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607 B.C.E. - Is it Biblically Supported?

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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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(Introductory Comments)

Although the Watchtower article says that we should take an interest, some JWs believe that questioning the 607 date is tantamount to apostasy. We shouldn't question the Governing Body or the "faithful and discreet slave." If we question the 607 date we are, perhaps, showing too much pride in our own understanding.

These are legitimate concerns for all of us. And it's one of the reasons that very few of us even understand the reason that such a question might come up in the first place. A discussion was already begun on the subject, but it quickly devolved into a discussion that showed more concern about the questioner(s) rather than the evidence itself. I take my own share of the blame for that problem. That's why, I'm restarting the question again, but this time we'll keep the focus only on evaluating the evidence, both Biblical and archaeological. I hope more people join in, and everyone is welcome, of course, but this time I think we can keep it moderated so that only comments about the evidence remain in the discussion. 

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[Part One - Just a little more background]

The Bible contains no dates, at least not anything like the dates we use today. There is no such thing as a date like 539 BC, or 607 BCE, or 29 CE, or AD 33, or 70 CE, or 1914. The only types of dates that the Bible uses are expressions like:

(Genesis 5:21-27) 21 Eʹnoch lived for 65 years and then became father to Me·thuʹse·lah. 22 After becoming father to Me·thuʹse·lah, Eʹnoch continued to walk with the true God for 300 years. And he became father to sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Eʹnoch amounted to 365 years. 24 Eʹnoch kept walking with the true God. Then he was no more, for God took him. 25 Me·thuʹse·lah lived for 187 years and then became father to Laʹmech. 26 After becoming father to Laʹmech, Me·thuʹse·lah lived for 782 years. And he became father to sons and daughters. 27 So all the days of Me·thuʹse·lah amounted to 969 years, and then he died.

(1 Kings 15:25-34) 25 Naʹdab the son of Jer·o·boʹam became king over Israel in the second year of King Aʹsa of Judah, and he reigned over Israel for two years. 26 He kept doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah . . .  . . . 33  In the third year of King Aʹsa of Judah, Baʹa·sha the son of A·hiʹjah became king in Tirʹzah over all Israel and reigned for 24 years. 34  But he kept doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah, and he walked in the way of Jer·o·boʹam and in his sin that he caused Israel to commit.

A portion of the Bible therefore includes a chronology system, that appears to track the number of years from Adam to Noah (and the Flood). Another portion appears to track the number of years from Noah (through Shem) to Abraham. Other sections track the time from Abraham to the Exodus. Then it gets a bit murky. Even so we know we are not too many years off between the Exodus and the Judges and then to King Saul and David. There is a also a lot of information to help track the time from David through the last Judean King Zedekiah. But even these "synchronisms" between the lines of kings leaves several open questions, which can be interpreted in various ways. Of course, not long after Zedekiah and the return of the Jews from Babylon to Judea & Israel, it gets murky again. And we have no chronology to track the time from, say, Zedekiah until Jesus is born.

In other words, you could know that Methuselah was born a certain number of years after Adam was created, or even that Shem or Abraham was born a certain number of years after Adam was created. but you would still have no idea when Adam was created, or what year the Flood arrived. We also have those murky or incomplete portions. That means that we know, for example, that Jereboam's son Nadab became king over Israel in the second year of King Asa of Judah, but we don't know how long that was after Adam or Noah or Abraham.

Still, the main point is that even if we did have a perfectly linked chronology from Adam through Zedekiah, such as the one seen in Genesis 5 or 1 Kings 15, above, we would still have no way to tell how long ago that time period started or ended. We would not be able to identify specific years, only relative years.

The only way we can start attaching specific years, like 4 BCE, or 70 CE, or 539 BCE to any of these "relative dates" is if we decide that we will accept non-Biblical dates, otherwise known as secular dates.

  • 4 BCE is not a Biblical date, it's a secular date.
  • 33 CE is not a Biblical date, it's a secular date.
  • 607 BCE is not a Biblical date, it's a secular date.
  • 587 BCE is not a Biblical date, it's a secular date
  • 539 BCE is not a Biblical date, it's a secular date.

The reason that is important is because the question about whether Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE or 587/6 BCE is often framed as if one of those dates is Biblical and the other is secular. They are both secular! Everyone in the world, incluing historians, scientists, archaeologists, Bible scholars, the Watch Tower Society and the Governing Body must rely completely on secular dates to figure out how many years ago a Biblical event might have happened. 

So what do we do?

We need to pick a secular date that we think we can trust and begin trying to link Biblical events to it.  Then we see if we can't create a chain of linked events backwards and forward from there. In fact, we need to pick several secular dates because the Bible's relative chronology does not really link the time around Adam, Noah and Abraham all the way through the time of the Judges and Kings. And after the Temple is rebuilt after the time of Ezra, the timeline stops again, so we'd need to find another secular date to see if we can match the time of Jesus birth, baptism, death, and any other events in the Christian Greek Scriptures.

We need to find some secular dates that we can trust! This is exactly where 539 BCE becomes so interesting. That's the time when Cyrus conquers Babylon, right? Yes, and it seems to be a perfectly good secular date for that event. If we accept it, we also get a pretty good idea when Jerusalem was destroyed. In fact, by accepting 539 BCE we ARE accepting the same secular chronology that pinpoints the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year.

(2 Kings 25:8, 9) 8 In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, that is, in the 19th year of King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar the king of Babylon, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard, the servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He burned down the house of Jehovah, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he also burned down the house of every prominent man.

This is the whole problem! We like 539 BCE, as the final year of a Babylonian king, but don't want Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year to be 587 BCE. We want his 19th year to be 607 BCE, instead. But we have a lot of trouble taking one without the other. In fact, if we say that Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year must be 607 BCE, then that's the same thing as saying that Cyrus conquered Babylon in 559 BCE instead of 539 BCE.

It makes no sense to say one is Biblical and one is secular. They are both secular and if you say you trust that 539 BCE is correct, then that's also the same as saying you accept that 587/6 BCE, NOT 607 BCE, is the destruction of Jerusalem. Therefore the WTS has always been looking for a way to try to accept one part of the secular chronology without accepting another part of the same chronology.  Those attempts have never worked out, but this is what we'll need to discuss next.

 

 

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16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Therefore the WTS has always been looking for a way to try to accept one part of the secular chronology without accepting another part of the same chronology.  Those attempts have never worked out, but this is what we'll need to discuss next.

Not only this, but the fact that the WTS only accepts secular chronology when it suits them and their teaching. In one publication they support the use of the Canon of Ptolemy ( Insight vol 1, page 454, under Persian Chronology) in finding the date 539 B.C. as well as being accurate (Insight vol 1, page 455). Now in the Oct 1 Watchtower under the article When was ancient Jerusalem destroyed? - Part one they discredit the Canon with this statement:

"In general, Ptolemy’s canon is regarded as accurate. But in view of its omissions, should it really be used to provide a definite historical chronology?" (http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2011736).

We just saw in the Insight book that it IS used as an accurate source for chronology, according to the WTS. So which is it? You can't have it both ways. This is completely dishonest. 

I look forward to other information that hopefully will come out of this discussion and my learning more about what others feel. This topic is the foundation of the organization itself as it directly relates to 1914/1919, so it should be interesting. 

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42 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

We just saw in the Insight book.....

What I saw in the Insight book vol 1 p454 is:

The date of 539 B.C.E. for the fall of Babylon can be arrived at not only by Ptolemy's canon but by other sources as well.

Is that the reference you meant @Shiwii?

 

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Yes, that is part of it, although this part directly accepts the evidence Ptolemy presents as inline with "other sources as well" which is being used here as accurate support.  If you go to pages 455-458 and read through from "Ptolemy's Canon" through to "from human creation to the present" to you will see collectively that the WTS supports Ptolemy's Canon in its use of supporting the dates and accuracy. Here is just a sample:

"But even though Ptolemy may have calculated accurately or recorded the dates of certain eclipses in the past (a modern astronomer found three fifths of Ptolemy's dates correct),"

"These astronomical diaries contain references to the reigns of certain kings and appear to coincide with the figures given in Ptolemy's canon."

