Where did 607 come from?

by MrFreeze 100 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • isaacaustin

    Pseudoscholar said:


    Post 71

    We owe a great debt to the 'celbrated' WT scholars who have given to the world of mankind a very accurate Bible chronology which champions the correct date of 607 BCE for the Fall of Jerusalem which falsifies the impossible and incorrect dates of 586, 587 and others for the Fall of Jerusalem. You ask concerning the origin of 607 BCE?

    The corrected or adjusted date of 607 BCE was first published in 1944 in the publication The Kingdom Is At Hand which nicely brought Biblical scholarship up to date. No doubt one of the influences for such an adjustment in Bible chronology was brought about by advancing research in Babylonian chronology by such eminent scholars as Richard Parker and Waldo Dubberstein who published their Babylonian Chronology 626 BC - AD 45in 1942. This period of the forties was groundbreaking in various fields of Bible schoilarship and along with further insights into biblical revelation led to many refinements in not just chronology but also translation of the Bible along with eschatiology.

    scholar JW

    My reply: Hey, out of the dumpster he has risen! Who are these so-called celebrated WT scholars? Oh yeah- you once revealed them. Followers of Russell. You have been slapped down with your wrong date on this board too many times to count. 586/7 is the date for jerusalem's destruction Pseudo...the 70 years was a period of Babylonian dominance...where all the nations of the world would have to serve the king of Babylon

  • AnnOMaly


    Okay so we've obviously established on this board that 607 is not the correct date that Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. So where did 607 come from?


    the question in the topic should really be: where did 606 come from? How did they juggle with those 70 years that they use now to 'prove' 607, to arrive at 606 back then?

    The move from 606 to 607 has already been explained. And yes, other expositors began the count of the 70 years from around those dates too, however it is important to remember that they saw the date c. 606 as the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar's reign and 3rd year of Jehoiakim, not the destruction of Jerusalem.

    To answer 'why 606 for the destruction of Jerusalem?' you'll find it helpful to read the ZWT 1896, May 15 article, "Erroneous Chronology and False Conclusions" (p. 103ff). It's a convoluted and wordy response to the work of two chronologers that used 8-6th century BC dates close to or the same as the now established chronology. Basically, Russell believed these two men had distorted and misapplied the prophetic dates (p. 111) and therefore had made serious errors in their calculations.

    The article shows that the 606 date stems from these premises:

    - The 70 years were not merely relating to captivity but to uninhabited desolation;

    - Despite trashing the reliability and/or usefulness of secular history and astronomical dating methods, the year 536 BC was understood to be "well established" (p. 105) as being the first year of Cyrus.

    Therefore, counting back 70 years of uninhabited desolation from 536 gets you to 606 BC as the destruction of Jerusalem. Simple.

    It's funny - the same kinds of ad hominem and 'reasonings' Russell used in defence of his chronology have remained practically unchanged by the WTS and apologists for over a century even though Russell's scheme itself eventually underwent significant changes LOL!

  • exwhyzee

    I wake up at 6 am each morning....sometimes I hit the snooze button and the alarm goes off 7 minutes later. The digital alarm reads 6:07 and I automaitcally think of 607 BCE....and that's all that date means to me these days....it's time to wake up !

  • JeffT

    I just pulled out my copy of "Gentile Time Reconsidered" it has a couple of charts listing out various interpretations of Biblical time periods. The earliest reference to 606 is from David Pareus in 1618.

    Here's a wikipedia article on Pareus


  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Most JWs believe that Bible typology (the "types" and "anti-types" stuff) and Bible-based™ chronology started when Jehovah's Magic descended upon Chuck Russell early in his ministry. What a revelation it is when they learn that Bible typology goes back nearly as far as the Bible itself! Pre-Christian Jews practiced it!

    MANY of CTR's fundamental calculations were taken directly from earlier Protestant writers without a second thought. Probably CTR felt that these earlier leaders of "the church" were also inspired. Remember that CTR though "true Christians" were dispersed throughout Christendom and his role was to gather them together as the "Christian Age" ended. I'm sure he saw not ethical problem with what he did; he simply "forgot" to tell what his sources were.

    I learned just a year ago from AlanF that the 7,000-year "creative day" is a concept that can be found as far back as Zoroaster, long, long, before Abraham strolled the desrt with his flocks.

