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The Wonders of Bible Chronology by Philip Mauro

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  • The Wonders of Bible Chronology by Philip Mauro

    Genealogies, Chronologies and Inspiration by Philip Mauro
    Mauro, Philip. The Wonders of Bible Chronology. Ashburn, Va.: Hess Publication, 2001

    Introduction by gbs
    The subject of all scripture is the revelation of Divine Justification in Christ Jesus. When Jesus revealed He was the fulfillment of all scripture He did not make a figurative statement but a literal one. The fulfillment of the Hebrew scriptures was not the acts of the Messiah performing the role which corresponded to revealed patterns, but the life of the Lord Jesus was what Sovereign God caused in Hebrew history that actually revealed the promised Divine Redemption through the chronicles and historical narratives, through the shadows presented in the Temple design and worship, through the Feast Days which are more appropriately termed the seven holy convocations of rehearsal on the works of the Messiah, and in the Books of Moses and the Law and in the Psalms and Books of Wisdom and in the Prophets and the lives and stories of all the characters and events and most certainly in those most boring chronological genealogies which have been addressed by Philip Mauro in The Wonders of Bible Chronology and from which the following is taken. The study to comprehend this truth reveals in part what Christ taught the apostles concerning Himself.

    Bible Chronology is Intimately Associated with One Definite Subject by Philip Mauro

    The details of this peculiarity of Bible chronology are worthy of the most careful attention; for it invests with special interest the subject of all scripture. It is as if the Author of Holy Scripture would have us take notice of the fact that, in the long process of the unfolding years and centuries and eras of time, there is only one line of succession of persons and events which is of importance in His eyes, and that is the line which was to lead to the coming into the world the Divine Redeemer. Let it be realized that starting with Adam, and following ever widening circles, from generation to generation, of his rapidly multiplying offspring, there were many directions which any selected chronological and genealogical line might have taken. It is, therefore, to be reckoned among the clearest evidences of Divine Superintendence in the writing of Holy Scripture that the one line, to which alone dates are unfailingly attached, is that which led finally “unto the Messiah, the Prince” (Daniel 9:25).

    It is well worth while to dwell further upon this immensely significant fact, because of the proof it affords of the inspiration of the Bible. Let it be observed that the chronological table of Genesis 5 goes no further than the flood; and that the table in Genesis 11 stops abruptly with Abraham; and that neither Genesis, nor in any Books of Moses, nor indeed in any book of the Old Testament, is there any indication of God’s reason for counting the years alone this particular line only; nor was any indication given that the line of dated events was to be continued any further; nor was there for centuries any indication as to where that line was to lead. The full purpose of God in all this comes not into view until the events of the Gospels, in that light (particularly of the genealogical lists of Matthew 1 and Luke 3) that purpose may be clearly seen. Here then is proof of the most convincing sort that He Who alone sees the end from the beginning is the Author of the Books of Moses, and all the later Books of the Old Testament, through which runs this marvelous chronological line. For the Old Testament concerns itself, from beginning to end, with but one subject, namely, the ordering of the historical and other events which were to lead to the coming Redeemer. All other matters of an historical nature which are found recorded in it are seen to be in some way connected with the main subject. That is never lost sight of. And it is the most impressive fact that, although the inspired history of the Jewish people came to an end four hundred years before the birth of Christ, yet God saw to it that, ere the last of the inspired writers laid down his pen, a chronological line had been thrown out into the future, by the means of “the sure words of prophecy,” whereby to span that chasm of four centuries, and to reach “unto the Messiah.” Moreover the last sentences of Malachai leave its readers looking forward to one of whom Jehovah said: “Behold, I will send My messenger before My Face, and he shall prepare My Way before Me. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” ( Malachai 3:1; 4:5,6).

    Strong as the proof set forth above that the chronology of the Bible had from its very beginning a special purpose known only to the Author, which proof is even made stronger by the fact that, when other lines of descent are given, there is no chronology connected with them. Thus, the very first table of descent is that of Adam’s eldest son Cain (Genesis 4:17-24). It has no dates. Whereas, in the table of Seth’s line, in the very next chapter, the years are given with such regularity, and with such precautions against error, as to show that the chronology was the important thing in the plan of the Author. So, likewise, though the descendants of Japheth and Ham are given in Genesis 10 (and given before those of Shem) yet there is not so much as one chronological fact set forth in connection with their names. When, however, in the very next chapter, the chosen line which leads eventually to Christ is taken up again (the line of Shem) we read: “These are the generations of Shem: Shem was a hundred years old, and he begat Arphaxad two years after the flood; And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years and begat Salah; and Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years;” and so on to Abraham, without a single omission of the chronological data, pertinent to the Divine Purpose, in the connected count of years.

