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Demetrius the Chronographer

220 BC

Demetrius the Chronologer "On the Kings in Judea" 220 BC

8 Chronological Markers

Demetrius Years

Steven Rudd

Actual years


BC date

Steven Rudd

Actual BC date

Estimated creation date (5554 BC + errors of + 205 - 215 - 60 years)



5484 BC

5554 BC

Estimated flood date (3298 BC + errors of + 205 - 215 - 60 years error)



3228 BC

3298 BC

Assumed exodus date was same as Josephus (1446 BC + errors of + 205 years)



1651 BC

1446 BC

Estimated date when Jacob entered Egypt (5484 - 36241)



1860 BC

1876 BC

Adam to Jacob in Egypt: Both Demetrius and Clement included 130 yrs. Cainan, Lk 3:36, but both wrongly dated Abram's birth to 70th yr. of Terah, correct is 130.



5484-1860 BC

5554-1876 BC

Flood to Jacob entered Egypt.



3228-1868 BC

3298-1876 BC

Adam to the Flood (computed: 36241 - 13601 = 2264 years).



5279-3015 BC

5554-3298 BC

Abraham entered Canaan until Jacob entered Egypt.



2075-1860 BC

2091-1876 BC

Short sojourn 215 yrs. Clement used the correct long sojourn of 430 years.



1866-1651 BC

1876-1446 BC

Assyrian captivity to Ptolemy IV (222 BC).



796-222 BC3

723-222 BC

Babylonian captivity/Temple burned to Ptolemy IV (222 BC).



560-222 BC3

587-222 BC

Assyrian to Babylonian captivity/Temple burned. (actual sum is 2363 not 129 years)



796-560 BC3

723-587 BC

1. Demetrius as quoted by Eusebius in Preparation of the gospel 9.21.

2. Demetrius as quoted by Clement in Stromata/Miscellaneous 1:21.141

3. Demetrius' numbers contradict: 1. His error in wrong number or wrong Ptolemy. 2. His original numbers were changed by later scribes.

1. Demetrius the chronographer was a Greek speaking Jew who lived and worked in Alexandria, which meant he had access to the largest library in the world.

a. Demetrius wrote a book called "On the Kings in Judea" which dated to Ptolemy Philopater IV (222-204 BC) and is the first extant chronology based directly upon the Septuagint translated just 60 years earlier in 280 BC. Demetrius is also the earliest datable Jewish author who wrote in Greek.

b. "Demetrius is the first witness to the use of the Septuagint, or at least of the Greek Pentateuch. His work clearly, and perhaps exclusively, presupposes the Greek Old Testament. Evidence for a knowledge of biblical traditions in Hebrew is scant. In fragments 2 and 3 he reflects the chronographic system of the Septuagint and shows no knowledge of the numerical figures of the Hebrew text where they differ from those of the Septuagint. Further, his spellings of biblical names generally follow the Septuagint; even his phrasing is reminiscent of the Greek Old Testament." (Demetrius the Chronographer: A New Translation, J. Hanson, Old Testament pseudepigrapha, James H. Charlesworth, vol 2, p844, 1985 AD)

2. Demetrius would have located Mt. Sinai near the city of Madyan (al Bad) in northwestern Arabia.

a. "He [Demetrius] says, however, that Moses fled into Midian, and there married Zipporah ... and they dwelt in the city Madiam, which was called from one of the sons of Abraham." (Eusesbius, Praep. Ev. 9.29, quoting Demetrius the Chronographer)

