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

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JW Insider

WT Chronology only uses the secular date for the Fall of Babylon in 539 BCE for all other dates are based on the biblical narrative counting backwards or forwards in order to construct a scheme of Chronology, During the Neo-Babylonian Period alone there is found to be a Gap of 20 years and thus is used as 'corrective'in order to harmonize Biblical Chronology with traditional Chronology. For Dates that lie outside this period the biblical data where applicable is used to construct a Chronology that goes far back to Adam in 4026 BCE. 

Your claim that 'we have absolutely no idea at what point between 607 and 539 for example, that we have actually added the 20 years that we needed' is simply nonsense.The fact of the matter is that period, the Neo-Babylonian Period parallels Biblical Period of Jewish history and contains events that are or can be synchronized between both schemes. It is proven that there is a 20 years gap which floats between the two because of the '70' years missing from the NB Period historically, therefore, any interpreter, Chronologist or scholar needs to make an adjustment or corrective in order to harmonize the two systems. This is what scholars call -METHODOLOGY!!!!! This represents sound academic practice.

According to at least not half a dozen as you say but there are 17 lines of evidence which would corroborate NB Chronology along with thousands of clay documents wherein no mention or description of the biblical 70 years occurs. How strange! Yet the Bible mentions. discusses, explains this most important and critical period of biblical history so it cannot be ignored for it intruded upon and shaped the NB Period.

scholar JW

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Anna

Herein I will attempt to answer your questions in your last two posts simply for if you read my responses to Ann and JW Insider these would address your questions in part.

The two dates of 609 and 605 BCE are used in our publications for different events so it is not the events but the dates that are not recognized in our publications or in WT/ Bible Chronology. Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 which of course lies between these two dates but these events, the battle at Carchemish and Megiddo preceded the Fall thus must be duly corrected or adjusted.

The dates for those events 629 and 625 now corrected by means of the insertion of the biblical 70 years causing a twenty-year corrective factor.

scholar JW

 

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7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

During the Neo-Babylonian Period alone there is found to be a Gap of 20 years

Not true. There has never been found to be a 20 year gap. That's the problem. And it really is a problem of honesty. No one has found one, no one has seen any hint of one. No one would even know where to look for such a gap because each and every year is completely accounted for.

7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

WT Chronology only uses the secular date for the Fall of Babylon in 539 BCE for all other dates are based on the biblical narrative counting backwards or forwards in order to construct a scheme of Chronology

As I said, it is a matter of honesty. Although merely highlighting the word "scheme" here would be a cheap shot. The real problems were already discussed and you (scholar JW) already failed to provide any evidence for your claims, even though you gave the impression you have been looking for evidence even among scholarly circles for many years now.

It's almost like you have come into a room with 100 people to claim that 20+30=70, while 99 others are saying that 20+50=70. You can't find your evidence, but say it exists, then you go away for a time but come back saying the evidence exists, but you still can't find it.

7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

Your claim that 'we have absolutely no idea at what point between 607 and 539 for example, that we have actually added the 20 years that we needed' is simply nonsense.The fact of the matter is that period, the Neo-Babylonian Period parallels Biblical Period of Jewish history and contains events that are or can be synchronized between both schemes. It is proven that there is a 20 years gap which floats between the two because of the '70' years missing from the NB Period historically, therefore, any interpreter, Chronologist or scholar needs to make an adjustment or corrective in order to harmonize the two systems. This is what scholars call -METHODOLOGY!!!!! This represents sound academic practice.

As I said, it is a matter of honesty. You don't have any idea at what point between 607 and 539 where you have added the 20 years. It's as if you think it just floats somewhere between the two dates. Then you say it is proven, but you still say that you have no idea where the point is. You even admit the words that:

  • "there is is a 20 years gap which floats between the two because of the '70' years missing from the NB Period historically."

What does that even mean? That you actually do know the point because it floats somewhere at some unknown point? As I said, it's a matter of honesty. What you have done here is what scholars call a lack of methodology. It's completely unsound academic practice. Sorry, but it sounds like pretentiousness in the hopes that no one will read what you just said very carefully.

7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

According to at least not half a dozen as you say but there are 17 lines of evidence which would corroborate NB Chronology along with thousands of clay documents

Yes. There are even more lines of secular evidence that corroborate a timetable which is also confirmed by the Bible. And this overwhelming evidence is no challenge at all to the Bible's chronology. The Bible chronology works just fine with the secular chronology here. The 70 years of Jeremiah is a nearly perfect fit, as a matter of fact.