"Finally, as in the case of Ptolemy, even though the astronomical information ( as now interpreted and understood ) on the texts discovered is basically accurate,"

"Another date that can be used as a pivotal point is the year 539 B.c.E. , supported by various historical sources as the year for the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus the Persian. ( Secular sources for Cyrus' reign include Diodorus, Africanus, Eusebius, and Ptolemy, as well as the Babylonian tablets.)"

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Ah yes I see what you mean,.

So it's not a stand alone status that Ptolemy has. It's in tandem with other sources. Great, I understand that now.

Thanks

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It doesn't matter if it is stand alone or not, what matters is that it is being used to support chronology in one publication, and in the another it is being discredited for the exact same usage.  

 

I'd like to get back to the topic at hand. If in fact the WTS uses Ptolemy's Canon in support of 539 B.C., as we have seen in the Insight book, then what factors or references are used to end up with 607 vs 587? 

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11 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

We just saw in the Insight book that it IS used as an accurate source for chronology, according to the WTS. So which is it? You can't have it both ways. This is completely dishonest.

For many years now, the Watchtower has actually been consistent in acknowledging that Ptolemy's canon "may" be accurate, but that we might not be able to rely on it for everything. Almost every reference to Ptolemy, especially in the Insight book, has a somewhat negative side added to it:

*** it-1 p. 456 Chronology ***
Finally, as in the case of Ptolemy, even though the astronomical information (as now interpreted and understood) on the texts discovered is basically accurate, this does not prove . . .

*** it-1 p. 456 Chronology ***
These astronomical diaries contain references to the reigns of certain kings and appear to coincide with the figures given in Ptolemy’s canon. While to some this might seem like incontrovertible evidence, there are factors greatly reducing its strength.

Following up on the point I was making about 539 BCE, 607 BCE, 29 CE, etc, all being secular dates, this is admitted under that same topic heading in the Insight Book:

*** it-1 p. 458 Chronology ***
To make the count in terms of modern calendar dating, we must use some fixed point or pivotal date with which to commence, that is, a date in history that has sound basis for acceptance and that corresponds with a particular event recorded in the Bible. From this date as a pivotal point we can figure backward or forward and assign calendar dates to many of the events referred to in the Bible.
One such date, harmonizing with both Biblical and secular history, is the year 29 C.E., the early months of which were in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, who was named emperor by the Roman Senate on September 15, 14 C.E. (Gregorian calendar). It was in the year 29 C.E. that John the Baptizer began his preaching and also when, perhaps about six months later, he baptized Jesus.—Lu 3:1-3, 21, 23; 1:36.
Another date that can be used as a pivotal point is the year 539 B.C.E., supported by various historical sources as the year for the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus the Persian. (Secular sources for Cyrus’ reign include Diodorus, Africanus, Eusebius, and Ptolemy, as well as the Babylonian tablets.)

Of course, someone could read that, especially the last paragraph, and think that 539 BCE for the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus is somehow more supported by various historical sources than is 587 BCE for the destruction of Jerusalem.  In fact, 587 BCE for Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year is part of the same Neo-Babylonian chronological system, supported by the same sets (and types) of sources. If the first year of the conquest of Cyrus is a pivotal date, then so is Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year -- for the same reasons.

The quote that Eoin included was:

*** it-1 p. 454 Chronology ***
The date of 539 B.C.E. for the fall of Babylon can be arrived at not only by Ptolemy’s canon but by other sources as well.

This is very accurate, of course, but It would have been exactly as accurate for the Insight book to have said this:

The date of 587 B.C.E. for the fall of Jerusalem can be arrived at not only by Ptolemy’s canon but by other sources as well.

As it turns out, in fact, there are additional sources that add to the evidence for Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year (587 BCE), so that the evidence for 587 BCE could even be said to be a little better than the evidence for 539 BCE, but it doesn't matter because both are equally accurate. Of course, the only reason we focus only on 539 BCE is because we reject 587 BCE.

This argument is equally true in the opposite direction. Both 587 BCE and 539 BCE are also supported by "astronomical diaries" which evidently contain sometimes daily observations of priests or astronomers of the royal court. A specific diary that supports 587 BCE has sometimes been criticized by the WTS for 4 major weaknesses. Without even mentioning the details of those weaknesses, it turns out that all 4 of them are the exact same weaknesses for the diary that supports 539 BCE.

For anyone who might not be aware, these astronomical diaries contain information that can look something like the following:

10th Year of King "So-and-So"

  • On the night of April 13, Saturn passed within 3 fingers of the moon as it disappeared at the horizon
  • On the night of April 15, the upper star of the head of the Scorpion passed within 2 fingers of the moon.
  • On the morning of April 16, this is the last day this month when the moon set before sunrise. The Euphrates River was at a height of 4 today.
  • On the evening of April 19, there was a lunar eclipse. In 10 degrees of the night it made an eclipse of 4 fingers, 2 fingers remained to totality, it was obscured on the northeast side when it began.

It usually turns out that various abbreviations had developed for many of the astronomical phrases. But the main point is that sometimes there was not enough information for a specific day, and sometimes there was plenty of information, but when all of the recorded data was put together, it could often be matched to a certain year where such phenomena would not be repeated again for a thousand years.

What's more important is that all these diaries that contain enough information not only fit the time period that is already known about the various kings identified, they also match the exact year already identified from other sources. Also, they fit each other. There are sometimes two known diaries for the same king, covering separated years. It's as if the example above called: "10th Year of King So-and-So" was identified as 405 BCE and then another diary was found for the same king and it was called "15th Year of King So-and-So" and its astronomical phenomena exactly matched 400 BCE.

Unfortunately there aren't so many of these detailed diaries from the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, but the ones we do have can still be matched to their year both from the astronomical data and what we already know about their chronology from other sources.

Also, even if we could completely discredit Ptolemy's canon, which we can't, we don't need it anyway for either the 539 BCE date or the 587 BCE date. We get good evidence for both those dates, even without Ptolemy. There is no such evidence from any source that supports 607 BCE for the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

 

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"Almost every reference to Ptolemy, especially in the Insight book, has a somewhat negative side added to it:"

Yes, however it is still claimed to be accurate in one instance and discredited in another.  That was my only point. Using it when it fits the theology and distancing themselves when they like. 

 

Back to the point. I agree with your findings here:

"It's as if the example above called: "10th Year of King So-and-So" was identified as 405 BCE and then another diary was found for the same king and it was called "15th Year of King So-and-So" and its astronomical phenomena exactly matched 400 BCE."

We can only go by what we have, and not speculation on what might have been. So, like you said, there is NO  support for 607. What resources can even come close to supporting 607? I mean we have canons, cuneiforms and astronomers from that time, and even IF those don't exactly go in hamony with each other,  what evidence is there? If we discredit all of them, then isn't any date acceptable?  So do we throw out records if they do not agree with us? Then it becomes the opinion of men and who you choose to follow. I'd hardly throw out ALL historical evidence for the sake of man's wants or ideas.

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19 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

So...Is it Biblically Supported?

I think it's pretty clear that there are NO dates that are Biblically supported if they are connected to the letters BC, BCE, CE, or AD. Those very terms always refer a secular support. (In some cases dates are made up that don't have any secular support or any Biblical support, either.)

Evidently, it's also pretty safe to say that 607 BCE is NOT Biblically supported, if we assume that 539 BCE is correct. (Based on what the Bible says about the "70 years" in at least 4 different places. There is the additional Biblical issue of a 70-year period that starts at the commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and coming to a close at a period nearly 20 years past the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. 

(Zechariah 1:12) . . .“O Jehovah of armies, how long will you withhold your mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with whom you have been indignant these 70 years?

(Zechariah 7:5) . . .‘When you fasted and wailed in the fifth month and in the seventh month for 70 years. . .

(Zechariah 8:19) . . .‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth month, the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the tenth month will be occasions for exultation and joy for the house of Judah. . .