3. Original text of Demetrius:

a. Text of Demetrius in 220 BC, as recorded by Eusebius in AD 325: "From Adam until Joseph's brethren came into Egypt there were 3624 years; and from the Deluge until Jacob's coming into Egypt was 1362 years; and from the choice of Abraham from among the Gentiles and his coming from Charran (Haran) into Canaan until Jacob and his family came into Egypt was 215 years." (Demetrius, Quoted by Eusebius in Preparation of the gospel 9.21)

b. Text of Demetrius in 220 BC, as recorded by Clement in AD 200: "Demetrius in his book On the Kings of Judaea says that the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi were not taken captive by Sennacherib, and moreover, from that captivity when Nebuchadnezzar deported them from Jerusalem, the period was 128 years six months. From the time when the ten tribes were taken as prisoners from Samaria to Ptolemy IV, 573 years nine months, and from the deportation from Jerusalem, 338 years three months. Philo too has written of the kings of Judaea but his figures are at variance with those of Demetrius." (Demetrius quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Stromata/Miscellaneous 1:21.141)

4. Total error of 275 years: Demetrius made two errors that reduced flood and creation dates by 275 years.

a. Error of 60 years: Demetrius misdated Abram's birth when Terah was 70 (correct is 130), which reduced his flood and creation dates by 60 years.

b. Error of 215 years: Demetrius used the 215-year short sojourn (correct is 430) which lowered his flood and creation dates by 215 years.

i. Demetrius calculated the 215 years as follows: From Levi entering Egypt to the birth of Kohath (17 yrs.) plus Kohath's age at the birth of Amram (40) plus Amram's age at the birth of Moses (78) plus Moses' age at Exodus (80) equals: 17 + 40 + 78 + 80 = 215 years sojourning in Egypt.

c. The 215-year error of the short sojourn does not affect the relative chronology between the creation to Abraham, but it reduced the BC dates for creatin and the flood by 215 years.

5. Demetrius is the earliest author to include Cainan (Kainan) in the post flood chronology (Lk 3:28) which which the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) omitted.

a. The chronology of the MT lowered the date of both the flood and creation by 130 years because of the exclusion of Cainan.

b. "The period from the Flood to Abraham in Genesis 11:10-32 in the LXX with Kainan included equals exactly 1072 years This is the same figure derived from Demetrius' post - Flood chronology (1362 minus 290 [215+75] equals 1072). In order for Demetrius' chronological calculations to work, the Genesis 11 LXX text in his possession had to include Kainan and his 130 - year begetting age. The 1072 - year calculation is independently affirmed by the post - Flood chronology in the Samaritan Pentateuch. The SP excludes Kainan, but matches the rest of the LXX 's begetting ages, yielding a total of 942 years from the Flood to Abraham's birth. Eusebius' calculation from his manuscript(s) of the LXX, sans Kainan, also equals 942 years (Chronicle 27). When Kainan's 130 is added to 942 from the SP and Eusebius, we reach the exact same total as the LXX and Demetrius: 1072 years. Because of Demetrius' chronological precision, we can conclude that Kainan necessarily appeared in his manuscript(s) of LXX Genesis 11:13b- 14 b in ca . 220 BC. This first external witness to the LXX was written just a few decades after its origin. Demetrius long predates the Gospel of Luke, providing irrefutable external evidence for Kainan's presence in LXX Genesis 11 in the late third century BC, and annulling the theory that Kainan originally arose as a scribal error in Luke" (New Evidence for Kainan in New Testament and LXX Papyri, Henry Smith, 2019 AD)

6. Demetrius's chronology confirmed the Genesis 5 & 11 numbers in the Greek Septuagint (LXX) against the Masoretic Text (MT). Recent research by the author has concluded the Jews corrupted the text in the MT at Zippori in AD 160 to chronologically exclude Jesus of Nazareth as a messiah. The Masoretic text we possess today, the Seder Olam Rabbah, and the Mishnah are three important Jewish documents were fabricated at Zippori between AD 160-200. They reduced the age of the earth from 5554 BC to 4174 BC to push Jesus outside their 1708-year window of expectation between 4292 - 6000 years after creation. This man-made, non-Biblical Jewish eschatological idea is witnessed in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 11:1, I.88.A-91.F and is believed by Jews down to the present time. Pushing Jesus Christ outside this window was done by the Jews in AD 160 by corrupting the chronological numbers in Gen 5,11. The autograph originals are preserved in the Septuagint as reflected in both Demetrius and Josephus.