But there is a simple way for you to show whether you are telling the truth. If you actually do have an idea at what point between 607 and 539 you have added the 20 years, simply tell me where it is. You have the secular dates, nearly a 50 year period from 587 to 538, and you know the names and length of reigns of each of the know Neo-Babylonian kings in this period that have even been admitted by the Watchtower publications. So just tell us where the extra 20 years fits into that secular chronology. Show us at what point the secular chronology went wrong, and then we'll know if what you said was true, or nonsense.

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JW Insider

The Babylonian Gap of 20 years is proved by comparing that period with the 70 years of biblical history, The Bible specifies the period which was commensurate with the Babylonian Period therefore that Period requires that adjustment. Such a corrective harmonized all of the data allowing an accurate scheme of chronology to be realized

The scheme of WT chronology.is a valid presentation of all of the evidence and can be tested and has been subject to scholarly inquiry over many decades but recent research has proven its validity such as in the case of Furuli's research into VAT 4956 amongst other things. I am no late entrant into this discussion but remain very comfortable not only with our Chronology but of others and have long debated these matters over decades with many different WT critics.

You do not need a specific point to insert the twenty years but if you require some specificity I would insert it between the Neb's 18th year and the last year of Nabonidus' reign in 539 BCE for that will do nicely.Honesty requires consideration of all relevant factors so if you ignore the 70 years then your scholarship is compromised. This requires sound methodology and this is plainly evident because all factors are considered even secular evidence where necessary and relevant. There is no room for pretentiousness in Chronology but simply following the evidence where it leads.

Traditional Chronology ignores the seventy years mostly and where some have included it in their schemes there is a lack of consistency in its timing or its nature is misconstrued eg such lists or schemes end it with the Fall of Babylon and not the Return so this creates many problems. In your last paragraph, I have answered your question in the foregoing: iNSERT the 20 years anywhere between 587/586 and 539 BCE and that will expand the timeline to 607 BCE. QED

scholar JW

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15 hours ago, scholar JW said:

Rainer Albertz does conform to traditional Chronology or timeline except that he begins the Exie or Exilic Era from the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/586 BCE, rather than an earlier date.

... and finishes it in 520 BCE, while acknowledging that "it is difficult to delimit the exilic period historically" and there were "substantial deportations" from earlier times (p. 2). This doesn't help your defense of WT's chronology, Neil. Why bring it up?

14 hours ago, scholar JW said:

It is impossible to begin the 70 years of nation's servitude in 609 BCE because nothing of any historical significance occurred in that year.

Perhaps you need to re-read my earlier post that evidences the opposite.

14 hours ago, scholar JW said:

At that time it is historically incorrect to speak of any Babylonish domination at that time for the major player in the Region was Egypt and remained a dominant player until the Battle at Carchemish some four years later.

ip-1 chap. 19 p. 253 par. 21
"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."

14 hours ago, scholar JW said:

Further, nowhere does the OT refer to the expression of '70 years of nation's servitude' for it seems you are conflating this with the seventy years of Jeremiah'.

Jer. 25:11 - "'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.'"

3 hours ago, scholar JW said:

The scheme of WT chronology.is a valid presentation of all of the evidence and can be tested and has been subject to scholarly inquiry over many decades but recent research has proven its validity such as in the case of Furuli's research into VAT 4956 amongst other things.

You don't know whether Furuli's 'research' is valid or not. You've not checked.
 

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@scholar JW,

At least you have admitted that your claim was totally FALSE. Thank you.

Let's review:

  • I said that we [in the WT publications] have absolutely no idea at what point between 607 and 539, for example, that we have actually added the 20 years that we needed. We just say that it's in there somewhere, and maybe someday maybe some evidence will turn up for it.
  • You said, that's nonsense. More specifically you even said: "Your claim that 'we have absolutely no idea at what point between 607 and 539 for example, that we have actually added the 20 years that we needed' is simply nonsense."
  • I said: there is a simple way for you to show whether you are telling the truth. If you actually do have an idea at what point between 607 and 539 you have added the 20 years, simply tell me where it is.
  • Then you admit that you have still FAILED to identify the point in question. You said that you can INSERT the 20 years anywhere between 587/586 and 539 BCE.

Your last statement is so patently false. It's such an admission of failure that I'm surprised you ever bothered to call something I said "nonsense" and then so clearly showed that it was correct all along.

As I said, it's a matter of honesty.

