My understanding of the "70 Years" and the "Babylonian Exile" (without chronology)

by Doug Mason 34 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Larsinger58

    Hi Jonathan:

    You posted:

    F. The servitude referred to at Jeremiah 25:11 whereby the nations which fell under the domination of the Babylonian Empire would serve the king of Babylon seventy years included a) vassalage, b) willing exile, and/or c) forced captivity and exile.

    Josephus at Ant. 11.1.1 says:

    IN the first year of the reign of Cyrus which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon, God commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people, according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the prophet, before the destruction of the city, that after they had served Nebuchadnezzar and his posterity, and after they had undergone that servitude seventy years, he would restore them again to the land of their fathers, and they should build their temple, and enjoy their ancient prosperity.

    Please note:

    1. Josephus specifically mentions Jeremiah's prohecy.

    2. Josephus specifically mentions "servitude" of a specific people.

    3. The specific people in servitude 70 years are the "poor people" who were last "removed out of their own land." Remember after Jerusalem fell the "poor people" and lowly people were left in the land to continue crops. Then they ended up killing Gedaliah the next year and ran down to Egypt. YHWH tried through Jeremiah to get them to return and they refused so God promised he'd send a sword via Nebuchadnezzar to kill them. A few "remaining from the sword" were to return to Judea (Jer. 44:14,28). So it is clear who Josephus is referring to and when. This is the last deportation off the land of those poor left remaining who had ran down to Egypt and now returned.

    So we have YOUR interpretation of the prophecy of Jeremiah's 70 years and we have the Jewish historical version of who fulfilled Jeremiah's prohpecy by Josehus.

    NEXT STEP PROCESS: Now please note, that if Josephus is interjecting 70 years from the last deportation to the 1st of Cyrus, that there is a 25-26 year discrepancy between Josephus and the Neo-Babylonian Period! Using the current timeline, if year 18 falls in 587 BCE, year 23 falls in 582. 582 to 538 is 44 years. 70 minus 44 is 26. So the NB Period per Josephus is 26 years longer than the current Babylonian records.

    So what does this mean? It means that either Josephus or the secular records were revised. Both can't be correct.

    NEXT STEP: So what we do next is look at the actual documentation from the Babylonian records to see how credible they may be. When we do we get an early WUPS!! Huh? Right. The Babylonian Chronicle notes itself that it is a "copy" made in year 22 of Darius. End of story. What do we know from this? We know "copy" is synonymous with revision so we presume the Persians revised the Babylonian record. This is not an original record. So the Persians removed 26 years from the NB Period. That wasn't hard to discover.

    Having confirmed this, however, we know all the dates being used are likely phony, including 539 BCE.

    NEXT STEP: With this much potential confusion, we now abandon the secular timeline entirely as unreliable and try to establish an ABSOLUTE Biblical chronology somehow. The 70-year interval from year 23 to the 1st of Cyrus is RELATIVE chronology. It still doesn't give us the absolute years involved.

    The most direct reference is based on Jesus appearing in 29 CE which begins the 70th week of a period beginning in 455 BCE. The context of this prophecy, which is when the "word goes forth to rebuild Jerusalem" is first applicable to the 1st of Cyrus in 455 BCE. We can test this dating against whatever other ABSOLUTE chronology we have in place. When we do it checks out. For example.

    1. 1947 begins the 70th jubilee, which also is the 50th jubilee from the return from Babylon. That is, 490 years is 10 jubilees of 49 years each. The final jubilee of 49 years begins in 1947 and ends in 1996. To be the 50th jubilee from the return from Babylon, you need five periods of 490 years each, which is 2450 years.

    50 x 49 is 2450.

    2450 minus 1996 is 454 + 1 = 455 BCE.

    So the Bible's own internal chronology confirms that the return from Babyon occurs in 455 BCE. So we done.

    OR, you can use an astronomical text.

