israelite would want a King.

David was alive when he anointed Solomon as King,(1 Kings 1:35)and so at Davids death Solomon had been King for 4 years. Although David was called a "child" when he was anointed by Samuel the Bible refers to Solomon as being "young" when David died so he was under 20, for 20 was the age males were considered "able bodied" for military services, "a man."

So, yes, iiii, C, and lxxx, years is accurate.

I did review and compare 1 Kings 6:1 with the 1539 of "The Great Bible" and the 1560 Geneva Bible. I did this merely because I like to compare verses to get the most accurate meaning of whats being said. For many verses in today's Bibles have lost there original message and are being preached using a false understanding of what was originally written? For instance "matrix" described from where a women gives birth but today it has another meaning and they even named a movie it, haha? And the word "hate" simply meant "to reject" and people think God "hated" Esau as we hate serial killers, haha?

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