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

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20 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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

You were using the term "honesty is a two-way street" as if it were an excuse to explain why you made a false claim. In a "debate" you don't get to make false claims and then make excuses for it. You should be honest no matter what you think of the other person's evidence.

20 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

There is no gap in the NB evidence. You don't create a gap in another set of evidence by simply making a claim that one exists:

Let's say that I have a coin collection of all the different types of United States coins made during World War 1: a 1914 penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, silver dollar, gold quarter-eagle, gold half-eagle, etc., etc., from each of the applicable locations where coins are officially minted. Let's say that  I have an entire set not just from 1914, but also from 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. Now you come along and tell me that there is a three-year gap in my WW1 coin collection. But that doesn't create a gap in my collection. It does not create a gap in the evidence for when WW1 started and ended. It just creates a gap in your credibility.

If I ask you where this supposed three-year gap might be placed, you could say that the extra three years should be placed between 1916 and 1917. Again, this claim is only a gap in your own credibility and it has no effect on the evidence for what coins were made during World War 1 and it has no effect on the evidence for the actual years of World War 1. It's just a claim. Even if it came from your beloved grandfather who has never told a lie before, it still doesn't mean that the start of World War 1 must now be reset to 1911 instead of 1914.

You could insist that there must be a three-year gap because your grandfather actually told you that World War 1 started in 1911. He is so sure of it that he has also pushed back the beginning of the U.S. Civil war to 1858 instead of 1861, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence from Britain to July 4, 1773 instead of 1776. But this would only mean that you (and your grandfather) have a gap. It does not produce any gap in United States chronology or coinage.

20 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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

We are certainly not discussing any gap in the NB evidence itself, but a gap in someone else's claim about it. We are discussing the idea that you believe there is a gap somewhere in the NB, but you still don't even know exactly where that gap should be placed. We are in exactly the same type situation that would be created if you and your grandfather were claiming that World War 1 started in 1911 instead of 1914, assuming that you agreed that it ended in 1918, but that WW1 covered parts of 8 different years (1911-1918) instead of parts of 5 different years (1914-1918). But you still don't know where the current evidence for WW1 from 1914 to 1918 went wrong. Perhaps the three years of information you need to add should be inserted between the current evidence for 1916 and 1917. Or between the current evidence for 1917 and 1918. Or perhaps the three years should be added between February 3, 1915 and February 4, 1915.

20 hours ago, scholar JW said:

You talk honesty but your following comments replete with many references to earlier WT Publications finally concluding that some dates were or are fuzzy!

The history of these Watchtower dates that you are relying on is fuzzy. The reasons the Watchtower has needed them to be fuzzy becomes sharp and clear when you study the history of the Watchtower's chronology claims more closely. And you don't even need the older publications because the CURRENT "Insight" book admits that the two year difference between 539 and 537 is based on something that "is very probable." Current publications put the third year of Cyrus at 536, but the first year of Cyrus is pushed as closely as possible toward the spring of 537. Obviously, the WTS does this, even though Cyrus had the authority to release captives in 539 and 538, but we just don't want any Jews coming back in 539 or 538,  as that would throw off 1914 by throwing off 607 by a year or two. In the past, we allowed them to come back in 536 because we thought that was the first year of Cyrus (and therefore put Jerusalem's destruction in 606). If we were arguing for the same two-year-plus delay that we argue for now in the WTS publications, then the Jews might not be back home until 534 or even 533. The fuzziness has worked in favor of the WTS to keep 1914 afloat.

The WTS was always willing to re-adjust the old dates, although to be fair, the solution for a while was to change 1914 to 1915. Both Russell and Rutherford began using 1915 as the new end of the Gentile Times even until a few years after 1914.

  • During the time of trouble, closing this age, they will be exalted to power, but their "reign" of righteousness over the world could not precede A.D. 1915—when the Times of the Gentiles have expired. (The Time Is At Hand, p.81.)
  • the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. (ibid, p.101)

Here's what we the WTS said when they were first learning about the "zero year" problem in the Watch Tower from December 1912. By 1914 the WTS "discerned" that there WAS a zero year, but still kept referring to October 1915 as the end of the Gentile Times when it looked like 1914 wasn't working out. Apparently, they misunderstood the quote in the Encylopedia Britannica, below, referring to a common misunderstanding that is still made today by amateur astronomers. Then in 1943, the WTS "discerned" that there was NO zero year.:

---------quote from Watch Tower, December 1912, p. 377 [new paragraphs shown as bullet points]---------------

