I don't have any "keen interest in archaeology," so I wouldn't say this, but I already did explain the significance of 607 BC in a recent message, the highlights of which is as follows:
I have faith that Zedekiah's removal as a representative of God's typical kingdom here on earth marked the time when theocratic rule ceased to exist on earth, which event gives further significance to the year 607 BC, since 607 BC marks the year when the "seven times" of Daniel's prophecy began. (Daniel 4:25) My faith doesn't require Solomon's temple to have been destroyed by Babylon in 607 BC, but I believe the temple was destroyed during the "fifth month" (2 Kings 25:8) in Ab, 607 BC, and that Gedaliah was assassinated during the "seventh month" (2 Kings 25:25) in Tishri, 607 BC, in which year God's prophecy regarding the desolation of the land of Judah for a 70-year period "until the land had paid off its sabbaths" went into effect. (2 Chronicles 36:21) My faith has come to be greatly strengthened by the things I have come to learn from Jehovah's Witnesses as to the significance of 607 BC as it relates to the "seven times."
You seem to be using the term "faith" to mean something like "a decision". You have "faith that Zedekiah's removal..marked the time when theocratic rule ceased to exist on earth...", as if the available evidence doesn't matter. It is as if you feel it's just your decision, your faith, to believe what you want in this regard. You also underscore the importance of 607 BC as the starting date for the gentile times calculation, which will eventually end up in 1914 AD. Can we assume that you perhaps went to the WT library CD, typed in "1914 607" and read, say, the literature related to the first 1000 hits? If so, can we further assume that you will drop this charade of denying the importance of 607 to the authority structure of the WTB&TS?
It also seems like, and correct me if I am wrong, you have this idea that secular history and the Bible are in conflict regarding the dating of the destruction of Jerusalem. This is not the case. Rather, only by ignore the grammar and context of the scriptures surrounding the 70 years do you force a contradiction between secular history and the Bible, by insisting the 70 years is that of desolation. It is not - it is 70 years of servitude, for many nations. A plain grammatical reading of Jeremiah 25:1-18 makes this apparent. Perhaps this is why you feel like you need to just make a leap of faith, a decision to simply believe what you think the Bible says, when in reality, it is only the WT spin on the scriptures. And the WT has good reason to spin these scriptures... they have a vested interest.
It is really not necessary for you or anyone to know the significance of 607 BC or believe what 607 BC means as it relates to theocratic rule. The only thing that one must believe is that Jehovah is the true God and that, by our exercising faith in the blood of his son, Jesus Christ, we will realize the benefits of his ransom sacrifice, namely, everlasting life.
Right. However, most of is here have been JWs, and we know there's more to the story. After all, you mean to tell me it doesn't matter if we don't join ourselves to God's organization here on earth? According to JW theology, the WTB&TS is God's appointed organization, God's mouthpiece! Shouldn't we all become JWs, if in fact the WTB&TS God's chosen representative on earth? If you answer, "no" - then why are you a JW? If you answer "yes", then why do you deny the imporance of 607 - since it's the first link in the 607/1914/1918 chain that the WT uses as proof that they were chosen as God's organization. Denying 607 is denying the WT's given proof that they are the FDS?
Perhaps this is another area of "faith"/"decision" for you. You deny the importance of 607, attaching a noble concept of "faith", even though it is not really even Biblical faith that you have, in an attempt to minimize the realization the WT if full of crap.
I don't feel any need to prove that the 70 years foretold by Jeremiah were fulfilled in 537 BC, since I am convinced by faith that this 70-year period began in 607 BC, but I have no doubt that you are here seeking proof that Solomon's temple was destroyed in 607 BC during Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year (18th regnal year), which, again, is my belief. In responding to your question, I cannot ignore that what I believe -- what Jehovah's Witnesses believe -- is in conflict with many of the beliefs held by some here, to the effect that it was after some 18 years of Babylonian domination that began during Nebuchadnezzar's accession year of 605 BC that the Solomon's temple suffered destruction by the Babylonians in 587 BC during Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year. I'm going to probably be withdrawing from this thread soon, but the following is my response to your question.
by faith = I am just deciding this because I want to.