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@Anna ,

I think that the following explanation offers a good start for discussing the points in a well organized manner. It's well written, easy to understand, and I don't think it comes from anyone who has a biased stake in the current Watchtower explanation. It's just another person trying to grapple with the same Bible verses that we are, and trying to defend the Bible against Bible detractors. From here to the remainder of the post, it's all a quote from an article at http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/years.htm

-----------beginning of quote, through end of this post -------------

Seventy years of Babylonian rule: A detailed look at Jeremiah 25:9-12 and some objections that skeptics have

Many people have questioned the accuracy of Jeremiah's prophecy about a 70-year period during which Babylon would dominate Judah and hold Jews as captives in Babylon. These questions, in my opinion, are based on a mistaken belief that the captivity was supposed to last 70 years. My response is in three parts:

  • Part 1. Summary of my understanding of the prophecy
  • Part 2. My explanation of when the 70 years ended.
  • Part 3. My theory on when the 70 years began.

Part 1. Summary of my understanding of the prophecy:

1. Jeremiah 25:9-12 said that Judah would serve Babylon for 70 years.

2. Jeremiah 29:10 makes it clear that Babylon's domination of Judah would include a captivity during which Jews would be taken as captives to Babylon.

3. Jeremiah 29:10 said that the captivity would end when the "70 years" ended.

4. But Jeremiah never said that the captivity itself would last 70 years. He only said that Babylonian rule would last 70 years.

5. Babylon's rule lasted 70 years, from 609 BC when the last Assyrian king, Ashur-uballit II, was defeated in Harran, until 539 BC when the Medo-Persians conquered Babylon.

Part 2. My explanation of when the 70 years ended:

The people who have questioned the accuracy of this prophecy are, as far as I have been able to determine, are correct in that the captivity Jews in Babylon did not last 70 years, if the commonly assigned dates for the captivity are taken seriously. Most historical sources that I have seen state that 539 BC was the year that Babylon was conquered by the Medo-Persians. And that would seem to be a reasonable ending date for the captivity. But when did the captivity begin? Some say it began in 597 BC, when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. If this date is accepted, then the captivity spanned no more than 59 years. So how does or 59 years equal 70 years? It can't and it doesn't.

Believers, including myself, often point out that the book of Daniel states that there was an earlier taking of captives from Judah to Babylon, in either 605 BC or 606 BC, depending on which source of information is used. And, the believers often point out that although Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC, he didn't release the Jews until the following year, in 538 BC or even 537 BC. And some believers have assigned the actual year in which the Jews of Babylon did begin to return to Judah was 537 BC or 536 BC. Using the two extremes as the starting and ending points, one could arrive at a 70-year span. But, in my opinion, none of this is even necessary because Jeremiah never said that the captivity would last 70 years. He only said that Babylonian rule would last 70 years.

In Jeremiah 25:9-12, it said that Judah and the surrounding nations would serve Babylon for 70 years. But, Jeremiah does not say that the forced deportation of Jews from Judah would last 70 years. The captivity is something that grew out of Babylon's domination of Judah. The domination was supposed to span 70 years, but Jeremiah never said that the captivity itself would span 70 years. Below is the NIV translation of Jeremiah 25:9-12:

Jeremiah 25:9-12

9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon," declares the LORD, "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.

10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.

11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

12 "But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and will make it desolate forever.

But, in Jeremiah 29:10, Jeremiah does clearly say that the captivity will terminate at the end of the 70-year period. Below is the NIV translation of Jeremiah 29:10:

Jeremiah 29:10

This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.

In Daniel 9:1-2, the prophet Daniel refers to the 70 years in that "the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years." But he too does not state that the captivity was supposed to last 70 years. What did he mean by "desolation?" Some might argue that he meant "captivity." But that would be an assumption, and nothing more than an assumption. And, in my opinion, given the fact that Daniel is probably referring to the Jeremiah prophecy, it would be a weak assumption to think that he meant "captivity" when he said "desolation." The desolation could simply refer to Babylonian domination, lasting from 609 BC to 539 BC. Others might claim that the "desolation" that Daniel referred to might actually be a reference to the 70 years in which the Temple had been destroyed. The Temple, and Jerusalem, were destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians. The Temple, which was rebuilt, was consecrated in 516 BC, 70 years after its destruction. Below is the NIV translation of Daniel 9:1-2:

Daniel 9:1-2

1 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom--

2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.

