Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan?

If so, when do the six-thousand years end? What is the biblical chronology of the date of creation of Adam?

By COGwriter

When will the end of this world come? Did God give human-beings from the time of Adam 6,000 years to rule themselves prior to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ?

Was the idea that human were given 6,000 years to rule themselves known by those who professed Christ centuries ago? If so, where did they get it?

And perhaps, more importantly for many, when will the 6,000 years end? When may it end? While the Bible indicates that nearly 2,000 years ago, the day and hour were unclear (Matthew 24:36), that in the end Christians should know the season (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6), and perhaps eventually the year after certain events take place (cf. Daniel 9:27).

This article will look to the Bible, Jewish writings, historical writings, Church of God writings, and even Roman Catholic writings to answer those questions. A related sermon-length video would be The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity's reign almost up?

(Note: This article is not intended to go into subjects such as the age of the earth or human-like creatures that could have been prior to Adam. Information about the Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:3-2:3 creations are in the article How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?).

Did The Words of Elijah Predict Six Thousand Years of Human Rule?

There is an old tradition that the prophet Elijah taught that there would be six thousand years for humans to rule under Satan's kingdom, followed by one thousand years of abundance in the kingdom of God.

Edward Gibbon from the 1776 work "THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE," where he documented the facts regarding the first century Christians...

"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection". - Vol I, p.403

While traditions should never supersede scripture, the above is certainly an interesting and ancient tradition as it shows that the idea of a 6,000 year plan followed by Christ establishing His kingdom on the earth was a common teaching among the early ones who professed Christ.

Here are specific traditions related to the millennium from the Jewish Babylonian Talmud:

R. Kattina said: Six thousand years shall the world exist, and one [thousand, the seventh], it shall be desolate, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day {Isaiah 2:11}.

Abaye said: it will be desolate two [thousand], as it is said, After two days will he revive us: in the third day, he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight {Hosea 6:2}.

It has been taught in accordance with R. Kattina: Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven, so is the world: one thousand years out of seven shall be fallow, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,' and it is further said, A Psalm and song for the Sabbath day {Psalm 92:1},  meaning the day that is altogether Sabbath — and it is also said, For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past {Psalm 90:4}.

The Tanna debe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation;  two thousand years the Torah flourished;  and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era (Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin Folio 97a).

And while there are some errors in the above, it appears that there is a six thousand year plan, that the current two thousand years essentially represents the Church/Messianic era, and that a one thousand year period remains.

Note: I inserted the scriptures quoted or alluded to above within {} as they are in the footnotes associated with the above.

There is also something else from a Jewish source. In the Midrash, Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer comments:

Six eons for going in and coming out, for war and peace. The seventh eon is entirely Shabbat and rest for life everlasting: (Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer, Gerald Friedlander, Sepher-Hermon Press, New York, 1981, p. 141)

Notice also the following from the Bible:

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6 And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, 7 for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food. (Leviticus 25:1-7)

Some have pointed to the passages in Leviticus 25 as part of the reason that the Bible shows that there is a 6,000 year plan:

The law of Moses laid a great deal of stress upon the sabbath, the sanctification of which was the earliest and most ancient of all divine institutions, designed for the keeping up of the knowledge and worship of the Creator among men; that law not only revived the observance of the weekly sabbath, but, for the further advancement of the honour of them, added the institution of a sabbatical year: In the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, v. 4. And hence the Jews collect that vulgar tradition that after the world has stood six thousand years (a thousand years being to God as one day) it shall cease, and the eternal sabbath shall succeed—a weak foundation on which to build the fixing of that day and hour which it is God's prerogative to know. This sabbatical year began in September, at the end of harvest, the seventh month of their ecclesiastical year: (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Leviticus 25:1-7. PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

While Leviticus 25 is not, of itself, complete proof, it does add scriptural support to the belief (cf. Isaiah 28:9-10). See also the article on the Feast of Trumpets.

A Thousand Years is Like a Day to God

Consistent with the views of early Christians and some associated with them, some believe that since God made/recreated the world in six days and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3), that humans will have 6000 years to live on the earth under Satan's influence. Remaining humans will have a 1000 year period to be under Christ's reign (the original creation of the universe may have been billions of years earlier c.f. Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 45:18; How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?). The 6000 plus 1000 years equals God's seven thousand year plan.

The Bible teaches that a thousand years seems to be as one day to God. This is a concept from both the Old and New Testaments:

4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past (Psalm 90:4).

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).

Notice also the following:

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)

How long was Adam's day before he died?

5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died. (Genesis 5:5)

So, Adam died in the day--a day that was not too much less than 1000 years long.

A day is to God as 1000 years as that is part of His plan.

Last Days Fit When 1000 Year Days are Understood

Based upon certain calculations that I am aware of, it seems that Adam and Eve were created and/or apparently left the garden of Eden between roughly 3969-3983 B.C. This would mean that when Jesus began to preach (roughly 27 A.D., over four thousand years later) He was preaching in day five, as four of the seven "one thousand year days" would have been over before then.

Thus days five and six would have been considered as part of the "last days" by the early disciples.

That being so, this helps explain why some New Testament figures indicated that they were in the last days:

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:14-17).

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things (Hebrews 1:1-2).

If there is no 6,000 year plan of human rule followed by a 1,000 year millennial reign, then the New Testament statement above about then being in the last days make little sense. But, since God does have a 7,000 year plan, these statements do make sense. And that also explains how come the end has not come yet--there is still a little more time in "the last days."

It also needs to be understood that there are two types of last days referred to in the New Testament. When some were stating that they were in the last days, this indicates the latter days of the 7,000 year week. However in other places, New Testament writers sometimes are referring to the time of the final generation before Jesus returns as being the last days, as they indicate that this was not for the same time as they were writing (cf. 2 Peter 3:3).

Wisdom of Knowing Your Days and Errors of James Ussher

Prophecy is important. Much of the Bible (20-33% depending on how it is calculated) is prophetic.

Consider also that the Apostle John was inspired to write:

10 Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

Is there wisdom in knowing about the 6000 years?

Let's look again at the 90th Psalm:

4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers.

7 For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:4-12)

Is it not interesting that after stating a thousand years is as a day, the Pslamist was inspired to write that our own days are limited and we should number our days that we may have the heart of wisdom.

Understanding approximately where we are in the 6000 years, thus, could be a wise thing to do.

Perhaps I should comment that many incorrectly feel that the 6,000 years are up, because of some 17th century calculations made by a non-COG historian, James Ussher, who was the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh (in what is now Northern Ireland). He primarily based his calculations upon the chronologies and reigns of kings in the Old Testament to conclude that the world was created in the Fall of 4004 B.C. There are several problems that can arise from using James Ussher's method:

1) The first is that Ussher's method did not seem to take into account that sometimes a son began the reign in a kingdom before his father king died (which, for one example, seems to started with with Solomon, see 1 Kings 1:32-43), hence the official chronologies often counted both co-reigns (hence this could contribute to possible over counting by Ussher).

2) He made some errors in some of his calculations.

3) James Ussher guessed that Solomon built the Jerusalem Temple in 1012 .B.C., but it was likely decades later.

4) It is almost certain that the 6,000 years for humans to rule over themselves apart from direct contact with God began after Adam sinned, and hence left the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 3:24). It is possible that this could have taken one day to twenty or so years--the Bible is not specifically clear on this point.

Thus, it is possible that even if Ussher's calculations are close, that there still could be time left as he did not really attempt to prove when Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden--he only attempted to calculate the possible year of creation based upon his own limited understandings of biblical chronologies and other historical indicators (at least one of which seems to have been in error). Therefore, people who rely on Ussher's 4004 B.C. calculations to claim that the 6000 years are up seem to be relying on assumption as opposed to fact.

Some who now point to Ussher do so to discredit the idea of a 6000-7000 year plan. But since Ussher was not completely accurate, this does not dismiss the basic concept.

Did Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Century Writers Teach the Six Thousand Plan?

It should be noted that Papias, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp (and is considered to be a saint by Roman Catholics), in the early second century taught about the millennial reign. Eusebius recorded that Papias (an early 2nd century leader) taught:

…there will be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth...(Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIX, Verse 12, p. 69)

The Church of God leader (who is considered to be a saint by the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics), Melito of Sardis taught the millennium (Danielou, Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie. The Theology of Jewish Christianity. Translated by John A. Baker. The Westminister Press, 1964). Here is more information about Melito's views:

A few years after Saint Justin’s death, and in the surrounding areas of Ephesus, Melito of Sardis, a well-known bishop and his followers defended millennialism.  He undoubtedly borrowed some of his theories from his compatriot, Papias and relied on the Apocalypse. (Gry L. Le millenarisme dans ses origines et son developpement. Alphonse Picard, Paris, 1904, p. 81. Translated into English by Gisele Gaudet, March 2015.)

