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607 B.C.E - Is there any SECULAR support for the Watch Tower's view?

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A recent topic about whether the Watchtower view of 607 BCE is SCRIPTURALLY supported is linked below. This new topic should provide a better place to discuss the SECULAR evidence. I also think it would be useful to discuss the methodology that the Watch Tower Society has historically used to treat this evidence.

I would hope that we can do this without so much side discussions of unrelated topics. To avoid another topic that goes on for 30+ pages where only half of them were on-topic, I would suggest that if we get enough off-topic posts, we merely move them to another more appropriate topic.

The link to the most recent topic on a similar subject is here:

 

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The video in the last post is just over 3 minutes long, and doesn't get into any specifics about the archaeological evidence. For those who can't see the video, the image below presents the basic claims for the dates of the period in question. Persian rule actually goes on until about 330 BCE. Also note that the dates below include the actual first year that the king acceded to the throne (accession year) even if it was not his first, full year as king (regnal year). Also, the tablets and cuneiform inscriptions were picked to indicate variety, not necessarily their importance to the chronology of each king. image.png

The basic idea of the video is the following, mostly taken straight out of the video:

The entire Neo-Babylonian  and Persian time periods are interlocked and intertwined.

30,000 dated tablets cover the Neo-Babylonian period.  Each is dated with the current king’s year, month & day.

Also, there are contemporary astronomical diaries, king lists, letters and royal inscriptions that perfectly interlock with these 30,000 dated tablets.

There is no difference in the evidence for each period: the The Neo-Babylonian and the Persian.

You canÂ’t accept one date and reject another. All the dates are from the same evidence:

  • 539 is just as accurate as 626, 587, or 598. 
  • If you accept one, you are accepting them all.

So, 539, the start of CyrusÂ’ rule over Babylon, is no more or less accurate than:

•        626 for the start of Nabopolassar

•        587 for Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year, the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple

•        537 for Cyrus’ 2nd full year over Babylon

Accepting 539 is the same as accepting that there were 50 years from NebuchadnezzarÂ’s 18th-19th year to CyrusÂ’ 2nd-3rd year.

Yet, a certain Bible interpretation [the "607 Theory"] requires that we, instead, count a 70-year period that must run from NebuchadnezzarÂ’s 18th-19th year to the 2nd-3rd year of Cyrus.

 

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No, there is no secular support for the Watch Tower's view that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE.

There exists some secular information against modern secular historical consensus, as compiled by Watch Tower supporters, but none of this supports the 607 view.

And of course, JW critics have published extensive material, online and in books and articles, that shows why the WTS's criticisms of solid secular history are invalid.

AlanF

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      Why another topic about 1914 and 607?
      Because we could use a topic where we can all agree a little more easily. Seriously. In this topic, we don't need to worry about whether 607 is correct, or 1914 is correct. No one needs to say why it does or doesn't make sense to them. Let's just see if we can review the possible and probable sources that were influential, and ultimately resulted in 607 and 1914 being accepted as a Bible-based fulfillment of prophecy.
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    • By The Librarian
      Master Chronological List > 1914
      Pastor Charles Taze Russell pointed to 1914 as the end of the "Gentile Times" or "The Appointed Times of the Nations."

      Subsequent President of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Judge Joseph F. Rutherford established 1914 as the date of "Christ's Invisible Return" and crowning as King of God's Kingdom in 1920 which had been previously believed to be 1878. Hence, Jehovah's heavenly Kingdom is established.

      Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914 at which point the end times began.

      From 1914 C.E. to the early part of 1918 C.E. or 1,260 days Jehovah's people preached a "sackcloth" message concerning Christendom and the world, in fulfillment of Revelation 11:3, 4. See re pgs. 164-7 pars. 10-18, also see yw pgs. 264-307, also bf pg. 592.

      [KING OF THE NORTH is now Germany, the KING OF THE SOUTH is the alliance between Great Britian and the United States of America, see Daniel 11:27-29], Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Countess Sophie Chotek, duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated on June 28th in Sarajevo, Bosnia, (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina), by a Serb nationalist. This action precipitated World War I. 
       
