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THE UPCOMING SEVENTH MILLENNIUM: JUST ONE YEAR AWAY IRVING M. KLOTZ* Extensive preparations are being made for a "GreatJubilee" during the year 2000 "beginning at the start ofthe third millennium." In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, proclaiming this GreatJubilee, PopeJohn Paul II invites all Christians to prepare themselves for this extraordinary occasion. In contrast, no attention is being devoted to the even earlier advent of a more portentous millennium, the Seventh, which will arrive in 1997,just a year away. As has been pointed out in editions of the English KingJames version of the Bible since 1701, Creation occurred in the year 4004 bc. If we add six millennia, 6,000 years that have passed since then, we arrive at the year ad 1996. Thus the Seventh Millennium will start in 1997. The original source of the assignment of Creation to the year 4004 bc is a very scholarly book by the Most Reverend James Ussher, Archbishop ofArmagh, Primate ofIreland and Vice-Chancellor ofTrinity College, Dublin , published in Latin in 1650. An English edition appeared in 1658. The English title is The Annals of the World: Deducedfrom the Origin of Time, and Continued to the Beginning of the Emperour Vespasians Reign . . . Containing the Historie of the Old and New Testament .... Ussher's deduction of "origin of time" was based on an analysis of the "book of generations," Genesis, which provides the following information: "And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son . . . and called him Seth . . . and Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begot Enosh . . . and Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Kenan ..." (Genesis 5:1-32). The detailed chronology of this type continues to Noah and his sons. From this information one can establish, for example, thatAdam died in the year 930 post-Creation (pC) and that Noah's Ark was built in the year 1660 pC. Continuing this analysis of events described in the Bible, one can reach a stage when the events described overlap with other historical * Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208.© 1997 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0031-5982/97/4002-0993$01.00 Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 40, 3 ¦ Spring 1997 415 records and secular calendars. Making these connections, Bishop Ussher arrived at the conclusion that God created the world in the year 4004 bc Thus the Seventh Millennium will start next year, 1997—before the Third Millennium. In current tradition, the first day should be 1 January 1997. However, Bishop Ussher from his researches concluded that " [The] beginning of time . . . fell upon the entrance of the night preceding the twenty third day of October in the year of the Julian calendar 710 [i.e., 4004 bc] . . . The first day of the world [was] our Sunday." Moreover, if, as Ussher says, time began at the "entrance of the night preceding," then Creation took place on Saturday evening, 22 October. However, there was some disagreement among Bishop Ussher's contemporaries as to the precise day of Creation. John Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and a distinguished Biblical scholar in his own right, places the date Man was created somewhat earlier than Ussher's (and adds that the precise time was 9 am). According to Genesis 1:26-31, Adam appeared on the sixth day of Creation. Thus the advent of the Seventh Millennium should probably be set at the Sunday closest to Ussher's day for Creation, or 19 October 1997. Plans for an appropriate Jubilee must be formulated, carefully, for the Seventh Millennium poses portentous problems never faced before in all of human history. According to Genesis 2:2, "on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work." Furthermore, according to Psalms 90:4, for God 1,000 years corresponds to a day. Thus we must face the realization that the Seventh Millennium will be a Sabbatical Millennium. For 1,000 years, starting in October 1997, God will "rest from all His work." Obviously there will be no miracles, no divine interventions during this period. Furthermore, pleas and prayers would disturb His rest, so...