I am going to try to simply state each argument to see if I have put it together (correct me if I am wrong):
I'm still not sure how they get 607 out of the numbers 539 and 70 maybe someone can enlighten me as to why this is?
I concur [email protected]'s response to this portion of your question. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jerusalem as well, for the land of Judah would have to pay off its sabbath rests during the years of its desolation until 70 years had been completed; accordingly, during this 70-year period, no one dwelled in the land of Judah. (2 Chronicles 36:20, 21; Jeremiah 44:2) Jehovah used Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, to come not just against his own people and the land of Judah to deport them to Babylon, but Nebuchadnezzar would also strike the surrounding nations, who would become vassals (servants) for Babylon during this 70-year period. (Jeremiah 25:8, 9, 29:11)
Jehovah also told his people that when the 70 years of desolation was complete, that he would bring them back to the land of Judah. (Jeremiah 29:10) After Cyrus had deposed Babylon in 539 BC, he decreed in 538 BC that the Jews could leave Babylon and return to the land of Judah to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem, and thereupon released them from Babylonian captivity. Upon their arrival in Judah and repatriation of their cities by 537 BC, the 70-year period came to an end. Thus by subtracting 70 years from 537 BC, Jehovah's Witnesses calculate that the 70 years of desolation began in 607 BC.
@WMF goes on to say the following with which I do not agree:
The Bible says 70 years "servitude" to the Babylonians. "All these nations" nearby including Judah / Jerusalem were included in this.
The WTS hangs up on DESOLATION and COMPLETELY WITHOUT AN INHABITANT....
@MeanMrMustard concurs with what @WMF says:
But you have to keep in mind that to the WTS, the 70 years is that of "desolation without an inhabitant". The Bible doesn't say that at all. Witness My Fury was pointing that out.... Just a simple read of Jeremiah 25 and you'll see its not about "desolation without an inhabitant". Rather, the 70 years is that of servitude to Babylon for many nations.
As you can read for yourself, @sabastious, Jeremiah 36:21 speaks of the land of Judah "lying desolated ... to fulfill seventy years" and Jeremiah 44:2 does explain how, not just Jerusalem, but "all the cities of Judah" had become "a devastated place" in which there was "no inhabitant," so @MeanMrMustard is mistaken.
Actually, both @WMF and @MeanMrMustard are fond of citing Jeremiah 25, notably Jeremiah 25:11, which speaks to the fate of the surrounding nations that were destined to become servants of Nebuchadnezzar during the 70 years, but Jehovah wasn't really punishing these nations at all, but sought to discipline his people, who had proven to be disobedient and had failed to keep the sabbaths they owed, prompting Jehovah to give his people a 70-year exile at Babylon to pay off these sabbaths and to discipline them, which "devastations" Daniel has determined from reading Jeremiah's prophecy, would be fulfilled after 70 years. (Daniel 9:2)
Archeology has unearthed many relics that support the 586/587 date which contradicts with the Bible's 70 year exile depicted in the Old Testament IF you start from the secular destruction of Babylon: 539 b.c.e. Wouldn't this mean that archeology actually supports a LESS THAN 70 year stay for the Jews in Babylon?
Is that ultimately why the Witnesses can't agree with the historical record?
No. Because Jehovah stated quite clearly 70 years, Jehovah's Witnesses are unwilling to consider reconciling the Bible with archeological lines of evidence that, at best, render God's word void by assigning 50 years, instead of 70 years, for the period beginning with the destruction of Solomon's temple and the desolation of the land of Judah to its repatriation, and could care less what an apostate like Carl Olof Jonsson wrote in his book, The Gentile Times Reconsidered, Chronology and Christ's Return, since we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and have faith that when Jehovah said "70 years" he meant "70 years," and not "50 years," no matter what evidence may be presented that contradicts the Bible.
Recall, too, that Jesus said (1) that his disciples are "no part of the world," so we don't much care what the world says if what they should declare our God to be a liar, and (2) that God's word "is truth." (John 17:16, 17)