Ezekiels 390 and 40 "Days of error"

by refiners fire 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    Brothers (and sisters)

    Now, as you know, I have been doing some independent study into the book of Ezekiel for some weeks now and, to be truthful, I’ve developed a couple of problems. Perhaps someone could clear these things up for me. Specifically, at this moment, I am interested in the Organizations interpretation of Ezekiel chapter 4. Among other things in Ezekiel 4 verses 4-6 Ezekiel has to spend 390 days lying on his left side and 40 days lying on his right side.

    To quote the Scriptures: “Lie also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it, according to the number of days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity…390 days, so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again upon thy right side, and thou shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah 40 days. I have appointed thee a day for a year...”

    THE FINISHED MYSTERY (page 393) says, about the 390 days :

    QUOTE: “Ezekiel here represents the reformer class which had to endure the iniquities of Papacy … The iniquity of Papacy lay in the fact that the reformers had shown them insistent proofs of their wrong course, and yet they continued in their own way…Priestcraft of the larger element of Christendom (Roman ism) was to be under attack for 390 years….This began in 1528 and ended in 1918

    Apparently a “turning point in history” occurred 1n 1528 to clearly mark the beginning of the Protestant 390 year “siege” against Papacy, something to do with the ascension of King Charles the 5th of Germany launched the “siege”. I never heard of the guy myself, but then I was never too well developed in the ‘spiritual insight’ department. Anyway, lets press on. About the 40 days, the same book (Finished Mystery) says:

    QUOTE: “Protestant ecclesiasticism from 1878 on, for 40 years, became the Judah of this type, besieged on every side by the reform element, under the leadership of the steward of divine truth, Pastor Russell. Until 1918… ”

    Now this is all very well brothers. Protestantism besieged CATHOLICISM for 390 years, and Charles Russell besieged PROTESTANTISM for 40 years, but, the book VINDICATION (1931), has something to say about these 390 and 40 day periods as well. Beginning on page 48 that book says:

    QUOTE: “Roman Catholics…monopolized the field, from the religious viewpoint, until the year 1531 AD when the rulers of England and Germany broke away from the pope and the League of Schmalkald was formed…This date is definitely fixed as a historical fact…and counting 390 years from then brings the period of time down to 1921

    As to the 40 day period, this VINDICATION book says:
    QUOTE: “The beginning of the public witness work in these Protestant countries would specifically mark the beginning of Gods forbearing with Protestantism. Mark now that it was in 1881 that this public witness began and is especially indicated by the publication and wide distribution of the booklet ‘food for thinking Christians’…God would forbear with the iniquity of Protestantism for a period of 40 years from and after the beginning of that period, the year 1881, as above stated. 40 Years added to 1881 marks the year 1921”.

    And what event clearly marks the year 1921 as spiritually significant? VINDICATION continues:

    QUOTE: “ It was in that year, 1921, that the WatchTower, by the Lords grace, was permitted to…publish the truth concerning the ‘beast’, the ‘image of the beast’ and the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ …”

    Well brothers, they have shifted their interpretation. Not only that, but now (currently) they’ve shifted it back again haven’t they, to 1918? Besides, I thought the publishing of significant Watchtower magazine articles commenced in 1922 brothers and that it coincided with the 7 Revelatory trumpet blasts. Perhaps this other 1921 trumpet blast was just a preblast, a clearing of the trumpetal throat so to speak, I don’t know. As well it seems strange that these prophetic periods are commenced with events I never heard of in the years 1528 and 1531. I have certainly never heard of the “League of Schmalkald” before brothers. Not only these things, but I checked my book THE NATIONS SHALL KNOW THAT I AM JEHOVAH (1971) which interprets Ezekiel verse by verse and there is NO modern fulfilment of these 390 and 40 day periods mentioned there in. This seems very strange to me brothers as it is quite apparent to me how these 390 year and 40 year periods apply in antitype fullfillment. The 390 years apply to PROTESTANTISM and the 40 years applies to the WATCHTOWER ORGANIZATION.

