Jeffrey Salkin: Martini Judaism Opinion

The eclipse is deeper than we thought

A time-lapse photo of the May 20, 2012, solar eclipse near Sunset Beach, Calif. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Jim Nista

(RNS) Have you gotten your official eclipse-viewing gear yet?

Call it free celestial entertainment. That is how The New York Times described a solar eclipse in 1925 — as “the most magnificent free show nature presents to man.” That show is coming, again, on Monday (Aug. 21).

But, for our ancestors, an eclipse was not a show.

It was a cosmic event.


RELATED: Signs and wonder: How people of different faiths view the total solar eclipse


Kings trembled when they saw an eclipse. In the Bible, King Hezekiah was on his deathbed. He prayed for healing — and as a sign that he would be healed of his illness, God sent a sign, in the form of a shadow that fell upon his house.

Astronomers know that on March 5, in 702 B.C, which was 15 years before the king died, there was a solar eclipse that could be seen throughout the Middle East.

Hezekiah was lucky. Other kings weren’t. The son of Charlemagne, Louis, most likely died after the eclipse of May 5, 840. The French king, Louis XIV, the “Sun King” who chose the sun as his emblem, ironically died right after an eclipse.

No wonder that Shakespeare thought that an eclipse was a “stain on the sun that portended no good.”

Likewise, our Jewish ancestors were afraid of eclipses. The sages of the Talmud were sure that it was human behavior — human sinfulness, to be exact — that caused eclipses.

What is it about eclipses that captures our imagination?

The darkness of the sun arouses the worst of our primitive fears — that the sun is leaving, and that the darkness will be permanent. For that is the origin of the word “eclipse.” It comes from the Greek word for “abandonment.”

Judaism understands, and responds to, the fear.

Whenever I pray the evening prayers, I realize why they are there.

To help us cope with our fear of the night.

“God rolls light in front of darkness and darkness in front of light, and causes day to pass and brings on the night.”

Have no fear. It is God — and not a demon — who creates the night. God will bring back the day, as well.

Try reading the Hebrew.

Maariv aravim

Shearim

Mishaneh itim

Machalif hazmanim

Mesader

B’mishmoroteyhem

The most dominant letter in those words is the letter M — “mem” in Hebrew.

The word for mother, in most languages, begins with the letter M. Because M is the sound of comfort.

Yes, the night is here, but do not fear.

And then, divine love.

“With an eternal love You love us” — not a love that might disappear in the wee hours. God is our night light.

And then: “Lie us down in peace and raise us up again.” Night is the time for the human enemy and for plague and war and hunger and sorrow.

There are night demons, we thought — and perhaps we still think. There are forces within us that drive us to evil or to the animal pieces of our souls — and we feel those forces most acutely at night.

This summer, we lost one of America’s most brilliant sociologists, Peter Berger.

In his book A Rumor of Angels, Berger writes of the child who wakes up in the middle of a nightmare. His mother runs to comfort him. “There, there. There, there. Everything will be alright.”

Berger asks the question: Can she really be sure that everything is going to be alright? Or is that statement an act of faith?

It is an act of faith because it is a faith in the unseen. To enter the night is an act of faith.

This total solar eclipse in 1999 occurred when the moon completely covered the sun’s disk. Photo courtesy of Oregon State University

Which brings us to God.

There is evil in the world. This past week we were forced to remember that.

So, where is God?

The great theologian Martin Buber taught that God is hiding the divine face; that God, like a divine parent, plays peek-a-boo with the world; that we are living through a time of the eclipse of God.

It is a biblical idea that first makes its appearance in Deuteronomy. The prophet Isaiah understood it: “You are a God Who conceals himself!” the prophet exclaims. (Isaiah 45:15)

Just as we fear the disappearance of the sun, we fear the disappearance of God. Yes, God is there, but we are not feeling it.

During the Shoah, a Jew in Cologne wrote these words on a cellar wall:

I believe in the sun

even when it is not shining

And I believe in love,

even when there’s no one there.

And I believe in God,

even when he is silent.

But, now I want to pick a fight with this theology.

As compelling as it might sound, and as powerful as the image might be, I do not believe that God is in eclipse when evil happens.