    2. The KTU 1.78 astrotext dates year 12 of Akhenaten via a solar eclipse occurring in 1375 BCE. At least that is when NASA dates that eclipse last time I checked, not that NASA has the final word on everything. Per the Bible Akhenaten was the pharaoh that ruled immediately after the ten plagues. Thus we can date the Exodus via this astronomical text to 1386 BCE. 1947-1996 is the 69th jubilee from the Exodus, but represents the 70the jubilee period of the entire week of jubilees.

    That is a Week is seven days, with each day being 490 years long. Each 490 years is 10 jubilees of 49 years each.

    490 x 7 = 3430

    49 x 70 = 3430

    So in the entire period of 3430 years, from 1435 BCE to 1996 AD, the Exodus is the first jubilee event falling in the 50th year after this week begins, thus 49 years after 1435 BCE.

    1435 - 49 is 1386 BCE, the same date for the Exodus and the 1st of Akhenaten confirmed by astronomical text.

    So we're on. We can independently establish the timeline back to the Exodus in 1386 BCE, skipping over all the problems and contradictions and discussions about the confusing Babylonian records.

    Now here is where JWs are again on the right track. If any astronoimcal texts supporting the current Neo-Babylonian period are "copies" like the Babylonian Chronicle from a later period, particularly later than year 22 of Darius II, then they can't be used to date anything. Any copy is automatically presumed to be a revised text. Anybody can copy astronomical information and then apply a new historical king to the text as the WTS has pointed out, as in the case of the VAT4956, which is wholly dismissible and fraudulent on its face.

    Ironically, the WTS has the audacity to introduce the SK400 (Strm. Kambyses 400) as proof of the 537 BCE chronology for the return of the Jews. But the SK400 was "copied" after the VAT4956 and is just as dismissible. So in this case COJ is correct. He notes that it doesn't make sense that the WTS dismisses the VAT4956 because it is a "copy" and they don't dismiss the SK400 which they use for their dating connected with 537 and 607 BCE!!! Bottom line is, if it is a copy from an earlier period there is a 99% chance it is a reveised document with revised dates.

    This is problematic because the SK400 and the VAT4956 are the only texts used by R. Newton to confirm the current popular dating of the NB Period, he dismissing as totally fraudulent Ptolemy's canon, which is the other foundation of the NB "absolute dating" via astronomical texts.

    The only other critical eclipses dating the NB Period that could be considered "contemporary" all have substitute eclipses in the 455 BCE timeline. Thus.

    1. The Nabon 18, dating year 2 of Nabonidus to 454 BCE by a rare eclipse in progress at moonset, occurring in month 6, also occurs in month 6 of year 22 of Nabonidus in 479 BCE per the 455 BCE chronology. So this was just a swap-out.

    2. Same with the Assyrian eponym eclipse misdated to 763 BCE. When the NB Period is dated via the Bible the 1st of Nebuchadnezzar occurs in 547 BCE, which is 57 years later than 604 BCE. So going into the Assyrian Period you need a matching eclipse in the month of Simanu close to 57 years later. It occurs in 709 BCE, which is not only the more normally dated month 3, but it is an extremely rare and predictable eclipse, explaining why such as fuss was made over it in the annals in the first place. Another swap-out.

    Now note, after the Assyrian Period you get "absolute dating" from 14C (radiocarbon dating) as well. For example, 14C dating of short-lived cereals as the destructive level of Rehov City IV dates that event using new technology between 874 and 867 BCE, with an absolute mid-range date of 95.4% probability (918-923 BCE) of 871 BCE. Using the 763 BCE eclipse to date Shishak's invasio it falls in 925 BCE, so it conflicts with the 14C by just over half a century. But if you correct the Assyrian eponym eclipse to 709 BCE, Shishak's invasion drops down 54 years to 871 BCE, which is right in the middle of that narrow 14C range! So now you have a radiometric confirmation aligning with the 709 BCE eclipse now.

