Did the Gentile Times start in 607 BC? – Part 2

Arranging Summaries of Key Bible Chapters in Chronological Order:[1]

Theme Scripture: Luke 1:1-3

In our introductory article, we laid the groundwork rules and mapped out the destination of our “Journey of Discovery Through Time”.

Establishing Signposts and Landmarks

In every journey, there are signposts, landmarks, and way pointers. To succeed in reaching the correct destination it is imperative that we follow them in the correct order, otherwise, we could end up lost or at the wrong place. Therefore, before starting on our “Journey of Discovery”, we will need to identify the signposts and landmarks, and their correct order. To cover this subject comprehensively we need to evaluate material from a number of Bible books in depth. In addition, as touched on in our first article, the Book of Jeremiah in particular is grouped by subject, rather than written predominantly in chronological[2] order. We, therefore, need to extract the signposts (in the form of summaries of key Bible chapters (our source material)) and ensure they are correctly sorted into chronological (or relative time) order. If we do not do this, then it would be very easy to misread the signposts and go in the wrong direction. In particular, it would be easy to go in circles and confuse a signpost with one we already followed and make the assumption it is the same, when it is different because of the surroundings it is in (the context).

One benefit of putting things in chronological or relative time order is that we do not need to worry about assigning modern dates. We only need to record the relationship of one event date to another event date. All those dates or events relating to one King or a line of Kings, put in relative order, can be described as a timeline. We also need to extract the links between different timelines. For example, such as between the Kings of Judah and the Kings of Babylon, and between the Kings of Babylon and the Kings of Medo-Persia. These are described as synchronisms[3]. An example of a synchronism is Jeremiah 25:1 which links the 4th year of Jehoiakim, a King of Judah with the 1st Year of Nebuchadnezzar, a King of Babylon. This means at least some part of the 4th year of Jehoiakim coincides with or is simultaneous with the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar. This enables different and discontinuous timelines to be arranged in the correct relative position time-wise.

It is not just a coincidence that many Bible passages concerning this subject record not only the year but often the month and even the day of the prophecy or the event, such as the year of the reign of the King. For example, Daniel 1:1 opens with the statement “In the third year of the kingship of Je·hoiʹa·kim the king of Judah, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and proceeded to lay siege to it”. It is therefore possible to build up a considerable picture of the sequence of events solely on this basis. This picture is then able to assist the writer (and any readers) in getting all the important scriptures[4] in their proper context. This picture of events is also able to act as a reference source (like a map) using a summary of the relevant key Bible Chapters in time order as compiled. The summary that follows was created by using the reference to the dating of events to a month and/or year of a King’s reign found in many chapters and examining the context and contents of other chapters. The result of this compilation follows in abbreviated form.

The diagram below is a simplified diagram of the succession of Kings for this period constructed in the main from the Bible record. Those Kings with a bold frame are mentioned in the Bible text. The remaining ones are those known from secular sources.

Figure 2.1 – Simplified Succession of Kings of the Period – Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Figure 2.2 – Simplified Succession of Kings of the Period – Post Babylon.

These summaries are ordered in time of writing as much as is practical, while dealing with whole chapters, using the information within the chapter, or events which are referred to, which can be assigned a time based on the same event mentioned in another book or chapter which does have a time reference and the same context to the event which makes it clearly identifiable.

Conventions followed:

  • Verse numbers are in brackets (1-14) and those in bold (15-18) indicate an important point.
  • Time Periods with years in brackets such as “(3th to 6th Year of Jehoiakim?) (Crown Prince + 1st to 3rd Year Nebuchadnezzar)” indicate calculated years. These are based on events in this chapter matching or clearly continuing on as part of one narrative following other chapters which are clearly dated.
  • (Important Point: the original text was not separated into chapters as we know them today until the 12th Century (AD) by Stephen Langton in the Latin Vulgate. However, some form of chapter division existed in manuscripts dating back to the 4th Century (AD. Verses were added starting in 1551 by Robert Estienne (a.k.a. Stephanus). Thus the chapters as we have them are somewhat artificial, and the text has to be examined to see the change of time and/or topic)
  • Time Periods with years not in brackets such as “Fourth (4th) year of Jehoiakim, 1st Year of Nebuchadrezzar” shows both years are mentioned in the Bible text and hence are a solid, reliable synchronism. This synchronism is a matching of regnal years between two Kings, Jehoiakim and Nebuchadnezzar. Therefore any events stated as occurring in the 4th year of Jehoiakim in other scriptures could be said to have also occurred in the 1st Year of Nebuchadnezzar because of this link, and vice-versa, any event stated or linked to the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar could be said to have occurred in the 4th year of Jehoiakim.

Let us make a start on our journey of discovery.

Summary of Isaiah 23

Time Period: Written after the attack of King Sargon of Assyria on Ashdod (c. 712 BCE)

Main Points:

  • (1-14) Pronouncement against Tyre. Jehovah to cause the downfall of Tyre and use Chaldeans (Babylonians) to cause destruction and ruination.
  • (15-18) Tyre to be forgotten for 70 years before being allowed to rebuild itself.

Summary of Jeremiah 26

Time Period: Beginning of rule of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 26:1, Before Jeremiah 24 and 25).

Main Points:

  • (1-7) Plea to Judah to listen because of the calamity Jehovah is intending to bring.
  • (8-15) Prophets and Priests turn against Jeremiah for prophesying doom and want to put him to death.
  • (16-24) Princes and people defend Jeremiah on basis that he is prophesying for Jehovah and some older men speak on behalf of Jeremiah, giving examples of the same message from previous prophets.

Summary of Jeremiah 27

Time Period: Beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, (Jeremiah 27:1) Repeats Message to Zedekiah (Jeremiah 27:12, Same as Jeremiah 24).