In 2 Chronicles 36:19-21, the Bible refers to a 70 year period during which the land of Judah enjoyed its Sabbath rests. This Bible passage begins with a reference to the 586 BC destruction of Jerusalem, during which the Temple was also destroyed. If it specifically meant to apply Jeremiah's 70-year prophecy to the destruction of the city, then that application could find fulfillment in that the Temple remained destroyed and non-operational for 70 years, from 586 BC to 516 BC. After the Jews rebuilt the Temple, it was consecrated in 516 BC. But regardless of how the 70 years reference is being used in this passage, it does not say that the captivity itself would last 70 years. Below is the NIV translation of 2 Chronicles 36:19-21:

2 Chronicles 36:19-21

19 They set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.

20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power.

21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.

In Zechariah 1:12, the prophet Zechariah makes a passing reference to a 70 year period. But that passage also does not in any way contradict my contention that the 70 year prophecy of Jeremiah refers to Babylonian rule and that Jeremiah never said that the captivity would last 70 years.

Part 3. My theory on when the 70 years began:

When did Babylon begin its domination of Judah? We know that there are historical records that claim that the Assyrian Empire dominated Judah, and many other nations. And we know that the Assyrian Empire was conquered by the Babylonian Empire.

In 612 B.C. the Babylonians and the Medes conquered Nineveh, which at that time was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "…Nineveh suffered a defeat from which it never recovered. Extensive traces of ash, representing the sack of the city by Babylonians, Scythians, and Medes in 612 BC, have been found in many parts of the Acropolis. After 612 BC the city ceased to be important…"

After the defeat of Nineveh, the last of the Assyrian kings, Ashur-uballit II, fled to the west with members of his army. Most online historical references that I have been able to find state that the reign of Ashur-uballit II ended in 609 BC. My sources for this are the two Web site addresses below, the first of which is a page from the Missouri Western State College web site:

http://crain.english.mwsc.edu/Jonah/assyrians.htm

The conquest of the Assyrian Empire allowed Babylon and the Medes to divide the empire amongst themselves. The Babylonians chose a vast area of the Assyrian-controlled territories, including Judah and the surrounding countries.

Using the 609 BC date for the demise of the Assyrian Empire and for the rise of the new Babylonian Empire, and using the 539 BC date for the end of the Babylonian Empire, we end up with a 70-year span of Babylonian rule. That, for the reasons described above, is what I believe is the 70-year period referred to in Jeremiah 25:9-12 and Jeremiah 29:10.

 

----- end of quote from http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/years.htm

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JW Insider

I admit to no such thing. Honesty is a two-way street. The simple fact is that NB Chronology as currently presented fails to mention or include the 70 years and its impact on the life and times of its vanquished people and their Land of Judah. the Biblical record contains such a period so when one wishes to construct a scheme based on the Bible then clearly there is a Gap of 20 years. Thus, the NB Period is falsified by this Gap of twenty years so to ignore it is dishonest. The twenty years must be inserted somewhere so that would be at the discretion of the Chronologist and according to his/her Methodology.

You choose to ignore the Gap along with most if not all other scholars so that is fine with me for in any event Chronology is personal, is individual and this accounts for the many schemes and interpretations at present. Chronology is based on  Methodology and Interpretation which underscores the foregoing.

The Gap exists when one compares one scheme with another. If you make no comparison then there is no Gap. If you choose to ignore the historical reality of the 70 years then also there is no Gap. You preach Honesty to me and yet you choose to ignore such a major piece of Biblical/Jewish history which was the Exile leaving Judah totally devastated whilst its population was enslaved by a foreign conqueror-Babylon. Whitewashing history is dishonest and trivializing the period by adopting 'fuzzy' beginning, 609 BCE and a 'fuzzy' end, 539 BCE is also dishonest. Perhaps now you should make that insertion at a point of time within the NB Period!!!

scholar JW

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Anna

Ann O Maly has kindly posted links to two scholarly articles by Ross Winkle on the Seventy Years. I recommend both articles but please be advised that these are published by a University affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventists. Also, if you choose to examine these articles do not neglect the other major  studies that Winkle references in ftn.1. p.201 of first article-PART 1.

Methodology:

1. Read all of the 70 texts and take personal notes on your thoughts

2. Research WT publications on each of those texts so that you have a firm understanding of the subject

3. Read Winkle's article again take personal notes or questions

4. Contact me for any assistance required

scholar JW

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JW Insider

After I had made a post to you this morning I was sitting on the throne whereupon much inspiration and meditation can be entered into for knows how great minds have constructed ideas which have altered the course of history or civilization. I thought of you and your need for some insertion regarding the 20 years Babylonian Gap. So, I propose that in view of the fact that NB Chronology is silent regarding Neb's 18th year when he destroyed Jerusalem and King Zedekiah's 11 th year that it should be at that time and event the 20 years could be inserted thus altering the traditional 587 or 586 BCE to 607 BCE.