    Shishak's invasion, in turn, occurs late in Solomon's reign while Rehoboam was still over the 12 tribes, so if we date that invasion to year 39 of Solomon in 871 BCE, then his 4th year falls in 906 BCE, which means the Exodus 480 years earlier falls specifically, using the 709 BCE eclipse combined with the 14C dating for Shishak in 871 BCE to: 1386 BCE!!!

    So I don't mind overcoming some of your discussion points or showing how they fit into my chronology, but this is such a DONE DEAL now. There's no turning back. You can either go with real dating and the Bible or pretend the Persians didn't make any changes to their timeline. It's up to you. But the Bible's timeline is independent now since 1947, especially for the criticial dates involving the restoration, or return from exile or release from bondage that links the Exodus, the return from Babylon and the final return after the Holocaust in 1947 to a very specific chronology involving 70 weeks.


  • Alwayshere

    Guess you do not know when Neb. first year to rule is.

  • Alwayshere

    Hi LARSINGER, I knew you couldn't answer my question because you do not know what you are talking about.

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    LS, you don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about. I'll continue posting from my treatise.

    The seventy years could not have ended when the exiles returned to Judah in 537 B.C.E. because there existed no king of Babylon to serve for two years between 537 B.C.E. and 539 B.C.E. after Persia began its reign in 539 B.C.E.

    If there was no longer a king of Babylon once the reign of Persia began, how could the exiles serve him for two more years until they returned to their homeland? It would not be possible. Jehovah's Witnesses counter that Cyrus the king of Persia was the king of Babylon during those last two years between 539 B.C.E. and 537 B.C.E. so they were still captives serving a king of Babylon, Cyrus. They also claim that at first Cyrus did not alter the policy of the Babylonian Dynasty and therefore the nations continued to serve ‘the king of Babylon’ (thus dipping into the Dominant Babylonian Empire theory for convenience' sake), and that a contemporary clay inscription quotes Cyrus as referring to himself as king of Babylon. Their argument is reproduced here:

    Until their release in 537 B.C.E, for the entire duration that the Jewish exiles were held captive in Babylon, it could rightly be said that they were serving the king of Babylon. This is expanded upon in paragraph 10 of an article entitled “The ‘Cup’ That All Nations Must Drink at God’s Hand” that appeared in the September 15, 1979 issue of The Watchtower, p. 24:“ It is true that he [Cyrus] conquered Gentile Babylon in 539 B.C.E., or about two years before the“ seventy years” of desolation of the land of Judah ran out. He proclaimed himself “king of Babylon” and at first did not alter the policy of the Babylonian dynasty of King Nebuchadnezzar.Thus the nations subjugated by Nebuchadnezzar continued to serve “the king of Babylon” 70 years.”

    Are Jehovah’s Witnesses justified in making this claim? Yes, for the Bible tells us that after Cyrus II conquered Babylon, Darius the Mede became “king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans,” (Daniel 5:31, 9:1) and shortly thereafter, Cyrus established his kingship over all of Babylon, even being referred to as “Cyrus the king of Babylon” at Ezra 5:13. A contemporary inscription on a clay barrel confirms the accuracy of the Biblical account: “ All the inhabitants of Babylon as well as the entire country of Sumer and Akkad, princes and governors (included), bowed to him (Cyrus) and kissed his feet, jubilant that he (had received) the kingship . . . I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad.”—Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, James B. Pritchard, p.316.

    Four questions present themselves: a) what year was Cyrus crowned king of Babylon, b) if he was crowned king of Babylon before the Jews returned to Judah why was he referred to as king of Persia during this time, and afterwards, c) if he was not crowned king of Babylon immediately in 539 B.C.E. when Babylon fell but at a later date, allowing for a gap in time, could the exiles legitimately be said to have served him during that gap which would shorten the seventy year time span, and d) even if Cyrus was crowned king of Babylon before the Jews returned, did he change the empire's policy and free the Jews so that they were not serving as captive slaves to Cyrus even before they began the long journey home?