  • Whether Dionysius began his A.D. period January 1st, A.D. 1, or whether he began it January 1st, A.D. 0, we may not be sure; neither may we feel too certain whether he began the B.C. dates December 31st, B.C. 0, or December 31st, B.C. 1. For all ordinary purposes this question would be rather immaterial. But it has a very important bearing on our calculation of Gentile Times. . . .
  • Coming now to a very critical examination of the date 536 B.C., there is an open question: Shall we call it 536 full years to A.D., or 434 [sic] full years? The difference in time between October 1st and January 1st would be the fourth of a year; hence our query is respecting 536-1/4 or 535-1/4 years B.C. What is the proper method of calculation, is in dispute. If we count the first year B.C. as 0, then the date 536-1/4 B.C. is the proper one for the end of the seventy years of captivity. But if we begin to reckon it by counting the first year before the Christian era as B.C. 1, then evidently the desolation ended 535-1/4 years B.C.
  • As to the methods of counting, Encyclopaedia Britannica says, "Astronomers denote the year which preceded the first of our era as 0 and the year previous to that as B.C. 1--the previous year B.C. 2, and so on."
  • Whichever of these ways we undertake to calculate the matter the difference between the results is one year. The seventy years of Jewish captivity ended October, 536 B.C., and if there were 536-1/4 years B.C., then to complete the 2,520 years' cycle of the Times of the Gentiles would require 1913-3/4 years of A.D., or to October, 1914. But if the other way of reckoning were used, then there were but 535-1/4 years of the period B.C., and the remainder of the 2,520 years would reach to A.D., 1914-3/4 years, otherwise October, 1915.

 

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18 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

Have you written the Watchtower Society to tell them that this claim is "nonsense"?

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

  • True to the prophecy, for the duration of “one king”—the Babylonian Empire—the island-city of Tyre will not be an important financial power. Jehovah, through Jeremiah, includes Tyre among the nations that will be singled out to drink the wine of His rage. He says: “These nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:8-17, 22, 27) True, the island-city of Tyre is not subject to Babylon for a full 70 years, since the Babylonian Empire falls in 539 B.C.E. Evidently, the 70 years represents the period of Babylonia’s greatest domination—when the Babylonian royal dynasty boasts of having lifted its throne even above “the stars of God.” (Isaiah 14:13) Different nations come under that domination at different times. But at the end of 70 years, that domination will crumble.

If you don't have the Watchtower Library CD/DVD installed just click the link to jw.org here: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102000039 and scroll down to paragraph 21 (page 256) to see the same point.

So, are you saying you do not agree with the assessment of the Watchtower Society that the 70 years of Babylonia's greatest domination ends in 539 B.C.E.?  If Babylon's 70 years of domination ended in 539, then when did it begin? I get 539+70=609.

 Unless you can offer a different answer, I'll have to assume that you get the same thing. So why do you call this claim "nonsense"? Usually, you appear to be defending what's on JW.ORG.

18 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

Yes. I see that JW.ORG also does something just like what you say Carl Jonsson did. Do you think that JW.ORG got this idea from Carl Jonsson? Jonsson wrote about 15 years before the "Isaiah's Prophecy" book was written in 2000?

18 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

You seem confused about the reason that there is any supposed "conflict" over whether Jerusalem fell in 586 or 587. The reason is explained on JW.ORG and it has absolutely nothing to do with different chronologies for the divided monarchy. The Bible lists both the 18th and 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar for what appears to be the same Jerusalem event. It can simply be a matter of whether the Bible is including Nebuchadnezzar's accession year when referring to the Jerusalem event.

*** it-2 p. 481 Nebuchadnezzar ***

  • on Tammuz (June-July) 9 in the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign (Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year if counting from his accession year or his 18th regnal year), a breach was made in Jerusalem’s wall.

The scriptures quoted are as follows:

  • (Jeremiah 52:29) In the 18th year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, 832 people were taken from Jerusalem.
  • (2 Kings 25:8, 9) In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, that is, in the 19th year of King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar the king of Babylon, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard, the servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He burned down the house of Jehovah, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; . . .

I know you already knew this from a previous conversation.

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19 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

You were claiming that our (WTS) theory was impossible when you tried to add another 20 years to the Neo-Babylonian timeline at a point during Nebuchadnezzar's reign. You suggested Zedekiah's 11th year. You create a contradiction for yourself precisely because the Bible synchronizes the reigns of the last kings of Judah in a way that fits Ptolemy's Canon, and the Babylonian Chronicles and the combined evidence from thousands of clay tablets, along with the astronomical diaries.