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

...a large number of Christians of the post-Apostolic era, particularly in Asia Minor, yielded so far to Jewish apocalyptic as to put a literal meaning into these descriptions of St. John's Apocalypse; the result was that millenarianism spread and gained staunch advocates not only among the heretics but among the Catholic Christians as well...Papias of Hierapolis, a disciple of St. John, appeared as an advocate of millenarianism. He claimed to have received his doctrine from contemporaries of the Apostles...A witness for the continued belief in millenarianism in the province of Asia is St. Melito, Bishop of Sardes in the second century (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Donald J. Boon. Millennium and Millenarianism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Yet, notice what groups taught for and against the millennium:

...the millennarianism of the Jewish Christians...for which the reputation of John (Apoc. xx. 4-6; xxi.) and his peculiar followers, afforded a warrant--this millennarianism became the general belief of the time, and met with almost no other opposition than that given by the Gnostics...The thousand years' reign was represented as the great Sabbath which should begin vегу soon, or as others supposed, after the lapse of the six thousand years of the world's age, with the first resurrection, and should afford great joys to the righteous. Till then the souls of the departed were kept in the underworld, and the opinion that they should be taken up to heaven immediately after death, was considered a gnostic heresy (Gieseler, Johann Karl Ludwig. A Text-book of Church History. Translated by Samuel Davidson, John Winstanley Hull, Mary A. Robinson. Harper & brothers, 1857, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Feb 17, 2006, pp. 166-167).

Notice that it was Gnostics that taught against the millennium as part of God's plan, but the 'Jewish Christians,' which included the faithful in Asia Minor did teach this. The tying in of it with the seventh-day Sabbath connects it to the 6000/7000 year plan.

It should also be mentioned that, Marcion, a second century heretic who was denounced by Polycarp of Smyrna, who was against the law was one of the first believed to propose teaching against the millennium, and apparently the 6000/7000 year plan.

Although we in the Continuing Church of God do not consider that the so-called Epistle of Barnabas is inspired, it does show that in the early second century that some did understand the idea of a 6000 year plan followed by the thousand year reign of Christ:

Moreover concerning the Sabbath likewise it is written in the Ten Words, in which He spake to Moses face to face on Mount Sinai; And ye shall hallow the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a pure heart. And in another place He saith; If my sons observe the Sabbath then I will bestow My mercy upon them. Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it. Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand years; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end. And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day (Epistle of Barnabas, 15:1-5).

Hence the above quote shows that there was a belief among those who professed Christianity that there would be a literal thousand year reign of Christ on the Earth, and a 6,000 year plan for humans prior to that.

Around the end of the second century, a heretical leader named Bardesan wrote the following:

Bardesan, therefore, an aged man, and one celebrated for his knowledge of events, wrote, in a certain work which was composed by him, concerning the synchronisms with one another of the luminaries of heaven, speaking as follows :-- Two revolutions of Saturn, 60 years; 5 revolutions of Jupiter, 60 years; 40 revolutions of Mars, 60 years; 60 revolutions of the Sun, 60 years; 72 revolutions of Venus, 60 years; 150 revolutions of Mercury, 60 years; 720 revolutions of the Moon, 60 years.

And this," says he, "is one synchronism of them all; that is, the time of one such synchronism of them. So that from hence it appears that to complete too such synchronisms there will be required six thousands of years. Thus :-- 200 revolutions of Saturn, six thousands of years; 500 revolutions of Jupiter, 6 thousands of years; 4 thousand revolutions of Mars, 6 thousands of years; Six thousand revolutions of the Sun, 6 thousands of years." 7 thousand and 200 revolutions of Venus, 6 thousands of years; 12 thousand revolutions of Mercury, 6 thousands of years." 72 thousand revolutions of the Moon, 6 thousands of years."

These things did Bardesan thus compute when desiring to show that this world would stand only six thousands of years (By a certain Philip, disciple of Bardesan. Appendix after The Book of the Laws of Various Countries. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 8. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Hence, he felt that the world would last 6000 years.

Bishop Irenaeus, a 2nd century heretical leader (but one Roman Catholics consider to be a major early saint), claimed to have met Polycarp of Smyrna. Here is some of what he wrote about this:

...that apostasy which has taken place during six thousand years. For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reason the Scripture says: "Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works." This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year...

For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded...and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year...Thus, then, the six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception.

(Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 28:2-3; 29:2. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Irenaeus is basically trying to say that the creation shows the six-seven thousand year plan of God.  Irenaeus is also teaching that since God gave Noah 600 years prior to the flood, that humans were given 6,000 years to live in a time of apostasy, essentially cut-off from God (cf. Genesis 3:22-24). Here is something else he wrote:

But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that "many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 30:4)

Here Irenaeus is teaching that the seventh one thousand years begins after the final Antichrist has reigned for 3 1/2 years.

Hippolytus was, and is still considered to have been, an important Roman Catholic leader:

The feast of St. Hippolytus is kept on 13 August...Hippolytus was the most important theologian and the most prolific religious writer of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era (St. Hippolytus of Rome, The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910).

Notice what else he wrote:

And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day "on which God rested from all His works." For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they "shall reign with Christ," when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse: for "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years."Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6, 000 years must be fulfilled. (Hippolytus. On the HexaËmeron, Or Six Days' Work. From Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books of Scripture. verified 9/17/07).

Notice therefore that "the most important theologian and the most prolific religious writer of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era" taught the 7,000 year plan (6,000 for humankind, followed by 1,000 from God). According to him and others, the 6,000 years end when Jesus returns.

The apparently North African Bishop Commodianus (likely mid-third century) wrote:

XXXV Adam was the first who fell, and that he might shun the precepts of God, Belial was his tempter by the lust of the palm tree. And he conferred on us also what he did, whether of good or of evil, as being the chief of all that was born from him; and thence we die by his means, as he himself, receding from the divine, became an outcast from the Word. We shall be immortal when six thousand years are accomplished.

LXXX This has pleased Christ, that the dead should rise again, yea, with their bodies; and those, too, whom in this world the fire has burned, when six thousand years are completed, and the world has come to an end. The heaven in the meantime is changed with an altered course, for then the wicked are burnt up with divine fire. The creature with groaning burns with the anger of the highest God. Those who are more worthy, and who are begotten of an illustrious stem, and the men of nobility under the conquered Antichrist, according to God's command living again in the world for a thousand years, indeed, that they may serve the saints, and the High One, under a servile yoke, that they may bear victuals on their neck. Moreover, that they may be judged again when the reign is finished. They who make God of no account when the thousandth year is finished shall perish by fire, when they themselves shall speak to the mountains.

(Commodianus. On Christian Discipline. Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.

Note: The time that Christian mortals put on immortality is at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52-53), which is when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Thus, that is when Commodianus has the 6000 years end, though it may end a year earlier with the start of the Day of the Lord.

Even though he had other misunderstandings of this doctrine, notice what the Greco-Roman Bishop Victorinus taught in the late 3rd century:

…that true and just Sabbath should be observed in the seventh millenary of years. Wherefore to those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: "In Your eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day." Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord's eyes are seven. Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign. (Victorinus. Commentary on the Creation.  Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight).

The Greco-Roman Bishop & Saint Methodius in the late 3rd or early 4th century taught:

For since in six days God made the heaven and the earth, and finished the whole world, and rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made, and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it … this world shall be terminated at the seventh thousand years, when God shall have completed the world...(Methodius. Banquet of the Ten Virgins, Discourse 9, Chapter 1).

In the fourth century, the Greco-Roman Church supporting Lactantius taught:

Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years...And again, since God, having finished His works, rested the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years; and there must be tranquillity and rest from the labours which the world now has long endured…the dead will rise again, not after a thousand years from their death, but that, when again restored to life, they may reign with God a thousand years. For God will come, that, having cleansed the world from all defilement, He may restore the souls of the righteous to their renewed bodies, and raise them to everlasting blessedness (Lactantius.  Divine Institutes, Book VII (Of a Happy Life), Chapters 14, 22. Translated by William Fletcher. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>).

Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia (friend of the Catholic St. Ambrose, Gaudentius died in 410), who is considered to have been a saint by Catholics, taught:

"We expect,” he says, “that truly holy day of the seventh thousand years, that shall come after those six days, or six thousand years of time, which, being finished, shall begin that holy rest for all true saints and for all those faithful believers in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (Tract. 10.) (Rossi, G. THE CHRISTIAN TRUMPET, OR, Previsions and Predictions about Impending General Calamities, The Universal Triumph of the Church, The Coming of Antichrist, The Last Judgment, and The End of the World. Compiled by PELLEGRINO [Gaudentius Rossi], A Missionary Priest with Superior's permission. Boston, THOS. B. NOONAND & CO., 1873, p. 163)

Thus several second, third, fourth, and fifth century leaders who professed Christ clearly believed in the teaching that there was a 6,000 year plan.

