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SECULAR EVIDENCE and NEO-BABYLONIAN CHRONOLOGY (Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, etc.)


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JW Insider said:

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1 hour ago, AlanF said:
no arguments were given for the change. In fact, a footnote mentioning the change falsely claimed that the 1943 book had changed the date from 606 to 607 -- a flat-out lie.

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I had wondered about that too. And I've seen what you've written about it. At Bethel, I was involved in re-proofreading the ka book because it was to be printed again for a second round of "Book Study" usage, right after the COJ news broke. It had several odd passages that seemed to try to simply smooth over some complicated details. Like this one:

*** ka chap. 11 pp. 209-210 par. 55 “Here Is the Bridegroom!” ***
In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” In its chapter 11, entitled “The Count of Time,” . . . This moved forward the end of six thousand years of man’s existence into the decade of the 1970’s. Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . .

 

Yes, of course. The information was designed to say as little as possible about those changes, and to give a completely false impression of the reasons for them.

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It was 1980, and I remember that my primary concern at the time was that this passage appeared to have been a subtle cue from back in 1973, that Christ's return was "now" to be expected in the 1970's, no longer the 1870's.

Of course. That brings up an amusing memory: Back around 1993 I was reading various JW-critical books, one of which pointed to the 1973 ka book and its admission that, until 1943, whatever is now taught about 1914 had been claimed for 1874. I mentioned this to my then-wife, who said, "That's not true!" I handed her her own copy of the book, the one she had studied and underlined for the Book Study, and opened to the appropriate page. She refused to look at it. That solidly exemplified the attitude of most JWs toward learning anything about how stupidly the Watchtower has buggered things.

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But I also looked up 1943 book and saw that the picture of Nebuchadnezzar eating grass was sandwiched between this sentence:

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Yes, the 606 date was used until about the middle of the book. When I first looked into this back around 1993, I was astonished at the level of stupidity, but more so at the level of deception. It was obvious that the author, Fred Franz, had zero respect for the intelligence and honesty of his readers.

Over the next few years I accumulated non-English versions, and was again astonished that these were all published as if they were straight translations from the original English, but uniformly substituted 607 for 606. It was all too clear that the Writing Dept., under Freddie's direction, had systematically lied about the entire matter.

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But that, a few pages later in chapter 11, the date 607 was used.

(As an aside, the Writing Dept and proofreaders in the 1970's and 1980's didn't like splitting up the name Jehovah into syllables, as was done here in 1943. Typographers had syllabification rules, and also had "widows and orphans" rules related to things like this.)

Of course, that passage wasn't specifically about the zero year anyway, but if you looked up the chapter you would find it, and notice that 606 was still being used but in a way still a bit different than we now use it. And even though as you said, 607 was also acknowledged sporadically in some earlier publications.

Here was the 1943 version of how 606 could mean 607:

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I just love that sentence beginning "Inasmuch as". It's a perfect example of the deliberate deception practiced by Watchtower leaders like Fred Franz and by many members of the Writing Department.

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I've heard other Witnesses echo the claim that it was two slight errors that canceled themselves out, based on this:

*** w52 5/1 p. 271 par. 21 Determining the Year by Fact and Bible ***
At this point some will inquire why Charles T. Russell in 1877 used the date 606 B.C. for the fall of Jerusalem whereas The Watchtower of late years has been using 607 B.C. This is because, in the light of modern scholarship, two slight errors were discovered to have been made which cancel each other out and make for the same result, namely, 1914. Concerning the first error, Russell and others considered 1 B.C. to A.D. 1 as being two years whereas in fact this is only one year because, as has been said above, there is no “zero” year in the B.C.-A.D. system for counting years. “The Christian era began, not with no year, but with a 1st year.”—The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, p. 102.

 

Yes, but the real source for modern JWs is this deceptive story reproduced in somewhat different form in a box on page 105 of the 1988 book Revelation -- Its Grand Climax At Hand. One footnote is priceless:

<< Providentially, those Bible Students had not realized that there is no zero year between “B.C.” and “A.D.” Later, when research made it necessary to adjust B.C. 606 to 607 B.C.E., the zero year was also eliminated, so that the prediction held good at “A.D. 1914.”—See “The Truth Shall Make You Free,” published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1943, page 239. >>

Providentially? LOL! This footnote is pure deception from beginning to end.

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Russell himself had published a defense, albeit a weak one, of using the zero year when a "question from the readers" was addressed in the Watch Tower.

I've probably seen this, but can you supply the reference?

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Let me try to lay this out for you (although this is more for any interested readers' benefit than for yours). The stars, planets, and Moon are components in a giant sky-clock that keeps perfect time. The 'fixed' stars are like the numbers spaced out on the clock's face. The planets and Moon are like the hands on the clock. Through their cyclical alignments with each other and against the 'fixed' starry backdrop, we can tell the time - the year, the month, the day. Now, to be a 'competent'

Since love doesn't keep account of the injury and covers a multitude of sins, I will not go back and show you what you have actually said. Besides, I've never wanted to make this into a contest of who is smart or not. I've never claimed to be smarter than you or anyone else here. This just happens to be one of my strong interests -- and of course it's an interest that is recommended in the Watchtower itself. It's easy to make mistakes in this area of study. I've made quite a few while learning a

It was already answered, by AlanF, and I will go ahead and answer it again in my next post. But you need to understand why "scholar JW" will always claim that it wasn't really answered. This type of question is a kind of game with "scholar JW." He has about 4 of these types of questions from what I can see. If you have looked up his former behavior on all forums where he brings such things up, you'll see that "scholar JW" believes this must be a trick question. It's easy to answer correctly

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1 hour ago, AlanF said:

I've probably seen this, but can you supply the reference?

