Did Jews exit Judah 2 months after Jerusalem's destruction?

by Doug Mason 4 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    The Watchtower magazine says Jews entered Egypt within two months of Jerusalem being razed by Nebuchadnezzar.

    Is it possible that all the events recorded in the Bible could have taken place during those two months?

    It is crucial for the Watchtower that they did. The Watchtower starts the “Seventy Years” from the moment the Jews left Judah and entered Egypt, making this a critical pivotal date for the Watchtower.



  • Leolaia

    Nice work. There is a good possibility that the unrest at Mizpah is connected with the later deportation mentioned in Jeremiah 52:30.

    Another problem for the Society is Ezekiel 33:21-27. A messenger reached Ezekiel with the news of Jerusalem's destruction in late December (the 10th month), and he reported that there were people living in the ruins. Since the city was destroyed in early August, this suggests a transit time between Jerusalem and Babylon of about four months; the same length of time is indicated in Ezra 7:9 as what was involved in a journey between Babylon and Judah. The problem is this: Yahweh gives the prophet Ezekiel an oracle for the messenger to take back to the people living in the ruins. Yahweh states: "The people living in those ruins in the land are saying, 'Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many, surely the land has been given to us as our possession' " (v. 23). This clearly states that as late as December, (1) there were still people living in the ruins, (2) they believed themselves to be still possessing the land, and (3) they were not an insignificant number but "many". How could Yahweh say this to Ezekiel, if by that time the land had been emptied of people? According to the Society, the 'seventy years' of the land lying desolate began in the middle of Tishri (early October):

    *** w72 6/1 p. 351 Questions From Readers ***

    The murder of Gedaliah in the month of Tishri (September/October) (“at the seventh new moon,” Byington translation) prompted those Jews left remaining in the land of Judah to flee. (Jer. 41:1, 2; 43:2-7) By the time the fearful Jews fled to Egypt it must have been at least the middle of Tishri, to allow enough time for the events mentioned in the Bible as taking place between the assassination and the flight. (Compare Jeremiah 41:4, 10–42:7.) This would place the start of the Gentile Times about Tishri 15, 607 B.C.E.

    Note that Yahweh gives Ezekiel an oracle for the messenger to deliver to the people living in the ruins: "Therefore say to them" (v. 25), "say this to them" (v. 27). So Yahweh expects that the people would still be living there four months later, around April of the following year. And the oracle itself presumes that the desolation still lay in the future: "As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague. I will make the land a desolate waste" (v. 27-28). Unless the Society wants to say that Yahweh had no idea what was going on in Judah and was completely ignorant of what happened in Judah during the time the messenger travelled to Babylon, they cannot claim that a period of total desolation (i.e. with the land being uninhabited) was already in progress.

  • agonus

    A couple of paragraphs from Leolaia is enough to undercut decades of WT theology... and she does it so effortlessly.

    "Jehovah's Anointed", the Governing Body, - handpicked by the Almighty from, what, 7 billion people on the planet, no less? - supposedly spend their entire lives researching and preparing spiritual food, and years in the WT "think tank" produces... the "overlapping generations" doctrine.

    Gotta love it ;-)

  • Dutch-scientist

    Hi Doug,

    Its impossible in two months. I wondering now with math they se to come with for the 537 BC date???


  • Leolaia

    Dutch-scientist....Well, re 537 BC, we see in Ezra 3:1 that the Jews were repatriated by "the seventh month" and the only calendrical reference prior to this is "the first year of Cyrus" in ch. 1. The most natural reading of the text is that the first cohort was resettled by the seventh month of the first year of Cyrus (i.e. September 538 BC). If it was already the second year, why did the text not say that?

    The Cyrus Cylinder (usually dated to 538 BC) states that Cyrus had already "returned the (images of) the gods to the sacred centers [on the other side of] the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been abandoned for a long time" and had "gathered all their inhabitants and returned (to them) their dwellings" and "settled in their habitations, in the pleasing abodes, the gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus had brought into Babylon" (lines 30-31), and the Nabonidus Chronicle (3.21-22) dates the latter to between Kislemu and Addaru of Cyrus' accession year (i.e. December-March 539/538 BC), a time prior to Cyrus' first regnal year.

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