    Consider this brothers from the book:


    QUOTE: “Christendom cannot deny that she has acted far worse than that religious realm which she called "heathendom" or "pagandom." Jehovah's estimate of her must be the same as that which he expressed to the prophet Ezekiel…. "Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, 'For the reason that you people were more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, in my statutes you did not walk and my judicial decisions you did not perform; but according to the judicial decisions of the nations that are all around you, you performed, did you not? therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: "Here I am against you, O city, even I, and I will execute in the midst of you judicial decisions in the eyes of the nations. And I will do in you that which I have not done and the like of which I shall not do anymore by reason of all your detestable things."'"-Ezekiel 5:5-9

    Theres a small problem here brothers. The Ezekiel book portrays all these nasty prophecies about starvation, death and suffering as applicable to CHRISTENDOM. But these prophecies are pertaining to the nation of ISRAEL and its going off into CAPTIVITY.

    And who was the antitype fulfillment of the Israelite captivity?

    It was the REMNANT who went of into spiritual captivity. These scripture passages must be relevant to the remnant in some degree at least, if not applicable to the remnant alone! Yes Brothers? Pray upon this matter. If 1918 was the casting off of “Babylon the Great” by Jehovah in favour of pure worship then the equation could read:

    1918- 390 years error = 1528AD. 1918 - 40 years error = 1878 !!

    When the Org under brother Russell was formed!!

    And 40 years of Error they indeed were guilty of, what with their “creature worship”, “character development” and the cross on the front of the WT and celebrating birthdays and the like. Of course the “Judge” stamped all that out after he received his commission while, John like, in Prison, and was released.

    Lol brothers.

  • Maverick

    R/F: Love our post! The Society should have a 'Traveling Comic' who does a stand-up routine on all the dumb, silly, farfetched, off the wall, lunitic prophetic utterances these clowns have come up with! These characters should walk around Bethel with the dark blue cone hats with the stars painted on them! They are like the magic practicing priests during Moses time. Where is the sword of Jah on this one? Yours, Maverick

  • rocketman

    This does indeed go to show how off-the-wall many of their interpretations were and still are. Pulling dates and events from here and there to try making their understanding somehow fall together from a historical standpoint.

  • DanTheMan
    Perhaps this other 1921 trumpet blast was just a preblast, a clearing of the trumpetal throat so to speak

    hmmm....'trumpetal' or 'trumpetory' - I'll have to contact the English Department at the local university to see which would be correct. LOL

    I'm going to have to break down and buy one of those "WT Reprints" CD-Roms that Randy sells on Freeminds - this old WT stuff is so much fun!

  • johnny cip
    johnny cip

    rerfiners ; you know what kills me is that when i was a kid and went to book studies. they would sit there and glorify theses books and all the junk in them as from jehovah him self. jump up and down that every word is the incontavertable facts. today when i question the same jw's 30 years later they don't want to here what was in these books and i allways go for 1914 and 1919. if you hit your study this week with what you are readying him for , his brain might melt down right in your living room. then you will have to call the hasmat team in for the toxic clean up. after i bust the jw's with some of this drivil i tell them that the only prophecies that the wt forfulled in the bible was that of a false prophet... keep the entertainment coming, you are not planting seeds you are planting enough wheat to feed a hungry nation of 6 million starving believers....john


    In ancient Eastern culture using the term "40" means many,many..It`s not supposed to be an accurate count but it tells its readers it was many....Noah spent 40 days in an ark,Ali-baba had forty thieves,ect..ect....The supposedly educated people who take the term 40 literarly in eastern culture literature,haven`t even done a basic reseach on what they pretend to be expert at...OUTLAW

  • Gamaliel

    refiners fire,

    Another great post! LOL.

    I guess Rutherford was shifty, wasn't he. Sometimes he's shift things by 3.5, 7, or 40 years.

    I mentioned to a brilliant brother/elder at Bethel once that I was having trouble keeping track of the latest application of these prophecies. He said there was a formula that always gets you close enough:

    1. If it's Israel doing bad, it's Christendom
    2. If it's Israel doing good, it's the Remnant
    3. If it's Israel in any kind of captivity, it's the [imprisoned members of the] Remnant in 1918.


  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    QUOTE: "If it's Israel doing bad, it's Christendom / If it's Israel doing good, it's the Remnant / If it's Israel in any kind of captivity, it's the [imprisoned members of the] Remnant in 1918."

