NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
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The Epistle to Henry II: elements of the biblical chronologies
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
 

On this website, much attention is given to the two biblical chronologies which are included in the Epistle to Henry II and the creation years which result from the Preface to Cesar, the Epistle to Henry II and a number of Almanachs.

In this article, the elements of these chronolog
ies are compared.

Other articles in which the biblical chronologies and the creation years are discussed:

 

In this article, the elements and features of the two biblical chronologies, published in the Epistle to Henry II, are discussed. There are short descriptions about similarities and differences.
The starting point of this article is the text of the chronologies which is given in the Epistle to Henry II which went into print.[1] Sometimes, additional comment is given, due to research findings. 

 

a. The structure of the chronologies
The first biblical chronology consists of five periods. This chronology begins with the creation of Adam and ends with the birth of Jesus. The second biblical chronology also ends with the birth of Jesus, but begins with the creation of the world and consists of ten periods. Regarding the number of periods of the second biblical chronology, Brind'Amour assumed that originally, eleven periods were at stake and that because of irregularities in the printing of the text of the Epistle to Henry II, the periods First Temple - Second Temple and Second Temple - Jesus were printed as the period First Temple - Jesus, with a time span figure which originally belonged to the period Second Temple - Jesus.[2]
In the first biblical chronology, the changes of one period into another are marked with the names of biblical persons: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. Brind'Amour assumed that the name Noah is a reference to the outbreak of the Deluge and the name Moses a reference to the beginning of the Exodus.[3] In the second biblical chronology, these changes are not only marked with the names of biblical persons, but also with references to biblical events: Creation of the world - Noah - Deluge - Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - dwelling in Egypt - Exodus - Beginning of building of the Temple under Salomo's reign - Jesus.

 

b. The kind of year
In the text of the second biblical chronology, it is written that the solar year has been applied. This is based upon the assumption that in the Bible, calculations were done with the solar year. According to the text, it was considered whether solar years, lunar years or soli-lunar years were applied. Eventually, solar years were chosen.[4]
In the text of the first biblical chronology, nothing is said about the applied kind of years. Next to the first biblical chronology, it is noted that between the birth of Jesus and the "pernicious seduction of the Saracens" (i.e. the foundation of the Islam), a period of about 621 years went by, a figure which is based upon solar years.

 

c. Sources
According to the Epistle to Henry II, the first biblical chronology is based upon three sources: the Bible, astrology and the "weak understanding". According to the text, the time span of the period David - Jesus is based upon calculations by "numerous time scholars", which raises the number of sources to four. 
It is not clear upon which biblical time data the first biblical chronology has been founded. Brind'Amour found two corresponding biblical sources; in the case of the period Adam - Noah he based his assumption upon the possibility of a printer's error in the text of the first biblical chronology.[5] It is also not clear in what way astrology and the "weak understanding" contributed to the estimation of the time spans in this chronology.
In the second biblical chronology, the Bible has been used as well as calculations by Bible scholars. Neither astrology nor the "weak understanding" contributed to this chronology.
In the first biblical chronology, the time span of the period David - Jesus is based upon calculations by "time scholars". In the second biblical chronology, the time span of the period Beginning building Temple - Jesus is based upon calculations by "Bible scholars". In other words: in both chronologies, the time span of two almost equal periods is emprunted from the calculations of "scholars". This similarity results from the text of the Epistle to Henry II which eventually went into print; Brind'Amour supposed that in the original text two periods were are stake: First Temple under Salomo - Second Temple under Darius, and Second Temple - Jesus. According to Bible scholars, the period Second Temple - Jesus lasted 490 years. This lead Brind'Amour to suppose that the time span of the period First Temple - Second Temple originally was estimated to be 531 years. From these 531 years, 501 years can be derived from time data in the Old Testament.[6]
In the text of the first biblical chronology, the works of the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro were rejected, his works were not used as a source. It has also been noted that the calculations were in conflict with those by Eusebius, also known as the "father of Church history". These conflicts seem to be confirmed by Brind'Amour's findings.[7]
The text of the second biblical chronology shows that the Bible was applied as well as calculations by Bible scholars. The approximate total of 4173 years and 8 months is not compared with totals which result from other sources and nothing is said about Varro's work.

