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    From the Division of the Land to Samuel the Prophet

    From this division of the land to the death of Joshua, and from then to the first captivity, the time is not given in the Old Testament. To this epoch, there is an uninterrupted succession of periods. The New Testament enables us to continue the chain of inspired Chronology, without any breach, from the Creation to the time of Samuel the Prophet:ASC 64.3

    “And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land by lot. And after that, he gave unto them judges, about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the Prophet.” Acts 13:19, 20.ASC 64.4

    This period of 450 years, from the dividing of the land to Samuel, is thus filled up.ASC 65.1

    “And it came to pass a long time after that the Lord had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.” Joshua 23:1. And “Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old.” Joshua 24:29.ASC 65.2

    The time of the death of Joshua is not given in the Scriptures. Josephus states that it was twenty-five years after the passage of the river Jordan. If so, he must have been six years older than Caleb, eighty-five at the death of Moses, and forty-five at the Exode; soon after which it is said of him, “Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” Exodus 33:11. The time given by Josephus is, therefore, a probable period for his reign, which would place his death A. M. 2579.ASC 65.3

    “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that he had don[Original illegible] for Israel.” Joshua 24:31. “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim.” Judges 2:10, 11.ASC 65.4

    This brings us to the commencement of their first captivity, to which time, from the death of Moses, the duration is not given in the Scriptures. As all who were over twenty years of age at the Exode died in the wilderness, save Caleb and Joshua, (Numbers 14:29,) there could be none, save them, who were more than sixty at the Eisode. Josephus makes eighteen years from the death of Joshua to this time; but he omits the eight years of Abdon’s judgeship, (Judges 12:13,) and gives a year to Shamgar, (Judges 3:31.) Rectifying these, eleven years are left for this interregnum, which will be thirty-six years from the death of Moses,-as in Dr. Hales,-seventy-six from the Exode, and thirty from the first division of the land.ASC 66.1

    “The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.... Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia.” Judges 3:7, 8. A. M. 2590.ASC 66.2

    The children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years..... “And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz.” Judges 3:8, 9. A. M. 2598.ASC 66.3

    “And the land had rest forty years...And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon, king of Moab, against Israel.” vs. 11, 12. A. M. 2638.ASC 66.4

    “So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera.” vs. 14, 15. A. M. 2656.ASC 67.1

    “So the land had rest eighty years...And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead. And the Lord sold them into the hand o[Original illegible] Jabin, king of Canaan.” Judges 3:30, and Judges 4:1, 2. A. M. 2736.ASC 67.2

    “Twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.... And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time...And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand...So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan.” vs. 3-23. A. M. 2756.ASC 67.3

    “The land had rest forty years..... And the children of Israel did [Original illegible]il in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.” Judges 5:31; Judges 6:1. A. M. 2796.ASC 67.4

    “The Lord looked upon Gi[Original illegible]eon, and said, Go, in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” 6:14. “Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel.” Judges 8:28. A. M. 2803.ASC 67.5

    “The country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon...And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim.” 8:28, 33. “And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Milo, and went and made Abimelech king.” Judges 9:6. A. M. 2843.ASC 68.1

    “When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem...And he died.” 9:22, 24, 54. A. M. 2846.ASC 68.2

    “After Abimelech there arose to defend Israel, Tola.... And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died.” Judges 10:1, 2. A. M. 2869.ASC 68.3

    “After him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years...And Jair died.” vs. 3, 5. A. M. 2891.ASC 68.4

    “The children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord...And he sold them into the hands of the Philistines...They vexed and oppressed the children of Israel eighteen years.” vs. 6, 8, to A. M. 2909.ASC 68.5

    Here the Lord raised up Jephthah, who, being demanded by the children of Ammon that he should restore the land to them that Israel took from them when they came out of Egypt, replied: “While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years, why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?” Judges 11:26. To the beginning of the captivity, out of which they were just delivered, from the elders and anarchy, was three hundred and one years, according to this chronology.ASC 68.6

