Questions from JWN Readers
1914 is a date that many people question. There are seeming inconsistencies in its explanation and interpretation. What is an easy way to understand this important piece of Bible Chronology?
At Luke 21:24 , Jesus said: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations [“the times of the Gentiles,” King James Version ] are fulfilled.”
When was the appointed times of the nations fulfilled? Let’s calculate this date together using a very simple method.
First we need to go to the Book of Daniel written some 650 years before Christ uttered that prophecy in Luke 21:24. The account in Daniel 4 holds the key to knowing how long that period would last. It relates a dream experienced by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He saw an immense tree that was chopped down. Its stump could not grow because it was banded with iron and copper. An angel declared: “Let seven times pass over it.”— Daniel 4:10-16 .
It is obvious that the tree in the Babylonian King’s dream really represented God’s rulership through the line of King David. Trees in dreams can mean many things, but we are convinced that the meaning of this particular banded tree represents the Kingship of Isreal. How long was this seven times?
Now let’s travel forward in time from the dream seen by Nebuchadnezzar some 700 years to the Book of Revelation to another dream seen by the apostle John……
Revelation 12:6 , seems to indicate that three and a half times are equal to “a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” This is equal to 3.5 Lunar years of 360 days. Lunar years were commonly used in Bible times. “Seven times” would therefore last twice as long, or 2,520 days.
Vs. 14 of Revelation describes “a time, and times, and half a time” It is crystal clear to anyone who is a serious student of the Bible that John meant “a lunar year, and lunar years, and half a lunar year.”
Now let’s travel back in our Bibles some 1500 years to the Book of Numbers. On the basis of Numbers 14:34 which speaks of “a day for a year,” the “seven times” mentioned in Daniel 4 would obviously cover 2,520 solar years of 365.25 days each. (Note that Numbers 14 must be talking about a lunar day for each solar year.)
The 2,520 solar years began in October 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne. The period ended in October 1914. At that time, “the appointed times of the nations” ended, and Jesus Christ was installed invisibly as God’s heavenly King. (Note: we know that 607 is the year Jerusalem was destroyed because of counting backwards 70 years from the secularly verifiable date of Babylon’s Destruction in 537 BCE. This is confirmed by secular historians and archaeologists)
We hope that this lesson on bible chronology has strengthened your faith in the Faithful and Discreet Slave. Is it not thrilling to note that you are living in the historic time of Christ’s presence? Abundant evidence overwhelms us that Christ was enthroned in 1914. Since that pivotal date in mankind’s history the world has seen death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. This deterioration of world events confirms that Christ is now King over all mankind. We are now 100 years into the Christ’s foretold millennial reign.
It should be noted there are some enemies of God’s Kingdom such as historians, archeologists and astronomers who will point to factual evidence that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587. As true Christians we will allow the 2600 year old bible record to clearly speak the truth about the date of Jerusalem’s destruction. We are confident of this fact from our spirit directed interpretation of two dreams, and three verses from three otherwise unrelated books of the bible, that Jesus has arrived as King.
Are we not truly grateful to have this clear understanding of Bible Chronology provided by the Governing Body? Let each one of us use this instruction wisely in our ministry and help all to realize that Christ now rules as King!