      On October 2, 1914, Jesus took the throne. Shortly thereafter, a war in heaven broke out wherein Satan and his demons were cast from the heavens. Satan then became so enraged that he began to wreak havoc upon the earth. One of the first things he did was to start the Great War (WWI). So WWI must have started a few days after October 2, 1914.
       
      “World War I set the violent twentieth century in motion. It was the first use of chemical weapons; the first mass bombardment of civilians from the sky; the century’s first genocide.” So begins the 1996 PBS series The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century.


      The war’s horrendous prosecution and unsatisfactory end were made even worse by the Versailles Peace Conference, a conclave which created the false peace that only allowed the combatants to rearm and proceed to a second conflict which was even more destructive than the first one. World War II merely took up the Great War’s unfinished business. Indeed many historians call both conflicts Europe’s “Second Thirty Years’ War.”

      The First World War led to the birth of the first communist dictatorship. The world flirted with nuclear destruction as that dictatorship engaged in a murderous rivalry with its erstwhile allies. When the USSR finally imploded, some of the splinter states which emerged from its ruins fell to either fighting among themselves or suffering internecine bloodletting. And the problems elsewhere in southwest Asia as well as the Middle East can be traced to hatreds fostered by European colonialism which the Great War only intensified.

      The world we have today had its birth pangs in World War I. It was Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia on 28 July 1914 that caused a myriad of dominoes to fall—and they are continuing to tumble even now.


      The war shattered an entire world order. In 1914, sixty percent of the world's population lived under the rule of kingdoms or empires. Today less than ten percent do so. The only important royal dynasty to survive the war was the House of Windsor and that was not without challenge. The fragmentation of these empires led to the rise of independent states which continues down to this day as the doctrine of "self-determination", promulgated by Wilson at Versailles, continues to govern many movements in our time.

      But what makes the Great War different from its predecessors is that it was the first fought in all four quarters of the globe and by blocs of nations as opposed to just a few. Its carnage also was unmatched in previous world history. Nobody knows how many actually died although estamates range from fourteen to twenty million. Among its aftershocks were the Spanish Flu, the pandemic that killed more people than the war itself, and widespread famine. So to say that the Great War was not much different from earlier ones entirely misses the point,
       
        Post by Jehovah's Witnesses News, Library, History, Videos, Talks, Illustrations.  
       
      July 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. August 1, 1914. Germany Declares War on Russia. August 3, 1914. Germany declares war on France. August 4, 1914. Britain declares war on Germany. August 6, 1914. Austria declares war on Russia. April 6, 1917 - The United States declares war on Germany.
      Depiction from the Nov 1, 2014 Watchtower:

      Older depiction from the 1982 book "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth":

      Related Links and Questions
      Jehovah’s Witnesses gather for convention - 1914 and 2014 - USA-Texas-Arlington - USA-Texas Fort Worth

      1914-2014 - One Hundred Years of Kingdom Rule!

      Where did you find the theme text for 1914?

      Jesus said that "This generation will not pass away until all these things occur." Did he mean the generation that saw saw World War 1 in 1914?

      What shows that Christ became King in 1914?

      When Jesus began ruling as King in 1914, was that the start of the Millennial reign of the Messianic Kingdom?

      IBSA Historical Video from that year 

       
      Watchtower Publications from 1914
      YearText: “Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:9
      w-E * The Watch Tower 
      Countdown Card 
      Berean Studies on The New Creation - C.T. Russell 
      The Photo-Drama of Creation 
      What Say the Scriptures About Our Lord's Return (his Parousia, Apokalupsis and Epiphania)


      Return to the Master List of Watchtower Publications listed by Year

      Watchtower_May_15_1984_pages_1_to_7.pdf
      Previous Watchtower Publications quotations concerning 1914
      “Some persons living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be living when the series ends with Armageddon.” - The Watchtower, September 1, 1952, p. 543

