The Gentile Times Reconsidered (607 B.C.E.) -Part A1 - Jeremiah 25:10-12 Reviewed

by FaceTheFacts 255 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Calebs Airplane
    Calebs Airplane

    Nabonidus and his son were killed in 539 BC.... 607 BC to 539 BC = 68 years

  • Calebs Airplane
    Calebs Airplane

    FaceThe Facts...

    Here's a brief history lesson for ya...

    • In the early 1820's, a strange fellow by the name of John Aquila Brown took a few Bible texts completely out of context and came up with an absurd speculative calculation (360 X 7 = 2,520) in a half-assed attempt to detemine the length of the Gentile Times.
    • A few decades later, leaders of several "dooms-day" religions, including the Adventists read "The Even Tide" (1823) by John Aquila Brown and saw an opportunity to cash in on some well-organized fear-mongering campaigns. This was the beginning of the Armageddon craze.
    • Charles Taze Russell liked what he saw and wanted a piece of this action. So he jumped on the band wagon but decided to create his own unique product so he searched for Bible texts to take out of context and created an incredibly embarrassing list of new doctrines which has taken the Watchtower over 100 years to clean up albeit they're still stuck with quite a few.
    • Some of these religions even pointed to particular years such as 1913, 1915, 1917, etc.
    • Charles Taze Russell decided to go with October 1914.
    • Obviously, Armageddon didn't arrive in 1913, 1915, 1917 or even the Bible Student's date of October 1914. So all of these religions decided to abandon this completely unauthorized calculation (Acts 1:7). But Russell saw an opportunity to clean up his mess by simply latching on to World War I (which really started in July 1914... not October 1914) and then simply used a phrase that is still in use by the Watchtower Corporation today... "Current Understanding".
    • The phrase "current understanding" along with Proverb 4:18 soon became the Jehovah Witnesses free pass to change their flawed doctrines and failed predictions at will.
    • While all of this was ongoing, the Bible Students certainly DID NOT expect Jesus to return in 1914 (as the WT would have the rank & file believe today) as they were taught in no ambiguous terms that he had already returned in 1874 and it wasn't until the late 1920's that Rutherford decided to move 1874 to 1914.
    • Fast forward to 2010... Governing Body member Anthony Morris III (in the DVD "Faith In Action") stated: "The fact that they (the Bible Students) were able to pinpoint that year is just phenomenal" giving credit to the Bible Students for the 2,520-year calculation even though it really originated with John Aquila Brown and NOTHING that was predicted by the Bible Students actually came true. This DVD even states on TWO (2) occasions that the Bible Students looked to 1914 decades in advance as the year that Jesus would return. Obviously, this is completely and utterly false as is plainly evident in WT publications printed before the 1920's.

    FaceThe Facts... Before asking anyone to face any more facts, you really need to get your hands on early WT literature and determine whether or not the Watchtower has been grossly misrepresenting these "facts"

  • Hoffnung

    - 2 Chronicles 36:21 and Daniel 9:2 specifically refer to the 70 years of Jer 25, hence Jer 25 is required for a correct understanding of both verses, not the other way around. Jer 25 specifically states that the 70 years are for Babylon, not for Judah or Jerusalem. C.O.Jonsson is correct.

    - LXX or the septuagint, is a translation made for a population of dispersed Jews in the hellenic empire who could not read there own language any more. It contains quite a few inaccuracies, more than on this point alone. I do not know what makes you believe that it "is far older and traditionally regarded as more accurate than the Masoretic text", but it is quite easy to prove it is an incorrect presentation of the facts. To drive the point home, the WTBS has all interest to present things the same way as you do, however they choose not do it, and stick to the more correct masoretic text. Any conclusion based upon the inaccurate rendering of the LXX without comparison with other renderings, removes your credibility and demonstrates you do not want to expose facts, but you are looking for elements that fit an interpretation you already hold, discarding everything that contradict it.

    - If the point you try to prove in your 2nd part, holds any ground, than all the English translations of this verse would be incorrect. A lot of well educated people looked into the many renderings of this verse, before they wrote the translations as they did. Again you are not exposing any fact, but looking for elements that fit an interpretation you already hold.