When is the 6000 Years Up? From the Bible, Church of God, Roman Catholic, and Other Writers

Most in the Church of God understand that God has given humankind 6,000 years (like the six days of the physical creation) to live cut off from God and that this will be followed by the 1,000 year millennial reign (like the seventh day which was created by God's rest) of Christ. Notice an article from a publication by the old Radio Church of God:

Has God Allotted 6000 Years for Man’s Self-Rule?

Yes! The world does not understand what is taking place today because it does not know about the 7000-year PLAN OF GOD.

God has allotted approximately 6000 years for humanity to go its own way. These millenniums of human civilization are nearly over. God is about to intervene in world affairs by sending Jesus Christ. Nor until He returns will we have 1000 years of peace.

The pattern for this little-understood plan is given in the first two chapters of Genesis. It is the WEEK of seven days. As God originally set time in motion, man is given six work days followed by a day of rest. In Hebrews 4:4,11, the seventh day is mentioned as a type of the peaceful rest-1000-year rest-that will follow the present age of human labor and futile struggle to master the earth. The millennium, then, is compared with a “day” of the week.

Observe that after Christ’s intervention the time of that peaceful rest under His rule is specifically termed “a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). If the last “day” of God’s 7000-year plan is 1000 years, then the preceding six days which He has allotted for mankind to work out his own ideas would amount to 6000 years. And this is exactly what world events are proving today! Look about you! It is obvious that this world is crashing to its DOOM!...

Six thousand years of human history have almost been completed...

The common assumption that man has lived on earth countless tens of thousands of years is an idle dream. Reason disproves it. Each new archeological discovery aids in disproving it. True SCIENCE disproves it!...

Peter said: “The Lord is not slack concerning the promise (of Christ’s coming) . . . but is longsuffering” (II Peter 3:9). God is patient. He has refrained from intervening in world affairs for nearly 6000 years. Why? Because He will not intervene until humanity is forced to cry out to Him for fear of self-extermination. Recall that the day of Christ’s intervention and rule is compared to “a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). Peter also wrote the same thing--that a day in God’s plan is as “a thousand years" and “a thousand years” of human civilization as ONE day in His planned week of SEVEN 1000-year days (II Peter 3:8).

Peter knew that Christ would intervene shortly before the close of 6000 years of human struggle and slavery that God would send Jesus Christ to set up His government for the seventh thousand years, which will usher in a time of rest and peace-a sabbatical rest!

How marvellous that in our day, at the very time that 6000 years have almost elapsed, the world is threatened with extinction of life. And Jesus Himself said that when we see this taking place HE WOULD COME AGAIN! (THE BIBLE ANSWERS Short Questions FROM OUR READERS. Plain Truth, November 1957, pp. 12,15)

Notice the first 11 verses of Hebrews 4 (NASB):

1Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; 5and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” 6Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,

7He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,

8For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

Those who do not keep the seventh day Sabbath are being disobedient and do not get the weekly reinforcement that God has a 7,000 year plan that includes 1,000 years of millennial rest. Yet, those who work the first six days and keep the seventh day Sabbath do.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that within Church of God circles it has been suggested that one of the reasons that God confused the languages at the time of the Tower of Babel was to insure that humans did not develop so much technology too quickly (cf. Genesis 11:5-9), which could have perhaps resulted in humans destroying themselves from the planet prior to the end of the 6,000 years.

WCG's Herbert Armstrong wrote about the first 6,000 years:

Man built his world on self-sufficiency without God.

God set in motion a master plan for accomplishment of his purpose, consisting of a duration of seven thousand years. Satan was allowed to remain on earth's throne for the first six thousand years. God purposed that man must learn his lesson, and come voluntarily to accept God's way and character.

For nearly six thousand years mankind has been writing that lesson. But even at this late hour he has not yet learned it. He has not yet given up on his own self-centered way and come to accept God's way to his ultimate happiness. (Armstrong HW.  Mystery of the Ages. Dodd & Mead, 1985)

The late COG leader G.G. Rupert, for another example, taught the 6,000 year plan followed by a 1,000 year millennium (Rupert GG. Time, Tradition, and Truth Concerning the End of the World, 3rd edition.  Union Publishing Company, 1918, pp. 26-30).

The idea of 6000-7000 year plan is not unique to those part of the Church of God. According to even Roman Catholics, parts of this view have long been the belief of those who claim to believe at least part of the Bible:

E. Culligan (20th century):...the time of the First Resurrection will end...It is the time when the Seventh Millennium will set in, and will be the day of Sabbath in the plan of creation...It has been the common opinion among Jews, Gentiles, and Latin and Greek Christians, that the present evil world will last no more than 6,000 years...Christians and Jews, from the beginning of Christianity, and before, have taught that 6,000 years after the creation of Adam and Eve, the consummation will occur. The period after the consummation is to be the seventh day of creation--the Sabbath...St. Jerome said, "It is a common belief that the world will last 6,000 years."

...I believe that as the last days come to an end so will the sixth day of creation (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 113-115).

Priest G. Rossi (19th century): One day with the Lord, then, is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. It is the common interpretation that each of the six days of creation is equivalent to one thousand years for the future existence of human generations. Now God employed six days in the creation of this world; this world, then, shall last only six thousand years; the Sabbath, or seventh day, representing eternity.

The learned Cornelius A. Lapide, in his erudite commentaries on the Bible, in the second chapter of Genesis and twentieth chapter of the Apocalypse, attests that it is a common opinion among Jews and Gentiles, among Latin and Greek Christians, that this world shall last only six thousand years.

Many of the Jewish rabbis, or doctors of the Jewish law, derive this tradition from the very first verse in the first chapter of Genesis, where the Hebrew letter, Aleph, which signifies thousand, is found six times. Hence, in their famous Talmud, we read: The world shall last six thousand years, and then it shall be destroyed. This world lasted two thousand years in the law of nature, two thousand years in the law of Moses, and shall last two thousand years in the law of the Messiah. (Talmud, Tom, IV. tract. 4; Malvenda, Lib. II. chap. 21.)

Among the Gentiles, this was the opinion of Hydaspes, Mercurius Trismegistus, and of the famous Sibyls. (A. Lapide in Apoc. xx. 4.)

Christian writers have taught the same opinion from the beginning of Christianity...

Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world. (Matt. xxviii. 20.) This word consummation literally agreeing with the prophetic words of Genesis, which fix the duration of the world to six thousand years, when it shall be consummated or destroyed. The words of the Latin vulgate, perfecit and complevit translated into the English finished and ended, are not in substance very different from the Hebrew text; but this last is more expressive in what we call its prophetical signification.

Upon the above-mentioned words of the royal Psalmist and of St. Peter, St. Jerome says: I believe that in this place thousand years are commonly taken for a day, because this world having been made in six days, it is believed that it will last only six thousand years. (Epist. ad Cyprian supr. Ps. Ixxxix.) Remark here, that St. Jerome affirms as a well-known fact that this belief was common among the faithful in the fourth century. St. Jerome is not a small authority.

The same belief is affirmed by St. Gaudentius, the learned and holy Bishop of Brescia and great friend of St. Ambrose, both Fathers of the Church.

' We expect," he says, " that truly holy day of the seventh thousand years, that shall come after those six days, or six thousand years of time, which, being finished, shall begin that holy rest for all true saints and for all those faithful believers in the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (Tract. 10.)

Our limits do not allow any more extracts. For those who desire to examine many more Fathers and doctors of the Church, we will here supply a pretty long list of them : St. Cyprian, Lib. IV. Epist. 5 ; St. Ambrose, Comment. 2 Thess. 11; the famous book of St. Hypolitus, De Antichristo ; St. Hilary, Can. in 17 Matt.; St. Augustine, De Civit Dei, Lib. XX. chap. 17 ; Lactautius Firmia- nus, Lib. VII. chaps. 14 and 15; St. Anastatius Sinaita, Lib. XVII. inHexamcr; St. Justin ad ortodox, Quest. 71 ; St. Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Cyril; the ancient writer, Q. Julius Hilarion; Cassiodorus, St. Isidore, Victorinus, Rabanus, Bellarmine, Genebrardus, etc., and many others, who, to use the words of Q. Julius Ililarion, unanimously affirm : Summa complela annorum sex millium fiet resurrectio. At the end of six thousand years shall take plaw the yeneral resurrection. Our kind critics will please pay some attention to these numerous and grave authorities before they disapprove what we here state.

From all the above-mentioned authorities we learn, then, that the six mystic days of creation are intended to signify the six thousand years of the world's duration. The seventh day, which, to the exclusion of the other six days, God has in a special manner blessed and sanctified, must be taken for the happy eternity of the blessed saints, for the holy sabbath of everlasting rest, for the blissful duration of perpetual peace, and perfect happiness to the elect of God, who will behold him face to face, praise, love, adore, and glorify him forevermore. Amen!