      THE TRAIN ILLUSTRATION - Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 5

      “The fact that fifty-four years of the period called the ‘last days’ have already gone by is highly significant. It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God...Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the ‘last days’ began. Jesus was saying that some of those persons who were alive at the appearance of the ‘sign of the last days’ would still be alive when God brought this system to its end.” - Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 13


      “But there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” - The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life, 1968 ed., p. 95

      “However, there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” - The Watchtower, February 15, 1969, p. 101

      “Men of this world offer you nothing stable, nothing sure. Their promises and predictions of better things have failed time and again. Why let yourself be carried along with them in a steadily downward course to ultimate disaster due to rejecting God’s will? God’s prophetic Word has not failed. Time has confirmed its truthfulness, its unerring accuracy. The generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914 is now dwindling in numbers. Before it passes off the scene the prophesied ‘great tribulation’ will come. You can be among the joyful survivors, experience deliverance from a world system that has proved oppressive, unworkable and death dealing.” - The Watchtower, February 1, 1971, p. 69

      “And the remaining ones of that generation of 1914 are still talking about it. Some of them will be talking about it right down to the time when the ‘great tribulation’ wipes Satan’s wicked system of things off the face of our globe. For Jesus Christ himself assures us: ‘Truly I say to you that this generation [the generation that saw the ‘beginning of pangs of distress’ in 1914] will by no means pass away [completely] until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.’--Matthew 24:3,8,34,35.” - The Watchtower, May 1, 1982, p. 15

      “After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this system] occur.’ (Matthew 24:34,14) Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. So of this we can be certain: Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon. Some of the generation living in 1914 will see the end of the system of things and survive it.” - You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, 1982 ed. p. 154

      ILLUSTRATION: “1914 The Generation That Will Not Pass Away” - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, title page

      “If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80’s or 90’s, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ --Luke 21:32” - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, p. 5

      “From a purely human viewpoint, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah’s prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: ‘This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son’s words in a relatively short time.--Isaiah 46:9,10; 55:10,11.”
      - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, pp. 6-7

      “Today, a small percentage of mankind can still recall the dramatic events of 1914. Will that elderly generation pass away before God saves the earth from ruin? Not according to Bible prophecy. ‘When you see all these things,’ Jesus promised, ‘know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’--Matthew 24:33,34” - The Watchtower, May 1, 1992, p. 3

      “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” - Awake!, October 22, 1995, p. 4


      “Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah’s people have at times speculated about the time when the ‘great tribulation’ would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we ‘bring a heart of wisdom in,’ not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation, but by thinking about how we ‘count our days’ in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah. (Psalm 90:12) Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term ‘generation’ as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics.” - The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, p. 17


      “Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy today, ‘this generation’ apparently refers to the peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ’s presence but fail to mend their ways...Does our more precise viewpoint on ‘this generation’ mean that Armageddon is further away than we had thought? Not at all! Though we at no time have known the ‘day and hour,’ Jehovah God has always known it, and he does not change.” - The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, pp. 19-20

      “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.” - Awake!, November 8, 1995, p. 4
       