    It is AMAZING, isn't it?

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    Most reputable scholars date Zoroaster to the tenth century b.c. That would post date Abraham.

    David Pareus does mention the date 606, but that's 606 A.D. not B.C. He felt the symbolic woman of Revelation fled into the "wilderness" in 606 AD. There are five references to 606 in his book A Commentary Upon the Divine Revelation of the Apostle and Evangelist John. (see the English translation from latin, 1644) Each reference is to a date AD and a fulfilment on the Christian Church. If you're really curious, a copy of the book translated into English is in the University of Michigan library.

    A long string of writers looked to 606AD as a prophetic date. Another example is Edward Wells, Rector of Cotesbach. He cites the 606 date, but it's AD. not BC. You can find that in An Help for the More Easy and Clear Understanding of the Holy Scriptures: Being The Book of Daniel Explain'd published in 1716.

  • UnDisfellowshipped

    Awake!, May 8th, 1972, Pages 27-28:

    “Your Word Is Truth”

    When Did Babylon Desolate Jerusalem?

    SECULAR historians usually give the year 586 B.C.E. as the correct date for the desolation of Jerusalem. Why, then, do Jehovah’s Christian witnesses speak of this event as occurring in 607 B.C.E.? It is because of confidence in what the Bible says about the duration of Jerusalem’s lying desolate.

    The Scriptures assign a period of seventy years to the desolation of Judah and Jerusalem. After describing the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 36:21 reports: “All the days of lying desolated it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” By means of his prophet Jeremiah, Jehovah had declared: “All this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”—Jer. 25:11.

    Was this really a period of seventy literal years? Yes, that is the way the prophet Daniel, toward the close of the period of Jerusalem’s desolation, understood it, saying: “I myself, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of the years concerning which the word of Jehovah had occurred to Jeremiah the prophet, for fulfilling the devastations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” (Dan. 9:2) Note that here Daniel speaks of the “number of the years” of devastation as seventy. Surely he could not have done so if the seventy years were symbolic or an inflated round number.

    Additional evidence is provided in the book of Zechariah. We read: “When you fasted and there was a wailing in the fifth month and in the seventh month, and this for seventy years, did you really fast to me, even me?” (Zech. 7:5; 1:12) The way this question is framed, with reference to specific months, certainly indicates that a period of seventy literal years was involved.

    That the Jews in ancient times understood the seventy years as being literal and involving a total devastation of the land is apparent from the works of Josephus, a Jewish historian. In his Antiquities of the Jews, Book X, chap. 9, par. 7, he tells that “all Judea and Jerusalem, and the temple, continued to be a desert for seventy years.”

    When the Israelites were able to return to Judah and Jerusalem, that desolation ended. There is general agreement that Babylon fell to Cyrus on October 5/6, 539 B.C.E. From the Scriptural record at 2 Chronicles 36:21-23 and Ezra 3:1-3, which tells of Cyrus’ decree liberating the Jews and their return to their homeland, the indications are that the Jews arrived back in their homeland around the early part of October of 537 B.C.E., ending the seventy years of desolation. Jerusalem must, therefore, have been destroyed seventy years earlier, in 607 B.C.E.

    Various attempts to harmonize the date 586 B.C.E. with what the Bible says are therefore unsatisfactory. None of such attempts fit the Bible’s testimony that Jerusalem and Judah lay desolate for seventy years.

    The 586 B.C.E. date is based primarily on what is known as “Ptolemy’s Canon,” which assigns a total of 87 years to the Babylonian dynasty beginning with Nabopolassar and ending with Nabonidus at the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. According to this Canon, the five kings that ruled during this period were Nabopolassar (21 years), Nebuchadnezzar (43 years), Evil-merodach (2 years), Neriglissar (4 years) and Nabonidus (17 years). In line with the number of years thus assigned to each ruler, Jerusalem’s desolation in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year (nineteenth year if counting from his “accession year”) would fall in 586 B.C.E.—2 Ki. 25:8; Jer. 52:29.

    But how dependable is Ptolemy’s Canon? In his book The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Professor E. R. Thiele writes:

    “Ptolemy’s canon was prepared primarily for astronomical, not historical, purposes. It did not pretend to give a complete list of all the rulers of either Babylon or Persia, nor the exact month or day of the beginning of their reigns, but it was a device which made possible the correct allocation into a broad chronological scheme of certain astronomical data which were then available. Kings whose reigns were less than a year and which did not embrace the New Year’s day were not mentioned.” (Italics ours.)

