Tagged: Torah chronology
April 26, 2012 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #1014205
“there is a discrepancy in those tables if you count the years of the individual kings- you get to 383-if you extrapolate the dates -it is 374- Maybe you can make some sense in this.”
The first Bait Hamikdash was built 4 years into Shlomo’s reign of 40 years, so add 36 to 374 = 410.
Yetsiat Mitsriam – 2448
1st Temple built – 2928
1st Temple destroyed – 3338April 26, 2012 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #1014206derszogerMember
Specifically what proofs do the secularists bring in their claims of how they believe in their timeline?May 5, 2014 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #1014208Morris CohenMember
Specifically what proofs do the secularists bring in their claims of how they believe in their timeline?May 6, 2014 1:41 am at 1:41 am #1014209
History is like a mountain balancing on a hair. The historians build mountains and mountains of dates and happenings by comparing one thing to the next, but it all depends on the first step–which is frequently as flimsy as a hair.
I don’t believe the first beis hamikdosh was destroyed in 586 BC. I think it was in 421 BC. I saw it written on a very old website.May 7, 2014 5:36 am at 5:36 am #1014210🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
a website from 421 BC?May 7, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am #1014211
I have no reason to believe that historians know more about the past than anthropologists know about the present. And they know frighteningly little.May 7, 2014 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm #1014212zahavasdadParticipant
Belive it or not there are records from the Greek and Roman Empires and other empires Like the Byzantine which account for most year. They were not illeterate fools.May 7, 2014 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #1014213jdbParticipant
Rav Schwab has a long essay on this topic. He believes that chazal changed our calendar.
Historians don’t just make things up guys. There is a written historical record that comes from secular sources, and there are times when there are multiple historical secular sources.May 7, 2014 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #1014214
“Alexander the great ruled from 336-326 BCE
Vespasian was roman Emperor from 69-79 CE”
The second Temple was destroyed at about 69 A”Z. If we assume that is was standing for 420 years, as Chazal say, then it was built about 351 BCE.
Shimon Hatsadik was one of the last of the Anshi Kenesset Hagedolah (see Avot, perek 1) which met in the beginning of Bayit Sheni, about 350 BCE. Some years later, I guess around 330 BCE, Shimon met Alexander (Yoma 69a – as we had in the Daf a few months ago).
The history and math works out to prove Chazal.May 7, 2014 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #1014215rabbiofberlinParticipant
MDG: The problem of this matter is that a multitude of (secular) historical records indicate that the churban of bays rishon was in 586 BC. Even if we accept that Shimon Hatsaddik was part of the Knesset Hagedolah and validating his meeting with Alexander the Great), there is still the matter of a 166-year gap (from 586 to 420)that is in conflict with other historical records. The major problem is that,according to chazal, the golus bovel was seventy years long and this would be in direct conflict to historical records.May 7, 2014 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #1014216
There’s a big difference between not just making up something and actually knowing something. Do anthropologists just make things up?May 7, 2014 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #1014217
Belive it or not there are records from the Greek and Roman Empires and other empires Like the Byzantine which account for most year. They were not illeterate fools.
Historians don’t just make things up guys. There is a written historical record that comes from secular sources, and there are times when there are multiple historical secular sources.
Of course they don’t make things up. But they do build huge mountains of extrapolation on top of small “facts”, such that if the small fact is not true, the rest is not either. And those small facts are frequently pretty unclear and inconsistent.
Hence why I called it hararim hatluyim b’saarah.
Or to paraphrase Mark Twain, they get such wholesome returns of conjecture with such a small investment of fact. (See Life on the Mississippi where he proves that the just over a trillion years ago next Tuesday, the Mississippi river used to jut out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing rod.)May 7, 2014 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #1014218
ROB said, ” there is still the matter of a 166-year gap (from 586 to 420)that is in conflict with other historical records. “
The only explanation that I heard to be machria is that the Galut ended after 70 years, but that it took a very long time (165 more years) until Bayit Sheni was built. If you want to say that, you have to say that we are in year 5939 (5774 + 165), not 5774.
Here’s my math: assuming 586 BCE is when Bayit Rishon was destroyed, and in 351 BCE Bayit Sheni was built, that’s 235 years. 70 years of Galut. That leaves 165 years where the Jews were in their land, but not with a Temple.May 7, 2014 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #1014219
MDG, the reason Shimon Hatzadik met with Alexander was to protect the Beis Hamikdosh.May 7, 2014 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #1014220
“How did the secular historians make a 165 year error in dating the destruction of the First Beis Hamikdash?”
