[93] The 450 years of Acts 13

Men, Israelites and you [others] that fear God, hear:

The God of this people Israel chose our forefathers, and he exalted the people during their alien residence in the land of Egypt and brought them out of it with an uplifted arm.

And for a period of as/like/about (wV) 40 years he put up with their manner of action in the wilderness.

After destroying 7 nations in the land of Canaan, he distributed the land of them by lot.

As (wV) to years 450.

And after these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet (Acts 13:17-20).

The Watchtower Society currently takes this period as running from the birth of Isaac until the distribution of the land by lot. The problem with this is that Isaac was born in the year from 1919Tishri until 1918Tishri, and the land was distributed in the 6th or the 7th sacred year in the promised land when Joshua was 85. Age is measured in  secular years which run from Tishri to Tishri. So Joshua was 85 in the secular year from 1468Tishri to 1467Tishri since he was 40 years old when the spies were sent out in the secular year 1512 (after the tabernacle was inaugurated). So the land might have been distributed by lot between 1468Tishri and 1467Tishri, or between 1467Tishri and 1466Tishri, which was the first land sabbath of the promised land, that being the 7th secular year in the promised land starting from 1473Tishri1. It would make sense if the land was dsitributed in the land sabbath.

This is 451 years counting exclusively and 452 years counting inclusively. The society get round this by translating (wV) as ‘all that during about’.

Now it is true that (wV) can mean ‘about’, this being one meaning of as/like. But if it had that meaning then the Greek would read: ‘as 450 years’. This is the case with: ‘as 40 years’ in the previous verse. But the Greek does not read that, it reads: ‘as years 450’. This quite obviously means: ‘in terms of years, 450’. So it is exactly 450 years. Also a prophecy which says there was about 450 years between two events is not a lot of use!

Requoting the scripture:

Men, Israelites and you [others] that fear God, hear:

The God of this people Israel chose our forefathers, and he exalted the people during their alien residence in the land of Egypt and brought them out of it with an uplifted arm.

And for a period of as/like/about (wV) 40 years he put up with their manner of action in the wilderness.

After destroying 7 nations in the land of Canaan, he distributed the land of them by lot.

As (wV) to years 450.

And after these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet (Acts 13:17-20).

It is apparent that the 450 years starts from a choosing of both fathers Abraham and Isaac, from the preceding verses. And it is apparent that it ends with the appointment of the first judge, from the succeeding verse. Because it says: after these things, namely the 450 years, he gave them judges until Samuel. Now the first judge, Othneil was raised up by Jehovah after Joshua had died, and after the ‘older men’ of his generation had governed in some capacity for some period of years that is not literally specified, and after 8 years of oppression by Cushan had started.

And the people continued to serve Jehovah all the days of Joshua and all the days of the older men who extended their days after Joshua and who had seen all of Jehovah's great work that he did for Israel.

Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died at the age of 110 years (Judges 2:7,8).

At this Jehovah's anger blazed against Israel, so that he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim the king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel continued to serve Cushan-rishathaim 8 years.

And the sons of Israel began to call to Jehovah for aid. Then Jehovah raised a savior up for the sons of Israel that he might save them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, the younger brother of Caleb (Judges 3:8,9).

Now we know that Joshua was 40 years old in 1512.

40 years old I was when Moses the servant of Jehovah sent me out of Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I came bringing him back word just as it was in my heart (Joshua 14:7).

This was in the second year in the wilderness, 1512, because when the spies brought back a bad report, God’s glory appeared on the tent, which was not made until 1512.

However, all the assembly talked of pelting them with stones. And Jehovah's glory appeared on the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel (Numbers 14:10).

In 1512, Joshua was 40 years old in terms of years beginning in Nisan. So he was 110 years old in the year beginning 1442Nisan. So the older men died out in the year beginning 1438Nisan. Then we read:

And all that generation too were gathered to their fathers, and another generation began to rise after them that did not know Jehovah or the work that he had done for Israel.

And the sons of Israel fell to doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah and serving the Baals (Judges 2:10,11).

At this Jehovah's anger blazed against Israel, so that he gave them into the hands of the pillagers, and they began to pillage them; and he proceeded to sell them into the hand of their enemies round about, and they were no longer able to stand before their enemies (Judges 2:14).

At this Jehovah's anger blazed against Israel, so that he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim the king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel continued to serve Cushan-rishathaim 8 years.

And the sons of Israel began to call to Jehovah for aid. Then Jehovah raised a savior up for the sons of Israel that he might save them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, the younger brother of Caleb.

The spirit of Jehovah now came upon him, and he became the judge of Israel. When he went out to battle, then Jehovah gave Cushan-rishathaim the king of Syria into his hand so that his hand overpowered Cushan-rishathaim.

After that the land had no disturbance for 40 years. Eventually Othniel the son of Kenaz died (Judges 3:8-11).

We know that they stopped serving the true God immediately when the older men died, because the younger generation ‘did not know Jehovah’. So the idolatry and the sale to the king of Mesopotamia and Syria! (Cushan Rishathaim) occurred also in 1438, so the first year of Cushan’s oppression was 1437. So the last year was 1430. So Othneil, when he went to battle, saved them in 1430. But he may have become judge before then. So really we do not know when Othneil became judge. But we do know that the 40 years of no disturbance began in the year starting 1429Nisan, since there was disturbance in the previous year until Othneil went out to war.

This is where the 450 years come in. Because he became judge 450 years after God ‘chose our forefathers’.

Now Isaac, the second forefather was as good as sacrificed by Abraham when he was 33.5 years old obviously, since the whole thing prefigured Jesus’ sacrifice. Now Isaac was actually born in 1919Tishri (see section [11] of ‘Letter to the Elders’). So he was 33.5 years old in 1885Nisan, yes what a good month to be sacrificed in! After this sacrifice, actually of a ram caught in a thicket, a thorn bush no less, God said:

And to say: By myself I do swear, is the utterance of Jehovah, that by reason of the fact that you have done this thing and you have not withheld your son, your only one,

I shall surely bless you and I shall surely multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand that are on the seashore; and your seed will take possession of the gate of his enemies.

And by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice (Genesis 22:16-18).

This was a statement of the 2AC and the 3AC - see U9. Paul describes things as follows:

And thus after [Abraham] had shown patience, he obtained [this] promise (Hebrews 6:5).

So God had chosen both Abraham and his seed (Isaac) at the time of this sacrifice, so both the fathers of Israel were chosen so the 450 years could start, in 1885Nisan. So the 450 years ended in 1435 (counting exclusively) and it ended with the first judge.