Assuming now as pretty certain that this world shall last only about six thousand years, because such is the common opinion and expectation of humanity, how many years more, it may be asked, still remain to the end of this world (Rossi , Gaudentius. The Christian Trumpet: Or, Previsions and Predictions about Impending General Calamities, the Universal Triumph of the Church, the Coming of the Anti-Christ, the Last Judgment, and the End of the World; Divided Into Three Parts, 4th edition.  Patrick Donahoe, 1875. Original from Oxford University. Digitized Sep 1, 2006, pp. 233-238).

This 6,000 year time period, which some Catholics have held to throughout history (this article quotes some of them from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 17th, 19th, and 20th centuries), is almost up and we are in the end times that are leading up to the millennium.

One Catholic monk, called "the venerable Bede" indicated that the creation was in 3952 B.C. (Ussher Chronology. Wikipedia. Viewed 9/17/07). And thus, even with this date, the 6,000 years would be close to being up. Other Catholics have thought that the 6,000 years would have been up in the late 20th century (e.g. Culligan). However, after Cardinal Ratzinger became important (he is now known as Pope Emeritus and former Pope Benedict XVI), he took steps to stop the Catholic Church from endorsing any millennial teachings, and currently the Catholic Church does not teach a 6000 year plan any more (for writings approved by Cardinal Ratzinger, please see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

The late John Ogwyn indicated that the creation was approximately 3983 B.C. Notice some of the math:

Do Genesis 5:3-29 and 7:11 show that 1,656 years transpired between the creation of Adam and the Flood of Noah's day? (Note: Genesis 5:3 shows that Adam was 130 when Seth was born. Add up the age of each patriarch at the birth of his son, plus the age of Noah at the time of the Flood)...

Do Genesis 11:10-32 show that 427 years passed between the Flood and the death of Terah, which was the time that Abram left Haran (cf. Acts 7:4)? Was Abram 75 years of age when he left Haran? Genesis 12:4...

How old was Abraham when God made the covenant of circumcision with him? Genesis 17:1-10. Had 24 years passed since he left Haran? (Note: A careful comparison of Genesis 12:4 with Genesis 17:1 will reveal Abraham's age at the time of the covenant)...

According to Galatians 3:16-17, how many years passed between the time of the covenant with Abraham and the Sinai covenant, which was the year of the Exodus? (cf. Exodus 12:40)...

How many years were there between the Exodus and the fourth year of King Solomon when the temple was begun? 1 Kings 6:1. (By using secular records most scholars date the fourth year of Solomon to approximately 966 BC)...

If you add the numbers (1,656 + 427 + 24 + 430 + 480 + 966) what would have been the approximate year bc of Adam's creation?

Would this not prove that 6,000 years will soon have elapsed? (Bible Study Course. Lesson 2, Part 2, God 7,000-Year Plan. viewed 04/19/08).

Here is some of the biblical geneaology for the first portion from Genesis 5 (last verse from Genesis 7):

3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
6 Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh.
9 Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan.
12 Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel.
15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared.
18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.
21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah.
25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. 26
28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29 And he called his name Noah...
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. NKJV.

Added up, this equals 1656 years (so, some might call this 1656 anno mundi, 1656 AM, 1656 'years of the world'). This would mean that the flood was about 4,342 years ago.

Now interestingly, some researchers have claimed that all humans had a common ancestor from around that time:

"If a common ancestor of all living humans is defined as an individual who is a genealogical ancestor of all present-day people, the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for a randomly mating population would have lived in the very recent past" {approximately 4,000 years ago} "Moreover, among all individuals living more than just a few thousand years earlier than the MRCA, each present-day human has exactly the same set of genealogical ancestors." (Rohde, Douglas L. T.; Olson, Steve; Chang, Joseph T. Modelling the recent common ancestry of all living humans. Nature, Volume 431, Issue 7008, pp. 562-566 (09/2004)

Scientists tend to believe that modern humans had a common ancestor. Some look to around the time of the flood as the above shows, while others point to one they call the Mitochondrial Eve:

In 1987, a group of genet­icists published a surprising study in the journal Nature.­ The­ researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) taken from 147 people across all of today's major racial groups. These researchers found that the lineage of all people alive today falls on one of two branches in humanity's family tree. One of these branches consists of nothing but African lineage, the other contains all other groups, including some African lineage.

­Even more impressive, the geneticists concluded that every person on Earth right now can trace his or her lineage back to a single common female ancestor who lived around 200,000 years ago. Because one entire branch of human lineage is of African origin and the other contains African lineage as well, the study's authors concluded Africa is the place where this woman lived. The scientists named this common female ancestor Mitochondrial Eve. (Clark J. Are we all descended from a common female ancestor? viewed 08/03/14)

While there certainly could be mitochondrial similarities of some pre-Adamic life forms, the reality is that modern humans did have two common ancestors, Adam (who the Bible calls the "first man" in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47) and Eve (who the Bible calls "the mother of all living" in Genesis 3:20). And they were made around 6,000 years or so ago as this article helps show.

Now, here is the next portion of genealogies from Genesis 11:

10 This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood.
12 Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah.
14 Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber.
16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg.
18 Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu.
20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug.
22 Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor.
24 Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah.
26 Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

Added up, this equals 427 years (2+35+30+34+30+32+30+29+205=427), so 2083 AM. The age of Terah when Abraham was born has also been debated (see section later called The Age of Terah at the Time of Abram's Birth), though is not part of the above calculation.

Galatians 3:17 shows 430 years; while 1 Kings 6:1 shows 480 years from the exodus from Egypt to the fourth year of Solomon's reign (this, by the way, would make the Exodus as occuring in 1446 B.C., which is 966 + 480; for more details see When was the Exodus?).

Therefore, if we add up 1,656 + 427 + 24 + 430 + 480 + 966, this suggests the creation of Adam or his departure from Eden was around 3983 BC. Yet, because that years of life are not exact (few people are born and die on the precisely same calendar date--hence there could possibly be 10 or so additional years), this could be off somewhat--but it does give a biblical indication of when the end is coming.

Now, as the John Ogwyn writing indicated, it is partially dependent upon an estimate of scholars pointing to a 966 B.C. temple dedication—as the work of other scholars indicates that the separation of the Israel from Judah was possibly 931 B.C. (see Thiele E. The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. Kregel Publications version, 1994, p. 80)—and this separation happened shortly after (1 Kings 11:43; 12:1-20) Solomon’s 40 year reign (1 Kings 11:42), then it would seem that one less year could be indicated (966+4-40=930 B.C. vs. 931 B.C.)--though if there was a co-regency of 3-4 year, it would be 2-3 years earlier than 3983. The Jewish Encyclopedia seems to concur that the listed reigns of David and Solomon seem to have overlapped (see that is consistent with scriptures that state that Solomon was made king while David was still alive per 1 Kings 1:43. How long David remained alive is unclear, but it was some time after he made Solomon king per 1 Kings 2:1.

(As far as other co-regencies, according to the widely-accepted Biblical chronology of Edwin Thiele, Jehoshaphat began a coregency with his father Asa in 872/871 BCE, and his sole reign began in 870/869 (Ibid, pp. 85,217), and other co-regencies probably also occurred.)

And while 966 is estimated, there are several who believe that Solomon's reign began in 970, hence would come up with a 966 date four years later. Here are four additional references:

Working back from these dates and the biblical references to the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah (78 years from the death of Ahab in 853/852 BC) the Kingdom of Solomon was divided in 931/930 BC, at the ascension of Rehoboam to the throne of Israel following the death of Solomon. Since Solomon reigned forty years (v. 42), he must have ascended the throne in 971/970 BC (Long, Jesse. 1 & 2 Kings: 1 and 2 Kings. College Press, 2002, p. 156)

SOLOMON (Reigned c. 970-c. 932 Bc) (Canning, John. 100 Great Kings, Queens, and Rulers of the World. Taplinger Pub. Co., 1967, p. 52)

SOLOMON THE KING Solomon's reign was long, lasting forty years (970-931) as had his father's before him (Leon James Wood & David O'Brien. A Survey of Israel's History. Zondervan, 1986, p. 253).

Solomon 40 C. 970-931 BCE (Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman. David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. Simon and Schuster, 2007, p. 20).

So, there are some complications as not all the dates are certain as far as scholars are concerned.

Other sources point to the Temple being started in 959/960 B.C., which would suggest (ignoring co-regencies, etc.) that it is 5991/5992 AM. Or in other words, that the 6000 years would seem to be up in 2025 or 2026.

The Late Dr. Herman Hoeh

Dr. Herman Hoeh was with the Radio Church of God and then the Worldwide Church of God. He did a lot of historical research throughout his lifetime.

