If you believe Jer 25:8-11 is evidence for 70-year desolation, then read Jer 25:12

by kepler 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • kepler

    "But when the 70 years are over, I shall punish the king of Babylon and that nation, Yahweh declares, for the wrong they have done, that is, the country of the Chaldeans, and make it desolate forever ( or times indefinite)."

    It's the GENERATION doctrine at work.

    Chaldea as described by Wikipedia as geography:

    It is impossible to define narrowly the boundaries of this early land of Chaldea, and one may only locate it generally in the low, marshy, alluvial land about the estuaries of the Tigris and Euphrates, which then discharged their waters through separate mouths into the sea. In a later time, when the Chaldean tribe had burst their narrow bonds and obtained the ascendency over all Babylonia, they gave their name to the whole land of Babylonia, which then was called Chaldea for a short time.

    Rulers of Babylon when Cyrus attacked:

    The End of the Chaldean Dynasty

    Neriglissar succeeded Amel-Marduk. It is unclear as to whether he was in fact a Chaldean or a native Babylonian nobleman, as he was not related by blood to Nabopolassar's descendants. He conducted successful military campaigns against the Hellenic inhabitants of Cilicia, which had threatened Babylonian interests. Neriglissar however reigned for only four years, being succeeded by the youthful Labashi-Marduk in 560 BC. Again it is unclear as to whether he was a Chaldean or a native Babylonian.

    Labashi-Marduk reigned only for a matter of months, being deposed by Nabonidus in late 560 BC. Nabonidus, was certainly not a Chaldean, ironically he was an Assyrian from Harran, the last capital of Assyria. Nabonidus proved to be the final native Mesopotamian king of Babylon, he and his son, the regent Belshazzar being deposed by the Persians in 539 BC.


    This is how Sennacherib surveyed the situation, from an on-line book by George Godspeed, drawn from stella translations.

    In 2 Kings 20 and Isaiah 38 and 39, the narrative only touches on the beginning of this story with the emissaries to Hezekiah from Merodach-Baladan. As Hezekiah speaks of hopes of peace with Babylon, Isaiah speaks with bitter irony. Perhaps it was 703 BC, but he does not speak of what is about to befall Babylon.

    (722 BC – 710 BC, 703 BC – 702 BC) Marduk-apla-iddina II,

    (the biblical Merodach-Baladan, also called Marduk-Baladan, Baladan and Berodach-Baladan, lit. Marduk has given me an Heir.) a Chaldean prince who usurped Babylonian throne in 721 BC. Also known as one of the kings who maintained Babylonian independence in the face of Assyrian military supremacy for more than a decade. Sargon of Assyria repressed the his allies in Elam, Aram and Israel and eventually drove (ca. 710 BC) him from Babylon. After the death of Sargon, he briefly recaptured the throne from a native Babylonian nobleman, reigning 9 months (703 BC – 702 BC). He returned from Elam and ignited rebellion in Babylonia. He was able to enter Babylon and be declared king again. Nine months later he was defeated near Kish by the Assyrians, but managed to flee to Elam. He died in exile a couple of years later.

    (703-700 BC) Bel-ibni

    a Babylonian nobleman who served as King of Babylon for several years as the nominee of the Assyrian king Sennacherib.

    Sennacherib, believing that direct Assyrian rule was too costly, appointed Bel-ibni, a young Babylonian nobleman raised at the Assyrian court, King of Babylon in 703 BC. The experiment with a native puppet king was hardly more successful than direct Assyrian control. Soon Bel-ibni was conspiring with the Chaldeans and Elamites against the Assyrians. After defeating the opposing coalition in 700 BC, Sennacherib deposed Bel-ibni and carried him off to Assyrian exile, replacing him with Sennacherib's own son, Ashur-nadin-shumi.

    (700-694 BC) Ashur-nadin-shumi

    (d.694 BC) was an ancient King of Babylon. The son of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, Ashur-nadin-shumi was installed by his father as King of Babylon in 700 BC. He reigned for six years, until he was murdered by the Elamites following their capture of the city in 694 BC.