    Even when we come to the genealogy of such important personages as Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:16-26) there is no chronology, that is to say, the father’s age at the birth of that particular son through whom the line of the father was to be counted is not stated. Moses was in some way given to know that the chronology of his own line (though personal pride would have prompted him to exalt it) was of no importance in the Books he was writing.

    Philip Mauro, The Wonders of Bible Chronology (Ashburn, Va, 2001) p. 13.

    Thus we arrive at the remarkable fact that, for the first two thousand years of the history of the human race, that it is to say, from Adam to Abraham, there exists a record of an unbroken line of descent, and of one only, in which the line of chronology is accurately preserved and safeguarded from error, by the simple expedient of giving the father’s age, in each generation, when that particular son was born, through who the line was to be continued, the father’s age at the birth of other sons being never given. This striking peculiarity is the more remarkable when it is further noted that, so far as appears, that it was not the oldest son that was chosen in any instance. For Seth was not the oldest of Adam, nor Shem of Noah, nor Abram of Terah, nor Isaac of Abraham, nor Jacob of Isaac, nor Judah of Jacob, nor David of Jesse. As to others named in the line of descent of Christ, it is not stated whether they were, or were not, the eldest of their respective generations. Evidently, however, primogeniture did not enter into the matter at all. This is very remarkable, particularly in view of the importance given by Hebrews to the firstborn (Genesis 49:3).

    During the period of the Kings of Israel and Judah the line from father to son passed through the successive Kings of Judah, from David to Jehoiachin. During this period the chronology is preserved by the given length of the reigns of successive kings.

    A connecting link with secular Chronology by Philip Mauro

    In Jeremiah 25:1 is found a statement which constitutes a perfect connecting link between the sacred and profane chronology. This is the statement: “The fourth year of Jehoiakim, which is the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.” At this point in time God was preparing to bring in the era of Gentile dominion, “the times of the Gentiles” for Nebuchadnezzar was the first of the God-appointed rulers of the world, “the powers that be,” which are, “ordained of God” and who are to exercise dominion until “the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound his trumpet,” at which time “the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ” (Revelation 10:7; 11:15). It is very significant therefore, that, when the throne of David, as an earthly thing, was about to be cast down to the ground (Psalms 89:30), and the scepter of earthly dominion was about to pass to the Gentiles, God caused the chronology of the holy people to be connected to an “infallible link” with the first year of the first Gentile ruler.

    Concerning this remarkable fact Martin Anstey says:

    “The one infallible connecting link between sacred and profane chronology is given in Jeremiah 25:1: ‘the forth year of Jehoiakim, which is the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.’ If the events of history had been numbered forward from this point to the birth of Christ, or back from Christ to it, we would have had a perfectly complete and satisfactory chronology.”

    We see then that the Bible is pre-eminently a book of chronology; but its chronology is of a very exception sort. For chronology in general shows no regard whatever; but for one particular line it manifests the utmost solicitude. That single chronological line delineates the central theme of the entire Scripture. All the recorded events of the whole Bible cluster around it; for the sacred records have to do only with persons and incidents which are more or less closely associated with that line. In view of all this, and especially of the supremely important fact that the line referred to leads to Christ, and stops there, the study of Bible chronology should be of the deepest interest to all His people.

    “That is not First Which is Spiritual”by Philip Mauro

    It is well worth while to notice . . . a striking peculiarity of the selection made by God of the persons and genealogies that were to figure in the Old Testament. The Book of Genesis is, among other marked characteristics, a book of contrasts. In reading it we find ourselves contemplating, from time to time, two contrasted individuals, or lines of descent, or sets of incidents. Thus, we have at the outset two sons of Adam, Cain and Able; then two lines of descent from Adam, that of Cain and that of Seth, then the contrast between Abraham and Lot; then that between Ishmael and Isaac; then that between Esau and Jacob; then that between Reuben and Joseph (to whom was allotted the birthright); and finally between Manasseh and Ephraim.