What went into eclipse in Charlottesville, and in the days after Charlottesville?

  • The human conscience.
  • Human decency.
  • The ethics of historical memory.
  • Any sense of moral leadership from the White House.

And what has gone into eclipse, in the wake of the terror attacks in Barcelona?

No, not God.

Sanity itself. Perhaps, even civilization itself.

It is not human sinfulness that creates eclipses (as the sages taught; that is why there is no Jewish blessing for the sighting of an eclipse).

Rather, human sinfulness pushes our own humanity into eclipse.

Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was one of the most influential Hasidic teachers. He was a man who struggled with his own inner darkness, with the presence of God who seemed regularly to be in eclipse.

There is a popular Israeli song that is based on his words:

Our Father in Heaven says to us,

“Children, I will conceal Myself on that day,”

Even in a concealment within a concealment,

The Lord, may He be blessed, is certainly there

And behind the difficult things that stand before you,

I stand, I stand, I stand.

And yet — the Hebrew word for “darkness” is “shachor.” The Hebrew word for “dawn” is “shachar.”

Perhaps it will yet be true — that the shachor of the human soul in eclipse will wane, and bring moral shachar in its wake.

About the author

Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and Jewish Publication Society.

55 Comments

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  • What other outcome (except madness) is possible if one has to retain belief in a good, moral, loving, all-knowing and omnipotent God whilst simultaneously observing the reality of life for most of its “creation”.

  • Faith despite the obvious. We now understand and no longer fear the natural world but people still hold on to the supernatural.

  • Thank you Jeffrey. The eclipse is still a cosmic event. It expands our awareness of our Earth and what we are a part of and re-directs our attention from the earthly here-and-now to the sky and to space, toward the other 99.999% of life in the universe. The New Message from God calls this a “Greater Community Awareness” and I feel this perspective of a greater context for human life can bring relief and resolution to many of the human conflicts and dilemmas in the world now.

    I just hosted a successful Kickstarter to raise this awareness around the Eclipse and shared news of this on religionnews.com, which just got picked up by The Atlantic. This is an exciting time to bring awareness of a larger universe to millions of people now looking up. God has spoken anew in our modern time to help make this possible, bringing a new Revelation on life in the universe into our world.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/solar-eclipse-as-religious-experience/536823/

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reedsummers/ufos-and-et-contact-publish-new-book-and-spread-wo

    http://religionnews.com/2017/08/07/god-and-the-great-american-eclipse-religious-leader-publishes-book-of-revelation-on-extraterrestrial-life-as-millions-look-to-the-sky-during-the-total-solar-eclipse/

  • “Astronomers know that on March 5, in 702 B.C, which was 15 years before the king died, there was a solar eclipse that could be seen throughout the Middle East.”

    King Hezekiah died 699 BC. Above based on incorrect chronology of Thiele, I believe.

    Believe Gene has corrected. http://biblechronologybooks.com/hebrewkings.html
    pp 226,257
    Chapter V–HEZEKIAH vs. SENNACHERIB: THIELE’S ANACHRONISM pp 99-118
    Chapter X–ANCHOR DATES COMPARED; COMPUTER vs. THIELE pp 194-234

    “G. ANCHOR DATE 7
    701 B.C.–The Fourteenth Year Of Hezekiah
    The major date for Thiele’s chronology of the Hebrew kings is 701 BC. All really hinges on this date as an absolute date in his Hebrew chronology–

    ‘The date of 701 for the attack of Sennacherib in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah is a key point in my chronological pattern for the Hebrew rulers. This is a precise date from whih we may go forward or backward o the basis of the regnal data to all other dates in our pattern. Full confidence can be placed in 701 as the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, and and complete confidence can be placed in any other dates for either Israel or Judah reckoned from that date in accord with the reqirements of the numbers in Kings. 65 footnote Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, p. 174’

    Chapter 5 details the reasons why the year 701 can’t be the 14th year of Hezekiah. That chapter has shown clearly that two attacks against Jerusalem are given: both in the Bible and in the annals of Sennacherib. The Bible highlights the siege on the 14th of Hezekiah, and Sennacherib highlights the siege of the 27th of Hezekiah. The attack directed against Jerusalem in the Bible took place in 715 BC, the 14th year of Hezekiah. The siege against Judah’s capital in 702 BC (not 701 BC) occurred in the third year of Sennacherib.”

