For those not sick to death of talking about this...607 BCE

by Swamboozled 601 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • AlanF

    In his post 42, thirdwitness wrote:

    : Before you bring up the prosperous rule of Amasis according to Herodutus during this time of Egyptian history let me do it for you.

    In post 7742, Leolaia has done an admirable job of debunking your nonsense. I will add to it.

    : And then note this:

    : Encyclopaedia Britannica (1959, Vol. 8, p. 62) comments on Herodotus’ history of this period: "His statements prove not entirely reliable when they can be checked by the scanty native evidence."

    : The Bible Commentary by F. C. Cook, after noting that Herodotus even fails to mention Nebuchadnezzar’s attack on Egypt, says: "It is notorious that Herodotus, while he faithfully recorded all that he heard and saw in Egypt, was indebted for his information on past history to the Egyptian priests, whose tales he adopted with blind credulity. . . . The whole story [by Herodotus] of Apries [Hophra] and Amasis is mixed with so much that is inconsistent and legendary that we may very well hesitate to adopt it as authentic history. It is by no means strange that the priests should endeavour to disguise the national dishonour of having been subjected to a foreign yoke." (Note B., p. 132)

    You're a very naughty boy, thirdwitness! You borrowed the above two paragraphs virtually verbatim from the Insight book, Vol. 1, p. 698, under the topic "Egypt, Egyptian". Have you no shame in plagiarizing the words of "the faithful and discreet slave"? One of its legal corporations, such as The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, is liable to take legal action against you!

    Anyway, your quotations really have nothing to do with proving your case. The Britannica statement is merely a general observation that sometimes ancient historians get things wrong. Duh! What a revelation! But such general comments are meaningless without substantiating data. And Leolaia has given plenty of substantiating date in post 7742, that Herodotus' statements about the period of Amasis' reign are generally reliable.

    As for the Society's quoting F. C. Cook, this is a very typical example of its scholastic dishonesty. While Cook certainly states what is quoted, what is quoted leaves out the context and, most importantly, Cook's statements that completely devastate the Society's overall claims. Note that Cook published an extensive set called The Bible Commentary around 1876.

    In the "Note B." mentioned in the Watchtower quotation, Cook is mainly concerned with his perception that certain historical details mentioned by Herodotus do not quite correspond with the prophecies of Ezekiel 26-29. He states (pp. 131-2):

    We have seen that the prophecies of Ezekiel against Egypt were in all probability delivered at the commencement of the reign of Apries or Pharaoh-Hophra (see Introduction S III). At this time Ezekiel predicted his downfall. That Pharaoh-Hophra was deposed and put to death is unquestioned, but the circumstance of his overthrow and the condition of Egypt which ensued are stated by Herodotus in terms which do not appear to correspond with the prophecy of Ezekiel.

    Cook then goes on to complain that Herodotus states that Apries' successor Amasis was crowned king after a revolt, whereas he believes that Nebuchadnezzar actually conquered Egypt in a limited way, killed Hophra and perhaps installed Amasis as king. It is in this argument that Cook makes the statements quoted (or rather plagiarized by thirdwitness) above.

    But none of this has anything to do with Ezekiel's 40-year prophecy about Egypt. Indeed, in "Note B." Cook, after concluding his argument as described above, goes on to talk about this prophecy. His comments are devastating to the Watchtower's and thirdwitness' claim that this prophecy is literal (pp. 132-3):

    There is yet another discrepancy between the narrative of Herodotus and the prophecy of Ezekiel. The prophecy speaks of the utter desolation of Egypt; the historian says that in the reign of Amasis the land was most flourishing, "both with regard to the advantages conferred by the river on the soil and by the soil on the inhabitants," and that the country "could boast no less than 20,000 inhabited cities" (Herod. II. 177). This is also confirmed by the existence of many monuments bearing the mark of this reign, which attest the wealth and luxury of the inhabitants (Wilkinson, I. p. 180).

    Nebuchadnezzar's occupation of Egypt was of no long duration, and his ravages, though severe, must have been partial; when the army was withdrawn, Amasis took to building. Peace with Babylon was favourable to internal works, but since the peace was in truth subjugation, it was hollow and in fact ruinous. It is evident that wealth and luxury are at all times consistent with a state of imminent ruin. Even in the later days of the Jewish monarchs we find prophets lifting up their voice against riches and maginficence (Jer. xxii. 14).