December 1, 1912. Page 377-8. Reprints page 5141.

I'll put the first page on, but if it's hard to read I've expanded the paragraphs about the question:

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Instead of defending the fact that there was NO zero year, the answer is a bit wishy-washy. He appears to use the fact that astronomers use the zero year, but he doesn't clarify (or doesn't know) that this for a different reason and that astronomers did this with full knowledge that the actual transition from CE to AD (BCE/CE) did not have it. But the wishy-washiness served the purpose of allowing Russell to be off by one year, as had been hinted at earlier. Later Watchtowers said that Russell had announced the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, but because no one had been able to discern 1914, the Watchtower in January 1916 shows Russell claiming that the Gentile Times ended in 1915.

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JW  Insider

51 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

December 1, 1912. Page 377-8. Reprints page 514

The so-called error that Alan F in his ignorance and cannot even give the modern calendation for the first year of Cyrus is simply facile. The above quoted WT article explains the zero-year problem nicely.

No doubt if you checked reference works, Bible dictionaries and other works on Chronology of that period then a similar error would have been made. WT scholars one informed of the error made the adjustment establishing by 1963 our superior strong cable of WT chronology. 

scholar JW

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Alan de Fool

1 hour ago, AlanF said:

<< Providentially, those Bible Students had not realized that there is no zero year between “B.C.” and “A.D.” Later, when research made it necessary to adjust B.C. 606 to 607 B.C.E., the zero year was also eliminated, so that the prediction held good at “A.D. 1914.”—See “The Truth Shall Make You Free,” published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1943, page 239. >>

Providentially? LOL! This footnote is pure deception from beginning to end.

Don't you love the word 'Providentially' for it shows that the Lord's people truly listen to their God Jehovah and humbly follow the leadings of the Spirit in constructing that Strong Cable of Bible Chronology. By the way have you answered my question to you as you seem to nitpick over a zero year calculation SO HOP TO IT!!!!

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3 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

'Providentially' for it shows that the Lord's people truly listen to their God Jehovah and humbly follow the leadings of the Spirit

LOL. It sounds like your purpose here is beginning to show too clearly.

There can be only one reason you would try to support the claim that it was providential that the leadings of the Spirit led God's people to make a mistake. Trying to blame a mistake on Jehovah and the leading of the Spirit is hopefully just a matter of you trying to provoke the way an "Internet troll" would, and not your real feelings about Jehovah and the Spirit.

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JW Insider

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Yes it does. I agree. That's why I accept 607 as a good date for the beginning of the 70 years, too. And I also agree with you that Cyrus began his reign over Babylon in 539. That's because I see plenty of evidence for the Neo-Babylonian timeline that puts Nebuchadnezzar's first year in 604, and therefore his 18th year in 587, and therefore Nabonidus' first year in 555, and Cyrus' first year in 539, etc.

Well that is good so why are you messing about with stupid NB Chronology a dead end -going nowhere?

The claims of NB Chronology as to the reigns of Neb are disproved by that strong cable of Bible Chronology by means of the biblical 70 years. End of story!!

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But I'm sure you know it's not true that "Cyrus began to reign" in 537. And that most scholars actually believe he started his reign in 539, the year of his "accession to the throne" of Babylon, and that 538 was therefore his first "regnal" year. If Cyrus had really begun his accession year in 537, then the Jews, according to the Insight book, could have been back home as late as 1 year and 6 months later, around October 535.

The reign of Cyrus with his first regnal year was from 538-537 BCE thus it is easily determined that the Jews returned home in the year 537 BCE as simply and reasonable explained in our publications. Of course, methodology makes this possible but that is simply doing chronology.

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

For 70 years, the WTS counted back from 1914 and got 606. Then they subtracted 70 from 606 and got 536. Back then some scholars were still saying Cyrus captured Babylon in 537, not 539. So the WTS used  536 as Cyrus' first regnal year, even though that has proven to be two years off (from the date we use now).That means that Cyrus captured Babylon in 537 (also two years off) and would have surely made the proclamation in 536. But that was the old view. 

Then there was a change around 1943/44, when the Watchtower finally saw that they had made a mistake in their previously published claims about the zero year. So, per the methodology, they now subtracted 2520 from 1914 correctly and got 607.  They subtracted 70 years from 607, and now got 537 as the new date for what had been Cyrus proclamation.

