What is the reasoning that the seventh day of rest is 7000 years?

by jwfacts 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • BluesBrother

    I always used to ask that question.

    It is important because the reasoning on chronology went something like ,

    "We know the seventh creative day of rest is seven thousand years and it would have started after the creation of Eve. We also know that we have had six thousand years of mans existence, and the millennium has to be fitted in before Jesus hands back a perfect world to Jehovah at the end of the millenium - so we must be pretty darn close to the end"

    I know it makes no sense , dont blame me I just used to believe it .

  • Narkissos

    Besides the obvious circular reasoning involving 1914 as the start of the "last generation" (understood stricto sensu back then), it had long struck me that the "7,000 years" theory tacitly implied an unprovable assumption, namely that the so-called "creative days" had to be a round number. Why not 6,999 or 7,001 years? The God who made the lunar and solar cycles doesn't seem to be so fond of round numbers after all.

  • Mysterious

    Ever get the feeling that bible chronology is like a bad game of telephone?

  • hamsterbait

    On page 36 of the book "Life Everlasting iin the Freedom of the Sons of God"

    A chart is printed saying that Christs millennial reign ends in 2975 A.D..

    The whole thing was worked out backwards to support this dung.

    Only by promoting the chronology in the book "Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained " could they continue to promote a ridiculous idea that the earth as we know it had existed for only 49 000 years. And that book DID promote that.


  • Seeker4

    Auldsoul, I think you've got it wrong on this one, and Blondie and Hamsterbait have it right. They get the 7,000-year-long creative days by using "Bible chronology" (as only the WTS can!) for the 7th day and coming up with 6000 years from Eve's creation til Armageddon, and then adding on the 1000 year reign of Christ, and then assuming that each of the other days was the same length of 7000 years. Like it was said, they start at the end and work back.

    You see, the 7th day was supposed to go from Jehovah having a paradise earth with perfect inhabitants (Adam and the lovely Eve), all the way back to a paradise at the end of the 1000 year reign with everyone all perfect again. Then the final test.

    One of the great chronological blunders of WTS thinking, a genuine quantum leap, is that the 7th day began the moment Eve was created. Who says? Why couldn't old Jehovah have waited a year, or 50 years, before the end of that day and the start of the 7th?

    As it stands right now in JW thinking, Adam was created (in 6,075 BC), so it's been 31 years that he's been alone in Eden waiting for Eve to show up. No wonder he got lonely! Those sheep must be looking mighty tempting to Adam at this point!


  • jwfacts

    Pete, interesting point. Even the WTS changed their dating. Russell said the 6000 years ended 1874, Franz said it ended 1975.

    Nark, that struck me too, that Jehovah is not bound by our 24 hour cycle, in fact, the first creative days were before the division of day and night and the earth was put in its 24 hour rotation.

    The Watchtowern regularly works doctrine backward. If we were already 7000 years after creation the Watchtower would have said the 1000 year reign starts at the end of 7000 years. If we were 49,900 years after creation then they would have used the 50 year jubilee to come up with this number. It is amazing to read some of Russells and Rutherfords works and see how they massaged numbers and parallels to come up with numerous 'proofs' for dates that have long since been discarded.

  • Terry

    We are the beneficiaries of a mindset, you and me.

    The mindset was Adventist. It was born in a time and place back in the 19th century unlike today.

    After centuries of "dark ages" where you just shut the hell up and said your prayers and attended church, there came a time unlike the rest. Men (devout men) grew more and more confident that a certain kind of science and mathematics was useful to everyday life. The Industrial Revolution convinced them that PROGRESS was a good thing indeed! Confidence in science and numbers began to seem like a really good way to approach what had previously been off-limits: the Bible.

    Adventurous souls who simply KNEW the Bible was the inerrant messege planted by an ineffably genius creator tackled the hidden importance of scriptures suspected to impart specific knowledge of times and places relevant to END TIMES!

    The Adventist movement was born!

    Sad to say it only produced quacks and charlatans and imaginative speculations and musing dressed up to look exactly like science and certainty and pure logic.

    Men with head for figures could amass quite a repertory of demonstrations, proofs and connectives to bring alive a more transcendant expertise than is today imaginable. Yes, there were men who could, by god, explain how the END WAS NEAR the way 2+2 can be shown to equal 4.

    These sorts of men were different than mere hack preachers. The Adventists had charts of dispensations and chronologies and all sorts of demonstrations factual and impressive that could turn your head plum around, yes sir!

    Charles Taze Russell was the victim of just such a demonstration at the very time he was the most needy of something that could rescue his dying faith in anything biblical or godly.

    Once bitten by this bug there was no turning back for him! Charles T. Russell seized the day! He had what he was after and ran with it. He threw his entire fortune into making the pieces of the puzzle known to all.

    It is to his credit he did this, certainly. To do otherwise would be hedging his full faith.

    But, such was his certainty that he went awry soon enough and fell back repeatedly on the worst of man's most vulnerable traits..........he believed his own lies and sought to cover them with bigger ones.

    By the time his life ended on a train in Texas in 1916, Charles Russell had twisted and reassembled his "proofs" into an unrecognizable mishmash of lunacy and backpeddled nonsense. He simply must have known deep in his heart of hearts that nothing was as he believed it was. What he died with was pure stubborn refusal to admit he was wrong about all of it. But, he didn't have to. Enough patrons had bought shares in his enterprise that it was tempting enough for Judge Rutherford to see great prospects in continuing the charade.

    It has ever been such since his day. It finally came down to something less (much less) elegant than science, math and proof. It simply became a game of making up whatever could be imagined and pretending it was true and factual and right around the corner. The liar who believes his own lies is fool enough to fool others. Seven million strong bought shares in beachfront property in Paradise where none has ever existed.

