[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"
JimStinehart at aol.com
JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Oct 29 11:32:58 EDT 2007
Rev. Bryant J. Williams III:
In considering whether the Hebrews, Jews and early Christians viewed the
Patriarchs' ages on the basis of a 6-month "year", consider the testimony of
chapter 1 of the Book of Matthew. Chapter 1 of Matthew begins with a focus on
Abraham. Abraham is noted at Matthew 1: 1 as being the founder of a line
that, according to Matthew, ends with Jesus. Abraham is then the first name in
the genealogy proper that begins at Matthew 1: 2. Finally, Abraham is
mentioned a third time at Matthew 1: 17 in summarizing the preceding genealogy.
With Abraham being so prominent in chapter 1 of Matthew, and with Matthew being
so interested in Hebrew scripture and in numbers, one might expect that
Matthew would know if Abraham's life was viewed on the basis of a 6-month "year"
by Jews and early Christians in the 1st century AD.
To determine whether this is the case, simply count every name in the
genealogy set forth at Matthew 1: 2-16. The first 7 names are: (1) Abraham, (2)
Isaac, (3) Isaac (since Isaac’s name is set forth twice, it must be counted
twice; most, but not all, of the names are set forth twice), (4) Jacob, (5)
Jacob, (6) Judah, (7) “his brothers” (this is a description of a group of
people, which should be counted as being equivalent to one name). Name #34 is “
the wife of Uriah”.
Count all the names in the genealogy at Matthew 1: 2-16, including women's
names, and count twice any name that appears twice. As to a title, count that
as being equivalent to half a name, since it should not be ignored entirely,
yet it should not count as a full name either.
If you count every name in the genealogy at Matthew 1: 2-16, which begins
with Abraham, you will see that the number of names in that genealogy is
Abraham's actual age at death (on the 6-month "year" view): 87½. That is
equivalent to age 175 "years" in 6-month "years", which is how the text of the
Patriarchal narratives states Abraham's age at death. Genesis 25: 7
Rather than this being a bizarre "coincidence", in my view this is evidence
that as of the 1st century AD, both Jews and early Christians alike knew the
"secret" of understanding the Patriarchs' actual ages in terms of a 6-month
Absent the concept of a 6-month "year", the number 87½ has no religious
significance of any type. But if the Patriarchs' lives are viewed as being set
forth in the text in terms of 6-month "years", then the number 87½ will always
be associated with the actual lifespan of the first Hebrew: Abraham. In my
view, both Jews and early Christians in the 1st century AD associated
Abraham with the number 87½, being Abraham's actual age at death on the basis of a
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