a. Flood to Jacob is 1360 years: (correct is 1422 years)

i. Demetrius calculated 1360 years from the flood to Jacob entering Egypt, which is a perfect match for the correct LXX chronology at 1422 with a net difference of 62. When you add his 60-year error in dating the birth of Abram, there are only two years difference. (1360 years + 60 + 2 = 1422 years LXX.) The remaining 2-year difference was caused by his own minor errors and variants.

b. Creation to Jacob is 3624 years: (correct is 3678)

i. The net difference is only 54 years which is easily accounted for by his 60-year mistake in dating the birth of Abram. The remaining 6 years are his own minor errors and scribal errors.

c. Creation to flood is 2264 years: (correct is 2256)

i. Demetrius is in exact agreement with the LXX with only 8 additional years.

ii. Although Demetrius never gave the years from Adam to the flood, it can easily be computed from his other two numbers: 3624 - 1360 = 2264.

iii. Notice during this period, the 60-year error of dating the birth of Abram has no effect and the numbers are correct to our correct understanding today.

7. Creation date of Demetrius: 5484 BC

a. Demetrius never connected his pre-exodus chronology to any later period, which makes it impossible to know for certain his age of the earth.

b. However, it is safe to assume he made the same two mistakes typical of other ancient chronologers by ignoring coregencies during the periods of the Judges and the Kings. This error added about 200-300 years to the date of the exodus. For example, Clement dated the exodus to 1719 BC which is 273 years higher than the correct 1446 BC. Josephus dated the exodus to 1651 BC, which is 205 year higher than the correct 1446 BC. Being an early Jewish writer, Demetrius, likely dated the exodus to between 1650-1675 BC. Let us assume Demetrius and Josephus both made the same 205-year error and misdated the exodus to 1651 BC.

c. Starting with an assumed error of 205-year additional years from the birth of Christ to the exodus and subtracting Demetrius' 215-year error of the short sojourn and subtracting the 60-year error of the birth of Abram, this set his relative chronology 275 years lower than what we know to be correct. (205 - 215 - 60 = -70) The net difference is only 70 years lower than the correct date of creation. (correct is 5554 BC). Demetrius' creation date is 5484 BC.

d. The BC dates for the chronology of Demetrius can now be calculated as reflected in the chart.

8. Conclusion:

a. Chronology of Demetrius:

i. Demetrius's assumed exodus date was 1651 BC (1446 BC + 205 assumption error years)

ii. Demetrius's estimated creation date was 5484 BC (5554 BC - 70 years)

iii. Demetrius's estimated flood date was 3228 BC (3298 BC - 70 years)

b. Demetrius was the most accurate ancient Jewish chronologer because of his reliance upon the Septuagint which had been translated only 60 years earlier.

i. His four major errors or ignoring coregencies of Judges and Kings, misdating the birth of Abraham and using the 215-year short sojourn (Clement used 430 years for sojourn).

ii. Both Demetrius and Clement correctly included the 130 years of Cainan that Josephus omitted.

iii. He correctly dated creation and the flood only 70 years too low.

iv. He correctly dated Jacob entering Egypt only 16 years too low.

c. Demetrius' exodus date of 1651 BC is corrected to a perfect match of 1446 BC when you remove the 205 extra years that are assumed to be added to his chronology during the Judges and Kings. Keep in mind the perfect match is achieved by removing the assumed 205 extra error years typical of ancient chronologers.

