8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division When was this? Gene believes it can be dated to the day. https://www.worldcat.org/title/witnesses-for-jesus-the-messiah/oclc/21426450

23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.

24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she [q]kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying

She conceived Nisan. Sixth month of her pregnancy was also sixth Hebrew month Elul.

36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and [z]she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.

John Is Born 57 Now the time [an]had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had [ao]displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.

59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, [ap]after his father. 60 But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. 64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.

Gene suggests John born First Day Hanukkah & circumcised 8th Day.

Haftarah Hanukkah from Zechariah. https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/zec/4/1/t_conc_915007 Hebrew word for "Grace" relates to John's name.

  • Gene is Eugene Faulstich. I believe he has done most complete & accurate bible chronology. The link is chronology of John the Baptist & Jesus.. Aug 15, 2020 at 17:26
  • The link to Zechariah text, which John's father would have been familiar with could have been read in synagogues.on Sabbath of Hanukkah. chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3530454/jewish/… uscj.org.il/commentaries/… Gene asserts that sections established 1 Chronicles 24 were continuous up to Zechariah's time. Thanks for your comments. I look forward to further clarification in answer to questions. Aug 15, 2020 at 17:42
  • Larry Valin - Thanks for sharing a Great Question and resource regarding the timeline of Luke 1 as it relates to 1 Chronicles 24! I hope the links I provided help clarify the Hebrew calendar in regards to the division of Abiyah. שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם Aug 15, 2020 at 17:56
  • Today's Gospel would have originally have occurred at this time of year, 6th Hebrew month, Elul 1 next Friday. youtube.com/watch?v=n5eFF-JQHTI Aug 15, 2020 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


How can the priestly Order of Abijah clarify the chronology of Luke 1?

In 1 Chronicles 24, King David divided the descendants of Levi into smaller divisions so that each family would have an equal opportunity to minister. Likewise, the priests were also divided. There were 24 divisions, which allowed each division, or order, to serve for two weeks each year (1 Chr. 24:4-6).1 The order of Abijah (Abijah) was the eighth order (v. 10). - Abiyah ( אֲבִיָּ֖ה) served as priest in the first 2-weeks of July ('Tammuz'). * Reference [https://israelmyglory.org/article/the-order-of-abijah/ ]

The Priestly Division (Order) of Abiyah (אֲבִיָּ֖ה) is referenced in the Gospel of Luke. In Luke 1:5-9, we read : "In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense." [NIV]

Since the Division of Abiyah served as temple priests for King David during the first 2-weeks of Tammuz, we can deduce that Zechariah the father of John the Baptist served during July! * - Reference [https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Calendar/calendar.html]

  • This assumes, I believe, that sections start from beginning each year in Nisan. Gene believes they run continuously without interruption. Jehoiarib serving Ab 9, when Temples destroyed. " Talmud Mishnah (b. Ta?an 29a). Av 9 fell on Saturday, August 4th in 70 AD Josephus Wars 6.4.5" Same with 1st Temple in 588 BC. Aug 15, 2020 at 18:23
  • There is nothing wrong with reasonable speculations or educated guesses, but there is definitely something wrong with presenting it as fact.
    – Lucian
    Aug 15, 2020 at 21:14
  • 1
    " wrong with presenting it as fact." What is presented as "fact"? Aug 16, 2020 at 16:00
  • "They each served for 7 days in perpetual rotation, resulting in a cycle of 168 days (2 Chronicles 23.8)" p 6 worldcat.org/title/witnesses-for-jesus-the-messiah/oclc/… Aug 16, 2020 at 16:20
  • Larry - Thanks for sharing more of your research and resources. After reading [Luke 1:5-9] with [2 Chronicles 23] we learn additional rules for Levite Guards are made by Jehoiada the priest: 1/3 of Levites guard the priest on Sabbath as "gatekeepers of the thresholds" + 1/3 of Levites guard the king's palace + 1/3 of Levites guard the Yesod gate. Yet this security service reform of Levite guards did not refer to Priests. In Luke 1:5, Zechariah is a priest not a levite guard, so his priestly duties at temple are still needed during a 2-week period in the 8th division's service, correct? Aug 16, 2020 at 19:10

I rely on work of Eugene Faulstich for Bible Chronology. http://biblechronologybooks.com/ Believe 4 main books free for postage through website.

The underlying "assumption" is that the priestly orders are perpetual from onset. This makes them much more valuable as chronological confirmation as compared to restarting at Jehoiarib each Nisan/New Year.

Luke presents: "1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught."

Gene has 2 pages in Kings book http://biblechronologybooks.com/hebrewkings.html using priestly cycles to establish 588 BC for First Temple Destruction. pp 38-40

Gene shows continuity pre- & post Exile. First offering Tishri 1,549 BC. Ezra 3.6

He shows continuity with Maccabees 1.57,60-64,2.1

I believe Luke & all involved in chapter 1 believe Zechariah/Abijah section was on schedule.

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