In December 1983, Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote:

Exodus date 1443 occurred at end of ninth year, beginning of tenth year of Amenhotep II who reigned jointly two and a half years with Thutmose III. Thutmose III reigned 54 years 1504-1450 B.C. Amenhotep II began to reign in 1453 B.C. Daughter of Thutmose I (a pharaoh) was Hatshepsut, who adopted Moses. She ruled jointly with her nephew Thutmose from 1504 to 1483 B.C. In the year 1483 Moses' stepmother and protector died. This agrees with Moses' flight 40 years before Exodus. (Hoeh H. Notes on the Reign of Kings. December 1983)

However, in a conversation on December 3, 1997, he changed that date to 1446 B.C. according to the following:

There are notes from a phone conversation with Dr. Hoeh from December 3, 1997 that speak of a kings chronology beginning in 930 B.C.


Dr. Hoeh: he is in a position to support a "change of my perspective" of Israel

    — can prove date "about" 930 B.C. is a correct date

    — Edwin Thiele — first year of Rehoboam was 930 B.C.

       - spring to spring not autumn to autumn
- cannot move this date up or down
- Jews recognized autumn to autumn

             Harvard Sem. Monograph #48
"Studies in the Chronology of the Divided Monarchy of Israel"
by William Hamilton Barnes
Scholars Press 1991 Harvard Univ.

       - Kings of Tyre are linked with building of temple — Solomon 1561 (?)

    — 1446 date of Exodus
— 1406 Jordan crossing
— 3983 Creation
— 2328 Flood * 2327 end of Flood
— 1975 Abraham's birth
— 1800 Abraham's death
— 6 1/2 years after crossing of Jordan land was divided after 400 years

A correction is in order

    — beginning of Jeroboam's/Rehoboam's reign(s) = 930 B.C.

    — 3983 B.C. = Creation

    — 2328-2327 B.C. = Flood

    — End of 6,000 = 2018 A.D.

    — Edwin Thiele:

    Thiele has correct date at the beginning of Jeroboam's/Rehoboam's reigns.


    — 1446 = Exodus
— 1406 = Entry into Promised Land

    — Jehu = "Yahu" (Assyrian records)

    — Spring of 930 B.C. = Beginning of Jeroboam's reign

    — Velikovsky & Amalekites:

It should also be mentioned that in the 21st century, Dr. Hoeh told someone I was consulting with that he felt that because of the overlap of reigns of the kings, the 6000 years may not be up until 2028. This would mean that the creation of Adam (or time he had to leave Eden) could have been as late as 3973 B.C. This seems to be the latest known information he told someone I checked with.

The Age of Terah at the Time of Abram's Birth

Perhaps the item of greatest biblical contention amongst those that have put together a chronology, is the matter of the age of Terah when he had Abraham as one place suggests age 70 while another age 130.

Here is one five point explanation of it:

  1. Gen 11.26 is a summary statement--NOT the same formula that are in the preceding verses (i.e. "X lived Y years and begot Z, and he had OTHER sons and daughers"). Our verse is in a different form, as that at the end of a genealogy like Genesis 5.31: "And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.".

  2. 11.26, if interpreted by the other forms, would make Abe/Nahor/Haran all born in the SAME year (triplets, maybe?...)! Highly unlikely, esp. since they are apparently the ONLY male children of Terah.

  3. The order of names in 11.26 is probably only related to importance, not chronology. “Genesis 5:32 lists the three sons of Noah in this sequence: (1) Shem, (2) Ham, (3) Japheth. But this cannot be the order of the birth, for 9:24 identifies Ham as the youngest son of Noah.” [NICOT, in loc]

  4. It is possible than Haran was the oldest, since Nahor marries a daugther of his (11.29).

  5. Scholars generally believe that Terah had lived in Haran BEFORE migrating to Ur, and this might suggest that Haran was born there (and named from it as well), indicating his historical precedence over Abraham. (...Was Terah 70 or 130 when Abraham was born? Answers to "Bible Contradictions" November 2005. viewed 05/23/09)

Thus, the statement in Genesis 11:26, being different than others in the original Hebrew, is consistent with the position that Terah became Abraham's father at age 130.

Notice what another concluded:

Note that Abraham was not Terah’s firstborn. Gen. 12:4 says Abraham was 75 when he left Haran, and this was soon after Terah died at 205 (Gen. 11:32), and the difference (205–75) means Terah was actually 130 years old when Abraham was born, not 70 (Ussher seems to have been the first modern chronologist to have noticed this point). The latter figure refers to Terah’s age when the oldest of the three sons mentioned was born, probably Haran. (Sarfati J. Journal of Creation 17(3):14–18 December 2003. viewed 05/23/09)

The above explanation is the one that is most consistent with the biblical record in toto. Especially when a careful comparison including Acts 7:4 is included.

Six Complications and Calculations

There are at least six factors that affect the calculation:

  1. Does the six thousand year period begin when Adam was made or when he and Eve first sinned or when they were put out of the Garden of Eden? If one of the latter, the Bible does not state how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, so estimating this is problematic.
  2. Does the six thousand years end when the Day of the Lord begins or when Jesus returns?
  3. The dates of Solomon's reign have been debated.
  4. While the Bible tells the ages of fathers when they begot sons, it seems illogical to conclude that the fathers and sons were all born on the same calendar date--people were not all born on the same 'birthday' calendar date. Hence, although the straight calculations based upon the ages listed in Genesis is correct assuming what is called a 'normal distribution' of data, the data pool is small enough that the results could be statistically expected to be other than 'normal.'
  5. It is not certain that a rounding for 'normal distribution' was used. Instead, the ages of the ancients when they begat sons could instead be based upon their calculated ages based upon a Spring or Fall date. The Jewish Encyclopedia points out "The Rabbis recognize four beginnings of the year from different standpoints: (1) the 1st of Nisan for regnal dating; it was based on the Exodus (comp. 1 Kings vi. 1); (2) the 1st of Tishri, as, agricultural New-Year the beginning of the harvest (Ex. xxiii. 16, xxxiv. 22); (3) the 1st of Elul for reckoning tithes of cattle (R. Eleazer, however, would reckon these from the 1st of Tishri); and (4) the 1st, or, according to Bet Hillel, the 15th of Shebaṭ, the New-Year for Trees." ( What does that mean, it means that the first year in the calculation of the ancients may have been counted from their first approximate month of Abib or Tishri, hence leading to a significant overcounting of their ages based upon how we now calculate age. The Bible is not clear which method was used.
  6. It is believed that there have been co-regencies of some of the kings and their sons. Hence, adding up the listed reigns of the various kings would be expected to result in overcounting--though that is not much of a factor if the correct date of Solomon's temple is known (but even that is estimated).

And then there is controvery involving the matter of Abrams father Terah. Thus, there are complications and controversies involved with the calculations. Furthermore, I suspect God has allowed at least some of this so humans would not be certain of the precise year (cf. Matthew 24:36), but provided what He did so that humans could have a good idea of the approximate time (cf. Mark 13:28-29; Luke 21:34; Matthew 24:3-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:4).

So, recognizing that there is some controversy about the calculations, let’s look at the 3983 date (while understanding it is off a bit; a Protestant writer, for example, claims it is 3960-3959 BC., though he has Jesus death off by two years which would make his start date 3958/3957 BC, and there are some other aspects I plan to look at closer; accessed 08/21/16).

It is now 2017 A.D., so adding that + 3983 adds up to 6000--but because there was no year zero (for the transition between B.C. and A.D.), this make it 5999, with the 6000 years ending in 2018.

So while 2018 is one calculation of the end of the 6000 years (because of the year long, "day of the Lord" mentioned in Isaiah 34:8 & 61:2, that 3983 B.C. date may lead to 2019), it is premature. It must be at least several years later.

The Great Tribulation would begin 3 1/2 years before then--thus the Great Tribulation may begin around 2022-2025--I do not believe that it biblically can be before 2022 (for a more detailed explanation, please see When Can the Great Tribulation Begin? and the sermon video Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020?). Because of the five factors mentioned that affect the calculations, the 6000 years perhaps ends up to a decade or so later, like 202x or 203x. Some suspect that a Jubilee year could begin when it is over, and some have suggested dates such as 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, 2038, 2050, and 2051 (see Jubilee section in The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance).

Some, like Yves Péloquin, calculate that the end is 2038 ( He goes off on many tangents which he believes bolsters his claims and he has done a lot of work (his appendix E is basically a summary with BC and AM dates). He does have, correctly based on ignorning overlaps and when Adam left Eden, Abraham being born AM 2008. And under the same conditions, is basically close about the Exodus being 2523 AM (it seems in reality to be a little sooner than that, like maybe c. 2510 AM) and the Ark in the Temple in 3013 AM. But because of overlaps and Adam, I tend to shy away for the AM dating use as it presumes we know the exact starting point and that there are not ever overlaps.