Authorities on Demetrius the Chronographer:

1. "DEMETRIUS THE CHRONOGRAPHER. A Jewish historian-exegete who probably flourished in Egypt during the last quarter of the 3d century B.C.E. He composed at least one work, probably entitled On the Kings in Judaea, that appears to have chronicled Jewish history from the time of the patriarchs until the postexilic period. Only a few fragments of the work survive. Six extant fragments are reliably attributed to Demetrius. They suggest a work closely, probably exclusively, dependent on the LXX, written in straightforward, unadorned Gk style. The fragments especially deal with questions of chronology arising from the biblical text, hence the designation chronographer (Freudenthal). Though he rehearses biblical history in the tradition of certain Hellenistic historians, such as Eratosthenes, Manetho, and Berossus, Demetrius displays an explicit interest in exegetical problems. In his exegetical approach, he appears to employ an established method of interpretation known as aporiai kai luseis ("problems and solutions," or "questions and answers") used by pagan writers to interpret the writings of Homer and Hesiod and later applied by Philo of Alexandria in interpreting Genesis and Exodus. Five of the Demetrius fragments (4 of which are explicitly attributed to him) are preserved by Eusebius in Praep. Evang., Book 9, although Eusebius states that he is quoting the excerpts from the pagan author Alexander Polyhistor (ca. 112-30 B.C.E.), who thus appears to be the earliest author to mention Demetrius and quote from his work. A 6th fragment, preserved in Clement of Alexandria Strom., Book 1, attributes a work entitled On the Kings in Judaea to Demetrius and provides a summary of its chronological calculations for events following the fall of Samaria and the fall of Jerusalem until the time of Ptolemy IV Philopator (ca. 220-204 B.C.E.). All of the fragments preserved by Eusebius focus on events in Genesis and Exodus. Fragment 1 provides a brief, unexceptional summary of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22). Fragment 2 is the longest of the six fragments (approximately 137 lines of Gk text). It treats various events relating to Jacob and Joseph recorded in Genesis 27-50, giving special attention to chronological questions such as the ages of the patriarchs at various junctures in their lives, the birthdates of Jacob's sons, his children's ages when significant events occurred, and the cumulative number of years for certain designated periods of time, e.g., from Adam until the time Joseph's brothers arrive in Egypt. The next three fragments treat events from Exodus. Fragment 3 focuses on Moses, particularly his marriage to Zipporah (Exod 2:15-22): It was chronologically possible because she was only one generation older than Moses; she was endogamous, a descendant of Abraham and Keturah; she was monogamous, identified with the Cushite (Ethiopian) woman of Num 12:1. Fragment 4 briefly treats the incident of the bitter water at Marah (Exod 15:22-27), while Fragment 5 explains how the Israelites could have left Egypt unarmed yet managed to obtain weapons with which to fight the Egyptians (Exod 13:18; 17:8-13). Establishing the date and provenance for Demetrius is based primarily on Fragment 6 (Clement of Alexandria Strom., in which the reign of "Ptolemy the 4th" (Philopator, 220-204 B.C.E.) is used as a reference point for making certain chronological calculations pertaining to the length of time between 2 events: the deportation of the 10 tribes after the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.E.) and the deportation of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah after the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.E.). Because the calculations present several difficulties, various textual emendations have been suggested, some of which identify him as Ptolemy III (246-221 B.C.E.) or Ptolemy VII Euergetes II (170-164 and 145-117 B.C.E.). These alternative suggestions, however, have not won widespread acceptance. Consequently, because it is safe to assume that Demetrius would bring his chronological calculations down to his own time, and that he would define this time in terms of his own reigning Ptolemy, his date is confidently set in the last quarter of the 3d century B.C.E. Because Ptolemaic rule at this time was concentrated in Egypt, Demetrius is usually placed in an Egyptian, or even more specifically, an Alexandrian setting. Yet since the extent of Ptolemaic rule prior to the battle of Paneion (200 B.C.E.) encompassed Syria as well as Egypt, the setting might have been Palestine, or even Cyrene. The ability to set a relatively firm date for Demetrius is important in assessing his overall significance for Judaism in the Hellenistic period. He thus has the distinction of being the earliest named Jewish author known to have written in Greek. His importance is related to at least the following areas: (1) LXX studies. He is an important, reliably dated witness for the existence of a Gk version of Genesis and Exodus (perhaps the Gk Pentateuch) as early as the 3d century B.C.E. Indeed, depending on the date of Ezekiel the Tragedian, Demetrius may be the earliest independent witness of LXX Genesis and Exodus. In any case, he becomes an important resource for the study of LXX origins. (2) Jewish historiography. Though brief, the Demetrius fragments provide an early instance of a Jewish author in the tradition of other Hellenistic "cultural" historians, Berossus (Babylon) or Manetho (Egypt), who wrote national histories promoting their respective peoples and cultures. More specifically, his explicit interest in chronography perhaps testifies to the increased respect this particular intellectual discipline had begun to enjoy, especially among Jews, in the Hellenistic period. It has been plausibly suggested that Demetrius belonged to a school of chronographical interpretation that sought systematically to apply principles of Hellenistic "scientific historiography" to biblical interpretation. Certainly, his work should be viewed alongside other Jewish writings with similar chronological interests, such as Jubilees, Genesis Apocryphon, and Seder Olam. (3) Biblical exegesis. Demetrius displays a consistent interest in resolving difficulties in the biblical text. Besides questions of chronology, he addresses other questions the text might pose for a critical reader: Why did Joseph remain in Egypt 9 years flourishing without reporting his whereabouts to his aged father in Canaan? Why did he show partiality to Benjamin? Why is the sinew of the thigh of cattle not eaten by Jews? These may be questions asked by Jews as they began to read the biblical text critically, influenced perhaps by Hellenistic "scientific historiography." Or, perhaps they are questions asked by non-Jews, either unsympathetic or manifestly hostile, as they became aware of Jewish biblical history. In these instances, as well as in his discussion of Moses' marriage to Zipporah, Demetrius appears to be interpreting the biblical text not merely to resolve chronological difficulties in the text as an intellectual exercise, but to answer such questions of religious practice as whether Jews should intermarry with non-Jews, or why certain food laws are observed." (ABD, Demetrius the Chronographer)

