Can you reconcile the supposed Bible contradiction in Acts 13:18-22 with 1 Ki 6:1?

 You have to account for the overlap in years.  It is not a Bible contradiction.

In 1 Ki 6:1, the time between the Exodus and the fourth year of Solomon’s reign is 480 years.  The cumulative time in Acts 13:18-22 totals 570 years for this period not including the four years for the beginning of Solomon’s reign (40 years for the wilderness journey, 450 years for the judges, 40 years for Saul and 40 years for David). There’s a big discrepancy here.

Is this an error?  No.  Paul’s time of the judges accounts for both the time of each judge including the peace resulting from his rule and the time of foreign oppression by a foreign adversary.  These times actually overlap. In the table below, you see the 450 years of all the judges, the periods of rest and the years of foreign oppression.  When you deduct the years of foreign oppression (marked in bold italics) you get a net of 336 years, since each judge is actually delivering Israel while the adversary is oppressing them.

Reference Event Sub-total Years Total Years
Acts 13:18 Wilderness journey

40

Jud 3:8 Chushanrishathaim
8
Jud 3:11 Rest – Othniel

40

Jud 3:14 Eglon
18
Jud 3:30 Rest – Ehud

80

Jud 4:3 Sisera
20
Jud 5:31 Rest — Deborah/Barak

40

Jud 6:1 Midian
7
Jud 8:28 Quietness – Gideon

40

Jud 9:22 Abimelech
3
Jud 10:2 Tola

23

Jud 10:3 Jair

22

Jud 10:8 Philistines/Ammonites
18
Jud 12:7 Jephthah

6

Jud 12:9 Ibzan

7

Jud 12:11 Elon

10

Jud 12:14 Abdon

8

Jud 13:1 Philistines
40
Jud 15:20 Samson

20

1 Sam 4:18 Eli

40

Acts 13:20 Total time of the Judges

450

Net years of the judges

450-114

336

1 Sam 7:2 Ark in Kirjathjearim

20

Acts 13:21 Saul

40

2 Sam 5:4 David

40

1 Ki 6:1 Solomon’s 4th year

4

1 Ki 6:1 Exodus to Beginning Temple Total Net Years

480

This gives us the reconciliation between I Ki 6 and Acts 13. As you can see, there are no errors in your King James Bible.

To cross-check these dates though, we should do one other thing.  It is typically thought that the Exodus took place in 1491 BC. If that’s so, then the temple construction began in 1011 BC, 480 years later (1 Ki 6:1).

The table below then dates the major events from the Exodus to the splitting of the 10 northern tribes from the 2 southern tribes at the beginning of Rehoboam’s reign.

Event Years Years BC
Exodus

1491

Wilderness Journey to Canaan

40

1491-1451

Judges in the book of Judges

296

1451-1155

Eli’s Judgeship

40

1155-1115

Ark in Kirjathjearim

20

1115-1095

Saul’s Reign

40

1095-1055

David’s Reign

40

1055-1015

Solomon’s Reign to the 4th year

4

1015-1011

Solomon’s Remaining Reign

36

1011-975

Split Kingdom

975

 

These dates will reconcile perfectly then with the dates of the events that precede the Exodus and the well-established dates of the events that follow the split kingdom. For instance, this reconciliation puts the first attack of Nebuchadnezzar on Jerusalem in the reign of Jehoiakim in 606 BC and his final attack in 586 BC during the reign of Zedekiah.  Any other date for the split kingdom throws the dates of the attacks off.

Hope this helps,

Pastor Bevans Welder