The 70 years of devastation--as revealed by the Bible

by AddaGirl 73 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • bennyk

    "Scholar" writes:

    There being multiple 'seventy years' is impossible for this only confuses the subjects and using other dates such as 605 BCE or 609 BCE are also impossible for the beginning of the period is also impossible. Further, the ending of the period in 539 BCE is also sadly impossible.

    Actually, you are very mistaken. Jeremiah 25:11b,12a states: "[T]hese nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it must occur that when seventy years have been fulfilled I shall call to account against the king of Babylon... " As the nations ceased their servitude in 539, the ending of the period in 539 B.C.E. is not only NOT "impossible" -- it is necessary.

  • Narkissos

    AG, re: 2 Chronicles:

    The mention of the temple reconstruction as the purpose of the `aliyah (return from exile) in v. 23 (which belongs to a different unit, since v. 22f are pasted from Ezra 1 to change the former tragical conclusion into a happy ending) doesn't change the fact that the 70 years qualify the desolation of the land, to which the "sabbaths" apply. Let me start the quote earlier and do my own highlighting:

    He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

    The terminus ad quem is explicitly marked as the same as (A) in my previous post.

  • AddaGirl


    I agree with you 100%. None of the Bible Scripture ever says that the desolation of Jerusalem was for 70 years. It actually was desolate for only 50 years.

    Jeremiah 25:11-12 And all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon 70 years. And it must occur that when 70 years have been fulfilled, I shall call to account the king of Babylon.....

    The devastation of Jerusalem is actually 70 years, with no house for Jehovah. (586-516 BCE) Cyrus was commissionsed by Jehovah to build him a house. That did not start until after the Jews were released in 537 BCE. They were allowed to return to Jerusalem for the construction. The devastation ended when the temple was rebuilt 20 years later under Darius.

  • AddaGirl


    Could you consider that the land was paying for its sabbaths with no house of Jehovah on the land for 70 years?

  • Narkissos


    1) That's not what the text says: the 70 years are connected with the land, not the temple, and "until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia" clearly points to Cyrus. (Cf. the same construction `ad melokh" in 1 Chronicles 4:21, "until David became king".)

    2) The temple is not central to the sabbatical system in Leviticus.

    3) The parallel reference in Leviticus 26:34,43 is to the exile and the corresponding desolation of the land:

    Then the land shall enjoy its sabbath years as long as it lies desolate, while you are in the land of your enemies; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its sabbath years. As long as it lies desolate, it shall have the rest it did not have on your sabbaths when you were living on it. (...) For the land shall be deserted by them, and enjoy its sabbath years by lying desolate without them.

  • JCanon
    Actually, you are very mistaken. Jeremiah 25:11b,12a states: "[T]hese nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it must occur that when seventy years have been fulfilled I shall call to account against the king of Babylon... " As the nations ceased their servitude in 539, the ending of the period in 539 B.C.E. is not only NOT "impossible" -- it is necessary.

    Please again note that historically Cyrus does not begin his rule the same year Babylon falls. For instance, Sir Isaac Newton in his "A Short Chronicle" where he lays out the NB timeline, he allows Darius the Mede a 2-year rule before Cyrus comes to the throne and releases the Jews. So the Jews are still in exile during the reign of Darius the Mede. Further, the context historically for Darius the Mede is that he is grandson of Nebuchadnezzar and thus a legitimate Babylonian king...

    Here's the exerpt from that reference...

    604. Nabopolassar dies, and is succeeded by his Son Nebuchadnezzar, who had already Reigned two years with his father.

    600. Darius the Mede, the son of Cyaxeres, is born.

    599. Cyrus is born of Mandane, the Sister of Cyaxeres, and daughter of Astyages.

    596. Susiana and Elam conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. Caranus and Perdiccas fly from Phidon, and found the Kingdom of Macedon. Phidon introduces Weighs and Measures, and the Coining of Silver Money.

    590. Cyaxeres makes war upon Alyattes King of Lydia.

    588. The Temple of Solomon is burnt by Nebuchadnezzar. The Messenians being conquired, fly into Sicily, and build Messana.

    585. In the sixth year of the Lydian war, a total Eclipse of the Sun, predicted by Thales, May the 28th, puts an end to a Battel between the Medes and Lydians: Whereupon they make Peace, and ratify it by a marriage between Darius Medus the son of Cyaxeres, and Ariene the daughter of Alyattes.

    584. Phidon presides in the 49th Olympiad.

    580. Phidon is overthrown. Two men chosen by lot, out of the city Elis, to preside in the Olympic Games.

    572 Draco is Archon of the Athenians, and makes laws for them.

    568. The Amphictious make war upon the Cirrheans, by the advice of Solon, and take Cirrha. Clifthenes, Alcmaeon and Eurolicus commanded the forces of the Amphictions, and were contemporary to Phidon. For Leocides the son of Phidon, and Megacles the son of Alcmaeon, at one and the same time, courted Agarista the daughter of Clifthenes.

    569. Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt. Darius the Mede Reigns.

    562. Solon, being Archon of the Athenians, makes laws for them.

    557. Periander dies, and Corinth becomes free from Tyrants.

    555. Nabonadius Reigns at Babylon. His Mother Nitocris adorns and fortifies that City.

    550. Pisistratus becomes Tyrant at Athens. The Conference between Croesus and Solon.

    549. Solon dies, Hegestratus being Archon of Athens.

    544. Sardes is taken by Cyrus. Darius the Mede recoins the Lydian money into Darics.

    538. Babylon is taken by Cyrus.

    536. Cyrus overcomes Darius the Mede, and translates the Empire to the Persians. The Jews return from Captivity, and found the second Temple.