    (694-693) Nergal-ushezib, originally Shuzub,

    a Babylonian nobleman who was installed as King of Babylon by the Elamites in 694 BC, after their capture of Babylon and deposition and murder of the previous king Ashur-nadin-shumi, son of King Sennacherib of Assyria.

    Reigned as King for little more than a year. Sennacherib soon made war on Babylon to recover the city and avenge his son's death. Nergal-ushezib was defeated and captured by the Assyrians in battle near Nippur in September 693 BC. His subsequent fate is unknown. He was succeeded by the Chaldean prince Mushezib-Marduk, who continued the resistance against Assyria.

    (692 - 689 BC), Mushezib-Marduk

    Chaldean prince chosen as King of Babylon after Nergal-ushezib. He led the Babylonian populace in revolt against Assyria and King Sennacherib in 689 BC, with the support of Elam and King Humban-nimena (which was attacked by the Babylonians and the Assyrians only years before), at the Battle of Halule. It's not clear who won this battle, since both sides claimed victory, and all rulers remained on their thrones, but it is generally agreed that the Assyrians suffered the greatest losses.

    Mushezib-Marduk lost his ally when the Elamite king Humban-nimena suffered a stroke later that same year, an opportunity King Sennacherib quickly seized by attacking Babylon, and eventually capturing it after a nine-month siege. To avenge the death of his son, whom the Babylonians had effectively killed when they handed him over to the Elamites in 694 BC, Sennacherib pillaged and burned Babylon, tore down its walls, and even diverted the Euphrates into the city. During the Sack of Babylon, Mushezib-Marduk was most likely murdered.

    (689-681) Sennacherib…succeeded by Esarhaddon

    228. Whatever arrangements Sennacherib had made for the government in Babylon, on the fall of the usurper, were speedily brought to naught by the Babylonians themselves, who made the Kaldean prince Shuzub (sect. 226) their king, under the name of Mushezib Marduk (693 B.C.). ... Mushezib Marduk knew that his turn would soon come for punishment, and made a vigorous effort to defend himself. He called for aid upon the new Elamite king, who for his own security must also show a bold front to Assyria. The Babylonians likewise felt that vengeance would fall upon them for their treachery, and committed an act which revealed their desperate fear and hatred of Sennacherib. They opened the treasuries of the temples, and offered the wealth of Marduk for the purchase of Elamite support. All through the winter of 692 B.C. the preparations went on to meet the Assyrian advance.

    A great army of Elamites, Arameans, Babylonians, and Kaldeans was gathered. Sennacherib compared its advance to "the coming of locust-swarms in the spring." "The face of the heavens was covered with the dust of their feet like a heavy cloud big with mischief." The battle was joined at Khalule, on the eastern bank of the Tigris, in 691 B.C., and, after a long and fierce struggle, the issue was drawn. Sennacherib claimed a victory, but, though the coalition was broken, his own forces were so shattered that he advanced no farther, and left to Mushezib Marduk the possession of the Babylonian throne for that year.

    229. During the next two years Sennacherib grappled with the Babylonian problem and brought it to a definite solution. On his advance in 690 B.C. he met with no serious opposition. Ummanmenanu of Elam could offer no aid to Mushezib Marduk, who was speedily seized and sent to Nineveh. Babylon now lay at the mercy of the Assyrian, whose long-tried patience was exhausted. He determined on no less a vengeance than the total destruction of the ancient city. The work was systematically and thoroughly done. The temples and palaces were levelled. Fortifications and walls were uprooted. The inhabitants were slaughtered; even those who sought refuge in the temples perished. Images of Babylonian gods were not spared. Two images of Assyrian deities, which Marduknadinakhi had carried away from Ekallati (sect. 145), were carefully removed and restored to their city. The canal of Arakhtu was turned from its bed so as to flow over the ruins. The immense spoil was made over to the soldiers. The district was then placed under a provincial government, as had already been the case with the lands of the Kaldeans and Arameans round about it. Sennacherib thus ruled Babylon till his death. The Babylonian kings' list names him as "king" both for the years 705-703 B.C. and also during this last period, 689-681 B.C., although the source from which Ptolemy drew his information denominated both these periods "kingless." The Assyrian had made a solitude and called it peace.


