Another mysterious instance of time reckoning not seeming to align in different parts of Scripture is in the tally of the years of the children of Israel in the land as they are added up by Paul in the New Testament and as they are added up by the author of Kings in the Old Testament. Paul, in his address in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, speaks of the length of time the Israelites spent in the land. First, he starts off in Acts 13:18.
18. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.
Paul speaks of “about” forty years as it was a round number. Two years were spent in coming out of Egypt, coming to the Mount Sinai, making the covenant, etc. The wandering after that took thirty-eight years. Thus a number of forty is achieved. Forty years passed from the exodus from Egypt to the entrance into the land.
Paul then speaks of their entrance into the land.
19. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20. “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
So we now have a total of 40 years in the wilderness plus 450 years in the land until Samuel, for a total of 490 years. Next, he speaks of the time of King Saul. Read the rest of this entry »