*** w96 11/15 p. 5 Does God Require Fasting? ***
For example, at one time the people of Judah had four annual fasts to commemorate the calamitous events associated with Jerusalem’s siege and desolation in the seventh century B.C.E. (2 Kings 25:1-4, 8, 9, 22-26; Zechariah 8:19)

According to our current understanding of the chronology that includes the supposed destruction of Jerusalem in 607 BCE, then this produces a contradiction, because we date the book of Zechariah as follows:

*** nwt p. 1662 Table of the Books of the Bible ***
Zechariah
Jerusalem rebuilt
518
520-518 [BCE]

If Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE, then 518 BCE is 69 years later, and therefore matches Zechariah's theme of 70 years of withheld mercy and indignities, and wailing and fasting over Jerusalem, which is now being rebuilt.

If Jerusalem had been destroyed in 607 BCE, then by Zechariah's time, in 518 BCE, it would have been 89 years of wailing and fasting.

Neither date is "Biblical" and neither date should really matter that much, but it is curious that 607 BCE is totally impossible from the perspective of secular evidence, and it becomes very difficult from the perspective of Biblical evidence. Yet 587 BCE is totally supported from the perspective of secular evidence and provides an excellent match to the Biblical evidence. There should really be no reason why we are not rejoicing that secular, historical, archaeological evidence for 587 BCE once again shows the Bible to be accurate and sound from a historical perspective.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

There should really be no reason why we are not rejoicing that secular, historical, archaeological evidence for 587 BCE once again shows the Bible to be accurate and sound from a historical perspective.

Exactly, and shouldn't all evidence confirm the Bible and the Bible all evidence. That is of course if one believes the Bible to be true, which I do. 

So now, if there is no support for 607, but there is for 587, then why the long held belief in 607? Is it just to make a date of 1914 ring true? It appears that way.

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9 hours ago, JW Insider said:

If Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE, then 518 BCE is 69 years later, and therefore matches Zechariah's theme of 70 years of withheld mercy and indignities, and wailing and fasting over Jerusalem, which is now being rebuilt.

How do you think Daniel 9:1-2 relates to this scenario?

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Why don't you give us your opinion,  since this is a discussion, and you brought it up

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Some of you mentioned Carl Olof Jonsson on the Destruction of Jerusalem

I didn't know any of his story until this video.

 

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On 4/15/2016 at 3:55 AM, Eoin Joyce said:

How do you think Daniel 9:1-2 relates to this scenario?

There may be better and clearer alternatives to the idea from Daniel 9:1-2, but I don't believe anyone has found any major problems or discrepancies with the WTS understanding.

(Daniel 9:1, 2) 9 In the first year of Da·riʹus the son of A·has·u·eʹrus—a descendant of the Medes who had been made king over the kingdom of the Chal·deʹans— 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of years mentioned in the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah the prophet to fulfill the desolation of Jerusalem, namely, 70 years.

(Daniel 1:1) 1 In the third year of the kingship of King Je·hoiʹa·kim of Judah, King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.

(Jeremiah 52:28-30) 28 These are the people whom Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar took into exile: in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews. 29 In the 18th year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, 832 people were taken from Jerusalem. 30 In the 23rd year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard took Jews into exile, 745 people.. . .

 

Based on the fact that Daniel's had discerned the 70 years of Jeremiah and that this is juxtaposed with the fact that it is now the 1st year of Darius, it seems safe to assume the following:

  • The Chaldeans/Babylonians have been just very recently been conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire.
  • History & Archaeology puts this event at about 539 BCE, and it appears consistent with Biblical evidence.
    • Accepting 539 BCE is the same as accepting the entire Neo-Babylonian chronology. (Otherwise it would be like accepting that the U.S. Civil War ended in 1865 but you won't accept that it started in 1861.) Therefore, accepting 539 BCE means that Assyria fell in 609, Nebuchadnezzar became ruler in 604, numerous incursions around Judea, and exiles of prisoners from Judea were known from around 605 (months before Neb was ruler), 598/7 (Neb 7th yr. non-accession), 587/6 (Neb 18th yr), 582/1 (Neb 23rd yr) -- Jer. 52:28-30.
  • Since Jeremiah had spoken of 70 years given to Babylon so that Babylon could rule and wreak havoc over the nations for that length of time, Daniel must have known that the 70 years was up due to the fall of Babylon. (This matches 2 Chronicles that stated that the 70 years would be up when the Persian king began ruling.)
  • Daniel indicates that the 70 years were somehow also a part of the fulfillment of the desolation of Jerusalem, and that it was now time for the punishment to end and the restoration to Judea.
    • But we know that Daniel would not likely be of the opinion that this meant 70 years of total desolation, since the first physical "desolations" (through incursions, battles and exile) evidently didn't start counting until about 605 and ended about 5 years after the final desolation of Jerusalem, per Jeremiah 52:30. It had been about 66 years since the first exiles.

Daniel never mentions the decree of Cyrus. In Daniel 10:1 he mentions the 3rd year of Cyrus while Daniel is evidently still in Babylonia, but with no specific historical event tied to it. It seems impossible that Daniel wouldn't have known about the decree of Cyrus, but Daniel is apparently looking beyond just the return, to the actual re-inauguration of the Temple, which wouldn't start for another 20 years, and wouldn't be ready for dedication until the next century.

So Daniel receives a different kind of answer about the 70 years. For the "real" fulfillment, it wouldn't be 70 years, but 70 times 7 years. This uses not a "day-for-a-year" rule but a "7-years-for-a-year" rule. Something like this rule is mentioned a couple other times in the Bible. Exactly when to start the 70 x 7 = 490 years, I wouldn't know. But it seems that Daniel is now to look far off into the future for the true Temple fulfillment. Every Christian-oriented commentary makes sense of this by having it point to Jesus as the true Temple, but this produces a couple of chronology issues, too. And our solution (WTS) doesn't do anything with the 62 weeks, or the 7 weeks, it merely combines them. We also don't have Jesus "cut off" at the 69th week. (We use the 69.5 weeks instead of the 69.0 found in Daniel 9:26 “And after the 62 weeks, Mes·siʹah will be cut off, with nothing for himself." So I wouldn't say our explanation is complete or perfect, yet, but I can't see any real evidence against it. There are other explanations that account for the 7 and the 62, but these have their own problems.

This is really no different from the WTS, it would still start very close to 607 BCE (+/- a year or two) and end just as close to 539 BCE. The only thing it can't do is start at the very time of the temple destruction, but our own WTS argument also (inadvertently) argues against starting it them, because it is supposed to start at a time of full and complete desolation, which obviously didn't happen at the time of the temple destruction anyway.

  • (Jeremiah 52:15, 16) 15 Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard took into exile some of the lowly people and the rest of the people who were left in the city. He also took the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon as well as the rest of the master craftsmen. 16 But Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard left some of the poorest people of the land to serve as vinedressers and as compulsory laborers.

And as already quoted above...

  • (Jeremiah 52:28-30) 28 These are the people whom Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar took into exile: in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews. 29 In the 18th year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, 832 people were taken from Jerusalem. 30 In the 23rd year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard took Jews into exile, 745 people.. . .

 

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On 4/14/2016 at 6:06 PM, JW Insider said:

Biblically supported, if we assume that 539 BCE is correct. (Based on what the Bible says about the "70 years" in at least 4 different places. There is the additional Biblical issue of a 70-year period that starts at the commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and coming to a close at a period nearly 20 years past the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. 

Wait a minute, isn't 539 BCE plus 70 years 609 BCE,? And then when we consider the actual return of the Jews to start re- building the temple as being 537 BCE and add 70 years it gives us 607 BCE....so .how does that go 20 years past the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus?

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

Wait a minute, isn't 539 BCE plus 70 years 609 BCE,? And then when we consider the actual return of the Jews to start re- building the temple as being 537 BCE and add 70 years it gives us 607 BCE....so .how does that go 20 years past the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus?

Yes. A 70 year period that ended in 539 would have to have started around 609. And this is a pretty good match for when Babylonian power reared its head over Assyria. The capital of Nineveh fell in 612 and Babylon took advantage and became the next world power. 609 was the year that Josiah died. Josiah was considered by many Jews to be the next potential Messiah, a king like David.