 

d. Time spans
In the text of the first biblical chronology, the total time span is not given, in contrast with the text of the second biblical chronology. The approximate total of the second biblical chronology (4173 years and 8 months) does not correspond with the 4092 years and 2 months which result from the time spans in this chronology. This is caused by irregularities in the periods Creation - Noah and Temple - Jesus in the text which eventually went into print.[8]
The time spans in the second biblical chronology are given without any restriction. Not one total is approximate. For each period, one time span is given. In the first biblical chronology, however, almost all time spans are approximately given, except the time span of the period David - Jesus, which is estimated to be 1350 years. The time span of this period of emprunted from the calculations of "numerous time scholars".

 

e. The time after Jesus
In the first biblical chronology, the time span of the period between the first biblical chronology and the foundation of the Islam (621 years) is given approximately. Apparently, the foundation year of the Islam is a kind of benchmark, given the remark that from that point it is easy to see which periods have gone by and if calculations regarding the future are correct.
In the second biblical chronology, calculations regarding the period Jesus - date of the Epistle were given up, because of "the diversity of sects". In contrast with the first biblical chronology, there is no benchmark by which periods or calculations can be verified.

 

f. The future
In connection with each biblical chronology, predictions have been made. These predictions cover different time spans and the end of their time spans is not dated.
The beginning of the time span of the predictions which are connected with the first biblical chronology, is March 14, 1557.[9] These predictions run until a moment, when the number of adversaries of Jesus Christ and His church strongly increases. In the Epistle to Henry II, this moment is described as "the beginning of the seventh millennium".[10] In this time span, the years 1585 and 1606 are emphasized.
The beginning of the time span of the predictions which are connected with the second biblical chronology, is a non-dated listing of zodiacal positions of the planets, the Moon, the Caput and the Cauda Draconis, retrogradations and aspects and the absence of solar and lunar eclipses. Research showed that this all occurred in 1606, which means that this year can be considered as the year in which the time span of these predictions begins.[11] The time span ends with an allusion to the return of Satan after the end of the biblical Kingdom of 1000 years. Neither the beginning of this Kingdom is dated, neither its end. In this time span, the year 1792 is emphasized as well as the (undated) beginning of the seventh millennium.

 

g. Covering time structures
In the research upon which this article is founded, it has been assumed that each biblical chronology is part of a covering time structure. Regarding the first biblical chronology, the assumption is that this chronology is part of a time structure which counts 7000 years, which begins with the creation of Adam and which ends with the increase of the number of adversaries of Jesus and His church.[12] Regarding the second biblical chronology, it has been assumed that this chronology is a part of a structure of 8000 years, which begins with the creation of the world and which ends with Satan's return after the end of the biblical Kingdom of 1000 years.[13]

 

Summary
The biblical chronologies in the Epistle to Henry II have almost nothing in common. They cover different periods and are structured differently. 
Almost all time spans in the first biblical chronology are given approximately. In most cases, their source is not clear, despite the information, given in the Epistle. It is also not clear in which way astrology and the "weak understanding" contributed to the estimation of the time spans in this chronology. In the case of the second biblical chronology, there is clear information about its sources and all time spans are given without restriction, except for the approximate total time span of 4173 years and 8 months.
Arithmetical considerations regarding the applied kind of year were only made in the case of the second biblical chronology. In the case of the first biblical chronology, the counting of years continued for the period Jesus - foundation Islam, a counting which resulted in 621 years, which figure reveals the application of solar years. The Epistle shows that the foundation year of the Islam is a kind of benchmark regarding past periods and future. In the case of the second biblical chronology, the counting of years stopped at the birth of Jesus, despite the fact that in this chronology solar years were applied.
In the first biblical chronology, two sources were rejected: the works of Varro and the calculations of Eusebius. In the case of the second biblical chronology, this is different. The time spans of this chronology can be traced back to the Bible and to calculations by Bible scholars, although source research did not show upon which calculations, done by Bible scholars, the time span of the period Temple - Jesus was based.
Each one of the biblical chronologies accompanies a series of predictions. These predictions have different time spans, different moments of beginning and end. The Epistle to Henry II does not contain concrete data regarding the beginning and end of the time spans of these predictions, but there are clues by which these data can be derived.
In the research upon which this article is based, it has been assumed that each biblical chronology is part of a covering time structure. It looks as if the first biblical chronology is part of a time structure which covers 7000 years, whereas the second biblical chronology seems to be part of a time structure which covers 8000 years.