But by then (1943), there was a new problem. The Watchtower had realized that there was no getting around the secular data that Cyrus actually captured Babylon in 539, not 537. So they needed a longer delay to fill in these two years. That's why, for the first time, the WTS began promoting a delay of up to two years after the fall of Babylon before the Jews could return home. Not just when they "could return home," but even adding another few months for preparation and travel, so that the new end date would be after they were back in their own land. When the Jews got back from the Exile wasn't important to the WTS before, only the time of the Proclamation.

That delay was easy to claim, of course: just make sure that we don't think Cyrus announce the proclamation early in 538. (as @Arauna has insisted) The Insight book, for example, speculates that this announcement happened "later in 538" or even "early in 537," so that the Jews wouldn't get back home until around October 537 -- two full years after Cyrus overtook Babylon.

So what. All that you have done is provided a modern day history of WT chronology and as such as new research becomes available then adjustments or corrections are made and that is simply good scholarship and now we can look back with great wonder and be excited in godly faith in Bible prophecy that we alone possess a Strong Cable of Bible Chronology validated by 4 prophetic witnesses.

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Yes, we can all make excuses or speculations about why Josephus finally called it a 50 year period instead of 70, which was always the more common reference to the troubles with Babylon during this period. Yet, 50 perfectly fits the standard NB Chronology, so it's not just a coincidence. "70 years" was the common reference to the period of trouble that had included the loss of the temple. But when one would focus chronologically on just on the actual time when the Temple finally went into obscurity, chronologically it was closer to a 50 year period. (about 587 to 538/7).

Josephus stated 70 years, five times and his description matches exactly WT interpretation noted by COJ  in his GTR, 3rd. edn, p.298, ftn.29. Further, his sole mention of 50 years is most likely a quote from Berossus who was simply mistaken or Josephus was making an observed point of reference within the 70 year period.

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And we now know it's the opposite. It would have been more accurate to say "and the difficulty with which secular data could be altered --for it would require altering thousands of items-- indicates that it is nearly impossible that one of more of the Neo-Babylonian rulers could have had a longer reign than the "Ptolemaic canon" shows.

Just stick to the Bible and leave the confusion of NB Chronology to the experts such as Furuli and others.

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34 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

No doubt if you checked reference works, Bible dictionaries and other works on Chronology of that period then a similar error would have been made. WT scholars one informed of the error made the adjustment

Your guess is wrong.  Even in 1823, John Aquila Brown ran the 2,520 years from 604 B.C. to 1917 A.D. So he knew there was not a zero year, and he knew it was Nebuchadnezzar's first year in 604 according to the standard NB chronology, not the WTS chronology.

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JW Insider

4 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

There can be only one reason you would try to support the claim that it was providential that the leadings of the Spirit led God's people to make a mistake. Trying to blame a mistake on Jehovah and the leading of the Spirit is hopefully just a matter of you trying to provoke the way an "Internet troll" would, and not your real feelings about Jehovah and the Spirit.

Chronology is not an exact science for it requires methodology and interpretation which is a large room for error and if we wish to construct an authentic Bible Chronology then we must rely on scholars who are attuned to the Spirit, faithfully paying attention to God's Word and in time we now have that Strong Cable of Bible Chronology as with the greatest translation of the Bible ever made -the NWT. Praise the Lord!!!

scholar JW

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JW Insider

13 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Your guess is wrong.  Even in 1823, John Aquila Brown ran the 2,520 years from 604 B.C. to 1917 A.D. So he knew there was no zero year, and he knew it was Nebuchadnezzar's first year in 604 according to the standard NB chronology, not the WTS chronology.

So what. it was the Chronology of the times and Bible Chronology was not then yet fully developed and he did not compute the 70 years.

scholar JW

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5 hours ago, AlanF said:

A finer example of circular reasoning can hardly be found. Of exactly the same sort employed by "ScholarJW Pretendus Bullshittus Maximus".

That's right. Ignorance is no excuse not to understand. Therefore, I will apply your words to you. You just can't seem to accept, being obtuse for over 15 years by opposers can't be rewritten by actual facts. However, show the people how you fit the third year or the fourth year, a calendar difference of King Jehoiakim to your false claim of knowing scripture? Allen Smith mentioned it long ago. You, O'Maly, JWinsider couldn't answer it way back then, just like you can't answer it now, using secular evidence.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

December 1, 1912. Page 377-8. Reprints page 5141.

I'll put the first page on, but if it's hard to read I've expanded the paragraphs about the question:

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Instead of defending the fact that there was NO zero year, the answer is a bit wishy-washy. He appears to use the fact that astronomers use the zero year, but he doesn't clarify (or doesn't know) that this for a different reason and that astronomers did this with full knowledge that the actual transition from CE to AD (BCE/CE) did not have it. But the wishy-washiness served the purpose of allowing Russell to be off by one year, as had been hinted at earlier. Later Watchtowers said that Russell had announced the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, but because no one had been able to discern 1914, the Watchtower in January 1916 shows Russell claiming that the Gentile Times ended in 1915.