    First, while it is true that at Ezra 5:13 Cyrus was referred to as king of Babylon, it should be noted that it was not necessarily the Jews who referred to Cyrus as the king of Babylon, but the Jews' enemies who were attemping to thwart the rebuilding effort who paraphrased the Jewish response. Their enemies claimed the Jews referred to Cyrus as king of Babylon, which is heresay. The Jewish defense was restated in a letter from the Jews' enemies Tattenai, the governor beyond the river, to King Darius years after their return. The letter was written long after the exiles returned while the task of re-building was underway. It does not provide any evidence that Cyrus was king of Babylon from October 539 B.C.E. to 537 B.C.E.. See generally chapter 5 of the book of Ezra.

    Secondly, as a matter of fact Cyrus is referred to as king of Persia six times in verses preceding Ezra 5:13; four instances covering the time period before the exiles departed Babylon (Ezra 1;1, 2, 8), and twice in connection with the Jews’ attempts at rebuilding the temple at Ezra 4:3,5. Before the Jews returned, and even after they returned, they considered Cyrus king of Persia.

    Third, Jehovah's Witnesses find support for their theory that the Jews served Cyrus the king of Babylon from 539 B.C.E. to 537 B.C.E. by reference to the above highlighted undated ‘contemporary’ cuneiform inscription on a clay barrel. As it turns out, this clay barrel is no ordinary clay barrel. It is considered to be the first charter of human rights and a very important historical artifact. In addition, it is the document, or charter, by which captives of the Babylonian Empire were freed, including the Jews. And that date, was the first day of spring 538 B.C.E., a mere 6 months or less after Babylon fell:

    "The charter of Cyrus the Great, a baked-clay Aryan language (Old Persian) cuneiform cylinder, was discovered in 1878 in excavation of the site of Babylon. In it, Cyrus the Great described his human treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Iranians.

    The document has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, and in 1971 the United Nations was published translation of it in all the official U.N. languages. "May Ahura Mazda protect this land, this nation, from rancor, from foes, from falsehood, and from drought". Selected from the book "The Eternal Land".

    This is a confirmation that the Charter of freedom of Humankind issued by Cyrus the Great on his coronation day in Babylon could be considered superior to the Human Rights Manifesto issued by the French revolutionaries in their first national assembly. The Human Rights Manifesto looks very interesting in its kind regarding the expressions and composition, but the Charter of Freedom issued twenty three centuries before that by the Iranian monarch sounds more spiritual.

    Comparing the Human Rights Manifesto of the French National Assembly and the Charter approved by the United Nations with the Charter of Freedom of Cyrus, the latter appears more valuable considering its age, explicitness, and rejection of the superstitions of the ancient world.

    Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon in 539 BCE, and after the winter, on the first day of spring, he was officially crowned: My numerous troops moved about undisturbed in the midst of Babylon. I did not allow anyone to terrorise the land of Sumer and Akkad. I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well being. The citizens of Babylon ................. I lifted their unbecoming yoke. Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes.

    The description of the coronation of Cyrus is the most elaborate one in the world written by the Greek philosopher, politician, and historian Xenephon (Cyropaedia of Xenophon, The Life of Cyrus The Great).

    On the day of coronation, Cyrus read the Charter of Freedom out after he put on the crown with his hand in Marduk Temple.

    Uncertain and the full text of the Charter was unavailable until an inscription was found during the excavation works in the old city of Ur in Mesopotamia. After the translation of the words, it was found out that the document was the same Charter. It is now kept in the British Museum and it is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most precious historical records of the world.

