BibleYear

No automatic alt text available."Anciently the year did not commence in midwinter, as now, but at the first new moon after the vernal equinox" The Great Controversy 1888, p. 681.4 (Ellen G. White).

THE GREAT CONTROVERSY 1888, PAGE 681

Note 3. Page 328—That the reader may see the reasonableness of Mr. Miller's position on the prophetic periods, we copy the following, which was published in the Advent Herald, Boston, in March, 1850, in answer to a correspondent:—

“It is by the Canon of Ptolemy that the great prophetical period of the seventy weeks is fixed. This canon places the seventh year of Artaxerxes in the year B.C. 457; and the accuracy of the canon is demonstrated by the concurrent agreement of more than twenty eclipses. The seventy weeks date from the going forth of a decree respecting the restoration of Jerusalem. There were no decrees between the seventh and twentieth years of Artaxerxes. Four hundred and ninety years, beginning with the seventh, must commence in B.C. 457, and end in A.D. 34. Commencing in the twentieth, they must commence in B.C. 444, and end in A.D. 47. As no event occurred in A.D. 47 to mark their termination, we cannot reckon from the twentieth; we must therefore look to the seventh of Artaxerxes. This date we cannot change from B.C. 457 without first demonstrating the inaccuracy of Ptolemy's canon. To do this, it would be necessary to show that the large number of eclipses by which its accuracy has been repeatedly demonstrated, have not been correctly computed; and such a result would unsettle every chronological date, and leave the settlement of epochs and the adjustment of eras entirely at the mercy of every dreamer, so that chronology would be of no more value than mere guess-work. As the seventy weeks must terminate in A.D. 34, unless the seventh of Artaxerxes is wrongly fixed, and as that cannot be changed without some evidence to that effect, we inquire, what evidence marked that termination? The time when the apostles turned to the Gentiles harmonizes with that date better than any other which has been named. And the crucifixion, in A.D. 31, in the midst of the last week, is sustained by a mass of testimony which cannot be easily invalidated.”

As the 70 weeks and the 2300 days have a common starting-point, the calculation of Mr. Miller is verified at a glance by subtracting the 457 years B.C. From the 2300. Thus,
2300
-457
——
1843 A.D.

The year 1843 was, however, regarded as extending to the spring of 1844. The reason for this, briefly stated, is as follows: Anciently the year did not commence in midwinter, as now, but at the first new moon after the vernal equinox. Therefore, as the period of 2300 days was begun in a year reckoned by the ancient method, it was considered necessary to conform to that method to its close. Hence, 1843 was counted as ending in the spring, and not in the winter.

But the 2300 days cannot be reckoned from the beginning of the year 457 B.C.; For the decree of Artaxerxes—which is the starting-point—did not go into effect until the autumn of that year. Consequently the 2300 days, beginning in the autumn of 457 B.C., must extend to the autumn of 1844 A.D. (See small diagram on plate opposite page 328.)

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