19 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

Actually it is your problem if you are the one interpreting an idea in a way that contradicts all the evidence. Especially since you already admitted that many lines of evidence and thousands of tablets already represent the NB chronology. It's the same as if you wanted to make World War 1 last for parts of 8 years instead of parts of 5 years. If you say that there are three years of history about WW1 missing, then you would have to be the one to figure out where these new years should be inserted.

There is nothing for me to solve here. I see that all the years are already accounted for, and that they already fit the Bible evidence very well. I am happy that the Bible account is corroborated by the historical accounts and evidence from archaeology.

19 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

I never mentioned Jehoiakim. I only referred to Jehoiachin. (Also called Jeconiah) It's easy to confuse them.

19 hours ago, scholar JW said:

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.

I looked up several of your past discussions here and elsewhere. I have seen from these past discussions that you typically don't try to solve any of the chronological problems related to this matter. I have noticed a common pattern of trying to imply that it is the other person who has the problem to solve. You even do that in this very post I am responding to. Apparently, you also have made use of a tactic of abandoning a problem when it is clear that you have failed to address it, and then disappearing and coming back at some later point and claiming that you previously solved the problem or "won the argument" that you had abandoned. You seem to give the impression that everything must start all over "from scratch" even after the evidence against your position was already made clear in your last attempt.   

But evidently the most common tactic, and the one I am trying to understand in this current thread, too, is this tendency to offer completely illogical nonsense as if it is relevant to the questions and claims being made. There appears to be a lot of bluster and obfuscation and I can't always tell if it's on purpose. If it is, I don't know who you would be trying to bluster here.

But if you were truly looking for a simple and clear question, in a presentation of facts without references, then I could oblige that, too. But first I'd like to ask if you would address any of the very simple questions that have already been brought up.

One, for example, was:

  • What is the year you get for the beginning of the 70 years of Babylonian domination assuming you agree with the Watch Tower Society's assessment about these 70 years that ended in 539 B.C.E.? (See the previous post for the references to Jeremiah 25:8-27 in chapter 19 of Isaiah's Prophecy.) If you still insist that this date is "nonsense," as you called it, then please explain why you think the Society's idea here is nonsense, and why it's still on JW.ORG?
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Insider JW

You have posted in three parts so I will respond accordingly:

A debate has two sides with opposing points of view, honesty is required by both parties so I call this a two-way street.

There is no Gap in the NB Period at this stage of our present knowledge but there is a difference of 19 years. when one compares WT Chronology with NB Chronology. The much earlier  Babylon the Great Has Fallen-God's Kingdom Rules , 1963, p. 138. Rol Furuli in recent times has published extensively on the Chronologies of the Ancient World and his thesis is that the Babylonian Empire should be expanded some 20 Years. In view of these viewpoints and because the NB Period and its appended Chronology omits any mention of the Jeremiah's 70 years a Prophett who was contemporaneous with the NB  Period, a eyewitness 'to boot', I have classified the difference between the two systems as the 'Babylonian Gap'. The 'missing 20 years' I propose could properly be inserted at either two points: Neb's 18th year or his 37 th years and that will harmonize the two dating systems and all is well!!

Your claim that the methodology used by WT in connection with 537 BCE for the Return of the Exiles is 'fuzzy' is simply nonsense. Our explanation of all of the relevant data and its sources is well discussed in our publications and 537 BCE is well established. You accuse WT of being fuzzy with dates and cite 537 BCE as an example of this but I must remind you that Historians and Scholars are very fuzzy about this event for you cannot find a specific date for the event in the scholarly literature for this is a fact plain and simple. You quibble over the use of language or terms used in the WT publications which express uncertainty or a lack of finality but history is imperfect and there is no room for dogmatism in either history or chronology. Where matters are uncertain then the reader is advised but this not mean that a Chronology in harmony with certain facts cannot be constructed. The question you should be asking yourself is: 'what then is the precise date for the Return of the Jews?' 

You seem to 'hung up' on the Zero Year problem which is often raised by apostates but not by serious scholars. The WT has simply explained the anomaly and back then some chronologists possible misunderstood the difference between the Astronomical Year and the Years in the Gregorian Calendar and perhaps many reference works at that time made a similar error but once the error was noted then an adjustment was made fortunately or providentially the integrity of the 1914 CE date was preserved as the beginning of the Gentile Times. End of Part One.

scholar JW

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On 12/10/2017 at 8:30 PM, scholar JW said:

. 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. 