Main Points:

  • (1-4) Yoke bars and Bands sent to Edom, Moab, sons of Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon.
  • (5-7) Jehovah has given all these lands to Nebuchadnezzar, they will have to serve him and successors, until the time of his land comes.
  • (5-7) … I have given it to whom it has proved right in my eyes, … even the wild beasts of the field I have given him to serve him. (See Jeremiah 28:14 and Daniel 2:38[5]).
  • (8) Nation that does not serve Nebuchadnezzar will be finished off with sword, famine, and pestilence.
  • (9-10) Do not listen to false prophets who are saying ‘you will not have to serve the King of Babylon’.
  • (11-22) Keep serving the King of Babylon and you will not suffer devastation.
  • (12-22) The message of the first 11 verses repeated to Zedekiah at a later date.

Verse 12 as v1-7, Verse 13 as v8, Verse 14 as v9-10,

Remainder of temple utensils to go to Babylon if Zedekiah does not serve Nebuchadnezzar.

Summary of Daniel 1

Time Period: Third (3rd) year of Jehoiakim. (Daniel 1:1)

Main Points:

  • (1) In the 3rd Year of Jehoiakim, King Nebuchadnezzar comes and lays siege to Jerusalem.
  • (2) At a future time, (likely Jehoiakim’s 4th year), Jehovah gives Jehoiakim over to Nebuchadnezzar and some of the utensils of the temple. (See 2 Kings 24, Jeremiah 27:16, 2 Chronicles 35:7-10)
  • (3-4) Daniel and his friends taken to Babylon

Summary of Jeremiah 25

Time Period: Fourth (4th) year of Jehoiakim, 1st Year of Nebuchadrezzar[6]. (Jeremiah 25:1; 7 years before ).

Main Points:

  • (1-7) Warnings have been given for the previous 23 years, but no note was taken.
  • (8-10) Jehovah bringing Nebuchadnezzar against Judah and surrounding nations to destroy, make object of astonishment, devastated.
  • (11)[7] Nations will have to serve Babylon for 70 years.
  • (12) When seventy years have been fulfilled, King of Babylon will be called to account, Babylon to become a desolate waste.
  • (13-14) servitude and destruction of nations will happen for certainty because of Judah and the nations’ actions in disobeying warnings.
  • (15-26) Cup of wine of Jehovah’s rage to be drunk by Jerusalem and Judah – make them a devastated place, an object of astonishment, whistle at, malediction – (as at time of Jeremiah writing the prophecy[8]). Pharaoh, Kings of Uz, Philistines, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, Ashdod, Edom, Moab, Sons of Ammon, Kings of Tyre and Sidon, Dedan, Tema, Buz, Kings of the Arabs, Zimri, Elam, and Medes.
  • (27-38) No escape from Jehovah’s judgment.

Summary of Jeremiah 46

Time Period: 4th Year of Jehoiakim. (Jeremiah 46:2)

Main Points:

  • (1-12) Records Battle between Pharaoh Necho and King Nebuchadrezzar at Carchemish in 4th year of Jehoiakim.
  • (13-26) Egypt to lose to Babylon, to be prepared for devastation by Nebuchadrezzar. Egypt would be given into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar and his servants for a period of time, and later she would have residents once again.

Summary of Jeremiah 36

Time Period: 4th Year of Jehoiakim. (Jeremiah 36:1), 5th Year of Jehoiakim. (Jeremiah 36:9)

Main Points:

  • (1-4) 4th year of Jehoiakim Jeremiah commanded to write down all the prophecies and proclamations he had made since the days of Josiah in the hope they would repent, and Jehovah would be able to forgive them.
  • (5-8) Baruch reads what he had recorded of Jeremiah’s proclamations at the temple.
  • (9-13) 5th year of Jehoiakim (9th Month) Baruch repeats the reading at the temple.
  • (14-19) Princes get a private reading of Jeremiah’s words.
  • (20-26) Jeremiah’s scrolls read before the King and all the Princes. They were then thrown into the brazier and burnt. Jehovah keeps Jeremiah and Baruch hidden from the King’s anger.
  • (27-32) Jehovah tells Jeremiah to write a fresh copy, and Jehoiakim’s lack of burial at death foretold. Jehovah promises to bring Jehoiakim and his supporters to account for their actions.

Summary of 2 Kings 24

Time Period: (4th to 7th Year of Jehoiakim?) (1st to 4th Year Nebuchadnezzar), (11th year Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24:8)), (8th Nebuchadnezzar), 3 months reign of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:8) and reign of Zedekiah.

Main Points:

  • (1-6) Jehoiakim serves Nebuchadnezzar 3 years, then rebels (against Jeremiah’s warnings).
  • (7) Babylon ruled from the Torrent Valley of Egypt to the Euphrates by the end of this period.
  • (8-12) (11th Year of Jehoiakim), Jehoiachin rules for 3 months during siege by Nebuchadnezzar (8th Year).
  • (13-16) Jehoiachin and many others were taken to exile in Babylon. 10,000 taken, only lowly class remaining. 7,000 were valiant men, 1,000 craftsmen.
  • (17-18) Nebuchadnezzar puts Zedekiah on the throne of Judah who rules for 11 years.
  • (19-20) Zedekiah was a bad king and rebelled against the King of Babylon.

Summary of Jeremiah 22

Time Period: Late in the reign of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 22:18, Reigned 11 Years,).