    So the very purpose of the Canon makes absolute dating by means of it impossible. There is no way to be sure that Ptolemy was correct in assigning a certain number of years to various kings. For example, while Ptolemy credits Evil-merodach with only two years of rule, Polyhistor assigns him twelve years. Then, too, one cannot be certain that just five kings ruled during this period. At Borsippa, for instance, were found names of a number of Babylonian kings that do not appear elsewhere.

    Nevertheless, someone may ask, Is there not an ancient astronomical tablet, “VAT 4956,” that places the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign exactly in the same year as does Ptolemy’s Canon?

    It should not be overlooked that the source of corroborative evidence should bear the earmarks of dependability. Can this be said about “VAT 4956”? Not really. The text is not an original and it contains numerous gaps. Certain terms found therein cannot even be understood now. Twice in the text the notation hi-bi (meaning “broken off, obliterated”) appears. Thereby the scribe acknowledged that he was working from a defective copy.

    Even if, despite these problems, the astronomical information presents a true picture of the original, this would not establish the correctness of the historical data. As Ptolemy used the reigns of ancient kings (as he understood them) simply as a framework in which to place astronomical data, so the copyist of “VAT 4956” may, in line with the chronology accepted in his time, have inserted the ‘thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar.’ As admitted by the German scholars Neugebauer and Weidner (the translators of this text), the scribe evidently changed words to conform with the abbreviated terminology common in his day. But he was both inconsistent and inaccurate. So he could just as easily have inserted other information to suit his purposes. Hence both Ptolemy’s Canon and “VAT 4956” might even have been derived from the same basic source. They could share mutual errors.

    Opposed to Ptolemy’s Canon and “VAT 4956” stands the unanimous testimony of Jeremiah, Zechariah, Daniel and the writer of 2 Chronicles, that Judah and Jerusalem lay desolate for seventy years. Thousands of ancient manuscripts of these writings contain the identical testimony. So, because of the problems inherent in Ptolemy’s Canon and “VAT 4956,” it takes more faith to accept them than it does to accept the Bible’s testimony, which would place the desolation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E.


    World Without War Brochure (1992):

    Jeremiah the prophet proclaimed: “I am going to . . . bring them [the Babylonians] against this land and its inhabitants . . . This whole land shall be a desolate ruin. And those nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”—Jeremiah 25:9, 11, prophesied b. 625 B.C.E.

    Fulfillment—607 B.C.E. (586 B.C.E. according to most secular chronologies): Babylon destroyed Jerusalem after a year and a half siege. The city and temple were razed, and the Jews themselves were carried off to Babylon. (2 Chronicles 36:6, 7, 12, 13, 17-21) The entire nation remained in captivity for 70 years, as Jeremiah had foretold. Their miraculous release in 537 B.C.E. by Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon, fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which had mentioned him by name. (Isaiah 44:24-28) The prophet Daniel, in captivity in Babylon, calculated the exact time of the release of his people, basing his conclusion on Jeremiah’s prophecy.—Daniel 9:1, 2.

  • UnDisfellowshipped

    The Watchtower, February 1st, 1969, Pages 90-91:

    Ptolemy assigned 21 years to the reign of Nabopolassar, 43 to Nebuchadnezzar, 2 to Evil-merodach, 4 to Neriglissar, and 17 to Nabonidus, for a total of 87 years. Counting back from the first year of Cyrus, following the fall of Babylon, therefore, historians date Nabopolassar’s first year as commencing in 625 B.C.E., Nebuchadnezzar’s first year as 604, and the destruction of Jerusalem as in 586 or 587. These dates are some 20 years later than those indicated by Bible chronology, yet modern historians favor the system of dating based on Ptolemy.

    Even though the length of the reigns of the kings of Babylon and Persia, as set forth in Ptolemy’s canon, may be basically correct, there seems to be no reason for holding that the canon is necessarily accurate in every respect for all periods. As already noted, we lack Babylonian historical records that could either substantiate or undermine Ptolemy’s figures for the reigns of certain kings.

