Pivitol Date Stuff

by IP_SEC 67 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • IP_SEC

    I dont "get" the whole 1914 thing. The 'prophetic rule'? Day fer a year? Don?t make sense to me.

    Anyhow, How do you get around the 537BC + 70 years = 607BC (jer 25:8-12) for the fall of Jerusalem? One thing I have to believe is what the bible says over secular history. Is 537 maybe not the pivotal date it's made out to be? References?

    I've been to 607vs587.com but didnt find anything there on my question. I know secular history says the fall was in 587 and the return was 537, but that only gives us 50 years of captivity, not the 70 of the bible.

    Muchos Gracias

  • City Fan
    City Fan
    One thing I have to believe is what the bible says over secular history


    Anyway, here are two verses that show the bible agrees with 587 for the fall of Jerusalem:

    Zephaniah 1:1,12: "In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechari'ah.....Then the angel of the LORD said, `O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these seventy years?'".

    Darius' second year was 519/518 BC so 'these seventy years' would have begun around 587 BC.


  • M.J.

    There are several additional points I'll throw out, although I know there are others here that are much better versed on this subject.

    First you are assuming that the 70 years began with the fall of Jerusalem. There are verses which suggest otherwise.

    In the actual prophecy, Jeremiah 25:10-12, which is dated to "the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, that is, the first year of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon" (verse 1), 3 things are predicted:
    (1) The land of Judah would become a "devastated place".
    (2) "These nations" would "serve the king of Babylon seventy years".
    (3) When the seventy years of servitude to the king of Babylon had been "fulfilled" God would "Call to account against the king of Babylon and against that nation...their error, even against" the land of the Chaldeans. So the end of the seventy years would be signified by the year in which the nations would cease to be under the yoke of Babylon and after this, God would call the king and nation of Babylon "into account".

    Assuming that it starts with the destruction of Jerusalem and ends with the Jews' return from exile is merely an interpretation. Technically the prophecy can coincide with the period of Babylon's dominance over its surrounding nations, which according to the Biblical and historical record amounts to 70 years (ending in 539). When taken together with the abundant and indisputable material evidence, this interpretation is the more reasonable.

    Add to this Jeremiah 29:1-10. Verse 3 shows this letter was written during the reign of Zedekiah, and probably during the same time as the preceding chapter, in Zedekiah's 4th year (Jeremiah 28:1), 7 years before the fall of Jerusalem. Here Jeremiah presupposed that the seventy years were already in progress at the time. Jeremiah urges the Jews to wait until the 70 years have been completed, rather than to continue with thier plans of revolt against the Babylonian domination of their nation.

    To lend further Biblical support to the 587 date (in addition to what City Fan reported on Zechariah 1:7-12), Zechariah 7:1-7 says that in the 4th year of Darius [The WTS timeline allows for this to be 517 BCE], "all the people of the land" had been fasting and wailing twice a year to commemorate two events for 70 years. The fast in the 5th month was to commemorate how the chief of Nebuchadnezzar's bodyguards burned down the city of Jerusalem and its temple (Jeremiah 52:12,13; 2 Kings 25:8,9). The fast in the 7th month was "to commemorate the assassination of Governor Gedaliah, who was in the royal house of King David and whom Nebuchadnezzar made governor of the land for the poor Jews who were allowed to remain after the destruction of Jerusalem" (2 Kings 25:22-25; Jer 40:13-41:10). So at this point it had been 70 years from the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. 517+70=587

    Haggai 1:14-15 - Work on the temple in Jerusalem is started by the Jews in the 6th month of the 2nd year of Darius [520 BCE]. In Haggai 2:1-4, it shows that some of the Jews who were working on the temple were old enough to have seen it in its former glory, before its destruction. If the temple's destruction came in 587 that means these folks were rebuilding it 67 years later. If the temple's destruction came in 607 then they were rebuilding it 87 years later. Which is the more plausible?

    There are other scriptures involved as well...But I gotta get back to work!

  • IP_SEC

    OOO, ack I see now that the Societys equation of 537+70=607 is an over simplification of things. I re-read 607vs587.com again and see that it does address my question clearly. I must have been blind when I read it about 6 months ago. Even seperate Egyptian chronology supports a later date for the destruction. The desolation, the supremicy of Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem are clearly differant things. Even by Jeremiahs own word the desolation had already begun nearly 20 years before the destruction. And the Society misquoting their boy Flava Jo. He says the destruction occured 50 years before the desolation? I got to check this stuff out for myself.

    Its amazing how I could have read that site 6 months ago and be blind to the evidence out of fear of disloyaty to the FDS.