See, I have most dutifully corrected the problem.

scholar JW

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Ann O Maly

I brought Rainer Albertz up because his view on the timing and nature of the Exile agrees with us in many respects but not all

 

. He begins the Exile not from 609 BCE the choice of many scholars but from the Fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 BCE but differs from us in that he ends the Exile in 539 BCE with the Fall of Babylon.  In that same paragraph on p.2 He begins the Exilic Era from that same event, the Fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 and ends it in 520 BCE which is OK with me. Also, he dates the seventy years from 587 BCE until 517 and not 609 BCE which supports our view but differs on the endpoint based on his interpretation of the two texts in Zechariah.

I repeat nothing of any historical significance occurred in 609 according to NB Chronology. If there is something then state it but remember it must be of such significance that warrants the beginning of the 70 years.  

 

Jere. 25;11 is problematic for all exegetes because ' these nations are not identified. This could refer to the inhabitants of Judah or it could refer to the peoples of the Babylonian Empire. There are a number of linguistic possibilities and the immediate context which targets Judah alone is the determinant factor.

No  I have not checked Furuli's hypothesis as to its validity but others have and it has been subject to Peer Review. But boy it is impressive don't you think?

scholar JW

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Ann OMaly

An update on Jer.25:11: I do not withdraw my comment that nowhere in the OT does the seventy years refers to the nation's servitude to Babylon and in the context of all of the seventy years of Jeremiah's corpus for this applies to Judah alone. However, Jer. 25:11 can be interpreted as it is read so in accordance with the insightful comment in Keil & Delitzch's Commentary On the Old Testament, Vol.8.p.374 it offers this interesting observation on 'these nations'. In short, these peop[es or nations which surrounded Judah would also be desolated and along with Judah would have to serve Babylon. So it could well be argued at the time of Judah' servitude, desolation and exile other nations also experienced that same fury whether at that time or later is unknown so the Babylonish intervention during that time may well have  extended beyond the borders of Judah which raise some additional questions of research. The text in view has a number of interpretations regarding its application to 'these nation's.in the context of the entire chapter. Rolf Furuli has discussed the linguistics of this verse with alternative translations.

Another interpretation concerns these nations viewed metaphorically or theologically namely with the downfall of Jehovah;s kingship at Jerusalem with the end of the Davidic Monarchy it could be said that all other nations were now subject to Babylonian sovereignty. These are just short comments but nothing obscures the simple fact that Judah served Babylon for 70 years whilst exiled at Babylon leaving behind a devastated and depopulated land of Judah and perhaps beyond its borders. It is amazing how one simple expression opens many other doors for further reflection and research and I thank you for quoting that text.

scholar JW

 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/10/2017 at 3:02 PM, scholar JW said:

Honesty is a two-way street.

No. Honesty is NOT a two-way street. I hope you are not thinking of "theocratic war strategy" when you consider it OK to be dishonest if you consider someone to be an enemy or not entitled to honesty.

*** w57 5/1 p. 286 Use Theocratic War Strategy ***

  • So in time of spiritual warfare it is proper to misdirect the enemy by hiding the truth.

*** it-2 p. 244 Lie ***

  • ". . . saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth . . ."
On 12/10/2017 at 3:02 PM, scholar JW said:

Thus, the NB Period is falsified by this Gap of twenty years so to ignore it is dishonest.

This is misdirection through circular reasoning.

If Bob says 20+30=70, and Jim says 20+50=70, Bob can't say Jim is dishonest because Jim is ignoring Bob's 20-integer Gap.

On 12/10/2017 at 3:02 PM, scholar JW said:

for in any event Chronology is personal,

No. Chronology is not "personal."

On 12/10/2017 at 3:02 PM, scholar JW said:

If you choose to ignore the historical reality of the 70 years then also there is no Gap

This is part of the false, circular reasoning. I find no Gap, and yet I choose NOT to ignore the historical reality of the 70 years. I find all 70 years perfectly accounted for.

On 12/10/2017 at 3:02 PM, scholar JW said:

Whitewashing history is dishonest and trivializing the period by adopting 'fuzzy' beginning, 609 BCE and a 'fuzzy' end, 539 BCE is also dishonest. Perhaps now you should make that insertion at a point of time within the NB Period!!!