Scholar JW

This is an honest assessment for the year 609BC. 2 Kings were appointed within a 3 month period. 1 by Egypt, 1 by Babylon.

In my opinion, certain people are having a hard time grappling with secular chronology, and how the Watchtower is interpreting it. Honestly, there is enough information to support both theories. The easier chronology to explain would be, secular chronology with the date 609BC.

625BC.jpg

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Thank you @JW Insider @Ann O'Maly and @scholar JW. I am processing all the information, and made lots of notes. Just haven't had time to put it all together yet.

I have one question in the meantime, why is it that WT has no trouble accepting the 539 date but will not accept the 587 date? Besides the obvious reason, are both dates based on completely different historical sources? Pardon the ignorance, I just haven't got that far in my research yet.

 

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16 minutes ago, Foreigner said:

This is an honest assessment for the year 609BC. 2 Kings were appointed within a 3 month period. 1 by Egypt, 1 by Babylon.

You're referring to Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim? Jehoahaz was appointed by his own people. Pharaoh Necho hauled off Jehoahaz to Egypt and appointed Jehoiakim in Jehoahaz's stead (2 Kings 23:30-35).

Your chart is confusing. Honestly, the plentiful information supports only one theory, and the data on VAT 4956 belongs only to 568/7 BCE.

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13 minutes ago, Anna said:

I have one question in the meantime, why is it that WT has no trouble accepting the 539 date but will not accept the 587 date? Besides the obvious reason, are both dates based on completely different historical sources?

In fact, both dates conform to the exact same set of sources. They are both part of the same NB chronology which is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence from all the archaeological and astronomical sources. You could use 8 sources and come up with both 539 and 587 as correct, and you use only four of those sources and still come up with both dates as correct. You could also dismiss those 4 you just used, and use the other 4 and still see that both dates are correct. You simply cannot accept the data for 539 without also accepting the data for 587.

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@Anna -  No. The date 539 BCE is derived from the very same historical sources as 587 BCE.

There is the Babylonian Chronicle that indicates Babylon fell in Nabonidus' 17th year.

How can we pin a BCE date to Nabonidus' 17th year? Babylonian astronomical tablets, that's how - by using the ancient sky clock. The astronomical record on VAT 4956 gives an anchor point for Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year being none other than 568-7 BCE. There are other astronomical anchor points too - one of which is dated to Cambyses' 7th year (522-1 BCE). The method is, once we find out how many years kings ruled (evidenced from other historical data), to count forwards or backwards accordingly.

And so, we arrive at 539 BCE for Babylon's conquest and 587 BCE for the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar when he destroyed Jerusalem (Jer. 52:29).

 

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1 hour ago, Ann O'Maly said:

You're referring to Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim? Jehoahaz was appointed by his own people. Pharaoh Necho hauled off Jehoahaz to Egypt and appointed Jehoiakim

This is correct. King Necho ll originally deposed one King and substituted him with another. Both were under the control of Egypt. 1 King, then Jehoiakim became a puppet King to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar ll, 1 King. 1 Egyptian, 1 King Babylonian. The crossover was King Jehoiakim. That in effect makes it easier to explain secular chronology with their own timeline.

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7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

A debate has two sides with opposing points of view, honesty is required by both parties so I call this a two-way street.

I will be honest in a debate whether any other party in a debate is honest or not. That is what I meant when I said it is not a two-way street, at least for me. Debates often end up highlighting the academic dishonesty or false foundations of another person's theory. Academic dishonesty can often be the result of giving too much weight to a certain interpretation and then using logical fallacies to bolster the false claims. So academic dishonesty is not always a "personal" dishonesty, but can come about through sloppiness in research, misuse of evidence, being fooled by someone else's mistakes, etc.

7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

There is no Gap in the NB Period at this stage of our present knowledge

Thanks for admitting that.

7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

but there is a difference of 19 years. when one compares WT Chronology with NB Chronology.

This is pretty much true. A lot of people make claims that turn out to be untrue, even if they make perfect sense to a lot of people. I have heard people who believe the chronology of the "Great Week" mentioned below (from http://prophecycorner.theforeverfamily.com/chron.html )

  • Since it is thought that 6,000 years would go by before the sabbatical millennial Day of the Lord begins, some people have thought that the 6,000th year since Adam's creation would be about 2,000 A.D. I have heard it said that from Adam to Abraham was 2,000 years and from Abraham to Christ was 2,000 years.