    “So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hand. Judges 11:32. “Jephthah judged Israel six years,” 12:7, to A. M. 2915.ASC 69.1

    After him Ibzan of Beth-lehem judged Israel.... And he judged Israel seven years.” Judges 12:8, 9, to A. M. 2922.ASC 69.2

    “After him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.” v. 11. And died A. M. 2932.ASC 69.3

    “After him Abdon ...judged Israel, ...and he judged Israel eight years.” vs. 13, 14. A. M. 2940.ASC 69.4

    “The children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty years.” Judges 13:1, to A. M. 2980.ASC 69.5

    During this bondage of forty years, Samson “judged Israel in the days of the Philistines, twenty years.”-15:20. Samson did not deliver Israel from the Philistines. The promise respecting him was: “He shall begin to deliver Israel,” etc.-13:5. It was reserved to Samuel to complete their deliverance. Samson does not seem to have exercised the office of a civil magistrate, and could only have judged Israel by being their avenger, and an executor of Divine justice. Many writers suppose Samson and Eli were contemporary; and that the administration of the civil and religious laws were committed to Eli. The precise time and extent of Samson’s administration is a subject of some perplexity. The marginal reading of Judges 15:20 is: “He seems to have judged south-west Israel during twenty years of their servitude of the Philistines,”-making it quite limited. Dr. Hales supposes it ended with their servitude; but no certain evidence of it exists.ASC 69.6

    From the commencement of the book of Judges to the close of the 16th chapter, the history is continuous. With the 17th chapter commences a Second Part of the book of Judges, where are recorded transactions which could not have been related in their chronological place without interrupting the narration of the simple succession of events.ASC 70.1

    The time of the events here added is gathered with some certainty from the remark that, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” 17:6, and 21:25. The word (melech) here rendered king, says Dr. Clark, “is sometimes taken for a supreme governor, judge, magistrate, or ruler, of any kind...and should be so understood here.”-Com. From this it is generally conceded that the time of Micah, whose acts are here recorded, was previous to the Judges, and during the anarchy which followed the death of the elders who outlived Joshua. Consequently, the remaining portion of the Judges is not a continuation of the history, which closes with the 16th chapter, during the Philistine ascendency.ASC 70.2

    “The Book of Ruth” is also a kind of appendix to the Book of the Judges. It begins with a time “in the days when the Judges ruled,” and “there was a famine in the land.” Bishop Patrick is of the opinion that “these things came to pass in the days of Gideon, when the children of the East came and destroyed the increase of the earth, and left no sustenance for Israel nor for their cattle.” Judges 6:3, 4:-the only famine noted during the Judges. Other writers locate the time differently. It is sufficient here, to show that it is not subsequent to the death of Samson.ASC 71.1

    The Books of Samuel are a continuation of the Book of Judges; but whether the first Book begins where the 16th chapter of Judges leaves the narrative, is not undisputed. The history of the Judges ends with a period of forty years of Philistine oppression. The first Book of Samuel begins with the history of Samuel, when Eli was Judge. In the 4th chapter we find Israel smitten by the Philistines, and the ark of God taken by them. The 7th chapter shows, that, twenty years after this, the Philistines are defeated, and no more trouble Israel. Mr. Brown, in his “Ordo Sæclorum,” a work of much research, thinks that this last servitude, which continued twenty years after the death of Eli, is that referred to in the Book of Judges, as continuing forty years. Dr. Hales considers it another servitude, commencing at the death of Eli, forty years after the close of the one in the Judges. There are arguments in favor of each view.ASC 71.2

    When the sons of Eli did wickedly, we read that, “Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child,” 2:18; and that “Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel,” v. 22. “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli;” and when “he was laid down to sleep” ...the Lord called Samuel; and he answered, “Here am I,” (3:1-4,) supposing Eli had called.ASC 72.1

    At this time it was revealed to Samuel that an end was to be made of the house of Eli, “for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” v. 13. “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” vs. 19, 20.ASC 72.2

