The Crossing of the Jordan River

Josh 1:2  … Arise, go over this Jordan … unto the land which I do give … even to the children of Israel.

 

There are many important events recorded in the Bible – The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, The Babylonian Captivity, The Exodus, The Crossing of the Jordan River, Noah’s Flood, The Division of Tongues at Babel, & Creation to name a few.  But there is only one event that seems to be the center of biblical prophecy.  Like the compass of a needle to the North, almost every prophecy analyzed in this book points to this one date.

The date is not as many would assume, the death and resurrection of Christ.  Although this date may be the culmination of biblical prophecy, it is not its center.  The date I refer to is the CROSSING OF THE JORDAN RIVER.  It is this date, when Israel entered Canaan that the cycle of Jubilees and Sabbatical Years began.  In fact, it is the Sabbath and Jubilee Years that tie together almost every prophecy after the crossing of Jordan. 

We are led to one intriguing question:  If the crossing of the Jordan River and the entrance of the Israelites in Canaan is such a critical date to biblical history and prophecy – Do we know the date of this event?  Do we know the date in which the Jubilee and Sabbatical cycle originated?

 

I.  The Chronology


1Kings 6:1 -- The 480 Years

As shown in an earlier table, the Crossing of the Jordan River occurred approximately 1407/1406 BC.  We know this

from a key chronological marker recorded in the book of Kings.  The year Solomon began to build the Temple is given both in terms of the exodus from Egypt as well as the year of Solomon’s reign:

1Kin 6:1  And it came to pass in the 480th 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 was established in Thiele’s “Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings” that the fourth year of Solomon corresponds to 967/966 BC.  Therefore the date of the Exodus must be

967 / 966 BC + 480 years = 1447 / 1446 BC = EXODUS

And since the Crossing of the Jordan took place 40 years later:

1447 / 1446 BC - 40 years = 1407 / 1406 BC = CROSSING OF JORDAN

Conservative scholars consider this date as the exact date of the event based on the “inerrancy” of scripture.  In the chapter “Method and Approach,” I argued that while certain numbers are subject to error such as scribal errors or rounding, other numbers such as prophecy were not. 

The number 480, of course, serves only as a chronological marker and may be off by several years.  In other words, 480 years was not a time-span revealed by God to Solomon, but was probably pieced together by the priests from what little information they had.  It does, however, place us within the approximate time period that the Exodus and the Crossing of Jordan occurred.

 

Acts 13:20 and the Period of the Judges

The book of Judges and 1 Samuel are filled with chronological information, but these dates seem to directly contradict the 480 years specified in 1 Kings 6:1.  The book of Judges begins with the death of Joshua and his generation.  Afterwards Israel falls into a cycle of sin, oppression & deliverance.  The nation would begin to fall into iniquity, God would deliver them into the hands of their enemy, and after Israel repented and cried out for God to save them—God would send them a judge to deliver them.  If the data is taken at face value and assumed to be CONSECUTIVE, then the time between the death of Joshua and his generation to the last judge, Samuel [1Sam 7:6,15], is exactly 450 years.


This, of course, is the time-span of 450 years given by Paul in the New Testament.  [FN:  Vital Biblical Issues:  Examination of Problematic Passages of the Bible, p 125].

Acts 13:20  And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of 450 years, until Samuel the prophet.

It should be obvious that Paul was simply adding together the dates as if they were consecutive.  The problem is that this only leaves 30 years for

the time between the Exodus and the crossing of the Jordan River (which we know to be 40 years),

the crossing of Jordan and the death of Joshua and his generation (which is no less than 5 years),

the judgeship of Shagmar in which no time span is given,

the judgeship of Samuel after the death of Eli but before anointing Saul (no less than 20 years),

the reign of Saul (about 40 years),

the reign of David (40 years)

and the 4 years to the building of the Temple in Solomon’s 4th year!!

Obviously either the 480 years of 1Kings 6:1 is much longer, or the 450 years of Acts 13:20 is much shorter – or some combination of the two.  But how can the two be resolved?