In fact, notice that 609 is exactly the year that the Watch Tower publications point to (indirectly) when it speaks of the end of the Assyrian empire. (Remember that the WTS arbitrarily adds 20 years to every date prior to 587 B.C.E., so that 607 B.C.E.is actually 587 B.C.E., and therefore 629 B.C.E. is actually 609 B.C.E.)

*** it-1 p. 205 Assyria ***

  • According to the same chronicle, in the 14th year of Nabopolassar (632 B.C.E.), Ashur-uballit II attempted to continue Assyrian rule from Haran as his capital city. This chronicle states, under the 17th year of Nabopolassar (629 B.C.E.): “In the month Duʼuzu, Ashur-uballit, king of Assyria, (and) a large [army of] E[gy]pt [who had come to his aid] crossed the river (Euphrates) and [marched on] to conquer Harran.” (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 305; brackets and parentheses theirs.) Actually, Ashur-uballit was trying to reconquer it after having been driven out. This record is in harmony with the account relative to the activity of Pharaoh Nechoh recorded at 2 Kings 23:29, which activity resulted in the death of King Josiah of Judah (c. 629 B.C.E.). This text states that “Pharaoh Nechoh the king of Egypt came up to the king of Assyria by the river Euphrates”—evidently to help him. “The king of Assyria” to whom Nechoh came may well have been Ashur-uballit II. Their campaign against Haran did not succeed. The Assyrian Empire had ended.

So this is an excellent match for the 70 years of Babylonian domination from 609 to 539, spoken about by Jeremiah:

  • (Jeremiah 25:11, 12) 11 And all this land will be reduced to ruins and will become an object of horror, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.”12 “‘But when 70 years have been fulfilled, I will call to account the king of Babylon and that nation for their error,’ . . .

Just as the Watch Tower publications have explained it in the "Isaiah's Prophecy" book:

*** ip-1 chap. 19 p. 253 par. 21 Jehovah Profanes the Pride of Tyre ***

  • “These nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:8-17, 22, 27) . . . Evidently, the 70 years represents the period of Babylonia’s greatest domination—when the Babylonian royal dynasty boasts of having lifted its throne even above “the stars of God.” (Isaiah 14:13) Different nations come under that domination at different times. But at the end of 70 years, that domination will crumble.

So that is ONE period of 70 years that started in 609 and ended in 539.

The Bible, in the book of Zechariah, also mentions another period of 70 years that starts around 587 (destruction of Jerusalem) or even 588 when the siege began, and ends around 518. Since it's been so many months I'll repeat some portions of the post you referred to, where this was explained:

------- the remainder of this post copied from a previous post (JWI: 4/14/2017) above -------

(Zechariah 1:12) . . .“O Jehovah of armies, how long will you withhold your mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with whom you have been indignant these 70 years?

(Zechariah 7:5) . . .‘When you fasted and wailed in the fifth month and in the seventh month for 70 years. . .

(Zechariah 8:19) . . .‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth month, the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the tenth month will be occasions for exultation and joy for the house of Judah. . .

*** w96 11/15 p. 5 Does God Require Fasting? ***
For example, at one time the people of Judah had four annual fasts to commemorate the calamitous events associated with Jerusalem’s siege and desolation in the seventh century B.C.E. (2 Kings 25:1-4, 8, 9, 22-26; Zechariah 8:19)

According to our current understanding of the chronology that includes the supposed destruction of Jerusalem in 607 BCE, then this produces a contradiction, because we date the book of Zechariah as follows:

*** nwt p. 1662 Table of the Books of the Bible ***
Zechariah
Jerusalem rebuilt
518
520-518 [BCE]

If Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE, then 518 BCE is 69 years later, and therefore matches Zechariah's theme of 70 years of withheld mercy and indignities, and wailing and fasting over Jerusalem, which is now being rebuilt.

If Jerusalem had been destroyed in 607 BCE, then by Zechariah's time, in 518 BCE, it would have been 89 years of wailing and fasting.

Neither date is "Biblical" and neither date should really matter that much, but it is curious that 607 BCE is totally impossible from the perspective of secular evidence, and it becomes very difficult from the perspective of Biblical evidence. Yet 587 BCE is totally supported from the perspective of secular evidence and provides an excellent match to the Biblical evidence. There should really be no reason why we are not rejoicing that secular, historical, archaeological evidence for 587 BCE once again shows the Bible to be accurate and sound from a historical perspective.

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    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      "Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones+ and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” - Revelation 18:24
       
      If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel, why does the book of Revelation say that "in her was found the blood of all those who were slaughtered on the earth"?
      Obviously the objection is that if Israel exists only since 1948, it can not be responsible for all the blood spilled!
      To answer this question we must understand when the Revelation and the context of this writing are fulfilled.
      In the meantime, it is useful to reflect on the words of Our Lord when, addressing precisely to the scribes and the hypocritical Pharisees of that nation, he said: “Serpents, offspring of vipers,+ how will you flee from the judgment of Ge·henʹna?For this reason, I am sending to you prophets+ and wise men and public instructors.+ Some of them you will kill+ and execute on stakes, and some of them you will scourge+ in your synagogues and persecute+ from city to city, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.+ Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation" - Matthw 23:33-36
      Now we know that when the Lord said "this generation" did not mean something strange, like a generation that intersects with another generation or such absurdity.
      Jesus pronounced those words in 30 AD. about, and those words came true in 70 CE, that is about forty years later.
      Nobody asked himself "what the Lord really meant" when he said "this generation" because it was clear what he meant.
      This also applies to the "sign of His presence" and should make each of us reflect when, trying to hide a series of errors and wrong intentions, we try to make Scripture say what it does not say.
      However, in this context, the question we should ask ourselves is "Why does the Lord impute crimes from Abel to the scribes and the Pharisees?"
      Obviously Abel was not killed by a scribe or a Pharisee!
      At the time of Abel, the nation of Israel did not even exist!
      Why, then, this condemnation?
      This could be one of the reasons that led to think that "Babylon the great" was the world empire of false religion because the Pharisees could not be guilty of the death of Abel or of "all those slaughtered on earth".
      However this hypothesis is absurd because could also be made the opposite objection.
      If when Jesus condemns those who are guilty of the blood of "all those who have been slaughtered on earth" meant this phantom "world empire of false religion" because, instead, the judgment strikes only on Israel? - compare Luke 21:22
      The judgment fell into "that generation" and fell right on Jerusalem, exactly as the Lord said.
      Why, then, did this condemnation starting with the murder of Abel?
      This is because God considers those who have "known God" to be especially responsible, yet they commit unspeakable crimes - Amos 3: 2
      What other nation in the world has had a "special relationship" with the Creator of the universe so that they have a greater responsibility for their mistakes? - compare Matthew 11: 21-24; 12: 38-41
      It is also very important to consider people's heart condition - Matthew 5: 21-22
      Although these scribes and Pharisees were not directly responsible for the death of Abel or all those who had been killed until that day, they had clearly manifested the same mental attitude of Cain and for this reason they were already subject to judgment - John 8 : 44-47; 1 John 3:12 However, the legitimate next objection could be "Why should God condemn Israel again, since it has already paid for its mistakes in 70 AD?"
      As said at the beginning, to answer this question we must understand when the biblical book of Revelation is fulfilled.
      Every time we read Revelation 18:24 we understood that it was to pay for all the blood spilled since the beginning of time but it does not.
      Indeed, Revelation is fulfilled on the day of the Lord - Revelation 1:10
      So the blood that is imputed to Babylon the Great is all the blood that will be shed on the Lord's day and not from the beginning of time.
      This should make us reflect on the period in which the day of the Lord really begins, namely a period in which there must also be Israel, not before.
      If Israel exists only since 1948, the day of the Lord can not start on any other previous date.
      It can start at a later date, not necessarily in 1948, but it certainly can not begin sooner.
      However we will deepen this "bold statement" in a future article.
      Why will Babylon the Great be held responsible for all the blood shed on earth during the day of the Lord?
      Because this nation will be the main cause of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south - Daniel 11:40
      The king of the north (Russia) either directly or through one of his allies, will find himself in a situation where he will be forced to attack Israel.
      This attack, predicted in the Scriptures, will become the expedient to bring into play the two great world powers.
      These will be the wars that foretold the Lord as an unmistakable sign of His presence - Matthew 24: 6
      The first and second world wars, though terrifying, have nothing to do with what we have been taught.
      It will be the next wars to identify the "day of the Lord" - Revelation 6: 3, 4
      God is not responsible for these wars but Babylon the Great.
      This will be the main reason why it will be destroyed, but this will not happen during this attack (now close).
      Babylon the Great will continue to exist until the last moment of the world system.
      Towards the end of the great tribulation (not at the beginning), Babylon the Great, or the nation of Israel that will continue to exist until the end of the third world war, will be finally destroyed.
      This event will start the armageddon war.
      Look carefully at world events.