    Perhaps this relates to eclipse of March 5, 702 BC. Perhaps the darkening of the Chronology of Hebrew Kings is signified by this eclipse.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+18.1-19.37%2C+20.10%2C20&version=NIV

    Maybe if this book is found, it will clarify– “are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?”

    6/15/763 BC was eclipse of Nineveh when Jonah preached.
    http://biblechronologybooks.com/scientificmethod.html

  • Today’s lection “May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us—
    2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.”

    “Shine” relates to eclipse.

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H215&t=KJV

    “Another likely literary source is the plague narrative in the Book of Exodus, in which Egypt is covered by darkness for three days.[61] It has been suggested that the author of Matthew’s gospel changed the Marcan text slightly to more closely match this source.[62] Commentators have also drawn comparisons with the description of darkness in the Genesis creation narrative,[63] with a prophecy regarding mid-day darkness by Jeremiah,[64] and with an end-times prophecy in the Book of Zechariah.[65][66]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_darkness

    http://religionnews.com/2017/08/18/the-splainer-did-a-solar-eclipse-darken-the-skies-during-jesus-crucifixion/

  • A careful reading of the Book of Job (the poem, not the prose fairy tale) describes a divinity that cannot be all of the things you say: “good, moral, loving, all-knowing and omnipotent.” At least one, maybe two, of the characteristics has to go.

  • No Edward – the bible does not answer anything – it can’t – unless you can prove its divine authority, and to do that you have to be able to provide demonstrably valid evidence for (or situations rationally inexplicable without) God. To do that would mean that belief/faith are unnecessary which, as I recall it, contradicts the “Word of God”.

    I’m sure you believe that the Bible has lots of answers, because God, but your opinion is based on faith and faith is irrational (the belief in things unseen).

    And so the loop plays and repeats.

    ISTM that all the Bible can do is enable those who irrationally invest supernatural qualities in the man-made, largely fictional, often inaccurate essays selected, by self-interested men, for inclusion therein to convince themselves that their biases and hopes are sanctified by reference to an unevidenced superbeing.

  • “toward the other 99.999% of life in the universe.”
    You have evidence of life outside Earth’s?

    How does one get this “New Message from God” and how did “God” communicate this message and how do you know it’s from “God”. Why doesn’t “God” tell everyone directly?

  • thanks – I can’t rival your scholarship but learnt, in my early teens, to distinguish between wishful thinking and the actuality of the world we live in. It was much later I discovered that my teenage brilliance was common reasoning and thousands of years old (Epicurus/Sextus Empiricus?)

  • Why does not take the dog the bone? You would get answers if you start thinking with your heart and start listening to your deeper intelligence – in stillness.

  • Because it’s has been taught that theft is immoral?

    My heart is a muscle – it pumps blood – it can neither think nor listen.

    If we use our imagination (an interplay of synaptic connections within the brain) we can get any answers we want – and consequently most are likely to be wrong.

    What do you mean by my “deeper intelligence”? How do you know it exists? How does “deeper intelligence” get more reliable answers than the scientific method?

    What does Reed Summers’ lack of response to my questions suggest?

  • Yes. God, Jesus, angels, Satan and his demons and all of the residents of heaven plus Mormons on their personal planets. Plus the other gods and their resurrected adherents.

  • The bible’s lack of accuracy in scientific and historical matters precludes it from your claims.

  • I’m quite content to await the future outcome that will disprove absolutely everything you have just argued.

  • “It comes from the Greek word for “abandonment.””

    The term is derived from the ancient Greek noun ἔκλειψις (ékleipsis), which means “the abandonment”, “the downfall”, or “the darkening of a heavenly body”, which is derived from the verb ἐκλείπω (ekleípō) which means “to abandon”, “to darken”, or “to cease to exist,”[2] a combination of prefix ἐκ- (ek-), from preposition ἐκ (ek), “out,” and of verb λείπω (leípō), “to be absent”. — Wikipedia

  • Who cares how Christians twist Jewish Scripture and Jewish texts? This is a column about Judaism.

