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Old 07-16-2009, 07:37 AM
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Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Colorado, a beautiful state with four distinct seasons; sometimes in the same day!
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Default Acts 13:20 and 1 Kings 6:1 How do we reconcile them?

Hi Tim and Chette. Thank you for your input. Tim, after reading your comments and then checking my original article I began to see some real problems with my previous explanation. Thanks for pointing them out. I am amazed that I did not see these problems before.

So, anyway, I put it to bed for awhile and asked God to give me a better understanding. I base everything from the point of view that the King James Bible is ALWAYS right. It IS God's 100% pure and perfect words in the English language.

So this morning I began to read a lot of passages all over the Bible and ask God to give me understanding. I think He has answered my prayers.

Here is what I have now put together. See if it makes more sense to you now.

God bless,
Will Kinney

Here are the pertinent parts after I showed how all the modern versions got it wrong.

How do we explain the reading as found in the majority of ancient versions, texts, and the King James Bible? Some of the explanation I am about to offer came from some ideas suggested by pastor Joey Faust and I include a few of his thoughts on the matter. I think he missed the correct answer but his ideas led me into what I believe is the correct and Biblical way to reconcile these apparent contradictions.

How Many and Which Years are being counted to the 4th Year Of Solomon?

1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel WERE COME out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."

Notice that this section begins counting the 480 from the time they "WERE COME out of the land of Egypt, in the 4th year of Solomon's REIGN OVER ISRAEL." "Were COME" where? Well, into Israel. So it seems to be counting from the time they were actually IN the land of Israel. The time period does NOT include the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

In Acts 13:16 we read: "Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. 17. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18. And about the time of FORTY YEARS suffered he their manners IN THE WILDERNESS. 19. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20. AND AFTER THAT he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will."

Compare the chronology of the two passages. The passages are both literal and historical. What is the number of years they each give for the history of Israel from the entering into the Promised Land of Israel to the 4th year of Solomon? 1 Kings 6:1 gives the period as 480 years. Let us notice how many years Paul gives for the same period:

1. 450 years - period of various judges

2._______ Samuel (Acts 13:20)

3. 40 years - Saul (Acts 13:21)

4. _______ David (Acts 13:22)

5. _______ Solomon until temple

The amount of years Paul supplies in the text are as follows: 450 + 40 = 490 years.

Already there is an apparent problem, and we have not even filled in the spaces Paul left blank! 1st Kings gives the same time period as being only 480 years. But let's go ahead and add the missing numbers. The time we are calculating is the number of years from the entrance into the land of Israel to the 4th year of Solomon when they began to build the temple:

Let's work our way backward. First we must include 3 years for Solomon's reign until the temple. (1Kings 6:1). Then before Solomon, David reigned 40 years. (1Kings 2:11, Acts 13:22) , and before king David Saul reigned for 40 years (Acts 13:21). So far we have 83 years, right?

Then notice that Acts 13:20 says that the 450 years of the judges extends "until" Samuel the prophet. Well, how long did Samuel actually "judge" Israel? We need to include the approximate number of years that Samuel "judged" Israel because this number would also be included in the number of 480 years as found in 1 Kings 6:1. The Bible does not tell us directly, but we can make some pretty good inferences from what IS in the Bible.

Samuel was a young boy when God began to reveal Himself to him. The Bible then tells us: "And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. (1 Samuel 3:19-20) But he was not yet a judge. Eli was still the judge of Israel at this time, and Eli judged Israel for 40 years until he died at the age of 98. See 1 Samuel 4:15-18 "Eli was ninety and eight years old... and he died... And he had judged Israel forty years."

At the death of Eli the ark was captured by the Philistines for 7 months and then returned to Kirjathjearim where it remained for another 20 years. See 1 Samuel chapter 6 and 7:1-2. "the ark abode in Kirjathjearim..the time was long; for it was twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD."

It isn't until AFTER this time recorded in 1 Samuel 7 that we actually read of Samuel beginning "TO JUDGE" the children of Israel at least some 20 years after the death of Eli, and to help deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. "And Samuel JUDGED the children of Israel in Mizpeh...and took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering unto the LORD, and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel, and the LORD heard him....And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and JUDGED Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he JUDGED Israel." See 1 Samuel 7:6, 16-17. During Samuel's later years God used him to appoint Saul as king, so Samuel was the last of the judges of Israel.

Though the Scriptures do not specifically tell us how long he was a judge, about 55 to 60 years seems to be a very good estimate. If he was in his teens or early 20's when God began to use him as a prophet, and it wasn't till 20 years later, after the death of Eli, that Samuel actually began to judge Israel, and he died as an old man (in 1 Samuel 8:1 he is already described as being "old" and this was several years before he actually died), because a few years before his death Samuel anointed Saul to be king, then approximately 55 to 60 years as judge of Israel seems to be a pretty good estimate.

Therefore, to the 490 years Paul specifically mentions in Acts 13:20-21 (450 years judges + 40 years Saul as king) , we must add the total from the extra periods he left blank in order to find out how many years there were from entering the Promised Land till the 4th year of king Solomon.