Withdraw, the damage you have done to the reputation of those who may hope to seriously believe the fall of Jerusalem was 607 can not be undone. When you come to your senses, hopefully in the years to come, you can look back on this and know you did some good.
The Bible itself indicates that it was during Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year that Solomon's temple was destroyed (Jeremiah 52:29), or during his 19th year if his accession year were included (Jeremiah 52:12; 2 Kings 25:8), so the issue revolves not so much around when Nebuchadnezzar's accession year occurred or even when his 19th year occurred, but when the 70-year period of desolation that Jeremiah foretold for the land of Judah began.
Wrong. Jeremiah never fortold seventy years of desolation for the land of Judah. In Jeremiah 25:11-12, he made it clear it was 70 years of servitude for "these nations", or "these nations round about" v.9. In Jeremiah 29:10, it was seventy years "for Babylon" (NASB). These are the only two times the 70 years is mentioned in Jeremiah, and it's pretty clear that the 70 years was a reference to Babylonian domination of many nations, such that the nations (plural 25:11-12) would serve Babylon.
Your above statement is the first place you go wrong. It's also the first way the WT tries to force you into denying the available evidence against 607 - by setting up a false conflict between secular history and the Bible.
During the first year of Cyrus' rulership, which historically would have been in the year 539 BC, Daniel indicates how he discerned the fulfillment of "the devastations of Jerusalem," according to Jeremiah's prophecy, had amounted to "seventy years." (Daniel 9:1, 2) Because it was by "the seventh month" of 537 BC, the Jews had repatriated the land of Judah so that they were back "in their cities," the 70-year period of desolation would have begun in 607 BC, which, according to the Bible, Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year. (Ezra 3:1; Jeremiah 52:12)
Wrong, he decerned the number of years for fulfilling the desolations of Jerusalem. There is a big difference between the desolations being 70 years, and the 70 years "fulfilling" (or bringing to an end) the desolations of Jerusalem. Since the 70 years was that of servitude to Babylon, and Babylon had just been conquered, the period spoken of in Jeremiah was over, and now, the next step according to Jeremiah (25:12) was for the desolation to end (or be fulfilled). Daniel draws attention to the end of the period, not the period as a whole.
You aslo have to consider that Daniel, and the start of verse 2, makes it very clear that he got it from Jeremiah. There are only two scriptures in Jeremiah the mention the 70 years, and they are both clearly referencing servitude. So unless you want to set up a contradiction in the Bible, you have no leg to stand on.
Yet another way the WT tries to force you to think there is a need to deny the secular evidence.
Now it's true that secular records as to the dates for Nebuchadnezzar's reign are not in agreement with the Bible's, for if Nebuchadnezzar ruled for 43 years, as secular records assign to the length of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, then 25 years after his 19th year, Nebuchadnezzar's reign would have ended in 582 BC, and the first regnal year of his son, Evil-Merodach, as king of Babylon would have begun in 581 BC.
But if Nebuchadnezzar's accession year was 606 BC as secular history asserts, then his 19th year would have been in 587 BC, and his death would have occurred some 25 years after his 19th year in 562 BC, and the first regnal year of his son would have begun in 561 BC, so that Evil-Merodach's first regnal year would have occurred 20 years later than it does in the Bible.
Do your math again, but remove those mysterious 20 years demanded by the false WT chronology, and everything falls into place..