      The next article will see another characteristic of Babylon the Great and this will also help us to identify it as the nation of Israel.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      In the Bible there are hundreds of references relating to the destruction of Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
      There are also many parallels between Isreal and Babylon (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel ...).
      Being accustomed to making parallels with Christianity and the world empire of false religion, every time we read "Israel will be destroyed!" we read, in effect, "Christianity will be destroyed!" and every time we read "Babylon will be destroyed!" we read "The world empire of false religion will be destroyed!".
      Now the question is ... "If in a specific passage the Bible meant that Israel would be destroyed by intending to own Israel ... what would we find written?"
      Evidently we would find written "Israel will be destroyed!"
      In the end it is a matter of understanding whether, whenever we speak of the destruction of Babylon and / or Israel after the Lord's day, there is at least the possibility of referring to Israel, that is, modern Israel which is a literal nation.
      What is the greatest counterfeiting of the people of God today?
      Christendom or the modern nation of Israel?
      Before 1948 this hypothesis and these questions would have made no sense.
      Any hypothesis would have excluded Israel a priori simply because Israel did not exist.
      Since May 1948, however, Israel exists and it is basically a matter of understanding three things.
      1) See if it is possible that Babylon the Great is a nation
      2) If so, see if Israel matches the description that makes the Bible
      3) Compare with the current understanding and see which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of personal desires or ideas, are more likely to be.

       
      Question 1
      Babylon the Great can be a nation?

