[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 
"year". 
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  
6-month "year". 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois



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