Questions From Readers
● 1 Kings 15:33 states that in the third year of Asa the king of Judah Baasha became king over Israel and reigned twenty-four years. However, 2 Chronicles 16:1 says that Baasha came against Judah in the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa. How could this be, when Baasha’s reign had ended ten years before?—W. M., England.
To harmonize the discrepancy between 1 Kings 15:33 and 2 Chronicles 16:1 the chronologist archbishop Usher dated the thirty-sixth year in Asa’s reign from the split of the one nation into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, at the end of Solomon’s reign. So in the margin of our edition of the Authorized Version Bible you will find under marginal note 1 at 2 Chronicles this note concerning the thirty-sixth year: “That is, from the rending of the ten tribes from Judah, over which Asa was now king.”
Likewise Jewish commentators quote the Seder Olam, which suggests that the thirty-sixth year was reckoned from the existence of the separate kingdom of Judah, which corresponded to the sixteenth year of Asa (Rehoboam 17 years, Abijah 3 years and Asa 16 years).
Some might think that at 2 Chronicles 16:1 the sixteenth year of Asa’s reign might have been meant instead of the thirty-sixth, but the recent Interpreter’s Bible announces the discovery of a stele that confirms the use of thirty-sixth. So it appears that the correct view is that the thirty-sixth year of 2 Chronicles 16:1 refers, as suggested, to the count from the division of Israel into two kingdoms.
The Next Issue a Special Issue!
● “ALL mankind should be one!” That is the opening sentence of the thrilling April 1 Watchtower. Simple, straightforward, down to earth, it shows that never has mankind been more seriously divided than now. All worldly schemes for unity, whether political or religious, have failed. Yet brotherhood is possible.
●Where did disunity originate? Why does it exist? Why was Christ’s death necessary? How is God involved in the unity that even religions do not provide? How can you gain it? These are important questions.
●A second article deals with the Communists’ fear of Bible truth, their vicious persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses, and with the activity of Jehovah’s witnesses in Russia even now.
●What is it like to be in a slave labor camp? What happens to Jehovah’s witnesses there? How was the great April, 1951, purge against the witnesses carried out? What happens when camp guards and office workers heed the preaching and themselves become witnesses? How have the Communists defeated their own purpose in imprisoning Bible believers? These are interesting questions.
Read the answers for yourself in the April 1 “Watchtower,” next to be published.