       
      Meanwhile, let us remember that Babylon the Great, throughout history, has been "identified" with many nations and for the most disparate reasons.
      Imperial Rome, Papal Rome, USA, UK, USSR etc.
      Many different people and religious groups have given different explanations but none of them has ever resisted the test of fire and that is the scrutiny of the Scriptures - I Thessalonians 5:21
      What about us?
      One of the explanations given in the publications of the Slave according to which Babylon the Great can not be a literal nation is the fact that "he commits fornication with the kings of the earth".
      A strengthening of this statement would be the fact that both kings and merchants mourn its destruction.
      Finally, it would not be a nation because it is said to mislead the entire inhabited earth through its "spiritual practices".
      That's it?
      Let's see.
      In Isaiah 23: 15-17 we speak of Tire as a "forgotten prostitute" and therefore, as such, "commits prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth on the surface of the ground".
      Tire was a nation, not a religion or a religious system - Romans 15.4
      So a nation can be described, in the Bible, in the act of committing prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth and remaining a nation.
      Prostitution may have to do with commercial trade or acts of injustice and bloodshed and not necessarily with religion. - Naum 3: 1-4
      In particular, Tire's prostitution has nothing to do with false religion because, if that were so, Jehovah would not have considered “saint” his reward - Isaiah 23:18
      "Prostitution" can have to do with the covenant and trust placed in other nations, as reported many times in the Bible when Israel and Judah proved to be unfaithful by allying with pagan nations.
      It is clear, therefore, if this nation is compared to a prostitute the loss of this prostitute would have caused pain to her lovers (the nations with which she committed prostitution and the merchants who have enriched herself with it) just like ancient Israel " joy " for Tire's prostitution and this not because Tire was a religion or for the religion of Tire.
      A king can "cry" for the loss of a political ally (therefore for the fall of a nation) and a great merchant can cry for the fall of a commercial ally (which can be big or small but certainly rich nation).
      So the reasons that "Babylon the Great" can not be a nation because kings and merchants mourn his departure are not valid.
      What can we say, however, of the strongest affirmation in reference to Babylon La Grande, that is, that "all nations have been misled by its spiritual practice"?
      This statement in particular has led many to think that it was a religious empire (for many sects of Christianity Babylon the Great is Catholicism and for some Catholics it is even the Second Vatican Council).
      First of all we must realize that all the empires of the past have resorted to spiritualistic practices and this is also true of modern so-called atheist empires.
      Pharaoh opposed his "magic practitioners" to Moses and Nebuchadnezzar was practically surrounded - Exodus 7:11 - Daniel 2: 2
      The same can be said of Assyria, Syria, Media Persia etc.
      So if the Bible, speaking of a literal nation, said that "uses magic" or "divination practice", it would not say anything exceptional.
      We also know from the study of the Scriptures that nations are governed by demons that mislead the entire inhabited earth and that during the wars not only human beings are involved - Daniel 10:13
      Can we hypothesize that the demons have given particular power to a nation and that this has, today, "the kingdom over the kings of the earth"? - Revelation 17:18 see also Luke 4: 5-7
      By comparing the Scriptures without preconceptions, it is not possible to exclude "Babylon the Great" among the nations.
      Question 2
      "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?"
      In Revelation 17: 1, 2 we read that Babylon the Great "sits on many waters".
      We know that the waters mean "peoples and crowds and nations and languages"
      Israel "sits on many waters" because it is surrounded by many peoples and nations that can not stand it ("to sit on" can also mean against the will of the neighboring peoples). In Isaiah 8: 5-8 one speaks of the powerful Assyrian army as "devastating waters"; therefore the "waters" are not always a symbol of protection - Isaiah 8: 5-8
      It was put there by the UN against the will of the many neighboring nations.
      It also sits "on many waters" because his position is due to the nations that make up the United Nations (Babylon the Great also sits on the wild beast of scarlet color) that, besides having settled it where it is still, protect it militarily.
      The armies of Assyria are compared to "devastating waters", so we can say that they also sit on many armies? - Revelation 17: 3, 16
      it is also noteworthy that the nation of Israel is right in the "crossroads" of three continents: Europe, Africa, Asia.
      If I wanted to find a literal nation located above "many waters" (ie peoples and nations and tribes and languages) both geographically and politically, no other nation would correspond better than the modern nation of Israel.
      The harlot rides a beast.
      In Revelation 17: 3 we read "And the angel brought me into the power of the spirit in a wilderness." And I saw a woman seated on a wild scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. "
      The nation of Israel is already in a desert today and rides on the wild beast of scarlet color which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations ascended from the abyss with the name U.N.
      Israel exists, thanks to the push of the Anglo-American empire, thanks and through the United Nations, since 1948.
      Historical events prior to and following the creation of the state of Israel confirm that the Jewish people have ridden the scarlet-colored wild beast even before returning to being a nation (I invite you to do a research on Balfour and all the historical background before 1948).
      Mother of all prostitutes.
      Revelation 17: 4-5: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication. on his forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth' ".
      If we accept the possibility that a nation is compared to a prostitute (just like Tire), then the nation of Israel is the "mother of all prostitutes" because it has committed greater fornication than any other nation in the world.
      How can we say it?
      If the prostitute rides the scarlet-colored wild beast, which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations, is supposed to have committed fornication with all the nations adhering to the United Nations.
      Indeed, its very existence as a nation is due to his political lovers so, to continue to exist, must commit prostitution in excess and continuously.
      No other nation can compare itself to her as acts of prostitution because no other nation has the urgent need to please the UN to continue to exist.
      it is also possible that in the Bible it is described as a prostitute because it is not a real "queen" but a forcing. It is an empire carved out of art for a prostitute.
      The woman is also "dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stone ..." so she is simply dressed like a queen but the purple and scarlet colors are still the colors of luxury and royal power and this would strengthen the idea that we are talking about a kingdom, a literal nation.
      In the same way the beast that the prostitute rides is scarlet in color and the beast, as we know, is the League or Society of Nations (all members of the United Nations represent literal nations). The scarlet color, color of both the wild beast and the harlot, is significant.
      Drunk with the blood of the saints.
      The writing continues saying "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus".
      Israel has an enormous blood fault and Jesus referred to this very nation when he said: “so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar” - Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50, 51
      So Jesus himself identifies Israel, not another nation, as responsible for the payment of "all the right blood" (compare also the words of Stephen recorded in Acts 7: 51-53).
      The book "Insight", under the heading "Babylon the Great", correctly points out that not all Christians were persecuted by the Pharisees and the Jews themselves have suffered, in turn, a great persecution.
      However, even Abel was not killed by a Pharisee or even by any religious minister.
      Moreover, the millions of deaths caused by the communist, atheist empire, could hardly be pointed to false religion.
      Can we hypothesize that Jehovah and Jesus hold particularly responsible those who have "known God" and, despite this, commit unspeakable crimes?
      The nation of Israel fits perfectly in this context. - Hosea 8: 2 - Amos 3: 2
      It should also be said that the blood of "all those slaughtered on earth" is referring to the last war (which is yet to come) and therefore is saying that Israel will be the real behind-the-scenes cause of this war.
      However, this last parat needs other explanations for which, for the moment, omit it.
      Condolence for the end of Babylon.
      Revelation 18: 9-14 says: “And the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality* with her and lived with her in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10  They will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say: ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city,+ Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’ 11  “Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, 12  a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; 13  also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.* 14  Yes, the fine fruit that you* desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found again”.
      As we saw at the beginning, both the kings of the earth and the travelers traders suffer for the demise of their lover.
      Unlike any other nation, the destruction of Israel would bring desperation and "misfortune" between rulers and traders all over the world.
      Why?
      Because the Jewish people are owners of the world's largest banks, almost all of the gold, oil, the largest multinationals and everything that can be imagined.
      The largest world powers (including the US, USSR and China) have benefited from copious loans to wage war on other nations and to build massive and colossal structures (such as the Suez Canal).
      Just do some research to find out how and how many owners of the world's largest banks have been involved in almost every wars of the last two centuries and probably far back in time.
      The words of Revelation 18: 11-14 that speak of 'full of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and each smelling wood and all sorts of ivory objects and all sorts of precious wood and copper and iron and marble, and cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and fragrant oil and olibanum and wine and olive oil and flour and wheat flour and cattle and sheep and horses and carriages and slaves and human souls' are significant.
      Imagining the global economic consequences for the collapse of 80% of all the existing banks and therefore the immediate and simultaneous failure of thousands of companies spread all over the world ... one could conclude that a crisis of this size would not be reflected in all the history of man - Matthew 24:21
      Really the kings of the earth and travelers traders around the world would be right to beat their chests, to mourn and cry, "Woe!"
      "Get out of her, my people".
      Revelation 18: 4 says:And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people,+ if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues”.
      If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel then it is easy to understand to whom this urgent appeal is addressed: to our dear brothers present in the nation of Israel who are also "a remnant to be saved".
      If they stayed there, they would receive part of his wounds as a result of the United Nations' furious attack.
      This possibility is to be evaluated very seriously.
      This would also mean that the destruction of Jerusalem, occurred in 537 a.E.V. and then in 70 E.V. would have a further and definitive fulfillment. The third (Revelation 4: 8; 8:13; 16:13, 19 - Ezekiel 21:14).
      Question two asked: "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?
      Whether we like it or not, and as much as it can constitute a "domino effect" on other interpretations, this is in harmony both with the secular history and with the Scriptures.
      So the answer is yes.
      Question 3
      Which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of desires or personal ideas, is more likely to be?
      Honestly, the whole description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great corresponds very well to false religion and so it is very difficult to understand if the Bible wants to point us to a literal nation or the false religion as a whole.
      The shameless immorality, extreme violence, the desire for domination, spiritual prostitution, arrogance and presumption ... are all characteristics of the worldwide empire of false religion as well as of present-day Israel.
      The clues, however, should be more than enough, if seen without preconceptions, to understand the subject.
      Reflections
      As written at the beginning of this treatise, hundreds of parallels are found in the Bible between Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
      Even the cup "full of disgusting things" from which the harlot gets inebriated recalls the utensils of Jehovah's temple.
      The problem is to understand what we must understand when we read these parallels.
      All of Jehovah's judgments, reported in the Scriptures, have fallen upon peoples and literal nations and even the wounds sent to the land of Egypt, which served to destroy / humiliate their false gods, however, had to fall upon a specific nation.
      In the book "The prophecies of Isaiah" volume 1, page 202 paragraph 28 (Italian edition) reports Isaiah 19: 3 and we read ...
      "Likewise, on the day of judgment, the false religion will be unable to save this corrupt system of things".
      But if Egypt represents the world as a whole, we are already at Armageddon (in Isaiah 19: 2 Jehovah puts "Egyptian against Egyptian") and the world empire of false religion (if it is Babylon the Great) has already been destroyed .
      Now, if the world empire of false religion has already been previously destroyed, in what sense will "people resort to worthless gods, to spellcasters and spirit mediums"?
      Only a world still imbued with religion, after the destruction of Babylon the Great, could "resort to worthless gods".
      The above could be in harmony with the writing of Zechariah 13: 4-6, which speaks of the "prophet" who will deny ever having been?
      The Watchtower of 15 July 2015, under the heading "The beginning of the great tribulation", says ... "It seems therefore that even some members of the clergy will abandon their religious career and deny ever having been part of the false religion".
      Yet if for the adherents of Babylon the Great enough to "change coat" to save their lives (which would make the majority of them, not having a true faith), one would not say that it was "torn and completely burned with fire". It is also difficult to imagine this "great mourning" since the majority of the clergy, especially that of Christianity, would still be alive after the destruction of Babylon the Great.
      The book "Revelation", in chapter 19 paragraph 29 says ... "Neither the caverns of the literal mountains nor the political-commercial organizations comparable to the mountains will offer economic security or help of another kind".
      However, even false worship in the Bible is related to "high places" for example in Ezekiel 6: 1-5 (high places that did not protect unfaithful Israelites from Jehovah's wrath).
      Is it possible to hypothesize that on the day of Jehovah's wrath (hence after the Great Tribulation) human beings will seek protection in political, commercial and religious institutions?
      If we accept the possibility that Babylon the Great is a literal place (and be modern Israel) we must consider that even the mountains, above which the woman sits, are literal mountains.
      There is always talk of the seven world powers of biblical history but we never talk about the seven mountains.
      We never talk about the seven mountains because the political powers, they say, are the seven mountains.
      Yet the writing of Revelation 17 explains that there are seven kings ... and (joining, in my language, that is "and there are also") seven mountains and this conjunction could suggest that even though the mountains depict powers as we know , there are actually seven mountains as objects of similitude with the number of kings.
      It would seem a literal clue useful for identifying Babylon the Great.
      Now the question is ... Which and how many mountains are indicated in the Scriptures that were part of the Promised Land?
      1) Mount Moria 2) Mount Zion 3) Mount of Olives 4) Gilboa 5) Gerizim 6) Ebal 7) Mount Tabor.
      N.B. Mount Nebo and the others, also mentioned in the Scriptures, were part of the territory of Moab and Edom and are therefore excluded.
      This parallel is simply impossible to do with the world empire of false religion.
      Revelation 3:12 and other scriptures that are fulfilled after the Lord's day, which mention the New Jerusalem, seem to emphasize a distinction with Old Jerusalem.
      In chap. 18 of Revelation, Babylon the Great is destroyed.
      In chap 19: 7, 8 the marriage of the lamb is prepared, so ...
      The prostitute dies as a bride and the marriage can finally begin.
      Marriage takes place with the "New Jerusalem"; was the prostitute is maybe the "Old Jerusalem" that is the carnal, impure, disobedient, idolatrous? - I Corinthians 9: 6-8; 10:18 - Galatians 4: 26-29
      I would like to point out to you that the book Revelation, besides having the symbols, also has contrasts.
      For example you can see that the beast with two horns of lamb is set against the real Lamb.
      The mark of the wild beast is set in contrast with the name engraved on the forehead that the 144,000 have - see Revelation 13:11, 16; 14: 1
      Now in Revelation you will see that there is a pure woman who is the legitimate bride and then there is a woman who, on the contrary, is a prostitute.
      So the question we should ask ourselves is: if Babylon the Great is a nation, which is the only nation in the whole world, that would have the qualifications to pass itself off as "legitimate bride" when, in reality, she prostitutes herself with other nations ? -
      Babylon is also called "the great city" and the only biblical reference is Nineveh, the "city of bloodshed".
      This seems to be in harmony with the fact that Babylon is drunk with the blood of saints, prophets and everyone.
      However, in Jeremiah chap. 22 Jehovah condemns Judah, which is the city of Sallum and Ioiachim, and people call this city "the great city".
      Thus, even the city that once belonged to Jehovah is called the "great city".
      Of the two clothed witnesses described in chapter 11 of Revelation it is said that, once killed, "their corpses will be on the wide street of the great city which in spiritual sense is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was put to the stake "- Revelation 11: 8
      In which "great city" did the Lord Jesus have been killed?
      Finally we could ask ourselves why, the writer of Revelation, after having seen frightful wild beasts, incredible celestial visions both beautiful and terrifying, thundering declarations and many other things, only at the sight of the woman he is "marvels of great wonder" - Revelation 17: 6 , 7
      Could it have "marveled of great wonder" for having seen its own people and its own nation (which at the time of the writing of Revelation no longer existed)?
      When in 70 E.V. the first Christians received the command to "flee to the mountains" in view of the destruction that would have occurred through the "disgusting thing" (represented at the time by the Roman Empire) they understood it as "separating from Judaism" or this was a consequence natural of the Teacher's teachings? Did not they understand it as literally to get out of the city?
      Jeremiah 25:10, 11 and Revelation 18:22, 23 are very similar to each other, yet Jeremiah speaks of Israel while Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great.
      In Revelation 18: 5-8 it is said that "God has remembered his acts of injustice".
      Why did God "remember"?
      False religion has not always done evil, in 6,000 history, without stopping a moment since the days of Nimrod?
      Or, if Babylon were "the world", did God forget the actions of the world?
      Could it not be because "Babylon" has not existed for many years, as a nation, but appears again after the "Lord's Day" by another name?
      In Revelation 16: 16-21 we are now in Armageddon, the great city is divided into three parts, the nations fall and Babylon "was remembered".
      So Babylon is related to the fall of other nations as if it were a "special" nation, something to remember, but still a nation.
      Which, among all the nations of the earth, could it be considered "special" by Jehovah God?
      Could the golden cup full of "disgusting things" held in the hands of the great harlot remember the utensils of the temple of God? - Compare Daniel 5: 1-4
      Question one.
      According to the explanation of the book "Revelation: its climax" it is appropriate that the great harlot sit on the wild beast of scarlet color because, the false religion, has always had power over the kings of the earth even coming to name and oust them.
      We know that the League or League of Nations also has representatives as "old nations" mentioned in the bible as Rome, Media-Persia and others but it would not have been more logical to see the "great whore" ride the first wild beast and that which ascends from the sea, since the false religion exists since the days of Nimrod?
      Instead the great harlot sits on that beast that "was, but is not, and is about to ascend from the abyss, and will go into destruction" - Revelation 17: 8a
      What rode the world empire of false religion (or Rome, or the world) when the beast was not?
      Question two.
      As has been pointed out, in the Bible Israel is compared to a wife and Jehovah to the marital owner.
      When it showed itself unfaithful, allying itself with other nations and mixing with the false adoration, Israel became "infidel" and even "prostitute".
      Christianity claims to serve God but, in reality, prostitutes itself with the nations and with every false doctrine of pagan origin.
      However, if Babylon the Great is the world empire of false religion (and therefore also includes religions such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, tribal religions, etc.), why is it considered, as a whole, a prostitute?
      Jehovah has never identified himself as the "marital owner" of nations like Ammon, Moab, Egypt, or others (not even in Rome or the world).
      So if we applied the concept of prostitution exclusively in the spiritual-religious (or politic) sense, it would seem that this infamous prostitute is exclusively Christianity.
      Throughout the entire Bible, what is the only nation that Jehovah considers responsible for his prostitution? - Amos 3: 1, 2