Like the "Oslo" schema, it's more of a "scheme" than a chronology, but some will fight for it as if it were the only true Bible chronology, and anything different is just a secular falsehood. In the same way, some will also fight to make Cyrus' Edict begin around 460 B.C.E. so that they can make the 70 weeks of years match with their supposedly more "obvious" interpretation of Daniel. There are a lot of claims about Bible chronology, just like several of the old Watchtower claims, that have necessarily been abandoned by now for obvious reasons.

7 hours ago, scholar JW said:

The much earlier  Babylon the Great Has Fallen-God's Kingdom Rules , 1963, p. 138.

That book contains many claims that are shamefully wrong. Note this one on the page you quoted:

  • It is because of making the mistake of dating the beginning of the seventy-year period for the desolation of Jerusalem and the land of Judah after King Jehoiakim reigned at Jerusalem but three years that the chronologers in Christendom throw their time schedule of history at least nineteen years out of order, shortening up the stream of time by that many years. They do this because of trying to harmonize the Bible records with the astronomical Canon of Claudius Ptolemy, an Alexandrian or Egyptian astronomer of the second century after Christ, but whose system of astronomy has long since been exploded. In this we do not go along with such chronologers.

For a time, the WTS had relied on the king list matching Claudius Ptolemy's to get 539. People noticed the mistake right away. In fact, one letter came in to the Watch Tower the year before the book came out. They should have known better than to print this nonsense.

For example, Max Hatton wrote the Watch Tower Society on June 10, 1962. This letter also contained information about an even earlier letter sent to the Watch Tower Society on July 9, 1959. The 1962 letter says in part:

  • To date our arguments have been largely concerned with the 70 years mentioned by Jeremiah. I am confident that with the aid of the Societies [sic] publications and some private research I have and will have no real difficulties with this portion of the discussion. It seems that the next item for discussion will inevitably be whether the period of 70 years literal desolation can be accommodated by a Chronological arrangement for the period. As far as I have been able to ascertain the basis for the Chronology, popularly accepted, for the years 747 B.C., to the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C. and further on, is the Canon of Ptolemy. It therefore seems obvious that one cannot accept the record of the 70 year desolation and at the same time accept the Canon as being an accurate record. In rejecting the Canon completely, a problem seems to arise, because, as far as I am aware, the date for the destruction of Babylon in 539 B.C. per medium of the Chronological arrangement for which Ptolemy's Canon is the basis. . . . I would greatly appreciate your advice then, whether 539 B.C. can be accurately calculated by some other means entirely independent of the Canon, such as a continuous list of kings with their Accession years calculated by the length of their reign, based on some other evidence. (Either Bible or Secular.) I fully appreciate the advice in the Watchtower of 1st December, 1946 that an eclipse of the moon is not sufficient data by which to locate the year of a certain event, however the "Secretary of the Australian Institute of Archaeology" has advised me that "Ptolemy's Canon is based on a much wider range of astronomical data, the details of which are recorded in his Almagest. It is necessary to correlate the details he gives in his canon with dates he has calculated in other works. The sum result of this is that his canon appears to be accurate within all reasonable limits."  . . . Could I be advised please in what respects the Society considers the Canon to be in error and also reasonable grounds to substantiate such a claim?

That is only a small part of the letter, without the original paragraph breaks from the letter. The Watchtower wrote back to Brother Hatton on June 28, 1962. That letter gave some of the best evidence ever that the Society simply did not understand the claims they were making or that, less likely one hopes, they were willing to be very dishonest. Brother Hatton's next response naturally contained more questions, and even more research, and the Society's next letter, told him that they didn't have time to stop for such a research project with the current preparation for the 1963 "Everlasting Good News" assembly coming out (at which the Babylon book would be released). The following exchange of letters shows that the Society was now on the defensive with nowhere to turn. The Babylon book only made the matters worse because the Society was obviously "digging in its heels" on things they had no right to claim. They asked him to give less attention to chronology. The Society told him that if he didn't agree he could still point persons to the place in the Society's publications where such explanations were given, even if he had mental reservations. By July 1965, the Society had disfellowshipped both Brother Hatton and his wife for apostasy. His wife had possibly never said anything but it was suspected that she supported her husband. 

 

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JW Insider

This response is to your claims about the'' Babylon the Great  ' book and Max Hatton.