 

Item

First biblical chronology

Second biblical chronology

Number of periods

Five.

Ten.

Beginning first period

Creation of Adam.

Creation of the world.

Changes of periods

Names of biblical persons.

Names of biblical persons.
References to biblical events.

Applied kind of year

Not given, not discussed.

Solar year (consideration of solar, lunar and lunisolar years).

Applied sources

Bible.
Astrology.
The "weak understanding".
Time scholars (period David - Jesus).

Bible.
Bible scholars (period Temple - Jesus).

Excluded sources

Varro.

None.

Conflicting sources

Eusebius.

None.

Total time span

Not given.

About 4173 years and 8 months.

Total of the single time spans

4757 and 4758 years.

4092 years and 2 months.

Exactitude of the single time spans

The time span of the period David - Jesus is given without restriction.
All other time spans are given approximately.
For the period Abraham - Moses, two time spans are given approximately: about 515 years and about 516 years.

All single time spans are given without restriction.
There is no period for which more than one time span is given.

Period after Jesus' birth

Period Birth Jesus - foundation Islam: about 621 years.

No periods calculated because of the "diversity of sects".

Future moments

1585.
1606.
March 14, 1557. 
Beginning of the seventh millennium.

Zodiacal signs, retrogradations and aspects.
1792.
The seventh millennium.
Beginning of the biblical Kingdom of 1000 years.
Satan's return after the end of the biblical Kingdom of 1000 years.

Benchmark

621 AD.

None.

Presumably covering time structure

7000 years, counting from 4757/4758 BC to 2242 AD. In that year, the number of adversaries of Jesus Christ and His church increases strongly. 

8000 years, from April 25, 4174 BC to April 25, 3827 AD. At that date, the biblical Kingdom of 1000 years comes to an end and Satan returns.

 

De Meern, the Netherlands, May 8, 2005
T.W.M. van Berkel

 

Notes
The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. The French source text of the Epistle to Henry II: facsimile-Chomarat-2000, p.153-173. [text
  2. Brind'Amour 1993a, p.176-177. [text]
  3. Brind'Amour 1993a, p.172-174. [text]
  4. The solar year lasts 365,25 days; the lunar year lasts 354 days. There are different types of lunisolar years, each of them having its own way to link the lunar year to the solar year. [text]
  5. Brind'Amour 1993a, p.173. [text]
  6. Van Berkel: The first biblical chronology; Brind'Amour 1993a, p.175-176. [text]
  7. Brind'Amour 1993a, p.173-174. [text]
  8. Van Berkel: The second biblical chronology. [text]
  9. In e.g. the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, not March 14, 1557 is printed, but March 14, 1547. [text]
  10. These words might point to the year 7000 AM (Van Berkel: The first biblical chronology). [text]
  11. The positions of the planets, the Moon and the lunar nodes might have occurred on January 1, 1606, Julian calendar (Wöllner, p.28-29; Van Berkel: Prediction systems). Brind'Amour related these positions to January 28, 1606, Julian calendar, because at that date, the first New Moon of 1606 occurred (Brind'Amour 1993a, p.256-257). [text]
  12. Van Berkel: The first biblical chronology. [text]
  13. Van Berkel: The second biblical chronology. [text]
 
 

 
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