1 Kings 6:1
Solomon Builds the Temple.
1 “And it came to pass in the FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTIETH YEAR after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the FOURTH year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.”
How many times have you read this scripture and never given it a second thought? At first glance, who would question this, or any other passage of scripture, and think it inaccurate in any way. I mean, it’s the infallible word of God, right? But…..something doesn’t add up here. 🤔
Does The Bible Have Errors?
NO! 😮 Emphatically NO!! The Bible does NOT have errors. But, yes, this statement that the 4th year of the of the building of Solomon’s temple was 480 years after the crossing through the Red Sea, believe it or not, is not historically accurate.
In fact, so-called “Experts” down through history have used this very passage to “prove” that the Bible has errors and discrepancies. 🤨. But since it does not, there must be a something that we don’t understand. So, what’s going on here?
Historically speaking, from the time the children of Israel left Egypt to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign was actually 573 years! That’s a difference of 93 years.
Why the discrepancy? What doesn’t add up reveals something wonderful about our AWESOME God. 💖 If you understand His heart, the truth will come as no surprise. I seriously think it gives Daddy great delight to hide things like this that surprise and delight us in His word!
Let’s take a closer look at the both the historical record and the Biblical record and see if we can find why things don’t seem to add up.
After crossing the Red Sea and wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, the children of Israel finally entered the promised land. They were under judges for 450 years, under King Saul’s reign for 40 years, King David’s for another 40 years, and under Solomon’s rule for 3 full years at the time this passage was written, considering he built the temple in his 4th year.
Let’s do a little math, shall we? We’ll add up all the years of RECORDED history and see what we come up with. Israel was…………….
Under judges…………………………450 years
Subject to Saul’s reign..……………40 years
Under David’s reign……..………….40 years
King Solomon’s 1st 3……..………….3 years
(he built temple in his 4th year)
Grand total: 573 years. 😳‼️
So! There is a discrepancy, and if you were simply to leave the story there, you’d be likely to believe the naysayers who claim the Bible has errors. Sadly, you would also miss the wonderful message God has for us.
573 years was actual passage of time but 480 years is the way God saw it. Why did He skip over those 93 years? What happened during that time?
Solving The Mystery.
During that 573-year time span, Israel had departed from serving the Lord to worship other “gods” which, of course, are not gods at all. Each time they did so they, no surprise, stopped offering to the TRUE GOD the sacrifices that covered their sins so that He could bless them. Consequently, they were thrown into bondage. Below is the list of their indiscretions:
The 1st period of bondage is recorded in Judges 3:
“So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and, and served the Baáls and Asheras. 8 and He sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim 8 years.”
2nd period of bondage.
“So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab 18 years.”
3rd period of bondage.
“And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had 900 chariots of iron, and for 20 years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.”
4th period of bondage.
“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for 7 years.”
(Gideon delivered them this time).
(Gideon leading the Israelites against Midian)
5th period of bondage.
“Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years.”
Five Periods Of Bondage.
Five times Israel was in bondage. They would begin well by serving The Living God. Then after a while, they’d turn from Him and be thrown into bondage…..again. Then, they would cry out for mercy…..again, God would have pity on them…..again, send a deliverer, and they’d be fine for a while…..then do it all over…..again!
5 is the number of grace. (In case you’d like to know why, you may follow the link below:
What does it all mean? The Holy Spirit is drawing pictures for us again! He’s showing us that God’s grace looks beyond our faults and sees our need.
God’s Math And The Missing Years.
Guess what? We’re going to do a little more math. Let’s add up all those years of bondage:
Grand Total———93 years! 😮
There you have it: The missing 93 years! 😁 What does it mean?
Here’s the deal: God doesn’t see things the way we do. He doesn’t count the years that we rebelled against Him. He only counts the days we spent communing with Him. Whatever your chronological age, He only considers the days where you gave Him 1st place.
Balaam And Balak.
The Story of Balak and Balaam showcases this attribute of God very well. Remember those two?
Balak, the King of Moab, hired the wizard, Balaam, because he wanted him to pronounce a curse over the Israelites. Balaam tried unsuccessfully to do so three times. The third time he tried, look what happened:
(Balak and Balaam look down on the camp of Israel)
“So he (Balaam) came to him (Balak), and there he was, standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab were with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?”
Then he took up his oracle and said:
“Rise up, Balak, and hear! Listen to me, son of Zippor! “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. “HE HAS NOT OBSERVED INIQUITY IN JACOB, NOR HAS HE SEEN WICKEDNESS IN ISRAEL. The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them.
Did God say that was was no iniquity or wickedness among the Israelites? No. He said He has not “OBSERVED” iniquity or “SEEN” wickedness among them. Were they perfect in all their ways, faithful, true, sinless? OF COURSE NOT. But because they continually offered RIGHT SACRIFICES, God did not SEE any wickedness or iniquity. Why? Because they were covered by the blood. AMAZING!
Joel 2:25 says “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.”
The verse above comes right after God says this: 2:23b “For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you…The FORMER rain, And the LATTER rain in the first month. 24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.”
God’s promise to restore what was “Eaten up,” by the locusts comes right after the promise of “LATTER rain;” AND……..”threshing floors…….full of wheat, And……..vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.”
The “wheat and new wine” typify communion which points to our new birth in Christ. Oil depicts the infilling of the Holy Spirit! HALLELUJAH!!! After we are born again, WE GET A COMPLETE OVERHAUL!
Wisdom And Long Life.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom….14 oh, satisfy us early (boker -in the morning) with your mercy (hesed-grace), that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!”
God is saying “If you proritize Me,” i.e. “put Me first,” you’ll be glad all your days!” This does not mean that if you, believer, do not prioritize Him that you will be under some kind of curse or, at the very least, not blessed. NO. Believers are totally redeemed from EVERY sin and EVERY curse; AMEN.
What Jesus means is that you will be BLESSED IN GREATER ABUNDANCE by giving Him 1st. place.
If you don’t remember anything else, at least remember this: WE ARE ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS BELOVED OF THE FATHER. But as you can see, there is GREATER BLESSING AND PROVISION for those who make Him preeminent.
Proverbs 3:2 reiterates this:
2″For length of days and long life And peace (shalom) they will ADD to you.”
Look at that: More math! God will add “Length of days and peace!” This not only means you will live a long life but also that you will seem to get so much done on the little time you have, be more productive, and have time to spare!
God wants more than anything to bless you and I and satisfy us with length of days and long life. Why? So we can spread the Good News of His Son, JESUS, to as many people as possible!