This universal change could not have been decreed by one relatively unknown king in one part of the world. It could only be because the Earth had changed position and the old calendar no longer worked. When the Spaniards landed in Mexico they reported that the Mexicans celebrated their New Year's day on the "sixth and twentie day of February." All over the world the new calendar began with that astronomical event. This means that for ancient history before that date any astronomical calculations are useless. That is, the system of calculating backward to date a particular eclipse or other event does not work before the date of 747 BC.

This 747 BC date fits into the time of Amos, according to some systems of dating. This provides another strong evidence that some of the destructions mentioned by Amos and Isaiah really happened in past history—fascinating stories, almost hidden.

Teaching Ideas

For children's Bible study or devotions, present this in three parts.

  1. Amos's prophecy. Read Amos 1:1-2. What will happen to Mount Carmel? Skim read all of chapter 1 and part of chapter 2 to find the words fire. Read Isaiah 1:7-9 to see his description of the fulfilled prophecy. Prophecy is a noun; prophesy, a verb. (Pronounced PRAH-fuh-see and PRAH-fuh-sigh.)
  2. Hezekiah's illness. Read Isaiah 38:1-9. Notice from verses 5 to 7 that the sundial sign is both for Hezekiah's illness and for saving the city. The Bible tells each story separately and does not clearly show the sequence of these events. 
  3. Destruction of Assyria's army. Read Isaiah 36:2a; 37:5-7,36. Connect blast of verse 7 with angel of verse 36. God controls the cosmos with his heavenly messengers variously called angels, sons of God, morning stars, or the host of heaven.

Dr. Ruth Beechick is retired from a long and varied career in education, and lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She now writes for homeschoolers, whom she sees as the greatest hope for the future of our society. Her books for homeschooling parents can be found at

This article was originally published in the Jan/Feb '05 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, visit