    What impresses the attentive reader in all this duplex character of Genesis narrative is that, in every instance, the elder (or the first to arrive on the scene and to establish himself) is rejected of God, and the younger, or later, is chosen. Thus by Divine prerogative of election Cain is set aside and Able is chosen. Seth, which means substituted, takes the place of Able as the chosen one of God for His purposes, according to the prophetic word of Eve who, in naming him, said, “For God hath appointed (or substituted) me another seed instead of Able, whom Cain slew: (Genesis 4:25). But Cain’s descendants established themselves, founded arts and industries, and made a name for themselves in the world; whereas we read of no achievement by Seth and his descendants.

    Similarly, as between Abraham and Lot (who was the son of Abraham’s elder brother) we find Lot making a way for himself and attaining prominence in the flourishing cities of the plain while Abraham remains a childless tent-dweller, a stranger and pilgrim on earth.

    In like manner we see Ishmael multiplying and prospering, his twelve sons having their “towns” and “castles” and “nations,” and waxing very great (Genesis 25:12-18) while Isaac lives a quite, pastoral life, occupied mainly in digging again the wells his father Abraham had digged, which the Philistines had stopped by filling them with earth (Genesis 26:15-18).

    Reading further, we find the contrast between Esau and Jacob. Esau is very progressive and becomes prominent in the land, while Jacob is yet serving as an hireling and waiting. We read of the many “dukes” (or princes) descended from Esau (Genesis 36:9-43); and it is expressly stated that “these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel” (verse 31).

    In all these cases we observe that the history and “generations” of the rejected elder are given before those of the younger, whom God chose. For the generations of Cain precede those of Seth; the generations of Japheth (the rejected elder brother) precede those of Shem, whose line was chosen; the generations of Ishmael precede the generations of Isaac; and the generations of Esau precede the generations of Jacob.

    In all this it is easy to recognize the foreshadowing of the great Bible truth concerning the failure and rejection of the first man, who is of the earth, earthy (I Corinthians 15:45-47) and the correlative and complementary truth of bringing in the Second Man in his stead. For “that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural (is first), and afterward that which is spiritual.” These dry chronological details also put vividly before us that while the “natural man”, who comes first, is pursuing whole-heartedly his earthly career, setting his heart upon, and devoting his energies to, the acquisition of earthly place, possessions and enjoyments, the “spiritual” man, who comes afterward, has to wait, to endure trials and hardships, wherein, however, he is sustained by believing what God has spoken concerning “things not seen as yet,” and is well content to confess that he is a stranger and pilgrim on the earth.

    From what is written of the patriarch Jacob, we should probably not have regarded him as particularly “spiritual.” But spirituality is wholly of grace, which is given to those who are of faith. Jacob believed God as to the value of the birthright; and the fact that he set his heart upon that which was “not seen,” but of which God had spoken, constituted the difference (which is everything in God’s estimation) between him and his elder brother who “despised his birthright,” and whom God therefore counted a “profane person” (Hebrews 12:16).

    The facts to which we have just referred serve to illustrate also the scripture: “He taketh away the first that He may establish the second” (Hebrews 10: 9). For in each of the above instances “the first” was permanently taken away, whereas “the second” was established. Thus the line of Cain was removed, while that of Seth was established; the line of “Japheth, the elder” (Genesis 10: 21) was set aside, and that of Shem established; and so likewise of all the rest.

    This principle comes to light in the later times also. Thus the first king of Israel, Saul, is the “natural” man. He had endowments such as natural men admire; whereas David was the “spiritual” king, the man after God’s own heart. Hence David has to wait, amidst manifold trails and afflictions, while Saul comes “first,” and is allowed to fill out his full period of forty years on the throne. But ultimately Saul’s dynasty is taken away, while that of David is established, according to the word of promise, “Thy seed will I establish forever” (Psalms 89:4).

    We find the same sequence of “natural” and “spiritual” in the connection with the nation composed of the natural descendants of Abraham, and which came first into existence, contrasted with the “holy nation” (I Peter 2:9) composed of the spiritual “seed” of Abraham, which came upon the scene only after the former had enjoyed a complete career in the world. Yet the first is set aside while the second is established permanently as a people for God’s own possession.

    Again we see the same truth illustrated by the two Covenants, of which “the first” was associated with the temporary priesthood of Aaron, whereas the second is associated with the priesthood of Jesus Christ, Who established as an High Priest forever (Hebrews 6:20).


    The Wonders of Bible Chronology, Philip Mauro. Hess Publications, Ashburn, Va. 2001. Hess Publications, Ashburn, Va. 2001

    Last edited by glen smith; January 10, 2018, 12:37 AM.

  • #2
    What a delight! Thanks so much, brother Glen.


    • #3
      Thanks Glen.