    In the Charter, after introducing himself and mentioning the names of his father, first, second, and third ancestors, Cyrus says that he is the monarch of Iran, Babylon, and the four continents:

    I am Kourosh (Cyrus), King of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Camboujiyah (Cambyases), great king, king of Anshân, grandson of Kourosh (Cyrus), great king, king of Anshân, descendant of Chaish-Pesh (Teispes), great king, king of Anshân, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts, pleasure. When I well -disposed, entered Babylon, I set up a seat of domination in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk the great god, caused the big-hearted inhabitations of Babylon to .................. me, I sought daily to worship him.

    He continues:

    At my deeds Marduk, the great lord, rejoiced and to me, Kourosh (Cyrus), the king who worshipped him, and to Camboujiyah (Cambyases), my son, the offspring of (my) loins, and to all my troops he graciously gave his blessing, and in good sprit before him we glorified exceedingly his high divinity. All the kings who sat in throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in ..................., all the kings of the West Country, who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From ... to the cities of Ashur, Susa, Agade and Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the gods whose abode is in the midst of them, I returned to their places and housed them in lasting abodes.

    I gathered together all their inhabitations and restored (to them) their dwellings. The gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabounids had, to the anger of the lord of the gods, brought into Babylon. I, at the bidding of Marduk, the great lord, made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes.

    May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in my favour before Bel and Nabu, that my days may be long, and may they say to Marduk my lord, "May Kourosh (Cyrus) the King, who reveres thee, and Camboujiyah (Cambyases) his son ..."


    Now that I put the crown of kingdom of Iran, Babylon, and the nations of the four directions on the head with the help of (Ahura) Mazda, I announce that I will respect the traditions, customs and religions of the nations of my empire and never let any of my governors and subordinates look down on or insult them until I am alive. From now on, till (Ahura) Mazda grants me the kingdom favor, I will impose my monarchy on no nation. Each is free to accept it , and if any one of them rejects it , I never resolve on war to reign. Until I am the king of Iran, Babylon, and the nations of the four directions, I never let anyone oppress any others, and if it occurs , I will take his or her right back and penalize the oppressor.

    And until I am the monarch, I will never let anyone take possession of movable and landed properties of the others by force or without compensation. Until I am alive, I prevent unpaid, forced labor. To day, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights.

    No one could be penalized for his or her relatives' faults. I prevent slavery and my governors and subordinates are obliged to prohibit exchanging men and women as slaves within their own ruling domains. Such a traditions should be exterminated the world over.

    I implore to (Ahura) Mazda to make me succeed in fulfilling my obligations to the nations of Iran (Persia), Babylon, and the ones of the four directions." (

    So, even though the "contemporary" barrel may have been undated, within it one finds key dates and policy changes which completely undermine the Jehovah's Witnesses' understanding. The most glaring oversight by Jehovah's Witnesses is the date Cyrus was crowned king of Babylon, the first day of spring 538 B.C.E., roughly six months or less after Babylon fell to the Persians. So, for those six months there was no "king of Babylon" for the Jews to serve and their servitude amounts to around 69 1/2 years, not seventy. And if he was crowned a year later, in the spring of 537 B.C.E. as Jehovah's Witnesses imply, that amounts to a year and a half gap of the Jews not serving any king of Babylon.

    Yet, even if Cyrus was crowned king of Babylon, from the first day of spring 538 B.C.E. he set the Jews and all the other Babylonian captives free. He imposed his monarchy (kingship) on no people unless they wished it, which the Jews did not. He outlawed unpaid forced labor (slavery), people were free to live in all regions, and displaced inhabitants were restored to their dwellings. The Jehovah's Witnesses' lack of basic understanding of this is incredulous. A little common sense, coupled with this "clay barrel" go a long way. Were the Jews still captive slaves after Cyrus set them free? No. Were they still captive slaves until they actually picked up their things and started walking home? Of course not. The Jews were not captive servants to any king of Babylon once Persia ruled. Again, Jehovah's Witnesses come up short of seventy years.