  • The outcome is called Judaism. And Jews do not subscribe to the Christian doctrine that God is “all-knowing and omnipotent“.

  • and that is one of the reasons why religious belief is dangerous. You are content to await – whatever – in the expectation that everything will magically get sorted out without humanity having to do anything.

    As Terry Pratchett put it “If you stop telling people it’s all sorted out after they’re dead, they might try sorting it out while they’re alive.”

  • You may well know better than me (I rather hope you do as I’m relying on quick searches) but there seems to be a wide acceptance that Orthodox Judaism regards God as omniscient (all-knowing).
    Maimonides’ principles of faith are said to include “I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, knows all the deeds of human beings and all their thoughts,” which might let God get away with being wrong about evolution but doesn’t absolve him from causing cognitive dissonance.

    As to omnipotent – again there seems to be a belief that God created the world and us – so if not omnipotent at least a bit out of the ordinary potent. And what use to anyone is a non-omnipotent God?

  • It is said that the only thing that is beyond His power is the fear of Him; that is, we have free will, and He cannot compel us to do His will.

    We read in the Talmud: “All is in the hands of Heaven, but the fear of Heaven.” It is a crucial tenet of Jewish belief that while God knows past, present, and future, human beings have free will or freedom of choice in their own lives.

    In the eighteenth century, the Hasidic teacher Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav wrote in Likkule Maharan, “God, as is well known, is above all time. This a truly marvelous notion,utterly incomprehensible, impossible for the human mind to grasp.”

    It is a paradox we live with … sometimes comfortably, sometimes not.

  • It may be a paradox you choose to live with – to others it may just be an unnecessary complication they can happily and successfully live without.

    For what it’s worth – a massive amount of research-based evidence , starting with Stanley Milgram in the early 1960s and now using high-tech such as fMRI scanners points extremely convincingly to the absence of free will.

    Much as I dislike the idea it really seems that we react to situations in our sub-conscious based on our unique mix of nature and nurture. The idea that we made a conscious decision is just a story we tell ourselves, as is much of what we believe we are seeing at anyone time and a lot of what we think we remember. Our brains, it seems, may, in our present environment, be better suited to processing than to either data collection or storage.

  • Being “content to wait” does not mean sitting idly by without taking constructive action. I am content to wait on the fulfillment of scripture which I believe God has ordained through His prophets. At the same time I am compelled to live my life in obedience to that scripture and bear witness to it by my words and actions, which should be conducted in a way that is amenable to all. On another note, I applaud your pun with respect to being “wound up,” in reference to my allusion to God as a “Watchmaker.” I love a good pun as much as anyone.

  • I’m sure I replied to you on this, but I don’t find it here. Suffice it to say that I disagree entirely.

  • Thanks – but ISTM that you are not advocating innovation outside that which is scripturally mandated. Without some very liberal reinterpretation of the bible your constructive actions will be severely limited won’t they?

    Even by your explanation “content to wait” carries the risk that the wait is in vain – and much human misery which might otherwise be averted would be the unnecessary lot of billions of people.

    BTW – do you actually have a problem accepting the scientific theory of evolution?

  • It is meant to be inconclusive, but hopeful. What more can we do to increase light and banish darkness, other than do good in the world and hope for the best?

  • An admirable sentiment, but sadly in many instances we can not collectively agree as to the good; though succoring the ill, widows and orphans, and others beaten down by life, primarily through our private means would be a good start. Private means are superior to governmental means because they require a greater personal investment in those we aid and can build personal bonds that can never be achieved by a government check. And the private means are certainly available if people would reprioritize their material values.

  • As I believe in strict honesty in replying to queries put to me, I will reply in that manner. Yes I believe that scientifically speaking, evolution is utterly lacking in its composition as a credible explanation for the emergence of life on this or any other planet. A substantial minority of scientists with legitimate credentials believe this as well. Granted such scientists do not constitute a majority, but a majority does not constitute evidence. Many scientists have a vested interest in terms of funding and other material considerations to promote and endorse the prevailing view, so I feel free to question their objectivity. On your original point, my personal inclination to act or innovate based on my understanding of the bible does not negate the potential for affirmative results coming from that understanding. My “waiting” is a philosophical stance predicated on my confidence in the plan of history laid by God in scripture.