      One hundred years on from the Great War

       
    • By Jack Ryan
      This is a nice article about archaeological finds, what caught my attention is the use of 586 BCE as the date for the destruction of Jerusalem.
      According to biblical descriptions, in 586 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar vanquished the Judaean king Zedekiah and razed his capital city, Jerusalem. The Babylonian captain of the guard Nebuzaradan was dispatched into the city, where, as told in the Book of Jeremiah, he “burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great man’s house, burned he with fire.”
      Source
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Who wrote the tablets with the ten commandments given to Moses?
    • By JW Insider
      The October 1, 2011 Watchtower says this date is important for two reasons. 
      *** w11 10/1 p. 26 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One ***
      But why be interested in the actual date when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II razed the city of Jerusalem? First, because the event marked an important turning point in the history of God’s people. . . .
      Second, because knowing the actual year when this “ultimate catastrophe” began and understanding how the restoration of true worship in Jerusalem fulfilled a precise Bible prophecy will build your confidence in the reliability of God’s Word. So why do Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to a date that differs from widely accepted chronology by 20 years? [Emphasis added]
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    • From '66 WT: (Just to throw something else into the mix as to the original post) "Questions From Readers ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change?—W. P., U.S.A. Really it is the Bible that speaks of beliefs that are in harmony with the Scriptures as “the truth.” At 2 Peter 2:2 the worship based on such beliefs is termed “the way of the truth.” Yet concerning that “way of the truth” we read at Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.” So we do not know all there is to know. In fact, even when the post-Armageddon system of things is ushered in we will not know everything. Throughout all eternity there will always be more to learn. This is indicated by what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:33: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!” It is to be expected, then, that at times there may be changes in viewpoint. Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up. For example, a few years ago we had a fine series of articles in The Watchtower on the “superior authorities.” (Issues of November 1–December 1, 1962) Before those articles were published, we knew and taught that Jehovah is the Most High, and that Jesus Christ is the second to Him in power and authority. We knew that we should be law-abiding persons, but that, when there was a conflict between man’s law and that of God, we would obey God as ruler rather than men. Those basic truths are the same today as they were before; they have not changed. However, by careful scrutiny of the Scriptures we have come to appreciate that certain Bible texts ought to be applied in a different way. For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers. That is also true of Titus 3:1 and; 1 Peter 2:13, 14. Yet the basic truth is unchanged. Our viewpoint toward God and toward the State is the same as before. Similarly with our study of the resurrection. We believed in the resurrection of the dead before our recent series of Watchtower articles (issues of January 15–March 15, 1965) on the subject and we believe in it now. We also believed that 144,000 would be raised to heavenly life with Christ. We believed that many more would be resurrected as humans; that some of them would be persons who had faithfully served God in the past, and that others would be those who had lived ‘unrighteously.’ We also believed that a great educational work would take place when they would be raised. Those truths have not changed. But now we see that, according to the Scriptures, more are to return than we expected. So, rather than setting aside the truth of the resurrection, it has been magnified, and our appreciation of Jehovah’s love and mercy in providing for the resurrection has been enhanced. This is in direct contrast to what occurred among certain men of whom the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, as recorded at 2 Timothy 2:18: “These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.” Those men no longer had any hope in the resurrection; they believed that what was in the past was all there was to it. But they were setting aside the truth that Jesus had taught. Likewise in Christendom there have been changes in viewpoint; but they are rejecting the Bible as myth and setting aside its moral code as out-of-date. What a tremendous difference between what is taking place among them and what Jehovah is doing for his people in order to bring our thinking even more closely in line with his inspired Word of truth!" As stated above: "Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up." I'm hoping we get more away from claiming these "some details" and going beyond the things written as divine revelations/new light from God. I believe we are getting there, which is a far cry from what established Christendom  accepts: i.e.. thinking in