Main Points:

  • (1-9) Warning to render Justice if he is to remain king. Disobedience and failing to exercise justice will lead to end of the house of King of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • (10-12) Told not to weep for Shallum (Jehoahaz) who will die in exile in Egypt.
  • (13-17) Repeats warning to exercise justice.
  • (18-23) Jehoiakim’s death and lack of dignified burial are foretold, because of not listening to Jehovah’s voice.
  • (24-28) Coniah (Jehoiachin) warned of his future. He would be given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and go into exile with his mother and die in exile.
  • (29-30) Jehoiachin would go down as ‘childless’ because none of his offspring would rule on the throne of David and in Judah.

Summary of Jeremiah 17

Time Period: Not exactly clear. Potentially late in the reign of Josiah, but definitely at the latest by early in the reign of Zedekiah. Base on the references to the ignoring of the Sabbath it could be in the reign of Jehoiakim or the reign of Zedekiah.

Main Points:

  • (1-4) Jews will have to serve their enemies in a land they have not known.
  • (5-11) Encouraged to trust in Jehovah, who would then bless them. Warning about the treacherous heart of man.
  • (12-18) All those hearing and ignoring Jehovah’s warnings will be put to shame. Jeremiah prays that shame will not fall on him, as he has trusted in and obeyed Jehovah’s requests and has been honest with Jehovah.
  • (19-26) Jeremiah told to warn the Kings of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem in particular to obey the Sabbath Law.
  • (27) Consequences of not obeying the Sabbath would be the destruction of Jerusalem by fire.

Summary of Jeremiah 23

Time Period: Likely Early in the reign of Zedekiah. (Jeremiah 23:7) (Likely with Jeremiah 24, Zedekiah Reigned 11 Years)

Main Points:

  • (1-2) Woe to Shepherds, abusing and scattering the sheep of Israel / Judah.
  • (3-4) Remnant of sheep to be gathered back with good shepherds.
  • (5-6) Prophesy about Jesus.
  • (7-8) Exiles will return. (Those already taken with Jehoiachin)
  • (9-40) Warning: Do not listen to false prophets whom Jehovah did not send.

Summary of Jeremiah 24

Time Period: Very Early in Reign of Zedekiah when the deportation of Jehoiachin (a.k.a. Jeconiah), princes, craftsmen, builders, etc., had just finished. (Jeremiah 24:1) (Same as Jeremiah 27, 7 Years after Jeremiah 25).

Main Points:

  • (1-3) Two Baskets of figs, good and bad (not edible).
  • (4-7) Exiles that have been sent away are like good figs, will return from exile.[9]
  • (8-10) Zedekiah, princes, the remnant of Jerusalem, those in Egypt are bad figs – will get sword famine, pestilence until finished off.

Summary of Jeremiah 28

Time Period: 4th Year of the reign of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 28:1, Just after as Jeremiah 24 and 27).

Main Points:

  • (1-17) Hananiah prophesies that exile (of Jehoiachin et al) will end within 2 years, Jeremiah reminds all that Jehovah has said it will not. Hananiah dies within two months, as prophesied by Jeremiah.
  • (11) Hananiah’s false prophecy that Jehovah would “break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon within two full years more from off the neck of all the nations.”
  • (14) Yoke of iron to replace Yoke of wood put on the neck of all nations, to serve Nebuchadnezzar, they must serve him, even wild beasts of the field I will give him. (See Jeremiah 27:6 and Daniel 2:38[10]).

Summary of Jeremiah 29

Time Period: (4th Year of Zedekiah due to events following on from Jeremiah 28)

Main Points:

  • Letter sent to Exiles with Zedekiah’s messengers to Nebuchadnezzar with Instructions.
  • (1-4) Letter sent by the hand of Elasah to Judean Exiles (of the Jehoiachin Exile) in Babylon.
  • (5-9) Exiles to build houses there, plant gardens, etc. because they would be there some time.
  • (10) In accord with fulfilling of 70 years for Babylon I shall turn my attention and bring them back.
  • (11-14) If they would pray and seek Jehovah, then he would act and return them. (See Daniel 9:3, 1 Kings 8:46-52[11]).
  • (15-19) The Jews not in exile will be pursued by sword, famine, pestilence, as they are not listening to Jehovah.
  • (20-32) A message to the Jews in exile – do not listen to prophets saying you will return soon.

Summary of Jeremiah 51

Time Period: 4th Year of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 51:59, Events following Jeremiah 28 & 29)

Main Points:

  • Letter sent to Exiles in Babylon with Seraiah.
  • (1-5) Destruction of Babylon foretold.
  • (6-10) Babylon beyond healing.
  • (11-13) Fall of Babylon at the hand of the Medes foretold.
  • (14-25) The cause of Babylon’s destruction is their treatment of Judah and Jerusalem (e.g., destruction and exile of Jehoiachin, which had recently taken place.
  • (26-58) More details on how Babylon will fall to the Medes.
  • (59-64) Instructions were given to Seraiah to pronounce these prophecies against Babylon when he reaches there.

Summary of Jeremiah 19

Time Period: Just before the final siege of Jerusalem (9th Year Zedekiah from events, 17th Year of Nebuchadnezzar)[12]

Main Points:

  • (1-5) Warning to Kings of Judah of calamity because they have and are worshipping Baal and have filled Jerusalem with the blood of innocent ones.
  • (6-9) Jerusalem will be the object of astonishment, its inhabitants will resort to cannibalism.
  • (10-13) A Pot was broken in front of witnesses to show how the city of Jerusalem and its people would be broken.
  • (14-15) Jeremiah repeats the warning of calamity on Jerusalem and its cities because they have hardened their neck.

Summary of Jeremiah 32

Time Period: 10th Year of Zedekiah, 18th Year of Nebuchadnezzar[13], during the siege of Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 32:1)

Main Points:

  • (1-5) Jerusalem under siege.
  • (6-15) Purchase by Jeremiah of Land from his uncle to signify Judah would return from exile. (See Jeremiah 37:11,12 – while siege temporarily lifted while Nebuchadnezzar dealt with Egyptian threat)
  • (16-25) Prayer of Jeremiah to Jehovah.
  • (26-35) Destruction of Jerusalem confirmed.
  • (36-44) Return from exile promised.

