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|| Bibletime Studies || Biblical Time Index || Hours Days Months || Hebrew Calendar || Reckoning methods || Inclusive Reckoning? || Righteous Reckoning? || Timing Events || Ages of People || Circumcised the Eighth Day || Hebrew Regnal Years || Righteous Reckoning Examples || Ambiguous Examples || Inclusive Reckoning Examples || Conclusion || Q and A ||


This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font, and the Hebrew Unicode font "David" which comes with later versions of Windows.

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Introduction 5g

The importance of this bible study can be measured by the number of people who believe that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon, and raised on Sunday morning. This they justify because they say that the bible uses a system of inclusive reckoning to establish time, and any part of Friday counts as a whole day, and any part of Sunday counts as a whole day. Therefore they explain that Jesus' "three days and three nights" (Matthew 12:40) is not literal, but has to be reckoned inclusively. This is totally false. This bible study investigates righteous reckoning examples refuting the claim of inclusive reckoning of time in scripture, and shows with many examples that inclusive reckoning was not "always used", and certainly not for the southern kingdom of Judah from which Jesus came. Therefore, there is no reason to treat Jesus' words as inclusive in terms of time.

#5g1 King Jehoiachin Reigned Three Months in Jerusalem

2 KINGS 24:8
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:9
9 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.

Note: Some bibles record Jehoiachin's age as eight in 2 Chronicles 36:9, and we have a possible reason for this in our bible study, find the missing words. The important thing to note here is that 2 Chronicles 36:9 records Jehoiachin's reign as three months and ten days. Now if inclusive reckoning had been used by the writer of 2 Kings 24:8, we would expect to see it rounded up to four months, or even rounded up to one year, but instead it is rounded down to three months, as we would expect with the accession year system, which is our equivalent to righteous reckoning. By this example the inclusive reckoning error is refuted.

#5g2 King David Reigned Seven Years in Hebron

2 SAMUEL 5:4-5
4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty three years over all Israel and Judah.

1 KINGS 2:11
11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty three years he reigned in Jerusalem.

4 These six were born to him (David) in Hebron; and there he reigned seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty three years.

1 CHRONICLES 29:26-27
26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

Note: Here we are told twice that David reigned for a total of Forty years. If we add the years and months together in 1 Samuel 5:5, and in 1 Chronicles 3:4, we get a total of forty years and six months. Now if inclusive time had been reckoned here the total would have come to forty one years, the extra six months counting as an extra year. So 2 Samuel 5:4 and 1 Kings 2:11 should have recorded David's total reign as forty one years, but they didn't.
If we count the time that David reigned in Hebron, both 2 Samuel 4:5 and 1 Chronicles 3:4 record seven years and six months. Now if inclusive reckoning had been used here, it would be rounded to eight years in other places, but instead it is recorded as seven years in both 1 Kings 2:11 and 1 Chronicles 29:27. Righteous reckoning, not inclusive reckoning, was used by the inspired writer who wrote these scriptures.

#5g3 There was no Rain in Samaria for Three Years and Six Months

1 KINGS 17:1
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As Yahweh God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

1 KINGS 18:1
1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of Yahweh came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

LUKE 4:25
25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

JAMES 5:17
17 Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

Note: Elijah was a man of faith who prayed earnestly that it would not rain in Samaria, and the scriptures show that it did not rain for three and six months (Luke 4:25, James 5:17). However, it seems that God sent Elijah to end the drought "in the third year" (1 Kings 18:1), and there is no way that there was a six month period between this instruction being given and the rain coming. Now if inclusive reckoning had been used in calculating the time, then it should have said "in the fourth year", but it didn't. The inclusive reckoning error is refuted, and was therefore not used by the inspired writer who wrote these scriptures. Look at a comparison with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Cardinal Total TimeOrdinal time ends
Elijah - Period 
of no rain 
3 Years 6 months
Luke 4:25, James 5:17
in the 3rd year
1 Kings 18:1
Jesus - Death 
to resurrection 
After 3 days
Matthew 27:63, Mark 8:31
on the 3rd day
Matthew 16:21, Mark 9:31

Now these two examples are almost identical, except that Elijah's famine was measured in years, and Jesus death to resurrection was measured in days. Now the inclusive reckoners would have us to believe that Jesus was only dead from Friday 3 pm. to early Sunday morning; between 33 (3+24+6) and 38 (3+24+11) hours. This is much less than two whole 24 hour days. Would they also have us to believe that the famine in Samaria was also much less than 2 Years long, calculating on the same basis as they do for Jesus death to resurrection? Do not be deceived, both Jesus and James clearly stated it was three years and six months. The words for "three years and six months", and for "after three days", are all accusative case in the Greek, the case which deals with whole periods of time. Both Jesus and James therefore did not use inclusive reckoning when they timed the duration of Elijah's rain stoppage. There is no reason therefore to assume that Jesus was not dead for more than three whole days. Below is how the ordinal years compare with the actual years according to righteous reckoning. There are two ways of counting it. A period of three years and six months counts as anywhere above three years, five months and fifteen days, up to three years six and a half months. So three years five months and sixteen days would be rounded up to three years and six months by this method, giving us up to fourteen days to allow us to start just after the beginning of the seventh month, and end just before the end of the twelfth month in the third year. If the starting year was a thirteen month year this would give us an extra fifteen days, so righteous reckoning is perfectly acceptable in this situation.

Elijah's three years six months table

#5g4 Nehemiah was Appointed Governor in Judah for Twelve Years

14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor.

Note: Here is an example where we are told a period of time using ordinals of the governorship of Nehemiah, and the time period in years. The count using inclusive reckoning looks like this:

Nehemiah 12 years as governor diagram

It seems as if Nehemiah was appointed to be governor by Artaxerxes at the beginning of his 20th year of reign, in the month Nisan (Nehemiah 2:1-8). If we include the twentieth year and the thirty second year in the count then it comes to thirteen years, but we are told in the same verse that it is only twelve years. Obviously the God inspired writer of this scripture did not use the method of inclusive reckoning in his count, this error is refuted.
Righteous reckoning would count the exact time of his governorship as twelve years (being able to extend up to twelve years and six months, and be rounded down) and could easily finish during Artaxerxes' thirty second regnal year.

Righteous Reckoning bible quiz  Green tick

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