 

Jephthah’s 300 Years & Concurrent Periods

The first step toward a resolution of these scriptures is to examine yet another chronological reference given in the book of Judges by Jephthah, the Judge who delivered the Israelites from the Ammonites.  The Ammonites sought to reclaim land that was possessed by the Israelites, arguing that Israel took the lands from them when they entered Canaan.  Jephthah replied that they had not tried to recover those lands in the 300 years since Israel had dwelt there:

Judg 11:26  While Israel dwelt in … in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, 300 years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

Since the 300 years would be inclusive of the time between the crossing of the Jordan River to first year of Jephthah’s judgeship, it seems to support that the 480 years chronology of 1 Kings 6:1.  If so, there must have been overlap between the period of oppressions and the judges.  Other scriptures, including a reference that the Lord delivered Israel to the Ammonites and the Philistines simultaneously, support this thought.

Judg 10:7  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.

Another clue is found in the description of Shagmar, the man who slew 600 Philistine.  No time-span is given for this man, who was important enough to be mentioned by another Judge Deborah [Judges 5:6].  After a careful analysis of the chronological dates, one will notice that after some Judges the scriptures record that  “the land rested,” while after others it says they “judged” or “delivered” Israel.  These clues lead us to make the following assumptions regarding concurrencies.

1.  The Philistine and Ammonite oppression are concurrent [Judg 10:7]

2.  The key word “THE LAND RESTED” indicates periods of continuity, but the key words “judged,” delivered,” or “reigned,” are always concurrent with the final years of the period of oppression.

3.  Jephthah’s 6 years were concurrent with the last 6 years of the Ammonites 18 year oppression.  His reference to 300 years was given to the Ammonites in his first year of judgeship.

4.  The 40 year Philistine oppression ends at Ebenezer with the death of Eli.  Samson’s 20 years coincided with the last 20 years of the Philistine oppression.

Of course, two additional assumptions have to be made. The time between the crossing of the Jordan River to the death of Joshua and his generation was about 35 years, and the time between Eli’s death and Saul’s ascension was about 25 years.  Assuming these two time-spans and the proposed concurrencies, perfect agreement is found between the three key scriptures Acts 13:20, Judges 11:20, 1 Kings 6:1 as well as the other chronological information found in the book of Judges and 1 Samuel.

[FN:  Assuming Jephthah began judgeship during the Ammonites (and not after).
**The 300 years would have been inclusive of Jephthah's 1st year]

In addition, assuming that only the periods where the “land rested” are continuous, and the periods of “judgeship” are concurrent with periods of oppression, A PERFECT CYCLE OF OPPRESSION AND REST FROM WAR is seen.


Joshua’s Generation & Samuel’s Judgeship

It would be unfair to set the dates in stone based on this agreement between the data.  After all, Jephthah could have easily been rounding up from 280 years or down from 330 years.  The priests in Solomon’s time could have calculated the “480 years” using a similar analysis as I have made and assuming the 300 years of Jephthah were exact.  As I said before, there are two time spans, Joshua’s Generation and Samuel’s Judgeship, in which only inferences can me made regarding their approximate length.  Therefore, it would be beneficial to consider a RANGE OF DATES for the crossing of the Jordan River, and not a fixed date as was computed above.   This range will be determined based on the maximum and minimum time spans for Joshua’s generation and Samuel’s Judgeship.

 

Joshua’s Generation

We are only given a few clues regarding the time span between the crossing of the Jordan River and the oppression by Mesopotamia, which have to be pieced together.

Judg 2:7  And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.

Judg 2:8  And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an 110 years old.


1.  The reference to “had seen all the great works of the LORD” is a direct reference to the EXODUS.  This is the same expression used in Deuteronomy 11: 7 by Moses the year before crossing Jordan to describe the events of the Exodus.

 

Deut 11:2  And know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the …, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,

Deut 11:3  And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;

Deut 11:7  But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.

 

Therefore, the elders who “outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord,” were those who were alive during the exodus.  We also know that all the men of war at the time of exodus were 20 years old and older [Num 1:3].  Since all these “men of war” died before entering Canaan, it would be safe to conclude that “Joshua’s generation” were those men between the ages of 8-19 at the time of the Exodus (old enough to remember the events of the Exodus, but younger than 20).

