I intend to demonstrate that there is a much stronger and more basic argument against 1914 being the year of commencement for Christ's reign than a disagreement between scholars and JWs over 607 B.C. versus 586/587 B.C.
In Daniel 4:16, seven times means seven years. This was one occasion in the book of Daniel where seven times are specifically mentioned and the meaning of the prophecy is directly stated. The fulfillment of the prophecy is recorded in the same chapter. If we apply the rule of a day for a year to this prophecy, we arrive at 2,520 years.
|7x360 (a day for a year)||2,520|
|Starting point for calculation, subtracted||-607|
|Add placeholder for zero year||+1|
Is there any problem with making this application? Yes, there is one glaring problem and a few other problems as well.
Now the Organizational stand on that is the line that because so many other prophecies in Daniel were regarding God's Kingdom, that one was also. For some reason, it is completely overlooked that the other prophecies relating to world powers and their march were interpretted by Daniel as referring to exactly that, including the one regarding the image. One piece of the vision regarding the image related specifically to Babylon's ruler, Nebuchadnezzar at that time, and Daniel said that it applied to Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel stated that the prophecy specifically applied to Nebuchadnezzar. The prophetic fulfillment was in regards to him alone. You may be thinking, "That was the antetypical fulfillment. The greater fulfillment was yet to come." But let us examine what we would expect at the end of the seven times if that were true.
Daniel 4:23-27 "'And because the king beheld a watcher, even a holy one, coming down from the heavens, who was also saying: "CHOP the tree down, and RUIN it. However, LEAVE its rootstock itself in the earth, but with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens let it become wet, and with the beasts of the field let its portion be until seven times themselves pass over it," 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and the decree of the Most High is that which must befall my lord the king. 25 And you they will be driving away from men, and with the beasts of the field your dwelling will come to be, and the vegetation is what they will give even to you to eat just like bulls; and with the dew of the heavens you yourself will be getting wet, and seven times themselves will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind, and that to the one whom he wants to he gives it.
26 "'And because they said to leave the rootstock of the tree, your kingdom will be sure to you after you know that the heavens are ruling. 27 Therefore, O king, may my counsel seem good to you, and remove your own sins by righteousness, and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor ones. Maybe there will occur a lengthening of your prosperity.'"
So, we would expect that after a period of time, for sake of argument 2,520 years, that whomever was represented by Nebuchadnezzar would KNOW that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind.
So, who did Nebuchadnezzar represent in this antetypical drama? Was it the nations? If so, in its major fulfillment what should we expect from and for the nations? If this prophecy is antetypical, according to this prophecy, their kingdom would be stripped, they would accept God's right to rule and submit to his authority, then their kingdom would be returned to them.
Okay, what if Nebuchanezzar represented Jesus Christ? He never had a kingdom to strip, he always accepted God's right to rule and ever submitted to his authority, and his kingdom could be given to him but never returned to him. He couldn't be the one typified by Nebuchadnezzar.
What if it meant the nation of Israel? At the time of this prophecy their kingdom had already been stripped away. They have not since acknowledged God's rule or his authority. Their kingdom has not been restored to them.
What if Nebuchadnezzar represented...Nebuchadnezzar? Every bit of the prophecy had a complete fulfillment within eight years of its utterance. The entire prophetic drama was recorded in the same book. It was stated to have applied to Nebuchadnezzar. There is nowhere any hint that "a day for a year" should be applied in this case, so if it should in this case of days/times it should in every other case which wreaks havoc much of the remainder of JW "chronology."
Please, I invite anyone who still believes Jehovah's Witness dogma explain how this prophecy can be stated to apply to Jesus gaining a kingdom in 1914. The only requirement is that you must do so while suspending belief that every word the FDS says is true and inviolate, base your explanation only on Scriptures that can be shown to apply.