  • mP

    kepler: interesting stuff but whats your point ?

  • kepler
  • Jeffro

    kepler, you need to realise that these 'prophecies' are usually written or at least edited after the event. It is unsurprising that the short term part--the 'calling to account' of Babylon's king (at least, of the ruler who happened to be present at the time) bears some resemblance to the known history of the period. As is typical of literature with a theological slant, it is also unsurprising that a dramatic proclamation about 'permanent' desolation is tacked onto the end. However, there can only be any 'guarantee' of 'accuracy' up to the time it was written. Things are seldom written after 'time indefinite'.

  • jonathan dough
  • jonathan dough
  • kepler

    Sorry. I'm back. Where to start?

    Babylon's destruction for wickedness, of course, is a pervasive influence in our culture. Sad to say, I discovered that my circa 1960 paperback of Pat Frank's novel "Alas, Babylon" I can find no longer on my bookshelves. And I have no idea when it disappeared. Although the story is a straight extrapolation of nuclear war's realities for a family living in 1960s Florida, the fate of Babylon was a byword for the coming disaster in the narrative and in the author's introduction.


    Jonathan Dough,

    I realize I owe mP the same answer, but I have to say, "What's your point?" The first line of chapter 25 is addressed to all the people of Judea. How do you get "all the nations that fell under the domination"? When do they fall under domination? How about Tyre? I don't think anyone said there would be no inhabitants. The closest anyone came to suggesting that is Ephraim Stern who wrote a BAR article saying that the archeological record was sparse for the Babylonian period. That does not endorse a 70 period for anything and he clearly states the city was taken and destroyed in 587 BC.

    Secondly, what is an "object of astonishment"? I don't know what is meant by that, but I can pose a hypothetical situation: If I say in a month's time that part of Syria will be in such a state, would anyone know exactly what I mean? Or could someone build a religious doctrine surrounding the statement? In bringing up this particular translation ( which is not in what text I have at hand), I am not sure what you are arguing, whether it is a basis for supporting the WT argument of 607 and 70 years or whether it is a passage which is indifferent to the whole matter.



    I assume you are referring to the last post. In putting it together, I did have an entry out of order. I posted the king's list for Babylon right after the introductory sentence for the account of Sennacherib's campaign ending in destruction of Babylon. An object of astonishment left unattributed.

    Overall, my point is that Sennacherib's campaign is the only legitimate destruction of Babylon I am aware of that matches up with the description in Isaiah, scattered through Isaiah chapters 12, 13 and 14. Other than the battle near Opis, the takeover by Cyrus was placing the city under new management. There is a long record of the city's life in subsequent Persian and Hellenistic history. There were revolts, sure; but there was nothing like what is stated in Jeremiah 25:12.


    Perhaps more to the point in all this, I ran into three or four elders of one of the community's KHs while in a local gathering place. We were all having coffee. When my party left, I went over to my acquaintances and posed the question of this topic.

    The first reaction (about 25:12) was "What do you mean by that?" I said that, "It entirely conflicts with the historical record. Babylon flourished and the king deposed was not even a Chaldean." The most senior of the group said, "You obviously do not believe in the Bible - we do. We refer to the Bible vs. all secular sources."

    To this answer I borrowed from Jonsson, saying that the Bible didn't tell you that Israelites returned to Jerusalem in 536, 537 or whatever you say it is. You refer to a source other than the Bible. And that guy said as well that he didn't destroy the city. And I know that it had a history that went on for centuries. And You even say that Peter wrote his epistles in Babylon. Does anyone have a Bible?"

    No one had a Bible, but they said that they were not prepared to discuss any of this. Somehow we moved on to archeology and I cited the example above where the ministry school used Ephraim Stern's writing to support their case. "We wouldn't try to mislead you." I said, that is exactly what you trying to do. The citation was used to prove that Jerusaslem was destroyed in 607 BC.

