Is there a way to reconcile the discrepancy between the chronology of the Torah and the chronology of the secular sciences with regard to when the Churban Bayis took place?
Yes, there’s a very good way to reconcile that discrepancy and that is to follow the Torah historians. I’ll tell you why. People are naïve. They don’t realize what’s behind the secular historians. It’s all rigged for a purpose and the purpose is to justify the Christian books.
Now, the Christian books were not written by scholars. Anybody who knows a little bit about their books can recognize the ignorance of the early writers. And therefore it’s gratuitous, it’s entirely unnecessary for us to bother our heads to reconcile our chronology with theirs. Let them reconcile theirs with ours.
Because we are the ones who have an exact chronology according to generations. Jews didn’t calculate by years; we calculated by generations. And we have every generation in sequence from the beginning down to today. We know all the generations. And therefore, that’s valid enough for us.
Now, the number of years according to these generations in the tanach is enumerated, and that’s good enough.
However, it’s useful to know what a certain writer wrote – I won’t give him the honor of mentioning him; a certain secular writer states that there’s a very big mixup in the secular chronology. And that’s because it’s all based on Egyptian chronology. All the secular chronology is based on ancient Egyptian records. But the ancient Egyptian records are like a palimpsest. You know what a palimpsest is? It’s an old scroll written on parchment, and then someone needed some page to write on, so he erased part of the parchment and wrote something on top of the old letters. It’s called a palimpsest. So experts who want to discover what the original writing was, they photograph the present writing, then they erase it carefully, and they try to find underneath the furrows that were caused by the stylus of the original writer. That’s a job for experts. It’s one kind of writing imposed on another kind of writing.
Now that’s what happened in the Egyptian chronology. You know, Egypt suffered a great setback. Egypt was laid low in the time of the makkos. You know that after Yetzias Mitzrayim, for five hundred years Egypt didn’t take any part in the history of the Am Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel. Although Eretz Yisroel is right in the back yard of Egypt, and before the period of Yetzias Mitzrayim and after, during the time of Shlomo, Egypt was a mighty power.
So how could a little nation like the Jews be right next door to Egypt for five hundred years, and there’s no mention of Egypt? For five hundred years! It’s a remarkable fact. The answer is that Egypt was laid so low by the makkos, it was ruined. Egypt was a desolation for five hundred years. It took them that long to recover.
Now during that desolation all the Egyptian records were destroyed. And when they began to write, it was like writing on top of old records. And so when Herodotus began to copy his history from ancient Egyptian records, what did he do? He took the two sets of records that were overlapping and he didn’t know there was a five hundred year gap in between – he thought they were consecutive. And therefore, he came to the very great error of making a chronology that didn’t acknowledge a gap in history.
So therefore, in order to accommodate our history, the Torah history, the true chronology, with the faulty chronology of Herodotus, we are going to strain ourselves and make some kind of conciliation?! It’s a waste of time.
Therefore, we follow our living tradition; we didn’t have any such destruction like Egypt; our traditions were continuous and therefore we have in our hands the perfect chronology of all our generations. Josephus, at the end of the second churban, says we have in writing all the generations of our priests from Aharon Hakohen down. Now, if you have from Aharon Hakohen down to the churban bayis sheini, that means you have from Adam Harishon to churban bayis sheini! So we have pedigrees, clear cut pedigrees, from Adam Harishon to the end churban bayis sheini. Well, that’s good enough; we don’t need any more than that. Let them worry about reconciling their records with ours.
TAPE # 175