2. "Of the six fragments usually attributed to Demetrius, only four bear his name (frags. 2-4). The first five of these fragments are preserved in Eusebius (Praep. Ev. 9) and the sixth in Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 1.141.1-2). The five fragments from Eusebius are quotations of Alexander Polyhistor (On the Jews), which quotes from Demetrius's work. If Clement is to be trusted, the title of this work was On the Kings in Judea. There is some question as to whether or not fragments 1 and 4 are by Demetrius, as fragment 1 is anonymous and fragment 4 is very brief. Certainty in either case is difficult. Difficult to date with any certainty, the sixth fragment (from Clement) suggests that the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-204 B.C.) is a terminus ante quem for Demetrius's work. The extant work of Demetrius revolves chiefly around the chronology of the biblical accounts as found in Genesis. Because Demetrius's work is similar in content to books such as Jubilees, the rabbinic Seder ˓Olam Rabbah and the Genesis Apocryphon from Cave 4 at Qumran, B. Z. Wacholder (1964, 56) has suggested that these writings fall into three different schools of interpretation of biblical history, with Demetrius on the most developed end and the rabbinic Seder ˓Olam Rabbah on the most conservative, with the sectarian Jubilees and Genesis Apocryphon closer in approach to Demetrius and other writings such as [pseudo]-Eupolemus and Artapanus. In fragment 2, Demetrius precisely calculates the dates of the various figures in Genesis starting with Jacob and ending with Moses. Fragment 3 picks up the story with Moses' murder of the Egyptian overseer and ends with a discussion of the genealogy of Zipporah, explaining the difficulty of Moses' and Zipporah's marriage (Ex 2:16 LXX), since they seem to come at mutually exclusive points in the lineage from Abraham. Fragment 4 is a conflation of unknown ratio of both the OT and Demetrius's chronographic work, dealing with the short story in Exodus 15:22-27 of the bitter fountain turned sweet after the appropriate wood is thrown in, and the oasis at Elim. Fragment 5 explains the possession by the Israelites of weapons (Ex 17:8-13), when they supposedly only went out to pray for three days, and suggests that the arms were salvaged from the drowned Egyptians. Fragment 6, taken from Clement of Alexandria, is a brief chronology of the time from the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel until the accession of Ptolemy IV. There is apparently some corruption in this last fragment, leading to chronological problems, for which various emendations have been suggested. Demetrius is obviously concerned to deal with lacunae and contradictions found in the biblical writings, especially with regard to chronology, but also, apparently, with regard to other thorny details, such as the possession of weapons by the Israelites when they had merely gone out to pray. So little of Demetrius's work survives that it is difficult to determine its exact nature-it is entirely possible that the chronographic sections that make up the bulk of the surviving Demetrius were only a small part of the whole, which his title (if we are to trust Clement), On the Kings of Judea, would suggest might have been wider in scope." (Dictionary of New Testament background, C. A. Evans & S. E. Porter, Demetrius, p 268, 2000 AD)