I reject your claim that this book 'makes claims that are shamefully wrong'. The quotation from this book is correct both in fact and in history. Ptolemy's Canon has traditionally drawn much criticism over the centuries and even in Russell's day there was criticism of the Canon in the early WT. In 1913 Martin Anstey published his Romance of Bible Chronology which was a significant piece of scholarship in its time. On pp. 18-21 Anstey makes some criticisms of the Canon and his ability as an historian although a high regard for this work remains. In 1963 the Society published its first major work on Chronology proper in the  All Scripture Is Inspired of God and it explained how the Absolute Date for 539 BCE was determined. It stated that various historical sources including Diodorus,Africanus, Eusebius, Ptolemy and other Babylonian tablets support 539 BCE when Babylon was overthrown. So it is incorrect to say that we relied only on the Canon for establishing the Absolute Date. We knew even before 1963 that there were significant problems with the traditional Chronology when compared with Bible Chronology because of the 70 years which we had long regarded as period of Desolation of the land of Judah.

Max Hatton whom I have met in 1983 or thereabouts became a Seventh Day Adventist and was one of the earliest critics of WT Chronology on the world scene and  perhaps was influenced by a thesis written by a resident in Western Australia ,  G. Rogerson who wrote An Examination Of The Year 1914 In The Prophetic interpretation Of The Watchtower Society. I have copies  of all Hatton's correspondence to the Society and would need to compare its contents with Rogerson's treatise I should say rather than a thesis because Hatton spent his earlier days in Perth, Western Australia about that time.. This treatise deals much with the Babyl;on book and its criticism of the Canon. When I met Max at Bondi, Sydney after 1983 Max excitedly told me that he had just received a copy of Edwin Thiele'ds third edition perhaps to put me to shame but I told him that I had in fact already had purchased Thiele's edition so that deflated him somewhat. Edwin Thiele perhaps Christendom's greatest Chronologist was a Seventh Day Adventist . 

scholar JW

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Anna

The reason why we accept 539 BCE and not 587 Bce even though both dates are derived from similar secular sources but reflect diifferent methodologies in calculating these. The answer is Methodology for WT scholars make a determination based upon the textual, historical, biblical and astronomical sources. All of these things must come together in order for a measure of confidence be assured. It is only very recent times from 2000 that METHODOLOGY has become part of the Chronologist's toolkit in order to solve some of the vexing issues of OT chronology such as the precise date for the Fall of Jerusalem in either 586 or 587 BCE We have course have long solved this problem by fixing the precise date of 607 BCE because of the 70 years.

scholar JW

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21 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

I reject your claim that this book 'makes claims that are shamefully wrong'. The quotation from this book is correct both in fact and in history. Ptolemy's Canon has traditionally drawn much criticism over the centuries and even in Russell's day there was criticism of the Canon in the early WT.

That's my point about the shameful use of Ptolemy. He is relied on for 539 even though our publications tried to discredit Ptolemy in 1963 by saying his work was "exploded." It's shameful to be so certain about a chronological scheme, but not know what you are doing and at what points you are relying on the same types of sources. Not everything about the works Ptolemy passed on through his writings and collection of work is correct. I have read the criticism of Ptolemy from Russell's day. It was amazing that they thought they could just pick and choose without being careful. As I already pointed out from some older quotes, Russell also used Ptolemy's support as evidence for how accurate 536 was (even though we considered that a fuzzy date and changed it at a later point). Although I already mentioned that it was quite possible to also reach 539 through other lines of evidence -- these also support 587/6 for the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar.

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Foreigner

 I thank you for your colourful diagram and ii wish I had your computer skills.You mention 609 BCE but is this an error? Perhaps you meant 607 BCE instead. Like Ann O Maly I too am a little confused.

scholar JW

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24 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

Max Hatton whom I have met in 1983 or thereabouts became a Seventh Day Adventist and was one of the earliest critics of WT Chronology on the world scene and  perhaps was influenced by a thesis written by a resident in Western Australia ,  G. Rogerson who wrote An Examination Of The Year 1914 In The Prophetic interpretation Of The Watchtower Society. I have copies  of all Hatton's correspondence to the Society and would need to compare its contents with Rogerson's treatise I should say rather than a thesis because Hatton spent his earlier days in Perth, Western Australia about that time..

I still have not read all of his story, but I find it amazing. The first letter admitted influence from a Seventh Day Adventist source. I'm surprised he became a Seventh Day Adventist himself, however. And yes I am impressed with Thiele at many points of his studies. He appears to have been able to resolve several chronological issues on the secular side, by using the Bible as a primary historical source.

