WHENEVER any point of Present Truth has been attacked the result seems to be to bring out its greater strength and beauty. This has happened again, in the matter of the recent questioning of the correctness of the Chronology presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., referred to in our October 1st issue, page 296.
The diagrams presented herewith and the explanations attached are from three different brethren—two in Glasgow and one in London. Each has peculiarities of its own, yet all show parallels additional to those presented in DAWN, Vol. II., and all serve the one purpose of confirming the Chronology presented in that volume, as the only possible and consistent Bible Chronology, on which alone all the various lines of prophecy are harmonizable. As stated in DAWN, Vol. II., the Bible Chronology presents a sufficiency of difficulties to require faith that God meant to give us a time measurement.
The lesson of the accompanying diagrams is that no such parallels would be possible were a single one of our prominent dates altered. For instance, the two years' difference between the end of the 6,000 years, 1872 A.D. and the beginning of the antitypical Jubilee period, 1874 A.D., which in DAWN II. we explained as implying that Adam was about two years sinless in Eden, these diagrams show as necessary to fill out the measurements. Our date for the beginning of A.D., and the events connected with our Lord's birth and death, are [R3460 : page 343] confirmed by these parallels, too. These are one year and three months different from the Bishop Usher dates of our common version Bible, and two years and nine months different from the revised dates of today's scholarship. This is accomplished by the marking of the year A.D. 36 as the end of the "70 weeks" of Israel's favor and the date when the Gospel reached Cornelius.
DIAGRAM NO. 1 shows that the period from the time of the Fall to A.D. 36, 4162 years, was marked exactly at its center by the Oath bound Covenant made to Abraham, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." This not only corroborates the correctness of our placing of the birth of our Lord, but also the correctness of all the chronology leading up to that date: for it seems incredible almost that such an even division could happen by accident. DIAGRAM No. 2 is another illustration of the same lesson. See also DAWN, VOL. II.
Creation to the Flood........................ 1656 years
Patriarchal Age (i.e., Flood to Death of } 427 "
Jacob)................................... } 232 "
Jewish Age to End of Favor, A.D. 36.......... 1849 "
Less "Innocent Years"........................ 2 "
The middle of the period, viz., one-half..... 2081 "
Creation to the Flood........................ 1656 years
Flood to Covenant............................ 427 "
Creation to Covenant......................... 2083 "
Less years of innocence...................... 2 "
From Abraham to the Law......................
Israel in the Wilderness..................... 40 "
To the division of Canaan.................... 6 "
Period of the Judges......................... 450 "
" " Kings.......................... 513 "
" " Desolation..................... 70 "
" thence to A.D. 1....................... 536 "
" " " 36...................... 36 "
DIAGRAM NO. 3.—This diagram presupposes that in the divine plan the day of Adam (Gen. 2:17) and the "day of Christ" were each one thousand years long: as the Apostle declares, "a day with the Lord is a thousand years." Adam's "fall" into death was fully accomplished seventy years before the end of his "day," and presumably Christ will accomplish the full lifting up of Adam and his race (or all of them willing to obey the righteous conditions necessary) before the end of the millennial day.
This diagram views the Millennium as beginning with the end of "Gentile Times," October, 1914, and shows that the intervening space, 5040 years, is exactly twice "seven times;" and more than this, it marks the turning point as B.C. 606, as well as the ending point A.D. 1914. Does it not appear that the Lord so arranged this matter, and that he has now brought it to our attention, to be distributed to the household of faith for their comfort and encouragement at an opportune time? It surely does. It will be observed also that all of these calculations include the same two years of Edenic purity. The "fall" is kept prominent: everything measures from it. Compare DAWN, Vol. II., chap. 4.
DIAGRAM No. 4 in some particulars resembles No. [R3460 : page 344] 3, yet it is quite different as a whole. It views matters from another Scriptural standpoint, taking A.D. 1874 for the date of the Millennium, as shown by the Jubilee cycles and various other prophecies.—See DAWN, Vol. II., chap. 6, and Vol. III., chap. 5.
Our readers are already familiar with the presentations of this from its middle at 625 B.C. to the right extremity. (DAWN II., p. 185, 186.) The new features are at the left of the center: not new in the sense of contradicting or altering anything already seen, but new in the sense of bringing to our attention great harmonies of the divine plan not before observed, and which fully corroborate our previous findings.
The last line on the figure is interesting, too, showing the division of the whole period of 7,000 years in its center at 625 B.C., the date of the last typical jubilee ever observed by Israel—just nineteen years before the "seventy years' desolation" of the land, since which they have had no opportunity to observe the jubilee, even had they desired to do so, since their land has always been under the suzerain control of alien governments. How grand the thought that the Grand Antitypical Cycle did not fail—that it counted until its fulfilment in A.D. 1874, and that there the real Jubilee of jubilees actually began—that the Lord's people are even now blowing the Jubilee Trumpets, announcing the "time is at hand" and the change of possession is due October, 1914. Do not these dove-tailing figures prove (as nearly as faith could expect proof) that we are right respecting the chronology on which these matters are based—this one proving the date 625 B.C., as the previous one, No. 3, proved the date 606 B.C.?
There is nothing forced or fanciful about these diagrams, their deductions and conclusions. They are almost cold in their matter-of-factness. Yet how meaningful and soul-cheering to us who believe and appreciate their significance. They come, too, at a time when "science, falsely so-called," is making special attacks on the chronology of God's Word, and making those attacks applicable to the Bible as a whole—at a time when thousands at our side are falling into skepticism. Let us give reverent thanks to the Giver of all good, and more and more sound the praises of him who has "called us out of darkness into his marvellous light," and more and more appreciate and use our privileges as his ambassadors and servants in handing forth the "meat in due season" to all the members of "the household of faith."