The 7 times of Daniel

by morning glory 3 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • morning glory
    morning glory

    CT Russell was not the only one and perhaps not even the first individual to create a doctrine out of the 7 times(2520 years) formula. Notice on this link how Alesha Sivartha,a forerunner of the "New Age" movement,also regarded 606BCE and 1914 as significant years in Bible prophecy;

    Sivartha put a bit of a different "twist" on the 7 times,however,applying it to the image in Daniel chpt.2 instead of to the stump of the cut down tree of Daniel chpt.4 that was prophesized to remain dormant until 7 times had elapsed.

    I found it interesting that another individual outside of CT Russell would regard 1914 as a prophetic year and arrive at his conclusion using the same 7 times formula.

    Does anyone know of any connection between CT Russel and Alesha Sivartha,or is this just coincidental?

  • jwfacts

    Russell did not originate the seven times. It was promoted throughout the 1800’s prior to Russell by John Aquila Brown, William Miller, E. B. Elliott, Robert Seeley, Joseph Seiss and Barbour.

    In 1823 John Aquila Brown published in The Even-Tide that the "seven times" of Daniel 4 were prophetic of 2520 years running from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in 604 B.C. to 1917 A.D. He did not equate this to the end of the Gentile Times.

    In the 1830’s a farmer named William Miller explained that a number of prophecies were to conclude in 1843, and so came to the conclusion that Daniel 4 was also to end in 1843. To do so he claimed the seven times started when Manasseh was taken as a captive to Babylon in 677 B.C. This was to signify the ‘time of the end’, the destruction of Babylon and when the dead would be raised. Apollos Hale and Sylvester Bliss corrected this date by removing the year zero that Miller had used in the calculation, promoting the time of the end to the year 1844.

    In 1840 John Dowling predicted Miller’s prophecy would not come true in 1843. In An Exposition of the Prophecies, Supposed by William Miller to Predict the Second Coming of Christ, in 1843 he wrote what is equally applicable to the Watchtower Society.

    “ Mr. Miller is not the first expounder of prophecy that has attempted dogmatically to decide upon the very year of the coming of Christ . I will not occupy these pages by relating the individual histories of the wise and positive interpreters of prophetic times, who have preceded Mr. Miller in fixing the year of the Judgment. Their histories were all alike . They succeeded as Mr. M. has, in awakening a degree of alarm in the bosoms of some simple people, who forgot that Christ has said "of that day and hour knoweth no man" -- the time drew on -- the year passed by, and the prophet and his doctrine were forgotten. … The reader but partially acquainted with the history of the world , and not aware of the manner in which Mr. M. continues to make his calculations all meet in the year 1843, thinks upon perusing the book that there are, to say the least, some very striking coincidences, and feels considerably staggered, if not convinced. … Let the reader peruse this passage and the chapter (Daniel 4) from which it is taken, and then imagine, if he can, by what stretch of ingenuity Mr. M. draws from it a proof of the coming of Christ to judgment in 1843. … He then looks into his Bible chronology, and finds that in the year BC 677 one of the kings of Judah, named Manasseh, was carried a prisoner to Babylon. Here, then, says Mr. M., must begin this punishment of seven times.”

    At Miller’s suggestion Samuel Snow calculated that the end would arrive on October 22. This was to correspond with the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month, the Day of Atonement for the year 1844. Rather than using the current Jewish calendar he used an older calendar invented by the Karaite Jews. Jehovah’s Witnesses still use the Karaite calendar in their calculations, including for the date of the memorial.

    When 1844 proved to be a false prophecy it was reworked by Second Adventists, such as Barbour and later promoted by Russell. The start date was moved to 606 B.C. the end date was moved to 1914 A.D. This was expected to culminate in Armageddon. With the failure for the end to eventuate in 1914 most Adventist groups came to recognise that Daniel 4 was not intended to have a second prophetic fulfilment and stopped referring to 1914 as being of significance. (

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    The 'Gentile Times' book does a great job at showing the evolution of this stretched out reasoning.
    It's so amazing how little the 'rank and file' JW knows about all of this stuff. Once my wife actually found out about the facts surrounding the dates and the type of people who where making the claims about them her faith in the Society went to zero.
    JWs really think that THE BIBLE STUDENTS ALONE where making this known!
    It's all simply built on confustion, the less you know the more 'psuedofaith' you have!

  • morning glory
    morning glory

    jwfacts- Thanks for your info and the research you had done on this subject. Russell obviously was not the first to try to use the 7 times formula in determining certain prophetic dates.

    drew sagan - you said,"

    JWs really think that THE BIBLE STUDENTS ALONE where making this known!" I agree.That is the perception of the JWs that their religion is so unique. If they were not living under a "fishbowl" mentality and took the liberty of doing some personal research,they would see that they are only getting a one sided version,the WTS's version.

    As far as pinpointing 1914 as a prophetic year using the 2520 year formula,the fact remains that so far,I have found only two individuals who did this -(1) CT Russell in collaboration with Barbour,and (2) Alesha Sivartha in his Book of Life.Both writers published their conclusions within a few decades of each other. Also both incorporated pyramids into their theology,although for different purposes,it seems. It could be coincidental. I am not sure.

    Russell had apparantly looked into "eastern" religious beliefs when he was younger and Sivartha's Book of Life seems to originate from that particular area of religious thought.Don't know if there is any connection or not!

    Again,thanks for your replies.


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