  • jwfacts

    How could anyone trust anything on a thread written by a person the dishonestly keeps creating new accounts for themselves? I really think it is time people let these threads disappear to where they belong. Too many hours have been wasted, going around the same circle.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    In my mind, a lot of brain power has been lavished-- squandered really -- on this exercise, simply to prove, or to refute, the notion that the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar took place in 607 BCE, when the entire premise of its relevance to the 1914 date-setting is built on the flimsiest of constructs-- i.e. the "day-for a-year" hypothesis, the arbitrary stitching together of widely disparate scriptural texts in Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation, the "Nebuchadnezzar-as-symbol-of-divine-rulership of the earth, etc., etc.

  • tornapart

    I thought JWs didn't believe in reincarnation?

    How many times has this poster reincarnated himself? Going round and round in circles trying to refute the irrefutable....

  • AnnOMaly

    You guys have this covered, I see (excellent response, moggy lover).

    One observation. Jeffro said:

    Ethos FaceTheFacts wants to consider points in isolation without considering the context of related materials.

    I saw the same thing. FTF criticizes Jonsson thus:

    An "easy target" fallacy is committed here (i.e. a strawman) since the Watchtower's interpretation of the "70 years" referring to a period of desolation is not based on a superficial reading of the text of Jeremiah 25 alone, but upon a series of intertextual references to the "seventy years" of Jeremiah (i.e. 2 Chronicles 36:21; Daniel 9:2; cf. Insight On The Scriptures, p. 463, Vol. 1).

    FTF ought to know that Jonsson takes into account all the intertextual scriptural references when discussing Jer. 25. The book shows it is the WTS that actually bases its interpretations on superficial reading and ripping those references from their historical context. FTF wants to discuss Jer. 25 without bringing in other relevant scriptural evidence and thus wants to do the very thing he (mistakenly) thinks Jonsson has done. Inconsistent.


    FTF, you need to pay careful attention to this as pulling isolated quotes from different pages and cobbling them together into one paragraph is very misleading. It's telling that you don't bother to give page references.

    This is how Jonsson's comments are arranged:

    (p. 191) It is held that these seventy years were a period of complete desolation for Judah and Jerusalem.

    (p. 196) Although it is predicted in the passage that the land of Judah would be a devastated place, it should be noted that this "devastation" is not equated with, or linked with, the period of the seventy years. All that is clearly and unambiguously stated in the text is that "these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years". The phrase "these nations" is a reference back to verse 9, in which it is predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would come against "this land [that is, Judah] and its inhabitants, and also against all these nations round about."

    The seventy years, then, should be understood to mean years of servitude for these nations. ...

    (p. 197) ... "Servitude" here should not be taken to mean the same thing as desolation and exile.

    (p. 199) Thus, the nations that accepted the Babylonian yoke would serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But the nations that refused to serve the Babylonian king would become devastated. ... The seventy years of servitude foretold by Jeremiah, therefore, did not apply to Judah as a nation, but only to the nations who submitted to the king of Babylon.

    I wasn't impressed with Ethos's misuse of quotations either.

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    Recovery you are beyond pathetic.

    If you have to make shit up to try and make your point then you have already lost. There must be a very dark hole in your heart matey...

  • FaceTheFacts

    I will respond as time permits...

    1. He does not say that the 70 year period of Jer 25:11 ran from 609-539 BC. He concedes that it may have done so, but it could just as easily have been a typical Middle Eastern figure of speech current at the time for an approximation of 70 years. If the period began in 605 BC and ended in 539 BC then we have a period of some 66 years which as I said is an approzimation. The point is that no one knows the exact date for the starting point. Not the Watchtower, not you.

    Incorrect. Have you actually read the book? Under section G-2: The "Seventy Years for Babylon": 609-539 B.C.E. Jonnson states:

    If the Babylonian supremacy is reckoned from 609 B.C.E., the year that marked the definite end of the Assyrian Empire, exactly seventy years elapsed up to the fall of Babylon in 539 B .C.E. This period may be counted as the “seventy years for Babylon.” (Jeremiah 29:10) As not all the nations previously ruled by Assyria were brought under the Babylonian yoke in that same year, the “seventy years” of servitude in reality came to mean a round number for individual nations .