Yet, despite the factors that affect the calculation, it should be clear that, according to a variety of sources, but mainly the Bible, the 6000 years will be up in the 21st century.

And while some feel otherwise, perhaps it should be mentioned that it is not necessary for a Jewish temple to be rebuilt before the Great Tribulation to begin and the 6000 years to be up (this is documented in the article Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?)

Why Do the Jews Teach it is Year 5777 AM?

Every year, at the Feast of Trumpets, which they normally call Rosh Hashanah, Jews proclaim a New Year. The one from October 3, 2016 to September 20, 2017 is year 5777 or 5777 AM (anno mundi).

This confuses many people as the numbers do not add up with scripture.

I have heard various explanations of why.

One is that a Rabbi did a calculation once, made an error, but since it was over 1800 years ago, everyone kept following it. Though many keep following it, many Jewish scholars realize that it contained errors (cf. First M. Jewish History in Conflict. Jason Aronson, Inc. Jerusalem, 1997, pp. 44-80).

Another is that because Josephus in his book Antiquities of the Jews, tells that during the time of Seth, “They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order” (bk.1, chap.2). Now, that too is likely to be a tradition. But essentially the tradition seems to be that once the ancients started to pay attention to what we know call astronomy, they began counting from then. And this tradition was passed down and/or recorded somewhere and it somehow came into general use.

But again, it is a little unclear. The numbers in the Bible are much clearer and I do not believe that they would be off for over 200 years because of overlapping reigns, differences in birth dates, etc. 

There is also a 1997 book written by an attorney and Orthodox Jews titled Jewish History in Conflict: A Study of the Major Discrepancy between Rabbinic and Conventional Chronology with detailed explanations that tries to resolve all of this. Basically, according to a reviewer ( viewed 04/02/12), the book suggests that there was a misunderstanding about certain Persian kings and Daniel 9:24-27 and that this error was carried forward. The book's author, Michael First, essentially shows that the current Jewish chronology is flawed and that something closer to the conventional chronology (like this article uses) is the correct one. And that those positions are correct.

Notice an admission from reportedly from Jewish Rabbi Simon Schwab:

6. The gravity of this intellectual dilemma posed by such enormous discrepancies must not be underestimated. The unsuspecting students -- including the pupils of our Yeshivoth and Beth Jacob High Schools -- are faced with a puzzle that appears insoluble. How could it have been that our forebears had no knowledge of a period in history, otherwise widely known and amply documented, which lasted over a span of 165 years and which was less than 600 years removed in time from the days of the Sages who recorded our traditional chronology in Seder Olam? Is it really possible to assume that some form of historical amnesia had been allowed to take possession of the collective memory of an entire people? This should be quite like assuming that some group of recognized historians of today would publish a textbook on medieval history, ignoring all the records of, say, the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries of the Common Era. Would this not seem inconceivable even for those who, unfortunately, do not possess the necessary emunas chachomim to accept the world of our Sages?

7. This enormous discrepancy between sacred tradition and secular data would appear at first glance to frustrate any and all hope that it might be possible to compile a comparative chronology acceptable to Orthodox Jewry and secular historians alike. To faithful believers in the veracity of our most sacred literature, both Biblical and Rabbinic, there seems to be left only the following two alternatives between which to choose: One: Faithfully to put our trust in the superior wisdom of our inspired teachers of Torah who have arrived at the absolute Truth and, consequently, to reject categorically and absolutely the right of any secular scientist, even the most objective in his field to contradict our convictions. In this case, it would mean that we would have to declare that these 165 years which our Tradition has ignored are, in fact, non-existent, and have been conjectured by secular historians out of the clear blue sky. According to this method of reasoning, it would follow that all the historical developments reported in connection with the timetable of ancient history referring to that period are not history but fiction and based on misinterpretation and misleading evidence. Or Two: We might accept the unanimous opinion of secular historians as coming as close to the objective truth as that is possible, but make an ingenious attempt to interpret the Biblical data and to treat the traditional Rabbinic chronology as mere Aggadic homily which may lend itself to symbolic or allegorical evaluation. This dilemma is most unfortunate. For it would appear that the only course to take would be either to "correct" secular ancient history by 165 years which we would then have to call "fictitious" or else to declare that our traditional calendar is based not on historical calculations but on Aggadic pronouncements. Even centuries ago, in his "Me'or Eynayim" (35), Azariah de Rossi, a controversial figure in the annals of our people, criticized the puzzling texts of Seder Olam and of the Talmud, much to the righteous indication of contemporary and later Rabbinic scholars (cf. R. David Gans in Tzemach David (#3448) and R. Jacob Emden to Seder Olam 30). (Breuer M, Breuer J. Jubilee Volume Presented in Honor of the Eightieth Birthday of Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer. P. Feldheim, 1962, pp. 182-183)

Schwab reportedly also admitted:

4. The Torah-true historian is now confronted with a truly vexing problem. Ancient history of the Babylonian and Persian Empires presents us with completely different data. These figures can hardly be doubted for they appear to be the result of painstaking research by hundreds of scholars and are borne out by profound erudition and by ever increasing authoritative evidence. Sometimes small discrepancies of a year or tow at the most have yet to be accounted for, but complete agreement seems to be almost within reach at the present time…. Since according to Ezra (6:15) the Second Temple was completed in the sixth year of Darius I, the date following the secular chronology must have been 517 BCE; i.e., exactly 70 years after the date (again, established by secular historians) for the destruction of the First Temple (587 BCE). Consequently the first year of the era of the Second Temple was 517 BCE and not 351 BCE. As long as we cannot doubt the date given for the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) we are compelled to admit that the Bayis Sheini must have existed for no less than 586 years instead of the 420 years given by tradition. This amounts to a discrepancy of over 165 years compared with our Jewish way of reckoning!

5. Furthermore there are at least nine Persian kings beginning with Cyrus (seven of these reigned subsequent to the consecration of the Temple) until the beginning of the Greek Era, during a period of well over 200 years. Compare with these figures the statements of Seder Olam and of Talmudic-Rabbinic literature (Seder Olam 30, Rosh Hashanah 3b) which know of only four Median-Persians kings ruling over a period of not more than 52 years, of which only 34 years belong to the period subsequent to the building of the Second Temple. ...

B. 1. There seems to be left, as yet unexplored, only one avenue of approach to the vexing problem confronting us. It should have been possible that our Sages -- for some unknown reason -- had "covered up" a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto. If so what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure? Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted our Chazal, those saintly "men of truth" to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secret themselves. 2. In the course of our inquiry, we do indeed find a Divine command conveyed by an angel to Daniel to "seal the words and close the book" at the end of a long prophesy which begins in Chapter 11:1 and ends at Chapter 12:4 in the Book of Daniel.... (Excerpts from Comparative Jewish Chronology (pp177-197) in Jubilee Volume for Rav Yosef Breuer by Rabbi Simon Schwab as cited in Avodah Mailing List Volume 11 : Number 018 Tuesday, May 27 2003. accessed 06/05/16)

Perhaps it should be noted that allegedly a formal retraction of his "coverup theory" appeared in Schwab's volumes of "Selected Writings" - but he insisted that even though the explanation was not tenable the problem remained.

Here is more about this:

Furthermore, the shortening as perpetuated in the Sedar Olam was deliberate!

While not openly admitting this, present day Jewish scholars acknowledge that there is something enigmatic about the Sedar Olam's dating. For example, after stating that the commonly received dates from the Ptolemaic chronology "can hardly be doubted," Rabbi Simon Schwab, nevertheless goes on to uphold his own tradition:

"It should have been possible that our Sages -- for some unknown reason -- had "covered up" a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto. If so what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure? Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted our Chazal, those saintly "men of truth" to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secret themselves." (Emphasis Schwab's)

This is an astonishing proposal. Schwab, along with other Jewish commentators, further suggests that the reason why God directed the sages of the 2nd century AD to become involved in falsifying the data was to confuse anyone who might try to use the prophecies of Daniel to predict the time of the Messiah's coming.

This was supposedly done to honour Da 12:4: "shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." He adds that the reason the sages had adopted the non-Jewish Seleucid Era calendar was part of a scheme to do just that--to close up the words and seal the book of Daniel. Schwab also states that if the 165 years were included it would reveal "we are much closer to the the end of the 6th Millennium than we had surmised." (Schwab mentions this date as the time when many rabbis expect Messiah to come.).

But can any sincere reader accept such a flimsy reason as justification for distorting history? It actually accuses God himself of perpetrating a dishonest deception.