2.  Since Joshua lived to 110 years of age [Judg 2:7] and Moses lived to 120 years of age [Deut 34:7], the maximum age of the elders that outlived Joshua would be no more than about 115 years.  The minimum age may be about 90.

3.  About a year after the Exodus, we learn that Joshua was a servant of Moses.  The scriptures call him a “young man.” 

Exod 33:11  And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face…but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

 

We know Joshua was at least 20 years old since he was included as a “man of war,” in fact, he was one of the men sent to spy Canaan land.  Since he was in service to the Tabernacle at the time, it seems reasonable that his minimum age was about 25 years, the same as the Levites who went into the service of the Tabernacle [Num 8:24].

4.  We also know that Caleb was another of the spies that was sent into Canaan.  It can be deduced from Joshua 14:10 that Caleb was 40 years old when he spied the land.  This should be considered a maximum for the age of Joshua at the time of the Exodus.

Josh 14:10  And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive … these 45 years … while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now… I am this day 85 years old.

 

Therefore we are looking for a time-span for Joshua’s generation that will allow the following constraints:          

                                1.  Joshua was 25 – 40 old at the time of the Exodus.

                                2.  The generation who “outlived” Joshua was between 8-19 at the time of the Exodus.

                                3.  The generation who “outlived” Joshua died between the ages of 90 – 115 years.

               

Samuel’s Judgeship

The other missing piece of the puzzle is the time-span of Samuel’s judgeship [1Sam 7:15-17], that is, the time between the death of the previous judge Eli and the ascension of the first King of Israel Saul.  The minimum number of years must be 20, since this is the number of years the ark remained at Kirjathjearim after Eli’s death.

1Sam 7:2  …while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was 20 years

 

It must be considered, though, that immediately before the removal of the ark from Shiloh and the death of Eli, we are told that Samuel was a child.  Although there is a transitional phrase “and Samuel grew,” there cannot be too many years between these events for in an earlier passage we learn that Eli was “very old” and “his eyes began to was dim.”  It is recorded that Eli was 98 years old at his death and “his eyes were too dim to see,” so if Samuel was 15-20 years when he ministered to Eli, and 5-10 years passed between these events, Samuel would have been 20 – 30 years old at Eli’s death.  This is not an unreasonable age to begin his judgeship.

1Sam 2:22  Now Eli was very old,

 ...

1Sam 3:1  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli …

1Sam 3:2  … and his [Eli’s] eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

1Sam 3:19  And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him…

1Sam 4:15  Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.

 

We also know Samuel was “old” [1Sam 8:1] when he anointed Saul as king over Israel.  Eli was “very old” at 98 [1Sam 4:15] and David was “old” at 70 [1Kings 1:1 + 2Sam 5:4].  An age of 50 – 70 for Samuel can be assumed for the anointing of Saul.  Since Samuel died sometime after the anointing of David and David’s ascension over Israel, this would place his death at a reasonable age of 70-90 years of age.

A maximum range of about 45 years, then, is possible for the time between Eli’s death and Saul’s ascension.




Therefore, using the maximum and minimum range of dates for these time periods, and assuming Saul was anointed in 1053 / 1052 BC (determined earlier in the previous chapter), a max/min range can be calculated for the Crossing of the Jordan River.






The earliest date for the crossing of the Jordan River, based on a thorough analysis of the biblical chronology, is 1458 BC and the latest date is 1401 BC.


The Year of Jubilee & the 50 Year Cycle




If the Jubilee cycle was every 50 years and coincided with the year 853/852 BC, then it is possible to determine the original date of the entrance of Israel into Canaan.  If we carry this cycle back to the proposed time of the crossing of the Jordan River, we are left we two possible dates for this event – 1453/1452 BC or 1403/1402 BC, both near the limits of the range of dates we deduced above.  Even if one expanded the range by several years, these two dates are the only ones in the cycle that can be considered.


II.  Those Amazing Biblical Numbers

It will be admitted, the date of 1403/1402 BC is incredibly close to the conservative date of 1406 BC.  But is it possible to pinpoint the date with certainty?  I will again ask the reader to take a leap of faith.  The answer is not found in a scientific analysis of chronology or history or archeology – but in the assumption that God allowed certain events to occur on certain dates. 

