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[textualcriticism] 2Kings 25 vs. Jeremiah 52 (2 same events, 2 different dates)

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  • Schmuel
    Hi Folks, These are two traditional discrepancies , discussed in the Jewish literature, and as often John Gill has the references. GARFIELD wrote: Hello!
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 3, 2008
      Hi Folks,

      These are two traditional "discrepancies", discussed in the Jewish literature, and as often John Gill has the references.

      GARFIELD wrote:
      Hello! Anyone have any insight? I want to know why 2 differents dates are described concerning the 2 same events. (The dates are different!)
      2Ki 25:8  And in the fifth month, on the seventh of the month (it was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon) Nebuzaradan the chief of the executioners, the servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.

      This should include the next two verses, the actual destruction of the Temple.

      2 Kings 25:9-10
      And he burnt the house of the LORD,
      and the king's house,
      and all the houses of Jerusalem,
      and every great man's house burnt he with fire.
       And all the army of the Chaldees,
      that were with the captain of the guard,
      brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

      Jer 52:4  And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came, he and all his army against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built a siege wall against it all around

      The destruction will then correlate with verse 12 rather than verse 4.

      Jeremiah 52:12 (KJB)
      Now in the fifth month,
      in the tenth day of the month,
      which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon,
      came Nebuzaradan,
      captain of the guard,
      which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,

      Which is a traditional "discrepancy", easily reconciled.

      {1} 'The day of the destruction of the Temple is given in one passage as the seventh of Av (2 Kings 25:8)  and in another (Jeremiah 52:12) as the tenth of Av. Traditionally (Ta'an. 29A), this discrepancy is reconciled by the statement that 'On the seventh [of Av] the heathens entered the Temple and ate therein and  desecrated it throughout the seventh and eighth, and toward dusk of the ninth day set fire to it and it continued to burn the whole day.' The Tosefta Ta'anit 4:10 (also Ta'an. 29A) explains this discrepancy by stating that the destruction of the outer walls and of the courtyard started on the 7th of Av while the whole  edifice was destroyed on the 10th of Av.' (Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, Temple)

      John Gill

      In (2 Kings 25:8) ; it is said to be on the "seventh" day of the fifth month that he came thither; here, on the "tenth" day; which difficulty may be solved, without supposing different copies, or any error: he might set out from Riblah on the seventh day, and come to Jerusalem on the tenth; or he might come thither on the seventh, and not set fire to the city till the tenth; or, if he set fire to it on the seventh, it might be burning to the tenth, before it was wholly consumed. The Jews F20 account for it thus,
      ``strangers entered into the temple, and ate in it, and defiled it, the seventh and eighth days; and on the ninth, towards dark, they set fire to it; and it burned and continued all that whole day, as it is said, (Jeremiah 6:4) ;''
      R. Johanan was saying, if I had been in that generation, I should have fixed on that day, for the greatest part of the temple was burnt on that day. The authors of the Universal History say F21 it was on Wednesday the eleventh of the fourth month, answering to our twenty seventh of July; but, according to the express words of the text, the city was broke up on the ninth of the fourth month, and burnt on the tenth day of the fifth month; and which was, according to Bishop Usher F23 , the twenty seventh of August, on a sabbath day, and in the year of the world 3416, and before Christ 588; and is placed by them in the same years; and by Mr. Whiston F24 in 589; and by Mr. Bedford F25 in the year 587. This was a month after the taking of the city.

      F20 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 29. 1.
      F21 Vol 4. p. 189. & vol. 21. p. 61.
      F23 Annales Vet. Test. p. 131.
      F24 Chronological Tables, cent. 10.
      F25 Scripture Chronology, p 684.

      Moving to the second one.

      2Ki 25:27  And it happened in the thirty seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin the king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the twenty seventh of the month, Evil-merodach the king of Babylon, in the year he began to reign,
      lifted up the head of Jehoiachin the king of Judah out of the prison,

      Jer 52:31  And it happened in the thirty seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in the twelfth month,
      in the twenty fifth of the month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and brought him from the prison house.

      John Gill

      the favour shown by the king of Babylon to Jeconiah, after related, is said to be in the twenty seventh day of the month; it might have been determined and notified on the twenty fifth, but not executed till the twenty seventh; or it might be begun to be put in execution on the twenty fifth, and not finished till the twenty seventh, The Jews, in their chronicle, say F14 that Nebuchadnezzar died on the twenty fifth, and was buried; that, on the twenty sixth, Evilmerodach took him out of his grave, and dragged him about, to abolish his decrees, and to confirm what is said of him in (Isaiah 14:19) ; and on the twenty seventh he brought Jeconiah out of prison; but this is no reconciliation at all; the former is best;

      F14 Seder Olam, c. 28. p. 81.

      There may be some here that look at this as a textual faux pas instead of simply writing about the same event with slightly different perspectives, which when harmonized gives us additional information.

      Steven Avery
      Queens, NY

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