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JW Insider

The use of Ptolemy comes down as with all other sources to Methodology. Scholars are free to cherry pick facts from sources in order to construct a scheme of Chronology because this is what. they do and explains why there are so many different OT Chronologies right down to the present day. Ptolemy's Canon is of value to the Historian and the Chronologist and should not be ignored but Edwin Thiele had a realistic and honest view about the Canon for he stated "Ptolemy's Canon was prepared primarily for astronomical, not historical purposes. It did not pretend to give a complete listof all of the rulers of either Babylon or Persia, nor the exact month or day of the beginning of their reigns but it was a device which made possible the correct allocation into a broad chronological scheme of certain astronomical data which were then available". Mysterious Numbers Of The Hebrew Kings, 1965, pp.216-7

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Max Hatton became a Pastor of the Seventh Day Adventists, he is rather aged now and not sure whether he is still alive. He last resided in Newcastle, NSW and if alive possibly blind. Max Hatton wrote several articles on Chronology which I have in my files and one thing that struck me was his independent dating of the 70 years from normal Adventist orthodoxy. My conclusion was and still is that Scholarship broadly speaking is all at sea when it comes to the seventy years. They do not have a clue!!

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Another point about Thiele who is long deceased is that in his seminal writings he makes no mention of the 70 years, completely missing from his majestic MNHK.an important slice of the history of the very period that Thiele engaged with in his theses.

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On 12/12/2017 at 3:55 PM, scholar JW said:

Where matters are uncertain then the reader is advised

No, that's not true, and that's the problem. The reader is NOT advised. That's a form of academic dishonesty.

Here is one of literally HUNDREDS of examples of this in our literature:

*** it-2 p. 481 Nebuchadnezzar ***

  • One fragmentary Babylonian text, dated to Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year (588 B.C.E.), does, in fact, mention a campaign against Egypt. (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. Pritchard, 1974, p. 308)

You might know better, of course, but don't you think that some of the brothers will read this line in the "Insight" book under "Nebuchadnezzar" and get the impression that a well-researched resource about Babylonian texts indicates that Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year was 588 B.C.E.?

It's amazing (and shameful) that our publications still do this repeatedly. The referenced book by Pritchard is 100% aware that all the evidence consistently points to 568 for Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year, and therefore 587/6 for his 19th year (not 607). There is only one reason that the Watchtower publications sneaks 588 in there without any explanation about how the book they referenced actually rejects this date. It's because 588 is the date that would allow 607 to work which would allow 1914 to work. We should not have to depend on dishonesty and slick tricks like this. If the evidence stood on its own, we would be happy to point to the evidence, instead of trying to denigrate the evidence, and then "dishonestly" forget to tell the readers that it's this same denigrated evidence that we rely on for 607.

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

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

       
      Question 1
      Babylon the Great can be a nation?