Indeed, it is manifestly apparent that the real reasons for the deliberate altering of their own national chronology in the Seder Olam were: (1) to conceal the fact that the Da 9:25 prophecy clearly pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as its fulfillment and therefore the long awaited Messiah, and (2) to make that seventy week of years prophecy point instead to Simon Bar Kokhba! Rabbis in the century immediately following Christ Jesus had a tremendous problem with so direct a prophecy as Da 9:24-27. This chapter speaks of Messiah's appearing 69 "weeks" (i.e., 69 sevens) or 483 years after the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. This 538 BC prophecy {Da 9:1} unmistakably points to the start of the ministry of Jesus Christ in 29 AD. Such must either be acknowledged and his person accepted or completely erased from Jewish consciousness. The latter could be accomplished if the 69 (or 70) weeks of years could some

how be made to apply to the century after the life of Christ. Then it would be possible for the rabbis to point to another messiah who, as circumstances would have it, was cut off in death some 100 years after the crucifixion of our Lord.

The 10th day of the month Ab (c. mid-August) is a great day of sorrow to Israel. On this day in 588 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Solomon's Temple. Further, the second temple was laid waste by the Romans under Titus on the same day in 70 AD. And on this very day in 135 AD, at the conclusion of a 3 1/2-year revolt, the Romans crushed the army of the "messianic" Simon Bar Kokhba (also spelled "Cocheba").

Bar Kokhba had been declared the long-awaited Messiah by the foremost Jewish scholar of that day, the highly venerated Rabbi Akiva (Akiba) ben Joseph. In 130 AD. Emperor Haddrian of Rome declared his intention to raise a shrine to Jupiter on the site of the temple, and in 131 he issued a decree forbidding circumcision as well as public instruction in the Jewish law. Having preached peace all his life, the 90-year-old Akiva gave his blessing to the revolution by proclaiming that Bar Kokhba was the "star out of Jacob" and the "sceptre out of Israel." {Nu 24:17}

In his 98th year, Akiva was eventually imprisoned and condemned to death by the Romans. Among the many accolades heaped upon Akiva, that which elevated him as a pre-eminent authority, was the acknowledging of him as "the father of the Mishnah." Such prominence gave great weight to the messianic expectancy Akiva placed upon Bar Kokhba.

Akiva's students became some of the most prominent sages of the following generation. Among these was Yose (Josi) ben Halafta. Akiva's influence on Halafta is apparent from a statement made concerning his education; it was merely said that Rabbi Akiva had been his teacher. As his mentor Akiva's regard for Bar Kokhba would have been thoroughly imbedded in Yose.

The preceding overview explains why the Seder Olam is held in such veneration and why the Jews still use it for their national dating. Yet the fact remains that it is a dishonest attempt to conceal the truth with regard to the Da 9:24-27 prophecy.

By removing the 164 (or 165) years from the duration of the Persian Empire, Rabbi Halafta was able to make the 483 year Da 9:24-27 prophecy fall reasonably close to the years prior to the 132 AD revolt during thich Bar Kokhba rose to prominence as Israel's military and economic leader. Then with Akiva proclaiming, "This is the King Messiah" followed by "all the contemporary sages regarding him as the King Messiah," the Jewish populace united around this false hope.(Jones F. Appendix G: The Seder Olam Rabbah -- Why Jewish Dating is Different.In: Pierce L, Pierce M, editors. The Annals of the World. Master Books. Copyright 2003. ISBN: 089051-360-0, pp. 932-933)

While I do not agree with all that is asserted in the above, the author is correct that the dating issue with the Jews seemed to be deliberate. Consider also the following prophecy:

4 ... Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed. (Amos 2:4)

Many peoples have chosen to rely on lies, sometimes called tradition (though not all traditions are based on lies), instead of acting on the truth. Many Jewish scholars realize the errors in the Seder Olam (First M. Jewish History in Conflict. Jason Aronson, Inc. Jerusalem, 1997, pp. 44-80), and several admit that the errors seemed to be to affect the interpretation of Daniel 9:24-26 (ibid). According to Michael First, some of the modern Jewish scholars in the latter category appear to include Hayyim Shvilly (ibid, p. 70), Benny Isaacson (p. 71), Ben Zion Wacholder (pp. 73-74), Jay Braverman (p. 74), Joseph Tabori (pp. 76-77), and Henry Guggenheimer (p. 78). Berel Wein is said to have admitted that "the Jewish way of counting is off 166 years" (p. 78), whereas Samuel Hakohen admitted that Jewish sages provided an incorrect chronology "to accurately predict the time of the coming of the Messiah" (pp.78-79). Michael First also lists Jewish scholars in the 8th through 15th centuries (such as Pirkei De-Rabbi Eliezer, Josippon, Moses ben Samuel ka-Kohen Gikatilla, Rashi, Zerahiah ben Isaac ha-Levi Gerondi, Abraham ben David ha-Levi Ibn David, David Kimhi, Samuel ben Nissim Masnut, Isaac ben Joseph Israeli, Isaac Abravanel) who had problems and/or wrote in contradictions related to one or more parts of the Jewish chronology of the Seder Olam (pp. 183-198)

In the case of Akiva, he apparently believed so much in Bar Kochba that he felt he had to make a change in chronology that many Jews now follow. Notice something else related to him from the Jewish Talmud where he tried to tie Bar Kochba to a passage in Numbers 24:17:

Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai taught: Rabbi Akiva would expound, A star has risen from Jacob - "Kozba [Bar Kokhba] has risen from Jacob." When Rabbi Akiva would see bar Kozba, he would say: "This is the anointed King - the Messiah." Rabbi Yohanan ben Tortah said to him: "Akiva, grass will sprout from your cheeks and still the Messiah will not arrive." (Yerushalmi, Taanit 4:5)

Yes, Bar Kochba was not the Messiah, but believing that he was (and that Jesus was not) seems to have influenced the 'dating of the world.' Akiva actually changed Bar Kosiba's name (suggesting he was a disreputable son) to Bar Kochba, which for a time, seemed to prolong the myth he was Messianic.

Notice another Jewish observation about Bar Kochba:

The Sages called him not Bar Kochba (the son of a star) but Bar Koziba (the son of a lie). His real name was neither; it was Bar Kosiba. (Hammer H. One triumph and two tragedies. The Jerusalem Post, November 29, 2012 accessed 08/01/16)

Yet because of of their greatest sages, Akiva, tried to make others believe Bar Kosiba was really the Messiah, many Jews seemed to accept/make calculation changes.

Now, is there any other Jewish indication that the Jews changed their calculations?

Yes, as the first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote the following:

6. When therefore the generals of Antiochus's armies had been beaten so often, Judas assembled the people together, and told them, that after these many victories which God had given them, they ought to go up to Jerusalem, and purify the temple, and offer the appointed sacrifices. But as soon as he, with the whole multitude, was come to Jerusalem, and found the temple deserted, and its gates burnt down, and plants growing in the temple of their own accord, on account of its desertion, he and those that were with him began to lament, and were quite confounded at the sight of the temple; so he chose out some of his soldiers, and gave them order to fight against those guards that were in the citadel, until he should have purified the temple. When therefore he had carefully purged it, and had brought in new vessels, the candlestick, the table [of shew-bread], and the altar [of incense], which were made of gold, he hung up the veils at the gates, and added doors to them. He also took down the altar [of burnt-offering], and built a new one of stones that he gathered together, and not of such as were hewn with iron tools. So on the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, which the Macedonians call Apeliens, they lighted the lamps that were on the candlestick, and offered incense upon the altar [of incense], and laid the loaves upon the table [of shew-bread], and offered burnt-offerings upon the new altar [of burnt-offering]. Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years' time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apeliens, and on the hundred fifty and third olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apeliens, on the hundred and forty-eighth year, and on the hundred and fifty-fourth olympiad. And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time]. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book XII, Chapter 7, Verse 6).

The reason this is relevant as it shows that in the first century, at least one Jewish scholar said a period of time of 408 years from a prophecy of Daniel (probably Daniel 9:1-2) and the time that Antiochus descrated the Temple, whereas the Seder Olam uses a shorter amount of years for this span. Even Jewish scholars recogize this. Notice one:

In Summary, Josephus ... is working from a different chronology then Seder Olam. (Shulman M. Daniel 9 – Its Chronology and Meaning. © Moshe Shulman 2010. p. 22. accessed 07/30/16)

According to the date assigned to the reign of Darius the Mede as beginning 374 B.C. (per the interpretation of Pierce L, Pierce M, editors. The Annals of the World. Master Books. Copyright 2003, p. 932), and since Antiochus is well known to have made that destruction in 167 B.C., there is over over a 200 year difference here. And although Josephus may himself have too much time (that is hard to determine as the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede is debated, though more often presumed to be in the 6th century B.C. instead of the 4th century B.C. as the Seder Olam seems to point to). Thus, this reduction if time seems intentional in the Seder Olam, and likely is related to the rise of Christianity as the Seder Olam, did not come out until a generation after Josephus.