I have already stated my acceptance of making the insertion point of the 70 years of Babylonian "empire" from 609 to 539. But I am not against someone accepting a "fuzzy" beginning or end to this period -- within reason. I know, for example, that the Watchtower teaches a "fuzzy end" of this period that admits that the Babylonian empire ended in 539 but also admits that we are only guessing when we say that the Jews returned to end this period in 537. I am not concerned about the 2 years of the Watchtower's "fuzziness" as you would call it. There was a time when the Watchtower accepted 536 as the first year of Cyrus - and not only the first year, but the year of the Edict itself. If there were good reasons to accept that this "70-year period" was shorter, or longer by a few years, or even symbolic, I'd have no problem with it, and I therefore have no problem with a date near 537 as the end of the period. (And I'd have no problem with a date like 607 as the beginning of the 70 years.) But you will see why I consider "honesty" to be an integral part of the discussion when we look more closely at how the Watch Tower publications have "toyed" with this time period.

*** it-1 p. 458 Chronology ***

  • During Cyrus’ first year his decree releasing the Jews from exile was given. And, as considered in the article on CYRUS, it is very probable that the decree was made by the winter of 538 B.C.E. or toward the spring of 537 B.C.E. This would permit the Jews time to make necessary preparations, effect the four-month journey to Jerusalem, and still arrive there by the seventh month (Tishri, or about October 1) of 537 B.C.E.

*** w07 9/1 p. 19 par. 9 Highlights From the Book of Daniel ***

  • The year is now 539 B.C.E. Babylon has fallen, and Darius the Mede has become ruler over the kingdom of the Chaldeans

*** w05 5/1 p. 12 par. 18 The Resurrection—A Teaching That Affects You ***

  • he received a vision in 536 B.C.E., the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia. (Daniel 1:1; 10:1) Some time during that third year of Cyrus, Daniel received a vision of the march of world powers

So Babylon fell in 539, and Cyrus therefore had the power and authority to declare Babylon's captives to be free immediately: in 539. In fact, one Biblical meaning of "first year" as you know (and as you yourself have pointed out previously) can refer to the accession year, which in this case would be 539. But notice that the "Insight" book, in the first of the three quotes above, pushes his "first-year" decree all the way out into 537 or "toward" 537, but in the last quote his third year is 536.

Older Watchtower publications placed Cyrus first year in 536, or even his accession year when Babylon was destroyed, in 536. So in Watchtower terms, both his first year and his third year have, at times, been stated to be 536.

*** Watch Tower, 6/1/1905, p.183

  • In accordance with the Edict of Cyrus (536 B.C.) many of the Israelites returned from Babylon and laid the foundations of the Temple. Ezra 4:24, however, states that the work then "ceased unto the 2nd year of the reign of Darius, king of Persia." The length of time from the Edict of Cyrus in 536 B.C. . . .

Throughout all of the earlier publications the statements were always consistent with these examples below:

  • All students of chronology may be said to be agreed, that the first year of Cyrus was the year 536 before the beginning of our Anno Domini era. (Watch Tower, 5/1896, p.113)
  • With these facts before us, we readily find the date for the beginning of the Gentile Times of dominion; for the first year of the reign of Cyrus is a very clearly fixed date--both secular and religious histories with marked unanimity agreeing with Ptolemy's Canon, which places it B.C. 536. (The Time Is At Hand, p.79-80)

So the THREE YEARS of "fuzziness" in the Watchtower's explanations of this date have all been necessary in order to keep 1914 afloat. At first, it could have been that the Jews began returning in the year of the Edict, 536, back when all students of chronology supposedly agreed that the first year of Cyrus was 536. Then, when all students of chronology must have supposedly realized that "Ptolemy's Canon" actually would have placed the destruction of Babylon by Cyrus in 539, that's when some scrambling began. The solution was to try to push the Edict as close to 537 as possible (see "Insight," above) nearly two years after Cyrus had destroyed Babylon.

Then we still needed an extra year for 1914 to work, so we thought there would have to be a few months of preparation time, and then about 4 more months of travel. Perfect!! We resolved the three years of fuzziness with some conjecture.

You already know that something very similar happened when it was discovered that "all students of chronology" realized that there was no ZERO year. The destruction of Jerusalem had to be moved from 606 to 607 in order for 1914 to work. So it was a "fuzzy" date anyway, and moving it just one year was not a problem.