When Babylon laid siege to the gates of Jerusalem, God told Ezekiel to MARK THE DAY.  Of the two dates, the year 1453 / 1452 BC seems to be “marked” in time by God.  As will be shown, there are several fascinating numerical connections with other key biblical events.  [FN:  see,e.g.: Grant Jeffrey, Rabbincal sources, The Book of Jubilee’s,…internet sources…Jack Finegan’s…].

Before proceeding, I will warn the reader that there is a danger is using numerology to fix dates in history.  The practice is ancient.  Even before the time of Christ, a Jewish book was written called The Book of Jubilee’s, which attempted to fix biblical dates based on a 49 year Jubilee cycle.  Probably the most outrageous example was Whisenant’s “88 reasons Jesus will Return in 1988.”  But Jesus didn’t.  The pamphlet sold in the millions.  Thousands believed it.  Thousands were fooled.

The simple fact is, you can take any date in history, and if you look hard and long enough, and with a little bit of creativity—you can make it significant.  What makes my proposal any different?  First, I do not propose to use “de facto” or “after the fact” results.  In other words, if you take a date in history, you can find several other dates that are a “significant” number of years or months or days from that event.  The problem is—you got to choose the dates.  You even get to decide what is significant. 

Other poor methods include force fitting the chronology to the theory, or using circular logic.  For example, some proposals have been made to change the dates in history because if they fell on certain dates, it would create a beautiful pattern.  But this poor logic – if the dates have to be manipulated to prove the theory, the theory is invalid to begin with.

What I propose is quite different.  It is still a matter of faith whether one believes the results are significant, though.  But instead of searching through the history books to find significant dates—they have already been chosen for us.  They are the same dates used to fix the Jubilee & Sabbatical cycle:


These dates were originally chosen because they fell near the same Jubilee cycle and had a strong biblical connection to the year Israel crossed over Jordan and became a nation.  My proposal is that the TIMING of these dates is not random at all, but is SIGNIFICANT.  God allowed these events to occur on certain dates to “mark” the year of the crossing of the Jordan River.  In addition, I do not define what is significant.  Instead I use other sources, namely the classic book written in 1967, Bullinger’s “Number in Scripture” as well as the Bible itself for proof of significance.

 

Saul’s Ascension Over Israel – 1053/1052 BC

400 Years, 8 Jubilees


According to Bullinger’s “Number in Scripture,” the number 8 (Hebrew sh’moneh) is derived from the root word shah’meyn meaning “to make fat,” or as a noun meaning “oil.”  It is related to the number seven which symbolizes completeness or perfection.  Thus, the number 8 is one more than complete, implying something that is overflowing or abundant. 

It also represents the beginning of a new cycle, “resurrection or redemption.”  Whereas seven is the completion of the old, eight is the beginning of the new.  In six days God created the heavens and the earth, in the seventh he rested, and the eighth was the beginning of a new week.

There are numerous examples of this symbolism throughout the Bible (see Bullinger’s book for a more complete discussion):

1.  Noah was the 8th person (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out of the ark onto the new earth.

2.  Circumcision, which was a part of the covenant between God and Abraham, was performed on the 8th day.  This event foreshadowed the circumcision of the heart, and represented the new creation in man.

3.  The first-born, a new life and the beginning of a new generation, was given to God on the 8th day (Exod 22:29,30).

4.  The Feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days.  This feast represented the Incarnation of Christ (John 1:14), as well as the Exodus from Egypt-a new beginning for Israel.

5.  Christ was resurrected on the first day of the week, that is, the eighth day.




The year Saul was anointed king over Israel also marked a transition to a new time—from the Age of the Judges to the Kings of Israel.  It also marked the day that the twelve tribes rejected God as their King and chose a man instead.  That day, Saul was anointed with OIL to be the king of Israel.  As already discussed, the word “eight” is derived from the root word meaning “oil.”  It is quite appropriate that this is also the year of the EIGHTH JUBILEE!