       
      Meanwhile, let us remember that Babylon the Great, throughout history, has been "identified" with many nations and for the most disparate reasons.
      Imperial Rome, Papal Rome, USA, UK, USSR etc.
      Many different people and religious groups have given different explanations but none of them has ever resisted the test of fire and that is the scrutiny of the Scriptures - I Thessalonians 5:21
      What about us?
      One of the explanations given in the publications of the Slave according to which Babylon the Great can not be a literal nation is the fact that "he commits fornication with the kings of the earth".
      A strengthening of this statement would be the fact that both kings and merchants mourn its destruction.
      Finally, it would not be a nation because it is said to mislead the entire inhabited earth through its "spiritual practices".
      That's it?
      Let's see.
      In Isaiah 23: 15-17 we speak of Tire as a "forgotten prostitute" and therefore, as such, "commits prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth on the surface of the ground".
      Tire was a nation, not a religion or a religious system - Romans 15.4
      So a nation can be described, in the Bible, in the act of committing prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth and remaining a nation.
      Prostitution may have to do with commercial trade or acts of injustice and bloodshed and not necessarily with religion. - Naum 3: 1-4
      In particular, Tire's prostitution has nothing to do with false religion because, if that were so, Jehovah would not have considered “saint” his reward - Isaiah 23:18
      "Prostitution" can have to do with the covenant and trust placed in other nations, as reported many times in the Bible when Israel and Judah proved to be unfaithful by allying with pagan nations.
      It is clear, therefore, if this nation is compared to a prostitute the loss of this prostitute would have caused pain to her lovers (the nations with which she committed prostitution and the merchants who have enriched herself with it) just like ancient Israel " joy " for Tire's prostitution and this not because Tire was a religion or for the religion of Tire.
      A king can "cry" for the loss of a political ally (therefore for the fall of a nation) and a great merchant can cry for the fall of a commercial ally (which can be big or small but certainly rich nation).
      So the reasons that "Babylon the Great" can not be a nation because kings and merchants mourn his departure are not valid.
      What can we say, however, of the strongest affirmation in reference to Babylon La Grande, that is, that "all nations have been misled by its spiritual practice"?
      This statement in particular has led many to think that it was a religious empire (for many sects of Christianity Babylon the Great is Catholicism and for some Catholics it is even the Second Vatican Council).
      First of all we must realize that all the empires of the past have resorted to spiritualistic practices and this is also true of modern so-called atheist empires.
      Pharaoh opposed his "magic practitioners" to Moses and Nebuchadnezzar was practically surrounded - Exodus 7:11 - Daniel 2: 2
      The same can be said of Assyria, Syria, Media Persia etc.
      So if the Bible, speaking of a literal nation, said that "uses magic" or "divination practice", it would not say anything exceptional.
      We also know from the study of the Scriptures that nations are governed by demons that mislead the entire inhabited earth and that during the wars not only human beings are involved - Daniel 10:13
      Can we hypothesize that the demons have given particular power to a nation and that this has, today, "the kingdom over the kings of the earth"? - Revelation 17:18 see also Luke 4: 5-7
      By comparing the Scriptures without preconceptions, it is not possible to exclude "Babylon the Great" among the nations.
      Question 2
      "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?"
      In Revelation 17: 1, 2 we read that Babylon the Great "sits on many waters".
      We know that the waters mean "peoples and crowds and nations and languages"
      Israel "sits on many waters" because it is surrounded by many peoples and nations that can not stand it ("to sit on" can also mean against the will of the neighboring peoples). In Isaiah 8: 5-8 one speaks of the powerful Assyrian army as "devastating waters"; therefore the "waters" are not always a symbol of protection - Isaiah 8: 5-8
      It was put there by the UN against the will of the many neighboring nations.
      It also sits "on many waters" because his position is due to the nations that make up the United Nations (Babylon the Great also sits on the wild beast of scarlet color) that, besides having settled it where it is still, protect it militarily.
      The armies of Assyria are compared to "devastating waters", so we can say that they also sit on many armies? - Revelation 17: 3, 16
      it is also noteworthy that the nation of Israel is right in the "crossroads" of three continents: Europe, Africa, Asia.
      If I wanted to find a literal nation located above "many waters" (ie peoples and nations and tribes and languages) both geographically and politically, no other nation would correspond better than the modern nation of Israel.
      The harlot rides a beast.
      In Revelation 17: 3 we read "And the angel brought me into the power of the spirit in a wilderness." And I saw a woman seated on a wild scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. "
      The nation of Israel is already in a desert today and rides on the wild beast of scarlet color which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations ascended from the abyss with the name U.N.
      Israel exists, thanks to the push of the Anglo-American empire, thanks and through the United Nations, since 1948.
      Historical events prior to and following the creation of the state of Israel confirm that the Jewish people have ridden the scarlet-colored wild beast even before returning to being a nation (I invite you to do a research on Balfour and all the historical background before 1948).
      Mother of all prostitutes.
      Revelation 17: 4-5: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication. on his forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth' ".
      If we accept the possibility that a nation is compared to a prostitute (just like Tire), then the nation of Israel is the "mother of all prostitutes" because it has committed greater fornication than any other nation in the world.
      How can we say it?
      If the prostitute rides the scarlet-colored wild beast, which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations, is supposed to have committed fornication with all the nations adhering to the United Nations.
      Indeed, its very existence as a nation is due to his political lovers so, to continue to exist, must commit prostitution in excess and continuously.
      No other nation can compare itself to her as acts of prostitution because no other nation has the urgent need to please the UN to continue to exist.
      it is also possible that in the Bible it is described as a prostitute because it is not a real "queen" but a forcing. It is an empire carved out of art for a prostitute.
      The woman is also "dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stone ..." so she is simply dressed like a queen but the purple and scarlet colors are still the colors of luxury and royal power and this would strengthen the idea that we are talking about a kingdom, a literal nation.
      In the same way the beast that the prostitute rides is scarlet in color and the beast, as we know, is the League or Society of Nations (all members of the United Nations represent literal nations). The scarlet color, color of both the wild beast and the harlot, is significant.
      Drunk with the blood of the saints.
      The writing continues saying "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus".
      Israel has an enormous blood fault and Jesus referred to this very nation when he said: “so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·ri?ah son of Bar·a·chi?ah, 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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