Footnote: Someone asked about this, so I thought I should clarify. I wrote:
I am supposed to be of the tribe of Judah and House of David...
The words to note are "I am supposed to be."
I was asked, How do you know this?
Tradition and documentation.
The documentation comes mainly from the records of the Spanish Inquisition and the work of academic historians who have noted that some of my ancestors during their trails and torture claimed to be of the House of David. They raised this point to ask how they as Christians planned to explain to Christ in the afterlife what they did to their own relatives. Some Christian historians have called this a 'sad attempt' by my ancestors to avoid persecution. But these statements have been judged as demonstrative of anti-Semitism on behalf of the historians who felt these Jews were lying.
Tradition comes into play here. According to Obadiah 1:20, the "inhabitants of Jerusalem" had been exiled to a place called "Seferad" or "Sepharad" (there are various spellings). While the exact place is unknown, it is likely that this is mentioning the place where the House of David had been placed by the Babylonians to separate them from them the rest of the exiles. This is merely speculative, for no one knows exactly where this place was.
Perhaps, due to legend, after the Roman diaspora, it seems that most of the Cohen line (Levitical), went north into Ashkenazi territory (which became Poland, Austria, and Germany). These Jews mixed with the people of the Ashkenazi origin. These became the Ashkenazi Jews (and the last four letters of Ashkenazi is where "Nazi" comes from, the Jews mixing with these people the reason Hitler felt the need to "purge" them from the "master race").
Others, traditionally Judean and Benjaminite, went to "Sepharad." All that is clear is that by the 2nd century, the Jews were calling the Iberian peninsula by this name. It later became Spain and Portugal. Was this because the House of David was originally placed here? Was the name merely traditional, lifted from Obadiah? No one knows. Because they shared the Iberian peninsula with Arabs/Muslims, there was little mixing of the two groups allowed. Some Sephardic Jews are believed to have been of the House of David, the great teacher Maimonides among the top of the list (though he never publicly admitted to this). According to records it seems I am related to Maimonides from my mother's mother and her line, but both sides of my family, my paternal line as well, has Sephardi roots.
The only DNA marker that exists, however, is the Cohen one. There is no marker for the Davidic line. There is rabbinical support to the claims of my family, and I did grow up hearing stories from the women in my family that we were descendants of royalty and that if I were to marry they would have to investigate the family (a common tradition that rabbinical authorities claim exist in some Crypto-Jewish families which might be Davidic).
And there you have it. As to what it means, besides learning the history, there is nothing else of value I can say it gives to me. It is not where I come from that matters as much as what I do with my life now. And since there is not much to go on definitively, I can only say according to tradition "I am supposed to be." But I make no claim to the validity of this nor that it makes me any more special than anyone else in the end.
Firstly, well done Unstuck. It takes courage to honestly research your convictions (not just about religion, but about anything) but the personal satisfaction of doing so makes it all worth while.
There are many ways to research what is the correct date for the fall of Jerusalem. I think whether one way is more convincing than another depends on the individual. For example Wifibandit has an outline that shows, using Watchtower's own publications, that it must have been 587 BC.
Stone tablets such as VAT 4956 would be conclusive proof in most people's eyes. VAT 4956 was a record of astronomical observations made (according to the tablet) in the 37th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. The astronomical observations recorded as described only happen once every 20,000 years, and would have occurred in 567 BC. Given the bible says Jerusalem was destroyed in the 19th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the date of destruction must have been 586 BC (not 607 BC).
Watchtower did a job on VAT 4956 a few years ago. In an article, they argued that the Babylonians didn't have clocks (crap) and the names the Babylonians gave to planets was uncertain, and therefore excluded most of what was written on the tablet. They then fitted the remaining observations into their chosen year; they could have probably fitted into any year, at that point. Worse, from memory, the Online version of the article did not even mention the dodgy assumptions Watchtower made. The effect is that any ultradub will throw that article at you, if you try to raise VAT 4956.
You can also show Watchtower chronology is wrong in other ways, by for example, going through Egyptian records of when Pharoah Necho was on the throne.
Personally, I think the easiest way for someone at home with nothing more than the internet, to prove Watchtower is wrong, is to use Ptolomy's canon.
Ptolomy's canon is really just a list of observed eclipses going back to 747 BC. The list was maintained and handed down through the ages. There were no "BC" dates back then, so the year portion of the date of an eclipse was recorded by reference to the relevant ruler of the major power in the near east, be that Babylonian, Persian, Ptolomeic or Egyptian, and the year of his reign. Because today we can accurately calculate when eclipses would have occurred even thousands of years ago, we can check whether it is accurate, continuous, and assign exact dates for each reported eclipse. Because the purpose was to record eclipses, not act as a calendar, it does not describe when during a year a king took power, and so any date derived from it can be up to a year out. (Short-lived kings that lasted less than a year often don't get mentioned, for that reason.)
As a result, anyone can simply look up Ptolomy's canon and see that Nebuchadnezzar came to power in 604 BC (+/- 1 year) and Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 538 BC (+/- 1 year).
I like this approach because once you understand Ptolomy's canon, you realise it is plain unarguable, it is easily checked at home without relying on experts, and as far as I am aware, Watchtower has not yet concocted any rebuttal.
Did you know: That the only people still discussing 607 and 1914 are not the mainstream JW's but only a few diehards stuck in the 80s and people like "us". 1914/607 has been largely abandoned by the WTBTS, even when I was in a few years ago, few elders, even the circuit overseers didn't understand what I was talking about, asked me why I was questioning the matter and told me to focus on the bigger picture, regardless of whether it was wrong.
