The 6000 Year Timeline Dilemma

Is God using a 6000 year plan before Jesus Returns?

...which is the proper way to count the 6000 years of man's alloted time [to rule himself] on earth? There are about 3 or 4 Hebrew calendars (lunar, solar - 356 days, 390 days give or take), a Julian, a Gregorian, a biblical year, a solar year, etc. but I think from my perspective it all boils down to whether we should be counting from Adam to present by biblical years, by solar 365.25 years, or by straight 24-hour days. Maybe the 6000 years has to be counted in a mix of everything, depending on the prophecy, the dispensation (Age of Law, Age of Grace, etc). It makes me wonder if we are erronously thinking we are at the 6000-year mark when, in fact, we have been counting wrong all these millenia. Jim

Those of you who have known about the 6000 year timeline for years may be wondering the same thing as Jim wrote above. What ever happened to all the "year 6001" arrival predictions that have come and gone with no result? Should we conclude that the theory is not biblically sound or are we simply counting the years wrong? Or perhaps is it impossible to know which is the correct year to start counting with? These are excellent questions that I have had to grapple with myself. In the end I still believe in the 6000 year timeline of the Bible, however, as we shall see, I do not find my belief in it helps me to predict the timing of the end of the age as I had once hoped (although I have found something better to base an end time timeline on that does). Let's cover first where this doctrine finds its basis in the Bible.

The 6000 Year Timeline Overview

The Creator is a planner. As such, he has a plan which is on a schedule. This should not be so difficult for us to imagine. But what is his time schedule?

Back at creation, the Creator gave us a blueprint. He created the world in six days and rested or rather "ceased" on the seventh. However, in his ceasing from his work on the seventh day, he still created something: the pattern for seven day weekly cycle ending in a day later named the Sabbath. When he finally gave the Torah to Israel, he included a commandment about the seventh day.

Exodus 20:9-11Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of YHWH thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore YHWH blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Other Scriptures point out that the Sabbath day is not a day to do your own pleasure or seek your own will, but is a day set aside for all of mankind (once it is clearly taught to all mankind in the Millennium) to focus especially on the Creator and his ways.

Isaiah 58:13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of YHWH, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Mark 2:27 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Isaiah 66:23 [speaking of the Millennnium] And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD.

So, we see from this that the first six days are grouped as a period of time for man to pursue his own interests, but when the seventh day arrives he is to cease from that to honor God.

The Seven Millennia

Of course, if he had wanted to, God could have created the world in no time at all. However, in doing it in seven days, he established the weekly cycle that humankind all over the world recognize and follow to this day. What was his purpose in doing this? If you study the Torah, you will find many rehearsals that the Creator has given man. All of them have deep meaning and are intended to teach us truths and remind us year by year as we practice them. The weekly cycle rehearsal is no different. In it he is teaching us about a part of his plan for mankind that lasts seven thousand years, which is only revealed later in the Bible.

Psalms 90:4For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with YHWH as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Rev 20:6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of the Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The first resurrection spoken of occurs at the second coming of the Messiah when he conquers the enemies of the Creator and establishes his government on earth which endures for a thousand years. Of that time, Isaiah writes:

Isa 11:9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of YHWH, as the waters cover the sea.

This is exactly what is pictured when men keep the Sabbath day by resting from their own ways, spending more time studying the Scriptures, in fellowship with other believers and share their faith. So we see that the Sabbath day pictures the Sabbath Millenium. It therefore follows that the Sabbath Millenium comes after six millenial work days of man seeking their own ways, as the Sabbath day follows six work days in the week. We would therefore expect the kingdom to be setup at year 6001, which is the first year of the seventh millenium (since the year of creation is year 1, year 6000 is the last year of the sixth millenium).

What Year Was Creation?