    Critics of the Bible claim that the date for the destruction of Jerusalem (607 B.C.E.), founded on Bible chronology, leaves a gap in the Babylonian chronology. On the other hand, those who hold to a strict Ptolemaic reckoning are obliged to explain a sizable gap of their own. This gap develops when they attempt to harmonize Babylonian and Assyrian history so as to arrive at 625 B.C.E. for the start of the Neo-Babylonian period.

    The Babylonian Chronicle states that Nineveh, Assyria’s capital, fell to the Babylonian forces in Nabopolassar’s fourteenth year. Following Ptolemy, the secular historians date that event in 612 B.C.E. At the same time, on the basis of astronomical calculations, they also hold to the year 763 B.C.E. as an absolute date representing the ninth year of Assyrian king Assur-dan III. So, they should be able to count forward from that year and show that Assyrian rule at Nineveh did extend as far as 612 B.C.E. But can they? Well, with the help of eponym and king lists and other source material, they manage to set up a chronology that reaches as far as 668 B.C.E., the year they assign for the start of Ashurbanipal’s reign. But from that point forward there is considerable confusion.

    Especially with regard to Ashurbanipal’s reign there is much confusion. For example, the Encyclopædia Britannica (1959 edition, Vol. 2, page 569) gives Ashurbanipal’s reign as 668-625 B.C.E. Then, on page 851 of the same volume, the reign is given as 669-630 B.C.E. In volume 5 of the same edition, page 655, it lists this same reign as “668-638(?).” The 1965 edition of the same work says ‘669-630 or 626.’ (Vol. 2, page 573) Other suggested dates for the close of Ashurbanipal’s reign are:

    633 A History of Israel, John Bright, 1964.

    631 Ancient Iraq, Georges Roux, 1964.

    629 The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible,


    c.631-627 The New Bible Dictionary, 1962.

    626 Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia,

    D. D. Luckenbill, 1926.

    As might be expected, the above sources also give varied dates for the reign of Ashurbanipal’s probable successor, Ashur-etillu-ilani. And so, too, for the reign of Sin-shar-ishkun, apparently the king at the time of Nineveh’s fall. Some historians extend this last king’s reign for as long as eighteen years, though dated tablets have been found only up to his seventh year.

    Thus historians are willing to exhibit much flexibility in order to hold to both the Ptolemaic chronology and their pivotal date of 763 B.C.E., even to the point of conjecturing longer reigns for these final rulers of the Assyrian empire than the evidence at hand will support. They have an awkward gap on their hands—one that is not easy to fill. The Bible, however, offers stronger evidence for the 607 B.C.E. date for the destruction of Jerusalem.—See The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, pages 490-494.


    The Watchtower, August 15th, 1968, Pages 493-494


    20 Believers in Daniel’s God Jehovah know that the historical accuracy of the Bible does not rest upon undiscovered, incomplete, imperfect, uninspired worldly documents. So just because in the pagan cuneiform inscriptions so far discovered the name “Darius” is nowhere found, that does not alter in any way the truthfulness of the Bible’s testimony. The historical facts written under divine inspiration are clear: “In that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed, and Darius the Mede himself received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.” (Dan. 5:30, 31) Some investigators believe, and the argument is strong, that Darius was the same as Gubaru, Cyrus’ governor, who entered Babylon with him and who appointed governors in the city. However, Daniel repeatedly speaks of Darius the Mede, not as Governor, but as King, even personally addressing him as such.—Dan. 6:1, 6-9, 12-25.

    21 During the few months that Darius was on the throne Daniel made a startling chronological discovery: “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus of the seed of the Medes, who had been made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reigning I myself, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of the years concerning which the word of Jehovah had occurred to Jeremiah the prophet, for fulfilling the devastations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” (Dan. 9:1, 2) Without a doubt the question as to when this time limit of seventy years would expire was one that pressed hard upon Daniel’s mind. Fortunately, he did not have to wait long for the answer.

    22 The reign of Darius I was brief; mention of “the first year” of his reign infers he was king for at least a full year. (Dan. 9:1; 11:1) Cyrus followed him on the throne by late 538 and Jehovah’s prophet Daniel continued in his high office. “As for this Daniel, he prospered in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.” (Dan. 6:2, 28) That there was a very close association between these two kings and their kingdoms is indicated by the repeated expression, “the law of the Medes and the Persians.”—Dan. 6:8, 12, 15.