I remember the last conventions I went to they largely ignored the subject and 1914 to most is just a dogma, something you should accept without question.
Look at their own website, they no longer teach that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 and the whole population was taking into captivity (which in history was a period spanning about 20 years and included not just Babylon but also Egypt). This is the whole justification in the current version of the Bible Teach book:
The 2,520 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.
It gives them a great amount of leeway because in actual history, the Davidic line of kingship is Jewish BS. King David didn't exist as a sovereign monarch of that patch of land we now consider Israel/Judah, that area was continuously being conquered and had many warlords, self-proclaimed kings or vassals over many small patches of it. There was no unified kingdom and even if there were brief periods of Jewish rule, it was only symbolic, the actual "Jewish State" was usurped and subject to high taxes and occupancy by the powers of the day.
Jerusalem 'fell' only in the matter that the rule over Jerusalem switched. Parts of the city sure burned down and a lot of people died but the city continued to exist. Yes, there was a (vassal) king (Zedekiah), but he was rebelling against the Babylonian rule that installed him. He was basically like the manager of a McDonalds trying to start his own McDonalds and corporate fired him.
Actually there was a Davidic dynasty, but you are right in that it wasn't composed of the propaganda-based legends you read about in our Jewish Scripture.
There is doubt that there was a "King David" as described in Samuel and Kings. Jews regard these as legendary tales describing the government that centralized (or attempted to) the various peoples of the land which evolved into what we today call "the Jews." This dynasty of kings is responsible for making the worship of YHVH the state religion and setting up the Temple. While it is totally not impossible that there was such a person, it is doubtful the Biblical David or even a Ben David is at the foundation of this monarchy. Yet the dynasty given this name itself is not in doubt.
The Jewish take on the stories of King David is that these compose a "political apology," a Jewish form of Christianity's "right of kings." These texts were an attempt to give the dynasty "heavenly authority" for ruiling, because in all likelihood, as you mentioned, the peoples of the Fertile Crescent were not unified, neither politically nor religiously.
Like the American legends surrounding George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the like, they are "wishful thinking," basically engendering the type of qualities the Hebrews wanted to see in their kings.
Again while this doesn't rule out a possible historical "David," my personal lineage is to those rulers who were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and placed in the "Sephardic" region whether King David is a real individual or not. It took 20 years, but my family's been traced back to even those Jewish Christian bishops before Kyrikos who were slaughtered by the Romans for being "of the House of David" (which is why there were 16 between 40-135 C.E., as all claimed to be relatives of Jesus of Nazareth).
This also explains why many Jews, such as myself, do not accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. Since "David" is likely a legendary figure, it seems less likely that the Messiah would be a literal individual too. "The Messiah" is seen as an era of peace personified as a perfect ruler like the legendary David by many Jews for this reason.
Thanks for sharing with us your inputs on these matters, to say the least, these are very interesting:
- particularly to those of us who only ever heard the WTS (read Crazy Fred Franz) version of things!
...[Jews] went north into Ashkenazi territory (which became Poland, Austria, and Germany). These Jews mixed with the people ....the last four letters of Ashkenazi is where "Nazi" comes from,..."
David, I think your sources are going astray here, Nazi comes from the "National S. D. A. Partei", abbreviated to Nazi, like Commi.
talking of Poland, the City of Danzig was not founded by the northern tribe of Dan either.(as British Israel would have it,) As you know, these tribes went to North America instead (check Salt Lake City Utah.) ha ha.
Your good comments of the chaotic history in the land was confirmed by this week's wt assigned bible reading, Jeremiah 38-41, where after the "fall" of Jerusalem, stragglers returned to the land and fought it out before tapering off into Egypt, a fluid situation, where to peg the 607 or whatever marker? Jesus in Acts 1:6,7 "...it is not given to you to understand time..."
We are both correct on where the origin of Nazi comes from.
The term was adopted from the German word for "National Socialist" which is "Nationalsozialist." It was shortened to "Nazi" for short.
But it was also a word already in use, originally meaning someone who came "directly from the land," originally a native but later a farmer and then later a "commoner." At times viewed as more of an insult by wealthier classes as the term "commoner" became a synonym for "peasant" as well, etymologically it came from the name "Ignatius," which means someone who was of Ashkenazi descent. The "natius" is merely a transliterated form of "nazi," the last part of the word.
The term was somewhat of a "reclaiming" of what has become a derogatory term, such as when "queer" was adopted by some members of the LGBTQ community. For instance, the term "Queer Theology" is now common in the LGBTQ community to describe Christian theology that counters claims against homosexuality.
I have not much to add to the other comments you make, as there is question whether Dan or any other of the "Ten Tribes" ever existed. They could be a myth. But I have heard similar crazy ideas from people, like Mormons and those who grasp the straws of Armstrongism.
And I gather you are merely making reference in your last part of your comments about what is being read in the Jehovah's Witnesses religion programs, yes? I haven't been to a Kingdom Hall in about over 30 years, so I will have to take your word on what the Witnesses believe today on those matters. But it's interesting they are reading that right now.
Further interesting stuff - and of a depth that is a little uncommon these days!
So my dear Unstuck and I went back to the state library yesterday to continue our personal research into this topic.
Once again, we found NO REFERENCE anywhere to 607 BC. It simply is not a date that is mentioned by any source.
All sources quote 586/587.
So, we can now with honesty say to any witness inquirer that we did not simply take the word of "apostates", but found this pivotal information out for ourselves.
Just a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has posted on this thread. Thank you so much for taking the time. You've given me a lot to think about, mull over, and study more!!
Love and light to all! Mwah!