The “secular historians” didn’t make a mistake. The Seder Olam Rabbah allocated too few years to the period of Persian rule. The “secular histories” all match up with contemporary accounts from Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman sources, while the Seder Olam Rabbah was written many hundreds of years later.
This presents no halachic or haskafic problem because there is no chiyuv to accept any particular midrashic work as literally true. R’Yose wasn’t writing a history, he was writing a midrash. Josephus was the Jew who wrote histories!May 7, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm #1014221
“assuming 586 BCE is when Bayit Rishon was destroyed, and in 351 BCE Bayit Sheni was built, that’s 235 years. 70 years of Galut. “
Why couldn’t Bayit Sheni have been built in 516 BCE?May 7, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #1014222
“there are records from the Greek and Roman Empires and other empires Like the Byzantine which account for most year.”
Actually there are records going all the way back to the Assyrians and Babylonians! The conquest of Jerusalem described in Melachim Bet Chapter 24 appears in a Babylonian source. Then starting with Herodotus in the fifth century BCE we had writers writing history for popular audiences, often as polemic but giving extraordinary detail. For example, Herodotus mentions a people living at the eastern end of the Mediterranean who practice circumcision. That is us! But Herodotus’ history alone which covers the time of Koresh to the Greco-Persian wars doesn’t give enough time for the Persian period if you follow the SOR chronology. You have to also take into account the Peloponnesian wars as documented by Thucydides, and the rice of Macedon under Alexander’s father Philip. You also have to compress the lives of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle into a very short time, and there is just no way to do that.May 7, 2014 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #1014223
Time for everyone to re-read the introduction by Rabbi Avraham son of Rambam to the Ein Yaakov compilation of aggadata. Just because the Seder Olam Rabbah didn’t account for all the years doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat it with the respect due a holy book! I happen to love the work. But I treat it as a holy book, not a history.May 7, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #1014224
“Shimon Hatzadik met with Alexander”
There is no non-Jewish source for such a meeting. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. We were a pretty insignificant people in the eyes of the Greeks and Persians.
Alexander is treated pretty favorably by Chazal given that he was an idol worshiper. Surprisingly they do not comment on his personal life, which, er, uh, wasn’t exactly how a good Ben Noach should have lived.May 7, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm #1014225HolyMoeParticipant
HDG wrote: ” The only explanation that I heard to be machria is that the Galut ended after 70 years, but that it took a very long time (165 more years) until Bayit Sheni was built. “
This is refuted by Ezra 3:12 describing the old men who still remembered the first bais hamikdosh weeping seeing the second bais hamikosh.
According to your theory, they would be over 200 years old !May 7, 2014 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #1014226
I happen to love the work. But I treat it as a holy book, not a history.
That is a very bizarre and disturbing distinction. You put holy books in a “fable” category as if they are just these nice things that are pretty and nice to read with pretty and nice ideas, instead of viewing the Torah as the truth and as relevant to reality.May 8, 2014 2:01 am at 2:01 am #1014227–Participant
That is a very bizarre and disturbing distinction.
I don’t see that. I agree with Charlie that the Seder Olam Rabbah does not have to be 100% accurate in order to be holy, consequently I can accept that it may not be 100% accurate.May 8, 2014 2:07 am at 2:07 am #1014228
‘You put holy books in a “fable” category as if they are just these nice things that are pretty and nice to read with pretty and nice ideas, instead of viewing the Torah as the truth and as relevant to reality.’
Have you read the essay by Rabbi Avraham ben HaRambam that I cited? He certainly doesn’t think that these are “fable”! But he doesn’t limit Chazal to literal meaning they way you seem to. His father clearly had the same approach, and Ramban also took a similar approach. That Rabbi Avraham’s essay is in the front of every copy of Ein Yaakov printed for hundreds of years shows that we have accepted it as the proper approach to midrash/aggadata.May 8, 2014 3:35 am at 3:35 am #1014229TRUEBTParticipant
Just a thought to ponder: The goyim say that the 70 years of exile were from 606 when Daniel was taken to Babylon and 536 when Cyrus decreed something or other that I forgot. It could easily have been 165 more years before Chazal were willing to call the Temple rebuilt. In order to resolve the issue at hand, we would probably need a class that would last several months. Without going into all the details of who says what, perhaps we can agree to disagree and go to sleep?May 8, 2014 4:33 am at 4:33 am #1014230TRUEBTParticipant
And the 420 years of Bayis Rishon start from Shmuel annointing Shaul. Apparently there is a connection between having a King and having a Temple. I could never figure out what it was.May 8, 2014 6:30 am at 6:30 am #1014231Sam2Participant
PBA: Without commenting on the specifics here, something can be holy and completely true and relevant without being literal throughout (think Shir Hashirim).May 8, 2014 6:39 am at 6:39 am #1014232PurimMashgiachMember
Whew! That took a while. I just finished counting, and I checked the Vatican. There is 238 yrs missing, as well as 23 days. R’ Moshe told me that since everything is now bechezkas chometz sheovar uluv hapesach we need to start again. I have corn in my backyard, and I do behab everyday because of all of my aveiros.May 8, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #1014233
Charlie, you think you chanced upon a gold mine that no one heard of? We all know good and well how to take Divrei Aggada. We are taught this at a very young age. The difference is that we know when this applies.