    But the more complete solution of the difficulty is to be found in the observation, that God is often wont to fulfil his decree by a gradual rather than an immediate process. This was seen in the case of Jerusalem itself, where, after the captivity of Jeconiah, there followed a kind of lull which deceived many into the belief that the storm was over. And so in regard to Egypt. The ravages of Nebuchadnezzar were the beginning of the end, and all the desolation which followed may be looked upon as a continuous fulfilment of the decree of the Almighty Ruler of the universe. The savage fury with which Cambyses swept over Egypt amply realized all that Ezekiel foretold. So that when the Ptolemies established their new Egyptian kingdom, Old Egypt had become a riddle for the antiquary. It is true many places recovered a considerable degree of wealth and prosperity, as we find from the descriptions of Herodotus, Bubastis for instance (see on xxx. 17). But from his time the kingdom never again became really independent. The 28th dynasty, which lasted nearly 100 years, is simply a list of the Persian kings, from Cambyses to Darius Nothus. . . So thoroughly was the prophecy of Ezekiel fulfilled: They shall be there a base kingdom, it shall be the basest of kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations; for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.

    A bit earlier in Note B., Cook stated with regard to the gradual decline of Babylonian influence during Amasis' rule (p. 132):

    Since, in the decline of Babylonian power under the successors of Nebuchadnezzar, Amasis may have very well shaken off the yoke and freed himself from the tribute; he would also in such case have established his authority over his own subjects.

    This explains why Amasis, in 547 B.C., would have been able to ally himself with the Babylonians against the Persians. But if Egypt had been completely desolated until 548, there would have been no time for the repatriated people to establish themselves, much less form an army capable of challenging the Persians.

    Finally, commenting on the crucial verses 10-12 in Ezekiel 29, Cook wrote (p. 129):

    10-12. We have no record of the circumstances of the Chaldaean invasion of Egypt (see Note A at end of Chapter). We gather of what nature it must have been by comparing the description of the results of Sennacherib's conquest (Isai. xxxvii. 25 foll.), and of the ravages of an invading army in Joel. Compare also 2 K. xxi. 13 and Jer. xlvi. 19, where the removal of the inhabitants is especially mentioned. We are not to insist upon minute fulfilment of every detail of prophecy. Desolation and ruin are described by depicting their usual accompaniments. The prophecy insists upon the general fact that Egypt will for a time, described as forty yeas, be in a state of collapse.

    forty years] No great stress is to be laid on the exact number of years. The number of years passed by the Children of Israel in the wilderness became to the Hebrews a significant period of chastisement. See above iv. 6. and Note B at end of Chapter.

    In Note A, Cook gives a list of ancient documents that fully establish the dates of the kings of the 26th dynasty of Egypt (Leolaia documents many of these). His dates are the same or within one year of currently accepted dates. Of course, this leaves no room for a 40-year complete desolation of Egypt.

    : It is not surprising that Egyptian records do not contain any references to a 40 year desolation at that time just as they do not record the Hebrew's exodus from Egypt almost one thousand years earlier.

    Completely irrelevant, for reasons indicated above.

    : As one investigator of the matter says: "To cover up the humiliating defeat at the hands of Babylon, the Egyptian priests later invented the story that Egypt was never more prosperous than during these 40 years! Yet archaeologically the period in Egypt is a total blank. A few remains have been attributed to this period -- a dated grave here and there. But they were only late reburials of those who died abroad in captivity and whose families could afford the expense.

    What investigator? You've given yet another unattributed quotation. Readers will note, given your scholastically dishonest plagiarizing of the Society's literature, and its grossly dishonest use of F. C. Cook's comments, that you are not to be trusted.

    : The only document to record the total destruction of Egypt was discovered in 1878. In that year a mutilated cuneiform cylinder was discovered, disclosing an event of Nebuchadnezzar's thirty-seventh year. It was purchased by the British Museum. The fragmentary remains are difficult to translate. The record is cast in the form of a plaintive prayer from Nebuchadnezzar to Merodach, god of Babylon.

    Your lies about this have already been exposed by another poster. That document says nothing whatsoever about a total destruction of Egypt.