There is one final piece of evidence that we absolutely have the correct date.  We are given an additional clue regarding the timing of the rebellion of Israel when they cried out for a king.  In Samuel’s speech to the Israelites, he mentioned that is was the time of the wheat harvest.

1Sam 12:17  Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great … in asking you a king.

This corresponds to the months of June and July, or to the end of Pentecost 50 days after the Passover is celebrated.  We also know that Israel crossed over the Jordan River in Nisan on the 10th day and celebrated the Passover in Gilgal on the 14th of Nisan.

Josh 4:19  And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month…

Josh 5:10  And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the 14th day of the month …

If the crossing of the Jordan River took place in 1453/1452 BC (Tishri-Tishri calendar), then the Passover on the 14th day of the first month would correspond to April 29, 1452 BC.  With this information, we can actually be accurate enough to determine the number of MONTHS between the two events.  The number of months between the crossing of the Jordan River and wheat harvest of the year Saul was anointed king is 4949 months!


Please consider the significance of these numbers.  The number of months to the most probable date when Israel rejected God is 4949.  The significance of this is threefold.  First the number 4949 is divisible by 49, or 7 x 7.  Since this is a Jubilee year, which is the year after the 49th year, this in itself is amazing.


In addition, the number is composed of not just one, but two sets of 49:

The symmetry is intriguing.  Third, a Jubilee is the 50th year in a 50 year cycle, preceded by, of course the 49th year.  We have here a series of months – the first divisible by 49, the next divisible by 50, just like the Jubilee cycle!  A month divisible by 49 followed by a month divisible by 50 is quite rare and only occurs once every 200 years (or every 2,450 months)


Also, the Crossing of the Jordan River took place near the Passover.  The rebellion of the Israelites when they cried out for a new King occurred during the wheat harvest, that is, near Pentecost.  Pentecost is 50 days after the Passover. 

Even the number of days between the two events is significant.  Again, notice the symmetry of the numbers, and that the number is divisible by 7.

4949 x 29.530588 days / month = 146146.88

146146 days = 2 x 7 x 11 x 13 x 73

 These incredible patterns only occur if the crossing of the Jordan River occurred in the year 1453/1452 BC.





Elijah & Elisha Cross Over Jordan– 853/852 BC

600 Years, 12 Jubilees



Is there any significance to this Jubilee Year?  I will have to admit that the answer is simple yet fascinating.  Three times in Elijah & Elisha’s career, the number 12 has surfaced.  The first involved a challenge Elijah made to the prophets of Baal.  He asked them to meet him at Mount Carmel where a “show-down” between the prophets and their gods would take place.  Both were to build altars to their god, and ask the deity to cast down fire from heaven to light the altar.  The prophets of Baal attempted this, but to no avail.  Elijah then “repaired the altar of Jehovah” that was torn down, and prayed not for God to send fire down from heaven, but to show the people that he, Jehovah was the true God.  The number of stones Elijah used to rebuild the altar was twelve, representing the number of the tribes of the children of Israel.

1Kin 18:31  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob

Only three other times in Israel’s history were 12 stones were used to symbolize the number of the tribes of Israel.  The first two were in the years following the Exodus.  Moses set up 12 pillars as a symbol of the twelve tribes [Exod 24:1] and 12 stones were used to design the high priest’s breastplate [Ex 28:21, 39:14].  The final instance was in the days immediately after the crossing of the Jordan River.  After the Israelites passed over, God commanded Joshua to set up twelve stones, representing the 12 Tribes of Israel, as a memorial to that day.

Josh 4:1  … when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,

Josh 4:2  Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, …

Josh 4:5  …. take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

Josh 4:6  That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask …What mean ye by these stones?

Josh 4:7  Then ye shall answer them, that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant … and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.

Josh 4:8  And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan… according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,…

Josh 4:9  And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

 

It is incredible that the Jubilee year that Elijah and Elisha crossed over the Jordan River, in which the same miracle of the parting of the Jordan occurred when Israel crossed over, was the 12th Jubilee.  It is also interesting that Elijah and Elisha visited Gilgal before they crossed over.  It was in Gilgal that the Israelites set up the twelve stones.  Is it possible that before they crossed over that Elijah showed these stones to Elisha and reminded him of what they represented? 