war God blesses one side over the other of nations in Satan's system; that God has people tortured for all eternity in a fiery hell; there is no real need of a resurrection since all humans have an immortal soul that automatically goes to heaven of Hell when they die; Trinity...and on it goes. Nor do JW's claim infallibility as hundreds of millions believe of the Pope and similar views (although not official) to protestant leaders as well. Yes, I do believe we have a lot to work on, but I don't see any other religions offered on this site by the "nay-sayers" as a better alternative. And even if they don't believe other religions have the truth either, having their own viewpoints, they might as well be a religion unto themselves - an army of one - since even among themselves they don't see eye-to-eye on everything either. That doesn't mean I believe that means we need to believe we are correct on everything we currently believe. As stated in the article quoted above, we should accept there will be clarifications and changes in understanding - in some ways our understanding is fluid and that's a good thing, (despite how some people view it.) That is a huge difference from believing blatantly unscriptural doctrines from apostate Christianity - some of which we at one time accepted ourselves organizationally. I know some people would be highly agitated if some "sacred cow" date/idea turned out not to be so sacred. But remember, we didn't dedicate ourselves to a date and while we respect the imperfect, uninspired "channel" we accept guidance from today, we don't and shouldn't worship an organization any more than the Israelites were to worship Moses and Aaron. We worship the creator, not the creation.   
    • @Srecko Sostar I don't know, but it made me laugh anyway.  If some of the 'brothers' are deeply involved in the property business, and other brothers are deeply involved in the legal / lawyer business (court cases), then it seems the JW Org becomes more worldly every day.  I cannot believe this is what God or Jesus Christ wants from 'chosen ones'.   
    • Are JW people, who are involved in making money with buy and sale business  inside WT Society, those "sons of this world" :)) because of their wisdom how to handle and make arrangements with "wicked generation of darkness" ?
    • I see you as a funny spiritually blind person, so your comments do not bother me at all.   Adam blamed Eve did he? Well you seem to blame the Victims of Abuse and wrongful D/fed.  When Almighty God, working through Christ, decides to take action against the Watchtower / JW Org, then you and many others will get the biggest shock of your lives.  I think though that God may be helping the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse within the JW Org, so God may have started His cleansing process. Only time will tell if God wishes to use the Org or to replace it.  Meanwhile you can keep worshipping the GB and your Elders. 
    • They are not selling ONE house, they are running a Property business  https://ibsaproperty.com/ IBSA London Properties is part of IBSA (International Bible Students Association) a registered charity acting on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Britain and Ireland. For more information about Jehovah’s Witnesses please follow this link.
    • Individuality and unity is what should be expected, and not clones as you said well. According to vision and description with word "bride" in the Bible, it would be more accurate to see artistic pictures of female persons (in heaven or earth) as 144000. I can say how don't see any special need for 144000 to be in Heaven for purpose to reign. That can be done also very good from Earth too. But maybe we can say, for fun, that problem is hidden in transferring power of spirit from Heaven to Earth. We been explained by WT Society how "miracles" stopped. In that context it seems how one of "miracle" is to be inspired by God also finished in 1 century. :))) Perhaps that could be reason why is important for 14400 to be lifted in Heaven. Because distance must be too far, too long to be handled by spirit. :))))    This too verses show how distance is not obstacle for spirit's activity in 1 century. I really don't see why GB and Helpers making issue and such problem about "inspiration" and "be inspired" ?!! :)) 
    • This has been discussed a few times before on this forum. I typically just rewrite new comments every time a subject comes up, but this time I'll be anti-typical and just re-quote myself from one of those earlier posts. Comments went on for 9 pages on that topic, too. For context, Israeli Bar Avaddhon wanted to make another modern day application of these periods and said: By the way, to match these dates day were "greatly rounded" (Rutherford and his associates were released March 26, 1919, not January 1919; see Watchtower, 5/16/2016 all ' article entitled "to whom was entrusted the work"), but even more importantly the writing of Daniel, after mentioning the 1290 days, he says, "Happy is he who waits and who gets to 1335 days!" - Daniel 12: 12 "Getting to ..." means to add to what was there before. The rest of this post is a copy of my brief response to that: I think you are right that the basic idea here is more likely a set of time periods from the same starting point. If I were to tell someone that they are going to have to wait 1260 days for something, but that they might