is the arrangement of facts and events in the order of time. The writers of the Bible themselves do not adopt any standard era according to which they date events. Sometimes the years are reckoned, e.g., from the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:1; 33:38; 1 Kings 6:1), and sometimes from the accession of kings (1Kings 15:1, 9, 25, 33, etc.), and sometimes again from the return from Exile (Ezra 3:8).
Hence in constructing a system of Biblecal chronology, the plan has been adopted of reckoning the years from the ages of the patriarchs before the birth of their first-born sons for the period from the Creation to Abraham. After this period other data are to be taken into account in determining the relative sequence of events.
As to the patriarchal period, there are three principal systems of chronology: (1) that of the Hebrew text, (2) that of the Septuagint version, and (3) that of the Samaritan Pentateuch, as seen in the scheme on the opposite page.
The Samaritan and the Septuagint have considerably modified the Hebrew chronology. This modification some regard as having been wilfully made, and to be rejected. The same system of variations is observed in the chronology of the period between the Flood and Abraham. Thus:
| Hebrew Septuigant Samaritan
| From the birth of
| Arphaxad, 2 years
| after the Flood, to
| the birth of Terah. 220 1000 870
| From the birth of
| Terah to the birth
| of Abraham. 130 70 72
The Septuagint fixes on seventy years as the age of Terah at the birth of Abraham, from Gen. 11:26; but a comparison of Gen. 11:32 and Acts 7:4 with Gen. 12:4 shows that when Terah died, at the age of two hundred and five years, Abraham was seventy-five years, and hence Terah must have been one hundred and thirty years when Abraham was born. Thus, including the two years from the Flood to the birth of Arphaxad, the period from the Flood to the birth of Abraham was three hundred and fifty-two years.
The next period is from the birth of Abraham to the Exodus. This, according to the Hebrew, extends to five hundred and five years. The difficulty here is as to the four hundred and thirty years mentioned Ex. 12:40, 41; Gal. 3:17. These years are regarded by some as dating from the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15), which was entered into soon after his sojourn in Egypt; others, with more probability, reckon these years from Jacob's going down into Egypt. (See EXODUS.)