Jul 16, 2009 David Lang

Kaiser's History of Israel

When we were developing the Accordance Timeline, we debated how best to represent differing reconstructions of Biblical chronology. We knew we couldn't represent every view, so we decided to represent two broadly defined approaches, which we labeled Conservative and Critical.

Our next question was this: within each of these broad frameworks, should we create an eclectic chronology based on the work of multiple scholars or choose to follow a single authority? We decided to choose a single representative authority and cite our sources in the Timeline Supplement to the User's Guide.

When it came to developing the Conservative chronology of the Hebrew Bible, we considered two sources: Eugene Merrill's Kingdom of Priests and Walter Kaiser's History of Israel. Kaiser's work had the advantage of being a little more recent, but Merrill ended up giving slightly more detailed reconstructions. Since following Merrill would mean being able to place more items on the Timeline, we chose Merrill for largely practical reasons. Even then, we used Kaiser where Merrill was silent, such as in the chronology of the kings of Aram.

Kaiser-History Cover Because of this connection to the Accordance Timeline, I'm very excited to announce that Kaiser's History of Israel is now available as an Accordance module. If you want to understand the rationale behind the dates in the Timeline's conservative scheme, Kaiser's History will offer clear, concise discussions of the issues. Kaiser and Merrill are largely in agreement, and even where they differ, Kaiser discusses Merrill's position.

For example, both Kaiser and Merrill discuss the problem of determining the new king in Egypt "who did not know about Joseph" and who began to oppress the Israelites. Merrill believes this new king was Amosis, the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty who drove the Asiatic Hyksos out of Egypt. Kaiser disagrees, asserting that this king was a much earlier Hyksos ruler. But the Accordance Timeline accounts for the possibility of both views, since the starting date of the Egyptian oppression corresponds to the entire Hyksos period in Egypt.


For this and other questions of chronology, Kaiser's History serves as a very helpful commentary on the Timeline's conservative dating scheme.


The Kaiser-History Accordance module contains instant links to footnotes and a helpful glossary of terms. Simply drag your mouse over one of these links to see the footnote or definition in the Instant Details box. Kaiser-History also includes numerous helpful maps and charts. Kaiser-History can be purchased and downloaded directly from the Accordance web-site.

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Archived Comments

David Martyn

July 18, 2009 11:25 PM

So, who did you use for the critical version?

Kaitlyn Young

July 24, 2009 7:18 AM

israel has a very long history. the hly place of jeruselum which is in palestine is quite near to it. this coutry itself has a historical improtance. there are so many very pold chirches present in this country. they all are simply awesome.

A.D. Riddle

July 27, 2009 11:11 AM

\"Kaiser\'s work had the advantage of being a little more recent\"---Kaiser\'s work is over 10 years old and Merrill\'s history was revised in 2008.

David Lang

July 27, 2009 11:35 AM

The Accordance Timeline was developed in 2002, and at the time, Kaiser\'s work was about ten years more recent than Merrill\'s.