really have to get to 1290 before seeing it, and that they will be truly happy if they wait for 1,335 days, then I don't think it's likely that anyone would guess that I meant 3,885 days in total. And yet this is something like the Watchtower's view. I also think that if such a specific number of days were intended for us today that they would match to a specific number of days in a calendar. I agree, too, that the 1,260 of Revelation 11 & 12 is key. (And of Daniel 7:25; 12:7) The Watchtower also generally agrees on this point, even though they move the 1,290 as a completely new time period away from the 1,260. The explanation given in the Watch Tower publications, as you say, are "greatly rounded." None of them can even reach back as far as October 1914, the most important date/event in modern history according to the new "God's Kingdom Rules" book. The best they can do is start it near the end of December 1914, just a few days from January 1915. In fact, since they end it around June 21, 1918 it must start around December 21, 1914. To even catch this little piece of the tail-end of the all-important year 1914, they must end this period with the sentencing, rather than the actual imprisonment. In the scheme of things, the sentencing was just another part of a process that had begun in the "scheming" that began back in March 1918 when the FBI was building a case based on the Finished Mystery book. *** dp chap. 9 p. 142 par. 28 Who Will Rule the World? *** God’s witnesses would preach dressed in sackcloth for 42 months, or 1,260 days, and then be killed. When did this time period begin and end? . . . Hence, beginning in December 1914, that small band of witnesses preached “in sackcloth.” . . . Harassment of God’s anointed ones climaxed on June 21, 1918, when the president, J. F. Rutherford, and prominent members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society were sentenced on false charges to long prison terms. Intending “to change times and law,” the “small” horn had effectively killed the organized preaching work. (Revelation 11:7) So the foretold period of “a time, and times and half a time” ended in June 1918. The start of the next period 1,290 days does not even attach to the first period without a several month gap. And again, even to get it as close as possible they used the "proposal" of the League of Nations rather than the actual start of the League of the Nations: *** dp chap. 17 p. 300 pars. 22-23 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End *** The League was officially proposed in January 1919. At that time, then, both conditions of Daniel 12:11 were met. So the 1,290 days began in early 1919 and ran until the autumn (Northern Hemisphere) of 1922. During that time, did the holy ones make progress toward becoming whitened and cleansed in God’s eyes? They certainly did! In March 1919 the president of the Watch Tower Society and his close associates were released from prison. They were later exonerated of the false charges against them. Aware that their work was far from over, they got busy immediately, organizing a convention for September 1919. In the same year, a companion magazine to The Watch Tower was first published. Originally called The Golden Age (now Awake!), it has always supported The Watchtower in fearlessly exposing the corruption of this world and in helping God’s people to remain clean. By the end of the foretold 1,290 days, the holy ones were well on the way to a cleansed and restored standing. In September 1922, right about the time when this period ended, they held a landmark convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, U.S.A. Notice again that the periods do not work out. 1290 days is about 17 months, so that a starting date in January would have to end in August, and the convention wasn't until September 1919, which is why it ends at a time when they were only "preparing" for this assembly. And the next period of 1,335 days is even looser in terms of anchoring to any specific occasions. Note: *** dp chap. 17 pp. 303-304 pars. 24-26 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End *** “Happy is the one who is keeping in expectation and who arrives at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!” (Daniel 12:12) The angel gives no clues as to when this period begins or ends. History suggests that it simply follows on the heels of the preceding period. In that case it would run from the autumn of 1922 to the late spring of 1926 (Northern Hemisphere). Did the holy ones come to a state of happiness by the end of that period? Yes, in important spiritual ways. 25 Even after the convention in 1922 (shown on page 302), some of God’s holy ones were still looking longingly to the past. The basic study material for their meetings was still the Bible and the volumes of Studies in the Scriptures, by C. T. Russell. At that time, there was a widely held view that pointed to 1925 as the year for the resurrection to begin and for Paradise to be restored to the earth. Thus, many were serving with a fixed date in mind. Some proudly refused to share in the work of preaching to the public. This was not a happy state of affairs. . . . The issue of March 1, 1925, carried the historic article “Birth of the Nation,” giving God’s people a full understanding of what had happened in the 1914-19 period. After 1925 passed, the holy ones no longer served God with an immediate, explicit deadline in view. . . .  