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From The Biographical Writings and Letters of Venerable Bede, translated from the Latin, by J. A. Giles; James Bohn, London, 1845; pp. 229-235.
The third age, from Abraham to David, contains, according to both texts, fourteen generations, 1442 years. This is, as it were, the adolescence of God’s people, from which period man begins to propagate his species; and for this reason Matthew the Evangelist has deduced his genealogy from Abraham, who became the Father of nations, when he changed his name.
SIX AGES OF THE WORLD.
Age. THE THIRD AGE
Abraham. The third age of the world begins with the birth of the Patriarch Abraham, who, when he was 75 years old, left the land of his fathers, and came, at the command of God, into the land of Canaan, receiving a promise that a Saviour should be born from his seed, in whom all nations should be blessed, and at the same time that himself should become a great nation. Of these promises one is a spiritual promise; the other is after the flesh. Ninus and
Semiramis. At this time Ninus and Semiramis reign in Assyria.
A.M. 2034 .
B.C. 1910.] Abraham was 86 years old when he begat Ismael, from whom the Ismaelites are descended; but Ismael begat twelve leaders, and lived 136 years.
A.M. 2048 .
B.C. 1896.] The same Abraham, at the age of 100 years, begat Isaac, the first and only one, who is said in the Old Testament to have been circumcised on the eighth day; a great privilege not granted but in a great mystery to the son of promise.
Age. A.M. 2108 .
B.C. 1836.] Isaac was 60 years old when he begat Esau and Jacob, the Patriarchs of the Idumæan and Israelitish nations: after their birth he lived 120 years. At this time lived Inachus, the first king of Argos: Io worship-
ped as Isis. he reigned 50 years, and had a daughter Io, worshipped by the Egyptians, who have changed her name to Isis.
A.M. 2238 .
Memphis. Jacob was 130 years old when he went down to Egypt, in number seventy souls. In his time Memphis in Egypt was built by Apes, king of the Argives. Sparta. Also Sparta was built by Spartus, son of Phoroneus, king of the Argives.
A.M. 2453 .
years. The habitation of Israel in Egypt lasted 430 years, at the end of which, on the same day, all the army of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt, as written in the book of Exodus: the sum total of these years is reckoned by chronologists from the seventy-fifth year of the birth of Abraham, when he entered the land of promise. In this they follow the Septuagint version, which says, “The habitation of the sons of Israel in Egypt and in the land of Canaan, both themselves and their fathers, was 430 years.” And that this is the calculation which we must adopt, is shown by the Hebrew verity, which relates, that Kohath, son of Levi, who was born in Canaan, lived 133 years, and his son Amram, father of Moses, 137 years, and that Moses himself was 80 years old when they came out of Egypt; for the sum total of these numbers cannot be 430 years. The Apostle also assents to their interpretation, when he says, [Gal. iii. 16, 17,] “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as if many; but as of one, And to thy seed, 231 which is Christ. The Third
Age. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
A.M. 2493 .
of Israel out
of Egypt. Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and governed them in the wilderness 40 years. In the first year he constructed a tabernacle for the Lord. In seven months the work was finished, and in the first month of the second year, on the fifth day of the month, was it set up. Up to this period, as Eusebius observes, the five books of Moses contain the history of 3730 years, according to the interpretation of the seventy. The number, however, as contained in the Hebrew verity, is thus stated by Josephus, in his first book against Appian the grammarian, “The books which we possess are not numerous, nor do they disagree among themselves, but only twenty-two, which contain a history of the world, and are justly believed to have been written by divine inspiration. Of these, five are the books of Moses, and extend to the end of his life, containing rules of life, and a pedigree of the human race, and embrace a series of little less than 3000 years.”
A.M. 2519 .
Joshua. Joshua governed Israel 26 years, according to Josephus: for the Holy Scripture does not state how many. For what reason Eusebius in his Chronicles has made it 27, we shall say by and by. In the first year of his rule, in the first month, on the tenth day of the month, the bed of the Jordan was made bare, and Joshua led the people through into the land of promise. In the selfsame year, as we read in the Chronicles of the aforesaid Eusebius, was the beginning of the fifty-first Jubilee among the Hebrews; that is, 2500 years were completed from the beginning of the world, 50 years being counted to each Jubilee. Nevertheless our researches have led 232 to a different result; The Third
Age. for it appears that there were 1656 years to the deluge, and thence to Abraham 292. Abraham was 75 years old when he received the promise of God. The years of the promise were 430. Moses governed Israel 40 years. Now surely the sum of all this is, not 2500 years, but 7 years less; namely 2493, as we have noted before.
A.M. 2559 .