  • “Don’t agree that this column is only about Judaism.”

    It’s called “Martini Judaism” for what reason then?

    Your Bible excerpt refers to a forthcoming Messianic age which has obviously not occurred yet. “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

    WILL make you. Future. Passive. With no effort on the part of anyone but God.

  • My comment at companion article. http://religionnews.com/2017/08/18/the-splainer-did-a-solar-eclipse-darken-the-skies-during-jesus-crucifixion/

    “Could this have been reversal of Creation process which started with “Light” before Sun,moon,stars.? Any scientific or theological explanation?
    Loss Hall of Hewn Stones 30 AD fulfillment of Jacob’s Judah Messianic prophecy. See Genesis Rabbah 49.10. 4th Day Creation of Sun points to 4th millenium Son of Judah as Messiah, Sun of Righteousness.
    Genesis 49 happens to be part of lection for today.

    “John’s distress that no one is worthy to open the seals is met by a description of one who is the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’ and the ‘Root of David’. Both these titles evoke traditional messianic hopes based on Gen 49:9 and Isa 11:10 respectively. Indeed Donald Juel–Messianic Exegesis– points out that these verses are also found together in the Midrash on Genesis known as Genesis Rabbah (2.901):

    Furthermore, the royal Messiah will be descended from the tribe of Judah, as it says, ‘And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek’ (Isa 11:10).
    It was chronologic prophecy based on Sun creation on fourth day, and that Messiah would come during fourth thousand year period. Judah was fourth son, daleth is fourth letter in his name and alef bet. He was fourth son of Jacob.”
    https://www.biblegateway.co
    Fulfillment of Amos 8 prophecy relates “Sign of Jonah” & eclipse June 15,763 BC
    John 8.12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
    .”

  • Not a chance.

    I am better than happy – I’m content (including being content with my imperfections).

    Success is a different animal. I would see convincing humanity to reject superstitious belief as a “success” though my failure to achieve it doesn’t leave me feeling as though I’m a failure.

  • Any scientist, any person, who considers that evolution does not explain the emergence of life is 100% right.
    The scientific theory of evolution is the only credible, evidence-fitting, rationally defensible and prognosticationally(?) successful explanation of what has happened to living beings between the origin of life and the present.
    How life originated is not a part of “evolution” any more than how a midge pollinates a cocoa plant is a part of the conversion of beans into a bar of chocolate. A vital precursor but not part of the process.
    The study of the process by which life originated is called “abiogenesis”.

    “my personal inclination to act or innovate based on my understanding of the bible does not negate the potential for affirmative results” – it doesn’t mean that there is any potential for affirmative results though does it – it’s faith again isn’t it.

  • I’m sorry, but my reading of a number of proponents of evolution demonstrates that the origin or emergence of life is precisely the question. It does in fact mean that the potential is there. And finally, faith based on evidence and experience is no leap in the dark. Because you don’t have that experience, and do not accept evidence that is incomprehensible to you does not negate either the experience or the evidence. Cheers.

  • The scientific theory of evolution is about the change, over successive generations, in the heritable characteristics of biological populations.

    Abiogenesis, known informally as “the origin of life”, is the natural process by which life arises from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds.

    faith is not based on evidence – it is defined as belief, as conviction, as trust, as “spiritual conviction rather than proof”. If you have evidence you have (to a greater or lesser degree) a reasonable expectation based on that evidence. And, of course, not all evidence is of equal value.

    Similarly experience is not automatically evidence, dreams are experiences but often an unreliable guide to future events, memory is so malleable that “eye-witness testimony” is regarded by prosecutors as the worst possible form of evidence in court and we all know about confirmation bias don’t we.