At the convention in May 1926, the book Deliverance was released. (See page 302.) This was one of a series of new books designed to replace Studies in the Scriptures. No longer were the holy ones looking to the past. They were looking confidently to the future and the work ahead. As prophesied, the 1,335 days therefore ended with the holy ones in a happy state. If Daniel had spoken of the 1,335 days as culimating in the most unhappy time period ever for God's people, then this could have made more sense. It would have been very easy to show why this was the most UNHAPPY time period in our organization's history. 1925 had been hyped since 1918 as one of the most important prophecies that the "prophet" -- the Watchtower -- had ever proclaimed, and it turned out to be a miserable failure: a false prophecy. People were now leaving in larger numbers, even those who had hung on past the 1917 organizational debacle. In 1926 Rutherford began to systematically throw away all the old foundations for the time prophecies of Russell. More people were upset. Although Rutherford claims that he had been fighting against Russellite creature worship all along, this was actually the time when Rutherford himself stopped making great claims for Russell and began pushing against Russell's teachings almost "en masse."   Rutherford was beginning to fight with colporteurs and pioneers because they no longer wanted to sell Russell's books if they were pushing doctrines that were now considered "from Satan" (pyramids, etc). But Rutherford still had large stockpiles of these books and insisted that the Lord wanted them sold to the public. The "Bulletin" (Later Informant, later Our Kingdom Ministry) claimed that anyone who balked at this particular edict by Rutherford was going against the Lord himself. More people left the organization over this, and from 1926 to 1932 the campaigns to sell Russell's books continued. We could go on and on comparing this particular period of sadness and gloom with the periods before and since, but there is definitely enough to make us wonder why these particular time periods were chosen for the 1260, 1290, and 1,335 days. I think there are enough weaknesses in it, that the Society will revisit it -- especially if they realize that more and more Witnesses are looking at the prophecy more closely. If I get a chance, I'll explain more of the problems I have with the primary solution that is being promoted from the original post in this topic. I think there is a much simpler solution -- it's one we already have used in the publications on a closely related set of time periods related to the half-week (3.5-year period) in the final 70th week in the week-of-years prophecy. I don't doubt there are other possibilities that might seem more exciting, but some of those ones here imply that we can currently predict the times and seasons, and this particular period is one in which Jesus said the end events would come like a thief in the night. I admit that this is more boring than tying current events to Daniel and Revelation, but there are some excellent reasons to look at it this way (I think) starting with the "two witnesses" and the "olive trees" in Revelation 11. Paul explains the two olive trees very well in Romans 11, and we had already used this tie-in to a 3.5 year period in the discussion of the "keys of the kingdom." Note: *** w79 10/1 p. 23 pars. 1-2 “The Keys of the Kingdom” and the “Great Crowd” *** IN THE year 36 C.E. a marked event in Christian history took place in Caesarea on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Whether Philip the evangelizer had settled there by that year we do not know for certain. If he had done so, then why was he not used in connection with a certain army officer of the Italian band of soldiers then stationed there? Philip had preceded the apostle Peter in Christian activity in Samaria, so why not now in Caesarea in 36 C.E.? The inspired Scriptures give us the answer. The Law covenant that Moses had mediated between Jehovah God and Israel at Mount Sinai in Arabia was abolished on the basis of the impalement of Jesus Christ, the descendant of Abraham and King David. That was three years and a half from the water baptism and spirit-anointing of Jesus back in 29 C.E. Nevertheless, Jehovah continued to give preferential treatment to the natural Jews and Samaritans also during this period for three years and a half more, to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27a. This “week” or period of seven years terminated in the seventh lunar month (Tishri) of 36 C.E. From then on the Israelite descendants of Abraham would be put on the same spiritual level as the people of the non-Jewish nations, the uncircumcised Gentiles. After that no more preferential treatment to the Jews by the God of Abraham! How was this demonstrated in 36 C.E.? From here, we already have a Biblically consistent tie-in between the two witnesses (the witness to the Jews, and the witness to the Gentiles) and the two olive trees (natural Jewish olive tree and the grafted Gentile olive tree) the 42 months or 1260 days. If we look at a few other events with respect to the week of Pentecost of 33, Christ's ascension, etc., we can attempt to work out the differences between a simple 1260 and 1290 and 1335, but I don't even think this is necessarily the answer here.
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