A dumb question?

by link 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • link

    Its quite possible that I am the only one on this board who does not know the answer to this question so can someone please enlighten me.

    At Jeremiah 25:12 it says that when 70 years have been fulfilled, Babylon and its king will be destroyed. When does this 70 years start from? All WTS literature says that Babylon was destroyed in 539 BCE, two years before the end of the 70 years of Judahs desolation in 537, which started in 607 BCE.

    Are these two different lots of 70 years? I've tried asking Witnesses but they don't seem to have any explanation?


  • onacruse

    Hi, link! Welcome to the board.

    As I recall (waiting for my replacement WTS CD) the explanation of this verse is: though Babylon was initally "destroyed" in 539 BCE, the real proof of it's demise was the triumphant return of Israel to it's homeland in 537 BCE. It was only then demonstrated that Babylon had indeed completely lost it's influence over God's people. Similar to the supposed fall of Babylon the Great...WTS asserts that the renewal of the "work" in 1919 CE proves that BtG had then lost it's control over God's people, and essentially, though not literally or completely, fallen.


  • link

    Hi Craig,

    Many thanks for your response to my question. I can understand how this might be applied to Babylon but not how it applies to its king. The final evidence of Babylons defeat may have been the return of the Jews, but the final evidence of the end of the king was his dead body.

    According to the WTS his death occurred after 68 years and according to the Bible it was after 70 years that the last king of Babylon would be destroyed. Something does not "click".

    Would be grateful for any further info.


  • garybuss


    Hi Link, Just wondering if you have studied numerology at all. And if you are a religious person, I wondered how you see numerology fitting with religion. And if your are a pragmatist, I wondered how practical you see second Adventist style numerology.

    Best wishes, and happy weekend,



  • link

    Hi db,

    My only interest in numerology stems from my very close association with my JW family members.

    Yes I have a very strong belief in God and the Bible but not in the man made religions of our day. For example I do not believe in divination by numbers as the JWs do with their 607 and 1914 etc therefore second Adventist numerology is hogwash to me. It borders on the occult and I believe it has no place in Christianity .

    I think perhaps that I am more inclined towards a practical than theoretical interpretation of the Bible so in that respect, yes I could be a pragmatist.

    The reason that I frequent this board is that my JW family are continually challenging me to disprove their beliefs. I find it very difficult at times trying to prove a negative so always attempt to turn the challenge around by asking questions in the form of seeking clarification. The secret here is that I must always know the answer myself before asking the question. Hence my question.

    Changing the subject slightly, the biggest problem that I come up against is one of interpretation. On occasions there appears to be many different English words that fit a Greek or Hebrew verb and many different ways of understanding these English words. At other times there appears to be no English equivalent to the Greek or Hebrew or no Greek or Hebrew equivalent of the English word.

    For this reason the interpretation of the Bible takes many and various forms and the outcome is completely dependent upon how these variations are linked together by the writer in order to present the finished article. The Witnesses do it in a unique way and therefore they are different, but may not always be wrong.

    I do however disagree with them most strongly on some of their interpretation of scripture and occasionally need a little bit of ammunition to fire back.


  • johnathanseagull

    hi Link............have you seen this site


    J Gull

  • link

    Hi J Gull,

    Thanks, I have that site stored under "favourites" but you can only understand it if you are not a JW, if you are it will not make sense to you.You will still go on believing what the WTS says.

    I have to work with what the JW's believe hence my question about the last king of Babylon being killed after 68 yrars and not 70 years as per the Bible. This is what they believe so I am just asking how they work it out.

    I mentioned in my last post about complications. They complicate matters still further by frequent use of such words as "literal", "figurative" and "fulfillment".

    Any part of the Bible can be literal or figurative or both at the same time or at different times depending on the outcome you want to achieve. Any part of the Bible can have a literal fulfillment on any number of occasions and can also have a figurative fulfillment at any time and on any number of occasions from one to infinity depending on what you are trying to "prove".

    I don't know how 6m people, including my own family, can believe this!


  • garybuss


    Sorry you have to deal with Witness connections.

    I have taken a simple approach. Either treat me nice and treat those people important to me nice or your ass is outta here. And, back up your claims with facts and reality or keep em to yourself.

    I am w a y past wanting to deal with their games and delusions. They are the most double dealing, devious dimwits I have ever had to try to deal with.