    529. Cyrus dies. Cambyses Reigns,

    From "A Short Chronicle" by Sir Isaac Newton....

    Again, there is no problem with the end of the 70 years occurring after the rule of Darius the Mede since the Bible is specific that it is when the "royalty of PERSIA begins to rule" that the 70 years ends. This explains why Darius is specifically called Darius the MEDE and Cyrus, the PERSIAN. The "royalty of Persia" is thus a reference to when Cyrus later comes to rule over Babylon and does not include Darius the Mede, who is not only Persian but half Babylonian and a son of Nebuchadnezzar. Darius the Mede, historically served as a captain in the Babylonian Army, a position customary for princes of the empire, etc.

    So there are some technical complications. The Jews were clearly in exile during the reign of Darius the Mede. Otherwise, Daniel would have left, right? He was still dealing with the jealous priests during the reign of Darius the Mede. Only when Cyrus came to the throne and released the Jews and many others did these 70 years end.


  • JCanon

    Ooops! I just noticed another incidental 70 years. That is from 586 BCE to 516 BCE is 70 years!!! 586 BCE is supposed to be the destruction of the temple and 516 BCE the completion of the temple, thus 70 years!

    Problem is, that contradicts Zech 1:7 where 70 years after the fall of Jerusalem ends in year 2 of Darius and not year 6 of Darius, if we were going to make that application. So that doesn't really work, actually. Though, it seemed a nice idea I think, the period the temple was desolated.

    Of course, Josephus introduces a 74-year (actually 75) period from the fall of Jerusalem to the 1st of Cyrus. Add another 22 years to complete the temple and his temple out of service period is some 96-97 years.

    It should also be noted that JWs not only misquote Josepus regarding the 70 years but avoid claiming as Josephus does that those last deported were those remaining Jews in Egypt! Per the WTS these 70 years of desolation began with the fall of Jerusalem and ends with the 1st of Cyrus. Thus from 607-537. But per Josephus, the people did not get removed from their land until the last deportation, which is supported by the Bible, and it was these last deported ones who served those specific 70 years. So when the WTS uses Josephus to establish a literal 70-year period following the fall of Jerusalem, they misquote Josephus' specific reference that this 70 years is connected to the last deportation and not the fall of Jerusalem.

    Besides that, in case anyone noticed, Gedaliah was killed in year 20 of Nebuchadnezzar. That is, he was killed the year after Jerusalem fell. Thus when he invited some back into the land while the Babylonians were there and they harvested a lot of summer fruits, it was in the summer of year 20. That is why there is a 2-year gap between 70 years after the fall of Jerusalem and 70 years mourning for Gedaliah. 70 years after the fall of Jerusalem occurs in year 2 of Darius and 70 years after the mourning for Gedeliah in year 4 of Darius. Therefore, they were still harvesting and using the land a full year after Jerusalem fell. Thus the WTS misrepresents both the Bible and Josephus which begin the 70 years with the LAST DEPORTATION FROM EGYPT. The WTS, probably because it would be too obvious Jews would return to Judea if they were deported from Egypt as Josephus claims, invents that the Jews of the last deportation must have scattered when Gedaliah was killed and were roaming around in the surrounding areas and were then rounded up in year 23. But there is no Bilbical nor historical reference for this. This is all their imagination and really suggest that they reject Josephus' reference that the Jews of the last deportation were deported from Egypt.


  • AddaGirl


    Leviticus does not elude to 70 years at all for the desolation to pay its sabbaths.

    2Chronicles 36:21-23 clearly show that the land being desolated was to fulfill 70 years not for 70 years

    1Chonicles 4:21--right scripture?


    I don't know what to say. Maybe Isaac Newton knew more that all the expert historians, the Bible and even the JWs who state that Darius the Mede never existed as a king. Gobryas, the general that took charge for Cyrus initially (born in 601 BCE) was 62 at the time Cyrus overthrew Babylon. Darius was 19 at the time. Also Darius the Mede means "Holder of the Sceptor", a position that Gobryas held for Cyrus.

    Daniel 5:30-31 In that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed and Darius the Mede himself received the kingdom being about 62 years old.

  • AddaGirl


    Regarding Zechariah 1:7--Zechariah is prophesying.

    Zechariah 1:16 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said, "I shall certainly return to Jerusalem with mercies. My own house will be built in her......" Completed in the 6th year of Darius

  • scholar


    Post 326

    You are very sadly mistaken because you are paying close attention to what the text actually says. Jeremiah 25:11,12 indicates that Judah and the nations would be in servitude to Babylon for a period of seventy years and that the land of Judah would also be devastated for seventy years. as in verse 11. Verse 12 indicates that after the seventy years were fulfilled or ended then Babylon, its king and the land of Chaldea would bceome a devaststed place. None of these things happened at the time of Babylon's Fall in 539 BCE. This prophecy began to go into fulfillment after the exile of Jews had returned home in 537 BCE thus ending that seventy years of servitude, exile and desolation, after some centuries Babylon and it territory gradually declined reaching a state of total devastation.

    scholar JW

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