    I had a few more questions (off this topic but related to others), and then the group all abruptly decided to leave because they had more important things to do, possibly related to field service, I don't know.


    All right, after I walked away, I came back and asked: "You believe in an apostacy right?....All right, when did it happen? ... After all the apostles died? ... But the Bible was compiled centuries later, was it not? Were not the compilers of the Bible apostates?" The reply was we simply believe in the Bible and it was written by the Apostles. Then I said, Yes, but by then, weren't there all kinds of books floating around by people who said "I knew Jesus?" How about the Maccabees? "We don't believe in Maccabees. It's not in the Bible." I said that it was in mine? Had anyone read it? No, because it was not in the Bible.

  • kepler

    Concerning the discussion with the group of elders above:


    The first reaction (about 25:12) was "What do you mean by that?" I said that, "It entirely conflicts with the historical record. Babylon flourished and the king deposed was not even a Chaldean." The most senior of the group said, "You obviously do not believe in the Bible - we do. We refer to the Bible vs. all secular sources."


    The assertion that "we believe in the Bible" does not account for the fact that the Bible frequently contradicts itself. Even as early as Genesis 1 and 2. Even as I collect the arguments I cite below, I will acknowledge that there are threads in the Bible which support each other. But all the same...

    Granted, I was speaking of something stated in Jeremiah one verse later. But 25:12 was related to the previous three verses it did not stand the test of comparison to historical evidence. Although in the case of the previous three verses, the matter was less clear, a "proof" is still being tested and those that supplied the "proof" are clearly not interested in or even have any toleration for the test.

    What good is a "proof" if it cannot be or is not allowed to be tested? If a "prophecy's fulfillment cannot be examined", why should it be considered a prophecy at all? A prophecy that does not stand up to examination is simply a failed prophecy. Those obstructing examination perpetuate fraud.

    To give another citation for my argument that Babylon was not destroyed as described by Jeremiah, I quote Ezra 8:1

    "These, with their genealogies, were the heads of families who set out from the Babylon with me in the reign of King Artaxerxes."

    One estimated date for this mission is 458 BC, about 130 years after Babylon was utterly destroyed. No one had told Ezra writing in the first person.

    It is also stated that most of the Jewish community remained in Babylon - and that the Babylonian community over the centuries was the base for the larger branch of Talmud writings.

    My discussion with the elders had also touched on the subject of compiling the canon of the Bible and the issue of the book of Maccabees, to which they said they had no knowledge because it was not in the Bible. Yes and no. It is not in the canon of the Christian Bible, but it was included in the Greek Septuagint in use by the Diaspora. Sometimes it is spoken of as deutero-canonical or apocyphal. Yet if one has never read Maccabees, then I cannot see how one can understand Daniel, which under the rules of Canon is not a book among Prophets, but one of the Writings as is Chronicles.

    Anlother example: which book under the classifications of the Hebrew Old Testament is classified among the prophets: Daniel or Jonah?

    Even though Jonah was never accused of prophesying much of anything, the answer is Jonah. Whether Jonah prophesied it or not, Nineveh was eventually destroyed by the Neobabylonians circa 612 BC under command of Nabopolossar, Nebuchadnezzar's father. It vanished with even less trace than Babylon until the 19th century - even though the book of Jonah describes its dimensions like a megalopolis.

  • kepler


    One estimated date for this mission is 458 BC, about 130 years after Babylon was utterly destroyed. No one had told Ezra writing in the first person.


    Things are confusing enough when the issue is whether Babylon was destroyed by Cyrus. Then that sentence comes along. About 130 years after Jerusalem was destroyed or a sarcastic remark about Babylon getting destroyed with a figure that shows I can't subtract BC dates.

    Just a crazy error. If Cyrus entered Babylon in 538, then Ezra leaving Babylon with his fellow travelers was ~80 years later.