Therefore in Watchtower chronology, BOTH ends of this period were considered very fuzzy and flexible.

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13 hours ago, scholar JW said:

After I had made a post to you this morning I was sitting on the throne ...

xD Ah ha. That explains the subsequent bout of verbal ... um ... outpourings.

12 hours ago, scholar JW said:

No  I have not checked Furuli's hypothesis as to its validity but others have and it has been subject to Peer Review. But boy it is impressive don't you think?

Yes, it is impressive ... but for all the wrong reasons.

 

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Ann

Sitting on the throne gives time to review  another's foolishness and to refute nonsense.

At least we agree on one thing-It is impressive.

scholar JW

 

 

 

scholar JW

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17 hours ago, scholar JW said:

After I had made a post to you this morning I was sitting on the throne whereupon much inspiration and meditation can be entered into for knows how great minds have constructed ideas which have altered the course of history or civilization. . . . See, I have most dutifully corrected the problem.

Well, I'll look into how dutifully the problem has been corrected. Let's hope it's duty-free, considering where you've been. :$

17 hours ago, scholar JW said:

I thought of you and your need for some insertion regarding the 20 years Babylonian Gap. So, I propose that in view of the fact that NB Chronology is silent regarding Neb's 18th year when he destroyed Jerusalem and King Zedekiah's 11 th year that it should be at that time and event the 20 years could be inserted thus altering the traditional 587 or 586 BCE to 607 BCE.

So, you are saying that the 20 years can be inserted altogether in one piece starting in Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year, which was also the same point as King Zedekiah's 11th year. This would, of course, mean that Nebuchadnezzar did not just rule for 43 years, but for 63 years. This is where those 10,000 tablets could really help out your theory. There are plenty of tablets representing every year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign from his first to his 43rd, but you have absolutely zero for every one of these extra 20 years.

The evidence from thousands of tablets is actually definitive enough. But you would also have an  bigger problem, the Bible itself:

Notice that if your dates were correct then Jehoiachin would have surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar in 597 which you would call 617, assuming this 20-year gap theory was correct. This is admitted in the "Insight" book:

*** it-1 p. 1267 Jehoiachin ***

  • It appears that Jehoiakim died during this siege and Jehoiachin ascended the throne of Judah. His rule ended, however, a mere three months and ten days later, when he surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar in 617 B.C.E.  . . . 

    In fulfillment of Jehovah’s word through Jeremiah, he was taken into Babylonian exile. (Jer 22:24-27; 24:1; 27:19, 20; 29:1, 2) Other members of the royal household, court officials, craftsmen, and warriors were also exiled.—2Ki 24:14-16;

  • (2 Kings 25:27) 27 And in the 37th year of the exile of King Je·hoiʹa·chin of Judah, in the 12th month, on the 27th day of the month, King Eʹvil-merʹo·dach of Babylon, in the year he became king, released King Je·hoiʹa·chin of Judah from prison.

*** it-1 p. 1267 Jehoiachin ***

  • In the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s exile, Ezekiel began his prophetic work. (Eze 1:2) About 32 years later, evidently in 580 B.C.E., Jehoiachin was released from prison by Nebuchadnezzar’s successor Evil-merodach (Awil-Marduk) and given a position of favor above all the other captive kings. Thereafter he ate at Evil-merodach’s table and received a daily allowance.—2Ki 25:27-30; Jer 52:31-34.

In other words, the Bible shows that your theory is impossible because the Bible confirms that the secular tablets are correct in giving Nebuchadnezzar only 43 years. You can't squeeze out more than 43 years in his reign, if Evil-Merodach became king in the 37th year of Jehoiachin's exile. The Bible also, therefore, agrees with "Ptolemy's Canon" and the evidence from all the astronomical tablets here, too.

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31 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

In other words, the Bible shows that your theory is impossible because the Bible confirms that the secular tablets are correct in giving Nebuchadnezzar only 43 years. You can't squeeze out more than 43 years in his reign, if Evil-Merodach became king in the 37th year of Jehoiachin's exile. The Bible also, therefore, agrees with "Ptolemy's Canon" and the evidence from all the astronomical tablets here, too.