    • By JW Insider
      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:


       
    • By Raquel Segovia
      De un régimen especial administrado por la ONU a la partición en oeste y este y luego a la unificación tras la guerra de 1967, la ciudad sagrada ha tenido una larga y compleja historia reciente. Hoy es reclamada como capital tanto por Israel como por la Autoridad Nacional Palestina

      Jerusalén, la ciudad sagrada del judaísmo, el cristianismo y el islam, ha estado bajo control de Israel desde 1967, pero la comunidad internacional nunca reconoció este statu quo ni aceptó que el país la considerara su capital.
      La situación dio un giro este miércoles, cuando el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos anunció que va a trasladar su embajada desde Tel Aviv hasta Jerusalén, reconociéndola en su totalidad como capital de Israel, a pesar de que los palestinos también reclaman el este como la capital de su futuro Estado.
      La historia de Jerusalén es larga y compleja, y el reclamo israelí ahonda en lo más profundo hasta llegar a la Judá de la antigüedad, que la consideraba su capital. Los palestinos, por su parte, se sostienen en siglos de cohabitar la región junto a judíos y cristianos.
        Mapa de Jerusalén, entre 1947 y la guerra de 1948 (haga click en el mapa para más información)
      Lo cierto es que la ciudad pasó por el control de muchos imperios: el Alejandrino, el Romano, el Persa, el Omeya, el Ayubí, el Otomano y el Británico, por citar solo algunos.
      En 1947, la resolución 181 de la naciente Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) estableció la partición del Mandato de Palestina, controlado por Gran Bretaña, en los territorios de los nuevos Estados de Israel y Palestina.
      Mapa de Jerusalén, entre 1948 y la guerra de 1967 (haga click en el mapa para más información)
      En el caso de Jerusalén se designó un Régimen Internacional Especial, por medio del cual la ciudad sería administrada por la ONU. Pero la guerra árabe-israelí de 1948 impidió su implementación, y tras el cese al fuego Israel, controlaba el oeste de la ciudad y Jordania, el este.
      En ese momento, Israel la declaró su capital, aunque la comunidad internacional rechazó este anuncio, invocando la resolución 181.
      Mapa de Jerusalén, entre 1967 y la actualidad (haga click en el mapa para más información)
      En 1967, Israel realizó un ataque preventivo sobre Egipto, de quien temía una invasión inminente. A los combates enmarcados en la Guerra de los Seis Días se sumaron Siria y Jordania del lado egipcio y, tras una espectacular victoria, toda Jerusalén pasó a estar bajo control israelí.
      Desde entonces Israel siempre sostuvo que la ciudad era su capital y avanzó en la construcción de asentamientos en el este, pero ningún país lo había aceptado hasta ahora. Por otro lado, la Organización para la Liberación de Palestina y luego la Autoridad Nacional Palestina designaron al este de Jerusalén como su propia capital, lo que tampoco fue aceptado.
    • By The Librarian
      Donald Trump has announced that the time has come for the U.S. to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There has already been a wave of criticism to the proposal across the Muslim and Arab world.
    • By JW Insider
      Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included  dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
      All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
      Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
      But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
      The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
      However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
      All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
    • 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
    • By The Librarian
      The Destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem II
      POUSSIN, Nicolas
      1637
      Oil on canvas, 147 x 198 cm
      Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 

      Via
    • By The Librarian
      There was no Islam back in Jesus Christ's time period. This is what is looked like...

      from the Watchtower April 15, 2013 via jw.org
       
    • By TrueTomHarley
      I never could get my head around our previous take on the Babylonian exile. Or care. I mean, a one-year period representing such an event?
      But the new package revealed Sunday makes so much more sense.
      'That new point the Governing Body wrote about?' said Mike Tussen's years ago. 'You may have already noticed that point in your studying. And if this were Christendom, you'd run out and start your own religion over it.'
      The uppity people take no interest in that new religion of Jesus because it is carpenters, fishermen and shoemakers. But then they figure out how to monetize it. All the highbrow people jump in, bringing all the highbrow ideas they love so, ideas from Aristotle and Plato.
      photo: Carla216
      Tom Irregardless and Me    30% free preview. After that, we'll talk, your people and mine.