Although not as significant, there are two other instances of the number twelve occurring during Elijah and Elisha’s career.  Immediately before Elijah and Elisha crossed over Jordan, Elijah hit the waters of Jordan with his mantle and the waters parted.  After Elijah ascended to heaven, his mantle fell down to Elisha.  Elisha then took the mantle and repeated the miracle, hitting the waters of the Jordan and walking across on dry land. 

The mantle seemed to represent the passing of the Elijah’s ministry and duties over to Elisha.  It is significant that when Elijah first met and called Elisha, Elijah threw his mantle across Elisha.  That day, when the mantle was thrown over him, Elisha sacrificed TWELVE oxen to the Lord.

The last reference to the number 12 is in regards to the reign of King Jehoram.

2Kin 3:1  Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

 

Jehoram’s reign lasted twelve years (non-ascension reckoning), and began in 852 BC.  The same year that Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan River.  This year seems quite appropriately the 12th Jubilee!

 

Hezekiah’s Forced Jubilee – 701-699 BC




750 Years, 15 Jubilees



Is there any significance to this Jubilee Year?  The number 15 seems to be a perfect fit for this Jubilee year as well.  During the same year that the prophecy of the forced Jubilee was given, Hezekiah was given another important prophecy from Isaiah.  Hezekiah took ill and Isaiah prophesied that Hezekiah would die.  Hezekiah then turned his heart and his prayer to the Lord and God granted him another 15 years of life.

Isai 38:1  In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death…

Isai 38:4  Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,

Isai 38:5  Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days 15 years.

Although a detailed analysis of this prophecy is beyond the scope of this book, taking the information regarding the life of Hezekiah from Edwin Thiele’s “The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings,” Hezekiah’s life and reign can be summarized in the following table.



In other words, after 15 years of reign, Hezekiah fell ill.  He repented and was given 15 more years of extended life.

The year this happened corresponded to the beginning of the forced Jubilee.  In addition, according to Bullinger the number fifteen represents DIVINE GRACE.  Fifteen seems to be a perfect number for this Jubilee for not only was Hezekiah given fifteen years of extended life, but God provided Divine protection from the Assyrians who had conquered Ephraim / Israel about twenty years earlier.

 

Israel Declared A Nation– May 1948 AD

3400 Years, 68 Jubilees   (Note:  May 1948 falls in the Sabbatical year before the Jubilee)


How is this date significant?  A search of the number 68 in the Bible does not reveal any amazing finds.  But the key to unlocking the significance of this Jubilee is to realize that 68 is a multiple of 17.

68 = 17 x 4

 

Seventeen, on the other hand is an extremely significant number throughout the biblical text.  A quick search of the Old Testament reveal these clues: [FN:  Number in Scripture, E.W. Bulinger]

1.  Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold into slavery [Gen 37:2].

2.  Jacob’s last 17 years before his death he dwelt in Egypt [Gen 47:28]

3.  During the 17 year reign of Joash, God delivered Israel into the hands of the Syrians [2Kin 13:1-4]

4.  Jeremiah bought a plot of land for 17 shekels as a sign that the captives would return to Israel [Jer 32:9].

5.  In Psalms 83, 17 enemies of Israel are listed.  Ten were current enemies that desired to “cut off” Israel from being a nation, and 7 were enemies that oppressed them in the days of the Judges.

 

Although the number 17 is not seen in the New Testament, one of its multiples is found in a story of Christ after his resurrection.  Seven of his disciples were fishing but had caught nothing.  Jesus appeared unto them and told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boats.  When they did they caught 153 fish.

6.  The disciples catch 153 fish in their net [2John 21:11]

 The number 153 is a fascinating number, and many have sought to find its significance.  It is a triangular number, meaning it is the sum of consecutive digits.  Several of this number’s mathematical curiosities are shown below.

 

153 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17

 

153 = 17 x 9

 

153 = (12 x 12) + (3 x 3)

 

153 = (1 x 1 x 1) + (5 x 5 x 5) + (3 x 3 x 3) = the sum of the cube of its digits

 

Aside from having some interesting mathematical properties, we simply note that 153 is the ninth multiple of 17.