Again, I will quote from a source that attempts to support the Bible, but evidently with no particular stake, one way or another, in the Watchtower's version. Below I am quoting two paragraphs from http://bibletruthsandprophecies.com/index.php?title=Jeconiah

Jeconiah is of course the same as Jehoiachin:

 

-------------- start of quote from website ---------------

Reign

Jeconiah reigned three months and ten days, from December 9, 598 to March 15/16, 597 BC. He succeeded Jehoiakim as king of Judah[2Ki.24:6] in December 598, after raiders from surrounding lands invaded Jerusalem[2Ki.24:2] and killed his father. It is likely that the king of Babylon was behind this effort, as a response to Jehoiakim's revolt, starting sometime after 601 BC. Three months and ten days after Jeconiah became king, the armies of Nebuchadnezzar II seized Jerusalem. The intention was to take high class Judahite captives and assimilate them into Babylonian society. On March 15/16th, 597 BC,[5]:217 Jeconiah, his entire household and three thousand Jews, were exiled to Babylon.

Release from captivity

According to 2 Kings 25:27, Jeconiah was released from prison "in the 37th year of the exile", in the year that Amel-Marduk (Evil-Merodach) came to the throne. Babylonian records show that Amel-Marduk began his reign in October 562 BC.[8] According to 2 Kings 25:27, Jeconiah was released from prison "on the 27th day of the twelfth month", during March of 561 BC. This indicates the first year of captivity to be 598/597 BC, according to Judah's Tishri-based calendar. The 37th year of captivity was thus, by Judean reckoning, the year that began in Tishri of 562, consistent with the synchronism to the accession year of Amel-Marduk given in Babylonian records.

------------- end of quote from website --------------------

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 JW Insider.

Honesty is a two-way street required by both sides in a debate therefore no need for any ;theocratic war strategy..

If the Gap does not exist then how do you account for the 20 year difference between 586/587 BCE and 607 BCE for the same event? No need for circular reasoning here.

Chronology is personal because most if not all schemes of Chronology are written up by individuals beginning with James Ussher also such is based on Methodology, personally selected and Interpretation again personally selected.

If there is no Gap then why or what are we discussing?

You talk honesty but your following comments replete with many references to earlier WT Publications finally concluding that some dates were or are fuzzy! Yet you begin your diatribe with the astonishing statement that the Babylonian Empire began in 609 BCE. What nonsense for nothing of any historical significance occurred in 609 BCE. Carl Jonsson in the 2nd edn of his Gentile Times Reconsidered produced a Chart on p.235. This Chart presents a' fuzzy' statement that the 70 years began with the Assyria crushed with no historical data in support to support this assertion.

Chronology is not an exact science for it is always a 'work in progress' and is simply a scheme or device that relates history into our modern  day calendation. It is based on  Methodology and Interpretation for these are the 'tools' of the Chronologist and explains why our dates in the past have been adjusted, a feature common to all modern-day chronologies. You only have to compare the different Chronologies for the Divided Monarchy and to examine the conflict over whether Jerusalem fell in 586 or 587 BEC.

One thing can be said about our wondrous Bible Chronology there is no room for 'fuzziness' or dogmatism.

scholar JW

 

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JW Insider.

Now I am off the throne and in a relieved state I am ready for battle.. 

Nebuchadnezzer reigned for 43 years and not 63 years as shown by NB Chronology.Methodology allows one to insert 20 years into the scheme in order to harmonize NB Chronology with Biblical history via the seventy years of Jeremiah unaccounted for in NB Chronology..i have suggested that in Neb's 18th regnal years which of course would expand the the NB Period by 20 years. Now , I hear a very loud voice of protest about such an intrusion but that is not my problem it a problem for those scholars or scribes who compiled the list of reigns in the first place. they should have exercised greater diligence and not been sloppy or careless. They were very naughty.

Your claim that our theory is impossible is unclear to me because we accept the 43 years of Neb' s reign and have well described how this synchronizes with the reigns of the last Kings of Judah according to the biblical data. If it does not fit certain data from the NB Chronology then that is not my problem. Just make the required adjustment based only on trusted biblical facts . If you have found a problem then why not try to solve it? DO YOU WANT ME TO SOLVE IT FOR YOU. Already, there are other problems in connection with Jehoiakim's reign such as the 'third year of his kingship' in Dan. 1:1. and this is explained in the Insight article under 'Jehoiakim'. You will find the chart for the Reigns of Judah and Israel published in the Aid  book most helpful.

If you want me to solve your problem then present your question simply and clearly. Just present the facts, skip the references. Chronology is complex enough so simplicity works for me. You got it?  When I get a problem I usually get the solution even though it can be hard work.

scholar JW

 

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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!
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      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?"
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      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".
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      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
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      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.
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      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.
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      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.
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      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 ...).
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      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?
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      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.
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      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".
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      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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