Yet, irrespective of why, the Jewish year is off by over 200 years compared to historical records and the biblical account.

Notice something else from the Talmud:

It has been taught; R. Nathan said: This verse pierces and descends to the very abyss: For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though he tarry, wait for him; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Not as our Masters, who interpreted the verse, until a time and times and the dividing of time;  nor as R. Simlai who expounded, Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink a third time; nor as R. Akiba who expounded, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth: but the first dynasty shall last seventy years, the second, fifty two, and the reign of Bar Koziba  two and a half years.

R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end. For they would say, since the predetermined time has arrived, and yet he has not come, he will never come. But, wait for him, as it is written, Though he tarry, wait for him. (Sanhedrin 97b. Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin)

Consider that the Babylonian Talmud dates from the 3rd to 5th centuries. By that time, some in Judaism realized, apparently based upon their improper understanding of Habakkuk 2, Daniel 9, and other materials, that the Messiah should have already came. Of course, Jesus did come (see The KEY To The Crucifixion Date which goes into more depth about Daniel 9), but they would not accept Him.

It should also be noted that Jewish rabbis have generally decided to teach that the Messiah would come at/by the end of 6,000 years (as opposed to their early view of 4,000 years). Unless they change their view of the calendar, many will believe that when Jesus returns, it will be too early, and thus once again deny Christ.

As far as what some thought in the first century A.D., check out the article Was there an expectation among Judaism for a Messiah around the time of Jesus?

What About the Malachy Prophecies and Other Catholic Prophecies?

While I do not believe that they were inspired by God, a Catholic saint named Malachy predicted, with what some to believe is complete accuracy, every pope since 1143—his list was considered so accurate, that some originally said it was not written until the 16th century, when it became made public.

However, it should be noted that, to a degree, many of his post 16th century predictions have apparently come true and some believe that Malachy's list:

...has given fitting descriptions of every pope since the 16th century, when it was discovered (Dupont Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p.19).

...the vast majority of Malachy's predictions about successive Popes is amazingly accurate (Bander, Peter. Introductory commentary in The Prophecies of St. Malachy. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 11).

I should add that Malachy's list includes some leaders that the Roman Catholics call antipopes (e.g. Clement VII, Benedict XIII, Felix V, etc., see Bander, pp. 50-54) and that, thus, many are inserted sometimes together as opposed to always being in strict chronological order.  The fact that it is NOT completely accurate should show people that the list was not inspired by God.  The former Pope Benedict XVI was believed to be number 111 on Malachy's list of 112 pontiffs.

More on the Malachy list can be found in the article The Malachy Prophecies and "Peter the Roman," you could also watch a YouTube video Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist?

And it is likely that an antipope will arise within a few years, and hence be the last one when the 6000 years end. Which, quite simply, could be next decade (or at the most, the decade afterwards as it is older men that tend to be made popes).

Interestingly, there are some other Roman Catholic prophecies that state or indicate that the beginning of the end will occur in the 20th century and/or that the end will come in the 21st century:

Sister Bouquillon (19th century). "The beginning of the end shall not come in the 19th century, but in the 20th for sure" (Dupont, p. 23).

Catholic priest and writer R. Gerald Culleton: “…the Great Monarch…together with the Great Pope or Angelic Pastor, shall appear after socialism” (Culleton, R. Gerald.  The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin.  Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941.  Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 50).

St. Hildegard (d. 1179). "The time is coming when princes and peoples will renounce the authority of the Pope. Individual countries will prefer their own Church rulers to the Pope. The German Empire will be divided. Church property will be secularized. Priests will be persecuted. After the birth of Anti-Christ heretics will preach their false doctrines undisturbed, resulting in 'Christians having doubts about their Catholic faith'" (Culleton, p.169).

Ven. Sor Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th Century)...Our Lady told Sister Marianee: "...But this knowledge will only become known to the general public in the 20th Century. "During this epoch the Church will find herself attacked by waves of the secret sect..."Know, beloved daughter, that when your name is made known in the 20th Century, there will be many who do not believe, claiming this devotion is not pleasing to God..." (Birch, DA. Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before During and After Antichrist. Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta (CA), 1996, pp. 317,326)

St. John of the Cleft Rock (14th century). "It is said that 20 centuries after the incarnation of the Word, the Beast in its turn will become man. About the year 2000 A.D., Antichrist will reveal himself to the world." (Dupont, p. 23)

E. Culligan (20th century) "The author feels that there is convincing evidence for him to accept that the Antichrist was born on February 5, 1962...The Antichrist will be a Jew by race and religion (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 100-101).

Gerald Culleton's comments about socialism, may mean after communism falls, which it did in the late 20th century. Notice that at least two writers indicate that the Antichrist would be born in the latter portion of the 20th century, thus indicating a 21st century end of this age. He could possibly be the current Pope Francis as he is the one after Benedict XVI according to the Malachy list (see also The Malachy Prophecies and "Peter the Roman" or the YouTube video Pope Benedict XVI and the next pope).

Thus, from the Malachy prophecies to the various Catholic writings, many associated with Catholicism seemed to be looking for the end to occur in the early to mid-21st century. Also note: the one referred to as "the Great Monarch" above is apparently the one that the Bible warns about as the future King of the North? who will also lead the coming European Beast power. Hence, this leader, as well as the final Antichrist (who seems also to be the antipope of certain Catholic private prophecies), is expected to arise in the 21st century.

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that the United Nations has a 'new universal agenda' that it wants fully implemented by 2030 (for details see United Nations: Humankind's Last Hope or New World Order?). What the UN wants sounds good to many, but is a false gospel (see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church). But it is of interest to consider that the 6000 years may well end while the UN is trying to implement it 'new universal agenda.'

Jesus Said to "Watch"

In these latter days, Christians generally realize that they are to pay attention to many world and national events that line up with the Bible.  Notice what Jesus taught:

28 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near — at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming — in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning — 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" (Mark 13:28-37)

31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:31-36).

Hence, Jesus clearly taught that His followers were to pay attention to end time events, and that those who heeded His words could escape.

Christians wishing to comply with Jesus’ admonition to “watch” might find that having some  understanding of end-time beliefs of non-Christians (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:19–23) can also be helpful. This is one reason why they are in the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect.  Paul also made it clear that Christians should not be in darkness about prophetic matters (see 1 Thessalonians 5:4).

Those who do not consider themselves to be Christian would do well to heed the signs of the times and the biblical chronologies as well.  We are near the time (if not actually in it) that Jesus called “the beginning of sorrows” (see also When Can the Great Tribulation Begin?).

While the “day and hour” of some events were unknown in Jesus’ time (Matthew 24:36), that was nearly 2000 years ago. Since there is a 6,000 year plan, I believe that Jesus knows the year. The fact that while He was human He did not know the day or hour does not mean: 1) He did not know the year and 2) that Jesus may not know more now. Some dispute that.

But be that as it may, Jesus clearly said to "watch." And the 6,000 years is nearly up. But I do not believe that Jesus can return prior to 2023, with a later year more likely (presuming a Great Tribulation beginning in the Spring of some year, 2024 seems to be the earliest year).

Now, I am not claiming that I know the exact year when the 6,000 years end--just that Jesus Himself likely does by now. The fact that the Bible has so many chronologies suggests that God wanted humans to use that information. And since God apparently has a 6,000/7,000 year plan, it would seem prudent to try to understand what the chronologies indicate.


The Bible, early writings, and even Roman Catholic sources confirm that many who professed Christ in the early years taught that God seems to have a 6000 year plan followed by a literal thousand year millennial reign of Christ.

According to the Bible and certain Catholic and Church of God sources, the last days of the 6,000 years for humanity to rule itself are almost over.

Looking at the Bible seems to show that the 6000 years may end near in the 2020s though it may be up to a decade or so past then. Humankind's rule of the planet will end when Jesus returns. Jesus is coming a second time (Hebrews 9:28), but cannot return prior to 2023. Since humanity rules until Jesus does (cf. Revelation 11:15; see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church), it is reasonable to conclude that the 6,000 years is not up until 2 1/2- 3 1/2 years after the Great Tribulation begins. And there are signs that Jesus said still, as of 2016, need to happen for that to begin (some details are in the article When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).

Based upon the best chronologies that humans seem to have been able to construct, it appears likely that Jesus may return by the end of the next decade, or perhaps a few years past.

We are living in the end-times. The time just prior to the Great Tribulation, which will be followed by the Day of the Lord and then Christ's return with the establishment of His millennial reign on this earth (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

There is no verse in the Bible that contradicts the notion that there will is a six thousand year plan of God followed by a one thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. And even early Greco-Roman supporters had the view that there was this plan.

The time is short.

A related sermon-length video would be The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity's reign almost up?

Thiel B., Ph.D. Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? (c) 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017 0115

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