II. Full text of the Extant Fragments of Demetrius the Chronographer

From Eusebius Preaparatio Evangelica 9:29.1-3

"'DEMETRIUS described the slaying of the Egyptian, and the quarrel with him who gave information about the deceased man, in the same way as the writer of the Sacred Book. [c] He says, however, that Moses fled into Midian, and there married Zipporah the daughter of Jothor, who was, as far as one may conjecture from the names, one of the descendants of Keturah, of the stock of Abraham, from Jexan who was the son of Abraham by Keturah: and from Jexan was born Dadan, and from Dadan Raguel, and from Raguel, Jothor, and Hobab: and from Jothor Zipporah, whom Moses married. 'The generations also agree; for Moses was seventh from Abraham, and Zipporah sixth. [d] For Isaac, from whom Moses descended, was already married when Abraham at the age of a hundred and forty married Keturah, and begat by her a second son Isaar. Now he begat Isaac when he was a hundred years old; so that Isaar, from whom Zipporah derived her descent, was born forty-two years later than Isaac. 'There is therefore no inconsistency in Moses and Zipporah having lived at the same time. And they dwelt in the city Madiam, which was called from one of the sons of Abraham. For it says that Abraham sent his sons towards the East to find a dwelling-place: for this reason also Aaron and Miriam said at Hazeroth that Moses had married an Aethiopian woman." (Eus., Praep. Ev. 9.29, quoting Demetrius the Chronographer)

Fragment one

So much says Polyhistor; to which he adds, after other (sentences), saying;

But not long after, God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a whole burnt offering to him. And when he led his son up to the mountain, he heaped up a pyre, and placed Isaac on it. But when he was about to sacrifice him, he was prevented by an angel, who provided him with a ram for the offering. And Abraham took his son down from the pyre and offered the ram.

Fragment two

1. Let us return again to Polyhistor: Demetrius Concerning Jacob, from the Same Writing of Polyhistor. Demetrius says that Jacob was (77) years old when he fled to Haran in Mesopotamia, having been sent away by his parents on account of the secret enmity of Esau towards his brother (which was due to the fact that his father had blessed him thinking that he was Esau), and in order that he might acquire a wife there.

2. Jacob, then, set out for Haran in Mesopotamia, having left his father Isaac, who was 137 years of age, while he was himself 77 years old.

3. Then after spending 7 years there, he married two daughters of Laban, his maternal uncle, Leah and Rachel, when he was 84 years old. In seven more years, 12 children were born to him. In the 10th month of the 8th year, Reuben (was born); and in the 8th month of the 9th year, Simeon; and in the 6th month of the 10th year, Levi; and in the 4th month of the 11th year, Judah. And since Rachel did not bear, she became envious of her sister, and gave her own handmaid (Bilhah to Jacob as a concubine, who bore Dan in the 4th month of the 11th year, and in the 2nd month of the 12th year, Naptali. And Leah gave her own handmaid) Zilpah to Jacob to concubine, at the same time as Bilhah conceived Naptali, in the 5th month of the 11th year, and he begot a son in the 2nd month of the same year by begot another son, whom Leah named Asher.

