[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Mon Oct 29 13:48:32 EDT 2007

Dear Jim,

First, Matthew gives his own interpretation of the genealogy in 1:1-17 in verse
17. Furthermore, he is not even discussing the ages of the patriarchs of Jesus

Second, since this list is for Hebrew, and not for Greek, then further
discussion of Matthew or any NT book should be taken off-list to the B-Greek
site in accordance with the list parameters. If I am wrong about this then the
moderators will correct me.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 7:32 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"

> 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
> 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
> the genealogy proper that begins at Matthew 1: 2.  Finally, Abraham is
> mentioned a third  time at Matthew 1: 17 in summarizing the preceding
> With Abraham being so prominent in  chapter 1 of Matthew, and with Matthew
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> forth in the text in terms of  6-month "years", then the number 87½ will
> 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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