Summary of Jeremiah 34

Time Period: During the siege of Jerusalem (10th – 11th Year of Zedekiah, 18th – 19th Year of Nebuchadnezzar, based on events following on from Jeremiah 32 and Jeremiah 33).

Main Points:

  • (1-6) Fiery destruction for Jerusalem foretold.
  • (7) Only Lachish and Azekah remain of all fortified cities that had not fallen to King of Babylon.[14]
  • (8-11) Liberty proclaimed to servants in accord with 7th Year Sabbath Year but soon retracted.
  • (12-21) Reminded of the law of liberty and told would be destroyed for this.
  • (22) Jerusalem and Judah would be made desolate.

Summary of Ezekiel 29

Time Period: 10th month 10th Year Jehoiachin’s Exile (Ezekiel 29:1, 10th Year Zedekiah), and 27th Year Jehoiachin’s Exile (Ezekiel 29:17, 34th Regnal Year Nebuchadnezzar).

Main Points:

  • (1-12) Egypt to be desolated and uninhabited for 40 years. Egyptians to be scattered.
  • (13-16) Egyptians to be gathered back and will never again dominate other nations.
  • (17-21) 27th Year of Jehoiachin’s exile, Ezekiel prophesies that Egypt is to be given as plunder to Nebuchadnezzar.

Summary of Jeremiah 38

Time Period: (10th or 11th Year) of Zedekiah, (18th or 19th Year of Nebuchadnezzar[15]), during the siege of Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 38:16)

Main Points:

  • (1-15) Jeremiah put in a cistern for prophesying destruction, rescued by Ebed-Melech.
  • (16-17) Jeremiah tells Zedekiah if he goes out to Babylonians, he will live, and Jerusalem will not be burned with fire. (destroyed, devastated)
  • (18-28) Zedekiah secretly meets Jeremiah, but afraid of Princes so does nothing. Jeremiah under protective custody until the fall of Jerusalem.

Summary of Jeremiah 21

Time Period: (9th to 11th Year of Zedekiah), (17th to 19th Year of Nebuchadnezzar[16]), during the siege of Jerusalem.

  • Most Inhabitants of Jerusalem will die and the remainder including Zedekiah would be given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

Summary of Jeremiah 39

Time Period: 9th (Jeremiah 39:1) to 11th (Jeremiah 39:2) Year of Zedekiah, (17th to 19th Year of Nebuchadnezzar[17]), during the siege of Jerusalem.

Main Points:

  • (1-7) Start of Siege of Jerusalem, escape and capture of Zedekiah.
  • (8-9) Jerusalem burnt.
  • (11-18) Nebuchadnezzar gives orders to rescue Jeremiah and Ebed-Melech given freedom.

Summary of Jeremiah 40

Time Period: 7th to 8th month 11th Year Zedekiah (deposed), (19th Year Nebuchadnezzar).(Follows on from Jeremiah 39)

Main Points:

  • (1-6) Jeremiah allowed to choose where to live by Nebuzaradan (Nebuchadnezzar’s chief of the Bodyguard)
  • (7-12) Jews gather to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Jews from Moab, Ammon, and Edom, etc. came to Gedaliah to care for the land.
  • (13-16) Gedaliah warned of an assassination plot instigated by the King of sons of Ammon.

Summary of 2 Kings 25

Time Period: 9th (2 Kings 25:1) to 11th (2 Kings 25:2) Year of Zedekiah, (17th to) 19th (2 Kings 25:8) Year of Nebuchadnezzar[18], during and immediately after the siege of Jerusalem.

Main Points:

  • (1-4) Siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar from 9th to 11th year of Zedekiah.
  • (5-7) Chase and capture of Zedekiah.
  • (8-11) 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar, Jerusalem, and Temple burned with fire, walls destroyed, exile for most remaining.
  • (12-17) Lowly people left, Temple treasures remaining from the time of Jehoiachin taken to Babylon.
  • (18-21) Priests Killed.
  • (22-24) A small remnant left under Gedaliah.
  • (25-26) The assassination of Gedaliah.
  • (27-30) Release of Jehoiachin by Evil-Merodach in 37th year of Exile.

Summary of Jeremiah 42

Time Period: (Approximately 8th month 11th Year Zedekiah (now deposed), 19th Year Nebuchadnezzar), soon after the murder of Gedaliah.

Main Points:

  • (1-6) Remnant in Judah ask Jeremiah to enquire of Jehovah and promise to obey Jehovah’s reply.
  • (7-12) The reply given by Jehovah was to remain in the land of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar would not attack or remove them.
  • (13-18) Warning was given that if they disobeyed Jehovah’s answer and instead went to Egypt then the destruction they feared, would find them there in Egypt.
  • (19-22) Because they had asked Jehovah and then ignored his answer, they would be destroyed in Egypt.

Summary of Jeremiah 43

Time Period: Likely a month or so after the murder of Gedaliah and flight of remnant to Egypt. (19th Year of Nebuchadnezzar)

Main Points:

  • (1-3) Jeremiah was accused of falsehood by the people in giving instructions not to go to Egypt.
  • (4-7) Remnant ignore Jeremiah and arrive in Tah’panhes in Egypt.
  • (8-13) Jeremiah prophesies to Jews in Tah’panhes that Nebuchadnezzar will come there and destroy them and strike the land of Egypt, destroying their temples.

