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Introduction 5h6

Before you do this bible study you need to understand what we mean by inclusive reckoning, and righteous reckoning. There are a number of examples here that are often used by advocates of inclusive reckoning to prove their case, but when we examine and compare them to the righteous reckoning method we will find that this method also works. This bible study examines 2 ambiguous examples of inclusive and righteous reckoning in scripture, and shows the conclusion.

#5h6 Jotham Reigned Sixteen Years in Judah

2 KINGS 15:32-33, 38
32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign.
33 Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.

2 KINGS 16:1
1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.

Note: Jotham is said to begin his reign in the 2nd year of Pekah King of Israel, and was replaced by Ahaz in Pekah's 17th year. This would be sixteen years by inclusive reckoning, using the non accession year system, and Jotham is said to have reigned sixteen years.

Regnal years of Pekah2nd3rd4th .... 14th15th16th17th
Inclusive Years Jotham123 .... 13141516

This is the only example that looks like inclusive reckoning in the Southern kingdom of Judah, and it is not be as straightforward as it seems. Jotham's father Uzziah (also called Azariah) was king for 52 years (2 Kings 15:2), but during the last years of his life (we do not know how many) he was a leper and lived in an isolated house.

(2 Chronicles 26:21) "And Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and dwelt in an isolated house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of YHWH: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land."

So Jotham was ruling for some years while his father was still alive, but he was not officially king. Now in the 52nd year of Uzziah (Azariah) Pekah began to reign in Israel.

(2 Kings 15:27) "In the fifty second year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years."

So the 52nd year of Uzziah was the 1st of Pekah, as the northern kingdom used the non-accession year system of inclusive reckoning. But Jotham did not begin to reign until the 2nd year of Pekah, so he did not become king officially in the 52nd year of Uzziah as we would have expected. If Uzziah died at the end of a year, and Jotham became king officially at the beginning of the next year, then there would be no accession year as would normally have happened with kings following the accession system of regal years in Judah. The fact that Jotham was in control for much longer than the sixteen years is made clear by another scripture.

(2 Kings 15:30) "And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah."

Jotham only reigned officially for 16 years, but his 'twentieth year' must be measured from when he took control of the kingdom while his father Uzziah was still alive and still officially king. What does all this prove? Although Jotham's sixteen year reign from the 2nd year of Pekah to the 17th year of Pekah looks like inclusive reckoning at first sight, it is by no means conclusive. His official reign began the year after Uzziah died, so even with the accession method of regnal years, there would be no accession year in this case. This means that Jotham's first year as king would be the one after Uzziah's 52nd year, whether he started his official reign in Uzziah's 52nd year or the one following. If Uzziah died near the end of a year, and a short period passed into the following year before Jotham was officially crowned, it would explain why he became king in Pekah's second year. Or if Jotham had some other reason to delay his coronation after the death of his father, the same would apply. This scripture does not prove then that Judah was using inclusive reckoning of regnal years.

Diagram of the 16 year reign of Jotham 2 Kings 15:32-38 according to righteous reckoning

#5h7 Three Years Without War between Syria and Israel

1 KINGS 22:1-2
1 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.
2 And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.

Note: Now in this case inclusive reckoning is an obvious possibility because counting a few days in the end of the first year, and a few days at the beginning of the third year would be counted as three years, even though the actual time is only just over a year. Assuming that the actual time was two years, it could look like this.

Diagram of 3 years between war for Syria and Israel Samaria according to righteous reckoning

Most people however may not realize that there are other ways to look at this situation. The previous battle with Syria had taken place in the spring:

(1 Kings 20:26) "So it was in the spring of the year, that Ben-hadad gathered the Syrians and went to Aphek to fight against Israel."

So this was in the first month, Nisan. Now the three years was the period between the wars, not the period from the last war to the time Jehoshaphat left Jerusalem, which was in the third year (1 Kings 22:2). This then could be the end of the third year in the eleventh month, Adar. Now we have a time period for Jehoshaphat and all his people to travel to Samaria, to be received by Ahab, who "killed sheep and oxen in abundance for him, and the people with him" (2 Chronicles 22:2). So there was a time of feasting, which may have taken several days or even weeks, after which the prophets were called to prophesy concerning Ramoth-gilead. Then Micaiah had to be sent for and called to prophesy, after which there would be preparations made for war, and after that they had to travel to Ramoth-gilead to fight. Now all this could have taken quite some time and could have easily run over into the first month, Nisan, of the following year, which would complete the three year period between wars. In diagram form it would look like this.

Diagram of 3 year for jehosophat to go to Samaria according to righteous reckoning

Now there is another explanation, and that is that with righteous reckoning three years is considered anything above two years six months rounded up, so that all things that happened, happened just within the three year period, and Jehoshaphat still travelled to Samaria in the third year.

Another diagram of 3 year for jehosophat to go to Samaria according to righteous reckoning

Having now shown acceptable alternatives to inclusive reckoning, then their case is by no means certain.

#5h8 Conclusion on all Ambiguous Reckoning Examples

In every case both inclusive and righteous reckoning methods work.

Inclusive reckoning? Green tickGreen tick Green tickGreen tick Green tickGreen tick Green tick
Righteous reckoning?Green tickGreen tick Green tickGreen tick Green tickGreen tick Green tick

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