    • By ARchiv@L
      QUESTIONS FROM READERS
      When were God’s people held captive by Babylon the Great?
      That spiritual captivity lasted from the second century C.E. to 1919. Why is this adjusted view warranted?
      All the evidence indicates that this captivity ended in 1919 when anointed Christians were gathered into the restored congregation. Consider: God’s people were tested and refined during the years following the establishment of God’s Kingdom in the heavens in 1914.*(Mal. 3:1-4) Then, in 1919, Jesus appointed “the faithful and discreet slave” over God’s cleansed people to give them spiritual “food at the proper time.” (Matt. 24:45-47) This was the year that God’s people started to return to their God-given spiritual estate. It was also the time when they were released from symbolic captivity to Babylon the Great. (Rev. 18:4) But when did that captivity actually begin?
      For a number of years, we explained that this captivity began in 1918 and involved a brief period of time when God’s people came under the control of Babylon the Great. For example, The Watchtower of March 15, 1992, stated: “Yet, as God’s ancient people were taken into Babylonian captivity for a time, in 1918 Jehovah’s servants came into a measure of bondage to Babylon the Great.” However, further research has shown that this captivity began much earlier than 1918.
      For example, let us consider one of the prophecies that foretold this captivity and release of God’s people. It is recorded at Ezekiel 37:1-14. In a vision, Ezekiel sees a valley filled with bones. Jehovah explains to Ezekiel that these bones represent “the whole house of Israel.” In its larger fulfillment, this restoration prophecy applies to “the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16; Acts 3:21) Next, Ezekiel sees the bones come to life and become a large army. What a fitting way to describe the spiritual resurrection of God’s people that culminated in the events of 1919! But what does this vision reveal to us concerning the length of time involved?
      First, we note that the bones are described as either “dry” or “very dry.” (Ezek. 37:2, 11) This indicates that those to whom the bones belonged had been dead for a very long time. Second, the restoration is described as a gradual process, not something that happens suddenly. Initially, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and “the bones began to come together, bone to bone.” Then, “sinews and flesh” were added. Next, the bones, sinews, and flesh were covered with skin. Eventually, “breath came into them, and they began to live.” Finally, Jehovah settled the revived people on their land. All of this would take time.—Ezek. 37:7-10, 14.
      The captivity of the ancient nation of Israel lasted a long time. It began in 740 B.C.E. with the fall and exile of many from the ten-tribe northern kingdom. Then, in 607 B.C.E., Jerusalem was destroyed and people of the southern kingdom of Judah were also taken into exile. This period of captivity ended in 537 B.C.E. when a remnant of the Jews returned to rebuild the temple and reestablished pure worship in Jerusalem.
      With these Scriptural details in mind, it becomes clear that the captivity of God’s people to Babylon the Great must have been much longer than the events of 1918-1919. The captivity parallels the time when the symbolic weeds would grow together with the wheatlike “sons of the Kingdom.” (Matt. 13:36-43) That growing season refers to the period during which genuine Christians were greatly outnumbered by apostates. The Christian congregation, in effect, was held captive by Babylon the Great. That captivity began sometime in the second century C.E. and continued until the cleansing of the spiritual temple in the time of the end.—Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thess. 2:3, 6; 1 John 2:18, 19.
      During that extended period of spiritual captivity, the clergy and their political associates, who were desirous of maintaining their power, kept the Word of God from the people under their control. At times, it was a crime to read the Bible in a common language. Some people who did so were even burned at the stake. Any who expressed an opinion contrary to what the clergy taught were dealt with harshly, thus stifling any attempts to spread the light of the truth.
      What about the second development, the restoration? When and how did that occur? This spiritual restoration work was a gradual process. It was accompanied by “a rattling sound” during the centuries leading up to the time of the end. Although false religious teachings held sway for the most part, some faithful individuals stood up in behalf of true worship to the extent that they were able to do so. Some of them endeavored to produce Bibles in the languages of the common people. Others declared the truths that they had discovered in the pages of God’s Word.
      Then, in the late 1800’s, Charles Taze Russell and his associates worked zealously to restore Bible truths. It was as if symbolic flesh and skin were starting to be put on spiritual skeletons. Zion’s Watch Tower and other publications helped honesthearted ones to discover spiritual truths. Later, such tools as the “Photo-Drama of Creation” in 1914 and the book The Finished Mystery in 1917 also strengthened God’s people. Finally, in 1919, God’s people were given life, spiritually speaking, and were settled in their new spiritual land. As time has progressed, this remnant of anointed ones has been joined by those with an earthly hope, and together they have become “an extremely large army.”—Ezek. 37:10; Zech. 8:20-23.*
      Given these facts, it becomes clear that God’s people went into captivity to Babylon the Great with the growth of the apostasy in the second century C.E. This was a dark period of time, similar to what the ancient Israelites experienced while in exile. How happy we can be, though, that after God’s people experienced centuries of spiritual oppression, we are living in the time when “those having insight will shine . . . brightly” and “many will cleanse themselves” and they “will be refined”!—Dan. 12:3, 10.

       
       
      pdf 
      Questions From Readers - babylon.pdf
      When were God’s people held captive by Babylon the Great?
      http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2016203
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Add 2 years: Evil-Merodach "After reigning but two years King Evil-Merodach was murdered" Babylon the Great Has Fallen - God's Kingdom Rules p.184
      Add 2 or 12 or 18 years -  wp_E_20111001

    • By Bible Speaks
      Model of Jerusalem at Rome Bethel. Photo shared by @_mimi_dreamy Jerusalem model Branch Office Italy
    • By The Librarian
      Jerusalem, a Middle Eastern city west of the Dead Sea, has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims since the biblical era. Its Old City retains significant religious sites concentrated around the Temple Mount compound, including the Western Wall, sacred to Judaism, and the Dome of the Rock, a 7th-century Islamic shrine with a gold dome.
       
       
      Jerusalem (/dʒəˈruːsələm/; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushaláyim pronounced [jeruʃaˈlajim]; Arabic: القُدس‎‎ al-Quds pronounced [ˈaːɫ ˈquːdsˤ] ( listen), Bait-ul-Muqaddas[3] (بيت المقدس), meaning "The Holy [City/Home]"), located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the ancient cuneiform, Jerusalem was called "Urusalima", meaning "City of Peace", during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BC). It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.
      During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries.
      According to the Biblical tradition, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel, and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people.[9] The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated ‘ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In Islamic tradition in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran. As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi), the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, the Garden Tomband al-Aqsa Mosque.
      Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory.[viii] One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Whilst the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies. Jerusalem is also home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of national importance, such as the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book.
      In 2011, Jerusalem had a population of 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000 (62%), Muslims 281,000 (35%), Christians 14,000 (around 2%) and 9,000 (1%) were not classified by religion.
      See also:
      New Jerusalem
      Heavenly Jerusalem
      Jerusalem Above
      Biblical Archaeology section (regarding Jerusalem
    • By Kurt
      Archaeologists have probed down to the bedrock foundations of the “wailing wall” in old Jerusalem.  They have confirmed that the large stones of the wall are not part of any temple that was standing there before Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 C.E.
      Some people have had the impression that the remnants of the wall are from Solomon’s temple, or from Herod’s temple.  But as an Israeli archaeologist stated recently:  “The wall you see is not the wall of Solomon’s Temple, . . . Nor is it even the wall of the temple built by Herod the Great,” which was the temple destroyed in 70 C.E.
      What was this wall that is now called the “wailing wall”? The archaeologist stated:  “When Herod decided to build the temple, he leveled off a site twice as large as the Acropolis—500 by 260 yards (457 by 237 meters)—bolstered by huge retaining walls.  The Western “wailing” Wall is that retaining wall.”
      In his prophecy about Herod’s temple, Jesus said to his followers:  “Truly I say to you, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”  (Matt. 24:2)
      Archaeology confirms the truth of these prophetic words.
       
    • By admin
      A bus has exploded in Jerusalem, leaving around 16 injured, Israeli media report, citing emergency medical services
    • By Jack Ryan
      This date is important for our calculations of the Messianic Kingdom.
       
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