Josephus tells us, according to Phoenician records, that it was "in the reign of king Ithobalos" that "Naboukodrosoros [Nebuchadnezzar] besieged Tyre" over a period of "13 years." We can deduce from what Josephus writes that Baal ascended to the throne of Tyre in 577 BC, which was the first regnal year of Nebuchadnezzar's son, Evil-Merodach, as the king of Babylon. Here is what Josephus wrote according to John Barclay's translation of Against Apion, Book I, Chapters 21:
"The calculation of dates goes like this. In the reign of king Ithobalos, Naboukodrosoros besieged Tyre for 13 years. After him Baal reigned for 10 years. Thereafter judges were appointed: Ednibalos, son of Baslechos, was judge for 2 months, Chelbes, son of Abdaeos, for 10 months, Abbalos, the high-priest, for 3 months; Myttynos and Gerastartos, son of Abdelimos, were judges for 6 years, after whom Balatoros was king for 1 year. When he died they sent for Merbalos and summoned him from Babylon, and he reigned for 4 years; when he died they summoned his brother Eiromos, who reigned for 20 years. It was during his reign that Cyrus became ruler of the Persians. So the whole period is 54 years, with 3 months in addition; for it was in the seventh year of the reign of Naboukodrosoros that he began to besiege Tyre, and in the fourteenth year of the reign of Eiromos that Cyrus the Persian seized power."
Merbalos' brother, Eiromos, reigned for 20 years (553 BC - 533 BC); Merbalos reigned for four years (559 BC - 553 BC); Balatoros reigned for one year (560 BC - 559 BC); Myttynos and Gerastartos ruled as judges in Tyre for six years (566 BC - 560 BC); Abbalos ruled as a judge for three months and Chelbes ruled as a judge for ten months (567 BC - 566 BC); Ednibalos ruled for two months as a judge and Baal reigned as king for 10 years (577 BC - 567 BC).
What this means is that if Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre for 13 years "in the reign of Ithobalos," then Ithobalos' reign would have begun before Nebuchadnezzar's siege on Tyre began in 607 BC and Ithobalos continued to be king of Tyre some 13 years later in 594 BC until Baal's reign began in 577 BC, which means that Ithobalos survived Nebuchadnezzar's death in 581 BC. But what Josephus mentions that I missed when I had reviewed this portion of Chapter 21 of Against Apion in the past is that Cyrus the Persian had seized power "in the fourteenth year of Eiromos." Since Eiromos' 14th year would correspond to 539 BC, the year when Cyrus deposed Babylon, this would mean that Eiromos reigned for another six years after Cyrus' rise to power in 539 BC until 533 BC.
But if Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 BC as secular history asserts, then when the siege on Tyre ended in 574 BC, some 13 years after it began in 587 BC, Baal's ten-year reign would had begun, which contradicts the Phoenician timeline with indicates that it was during the reign of Ithobalos that Nebuchadnezzar's 13-year siege against Tyre took place. If Baal's reign as king of Tyre began in 577 BC after the reign of Ithobalos ended, then Nebuchadnezzar's 13-year siege ended during Baal's reign, which cannot be the case for such a conclusion would be in conflict with Josephus' recitation of Phoenician secular history (as quoted above).
Instead, the Bible supports Phoenician secular history as recounted by Josephus in Chapter 21 of Against Apion, which indicates that (1) Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre during Ithobalos' reign, and (2) Ithobalos reign ended before Baal's ten-year reign began in 577 BC. This conclusion can be reconciled with the belief that Nebuchadnezzar died in 582 BC at which time his son, Evil-Merodach, succeeded to his father's throne as king of Babylon, and that Evil-Merodach's first regnal year began in 581 BC.
How is it that you "deduce" from Josephus , the absolute date of 577 BC as the date Baal ascended to the throne of Tyre? Where did you get that from? Without that first date at the beginning of your long monologue, the rest is irrelevant.
You quote Josephus' Against Apion, and yet, how do you reconcile the fact that in the same work Josephus states:
"Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of his reign, laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years; but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus its foundations were laid, and it was finished again in the second year of Darius." (Against Apion Book I, Chapter 21)
Do you reconcile this by another... "decision"? MeanMrMustard