Seventy Years: Jeremiah 25:12 vs Zechariah 1:12

by ithinkisee 18 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • ithinkisee

    The scripture in Jeremiah below clearly says the 70 years would end when babylon was conquered. (concensus:539BC)

    Yet the scripture in Zechariah below (written circa 517/518) says that they were still in the seventy years period at that time.

    Is there a way to reconcile these two scrips?

    *** Rbi8 Jeremiah 25:12-14 ***

    12 "‘And it must occur that when seventy years have been fulfilled I shall call to account against the king of Babylon and against that nation,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘their error, even against the land of the Chal·de´ans, and I will make it desolate wastes to time indefinite. 13 And I will bring in upon that land all my words that I have spoken against it, even all that is written in this book that Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 For even they themselves, many nations and great kings, have exploited them as servants; and I will repay them according to their activity and according to the work of their hands.’"

    *** Rbi8 Zechariah 1:12 ***


    So the angel of Jehovah answered and said: "O Jehovah of armies, how long will you yourself not show mercy to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, whom you have denounced these seventy years?"




  • Leolaia

    1) You can go with the majority opinion and recognize that Zechariah had a different interpretation of the "seventy years" than Jeremiah, and the Chronicler had still another interpretation, and the author of Daniel another interpretation still.


    2) You can argue like scholar that the "seventy years" of Zechariah has nothing whatsoever to do with the "seventy years" of Jeremiah.

    Maybe other views have been expressed as well.

  • ithinkisee

    So you are saying that it is likely these different mentions of seventy years are not really related but instead were strung together by the Society to fit a prophecy?


  • Leolaia

    They are related because they all relate to the "seventy years" originally found in Jeremiah. But they give varying applications and interpretations of what Jeremiah meant. Bible exegesis did not begin in post-biblical writings; it occurs within the Bible itself.

  • ithinkisee


    You're pretty smart for an 8(?)-year-old.


  • ackack

    interestingly, the society gets around this by saying that the "king of Babylon" as a position still existed after the destruction of 539bce. it wasn't until the jews got back home that his power as "king" was finally broken.

    now, roll your eyes slowly .... there... just like that... rollll....

  • Leolaia

    I'm 5 and a half.

  • TheListener

    Good question. I've often thought that Zechariah was discussing the same 70 year period that Jeremiah talks about but applying it differently.

    It seems that Babylon ruled for 70 years.

    It seems that the temple was destroyed for 70 years (right? - destruction to dedication or re-construction?)

    That would be two separate 70 year spans that COULD fit into Jeremiah's propecy. Although only the babylon ruling one fits Jeremiah's end date of babylon's destruction.

  • M.J.

    Zechariah 1:7-12 - says that on the 24th day of the 11th month in the 2nd year of Darius (15 Feb 519), the angel brings up the question of how long will Jehovah not show mercy to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah who have been denounced for "these seventy years?"

    COJ argues that Jerusalem at this time had been "denounced" by Jehovah for 70 years, and that such denouncement had brought on its destruction. Jehovah in response to this question replies that He shall certainly return to Jerusalem with mercies: "My own house will be built in her...and a measuring line itself will be stretched out over Jerusalem."

    If you go back 70 years from 519, this takes you to 589 BC. If Zedekiah's 11th year is 587 BC (corresponding with Neb's 18th), then 589 BC is Zedekiah's 9th year. What happened in Zedekiah's 9th year? 2 Kings 25:1, Ezekiel 24:1-2, and Jeremiah 52:4,5 testify that on the 9th year, 10th month, and 10th day of Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar and his armies began the siege of Jerusalem. Some sense can be made of the angel's question in Zecheriah, in light of this timetable. It could alternately be referring to 68 years since the destruction of Jerusalem as well.

    On the other hand, if Zedekiah's 11th year is 607 BC, then 589 BC lands DURING Jewish captivity in Babylon and AFTER destruction of Jerusalem. In this case, the 70 years spoken of in Zecheriah 1:12 makes no sense. Judah would have already been "denounced" in every sense of the word for some 20 years.

  • AlanF

    Going strictly by the biblical texts, there are two 70-year periods spoken of here. The one ended in 539 A.D., the other was still ongoing in 518 B.C.


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