XII. Summary
by miriam berg
may, 1994


To summarize, we have studied the problem posed by the fact that the books of the Kings in the Hebrew scriptures tell us that the fall of Samaria occurred in the 6th year of Hezekiah, whereas most if not all modern books on the subject tell us that Hezekiah didn't become king until 8 years AFTER the fall of Samaria. We have found that the biblical chronology is completely internally consistent based on the following few principles:

i) The Hebrew historians counted both the first and last years
    of a king in his total reign, even though this caused one
    of those years to be counted twice.
ii) The Hebrew historians counted the years of a co-regency in
    the total reign of a king, although sometimes they forgot to.
iii) The years of the reign of a southern king were counted from
    the month of Tishri in the fall, and the years of the reign
    of a northern king were counted from the month of Nisan in
    the spring.
iv) For Judah, only descendants of David were legitimate rulers.
    Therefore they counted the years of Athaliah as belonging
    to Jehoash.

We have also found that this chronology is consistent with the dates in Assyrian inscriptions for the fall of Samaria, the accession year of Jehu and the last year of Ahab, and the estimated date of the division of the kingdoms.

Also we have discovered that the reference in II Kings 18:13 must be to the campaign in 714 BCE by Sargon II against Ashdod, and subsequently against Merodach-Baladan, and that the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib in II Kings was combined with the memory of that campaign by Sargon's army. We have also seen that the only errors which the authors of the Kings made were references to two foreign kings, confusing events in the reign of Sennacherib with those in the reign of Sargon II, and confusing "Pul" with Ashurdan in the reign of Menahem. Furthermore the 15 years of additional life granted to Hezekiah must refer to the years 713 through 699 BCE, following Sargon's expedition and including the year of the siege of Jerusalem. Thus, we have presented an analysis which completely vindicates the Hebrew historians and shows, as they plainly tell us, that Hezekiah was king of Judah when Samaria fell.