Actually, Seder Olam is in fact history. That is its function and purpose. That is what the Gemara quotes it for. It has also been pointed out here that the Pesukim show the 70 year span as well.
Even in those times they didn’t know how to count the 70. We count it from the Churban, but the conquest of Bavel started long before.
We are the ones with actual info. Everything else is putting together a picture from scraps. If you were to enter my house and do research you would no doubt draw conclusions different than the truth. Speculation would tell you that a waving flag shows the moon landing to be a fake. Knowing the truth tells you that it was folded.May 8, 2014 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1014234
Have you read the essay by Rabbi Avraham ben HaRambam that I cited? He certainly doesn’t think that these are “fable”! But he doesn’t limit Chazal to literal meaning they way you seem to. His father clearly had the same approach, and Ramban also took a similar approach. That Rabbi Avraham’s essay is in the front of every copy of Ein Yaakov printed for hundreds of years shows that we have accepted it as the proper approach to midrash/aggadata.
Yes, but he certainly doesn’t throw it all into one big heap of fantasy he calls “holy books.”
Sam: Agreed, of course.May 8, 2014 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1014235
Here is an article that clears up the discrepancy:May 11, 2014 4:07 am at 4:07 am #1014236
Found another source questioning the literal accuracy of Seder Olam Rabbah: Rashi to Daniel 11:2.May 11, 2014 4:08 am at 4:08 am #1014237
‘Yes, but he certainly doesn’t throw it all into one big heap of fantasy he calls “holy books.”‘
Why don’t you like the term “holy books”?May 11, 2014 4:15 am at 4:15 am #1014239
I don’t like you grouping them separate from books you take seriously.May 11, 2014 4:19 am at 4:19 am #1014241
“I don’t like you grouping them separate from books you take seriously.”
I take them seriously. Just not necessarily literally.
Rambam famously treated parts of the Torah in a non-literal matter. Are you going to accuse him of treating, say, the talking snake or the talking donkey less than seriously??? Kal v’chomer midrash aggadata.May 11, 2014 5:25 am at 5:25 am #1014242
Of course not. Because he actually refers to the talking donkey as a literal, physical event. There are three references to it by the Rambam. One of them was understood by many to be taking it less than literal while the other two show otherwise. Is there a reason why this one reference is always the only one mentioned??May 11, 2014 6:04 am at 6:04 am #1014243
Found another source questioning the literal accuracy of Seder Olam Rabbah:
Rashi to Daniel 11:2.
The Pasuk refers to Daryavesh as Revii after mentioning that three more kings will rise after Daryavesh Hamadai. Rashi quotes Seder Olam that he is calles Revii when you include Daryavesh Hamadai. Then he quotes an alternative interpretation, from the Yosiphun, that there was another king, a son of Koresh, before Achashveirosh.
Now, you realize or course that this is not the first place where Rashi offers an alternative, more simple, interpretation to a Pasuk over a Medrash. As Rashi explains in many places, there are many ways to explain a Pasuk.
You are also obviously aware that never does Rashi refer to this son of Koresh as taking part in the count of years. Here, where Daryavesh is refered to as the fourth, and it would have to be explained, Rashi offers the explanation that the Pasuk could be including this son which is otherwise left out and not counted.
This has absolutely, and unsurpisingly, nothing to do with not taking Seder Olam literally. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t make sense to say that. Seder Olam is not some Medrash relating an experience where we say it must be talking on some other plane. Its purpose is to calculate the years, and that is exactly what the Gemara quotes it for. So, for another reference of where Chazal took Seder Olam literally, see Shabbos 88.
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