# Were the there only 55 שמיטה years between the Exodus and the First Temple?

The sefer Sifsei Cohen (not to be confused with the commentary on the Shulchan Aruch) on VaYetzeh, Beraishis 28:13 writes the following:

ואמר הארץ אשר אתה שוכב עליה לך אתננה...עוד אתננה אתן נה פי׳ אחר נ״ה שמיטות אחר יציאת מצרים נבנה בית המקדש

He writes that the First Temple was built 55 shmittas after the Exodus. How does this work out?

Now, according to מלכים א, ו:א, the First Temple was began 480 years after the Exodus. It was completed seven years later.

Now 55 x 7 = 385, which is much less than 480. Perhaps he doesn't mean to count all the seven year periods, but only the actual Shmitta years observed. Now, the Shmitta cycle only began 14 years after Israel's entry into the Land. That was 54 years after the Exodus. 480 - 54 = 426 years of Shmitta observance before the First Temple. That number is still much larger than 385. Even if we were to add the seven יובל years in 55 shmittas, would only bring us to 392 which is still far less than 426.

Can anyone figure out what the ש"ך is talking about?

• Kind of a guess - it counts until the time that Dovid aquired the land for the Beis Hamikdosh (the time the place was chosen). I have to check if the timeline works out, which I don't have time to do now. – Yishai Nov 4 '13 at 22:50
• @Yishai I don't think that would work. David bought the farm towards the end of his reign. and we would still need 34 years. – Double AA Nov 5 '13 at 5:23
• Thanks, Yishai- I was thinking along those lines too, but as AA comments, that was too late. However, what about the year that Dovid attempted to build the בית המקדש? (Shmuel II, 7) What year was that? – Ephraim Nov 5 '13 at 7:09
• Thinking about this, I think the only reasonable way to understand it is that it means a minimum of 55 shmitos. More would still count. It could be there is a reason that adds up some delay, or some reason not to count them, but it just seems likely that it means after 55 or more shmitos. But absent a medrash or something more well known that excludes the other years from the shmittah count, I think that is the reasonable approach. – Yishai Nov 5 '13 at 17:39