Summary of Jeremiah 44

Time Period: Likely a month or so after the murder of Gedaliah and flight of remnant to Egypt. (19th Year of Nebuchadnezzar)

Main Points:

  • (1-6) ‘today they [Jerusalem and cities of Judah] are in ruins, without an inhabitant. It is because of the evil things they did to offend me [Jehovah] … ’
  • (7-10) Warns of calamity if they (Jews) continue in their wayward course.
  • (11-14) The remnant that fled to Egypt would die there, by Jehovah’s punishment with only a handful of escapees.
  • (15-19) All the Jewish men and women living in Pathros, Egypt, say they will continue sacrificing to the Queen of heaven, because they had no problems when they did that.
  • (20-25) Jeremiah says it is precisely because they made those sacrifices that Jehovah brought the calamity upon them.
  • (26-30) Only a few will escape the sword and return from Egypt to Judah. They will have to know whose word has come true, Jehovah’s or theirs. The sign that this will happen is the giving of Pharaoh Hophra[19] into the hands of his enemies.

Figure 2.3 – From the Start of Babylonian World Power to 19th Year Jehoiachin’s Exile.

Figure 2.4 – From 19th Year Jehoiachin’s Exile to the Fall of Babylon to Cyrus and Darius the Mede.

Explanatory Notes on Figure 2.3/2.4

These charts are to give an overview of the main events we will be considering and how the regnal years fit in the current secular dating framework. This will help us to see if the existing secular timeline of the main events in the Bible record of this time are correct (as opposed to Julian calendar year number).

This section of summaries of relevant Bible chapters is concluded in our 3rd article in the series, continuing on from the 19th year of Jehoiachin’s Exile.

Please continue with us in our Journey of Discovery to ensure God is found true … See part 3.

Click here if you missed Part 1


  1. Arranged chronologically as far as possible according to time written as recorded in the Bible text.
  2. “Chronologically” means “in a way that follows the order in time in which events or records occurred”
  3. “Synchronisms” means co-incidence in time, contemporaneous, simultaneous.
  4. All scriptures quoted are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures 1984 Reference Edition unless otherwise stated.
  5. Daniel 2:36-38 ‘This is the dream, and its interpretation we shall say before the king. You, O King, the king of kings, you to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the might and the strength and the dignity and into whose hand he has given, wherever the sons of mankind are dwelling, the beasts of the field and the winged creatures of the heavens, and whom he has made ruler over all of them, you yourself are the head of gold.’
  6. In the Book of Jeremiah, the years of Nebuchadnezzar appears to be counted as per Egyptian reckoning. (This is likely because of the Egyptian influence around the end of King Josiah’s reign and into Jehoiakim’s reign and that Jeremiah completed writing his book in exile in Egypt.) Egyptian reckoning for Kings did not have a concept of regnal years like the Babylonians and did not have an accession year as year 0, but rather as a partial year One. Hence when reading Year 1 Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah this is understood to be equivalent to Year 0 Babylonian Regnal Year as found on cuneiform tablets. Any quotation from the Bible will use the Biblical Year recorded (or calculated). For reading any secular documents recording cuneiform data for Nebuchadnezzar we therefore need to deduct 1 Year from Nebuchadnezzar’s Biblical year of reign to obtain his cuneiform Babylonian Regnal Year Number. When we do this all years of Nebuchadnezzar in cuneiform tablets are able to match up with the Bible years of Jeremiah. Neither are wrong, just different perspectives.
  7. Scripture verses in BOLD are key verses. All scriptures will be discussed in detail later.
  8. See later discussion of Jeremiah 25:15-26 in the Section: Analysis of Key Scriptures.
  9. Jeremiah 24:5 NWT Reference 1984 Edition: “Like these good figs, so I shall regard the exiles of Judah, whom I will send away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans, in a good way”. The NWT 2013 Edition (Grey) “whom I have sent away from this place”. This revision means the NWT now agrees with all other translations and shows Jehovah through Jeremiah was referring to those who had just been taken into exile with Jehoiachin, as Nebuchadnezzar put Zedekiah on the throne.
  10. See Previous Footnote for Daniel 2:38.
  11. See 1 Kings 8:46-52. See Part 4, Section 2, “Earlier Prophecies Fulfilled by the events of the Jewish Exile and return”.
  12. See Previous footnote (vi) re Years of Nebuchadnezzar. Year 17 = Regnal Year 16.
  13. See Previous footnote (vi) re Years of Nebuchadnezzar. Year 18 = Regnal Year 17.
  14. Additional summary of Lachish Letters translation and background available from the author.
  15. See Previous footnote (vi) re Years of Nebuchadnezzar. Biblical Reign Year 19 = Babylonian Regnal Year 18.
  16. See Previous footnote (vi) re Years of Nebuchadnezzar. Biblical Reign Year 19 = Babylonian Regnal Year 18, Biblical Year 18 = Babylonian Regnal Year 17, Biblical Year 17 = Babylonian Regnal Year 16.
  17. See Previous footnote (vi) re Years of Nebuchadnezzar. Year 19 = Regnal Year 18, Year 18 = Regnal Year 17, Year 17 = Regnal Year 16.
  18. See Previous footnote (vi) re Years of Nebuchadnezzar. Year 19 = Regnal Year 18, Year 18 = Regnal Year 17, Year 17 = Regnal Year 16.
  19. It is understood that the 3rd Year of Pharaoh Hophra was the 18th Babylonian Regnal Year of Nebuchadnezzar. Pharaoh Hophra was defeated (by Nebuchadnezzar and Ahmose) and replaced in Hophra’s 19th year, some 16 years later, equivalent to 34th Babylonian Regnal Year of Nebuchadnezzar. This was the same year as the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:17 where Nebuchadnezzar would be given Egypt as recompense for Tyre.
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Jeff Kelley