    The story is certainly something to amuse and persuade the best of us. But, it is intellectually dishonest now and shopworn and dull. It has become a burden and a ruse.

    The numbers mean little or nothing and nobody bothers to learn them, much less, explain them.

    They just exercise themselves into BELIEVING it.....ALL of it and that's that.

    Don't trouble a Jehovah's Witness to actually explain it to you. They can't be bothered.


  • jwfacts

    Great comment Terry.

    He simply must have known deep in his heart of hearts that nothing was as he believed it was.

    In 1916 Russell must have had huge doubts, despite his continuing on pretending all was OK with his religion. He had a succession of failed dates, but none were more certain or adamantly wrong than the failure of 1914. I have wondered if this dissappointed is what killed him.

    Seven million strong bought shares in beachfront property in Paradise where none has ever existed.

    Put that way it sounds like any other scam, such as a fool who pays money to buy the Golden Gate bridge. As the world gets more educated so do the scammers, I wonder if the WTS will come up with 21st century scams, or just fade off into the horizon of forgotten hoaxes.

  • AlanF

    Narkissos has it exactly right. The Society used the arguments that blondie mentioned to decide that in the decades before 1975 we were close to Armageddon, nearly 6,000 years into human history. Then it tacked on the 1,000 year reign of Christ and came up with a figure just shy of 7,000 years. Then it simply assumed -- no arguments needed since this was also Russell's assumption and a Watchtower tradition -- that the figure for the 7th day must have been exactly 7,000 years.

    I pointed out all this and then some in a 1972 letter to the Society. Their reply was that I was right, that the exact number was just a hopeful assumption. I hoped to see some correction of the matter appear in WTS literature, but it never did. Best to keep the cult member's busy with 1975, right? This all contributed to my gradual demise as a JW.

    Incidentally, Young-Earth Creationists have nicely tackled the argument that Hebrews indicates the length of the 7th day. References can be found in my thread on why the Society rejects Genesis from a couple of weeks ago.


  • stevenyc

    The answer comes from the beatiful article "Why are you looking forward to 1975" printed in the watchtower, Aug 15, 1968:

    I'd love to copy it out because not only is it hillarious but only the article that caused thousands to leave. But, alas, it's a long one. It basicly says that the start of the seventh creative day began AFTER Adam had named all the animals and Eve was created, but BEFORE they sinned. They say that Adam was created 6000 before 1975, but the day ended later.

    The 7th creative day is 6000 years long + 1000 years of christs reign.

    Here are the highlights:

    Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?

    WHAT about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion.

    2 But wait! How do we know their calculations are correct? What basis is there for saying Adam was created nearly 5,993 years ago? Does the one Book that can be implicitly trusted for its truthful historical accuracy, namely, the Inspired Word of Jehovah, the Holy Bible, give support and credence to such a conclusion?



    16 Already with the help supplied by the Bible we have accurately measured back from the spring of this year 1968 C.E. to the spring of 1513 B.C.E., a total of 3,480 years. With the continued faithful memory and accurate historical record of Jehovah’s Holy Word we can penetrate even deeper into the past, back to the flood of Noah’s day.


    From start of Flood

    To Arpachshad’s birth (Gen. 11:10) 2 years

    To birth of Shelah (11:12) 35 “

    To birth of Eber (11:14) 30 “

    To birth of Peleg (11:26) 34 “

    To birth of Reu (11:18) 30 “

    To birth of Serug (11:20) 32 “

    To birth of Nahor (11:22) 30 “

    To birth of Terah (11:24) 29 “

    To death of Terah in Haran, and

    Abram’s departure to Canaan

    at age of 75 (11:32; 12:4) 205 “

    Total 427 years

    25 Adding these 427 years to the year 1943 B.C.E. dates the beginning of the Deluge at 2370 B.C.E., 4,337 years ago.


    26 In a similar manner it is only necessary to add up the following years involving ten pre-Flood generations to get the date of Adam’s creation, namely:

    From Adam’s creation

    To birth of Seth (Gen. 5:3) 130 years

    To birth of Enosh (5:6) 105 “

    To birth of Kenan (5:9) 90 “

    To birth of Mahalalel (5:12) 70 “

    To birth of Jared (5:15) 65 “

    To birth of Enoch (5:18) 162 “

    To birth of Methuselah (5:21) 65 “

    To birth of Lamech (5:25) 187 “

    To birth of Noah (5:28, 29) 182 “

    To beginning of Flood (7:6) 600 “

    Total 1,656 years


    27 Adding this figure 1,656 to 2,370 gives 4026 B.C.E., the Gregorian calendar year in which Adam was created. Since man naturally began to count time with his own beginning, and since man’s most ancient calendars started each year in the autumn, it is reasonable to assume that the first man Adam was created in the fall of the year.


    That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher’s figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind!


    . Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.


    33 This time between Adam’s creation and the beginning of the seventh day, the day of rest, let it be noted, need not have been a long time. It could have been a rather short one. The naming of the animals by Adam, and his discovery that there was no complement for himself, required no great length of time. The animals were in subjection to Adam; they were peaceful; they came under God’s leading; they were not needing to be chased down and caught. It took Noah only seven days to get the same kinds of animals, male and female, into the Ark. (Gen. 7:1-4) Eve’s creation was quickly accomplished, ‘while Adam was sleeping.’ (Gen. 2:21) So the lapse of time between Adam’s creation and the end of the sixth creative day, though unknown, was a comparatively short period of time. The pronouncement at the end of the sixth day, “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good,” proves that the beginning of the great seventh day of the creative week did not wait until after Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.


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