What do these scriptures related to the number 17 have in common?  They are all tied in some way to CAPTIVITY or REDEMPTION FROM CAPTIVITY!!  The most important of these is the scripture relating to Jeremiah’s purchase of a plot of land for 17 shekels [actually 7 shekels and 10 pieces of silver—see Number in Scriptures for a detailed look at the division of 17 into the numbers 10 and 7].  This purchase by Jeremiah was in 587 BC, in the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar [Jer32:1]. [FN:  The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, p 184].   Although this was not a Jubilee year, the closest Jubilee year occur in 603/602 BC.  What Jubilee year was this?  The 17th!  This Jubilee fell between the first deportation of Jews in 605 BC, which included the prophet, Daniel, and the second deportation of Jews in 597 BC, which included Ezekiel.

Therefore the 17th Jubilee and the 68th Jubilee are both tied to the captivity and deliverance of the Jews.  Near the 17th Jubilee, the Israelites were deported to Babylon, but Jeremiah prophesied that they would one day return.  Jeremiah bought a plot of land for 17 shekels of silver as a sign of this future return.  The 68th Jubilee marked the first Jubilee after 70 AD when the Israelites could call Israel their home.

But there is, in fact, one additional Jubilee year that must be mentioned.  The time of the Crusades is infamous in history as a time in which “whole nations were converted to Christianity by the sword” and a time of persecution of the Jews.  The first of these crusades ended after a month’s siege of Jerusalem.  On July 15, 1099 AD, Jerusalem was captured and crusaders slaughtered those within its walls.  [FN:  Outline of History, H.G. Wells, p. 513].  Although the Jews were not in possession of Jerusalem at the time, the event does fall in the pattern of the Captivity of Jerusalem, and falls squarely on a Jubilee year – the 51st Jubilee.

51 = 17 x 3

There are therefore three Jubilees that are multiples of 17 and are in some way tied to the Captivity of Jerusalem or the Redemption of the Jews

The probability of this relationship is mind-boggling, but the relationship between these events doesn’t end here.  Again, we know the exact month of the final two events:  May 15, 1948 & July 15, 1099.  We can therefore calculate the number of MONTHS between these events.  The number of months between the Crossing of the Jordan River and when Israel was declared a nation is

42041 months  =  17 x 2473 (Another multiple of 17)!

In the example of the Jubilee in Saul’s ascension year, the full moon following the day of Pentecost was 4949 months—a significant number.  The month after the day of Pentecost in 1948, is just as significant.  Not only is it a multiple of 49, but we see the same symmetry we saw before:



The number of months between the end of the First Crusade and the Pentecost after Israel was declared a nation is also significant.

10,500 months = 3 x 50 x 70 ! 

This relationship between these Jubilee years is so significant, it is hard to imagine that any other date besides 1453/1452 BC to be the true year of the crossing of Jordan.



Before proceeding to the next chapter, I will offer one more support in favor of the year 1453/1452 BC as the year of the crossing of Jordan.  One of the most important events in the Old Testament, the completion of Solomon’s temple would have fell on the 500th Prophetic Year, or the 10th Prophetic Jubilee after the crossing of the river. 

 

Solomon’s Temple – 960 BC

500 Prophetic Years, 10 Prophetic Jubilees

Another interesting confirmation that we have found the correct Sabbatical and Jubilee cycle is found in 1Kings.  After their exodus from Egypt, God commanded the Israelites to build an ark and to house the ark within a tent.  God’s presence would literally dwell over the Ark of the Covenant, between the cherubim (or angels) that were made to cover the ark.  From the time of the exodus to the time of David, the ark was kept in this tent or the “Tabernacle.”  During his reign, David desired to build a permanent home for the ark and for his God who “dwelt between the cherubim.”  God, though, would not allow David to build this house, but made a covenant with him instead.

2Sam 7:5  Go and tell my servant David… Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

2Sam 7:6  Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

2Sam 7:12  And when thy days be fulfilled… I will set up thy seed after thee…

2Sam 7:13  He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

It was David’s son Solomon, who would build a house for the Lord in Jerusalem [1Kings 6:1].  Interesting enough, the temple took SEVEN years to build.