If Samuel judged Israel for approximately 55 to 60 years, and David was king for 40 years- "And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years" (1 Kings 2:11) and to this we add the first 3 years of king Solomon who reigned after David, then the total comes out to approximately 587 to 593 years from the time the children "were come" into the land of Israel until the building of the temple in the 4th year of king Solomon. Yet the number of years mentioned in 1 Kings 6:1 for this same period of time is only 480 years. There is a difference of 108 to 113 years.

So how do we account for this difference? I think the solution is actually rather simple. (Some of these ideas were suggested by pastor Joey Faust)

Let's assume that both 1st Kings 6:1 and Acts 13:20 are both absolutely and historically correct. Let us then infer that Paul has given us the length of the period in ordinary, common years (with no specialized criteria). On the other hand, let us infer that the author of 1st Kings has also given us a correct answer, but to a different question. He has given us the length of the same period, minus certain years that do not meet the criteria of his chronology. Let us suppose that the author of 1st Kings is not answering the question of how long the period was in ordinary, normal years with no qualifications. Let us suppose that he is giving us the number of years minus, let's say, the years Israel was delivered over to its enemies in bondage and servitude throughout that period of the "Judges".

Now let us test this hypothesis. To do so let us review. Paul in Acts 13 (with his blanks filled in) gives the period as 588 to 593 years. 1st Kings 6:1 gives the period as 480 years. We have assumed that 1 Kings 6:1 is a "specialized" chronology, and that it therefore leaves out the years of servitude and bondage. To test this theory let us go through the Book of Judges and see the history of the period. Let us then count the number of times Israel was then given over to servitude and persecution. Then, let us add up the total of these years of servitude:

#1 = 8 years

Judges 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim EIGHT years.

#2 = 18 years

Judges 3:14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab EIGHTEEN years.

#3 = 20 years

Judges 4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and TWENTY years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

#4 = 7 years

Judges 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian SEVEN years.

#5 = 18 years

Judges 10:8 And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: EIGHTEEN years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.

#6 = 40 years

Judges 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines FORTY years.

Let us now total these times of servitude and persecution during the period mentioned by 1st Kings and Paul:

8 + 18 + 20 + 7 + 18 + 40: = 111 years Now let us again remember our previous totals: -Paul: 588 to 593 years -1 Kings 6:1: 480 years -Total discrepancy = 108 to 113 years

Israel served under bondage and persecution for 111 years in the Book of Judges. We are therefore missing the mark by some 2 or 3 years. Do these extra couple of years one way or the other overthrow our hypothesis? No, not in the least. Notice carefully what the apostle says in Acts 13:20.

"And after that he gave unto them judges ABOUT THE SPACE OF four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet."

Two to three years would not be a stretch at all in regard to that word "about". Thus we have a match beyond any reasonable doubt! The Holy Ghost decided to give the length of a certain period of time in two different ways. In one way He gave the years in an ordinary fashion. In the other way (1 Kings 6:1) He listed the years in a special, relative fashion. He did not count the years Israel was delivered over to their enemies!

Now if the Holy Ghost has counted years in two different ways in two different historical passages, and then revealed to us the very years He was omitting in His specialized chronology, it certainly stops the mouth of any Bible critic who thinks he has found some kind of unexplainable error in the King James Bible. The reading found in such versions as the NASB, NIV, ASV, ESV, RSV, Holman etc. IS in error, but not the one found in the true Bible - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.

To prove an error one would have to prove that the Holy Ghost is not using a specialized chronology as He does in other places - for instance, the list of the 42 generations from Abraham to Christ in Matthew chapter one. If there is an apparent contradiction in the number of years or anything else in the King James Bible, I assure you, the problem is with your own understanding of how God divides things. The Bible sometimes counts years in such a way that it "skips" those that do not fit into the framework it is counting in."

If you look at the context of 1 Kings 6:1 we see the writer is referring to the years of freedom from bondage. He starts dating from "after the children of Israel WERE COME out of Egypt" (COME where? into the land of Israel) , and continues to the time of greatest glory under Solomon, the son of David. He does not include in this chronology the 111 years that during the time of these judges were spent in bondage and servitude under their enemies.

Other examples of different ways of counting years would be the age of Ahaziah listed as both 42 and 22, both of which are correct from different standpoints. See my article on this at:

We also have the difference of 7 years or 3 years of famine sent upon David for numbering the armies of Israel. See

The Alexandrian reading found in the NASB, RSV, NIV,etc. does not fit the historical timeline found in the Old Testament. The majority reading found in the KJB does fit when understood in this way. In spite of all the big name scholars who criticize the King James reading, upon further examination the modern NASB, ASV, NIV, ESV themselves are found to be in error, and are not the pure words of God as found in the KJB. Never doubt the truth of the infallible words of God as found in the King James Holy Bible.

Will Kinney

Last edited by Will Kinney; 07-16-2009 at 07:47 AM.