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All of this proves what we already know -- Russell was incompetent as a commentator on chronological matters. From his earliest days he used 1914, not 1915, as the end of the Gentile times. The March, 1880 Watch Tower, on page 2, said:

<< "The Times of the gentiles" extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom will not have full sway till then, but as a "Stone" the kingdom of God is set up "in the days of these (ten gentile) kings," and by consuming them it becomes a universal kingdom -- a "great mountain and fills the whole Earth." >>

It was only after about 1904, when many of the dire events Russell had predicted had not materialized, that he began waffling about 1914/1915.

For a comprehensive look at Russell's dates, see the articles beginning here: 

    Hello guest!

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2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

That's right. Ignorance is no excuse not to understand. Therefore, I will apply your words to you. You just can't seem to accept, being obtuse for over 15 years by opposers can't be rewritten by actual facts.

English, please!

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

However, show the people how you fit the third year or the fourth year, a calendar difference of King Jehoiakim to your false claim of knowing scripture? Allen Smith mentioned it long ago. You, O'Maly, JWinsider couldn't answer it way back then, just like you can't answer it now, using secular evidence.

Nonsense. I covered this in an essay written in 1992: 

    Hello guest!
 . The subject is covered elsewhere in that series as well. And of course, I've covered it in numerous online forums since then.

Since you can neither read nor write intelligible English, you have no business commenting on rocket-science matters like these.