If we can find out for sure in what year Creation occurred, we can add 6000 years to that to find out when 6001 will be. There is a researcher by the name of Eugene W. Faulstich who has spent a lifetime researching biblical chronology with the aid of astronomical computer programs. Among the many dates he was able to verify from Scripture was the date of Creation. He determined that creation week was March 19th-25th, 4001 BCE and that the 8th day, was a new moon marking the first month of the first year (Aviv 1, 1) at March 26th, 4001 B.C.E. What he found was there was a singular planetary alignment on the 5th day of creation as seen in this chart which has never happened since. Likewise there was a planetary alignment on the summer solstice of that same year which is also incomparable in history.

Why is that important? Well Genesis 1:14 tells us that one of the purposes of the heavenly bodies is to mark times and give signals. We would therefore expect something significant to be evident in the heavens for a time as important as creation. Likewise we might expect there to be a similar astronomical event to demark then end of the 6000 years. And there has.

On May 5th, 2000 C.E, 6000 years from 4001 B.C.E, there was another rare planetary alignment. It was a conjunction consisting of Venus, Mercury, Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the Moon. This also happened to be the night of the first visible sliver of the new mooon. Biblical years start with the first new moon in the spring after the barley is aviv, or mature. The barley had not been aviv for the previous new moon on April 6th which the calculated calendar that the Rabbis use prescribed as Aviv, 5760. This was also the first new moon in Jerusalem in which the barley grain was ready to be harvested, or aviv. Aviv is the name of first month of the year and is so named because it can only be declared when the barley is aviv so that as early as 15 days later it can be harvested and used in the Feast of the Firstfruits rehearsal (Ex 9:31, 13:4, 12, Lev 23:4-11) of the first month.

This seems to confirm that May 5th, 2000 was actually Aviv 1, 6001, the start of the seventh millenium. However, if that's the case, then where is the return of the Messiah and the Kingdom he was to establish at that time?

Factoring the Garden of Eden Time

Perhaps are we simply counting 6000 years wrong? I do not think this has anything to do with how to count years. The definition of a year is one complete 360 degree trip of the earth around the sun. As such it does not matter what calendar you use. Calendars intercalate leap months or leap days in an attempt to keep in sync with this astronomical reality. Therefore the theologies of "dispensations", "church ages", "age of grace" have no bearing (assuming they are true teachings of the Bible, an assumption I no longer make) as they cannot possibly change the basic definition of a year.

No, the solution to the problem seems to lie in the assumption that the 6000 years begins at creation. This assumption does not account for the special period after creation when Adam and Eve were in the garden obeying God. The 6000 year clock of man's self-rulership could not possibly include that period under God's government, but would have to have started only after Adam was kicked out of the garden of eden to be on his own for rebelling against God's rulership in disobediently eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Only then did he begin building his own independant life that the six work days 6000 years picture.

Unfortunately, the Bible does not tell us how long that time period lasted. It could have been several years. The Book of Jubilees in fact pegs it at seven years, however that book is not considered scripture and may not be reliable. And as it turns out, adding those seven years to the year 2000 (my best guess for the 6000 year anniversary of creation) would require that the end of the 6000 years of man arrive in 2007, something that is obviously impossible here from the vantage point of the year 2006 with no sign of the 3 year Great Tribulation even starting.


So my conclusion is that the 6000 years is biblically sound, but not something that can be used for an end time timeline, at least not in a predictive fashion. It just seems highly unlikely that anyone will ever be able to find any way to date "The Fall of Man" when the 6000 years must have begun as is required to make the 6000 years truly useful. Instead there are other time cycles in the Bible that can be used much more easily and can be verified to be correct. Bookmark this site, sign up for the newsletter and stay tuned for more on this.

See also

  1. What does "No Man Knows the Day Or Hour" really mean?
  2. 360 30 Day Month Year Coming According To Revelation
  3. 14000 Day Generation and Rapture on Rosh HaShana 2005?
  4. The Aviv Barley Biblical Calendar

Original article: Escape All These Things
Fair Use Notice