    Thanks yall


  • scholar


    You are quite correct in giving priority to the Bible rather than the speculations of higher critics who cannot agree as to whether 587 or 586 is the correct calender date for the destruction of the temple . Also, such critics do not agree as to the meaning, beginning and end of the seenty years. City Fan wrongly asserts using the texts in Zechariah about the seventy years from 587 to 517. But the context demands that the seventy years was an historic period that had already passed when the vision was given. This period of denouncing and mourning was celebrated by annual fastings.

    In order to make the seventy years fit secular chronology, the critics amd apostates have to break up the seventy years inot servitude, exile and desolation. The Society's interpretation nicdely combines these elements into a momentous period beginning and ending with clearly fixed chronological data.namely 6o7 to 537.


    BA MA Studies in Religion

  • City Fan
    City Fan


    Will you for once in your posting life post something, anything with some substance, references, thought, or research! My last debate with you on this subject was as futile as the rest. You asked for references and they were given. You were asked for the same and then did a runner as usual. Here's the thread:


    God, you're thick!

  • AlanF

    IP_SEC said:

    : How do you get around the 537BC + 70 years = 607BC (jer 25:8-12) for the fall of Jerusalem?

    By carefully reading the passage and noting exactly what it says, and by relating it to other Bible passages. Jeremiah 25:8-12 says (ESV):

    8 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.

    The passage is clearly talking about, not just the Jews, but "all these surrounding nations" and "these nations" in and around Palestine. Verse 11 says that "these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years", not that they would be captive in Babylon for 70 years. That servitude began for some of the nations in 609 B.C. when the Babylonians under Nabopolassar finally put an end to the Assyrian empire at the battle of Harran. Verse 12 states that "after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation." The king of Babylon, Belshazzar, was obviously "punished" when he was killed in 539 B.C. when the Persians conquered Babylon and "that nation". Therefore the 70 years must have ended no later than 539 B.C. From 609 to 539 is exactly 70 years, and so that's the longest time that any of "these nations" served "the king of Babylon".

    Furthermore, Jeremiah 27:6-7 states:

    6 Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. 7 All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.

    This clearly states that the servitude spoken of in Jer. 25 would be to Nebuchadnezzar and his descendants. According to certain sources, Belshazzar was one of Nebuchadnezzar's grandsons. Clearly then, when Belshazzar was killed and Babylon conquered, the servitude ended in 539 B.C.

    Then we have Jeremiah 29:10:

    10 "For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

    This clearly indicates that when the 70 years were completed "for Babylon", i.e., when the term of Babylon's supremacy over "these nations" was complete, God would cause the Jews to go home. That supremacy ended in 539 B.C. when Babylon was conquered.

    Finally we have 2 Chronicles 36:20:

    [Nebuchadnezzar] took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia.

    Consistent with the above passages, this clearly says that the Jews were "servants to [Nebuchadnezzar] and his sons" until when? "Until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia" in 539 B.C.

    So it's clear, from the Bible itself along with secular history that everyone agrees on, that the 70 years ended in 539 B.C., not in 537 B.C.

    : One thing I have to believe is what the bible says over secular history. Is 537 maybe not the pivotal date it's made out to be?

    Your question should be answered now.

    : References?

    Get hold of Carl Jonsson's book The Gentile Times Reconsidered from www.freeminds.org or www.commentarypress.com .


  • City Fan
    City Fan

    Scholar, I'll even paste my last response and question to you:


    You interpretation is preposterous and is not supported by Bible commentators. Did you bother to check what commentaries have to say on this subject of Zechariah 7:5 and 1:12

    Well, yes. From John J Collins 'Daniel' page 349.

    seventy years: The reference (in Dan 9:2) is to Jer 25:11,12; 29:10. In Jeremiah's prophecy the seventy years most probably begin from the first capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C.E. In Jer 25:11-12 the context is the desolation of "this land" and the subjugation of the peoples round about. In Jer 29:10 the context is advice to the deportees. [See, however, Kratz (Translatio Imperii, 224-25), who holds that Jer 29:10 refers to the duration of Babylonian supremacy in the west, which he dates from the Battle of Carchemish in 605/604 B.C.E. Ross E.Winckle ("Jeremiah's Seventy Weeks For Babylon: A Re-Assessment. Part II: The Historical Data," 289-299) would push the starting point back to 609 B.C.E. so that it could be accurately fulfilled in 539 B.C.E.]