    He devotes an entire section to quoting secular sources re:609 B.C.E. and definitely holds that as the most likely date. Whether or not any of us can say for sure what the seventy years were and how long they lasted, is irrelevant. We are all discussing possible interpretations, since there is nothing concrete at all when it comes to ANE Prophecies. The point of my review was to show that such a chronological datum, even as theory, is impossible and contravenes the text itself. In my post I also showed how the servitude could not have started in 605 B.C. either, when the text is examined. Why didn't you address those parts?

    2. The contention behind Jer 25:11 is misplaced by you. The emphasis is on what the two statements made in that text mean, and what the Watchtower makes it mean.

    It is well understood on my part that Jonnson is arguing against the Watchtower's interpretation of Jeremiah 25:11.

    Jonsson's contention is that the Watchtower reads this text as: "This whole land will be a ruin and a desert [for] seventy years.These nations will be enslaved to the king of Babylon". The "seventy years" mentioned here answers the question: "How long will the nations be enslaved to Babylon?" and not, as the Watchtower interprets it, "How long will this whole land be desolate?" The first sentence has no time limit, the second does. As one can see, despite the fact that Jer 25:1 makes it clear that Judah and Jerusalem are being addressed, it is equallyclear that, as far as verse 11 is concerned, the nations around about are included in a specific time period [70 years] and prophecy [enslavement].

    That is precisely why it's a strawman, because the Watchtower does not base it's assertion that the 70 years were a period of desolation based off the superficial reading of the text of Jeremiah 25:10-12 alone but on a series of intertextual biblical interpretations of the "seventy years". That is why I referenced the Insight Book reference (written in 1988) which explains the "seventy year" interpretation.

    Page 463 of the Insight Book Vol. 1 States:

    It clearly specifies that the 70 years would be years of devastation of the land of Judah. The prophet Daniel so understood the prophecy, for he states: “I myself, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of the years concerning which the word of Jehovah had occurred to Jeremiah the prophet, for fulfilling the devastations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” (Da 9:2) After describing the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21 states: “Furthermore, he carried off those remaining from the sword captive to Babylon, and they came to be servants to him and his sons until the royalty of Persia began to reign; to fulfill Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had paid off its sabbaths. All the days of lying desolated it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”

    I hope you understand why I termed it a "strawman". The "seventy years" of "Jeremiah" after further interpreted by Daniel and Ezra, and thus the Watchtower interpretation is not based upon a misreading of Jeremiah 25:10-12 but upon SEVERAL texts referring to the seventy years.

    The Neo-Babylonian conquest under Nabopolassar, actually began in 612 BC, when Nineveh, the capital of Assyria fell to the invading Babylonians. The inhabitants were enslaved, but the Assyrian Empire barely survived by moving its capital to Harran. By this defeat, much of Assyria's fighting force were enslaved in Babylon. But in 609 BC the Assyrians suffered another major defeat and Harran was captured by the Babylonians.
    Assyria was now so weak that it no longer could fight off the Babylonians without allies. The capital was again moved, this time to Chargemish, and here in 605 BC the final Assyro-Babylonian battle was fought. The inexorable tide of Babylonian conquest was riding athwart the entire ME area. Nothing would stop them. The Assyrians and their Egyptian allies lost, and Assyria disappeared from off the map. Suffering the same fate it had meted out to others.

    Not really sure of the point here? Nice history lesson.

    The use of the prophetic element in Jer 25:11 is both post positive as well as future. And not just one way as you suggest with your Hebraic techno-babble. By605 BC elements of Jeremiah's prophecy had already began its fulfillment, but the major portion, still future, would stand as a sign of Judah's continuing apostasy till 539 BC.

    The statements bolded are either pure speculation or patently false. Notice no attempt is made to pose an exegesis on the text, or to overcome the points I brought up regarding the morphological inflections of the perfect mood in the text or my side-by-side comparison with a virtually similar text, Genesis 15:13, and how both indicated that it was not a continual action in the past but one that would begin at some point in the future. Why don't you address those points instead of dismissing them out of hand as "Hebraic techno-babble"?