    Gamaliel. Hmmm. Now you mention it, I think Ive heard that formula before, sliding off the lips of some circuit servant or other. Thanks for the reminder. What a convenient formula though, and its nice and simple so the witless drones can absorb it. Currently in this book, THE NATIONS SHALL KNOW THAT I AM JEHOVAH (1971) I observe that in WT theory the first 24 chapters of Ezekiel where God is talking about giving Israel a hiding are pertinent to Christendom. Chapters 33 thru 40 are pertinent to the Remnants "Captivity". And the chapters in between,25 thru 32, are left out of interpretation! So they are pertinent to nothing apparently. I'll be sure to read those chapters I think.

    John Cip. My dub whose studying with me came on Saturday, weve altered the pattern, rather than study milk for babes from a dub introductory study book, we have leapt into the prophetic books. I told him that the WTs interpretations of the entire books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc being pertinent to the year 1919 was totally absurd. Know what?? He agreed with me.

    He said that (paraphrasing here) "....it was a matter of looking for the Organization that had true love among its members, and that was fullfilling the command to Preach in Matthew 24, the organization that refused to fight in warfare and kill fellow humans. As long as they were doing that and were otherwise trying to do Gods will and understand the Bible....'where else shall we go Lord'? ....so we should, if they are trying to do those basic things, allow a bit of slack and overlook..."

    At which point I said: "False Prophecy?" Haha.

    Dan. What happened at work man? Im in the dark here.

  • johnny cip
    johnny cip

    rifiners ; that is a shock, first he agrees that the 1919 stuff is bull so that would also make the 1914 stuff bull and whagt they preach today as bull on top of bull with a cherry on top. that they go door to door don't mean a thing, if they are preaching a different gospel than the nt. they keep saying the org. you don't need dictates of men to bring you to jesus. and what about all the wt teachings that have sent jw's to 1000's of years in prison (not accepting civil serv, instead of military) they changed that in 1996 . if you want god , jesus is clear he is the way truth and the light you can come to the father no other way. how about the ten commamdments . thou shall not use the name of the lord in vain . every time they say the wt is the truth ,gods sprit directed org. the fds the mouth piece of jesus today etc . thou shall not have another god's before me. but you have to be a jw and believe everything they say as the word of god. and thou shall not lie. the wt lies every week when they print that what they were teaching 20-4- 50-80-100-120 years ago was bible truth. that's why i mentioned when i studied years ago . the feeling was that everything they ever printed was all fact and true and from god and it is the same way today at the hall.once you got your study to agree that they are lying. that should have told him that the wt can't be trusted and will print any thing to suck ppl in.and how many jw's died or got very sick from wt quack medicine cures, flip flops on vaccines, transplants, and blood . etc. i could go on butr you know. if he comes back i would go into more false prophecies and how the wt today call this worship acceptable to god... it sounds like you got him right were you want him. from this point on he will have to lie to protect his god. it's a shame but i think you are making progress. good work happy hunting ...john

  • Noumenon

    I researched this also a few years back after reading a book called 'Signs of the Times' by some writer called Proctor (from New Zealand). He had another book before this, the title of which eludes me (something like 'Gods plan of the ages'). He had a rather fascinating interpretation of these verses, something along the lines -

    390 days + 40 days = 430 days. 430 days - (minus) 70 years (Jews in Babylonish exile) = 360 days. 360 days = 360 years (a day for a year) x 7 times (some scriptures in Genesis about increasing their affliction 7 times if don't return to God) = 2520 years (similar to JW's). He calculated the start of this period from 587 BCE (destruction of Jerusalem by Babylonian world power), and then added the extra 70 years, and arrived at 2005 for when Christ returns to Kingly power (a couple of years were added somehow...can't remember). So he says the period is 2590 years, not 2520, as JW's and some other groups believe. I'd recommend you purchase his book...very fascinating research on chronology and time-keys in the bible.

    My understanding is that the WBTS currently interpret the 390 and 40 day time periods in Ezekiel to mean nothing more than a retrospective marking off of years from the destruction of Jerusalem back to the split of the 10 tribe kingdom, or something like that. They no longer assign it to have any prophetic meaning.

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