  • aChristian


    As I think you know, the WT's interpretation of the "70 years" referred to by Jeremiah makes no sense. For several reasons.

    One is that Jeremiah 25:11,12 tells us, in part, that "these nations (plural - not just Judah) will have to serve the king of Babylon 70 years," and "when the 70 years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation."

    History tells us that in 609/608 BCE, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar's father Nabopolassar, Babylon replaced Assyria as the dominant political and military power of the ancient Near East.( Shortly thereafter, in 607/606 BCE, crown prince Nebuchadnezzar began a long series of attacks against Judah as well as Babylon's other neighboring nations. ) Seventy years, or parts thereof, after Babylon's rise to power, In 539 BC, Babylon was apparently "punished" by God for its actions when it was overthrown by Persia's Cyrus the Great.

    The Watchtower Society tells us that Jeremiah's "70 years" prophecies began to be fulfilled in 607 BCE, when they say Judah was completely desolated by Babylon. And they tell us the 70 year period of time Jeremiah prophesied of ended when the Jewish people returned to their homeland 70 years later, in the year 537 BCE.

    So, in defense of the Watchtower Society's understanding of Jeremiah's "70 years" prophecy, JWs must explain Jeremiah 25:12. There we read, "When the seventy years have been fulfilled I will call to account against the king of Babylon and against that nation." (NWT) Or, as the New American Standard Bible says, "When the seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation." So, the Bible says that Babylon would not be "called to account" or "punished" until the 70 years were "fulfilled" or "completed." But all reasonable Bible students, JWs and non-JWs, agree that Babylon was "punished" in 539 BCE.

    So, all non-JW Bible readers who are familiar with history understand that the "70 years" Jeremiah spoke of in Jer. 25:11,12 ended in 539 BCE. But the Watchtower Society says they did not end until 537 BCE. So, according to the Watchtower's interpretation of scripture, God punished Babylon two years before the 70 years ended, even though He plainly told Jeremiah He would not do so until the seventy years were "completed."

    In Daniel chapter 9 we find that Daniel had been studying Jeremiah's "70 years" prophecies pertaining to what would happen to both Babylon and the Jewish people after the 70 years God had allowed Babylon to dominate its neighboring nations came to an end. Daniel had no doubt been reading Jer. 25:6,7 which quoted God as having said, "I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon ... All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him." And verses 11,12 of the same chapter where God said, "These nations (plural - not just Judah) will have to serve the king of Babylon 70 years. ... And when the 70 years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation." And Jer. 29:10,11 where God said, "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    To what exact period of time Jeremiah's "70 years" were meant to apply is a bit uncertain. What is certain, however, is that the Watchtower's application cannot be correct because it clearly conflicts with the scriptures themselves. As mentioned earlier, Historians tells us that in 609/608 BCE Assyria ceased to exist and her territory was taken over by the Babylonians. Historians also tells us that in 607/606 BCE crown prince Nebuchadnezzar led his first military campaign against Babylon's neighboring nations. And they tell us that in 539 BCE, Babylon was apparently punished by God for its actions, as Jeremiah had prophesied, when it was overthrown by Persia's Cyrus the Great.

    In resolving this matter it might be helpful to remember that the Jews at the time of Jeremiah (as they still do today) used a lunar calendar containing 354 days. So, if Jeremiah's "70 year" prophecies pertaining to Babylonian domination of Judah and her neighboring nations referred to 70 solar years they may be counted from 609 to 539 BCE. However, if they referred to 70 lunar years (which would equal only 68 solar years) they may be counted from 607 BCE (the year Nebuchadnezzar himself first began to subjugate Babylon's neighboring nations) to 539 BC. The 70 lunar years application may actually fit the facts of history and scripture better than the 70 solar years application. For God had said, "I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon ... All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes." (Jer. 25:6) So the actual wording of Jeremiah's "70 years" prophecy concerning Babylon's domination of its neighboring nations does seem to have dictated a starting point when Nebuchadnezzar himself would begin to exercise such control.

    In any case, the Watchtower's interpretation does not fit either the scriptures or the facts of history.

  • Valis

    All this talk of jeremiah 25:12 and the important scripture gets overlooked...please reread Jeremiah 25:27 and have a great Labor Day...


    District Overbeer

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