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Reading all this without preconceptions, it does not seem that we should look for other explanations more or less hidden. However, let us take the thesis that "the tree indicates a dominion and a sovereignty much greater than those of the king of Babylon. It symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, the King of the heavens, especially with respect to the earth ". This means, first of all, that the Kingdom of God is comparing, in a certain way, to the kingdom of Babylon and this strides with many biblical passages describing Babylon as the greatest enemy of God's people. It also means that the "vigilante" (ie an angel of Jehovah) decides to overthrow the Kingdom of God and this is, to say the least, strange. Some will object that we must not look for similarities in every aspect of the prophecy but also decide which part of the prophecy must have a second fulfillment and which one could be arbitrary enough. After all, we have no other scriptural references to show us which details to focus on and which to leave out. So it is being said that the prophecy of the tree applies entirely to Nebuchadnezzar while only a small part would apply to the Kingdom of God. For the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" we did not need to break the prophecy to try to understand who was applied or if it applied to more than one person because the subject was clear and recognizable from the beginning. On the contrary, all the 7-day prophecy is built on a single verse that is what it says ... "The tree grew and became strong, and its same height finally reached the heavens and was visible to the end of the whole earth" (Daniel 4:11). Meanwhile, the writing says that the tree "becomes visible" to the end of the earth and not that "embraces the end of the earth" and the meaning is very different. The aforementioned book says: "the great tree represents the 'domain that reaches the end of the earth', which embraces the whole realm of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 ". "Reaching the end of the earth" means that it extends the domain to the end of the earth while "being visible to the end of the earth" means that it is known, famous. AnyhowÂ… is not it a bit fragile, let's say risky, to build a series of prophecies (all linked together) on this single explanation? Note that the specification "particularly in relation to the earth" is due to the fact that the universal sovereignty of Jehovah is, indeed, universal, for which the tree should have been seen not only in the whole earth but throughout the universe. By specifying, instead, "in relation to the earth", we can exclude the skies from the vision and take the application for good. Anyway, we should ask a question. Is the fact that the tree reaches the heavens or the end of the earth itÂ’s a demonstration or even an indication of the fact that we are talking about the Kingdom of God? We always leave the Bible to enlighten us. Notice what Jehovah told Ezekiel in reference to the Pharaoh. Ezekiel 31: 1-8 says Â… “In the 11th year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  “Son of man, say to Phar?aoh king of Egypt and to his hordes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ‘Whom are you like in your greatness?  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  There was an As·syr?i·an, a cedar in Leb?a·non,With beautiful branches like a shady thicket, lofty in stature;Its top was among the clouds.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  The waters made it grow big, the deep springs of water caused it to grow high. Streams were all around where it was planted;Their channels watered all the trees of the field.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  That is why it grew taller than all the other trees of the field. Its boughs multiplied, and its branches grew longBecause of the abundant water in its streams.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs,All the wild animals of the field gave birth under its branches,And all the populous nations were dwelling in its shade.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches,For its roots went down into abundant waters.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  No other cedars in the garden of GodHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. could compare to it. None of the juniper trees had boughs like it,And none of the plane trees could match its branches. No other tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty”. Do we note some similarities with the vision of Nebuchadnezzar? Both are compared to tall and mighty trees. Both reach high heights, up to the sky in fact the expressions "reach the heavens" or "reach the clouds" are equivalent - Compare Job 22:14; Isaiah 14:14; Daniel 7:13 Of both we notice the big difference with the other trees. Of both it is said that all the flying creatures and all the wild beasts find food and shelter. Now if we apply the principle that the tree that "reaches the clouds" must represent the Kingdom of God, then even the Egyptian empire should be an antitype of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, however, in this story there is no mention of the "times" and consequently it is not possible to count anything. If you think it's ridiculous that the Egyptian empire will represent the Kingdom of God, why should it be acceptable to the Babylonian empire? Jehovah goes on to say ““Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because itHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. became so tall, lifting its top among the clouds, and its heart became arrogant because of its height, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  I will hand it over to the mighty ruler of the nations.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He will surely act against it, and I will reject it for its wickedness”. The Pharaoh was exalted, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, and for this reason God decided to humiliate him - Matthew 23:12 Nebuchadnezzar escaped with seven years of madness while Pharaoh's empire was besieged. Also this verse remarks the fact that God takes away and gives "the kingdom to whom he wills" (and in this case He gave the kingdom of Pharaoh to the "despot of nations"). Ezekiel 31: 12-14 continues Â… “And foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, will cut it down, and they will abandon it on the mountains, and its foliage will fall in all the valleys, and its branches will lie broken in all the streams of the land.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. All the peoples of the earth will depart from its shade and abandon it. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky will live on its fallen trunk, and all the wild animals of the field on its branches.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  This is so that no tree near the waters should grow so tall or lift up its top among the clouds and that no well-watered tree may reach up to them in height. For they will all be given over to death, to the land down below, along with the sons of mankind, who are going down into the pit.Â’. Even this tree is cut down and humiliated (Jehovah will do this through the king of Babylon). Because of the many similarities with the kingdom of Egypt, are we really certain that the tree that "reached the heavens" refers to the Kingdom of God?   When we talk about 1914, are we really like the Bereans? Or are we "Bereans" only when we have to refute the doctrines of Christianity?   There is another interesting detail that should make us reflect. The Bible compares the heavens to governments, be they human or celestial. Applying this concept to the tree that reaches the heavens and whose other trees do not stand comparison with it, it would simply mean that this tree has the kingdom over the other (smaller) kingdoms and of Babylon the Great is said to have " the kingdom over the kings of the earth "- Revelation 17:18 The only legitimate parallel that you can do with Babylon, without fear of taking corners, is related to Babylon the Great because it is the parallelism that makes the Bible. Indeed, all the world empires mentioned in the Scriptures had, for a time, the kingdom over the other kingdoms. Cyrus, in fact, said of himself ... "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four extremities (of the earth), son of Cambyses (Ka-am -bu-zi-ia), great king, king of Anzan, nephew of Cyrus ,. . . descendant of Teispe,. . . of a family (that) has always reigned ". (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 1974, p.37). Undoubtedly humility was not a characteristic appreciated by the Persians as well as by the Babylonians but in fact the kingdom had power over the other known kingdoms (so to be called "king of the four ends of the earth") and so it could be said that its height had reached the heavens and was visible or known to the ends of the earth. In the story of Ezekiel and in that of Daniel there is no reference, just anyone, to the Kingdom of God, on the contrary ... both accounts mention a judgment from God on enemy nations, proud and violent. Any chronological calculation should respect the subject in being and in fact this part of the Scripture is very different from what is said about the "seventy weeks" - Daniel 9: 24-27 In the account of Daniel chapter 9, one speaks clearly of the Messiah (see Daniel 9:25) and it is not necessary to read what is not written. Anyone who wanted to be polemical could discuss the start date from which to count the "weeks" or even the adduct method * (one day for a year) but certainly we can not discuss the subject in existence (the Messiah). It could also be absurd to discuss who the Messiah really was (which Jews are still discussing) but certainly we can not argue that Daniel chapter 9 speaks of the arrival of the Messiah! Instead, Daniel chapter 4 speaks of Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom, while all the "understanding" concerning the Kingdom of God is built on four lines in the book "Pay attention to Daniel's prophecies!" That read: "But the great tree represents the domain that reaches the end of the earth, which embraces the entire kingdom of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 "(chapter 6, page 87 of the Italian edition of the book). Does not this seem like a very firm statement with a very weak base? Let us try not to tell Daniel 4:17 what he does not really say because it is enough to know the basic rules of grammar so as not to be distracted by the subject. The subject is Nebuchadnezzar and God makes him understand that, because of the fact that he is exalted, he would have taken away his kingdom and given it to whoever He had wanted (exactly as He did to Pharaoh). In practice the one who really rules is the Creator and the other kingdoms exist only because He allows it - Compare Romans 13: 1 So there is no reason to believe that the tree (that is, one of the many governments that Jehovah has permitted in the history of mankind), actually represents the Kingdom of God. If someone wants to imply that the fact that God mentions His dominion is indicative that the tree itself represents His dominion (and is an incredible semantic acrobatics) then we can take the story reported in 2 Kings 19: 14-19 and do it same reasoning. “Hez·e·ki?ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki?ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread themHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. out before Jehovah.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  And Hez·e·ki?ah began to prayHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. before Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, sitting enthroned aboveHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. the cherubs,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. You made the heavens and the earth. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear!Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Open your eyes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. O Jehovah, and see! Hear the words that Sen·nach?er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr?i·a have devastated the nations and their lands.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not godsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. but the work of human hands,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  But now, O Jehovah our God, please save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are God, O Jehovah.” Hezekiah knew very well that Jehovah was "the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth" and he prayed that Sennacherib would be stopped in his intent to destroy Jerusalem. We know very well what was the answer of Isaiah which last part reads Â… “Because your rage against meHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and your roaring have reached my ears.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. So I will put my hook in your nose and my bridleHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. between your lips,And I will lead you back the way you came.” - 2 Kings 19:28 If we did the same reasoning as for chapter 4 of Daniel, then we might suppose that the "reign of Sennacherib" was also an antitype of the kingdom of God because he too had to learn (at his own expense) that Jehovah is "the true God of all. the kingdoms of the earth "or, in other words, "dominates over all mankind ". Unfortunately, even in this story there are no numbers, days, weeks or months to be calculated and therefore no reason to read "the coming of the kingdom of God" even where no mention is made of it. Is it possible that the strong desire to see the prophecies fulfill has influenced the intention and therefore pushed to read what was not actually written? This means that if you really want to see a second fulfillment of the story reported in Daniel chapter 4, you should respect the subject in being and that is Babylon. It is likely that the story of Daniel is simply telling the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar and that the "seven times" mean only seven years but we can not be categorical. In this regard it is useful to reflect on the fact that even the humiliation of the Pharaoh, reported in Ezekiel, could have a second fulfillment as Jehovah says that he will "shake the nations" and this could be a reference to the Armageddon war.   So, without fixing ourselves too much with a specific date, in case the story of Daniel wanted to show us a second fulfillment of the prophecy, the report is actually saying: "Babylon will fall, will remain inactive for seven times and then rise again". This can only bring our mind back to the last mention that the Bible makes of Babylon - Revelation 17:5 The clues about Babylon the Great brought us to the nation of Israel so the question we should ask ourselves is ... "From what year we should start counting the 2520 years (ie 360 * 7) until we see the rebirth (if any) of Babylon? " From the story of Daniel the possible dates from which to count the seven times are two: 1) Since Nebuchadnezzar has had the vision or has fallen into "misfortune" (in fact, Daniel says "the tree is you" - Daniel 4: 20-22) 2) From the death of Nebuchadnezzar (if Nebuchadnezzar represents the kingdom of Babylon, his death is the moment when the tree is "knocked down" but it is to be noted that there is no reference to this in the narration of Daniel who, indeed, he says that the kingdom would be assured - Daniel 4:26) As far as the first hypothesis is concerned, it is impossible to have an accurate date because neither the Bible nor the secular history tells us in which year Nebuchadnezzar was expelled from his kingdom. This happened, obviously, after 597 a.E.V. (year in which Nebuchadnezzar brings the first Jewish prisoners to Babylon according to the secular date, there is a difference of 20 years with that of the slave who, in fact, puts 617 a.E.V.) and within 570 a.E.V. (if Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 BCE - always according to the secular date - and the period of "captivity" lasts 7 years and the kingdom is returned to him presumed to have reigned for at least a year, 570 is the last useful year) . However in the first four chapters of Daniel we mention Daniel, Sadrac, Mesac and Abednego first as children (Daniel 1: 3, 4) and later as robust men (Daniel 3:12, 27) and all this before Nebuchadnezzar has the famous dream tree. This means that, from their deportation until the day when the king erected the image of gold, at least 15, 20 years passed. So if the Jews came to Babylon in 597 a.E.V. but they pass 20 years before the construction of the golden idol and having taken for good the secular date (562 a.E.V) it is possible to restrict the period from 577 a.E.V. up to 570 a.E.V. Obviously they are only estimates but the important date is the maximum time limit (570 a.E.V) so if from the deportation until the construction of the image had passed 15 years instead of 20, the starting date would be 582 a.E.V. but the last possible useful date would always be 570 a.E.V. The eventual rebirth of Babylon, if Daniel is talking about this, would have happened between 1943 E.V. (2520-577) and 1950 E.V. (2520-570). To reinforce this hypothesis there would also be the fact that the narration of his expulsion is the last story reported to Nebuchadnezzar. Few verses later, in fact, we no longer speak of him but of Baldassarre (Daniel chapter 5). It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar had the vision in the last years, perhaps during the last decade of his reign.   The second hypothesis concerns the death of Nebuchadnezzar, which takes place, according to the secular sources, in 562 a.E.V. According to the slave, in 582 a.E.V. (see the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" chapter 7, page 99). Counting 2520 years we arrive at 1958 E.V. in the first case and to 1938 E.V. in the second case.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Babylon will fall, remain inactive for seven times and then rise again"   What does recent history tell us? If, as we have seen, Babylon the Great is the nation of Israel, this would corroborate the first hypothesis. The first hypothesis places the rebirth of Babylon between 1943 and 1950. Indeed, the "resurrection" of Israel took place in May 1948.   Knowing the fixation of human beings for dates and calculations, however, it is prudent to pay attention to the most important things. The secular dates can not be secure, based on findings and comparisons more or less incomplete, and certainly we can not base our faith on this - 2 Corinthians 5: 7 What would happen if the 597 a.E.V., as well as 607 or 537 or any other date on which we based much of the biblical prophecies (without there being a real reason for doing so) tomorrow proved to be completely wrong? The consequences could be very serious and not just from a human point of view - Amos 3: 1, 2 We must not take Jehovah's mercy for granted, so we must be cautious in our statements. Since we have no certainty that the "seven times" do not simply represent seven years, we should not lose ourselves in these speculations. Is not the most important thing to understand the identity of Babylon the Great? Those who have truly studied the Bible without preconceptions have understood that Babylon the Great is indeed Israel and this has understood it regardless of dates and calculations. This is a crucial aspect of prophecy because it is the clues that guide us in the subjects and times in which we are living, such as road signs, and not the calculations - Compare Matthew 24:32, 33 and 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 and do a contrast with Matthew 24:36 There is no temporal indication for the killing of the two clothed witnesses (see Revelation chapter 11) but we know that they are revealed at the end of the war. We know that the city called "Sodom and Egypt" is Babylon the Great, hence Israel, and as a result we also know which nation and events to watch carefully. That the Bible actually prophesises the year of his "resurrection" or not, is certainly interesting but not fundamental for those who believe that it is indeed the inspired Word of God. Fundamental, if anything, will be "get out of it" when the UN prepares to destroy it.   * However the Bible confirms the "one day for a year" method and also that this was the same method used by God's people - Ezekiel 4: 6; Luke 3:15 ** The Bible allows us to be "fully competent" then all the speeches made on 607 a.E.V. pro and contra, they are absolutely useless. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as we have seen, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God    
    • By Jack Ryan
      Watchtower has referred to Ptolemy's Canon as corroborating the accepted 539 BCE date, iirc, but otherwise pooh-pooh it as being unreliable.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      The immense statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
      Babylon comes from the north, according to what Ezekiel 26: 7 says (see also Jeremiah 46:10).
      Comparing Jeremiah 50: 9 with Isaiah 21: 2, 9 and Daniel 5:28 it is understood that the average Persian comes from the north.
      Reading Daniel 11: 3 understands that the "mighty king" is Alexander the Great, identified as the "king of the north".
      Reading Daniel 11:16, 20-22 it is understood that Rome is the next king of the north.
      If all the kings of the statue were "king of the north" ... the last king can be the Anglo-American empire, or the king of the south?