    Here is another reference that directly contradicts a literal interpretation of Ezekiel's 40-year prophecy:

    The Keil-Delizsch Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. IX, "Ezekiel, Daniel", "The Prophecies of Ezekiel", p. 8.) discusses Ezekiel 29:10-12 and concludes:

    The number forty is neither a round number (Hitzig) nor a very long time (Ewald), but is a symbolical term denoting a period appointed by God for punishment and penitence (see the comm. on ch. iv. 6), which is not to be understood in a chronological sense, or capable of being calculated.

    This is essentially what F. C. Cook said in the above quotations.

    Many other Bible commentaries say essentially the same thing as the above, and it would be guilding the lily to quote them.

    The point is now sufficiently established: the 40-year "desolation prophecy" of Ezekiel 29:10-12 must be taken as at best figurative or symbolic, for the following reasons:

    (1) Ezekiel 26 contains a prophecy that Tyre would be destroyed and never rebuilt; it was destroyed and rebuilt several times in the course of history and exists today with some 270,000 inhabitants.

    (2) The false prophecy of Ezekiel 26 shows that all other prophecies in Ezekiel must be viewed in light of demonstrated historical facts.

    (3) The 40-year prophecy of Ezekiel 29 contradicts known historical facts, as demonstrated by Leolaia and other posters.

    (4) Various Bible commentators agree that the figure of 40 years in Ezekiel 29 must be viewed as figurative or symbolic.

    (5) Watchtower defenders have given no reason to doubt the above points, but have given only speculation and mere nay-saying.


  • Jeffro
    Steve, I am afraid that your interpretation of Ezek 26 is obviously wrong according to Zech, Isaiah, and thus Jehovah. I don't think that Jehovah would be happy if you tell him that his prophets Zech and Isaiah are liars. It seems Jehovah knew what he wanted Ezekiel to say and he clarified exactly what he meant through the words of the other prophets. I will choose to take the interpretation of Isaiah and Zechariah as to what Ezekiel was saying over your interpretation.

    Notice that when confronted with the 2 possibilities that either a) the bible is wrong or b) their interpretation is wrong, thirdwitness feels that anyone disagreeing with him must be saying that the bible is wrong, because he cannot imagine the possibility that it is his interpretation that is wrong, although the bible conflicts with his interpretation, and his interpretation is completely inconsistent with the known facts.

  • Jeffro
    Tyre ruins. Hey look. Ezekiel and even Jehovah just might be right after all.

    Funny that there are television antennas on those 'ruins' on the right side of the first picture!

  • skeptic2

    This thread is great! It's interesting to see how these WT arguments can be so effectively dismantled.

    Do you believe God's word the Bible or the conclusions of secular historians based on Egyptian records?

    Err... I'll take option 2.

    Once you decide that then you can also decide do I believe the Bible based 607 or the conclusions made by secular historians that 587 is correct?

    Err... option 2 again please.

    What do I win?

  • Jeffro


    Oh, but perhaps you misspoke! Perhaps you meant Ezekiel 26:5, which reads thus:

    You're not meant to mention verses 5 and 6 (that Tyre would be "an object of plunder for the nations. And her dependent towns that are in the field—by the sword they will be killed") because they destroy the article's destorted and mythological claim that the 70 years of being "forgotten" were meant to mean "commercially".


  • rassillon

    Alan, Leolaia I concede to your obvious superior knowlege on this matter. Yall's posts have been very well written and have addressed the points specifically without bias. Which is most appreciated. Thanks! ThirdWitness, You still have not answered my post directly I do not know why. I will expand since you have sort of touched on points in other posts. HERE YOU GO - ONLY BIBLICAL

    (Ezekiel 32:11-15) 11 "For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘The very sword of the king of Babylon will come upon you. 12 I shall cause your crowd to fall by the very swords of mighty ones, the tyrants of [the] nations, all of them; and they will actually despoil the pride of Egypt, and all her crowd must be annihilated. 13 And I will destroy all her domestic animals from beside many waters, and the foot of earthling man will no more muddy them, nor will even the hoofs of a domestic animal muddy them.14 "‘At that time I shall make their waters clear up, and their rivers I shall make go just like oil,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. 15 "‘When I make the land of Egypt a desolate waste and the land is desolated of its fullness, when I strike down all the inhabitants in it, they will also have to know that I am Jehovah.

    This is biblically part of the prophecy against Egypt.