  • FaceTheFacts

    On to Jeffro...

    The sense in which Judah was "among the Gentiles" is that 'the Gentile' nations were also in servitude to Babylon. Judah was among those 'Gentile' nations that were also subservient to Babylon. The word here translated 'among' is Strongs G1722, (en), which is a basic preposition that can mean in, by, with etc. It is translated in the Greek scriptures many times as with, and this is the sense that matches the context in which Judah served Babylon with the other nations.

    That is not how the text reads at all. Also note other renderings of "among the nations" in the Masoretic Text:

    "and I will scatter them among the nations that neither they nor their fathers have known." (Jeremiah 9:16) "“‘And I will pursue after them with the sword...for a curse and for an object of astonishment and for a whistling at and for a reproach among all the nations to which I shall certainly disperse them." (Jeremiah 29:18) "For I am with you,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “to save you; but I shall make an extermination among all the nations to which I have scattered you" (Jeremiah 30:11) "For I shall make an extermination among all the nations to which I have dispersed you." (Jeremiah 47:28) "She herself has had to dwell among the nations." (Lamentations 1:3) "Just like this the sons of Israel will eat their bread unclean among the nations to which I shall disperse them.” (Ezekiel 4:13)

    All renderings of "among the nations" clearly refer to the banishment of the Jews into foreign lands. Thus the rendering in the Septuagint "they shall serve among the nations" with a virtually identical context to the aforementioned scriptures, shows that this is in reference to exile and not vassalage as Jonnson implied.

    Can you provide a single translation of the Septuagint (LXX) that supports this rendering? Here are other renderings of Jeremiah 25:11 from the LXX

    "And the whole country shall be a desolation. And they shall be slavesamong the nations seventy years." - Charles Thomson's English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible

    "And the whole land shall be an annihilation, and they shall be slavesamong the nations seventy years." - New English Translation of the Septuagint

    " And all the land shall be a desolation; and they shall serve among the Gentiles seventy years." - Translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton

    So here is the challenge I am posing to Jeffro: Please show us one translation of the Septuagint that renders "among the nations" as "with the nations". If you cannot, then you are simply reading into the text and not allowing the text to speak for itself. Also interesting that the Greek word used for "service" here is also translated as "slaves". Which again, further proves my point that the servitude did not mean vassalage.

    It is evident from the context that the verse does not refer to exile because the passage talks about all the nations being in servitude. However, all the people from all the nations were not exiled. Jeremiah 27:8-11 quite clearly indicates that exile was a punishment for nations that didn't submit to Babylon during the 70 years, rather than something that happened to all the nations.

    "All" is idiomatic in Hebrew and Greek, i.e. "all" can simply refer to a substantiated amount and not necessarily every single nation on the planet. "At hearing this King Herod was agitated, and all Jerusalem along with him." (Matthew 2:3) Clearly not every single person in Jerusalem became agitated at the same time. "Then Jerusalem and all Ju·de′a and all the country around the Jordan made their way out to him." (Matthew 3:5) Clearly not everyone in Jerusalem went out to see John the Baptist. "He is rebuking the sea, and he dries it up; and all the rivers he actually makes run dry." (Nahum 1:4) Clearly this doesn't mean Yahweh makes every river run dry. The use of "all" is simply to convey a substantial amount and certainly a substantial amount of people from Gentile Nations went into exile. The passage in 2 Kings (which is dated to the first exile i.e. 598 B.C.) shows that Nebuchadnezzar already had several nations of people at his disposal in Babylon after he had conquered many nations and exiled the people to augment his military force. "And Jehovah began to send against him marauder bands of Chal·de′ans and marauder bands of Syrians and marauder bands of Mo′ab·ites and marauder bands of the sons of Am′mon, and he kept sending them against Judah to destroy it, according to Jehovah’s word that he had spoken by means of his servants the prophets." (2 Kings 24:2) Ezekiel described the siege of Jerusalem accordingly: "Then the nations came against him, those nations round about. With hooks they pulled him into a cage and brought him to the King of Babylon." (Ezekiel 19:8-9; cf. BM 21946) Certainly a substantial amount of foreign people were exiled to Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar's conquest, unless you are asserting otherwise?

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