    23 Two centuries earlier Jehovah by the mouth of his prophet Isaiah had declared: “[I am] the One saying of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and all that I delight in he will completely carry out’; even in my saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘You will have your foundation laid.’” (Isa. 44:28) Without further delay this two-hundred-year-old prophecy was about to be fulfilled. Cyrus acceded to the throne and “in the first year” of his reign, at least before the spring of 537, “Jehovah roused the spirit of Cyrus.” He issued the famous edict permitting the Jews to return and rebuild Jehovah’s temple, copies of which were written and circulated throughout the realm. This allowed sufficient time for the Jews to resettle in their homeland, ‘establish the altar firmly upon its own site,’ and “from the first day of the seventh month” start offering up burnt sacrifices to Jehovah. This date, the “first day of the seventh month,” according to the best astronomical tables available, is calculated to be October 5 (Julian) or September 29 (Gregorian) 537 B.C.E.—Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-6.

    24 Here, then, very definitely established, is another milestone—the time when the seventy years of desolation of the land of Judah came to an end—about October 1, 537. (Jer. 25:11, 12; 29:10) It is now a simple formula to determine when the seventy years began. One has only to add 70 to 537 to get 607. So about October 1, 607 B.C.E., the desolating of the land of Judah and the complete emptying out of its inhabitants was fully accomplished.

    25 The importance of the year 607 B.C.E. in this Biblical chronology will become more apparent in the following article, as we seek an answer to the provocative question, When was Adam created?

  • OnTheWayOut

    I posted this on jwsupportforum a long time ago:


    40 Years (a Generation) Past 1874, That's All it Was!

    Here's the real simple version of the complicated doctrine of when Jesus supposedly returned and the last days arrived/ended/started.

    William Miller said that Jesus' Return would be in 1844. (See The Great Disappointment at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment ) People who believed what he said were known as "Millerites." It (Jesus' return) didn't happen. This return of Jesus was also known as his second advent, and believers came to be known as Adventists.
    Adventist Jonas Wendell suffered in his faith at the Great Disappointment, but later carried the same type of "Millerites" talk in a sermon where Wendell had picked the new date of 1873 or 1874 for Jesus' 2nd return (after studying Bible chronology and being wrong about 1868). 18 year old C. T. Russell heard Wendell in 1870 speak of such a date. Wendell had already published The Present Truth, or Meat in Due Season highlighting such dates. So Wendell invented those terms that would haunt the WT organization and morph into New Light and food at the proper time.

    Wendell died in August of 1873, probably confident that his 1873 to 1874 date was correct. When Jesus didn't appear as expected, Russell still believed it (or at least wanted to keep selling pamplets that explained it). He taught that Jesus must have returned invisibly, meaning that Jesus was ruling from Heaven starting in 1874. He taught that 40 years later, a literal application of how long a "generation" was, in 1914, Jesus would take power on the earth. That would mean an end to the Gentile Times in 1914 and an end to the last days- destruction and death and stuff.

    Because World War One (coincidentally) started in 1914, Russell used that as a sign that he was correct in his complicated doctrines. He was already good at reinventing understanding rather than admitting he was wrong.

    All the rest is just calculated backwards- the stuff about 607 BCE and the 2520 years and the Seven Times.
    All of it was just made to fit that understanding. When things didn't work out as planned (again) the people in charge just reinvented the understandings and adjusted the math to fit whatever they wanted it to fit to sell more pamphlets/magazines/books. The end of the last days became the beginning of the last days. 1874 was forgotten. They just kept changing the end-date. They even made terrible errors and just changed the math to fit- they forgot there was no "Year Zero" and changed 606 BCE to 607 BCE.
    They kept 1914 because it was so well-known to the followers and they already said "See, we were right" when World War One started. Everything about Nebuchadnezzar and the destruction/building of the temple was just made to fit the math. You can find anything if you work backwards. It's like writing a Sherlock Holmes story. Just work backwards from what a great detective would expect to find and make him look like a genius in discovering those things.

    It is so unnecessary to understand the ridiculous theories of WT's present understanding when you can see what it was based on and how it changed to suit their need to get a following and sell pamphlets/magazines/books. It saddens me that I bothered to understand it at one time.

  • gubberningbody

    607 was the love-child of 606 and 605.

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