    • By TrueTomHarley
      They may no longer do anti-types at Bethel, having had too many blow up in their face, but that doesn't mean I don't do them. Ralph Kramden, the hefty loud-mouthed bus driver of the 'Honeymooners' TV show, is the antitypical Nebuchadnezzar.
      Each show he began by blustering. Each show he was totally humiliated. Each show he was contrite at the end. And each new show he totally forgot the lessons learned from the one before. So it is with Nebuchadnezzar.
      And what is it with Nebuchadnezzar and the magic-practicing priests? He picks a fight with them right out the gate in chapter 2 of Daniel:
      "Then the king said to them: “I have had a dream, and I am agitated because I want to know what I dreamed.” The Chaldeans replied to the king in the Aramaic language: “O king, may you live on forever. Relate the dream to your servants, and we will tell the interpretation.” The king answered the Chaldeans: “This is my final word: If you do not make the dream known to me, along with its interpretation, you will be dismembered, and your houses will be turned into public latrines."
      Why? What did they do? They are yanked out of bed to learn they must tell the king what his dream IS in addition to what it means? Now they will have to sit each in his house, without any arms or legs, and watch people come in to pee on their couch and poop on their carpet. There's bad blood between the king and them, somehow. How it came about is not described, but it hardly seems fair he should pick on them.
      Or does it? If the king made such demands, it is likely because he is fed up with their claims that they can do things like that. They are always playing him for a sucker with their air of religious mystery, and he has had it up to here. That's my guess, anyway.
      We're used to quoting Daniel 1:20 to show how, after a short trial period in which the Hebrew captives did little more than eat vegetables, the king found them "ten times better than all his magic practicing priests." We're used to saying it is because of God's blessing that Daniel was elevated so high. Probably so, but I'll bet it is more a reflection of how worthless he found the priests. It was a pretty low bar they set, and Daniel leapt it without fuss.
    • By PeterR
      So if this is the basis for your belief, then probably what you'll want to do is first of all find out which bible book your foundational scripture is in. (It's Exodus by the way.)
       