    “Because you don’t have that experience, and do not accept evidence that is incomprehensible to you does not negate either the experience or the evidence.” But
    it not only fails to negate or support – it invalidates it as being a rational reason for belief. I don’t doubt your sincerity, it’s what you are sincere about that is open to question and without demonstrable, testable, potentially disprovable evidence it is nothing more than opinion, sincerely held no doubt but still opinion.

    I shalln’t have access to this site for the next 10 days or so – I wish you well.

  • Guess because Rabbi writes it.

    Refers to Christian Bible Chronology. Peter Berger, Shakespeare were Christians. Roots of Christianity are in Judaism. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    “Messianic age” Could have something to do with rejection of Messiah. See my comment on Judah prophecy. The Messiah has come. Don’t know about the “age” for Jews, Christians?

    Don’t you allow or like Christians to comment on this column “about Judaism”?

    “Who cares how Christians twist Jewish Scripture and Jewish texts?” Still not clear about which “twist” you are “caring” about.

  • a) Try <>. There is a goyishe twist if I ever saw one.

    b) “Messianic age” Could have something to do with rejection of Messiah.

    Nope. And too bad your own Bible quote doesn’t say that either.

    c) Isn’t Judaism supposed to be “light to the Gentiles”?

    And I conclusively demonstrated that it is not. You might have the grace to acknowledge that your twisted Bible verse doesn’t say that, and that you were WRONG.

    d) Don’t you allow or like Christians to comment on this column “about Judaism”?

    I don’t allow or forbid much of anything, but if you persist in making “Martini Judaism” a forum for your Jeezus, I will call it out every single time.

  • What about the Christian Bible Chronology? That is my main interest in this column.

    “Kings trembled when they saw an eclipse. In the Bible, King Hezekiah was on his deathbed. He prayed for healing — and as a sign that he would be healed of his illness, God sent a sign, in the form of a shadow that fell upon his house.

    Astronomers know that on March 5, in 702 B.C, which was 15 years before the king died, there was a solar eclipse that could be seen throughout the Middle East.”

    Quoted from https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/august-2017-eclipse-of-biblical-proportions/

    Believe this is Thiele’s chronology and in error regarding Hezekiah’s death year.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_R._Thiele

    What do you believe is correct chronology according to Judaism?

    http://biblechronologybooks.com/hebrewkings.html

  • <>

    Yours, and nobody else’s on Earth. Post away, if that’s what you want to do with what’s left of your life. I’m sure Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin and his column about Judaism doesn’t care either.

    <>

    The chronology of the Tanna R. Yossi ben Halafta.

  • Earlier in Matthew https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+16.1-4&version=NIV mentions Sign of Jonah . May be eclipse of June 15/763 BC, and Crucifixiion Darkness.

    Catholic lectionary includes Isaiah 22.19-23 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082717.cfm https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+22.19-23%2C+Matthew+16.19&version=NIV

    Discussed in https://www.amazon.com/Matthew-Believers-Church-Bible-Commentary/dp/0836135555 & https://www.amazon.com/New-Jerome-Biblical-Commentary/dp/B00G36DLXS/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=8KR588HTA5597QA12PCM

    “Shebna was leading force in Hezekiah’s Assyrian policy”. Eliakim replaced him as “master of the palace.” May have been “later piece describing an eschatological messianic figure.” Connection to March 5, in 702 B.C eclipse, which may have been ominous for King Hezekiah’s 699 BC death rather than 15 more years of life.

  • Today’s read https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2018:1-3,%2020-32;%201%20Samuel%207:3-13;%20Romans%202:1-11

    Has chronology, light/darkness.
    You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
    2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.

    4/29/1038 BC-12/20/1018 Ark to Jerusalem 430 years later First Temple Destruction in 588 BC. Hezekiah’s Chronology key anchor date.
    http://biblechronologybooks.com/hebrewkings.html

  • “The chronology of the kings has been determined by Edmund (sp) Thiele. If you check articles about Hezekiah you will find some variation in the year given for his death, but the date I gave is accepted.

    Pastor Frederick Baltz” email from him

    Seder Olam appears to have 696 as Hezekiah’s death date. That is closer to Gene’s date 699. http://www.seder-olam.info/seder-olam-g26-israel.html

    This column quotes Edwin Thiele’s date of 687

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