The answer would be no. Jeremiah explicitly identifies the year that the foreign “exile” would begin with the one that saw an Egyptian puppet king by the name of “Jehoiakim” on the throne of the Judean kingdom. (Jer 1:3) Historians all seem to agree that this would have been somewhere right around 609 BC. In other words, as is always the case the scriptures are focused much more on spiritual matters as opposed to the more literal or physical things it often uses to illustrate or symbolize them. Ancient Judea went into “exile and captivity” in a “SPIRITUAL sense” the moment it crawled into bed (so to speak) with Pharaoh Necho of ancient Egypt.(Re 11:8) (2 Ki 23:34, 35) At that moment it became …”Sodom and Egypt in a SPIRITUAL sense,” and therefore along with Egypt it would suffer the first of the foretold destructions NOT of “Babylon the Great,” but more specifically such in a “FALLEN” spiritual condition. (Re 18:2) Compare Da 7:4) This spiritual “adultery” or “prostitution” now qualified it as the “great harlot” (along with other scriptural terms such as the “man of lawlessness” or “antichrist”) as opposed to simply “Babylon the Great.” (Jer 3:8) (Isa 1:21) (Eze 23:1-4)

Jeff Kelley

Greetings Tadua and thank you first of all for the comment approval.
Tadua wrote:
“He does nothing of the sort. In Jeremiah 1:3 Jeremiah is just relating the period of time during which Jehovah inspired him to prophecy, from the 13th year of Josiah’s reign to the final end of the Judean kingdom in the 11th year of Zedekiah.”
Particularly since I can see how at least some Bible translators seem to have taken unwarranted liberties in this case (as well as many others instances of course) which could easily create confusion here, it may prove helpful to begin by citing the scripture there in Jeremiah beginning with the preceding verse as well as considering how it seems to be rendered in the Hebrew interlinears:
2 “The word of YHWH came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah. 3 And through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah the king of Judah, when the people of Judah went into exile.” (Jer 1:2, 3)
There are actually a number of Bible translations that render these verses of Jeremiah much more in line with the above, or otherwise what appears to much better reflect what is actually found in the ancient Hebrew manuscripts. At least upon reading these verses in among more verifiable or trustworthy sources, is it not already being indicated to us that while the foretold period of foreign exile of God’s people would have begun in some manner or other with the reign of Jehoiakim, at least in a more literal sense it would continue until …”the eleventh year of Zedekiah?” If I gave the impression I understood there is not also a literal application to God’s word, that is regrettable. Nevertheless when we are speaking in more literal or physical terms, we realize of course that normally it would take a number of years for the better part of an entire nation to go into foreign exile, and even if it is dealing with a military force that significantly outmatches its own. This should make even more sense to us when we take into account that at least a few people would have likely obeyed Jehovah’s commands through Jeremiah and Ezekiel (the “two witnesses” or “son of man” connected with the “time” of the renewed and inaugurated holy covenant spoken of in Ezekiel Chapter 17)  (Eze 2:1) (Re 11:3) (Da 4:23) (1 Th 5:1) to voluntarily surrender themselves to the Babylonians even before they would begin their destruction of Jerusalem and its surrounding vicinities.
Among the reasons however that I brought up the issue of “Babylon the Great” and its antithetical “Great Harlot” is because the scriptures make it clear that what actually qualifies God’s nation and people as such is the formation and formal adoption of Jehovah’s “holy covenant” as well as the “KEEPING” of it. (Ex 19:5, 6) This is regardless of whether it be the Mosaic Law Covenant or the “law of love” that is normally referred to as the “New Covenant.” (Ro 13:10) (Lu 22:28-30) In other words, while we have all yet again been extremely well programmed by this “man of lawlessness” or “antichrist” (“Great Harlot,” “son of destruction” etc.) to understand things such as that Israelites suffered or experienced the military overthrow and exile at the hands of the Babylonians recorded for us in accounts like 2nd Kings and Chronicles, the fact is that GOD’S people NEVER experience such things. What DOES experience Jehovah’s adverse judgments is what this “faithful town BECOMES” the moment she breaks her holy marriage covenant with spiritual adultery. (Isa 1:21) (Eze 23:1-4) (Jer 3:8) The very definition of the name Israel in fact is—ruler and contender with God. Obviously a great spiritual “adulteress” or “prostitute” does not rule with God. By the same token it should be exceedingly apparent that when world powers such a ancient Babylon are being ruled over by ones such as the prophet Daniel and his three Hebrew companions, it certainly does not qualify as a “Great Harlot.”
The point here is that in a LITERAL sense ISRAELITES did not begin to experience foreign “captivity and exile” until the moment identified in accounts like Ezekiel Chapter 17. We might notice we find mention of Jehovah’s holy covenant being renewed during the time frame being addressed here. As would always be the case, this is precisely what allowed people to not only qualify once again as Israelites, but by extension experience the blessings of being ruled over by divinely appointed shepherds such as the prophet Daniel or ones such as Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai during the early portion of the Medo-Persian Empire. (Es 10:2, 3) (Isa 44:28 45:1)  Since we are now dealing with the “GENTILE times” however, these “servants” of Jehovah in the case of the first of these “seven times” or “seven kings” would include even King “Nebuchadrezzar” of ancient Babylon and ones such as “Cyrus” and “Darius” in the case of the second of these foretold “seven times” or “seven kings.” (Jer 25:9) (Da 2:46-49 4:23) (Re 17:10)