    Soon after this, “Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer, ...and the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten...And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, were slain...Now Eli was ninety and eight years old;” and when he heard that the ark of God was taken, “he fell from off the seat backward, by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.” 4:1, 10, 11, 15, 18.ASC 72.3

    “The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months,” 6:1; after which they returned it to Israel to Kirjathjearim. “And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long, for it was twenty years.” 7:2. “And Samuel said, gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh...And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel, ...and they came no more into the coast of Israel...And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” 7:5-15.ASC 73.1

    The question to be decided here is,-What event, in the time of Samuel, marks the termination of the 450 years of Acts 13:20, which extend to him, from the division of the land. To cover that period, we have the following items:-ASC 73.2

    From the distribution of the land, to the death of Joshua, estimated at, 19 years.
    From his death to the first servitude, 11
    The 1st. Servitude-Mesopotamia, 8
    Othniel, 40
    2nd Servitude-Moab, 18
    Ehud and Shamgar, 80
    3rd. Servitude-Canaan, 20
    Deborah and Barak, 40
    4th. Servitude-Midian, 7
    Gideon, 40
    Abimelech, 3
    Tola, 23
    Jair, 22
    5th. Servitude-Ammon, 18
    Jephthah, 6
    Ibzan, 7
    Elon, 10
    Abdon, 8
    6th. Servitude-Philistines, (including twenty years of Samson,) 40
    ——
    Making to the close of this servitude, 420
    Required to complete the 450 years, 30
    ——
    450

    Dr. Hales terminates the four hundred and fifty years at the call of Samuel, (3rd chap.) which he places in the thirty-first year of Eli’s administration-making Eli succeed Samson, as Judge, at the close of the Philistine bondage; and to continue ten years after the call of Samuel, who, Josephus asserts, was twelve years old when the Lord spake to him.-Josephus, Ant. v. 10, 4. From the termination of the four hundred and fifty years, of Acts 13:20, Dr. Hales assigns,-

    To the death of Eli, 10 years.
    To the day of Mizpeh, 20
    To the election of Saul, 12
    To the election of David, 40

    [With the previous time-from the death of Terah-Dr. Hales agrees with the foregoing calculations. For the time previous to the call of Abraham, he adopts the Septuagint version, which is noticed in full, on pp. 183-226. As a much shorter chronology is given by Archbishop Usher, and Sir John Marsham, for the period of the Judges, their views are presented in the Appendix.]ASC 75.1

    Mr. Brown, 6In his Ordo Sæclorum. on the other hand, supposes that Eli was contemporary with Samson, and that the four hundred and fifty years terminate at the day of Mizpeh, when it is said, “Samuel judged the children of Israel.” 1 Samuel 7:6. At whatever point in the history of Samuel they may terminate, they continue an unbroken chain of inspired chronology, to more than three thousand years from Creation-according to the following items:ASC 75.2

    Creation, A. M. 1
    Age of Adam at the birth of his son, 130 131
    ”” Seth, ”” “ 105 236
    ”” Enos, ”” “ 90 326
    ”” Canaan, ”” “ 70 396
    ”” Mahalaleel, ”” “ 65 461
    ”” Jared, ”” “ 162 623
    ”” Enoch, ”” “ 65 688
    ”” Methuselah, ”” “ 187 875
    ”” Lamech, ”” “ 182 1057
    ”” Noah at the Deluge, 600 1657
    From the Deluge to birth of Arphaxad, 2 1659
    Age of Arphaxad at the birth of his son, 35 1694
    ”” Salah, ”” “ 30 1724
    ”” Eber, ”” “ 34 1758
    ”” Peleg, ”” “ 30 1788
    ”” Reu, ”” “ 32 1820
    ”” Serug, ”” “ 30 1850
    ”” Nahor, ”” “ 29 1879
    ”” Terah at his death, 205 2084
    From his deuth to the Exode, 430 2514
    In the Wilderness, 40 2554
    To the division of the land, 5 2560
    During the Judges to Samuel, 450 3010
    ------
    3000 years.
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