  • kepler

    Ok, so going back to the Jer 25:12 passage, here taken from the KJV

    Jeremiah 25:12

    12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord , for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

    Here are some verses that show up in later text:

    Ezra provides the following (Strong numbers in superscripts)

    Ezr 6:1 Then 116 Darius 1868 the king 4430 made 7761 a decree 2942 , and search 1240 was made in the house 1005 of the rolls 5609 , where 8536 the treasures 1596 were laid up 5182 in Babylon 895 .

    Ezr 7:6 This Ezra 5830 went up 5927 from Babylon 894 ; and he [was] a ready 4106 scribe 5608 in the law 8451 of Moses 4872 , which the LORD 3068 God 430 of Israel 3478 had given 5414 : and the king 4428 granted 5414 him all his request 1246 , according to the hand 3027 of the LORD 3068 his God 430 upon him.

    Ezr 7:9 For upon the first 259 [day] of the first 7223 month 2320 began 3246 he to go up 4609 from Babylon 894 , and on the first 259 [day] of the fifth 2549 month 2320 came 935 he to Jerusalem 3389 , according to the good 2896 hand 3027 of his God 430 upon him.

    Ezr 7:16 And all 3606 the silver 3702 and gold 1722 that thou canst find 7912 in all 3606 the province 4083 of Babylon 895 , with 5974 the freewill offering 5069 of the people 5972 , and of the priests 3549 , offering willingly 5069 for the house 1005 of their God 426 which [is] in Jerusalem 3390 :

    Ezr 8:1 These [are] now the chief 7218 of their fathers 1 , and [this is] the genealogy 3187 of them that went up 5927 with me from Babylon 894 , in the reign 4438 of Artaxerxes 783 the king 4428.

    Nehemiah has some similar episodes.

    Neh 13:6 But in all this [time] was not I at Jerusalem 3389 : for in the two 8147 and thirtieth 7970 year 8141 of Artaxerxes 783 king 4428 of Babylon 894 came 935 I unto the king 4428 , and after 7093 certain days 3117 obtained I leave 7592 of the king 4428 :

    Both of these books indicate that civil society, prosperity and legal procedures continued to be conducted in Babylon under Persian authority with acknowledgment that the Persian king was king of Babylon. Having completed a couple of secular courses on the ancient mideast, it was generally understood that Babylon was one of three serving capitals for the Persian Empire. Fore Alexander the Great it was primary.

    He died there.

    In the KJV, it is not stated that the king of Babylon was Chaldean. I'll leave that for further study based on the Hebrew text. But if the Jeremiah's original statement was to that effect, we also observed earlier that a genuine Chaldean was not ruler of Babylon when the Persians attacked. It was an Assyrian.

    There is one more book that has some bearing on this subject, which I would like to bring up again, illustrted by Daniel 9:1

    Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans...

    Daniel goes on to tell how he is still waiting for the Judeans to return to their homeland after 70 years. It sounds very much like the narratives of Ezra and Nehemiah, but perhaps earlier, of a Persian monarch possibly providing safe passage for another potential party of Judeans headed back to Jerusalem. Earlier than Ezra, I would agree, but look at it more closely.

    The only connection to Darius the Mede that I can find in a non-Biblical source is a contemporary of Ezra - Thucydides. In his history of the Peloponnesian wars, he describes the Persians attacking the Greek mainland in the conflict of several decades before as Medes over 50 times, he claims that their Greek allies had become "Mede-ized. The force they defeat at Marathon was under the command of Darius I, successor to Cyrus.

    Darius wrote his epitaph on the walls of the Iran mountain pass at Behistun claiming his Persian ancestry with an undertaking that rivals Mt. Rushmore, but with considerably more text to peruse. It was deciphered in the 19th century.

    Only those of Greek heritage would be confused by whether Darius was a Mede or a Persian - which would be the case in the 2nd century Hellenistic outpost of Jerusalem under Antiochus V - Epiphanes. Odd also that Persians would have a succession of Dariuses as monarchs, adopting a name for their line that supposedly originated with the earlier Medean. Roughly Darius is the English transliteration of the Persian name, Dariush, its meaning is "he possesses" or "rich and kingly". I wonder what the name is supposed to mean in the Mede language? Anything?

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