In view of the fact that all the things recorded for us in the Old Testament however ultimately served as a …”tutor leading to Christ,” likely the most important thing we can take away from all this is the fact that TRUE Christians simply do not exist on the earth in ANY time frame in which we are anticipating or even experiencing the “pangs of distress” of another foretold “birth of the barren woman” or “coming of the kingdom.” (Ga 3:24, 25) (1 Th 5:3) Even aside from the fact that the word- Christians literally means –anointed ones regardless of what we might find in various dictionaries, it should be rather obvious to us that spiritual Israelites cannot actually exist on the earth when the nation or kingdom that qualifies them as such is no more.  By the same token there is of course no need for a “coming of the kingdom” if it already exists on the earth.  This is the very point the Apostle Paul is making there at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 in fact. The “apostasy” he speaks of is the one identified in accounts like Daniel 11:30-32, namely an act of …”leaving the holy covenant” on the part of Jehovah’s appointed spiritual shepherds, or otherwise the very thing that qualified people as Jews and Israelites in the first place, whether fleshly or spiritual.  
Yes the only reason mankind would EVER find themselves in need of another foretold “coming of the kingdom” or “day of Jehovah” would be if the kingdom covenant that “birthed” it into existence had once again been violated with spiritual adultery or unfaithfulness. (Jer 15:9) (2 Th 2:1-3) One of the reasons the “son of man” or “two witnesses” (“appointed slave,” “inspectors/spies” “prophets to the NATIONS” etc.) Jehovah always utilizes to renew these broken covenants is referred to also as the “firstborn son” is because they are always the FIRST Jews to appear on the earth when they arrive to perform their ministry towards what ALWAYS qualify in these time frames as figurative/spiritual “virgins,” “widows” and even “barren women.” These scriptural terms are symbolic references to the spiritual death of Jehovah’s nation that these “apostasies” incur along with the commensurate forfeiture of marital relations with Jehovah. (Eze 2:1 3:1-7) (Da 8:17) (Mt 8:20 24:45 25:1, 2) (La 1:1, 4) (Isa 54:1-4) (Lu 19:44) (Jos 2:1) (Jer 1:5)  
Scriptural accounts like Zechariah 11:14-17 are intended to help us understand that while the designation of –Jew is actually with reference more specifically to the “shepherding” facet of the holy nation, a member of their “flock” would ONLY qualify as an Israelite. What is more, passages like Romans 2:28, 29 and Acts 18:24-28 make it perfectly clear that a GENUINE Jew is one who has experienced a “sanctification of the heart by SPIRIT.” In other words, by SCRIPTURAL definition, a Jew and a Christian is the very same thing. However it can easily be demonstrated scripturally that this sanctification actually comes with the second of what in a post-apostasy/pre-kingdom setting is actually “TWO parts of the spirit” or a SECONDARY anointing. (2 Ki 2:9) With the exception of the “appointed slave” or “son of man,” this sanctification and its commensurate shepherding appointment is received as much like an additional “receptacle of oil for their lamps” or even “interest” on a “deposit” of oneself and their initial anointing at the feet of Jehovah’s true prophets as genuine disciples just as was demonstrate for us also in the early part of the first century in this very same setting of a broken kingdom covenant. (Mt 25:1-4, 27)  
Tadua wrote:
Also, your suggestions about going into exile and captivity in a spiritual sense, can only be conjecture because this is interpretation and cannot be proven. I would also venture to suggest it does not have much basis in scripture.”
I do not wish to be argumentative or confrontational when I respectfully point out that if there is any conjecture or interpretation going on here it would be found in your reply to my comments. I am simply doing my utmost to be as concise as I can, and I hope you can appreciate I am well aware we have all been very well conditioned to understand things more in line with your thinking here. Nonetheless every statement I made is not only verifiable, but even in a number of ways. Once again to keep things more brief however, let’s just consider one or two additional examples for now.
Aside from the above scripture there at Jeremiah 1:2, 3 and the points I have already covered, yet another way of confirming that this foreign exile and captivity spoken of in accounts like Luke 21:24 began with the reign of ancient Jehoiakim would be to simply perform basic math utilizing the initial “seventy years” that Jehovah assigned to this “times and seasons” prophecy what would ultimately prove to cover well over two millenniums of time. (Jer 25:12) (1 Th 5:1) (Da 4:23, 32) Historians all seem to agree that this initial seventy years of foreign captivity ended in the year 539 BCE. If we simply count backwards seventy years from 539 BCE, we seem to end up right around the same year indicated also there at Jeremiah 1:3, namely 609 BCE. With that in mind the fact alone that this “exile” did not occur in a LITERAL sense in that year is proof in and of itself that the scriptures as always are focused much more on the deeper underlying spiritual meanings that they have ALWAYS endeavored to “represent” or “illustrate” with literal or material things. (Ga 4:24-26) (Mt 13:34) (He 8:5 9:23, 24)  
Whether we are speaking of “captivity,” “exile,” or even the warfare associated with it, scriptures like Ephesians 6:10-18 are designed to help us understand that ultimately the holy writings are placing the impetus on deeper spiritual meanings. This “fulfillment of the law” as opposed to its “typical representation/copy of the reality” basically proved to be the …”reality of the Christ” that would begin to manifest itself with the “births of the barren woman” foretold to be associated with SPIRITUAL Israel. This could also be referred to with terms like true Christianity of course. (Ro 13:10) (Jer 15:9) (1 Sa 2:5) (Isa 54:1-4 66:7, 8) The initial four associated with these “seven times” or “gentile times” unfolded of course in connection with FLESHLY Israel and resulted in “anointed shepherds” or theocratic “servants” of Jehovah among the world powers of Babylon, Medo –Persia, Greece, as well and the initial manifestation of Rome respectively that had all “fallen” into spiritual “prostitution” by the advent of the first century. (Isa 1:21 44:28 45:1) (Jer 25:9) (Re 17:10) The final three of these “seven births” or “seven kings” that would manifest during this …”appointed times of the nations” were described all along as essentially just new manifestations of the Roman world power. Unfortunately they like their predecessors would soon violate the “holy covenant” with spiritual “adultery” and suffer the same “divorce” and ultimate destruction prior to the promised Millennial Reign. (Jer 3:8 15:9) (Re 17:10) (Lu 21:24) (Da 7:7, 8) (Da 11:30-32) (2 Th 2:1-8)