    Fourth, Jehovah's Witnesses further argue, as stated above, that Cyrus proclaimed himself king of Babylon and at first did not alter the policy of the Babylonian dynasty or Nebuchadnezzar and therefore the Jews continued to serve the king of Babylon seventy years. The problem of course is that the authors of the Watchtower magazine failed to cite any authority for their self-serving statement that “at first [Cyrus] did not alter the policy …”. That statement is false, they offer no proof, and as just shown, Cyrus' Charter of Freedom above disproves any such notion. Cyrus did, in fact, alter the policy and set the Jews free early in his reign, within six months of his first ruling year of numerous years of ruling Babylon. There could not be a more profound policy change affecting the captive Jews, and other captives, than this.

    Fifth, citing no verifiable authority they attempt to avoid this dilemma by asserting that the official decree freeing the exiled captives occurred in late 538 B.C.E. or early 537 B.C.E. in a last-ditch effort to push the date of captivity as close to 537 B.C.E. as possible. However, as shown above, it has been solidly established by archeologists and historians the world over that Cyrus’ decree was issued in 538 B.C.E..

    Sixth, even assuming for the sake of argument that the roughly 50,000 exiles set free by Cyrus were not technically free until they began walking home after lengthy preparations, the Jehovah's Witnesses' Return theory still falls four months short of seventy years because that is how long it took them to complete the journey according to The Watchtower of May 1, 1952, pp. 271-2:

    In either case this would have given sufficient time for the large party of 49,897 Jews to organize their expedition and to make their long four-month journey from Babylon to Jerusalem to get there by September 29-30, 537 B.C., the first of the seventh Jewish month, to build their altar to Jehovah as recorded at Ezra 3:1-3. Inasmuch as September 29-30, 537 B.C., officially ends the seventy years of desolation as recorded at 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21, so the beginning of the desolation of the land must have officially begun to be counted after September 21-22, 607 B.C., the first of the seventh Jewish month in 607 B.C., which is the beginning point for the counting of the 2,520 years.

    Setting the Record Straight at pp. 4-5 is in accord with this position and clarifies that the seventy years was exactly seventy years to the month.

    At 2 Kings 25:25, 26, the Bible reports that by the seventh month even those left behind, “all the people, from small to great,” fled to Egypt, leaving the land completely desolate, “ without an inhabitant.” As this factor was necessary for fulfillment (Isaiah 6:11, 12; Jeremiah 4:23, 25; 4:27,
    29; 6:7, 8; 9:11; 24:8, 10), Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize that the seventy years of desolation could not officially begin to be counted until after the first of the seventh Jewish month.
    Ezra 1:1 shows that it was “in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia,” or 538/7 B.C.E., that Cyrus issued the decree releasing the Jews from captivity.

    The Bible notes that the Jews arrived back in their homeland by the seventh month, Tishri, which would be September 29-30, 537 B.C.E. (Ezra 3:1-3). From this date, Jehovah’s Witnesses count back seventy years to 607 B.C.E. as the year for Jerusalem’s destruction. Thus, the “ devastations of Jerusalem, [namely], seventy years,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, were exactly seventy years in duration, running from the seventh month of 607 B.C.E. to the seventh month of 537 B.C.E.

    Accordingly, if the Jews' seventy year period of captivity ran exactly seventy years from the seventh month of 607 B.C.E. to the seventh month of 537 B.C.E., but they were set free and were not captive during the four months it took them to travel home, their seventy year Return theory fails because they were captive for only sixty-nine years and eight months. They could not have ‘served’ the king of Babylon, even if it was Cyrus, for the full seventy years.