Israel. Othniel, of the tribe of Judah, the first Judge of Israel, by the appointment of the Lord, ruled them for 40 years, in the early part of which period the children of Israel served Cushan Risathaim 8 years.
A.M. 2639 .
Aoth [Ehud], the son of Gera, a Benjamite, who could use either hand, judged Israel 80 years. In his early days Israel served Eglon, king of Moab, 18 years, till he delivered them by slaying Eglon.
founded. At this time the city of Cyrene was founded in Libya.
A.M. 2679 .
Deborah, a prophetess of the tribe of Ephraim, with Barak of the tribe of Naphtalim, judged Israel 40 years. Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, oppressed Israel 20 years; but Sisera, the captain of his host, having been slain, he was at length brought low and destroyed.
founded. At this period Miletus was founded.
A.M. 2719 .
Gideon, of the tribe of Manasseh, judged Israel 40 years. In his days Israel served the Midianites and Amalekites 7 years, but Gideon by his valour delivered them.
ed. Tyre was founded 40 years before the temple of Jerusalem, according to Josephus.
A.M. 2722 .
Abimelech, son of Gideon, reigned 3 years in Sichem. Hercules sacks Troy.233
A.M. 2745 .
Tola, son of Puah, an uncle of Abimelech, a man of Issachar,
B.C. 1232.] who dwelt in Shamir in Mount Ephraim, judged Israel 23 years. At this period was the war of the Lapithæ and the Centaurs, who, according to Palephatus, in his first book on the Marvellous, were famous Thessalian horsemen. Priam, King
of Troy. Priam succeeded Laomedon as king of Troy.
A.M. 2767 .
Jair, of the tribe of Manasseh, judged Israel 22 years.
Games. Hercules instituted the Olympian games, from which time unto the first Olympiad, 430 years are computed.
A.M. 2773 .
Jephthah, the Gileadite, judged Israel 6 years. The Philistines and Ammonites oppress Israel. The Ammonites are conquered by Jephthah, who, in the book of Judges, says that 300 years are computed from the time of Moses to himself.
A.M. 2780 .
Ibzan, of Bethlehem, judged Israel 7 years. Agamemnon
B.C. 1184.] reigned in Mycenæ 35 years, and in the 15th year of his reign Troy is taken.
Elon, of Zebulon, judged Israel 10 years. He, with his 10 sons, is not mentioned by the Seventy; for supplying which loss, Eusebius assigned more years to Joshua, the son of Nun, to Samuel, and to Saul, whose years the Scripture does not mention, than he found allotted to them in Josephus; by which means he obtained the sum of 380 years, which the Scripture gives as the interval between the departure from Egypt, and the building of the Temple.234
A.M. 2798 .
Abdon, of the tribe of Ephraim, judged Israel 8 years. In his third year Troy was taken, 375 years from the first year of Cecrops, who first reigned in Attica, and 835 years from the 43rd of the reign of Ninus, king of the Assyrians. After the death of Abdon, Israel served the Philistines 40 years.
A.M. 2818 .
Samson, of the tribe of Dan, judged Israel 20 years. Thus far the book of Judges marks the times, comprising a period of 299 years, and 12 Judges.
of the Latins. Three years after the taking of Troy, or according to some, 8 years, Æneas reigned 3 years over the Latins, who afterwards were called Romans. After him Ascanius reigned 38 years. Before Æneas, Janus, Saturn, Picus, Faunus, and Latinus, reigned in Italy about 150 years. Ascanius, son of Æneas, founded the city of Alba.
A.M. 2858 .
Eli. Eli, the priest, judged Israel 40 years, according to the Hebrew text: the Septuagint translation says 20. The sons of Hector recovered Troy, having with the aid of Helenus expelled the posterity of Antenor. Sylvius, son of Æneas, the third king of the Latins, reigned 29 years: from his having been born after his father’s death, and having been educated in the country, he was surnamed Sylvius and Posthumus; the former of which was given to all the kings of Alba. Sicyon ceased to be governed by kings, after a succession for 962 years, from Ægialeus to Zeuxippus. It was afterwards governed by the priests of Carnus.
A.M. 2870 .
Samuel judged Israel 12 years according to Josephus, for the Holy Scripture does not state how long. From
this period the times of the Prophets begin.
Age. Æneas Sylvius, the fourth king of the Latins, reigned 31 years.
A.M. 2890 .
Corinth. Saul, the first king of the Hebrews, reigned 20 years. We have given the length of his reign from the Antiquities of Josephus, the canonical Scripture being silent on this head. Eurystheus, the first king of Lacedæmon, reigned 42 years. Alethis, the first king of Corinth, reigned 35 years.