1Kin 6:37  In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:

1Kin 6:38  And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished …So was he seven years in building it.

The culmination of this work was so great that when the temple was dedicated, the glory of the Lord filled the temple and the priests were not able to minister [1 Kings 8:10,11].  Although there is no direct reference to a Sabbatical or Jubilee year, it seems possible that this important event, which is tied to the Israelites exodus from Egypt [1Kings 6:1, 8:9, 16], is related to the Jubilee cycle.

The dates of these events were determined in Edwin Thiele’s book The Mysterious Number of the Hebrew Kings to correspond to the years 966 – 960 BC. 



The 11th year, 8th month of Solomon’s reign corresponds to November 960 BC.  Since the crossing of the Jordan took place in Nisan, 1452 BC, the Jubilee cycle began on November 2, 1453 BC.  Therefore the completion of the temple in November 960 BC would have fell squarely within the 500th Prophetic Year, or the 10th Prophetic Jubilee!  [The 500th Year would have encompassed 360 x 500 = 180000 days to 360 x 501 = 180360 days after November 2, 1453 BC.  November 1, 960 BC was 180067 days after November 2, 1453 BC].


III.  Conclusion

This chapter is not predicated on science but on faith.  I have presented evidence which I claim justifies anchoring the date Israel crossed over the Jordan River to 1453/1452 BC.  There is no way to “prove” beyond certainty that God formed such wonderful patterns in the history of time, just as it is impossible to “prove” that life was created by God.  Both have form and purpose and design, but while science claims the evolution of life is “mere chance,” the evidence presented here can be taken the same way.   

Simply put, the year 1453/1452 BC is the best date for the crossing of the Jordan River, for it allows all the proposed Jubilee years to be significant. *

*  The 8th Jubilee represents a transition from the age of the judges to the age of the kings and the time when the twelve tribes rejected God.  This occurred when Saul was anointed with oil as the first king of Israel.  In addition, the number “8” is etymologically related to the Hebrew word for “oil.” 

* The 12th Jubilee and the crossing of the Jordan River by Elisha & Elijah, symbolized the 12 stones and the 12 tribes of Israel. 

*  The 15th Jubilee was the year Hezekiah became ill in his 15th year of reign, but God gave him 15 years of extended life.  The number 15, according to Bullinger, represents Divine Grace. *

*  The 68th Jubilee was the year Israel was declared a nation.  Sixty-eight is a multiple of 17 that represents captivity or redemption from captivity.  Other important Jubilee’s on this cycle are the 17th Jubilee, when the Israelites were deported to Babylon, and the 51st Jubilee when Jerusalem was conquered at the end of the First Crusade.

 

As I said in the beginning, you can choose any date in history and make it significant.  But in this case, the years that were used to prove the significance of 1453/1452 were chosen in advance.  They were the years that fell on nearly the same Jubilee cycle and all had to do something with the crossing of Jordan or Israel becoming a nation.  Even our definition of what and how a number was significant was chosen from an independent source or the Bible itself.  In addition, in many cases not only are the number of years and Jubilees significant – but the number of months and days as well!

In fairness, though, I should add that “numerology,” or the use of significant numbers should not be used to fix chronology.  It is the author’s OPINION that the numerical evidence that 1452 BC is the true date of the crossing of the Jordan River reveals the hand of a master designer at work in mankind’s history.  But unless future evidence is found to support this date, either the date 1406 (the generally accepted date) should be used as the approximate date.  Since the present author is convicted by personal motives that the date is 1452 BC, this date will be used through the remainder of this book as the correct date of the crossing of the Jordan River.

 

III.  Emerging Patterns

Pattern 3–Significant Biblical Numbers

We found there were four possible key dates that fell on or near the same Jubilee cycle.  If the crossing of Jordan fell in 1452 BC, the number of each Jubilee bears special significance.  Since the Jubilee cycle was an important part of Israel’s history, it seems safe to conclude that God himself shaped history to allow these dates to fall where they did.



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