Tadua wrote:
“An important question to ask is, would the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day have understood the exile they were warned about to be a spiritual exile?”
The scriptures make it clear that even in the case of the Apostles of the first century, the inspired writings of God’s word sometimes proved …”difficult to understand.” How much more so then in a setting or prophetic time frame in which even the vast majority of the anointed are best described with terms such as the …”lost sheep of the house of Israel,” or spiritual “virgins” and “widows” in desperate need of spiritual “food” and even “clothing” themselves? This difficulty is precisely the reason that priceless scriptural truths are also identified with terms like “hidden treasures,” “sacred secrets” or even “carefully concealed” things. (Pr 2:4) (Mt 13:10-15) (Col 2:3) (1 Cor 4:1) If anything this would serve as yet another mark of authenticity. Illustrations such as found at Daniel Chapter 2 should help us appreciate that among the reasons for this is so that the anointed “virgins” in these periods immediately prior to another “coming of the kingdom” are able to identify a true prophet of Jehovah that they are actually commanded to “flee” to in these settings. (Mt 24:15, 16) (Joh 1:41)  I’m sure you would agree that this somewhat challenging nature of God’s word certainly does not negate its validity and extreme importance, or for that matter what is ALWAYS a relevance and even direct connection between one portion of the holy writings and another.  
Tadua wrote:
“One could also argue based on Jeremiah and other Bible texts relating to that period, that the majority of Jews at the time of Jeremiah had already long ago left Jehovah. Why would that time mark a spiritual exile?”
Hopefully at least by now you can better appreciate that it was precisely for the reason that these ones had indeed “left Jehovah” just as you state that they no longer actually qualified as Jews. This is why the “appointed slave” or “son of man/two witnesses” etc. assigned to renew and inaugurate yet another holy covenant is also identified as a prophet NOT to the Jews, but rather …”to the NATIONS.” (Jer 1:5) A “divorce” from Jehovah is simply another way of representing an exiled condition from him, and by extension a returning to the “captivity” or even “authority of darkness” that the preceding “holy covenant” had delivered repentant people from. (Jer 3:8) (Col 1:13) (Da 11:30, 32) (Lu 21:24)
Tadua wrote:
Finally, we should not assign the imagery and wording of Revelation to these events, as the book of Revelation was not to be written until nearly 700 years later.
Respectfully Tadua, taking such a position would really amount to suggesting we discard even the entire New Testament. Not only were its writers even constantly directing our attention to “symbolic dramas” or “typical representations” written centuries earlier that had now begun to experience their “fulfillment” with the foretold “births” of spiritual Israel, but even illustrations that had been recorded MILLENNIUMS earlier. (Ga 3:24 4:24-26) (He 8:5 9:23, 24) (Mt 5:17) If anything the scripture I cited there at Revelation 11:8 is a perfect example of this. The Apostle John is endeavoring to help us understand that the symbolic drama that played out both in Sodom as well as ancient Egypt was designed to prophetically and symbolically prefigure the spiritual condition of the people whom Jehovah’s true prophets or “witnesses” (Re 11:3) are assigned to minister to when Jehovah is mercifully prepared to renew and inaugurate another holy covenant with relatively repentant and even “discreet” ones among the anointed. (Mt 3:1, 2 4:17 25:1, 2) You see it is most particularly a broken holy covenant or “sin of the priest that brings guiltiness upon the PEOPLE” that we are very much in need of repenting over. And the moment we come to understand such things, the fact is that PROPHETIC words such as found at Revelation 13:7, 8 and Hebrews 9:27, 28 will begin to make much more sense to us. Just as indicated there at Revelation 11:8, this was certainly the situation also on the occasion or “time” in which these “two witnesses” were comprised of John the Baptist and Jesus. (Da 4:23, 32) (1 Th 5:1) (Lu 21:24)
Particularly while bearing in mind that John’s words found in Revelation around the year 96 CE were concerning things that …”would shortly take place,” are we not recognizing the very same prophetic pattern that would repeatedly play out in connection with these foretold “seven births of the barren woman” and their commensurate ministries of two or three genuine prophets of Jehovah? (Re 1:1 11:3, 7, 11, and 12) (Jer 15:9)  It is precisely this extremely alarming condition that ALWAYS results from a demonic invasion and occupation of Jehovah’s “holy sanctuary” (Da 11:31)  that makes a ministry of a “son of man” as challenging as what is pictured or recorded for us also in accounts like Ezekiel 3:1-7.  Compare (1 Cor 3:16, 17 6:15) A broken holy covenant during this foretold “appointed times of the nations” results in exactly what was dramatized for us with the Hebrews also in ancient Egypt. What was initially well represented with a benevolent Pharaoh working in close cooperation with the righteous and loving Joseph was soon reduced to one of oppressive or even “captive” slavery. This would be the same “authority of darkness” we all find ourselves experiencing yet again at this very moment. (Col 1:13) It is the scriptures themselves that are making these connections or “assignings” you speak of here; certainly not the incredibly lowly and insignificant Jeff Kelley. What is more, the symbolic and prophetic drama of Sodom and Gomorrah being referenced there at Revelation 11:8 was something that played out over three and a half millenniums ago, or otherwise well over “700 years” prior to the first century.  We would undoubtedly do well to bear in mind that the ultimate author of the Bible is Jehovah, and from his perspective these particular events occurred less than four days ago. (Ps 90:4)
Agape love;