A non-Witnes who accepts 607 BC?

by careful 31 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TD

    The Millerites got thier ideas.....from John Aquila Brown s book The Even Tide.

    If anything, William Miller was slightly ahead of John Aquila Brown.

  • careful

    Thanks, Bobcat, Earnest and dropoffyourkeylee. I found the references in Darby, in his Chronological Table on p. xxviii: "606 ... The 'Times of the Gentiles' commence" and the one in the Scofield Ref. Bible. Scofield has a note on Jer. 25 (p. 798) where he offers three possibilities as to when the 70 years "may be reckoned to begin" but states that the 606 date "is the more probable reckoning."

    It seems more likely that this David Oldfield fundamentalist clergyman is following these old 19th century people that Russell. It's interesting that such Fundamentalism is still around, but thank goodness it is not common, but is in Post Falls, Idaho! I guess it wasn't just the WTS that tweaked a year in.

  • Earnest

    Although both J. N. Darby (in his Chronological Table of the Kings and Prophets of Judah and Israel) and the Scofield Reference Bible (in its commentary on Jeremiah 25:11) give 606 as the commencement of the seventy years, they do not attribute this date to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

    Darby provides these dates (in 1871):

    606 Nebuchadnezzar reigns, at first conjointly with Nabopolassar - and carries away the Jews to Babylon. The 'times of the Gentiles' commence. Beginning of 70 years' captivity in Babylon.
    604 Nebuchadnezzar reigns alone.
    588 Nebuchadnezzar completely destroys Jerusalem, city and temple.
    538 Cyrus, King of Persia. captures Babylon: Reign of Darius the Mede. Dan.5.31

    Scofield comments (in 1909):

    The 70 years may be reckoned to begin with the first deportation of Judah to Babylon (2 Ki. xxiv. 10 -15), B.C. 604 according to the Assyrian Eponym Canon, or B.C. 606 according to Ussher; or, from the final deportation (2 Ki. xxv.; 2 Chr. xxxvi. 17-20; Jer. xxiii. 8-10), B.C. 586 (Assyr. Ep. Canon), or B.C. 588 (Ussher).

    Both of these (as well as John Aquila Brown) almost certainly got their dates from Ussher's Annals of the Old Testament (1650):

    606 Nebuchadnezzar chained Jehoiakim to carry him away to Babylon: [2 Chro. XXXVI. 6.] Later upon submission and his promises of subjection, he let him stay in his own house where he lived as his servant for 3 years. [2 Reg.XXIV.1.] From this time of the carrying of the king and people of the Jews into the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar, starts the 70 years of the captivity of Babylon which were foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. [Jerem.XXV.11. & XXIX.10.]

    William Miller and John Aquila Brown were contemporaries. However, Brown lived in London (UK) and published Even-Tide in 1823. Miller lived in upper New York state and had reached his conclusions by 1818 so it is unlikely there was influence either way. Miller concluded, among other things, that

    ... the seven times of Gentile supremacy must commence when the Jews ceased to be an independent nation, at the captivity of Manasseh, which the best chronologers assigned to B. C. 677 (2 Chron.33:11)

    This is a different starting point to the Gentile times, but 2520 years from 677 brings you to 1843/1844 which was when he calculated Christ would return.

    So where, then, did Russell get the date of 606/607 for the destruction of Jerusalem from? In Three Worlds, and the Harvest of this World, 1877, he states (p.67)

    The chronology by Bishop Usher, as found in the margin of our English Bibles, is one hundred and twenty-four years too short...For instance: ...he begins the seventy years captivity, or rather the seventy years of desolation...eighteen years before it was thus made desolate. That is, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, instead of at the end of Zedekiah's reign, who was the last king of Judah.

    As the seventy years of desolation ended in the first year of Cyrus (B.C. 536) it must have commenced in B.C. 606. Hence (p.83)

    ...it was in B. C. 606, that God's kingdom ended, the diadem was removed, and all the earth given up to the Gentiles. 2520 years from B. C. 606, will end in A. D. 1914

    So he agreed with Ussher that 606 was the start of the seventy years but believed the event was the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. So, it seems that Russell was the first to come up with 606/607 as being the date for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

  • Bobcat

    Hey Earnest,

    Thanks very much for that research! I appreciate the detail and the effort.

  • TD

    In Three Worlds, and the Harvest of this World, 1877, he states (p.67)

    I'm confused. Is this a reference to Russell or Barbour?

  • Earnest

    TD : I'm confused. Is this a reference to Russell or Barbour?

    Greetings TD,

    Well spotted!

    Barbour was the author of Three Worlds, and Russell was the publisher. They both shared the same chronology but it seems it was Barbour who first came up with it.

    So I should rather say that Barbour was the first to come up with 606/607 as being the date for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, with Russell close behind.

  • Bobcat

    For Earnest and others who may be interested, here is a link to a page that discusses how CTR came up with 606 as the date for Jerusalem's fall to Babylon. I think the link is written by poster AlanF. (Correct me if I am wrong.) And here is a Google listing of several other possible links to this topic.

    The WT's 606/7 dating for the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year appears to be nothing more than taking 536/7 BC and subtracting 70 years, with the assumption that Jerusalem had to have fallen at that time. Thereafter, it represents a decision to hold to that conclusion in the face of history / archaeology, and the possibility that one has misunderstood the scriptures that were used to make the initial calculation.

  • slimboyfat

    The thing that floored me about the seventy years was in the Isaiah books, where it talks about another “seventy years” in the Bible and says it just means a period of time and not exactly 70 years. But if the other 70 years wasn’t exact, why should this one about the exile be exact? No explanation was offered.

    I lost the reference for this, but I think it’s in the Isaiah books.

    Incidentally, I remember some brothers commenting that the Isaiah books were not as substantial as the older literature, and repetitive. But compared to nowadays, the Isaiah books were positively sophisticated!

  • Earnest

    Isaiah's Prophecy - Light for All Mankind, Volume I, p.253

  • slimboyfat

    Thanks Earnest, that’s the one!

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