Did the Gentile Times Start in 607BC? – Part 7

This is the seventh and final article in our series concluding our “Journey of Discovery”. This will review the discoveries of signposts and landmarks we saw during our journey and the conclusions we can draw from them. It will also briefly discuss the potentially life changing important implications of these conclusions.

To review the detail proving the conclusion given here for any of these main discoveries please see the relevant section in earlier parts of our “Did the Gentile Times Start in 607BC?” series of articles.

The Bible record agrees with its own Prophecies and Secular Chronology.

1. The main exile began with Jehoiachin 11 years before the final destruction of Jerusalem under Zedekiah – (Ezekiel; Esther 2; Jeremiah 29; Jeremiah 52; Matthew 1), (see Part 4)

This was caused by Nebuchadnezzar with the exile of King Jehoiachin, when most of the ruling class and the skilled workers were taken away.

2. Repentance was the main requirement for restoration of Judah from exile – (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 4; 1 Kings 8), (see Part 4)

It was not the conclusion of a time period.

3. 70 years of servitude, to Babylon was foretold and was already in progress when length was foretold early in Judean King Jehoiakim’s reign – (Jeremiah 27), (see Part 4)

The servitude was to the Neo-Babylonian Empire, to Nebuchadnezzar and his son and successors. Not to Medo-Persia, nor in the location of Babylon itself.

4. These nations (including Judah) will have to serve Babylon 70 Years, when it would be called to account (in October 539) – (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 2 Chronicles 36:20-23; Daniel 5:26; Daniel 9:2), (see Part 4)

Time Period: October 609 BCE – October 539 BCE = 70 Years

Evidence: 609 BCE – With the fall of Harran, Assyria becomes part of the Babylonian Empire, which becomes the world power. 539 BCE – Destruction of Babylon ends the control of Judah by the King of Babylon and his descendants.

5. Jerusalem suffered multiple devastations, not just one – (Jeremiah 25; Daniel 9), (see Part 5)

Jerusalem suffered at least three devastations. In Jehoiakim’s 4th Year, at the end of Jehoiakim’s reign through Jehoiachin’s 3-month reign, and in Zedekiah’s 11th Year, as a minimum.

6. The yoke of Babylon became harsher (iron instead of wood) because of resisting Jehovah in Zedekiah’s 4th Year – (Jeremiah 28), (see Part 5)

7. Babylonian domination would continue and last 70 years (Zedekiah’s 4th Year) – (Jeremiah 29:10), (see Part 5)

Time Period: Working Back from 539 BCE gives 609 BCE.

Evidence: “For” is used as it fits the context set by Jeremiah 25 (see 2) and footnotes and text in Section 3 and is the translation in almost all bibles. Other alternatives do not match the facts and context.

8. Desolation of Egypt for 40 years – (Ezekiel 29), (see Part 5)

Still possible with 48-year gap between the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the fall of Babylon to Cyrus.

9. Destruction of Jerusalem avoidable until the day it fell – (Jeremiah 38), (see Part 5)

10. Judah could still be inhabited even after the murder of Gedaliah – (Jeremiah 42), (see Part 5)

11. Daniel discerned the 70-year servitude to Babylon was now finished when he interpreted the writing on the wall to Babylonian King Belshazzar. Daniel would have died by the time of Cyrus destruction of Babylon if Jerusalem’s final destruction was 607 BCE with a 68-year exile rather than prospering as per the Bible account­ – (Daniel 6:28), (see Part 5)

A 70-year exile from the fall of Jerusalem in the 11th year of Zedekiah would mean Daniel being too old (95 years old) to prosper in the Kingdom of Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian.

12. The land of Judah was able to rest sufficiently to fulfill its missed Sabbath years. The Exile to Babylon and Release of Jews taken to Babylon at the final fall of Jerusalem coincided with the start and close of a Jewish 50-year Jubilee Year cycle – (2 Chronicles 36:20-23), (see Part 6)

Time Period: 7th Month 587 BCE to 7th Month 537 BCE = 50 years.

Evidence: Jerusalem Desolated in 5th Month 587 BCE and land emptied by 7th Month 587 BCE after the murder of Gedaliah and flight to Egypt by remaining inhabitants, Cyrus release came sometime in 538 BCE – the Jubilee Year arriving back in their homeland by 7th month 537 BCE (see Ezra 3:1-2[1]). It was fittingly a Sabbath year cycle of 50 years when their release and return came. This would give the land rest to make up for all the Sabbath years that had been violated.