4. And in return for the mandrake apples which Reubel brought to Rachel, Leah again conceived, as did her handmaid Zilpah at the same time, in the 3rd month of the 12th year, and bore a son in the 12th month of the same year, and gave him the name Issachar.

5. And again Leah bore another son in the 10th month of the 13th year, whose name was Zebulun; and in the 8th month of the 14th year, the same Leah bore a (daughter) named (Dinah). And at the same time as Leah (conceived) a daughter, Dinah, Rachel also conceived in her womb, and in the 8th month of the 14th year she bore a son, who was named Joseph, so that in the 7 years spent with Laban, 12 children were born.

6. But when Jacob wanted to return to his father in Canaan, at Laban's request he stayed six more years, so that in all he stayed for twenty years with Laban in Haran.

7. And while he was going to Canaan, an angel of the Lord wrestled with him, and touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh, and he became numb and went lame; on account of this the tendon of the thigh of cattle is not eaten. And the angel said to him that fom that time on he would no longer be called Jacob, but Israel.

8. And he came to (Salem, a city) of the land of Canaan, having with him his children, Reuben, 12 years and 2 months old; Simeon, 11 years and 4 months; Levi, 10 years and 6 months; Judah, 9 years and 8 months; (Dan 9 years and 8 months;) Naptali, 8 years and 10 months; Gad, 8 years and 10 months; Asher, 8 years; Issachar, 8 years; Zebulon, 7 years and 2 months; Dinah, 6 years and 4 months; Joseph, 6 years and 4 months old.

9. Now Israel lived beside Hamor for 10 years, and Israel's daughter, Dinah, was defiled by Shechem the son of Hamor, when she was 16 years and 4 months old. And Israel's son Simeon, at 21 years and 4 months, and Levi, at 20 years and 6 months of age, rushed out and slew both Hamor and his son Shechem, and all their males, because of the defilement of Dinah; and Jacob was 107 years old at the time.

10. To resume, when he had come to Luz (which is) Bethel, God said that he was no longer to be called Jacob, but Israel. From that place he came to Chaphratha, and after that to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem, and there he fathered Benjamin; and Rachel died after giving birth to Benjamin, and Jacob lived with her for 23 years.

11. From there, Jacob came to Mamre, (which is) Hebron, to his father, Isaac, Joseph was then 17 years old, and he was sold into Egypt, and remained in prison 13 years, so that he was then 30 years old. And Jacob was 120 years of age, one year before Isaac's death at 180 years of age.

12. And Joseph, having interpreted the king's dreams, governed Egypt for 7 years, in which time he married Aseneth, daughter of Pentephres the priest of Heliopolis, and begot Manasseh and Ephraim, and 2 years of famine followed.

13. But though Joseph had prospered for 9 years, he did not send for his father, because he was a shepherd, as were Joseph's brothers; and to the Egyptians it is disgraceful to be a shepherd. That this was the reason why he did not send for him, he himself had made clear, For when his relatives came, he told them that if they should be summoned by the king and asked what their occupation was, they should say that they were breeders of cattle.

14. And they were at a loss as to why Joseph gave Benjamin at breakfast a portion 5 times as much as theirs, since he was not able to consume so much meat. He had done this because his father had had (six) sons by Leah, and two by his mother, Rachel; therefore, he set five portions before Benjamin, and he himself took one; accordingly they had (six) portions, as many as the sons of Leah received.

15. Similarly, while he gave two garments to each, to Benjamin he gave five, and three hundred pieces of gold; and he sent (him) to his father likewise, so that his mother's house might be equal to the other.

16. And they lived in the land of Canaan from the time when Abraham was chosen from among the gentiles and migrated to Canaan; Abraham for 25 years; Isaac 60 years; Jacob, 130 years. All the years in the land of Canaan were (thus) 215.