    The seventy years is generally regarded as a round number, equivalent to a lifetime. (Holladay, Jeremiah I, 668-69) The same number is found in the Black Stone of Esarhaddon: Marduk decreed seventy years of desolation for Babylon, when it was destroyed by Sennacherib in 689 B.C.E., but relented and allowed it to be restored after eleven years.

    According to 2 Chron 36:20-22, Jeremiah's prophecy referred to the period from the destruction of the temple in 586 B.C.E. and was fulfilled in the restoration under Cyrus (so also Ezra 1:1). According to Zech 1:12, the seventy years extended to the second year of Darius I of Persia (519 B.C.E.)

    In the fictional chronology of Daniel, chap 9 is set before the advent of Cyrus. The real author of Daniel, however, wrote long after the Chronicler and Zechariah, and pointedly rejected their interpretation of the prophecy.

    It could not have continued till 518 because the seventy years were not fulfilled so the angelic reminder could only referred to something that had already concluded namely the seventy years.

    Again, you don't seem to understand that prophetical interpretations can exist in the bible itself. Here is some more background to Zechariah and some commentary on dating the destruction of the temple from Edwin Yamauchi "Persia and the Bible" p155, 159. Hopefully it will show you why the fasting 'these seventy years' extends to the 519 BC.

    The Rebuilding of the Jewish Temple: Solomon's temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 or 586 BC. Although the Jews who had returned under Cyrus had laid the foundation of a second temple in 536 BC, work was halted during the next twenty years in the face of opposition (Ezra 4:1-5). The Lord then raised up two prophets to stir the people to action (Ezra 5:1).

    Beginning on August 29, 520 BC (Hag 1:1), and continuing until December 18 (Hag 2:1-9, 20ff), Haggai delivered a series of three messages to provoke the people into recommencing work on the temple. Two months after Haggai's first message, Zechariah joined him (Zech 1:1).

    The temple was thus finished on March 12, 515 BC, a little over seventy years after it's destruction. As the renewed work on the temple had begun September 21, 520 BC (Hag 1:4-15), sustained effort had been expended for four years and three months by the inspired community.

    Footnote: Scholars such as Albright, Freedman, Tadmor and Wiseman, who believe that the Jews used a calendar beginning in Nisan (April), date the fall of Jerusalem to the summer of 587 BC. Others such as Horn, Malamat, Redford, Saggs and Thiele, who believe the Jews used a calendar beginning in Tishri (September), date the fall of of Jerusalem to the summer of 586 BC. See H. Tadmor "Chronology of the Last Kings of Judah", p226-30; S. Horn, "The Babylonian Chronicle and the Ancient Calendar of the Kingdon of Judah", p 12-27; K. Freedy and D. Redford, "The Dates in Ezekiel in Relation to Biblical, Babylonian and Egyptian Sources", p462-85;

    Hopefully you can see now why some scholars choose 586 and some 587. If Jonsson chooses 587 as the date it does not invalidate the rest of his research, as you seem to think it does.

    This is not WT interpretation but an observation based upon many commentaries.

    O.K. Your turn, Scholar. Which commentaries and please provide some quotations.


  • AlanF

    Unscholar said:

    : In order to make the seventy years fit secular chronology, the critics amd apostates have to break up the seventy years inot servitude, exile and desolation.

    Um, the three things are logically required to be separated, you twit. If the desolation ran from October, 607 B.C. to October, 537 B.C., as the Society's bogus chronology requires, then the servitude "at Babylon" (according the incorrect NWT rendering of Jer. 29:10) could have been at most 69 years and 4 months, since the trip time from Babylon to Jerusalem was about 4 months. Furthermore, the defining passages in Jeremiah and 2 Chronicles say nothing about any exile.

    : The Society's interpretation nicdely combines these elements into a momentous period beginning and ending with clearly fixed chronological data.namely 6o7 to 537.

    "Nicely combining" logically separate things only shows that the combiner is an idiot.


  • M.J.


    rather than the speculations of higher critics who cannot agree as to whether 587 or 586 is the correct calender date for the destruction of the temple

    Oh man, since this subject is like the only thing you like to talk about, I would have assumed you knew that the uncertainty here is solely due to the ambiguity of what the Bible reports, not due to "speculations of higher critics". On one hand it reports that Jerusalem fell in Zedekiah's 11th year, but on the other hand it shows that it happened in Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year. We know that Zedekiah's 1st year coincided with the end of Nebuchadnezzar's 7th year (2 Kings 24:12; 2 Cron 36:10; Jer 52:28,31). So we have to make a choice, Zedekiah's 11th (10 years later) or Nebuchadnezzar's 19th (11 years later). How you resolve this determines whether you go with 587 or 586.

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