13. The 70-year period mentioned in Zechariah does not refer to servitude, but rather a denunciation – (Zechariah 1:12), (see Part 6)

Time Period: 11th month 520 BCE to 10th month 589 BCE = 70 Years

Evidence: Zechariah writes 11th month 2nd Year Darius the Great (520 BCE). Denunciation of Jerusalem and Judah from start of siege and destruction of cities by Nebuchadnezzar his 17th Year, and 10th month 9th Year of Zedekiah. (See Jeremiah 52:4)

14. Many elderly Jews seeing Temple rebuilding starting in Darius the Great 2nd year were young enough to still remember Solomon’s Temple before its destruction. This only allows for a 48-year period rather than a 68-year gap between Jerusalem’s final destruction and the fall of Babylon to Cyrus – (Haggai 1; Haggai 2), (see Part 6)

15. The 70 years of fasting mentioned in Zechariah 7 is not related to the 70 years of servitude. It covers from the year of writing in the 4th year of Darius the Great back to the final destruction of Jerusalem – (Zechariah 7:1; 7:5), (see Part 6)

Time Period: 9th month 518 BCE to 7th month 587 BCE = 70 Years

Evidence: Temple destroyed 587 BCE, rebuilding restarted 520 BCE, the 2nd Year of Darius. Zechariah writes 4th Year of Darius the Great (518 BCE). Temple rebuilding completed by 516 BCE, 6th Year of Darius.

16. The 70-year period for Tyre was yet another unrelated 70-year period and has two possible periods that fulfill the requirements of the prophecy – (Isaiah 23:11-18), (see Part 6)

Time Period: 10th month 589 BCE? – 11th month 520 BCE? = 70 Years

Evidence: Jerusalem under siege from 589 BCE cutting off all trade. Temple destroyed 587 BCE, rebuilding restarted 520 BCE, the 2nd Year of Darius the Great.

Resulting vital conclusions and implications of these 16 discoveries

  • The Watchtower Organization’s teachings about Jerusalem’s final destruction by the Babylonians occurring in 607 BCE and the Gentile Times starting then, are clearly not supported by scripture.
  • If 607 BCE for the destruction of Jerusalem is incorrect, then the Organization’s calculation of the Gentile Times lasting 7 times (interpreted as making a total of 2520 years), cannot start in 607 BCE and cannot end in 1914 CE. This means that 1914 CE cannot be the date of the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom in the heavens.
  • The prophecy of 7 times/years in Daniel 4 was fulfilled in the punishment that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar suffered. More importantly, there is no Biblical support for it to be anything more than that. There is no valid reason as to why Jehovah would use the restoration of a pagan King to his throne to represent Jesus being enthroned in heaven.
  • As Jesus was not invisibly enthroned in 1914 CE on the basis of Bible prophecy,[2] then there is no basis for claiming that the faithful and discreet slave was inspected and appointed a few years later in 1919 CE. (See footnote in the July 2013 Study Watchtower study article.)
  • Without an inspection and appointment by Jesus and therefore no mandate from Jesus then the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is clearly self-appointed.
  • Would Jesus encourage anyone to mislead those that would come to him? Of course not. Then how can Jesus be backing the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society / Jehovah’s Witnesses as they are clearly misleading people as to the date of his enthronement?[3]
  • The truth of our theme scripture is borne out, “But let God be found true, though every man be found a liar”. (Romans 3:4)
  • Finally, No, the Bible does not teach that the Gentile Times started in 607BC.

    References
  1. Ezra 3:1-2 “When the seventh month arrived the sons of Israel were in [their] cities. And the people began to gather themselves as one man to Jerusalem. 2 And Jeshʹu·a the son of Je·hozʹa·dak and his brothers the priests and Ze·rubʹba·bel the son of She·alʹti·el and his brothers proceeded to rise up and build the altar of the God of Israel, to offer up burnt sacrifices upon it, according to what is written in the law of Moses the man of the [true] God.”
  2. See separate article discussing – When Does the Bible indicate Jesus became King?
  3. See separate article discussing – When does the Bible indicate Jesus became King?
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