    Seventh, the entire argument that Cyrus the Persian, the anointed of Jehovah, who rescued the Jews and freed them was on equal footing with the previous Babylonian kings who slaughtered, captured and enslaved the Jews in the first place contradicts a literal reading of Jehovah’s prophecy to all the nations which was very sweeping in scope. Which of these nations of Jeremiah 25:11 were to serve the king of Babylon seventy years? According to Jeremiah 25:26 they included “... all the kings of the Medes ... all the kings of the north who are near and far away, one after the other, and all the [other] kingdoms of the earth that are on the surface of the ground; ….” This includes Persia and the Medes who conquered Babylon. As such the Jehovah's Witnesses' theory would result in an incompatible irony - during the last two years of the Jews' seventy year Return theory the kings of Persia and the Medes would have had to serve itself.

    Ultimately, the Jehovah's Witnesses' arguments supporting their Return theory - that the seventy years ended when the exiles returned to their homeland - are moot and irrelevant because as established above and in accordance with clear, unambiguous Scripture, the seventy years of servitude applied to all nations dominated by the Babylonian Empire, and that dominance, and the nations’ corresponding servitude to the kings(s) of Babylon ended in October 539 B.C.E. when Babylon fell.

    The seventy year prophecy ended while the Jews were in Babylon and only later did they return home. There is no viable Return theory. And because there is no Return theory, because it is an unscriptural and impossible concept to implement due to its many failures and inconsistencies the Jehovah's Witnesses incorrectly render Jeremiah 29:10 ‘at Babylon,’ rather than ‘for Babylon’. But the latter is what Jehovah through the mouth of Jeremiah intended.

    10 “For this is what Jehovah has said, ‘In accord with the fulfilling of seventy years for Babylon I shall turn my attention to YOU people, and I will establish toward YOU my good word in bringing YOU back to this place.'"

  • Larsinger58

    Hi Jonathan:

    You stated:

    This is not an all-encompassing list of the kings of Babylon which the nations served seventy years. Even 607 defenders in Setting the Record Straight are of the same view:

    In fulfillment of Jeremiah 27:7, the exiled Jews did in fact literally serve Nebuchadnezzar’s son (Evilmerodach) and Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson (co-regent Belshazzer, whose mother was reportedly Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter, Nitocris). However, the captive Jews also served other kings of Babylon, including Neriglissar, Labashi-Marduk and Nabonidus, none of whom bore any blood relation to Nebuchadnezzar. Thus,the words at Jeremiah 27:7, though indisputably true, were obviously not meant to be an all-encompassing list of rulers whom the Jews would serve during the seventy years.

    Just as a note,

    Neriglissar was the SON-IN-LAW of Nebuchadnezzar II.

    Labashi-Marduk was the son of Neriglissar and thus the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar II.

    Nabonidus was the SON-IN-LAW of Nebuchadnezzar II.

    Darius the Mede was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar II.

    Ewel-Merodach was the son of Nebuchadnezzar II.

    Now we know the term "son" is used generally in the Bible as descendant and includes grandson. We know that because Nebuchadnezzar II is called the father of Belshazzar even in the Bible at Daniel 5:11, 18, 22.

    But son-in-laws are also considered sons as in the case of "Cainan" in the genealogy of Jesus being introduced between Arpachshad and Shelah. That is some genealogies say that Arpachshad was the father of Shelah and Luke 3:36 says "Cainan" was the father of Shelah. This is not a contradiction but reflects the reluctance of Jews using women in their genealogies. Most of the times they just skip the generation when it is through the mother, or sometimes to be comprehensive to confirm a "son" is actually a grandson, as in the case of Arpachshad and Shelah, they interject the intervening generation, only they use the daughter's name but the name of her husband, the son-in-law.

    So your theory that any of these kings were in some way not related to Nebuchadnezzar II or not his "son" in some way or another in no way contradicts a comprehensive interpretation that the Jews were always in servitude to one son or another of Nebuchadnezzar II down until Cyrus came to the rule, and that includes Darius the Mede who ruled for six years.

    Thanks again, this has been fun, but I'm literally afraid to read your document further there is so much wrong with it!!


  • Alwayshere


  • Larsinger58


    Sorry. I hadn't gotten down to your comment yet:

    Guess you do not know when Neb. first year to rule is.