17. And in the third year of the famine in Egypt, Jacob came into Egypt when he was 130 years old; Reuben, (44 years and 10 months); Simeon, 44 years; Levi, 43 years (and 2 months); Judah, 42 years, and (4) months; (Dan, 42 years and 4 months); Naphtali, 41 years and (6) months; Gad, 41 years and (6) months; Asher, 40 years and 8 months; (Issachar, 40 years and 8 months); Zebulun, (39 years and 10 months); Dinah, 39 years; and Benjamin, (22) years old.

18. But Joseph (he says) was already there in Egypt, (at age) 39; and from Adam until Joseph's brothers came into Egypt there were 3624 years; and from the deluge until Jacob's coming into Egypt, 1360 years; and from the time when Abraham was chosen from among the gentiles and came from Haran into Canaan until Jacob and his family came into Egypt there were 215 years.

19. But Jacob came into Haran to Laban when he was (77) years old, and begot Levi (....) And Levi lived on in Egypt for 17 years, from the time of his coming from Canaan into Egypt, so that he was 60 years old when he begot (Kohath). And in the same year in which (Kohath) was born, jacob died in Egypt, after he had blessed the sons of Joseph, when he himself was 147 years old, leaving Joseph at the age of 56 years. And Levi was 137 years old when he died. And when (Kohath) was 40 years old he begot Amram, who was 14 years old when Joseph died in Egypt at the age of 110; and (Kohath) was 133 years old when he died. Amram took as his wife his uncle's daughter Jochebed, and when he was 75 years old he begot Aaron (and Moses). But when he begot Moses, Amram was 136 years old when he died,.

Fragment three

1. Demetruis described the slaying of the Egyptian and the quarrel with the man who disclosed the information about the one who die in the same way as the writer of the Sacred Book. He says, however, that Moses fled into Midian and there married Zipporah the daughter of Jethro, who was, as far as it may be conjectured from the names of those born from Keturah of the stock of Abraham, a descendant of Jokshan, who was the son of Abraham by keturah. And from Jokshan was born Dedan, and from Dedan, Reuel, and from Reuel, Jothro and Hobab, and from Jethro, Zipporah, whom Moses married.

2. The generations also agree, for Moses was seventh from Abraham, and Zipporah, sixth. For Isaac, from whom Moses descended, was already married when Abraham, at the age of 140 married Keturah, and begot by her a second son (Jokshan). But he begot Isaac when he was 100 years old, so that (Joksan), from whom Zipporah derived her descent, was born 42 years later.

3. There is, therefore, no inconsistency in Moses and Zipporah having lived at the same time. And they lived in the city of Midian, which was named from one of the sons of Abraham. For it (i.e.Scripture) says that Abraham sent his sons to the East to settle there. And (it says that) for this reason also, Aaron and Miriam said at Hazeroth that Moses had married an Ethiopian woman.

Fragment four

And again after a little.

From there they went for three days, as Demetrius himself says, and the Sacred Book agrees with him. Since he (i.e. Moses) found there not sweet but bitter water, when God said he should cast some wood into the fountain, the water became sweet. And from there they came to Elim, where they found 12 springs of water and 70 palm trees.

Fragment five

And after a short space;

Someone asked how the Israelites had weapons, since they came out unarmed. For they said that after they had gone out on a three-day journey, and made sacrifice, they would return again. It appears, therefore, that those who had not been drowned made use of the others arms.

Fragment six (Clement of Alexandria, Strom 1.141.If.)

But Demetrius says, in his (work) On the Kings of Judaea, that the tribe of Judah and (those of) Benjamin and Levi were not taken captive by Sennacherib, but from this captivity to the last (captivity), which Nebuchadnezzar effected out of Jerusalem, (there were) 128 years and 6 months. But from the time when the ten tribes of Samaria were taken captive to that of Ptolemy the 4th, there were 573 years and 9 months. But from the time (of the captivity) of Jerusalem (to Ptolemy the 4th), there were 338 years (and) 3 months.

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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