    Now I ask you:

    Did "all her crowd" get annihilated?

    Did her waters get muddied ever again?

    Were "all the inhabitants" struck down?

    Since you wont answer me I will answer myself

    Certainly the fact that Egypt continued to exist these things can be taken as a figure of speech. As is the case with other parts of EZEKIEL which I have alluded to in my other posts.


    Contrary to what you say.

    The two options here are, NOT if the bible is true or not


    Is THIRDWITNESS' interpretation correct or not?

    It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that you are intionally ignoring facts to preserve YOUR interpretation.

    It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that 40 year prophecy about Egypt means nothing with regards to when Jerusalem was destroyed.

    This is not a matter of is the bible wrong, it is a matter of THIRDWITNESS is wrong.

    The fact that you will not answer directly and allow the facts speak for themselves proves this to be fact.

    You have put yourself above the bible and above Jehovah God himself


  • Hellrider


    To put it simply:

    Do you believe God's word the Bible or the conclusions of secular historians based on Egyptian records?

    Once you decide that then you can also decide do I believe the Bible based 607 or the conclusions made by secular historians that 587 is correct?

    The only problem is: This is a false dichotomy. Of course, you want to belive that this dichotomy is correct, because it makes it so simple and oh-so-cosy for you, because then you can continue believing in the 607-lie. In addition to that, it is you agenda to make other jws browsing this forum believe the same. But the dichotomy is FALSE, as has been demonstrated by so many posters here that I hesitate to count them. I hope you get well soon.

  • jayhawk1

    A sure sign of UNADMITTED DEFEAT by thirdwitness when he says...

    The point being:

    The ancient city of Tyre is in ruins today and has not been rebuilt. In New York a city has been built and named Tyre but it is not the spot where the ancient city of Tyre was. Also nearby the ancient Tyre ruins a city has been built and named Tyre. But the spot where the ancient city of Tyre was remains in ruins and has not been rebuilt.

    What does city in New York have to do with Tyre, Lebanon? How many cities have the same name? Do not most people prefer to live in comfort or ruins? Is Tyre the fourth largest city in Lebanon? Is thirdwitness throwing absurd ideas out there to make his point or confuse anybody who could probably back him?
  • AuldSoul
    Leolaia: thirdwitness....A 40-year desolation and depopulation of Egypt is not something there is any evidence of other than a prediction of the future given in Ezekiel. Although you try to place the burden of proof on us to prove that there was no such period in Egyptian history (i.e. you want us to prove a negative), the burden is actually on you to substantiate the existence of this period in the first place. Dismissing out of hand all the historical evidence that contradicts this claim is no substitute for furnishing positive evidence in support of your claim. In other words, if a person from the year AD 4542 were to claim that the United States was completely desolated and uninhabited for forty years from 1940-1979, it is not enough to claim that all the documents and reminiscenes of WWII, Elvis Presley, Nixon, and Jimmy Hoffa that survive into the fifth millennium AD are mere attempts to cover up the embarassing truth that America was completely destroyed in 1940. One would also have to show that such an event did in fact happen. So how do you expect us to "explain the forty years" when there is apparently nothing to explain?


    Beautifully done. If anyone cannot see the glaring flaw in the JW style of reasoning from the way you stated this, they are truly blinded. The same applies to the 20 year gap.

    If someone in the year 4542 AD found a prophecy from 1876 that prophesied a party of Arabs would be resurrected/revived from Babylon that would exercise dominion over its land for 60 years. Baath means resurrection and revival. The Baathists did revive in Babylon (modern day Iraq). But they only exercised dominion for 40 years, not 60. If a religion based its beliefs on the Baath party having been in power in Iraq for 60 years, wouldn't its adherents be required to either PROVE that the Baathists came into Iraqi power before 1963 or PROVE they were stripped of power after 2003, or some mix of the two?


  • AuldSoul
    thirdwitness: Do you believe God's word the Bible or the conclusions of secular historians based on Egyptian records?


    What I don't believe is the interpretation of the Bible provided by a religious organization with an abysmally poor track record of interpretting their prophecies correctly. I have yet to find a prophecy that hasn't had its Bible Student's/Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretted meaning adjusted at least once. So, when it comes to determining who it is that is more likely wrong, I have to decide the religious organization is most likely wrong. And adherents to the doctrines of the religious organization are also very likely wrong.


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