    The answer is what timeline you use, you'll get different dates, frankly.

    For instance the popular chronology which is based on the post-revisions during the Persian Period date the 1st of Nebuchadnezzar to 604 BCE, but this is a 26-year shorter NB Period than represented by Josephus.

    That is, when year 18 falls in 587 BCE, 17 years earlier is 604 BCE.

    JWs date year 18 to 607 BCE, so 17 years earlier is 624 BCE.

    I combine Martin Anstey with Josephus to create the Anstey-Josephus timeline. Anstey dates the 1st of Cyrus to [sic] 455 BCE and Josephus adds 70 years back to year 23 of Nebuchadnezzar in 525 BCE. 22 + 525 = 547 BCE for the 1st of Nebuchadnezzar per that dating.

    If you use 1947 to date the return from Babylon in 455 BCE, you get 547 BCE as well.

    Martin Anstey based his chronology on the idea that Cyrus fulfilled the 70 weeks prophecy. I go along with that dating because of the jubilee series for the Jews where the 70th jubilee begins in 1947 which is the 50th from the retrun from Babylon. That is, add 49 years to 1947 to get the end of the 50th jubilee from the return in 1996. 490 years is 10 jubilees, so 50 jubilees is 5x490 = 2450.

    2450 minus 1996 is 454 + 1 = 455 BCE. So I consider 455 BCE as a more reliable date for the 1st of Cyrus than 537 BCE.

    Or, you can use the KTU 1.78 astronomical text which dates the Exodus to 1386 BCE, which is 19 jubilees from the return from Babylon.

    19 x 49 = 931. 1386 - 931 = 455 BCE.

    See how all the major exile ending events or release from bondage events align with the jubilees? The Exodus in 1386 BCE, a date confirmed by astronomical text, plus the return in 1947 force us to date the return from Babylon to 455 BCE.

    Incidentally, the covenant was to remain in place for one week and thus gentiles were not preached to until after 36 CE. So 36 CE, a jubilee year, is a year when there was freedom from the Law Code. Since there is so much debate and confusion over the Babylonian Period and since the records supporting it come from later times, like the Babylonian Chronicle from the 22nd year of Darius II, it's just easier to try to independently establish the best Biblically accurate timeline as possible, which is using the jubilee cycles based on 1947 and the Exodus in 1386 BCE, which are well confirmed by astronomy as well as archaeology. The fact that Josephus represents a 26-year longer NB Period tells you right there you'll never harmonize the Bible's timeline with that of the current NB records, but you don't have to because the only records we have come from the Persian Period, not the NB Period (the main historical records, that is, i.e. Nabonidus Chronicle, Babylonian Chronicle, and Cyrus Cylinder.)

    So actually you have lots of choices. My choice is 547 BCE.

    YOU SAID: Hi LARSINGER, I knew you couldn't answer my question because you do not know what you are talking about.

    ROLF!! Well... Sorry I was late. I hope your question was answered.

    In case you missed it, the critical dating for the 1st of Nebuchadnezzar II is 547 BCE. The fall of Babylon is 562 BCE, the 1st of Cyrus is 455 BCE. The Exodus is 1386 BCE. The 69th jubilee from the Exodus and the 50th from 455 BCE is 1947 AD.


  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough
    Thanks again, this has been fun, but I'm literally afraid to read your document further there is so much wrong with it

    Baloney. You're afraid to read it because it proves you horribly incorrect and you know it.

  • Alwayshere

    LARSINGER, how could Babylon have fallen in 562, if Neb. 1st year was 547? According to where you get your info. Babylon fell before Neb. begin to rule.

  • Alwayshere

    LARSINGER, The Bible at 2kings 25:8-9 and Jeremiah 52:12-13 both say it was Neb. 19th year when Jerusalem was desolated. 547-18 more years =529 not 562. The Bible proves you are wrong.

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