      Ex 1:6 - Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation.
       
      It's not a complicated scripture.
      Let me ask you this. If you die in 2017 and all your brothers and all your generation also die at some point, what does "generation" mean if you don't impose any weirdness on the text? Do your precise birth and death times change the fundamental meaning of the word generation?
      Of course there are overlaps in a "generation". The only possible way for there not to be overlaps would be for each generation to have a batch of children be born at the same minute of a certain year, and die at a simultanous minute of a later year.
      But does your grandfather suddenly become part of your generation just because your life overlapped with him? Does that overlap of a few years between you and your brothers give latitude to distort the language to allow for President Kennedy to be of your generation even if your life overlapped with him?
       
       
       
       
    • By ComfortMyPeople
      An unexpected visit

      Characters: Angel (A) You (Y) Narrator (N)

      N- Imagine that an angel visits you today. He wakes you up in the middle of the night and says:

      A- Jehovah granted me choose one of his servants to inform Armageddon’s date, and I’ve chosen to you.

      Y- Wonderful! What a privileged man I am! When will it be?

      A- January 1, 2025. Now, I’m going to give further information about this date of capital importance

      Y- Errr, excuse me angel, thanks for this marvelous information, but my alarm clock is set at 5 AM, and I wish to sleep. Tomorrow I will have a hard day and I need to feel awake.

      A- What a lack of appreciation! If only I had known!

      N- The angel, sorrowful and turning its back on you, is ready to depart.

      Y- Please angel, don’t feel bad. It remains 8 years. I have no savings to live without my secular work. Next month my wife has a surgery, and also I need to ponder the education of my children. You aren’t going to think I take my children off from the school all these 8 years!

       A- I think if you were more spiritual…

      Y- One moment, I’ve just applied for the pioneer next month, and with my collaboration my wife is going to start the regular next September. What’s wrong with me!

      A- And what’re your plans for next holidays? Now you know for sure the Date! Would not you rather dedicate it to preach?

      N- The angel a little bitter, you a little worried.

      Y- Well… perhaps you’re right… one moment!

      A- Yes

      Y- The brothers at Bethel, missionaries and traveling overseers, do you think they are, in general, spirituals?

      A- Of course!

      Y- And don’t have they fully conscience of the closeness of the end?

      A- Yes, I think so

      Y- And, don’t they enjoy of their holidays these years?

      A- Well, I believe this, yes.

      Y- Look. If you only had said to me this date is, let’s say, is in a few months, perhaps I could have made some arrangements. But believe me, dear angel, I love Jehovah and I’m trying make my most every day, without any date in consideration.

      N- And they both say goodbye with affection

       

      Abraham’s example

      Some emphasis added: (Genesis 12:1-4) “And Jehovah said to A′bram: “Go out from your land and away from your relatives and from the house of your father to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, and you will become a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who calls down evil on you, and all the families of the ground will certainly be blessed by means of you.” 4 So A′bram went just as Jehovah had told him, and Lot went with him. A′bram was 75 years old when he left Ha′ran.”

      What would be your reaction if someone promises YOU all these things? Would it not be logical to expect the fulfillment of these words in your own life? Let’s continue with Abraham.

      Some emphasis added: (Genesis 13:14-18) “Jehovah said to A′bram, after Lot had separated from him: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, to the north and south, east and west, 15 because all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring as a lasting possession. 16 And I will make your offspring like the dust particles of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust particles of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for to you I am going to give it.” 18 So A′bram continued to live in tents”

      Again, would it not be logical to suppose for Abraham to think he will receive these rewards during the span of his life?

      Now, some years after, about ten perhaps, these words happen.

      Again, emphasis added: (Genesis 15:13-16) “Then He said to A′bram: “Know for certain that your offspring will be foreigners in a land not theirs and that the people there will enslave them and afflict them for 400 years. 14 But I will judge the nation they will serve, and after that they will go out with many goods. 15 As for you, you will go to your forefathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 But they will return here in the fourth generation…”

      “What? What does this mean? It was assumed that I was going to get your promises in my life, and now, you’re going to say me that I’m going to die, and my reward is postponed until a very distant future, for some remote descendants.” Perhaps no one between us find this hypothetic answer odd or rare, but did Abraham felt deceived? Well, the rest of his life, very known for all of us offers a clear answer.

      Conclusion

      Did Abraham need date information to serve God with all his soul? No. Why? Because he simple loved God. And here I am, like all of you. Serving to Jehovah decades after our thoughts about when the end should come.  Because our main motivation is, simply, love.

      What I’m trying to say with the little story about the angel visiting at night and the account about some passages regarding Abraham’s life is the danger of getting quickly excited with some developments, in the world or in God’s people. When I listen to some brother saying something like “look at the news today… China, Middle East, etc., the end is near” I always answer, yes, you’re right, but I also thought to myself “the same I believed when I was a child.” These recursive ideas bother me, because always lead to disappointment. I try to share the attitude of Abraham, attempting to serve Jehovah till the end of my days with all my soul.

       

    • By JW Insider
      The October 1, 2011 Watchtower says this date is important for two reasons. 
      *** w11 10/1 p. 26 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One ***
      But why be interested in the actual date when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II razed the city of Jerusalem? First, because the event marked an important turning point in the history of God’s people. . . .
      Second, because knowing the actual year when this “ultimate catastrophe” began and understanding how the restoration of true worship in Jerusalem fulfilled a precise Bible prophecy will build your confidence in the reliability of God’s Word. So why do Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to a date that differs from widely accepted chronology by 20 years? [Emphasis added]
    • By Jesus.defender
      Yes....Watchtower 7/1879 page 8
      No.....Watchtower 6/1/52 page 338
      Yes....Watchtower 8/1/65, page 479
      No.....Watchtower 6/1/88, page 31
      Yes...Live Forever (old Ed.) page 179
      No....Live Forever (new Ed.) page 179
      Yes...Insight, vol. 2., page 985
      No...Revelation book, page 273.
       
    • By The Librarian
      Part of the series on:

      See attached images
      Anyone by chance have a PDF of these images combined? 
       
       
       
      See also:

       












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