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


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On 12/20/2020 at 11:29 AM, Arauna said:

You deliberately remain obtuse. The insight book  uses the date of cyrus's death 530BCE   because this date  is set in stone.  This is the most accurate, reliable, quick and accurate way to get to 539 BCE.

You say that the date is set in stone. Of course this is impossible without at least one astronomical reading. I agree with Cyrus' death in 530 BCE and I expect that almost everyone on this part of the forum agrees, too.

But I already posted from the Insight book, that the WTS only accepts this date because WTS/Insight relies on an astronomical reading that identifies one of the BCE years of Cambyses. (Just as there are several more that identify the BCE years by counting from Nebuchadnezzar.) Without that piece of secular, astronomy evidence from Cambyses the WTS would not be able to put a BCE date on Cambyses. And without trusting the Babylonian Chronicles and the various secular historians, and the secular king lists, there would be no ability to say that Cambyses was the son of Cyrus, nor that Cambyses directly followed Cyrus. Without the king lists and the Babylonian Chronicles and secular historians we wouldn't even know if this was the "right" Cyrus or the "right" Cambyses, or that Cyrus had died. The evidence that there was a Cyrus that ruled from the time his accession year and for another 9 regnal years is evidenced by several of the tens of thousands of stone business tablets. But those tablets don't give us 539 to 530 BCE. We get that from the astronomy, counting up from readings during the time of Nebuchadnezzar or backwards from Cambyses. You have the king lists and secular historians that tell us that Cambyses directly followed his father Cyrus. But those don't give a BCE date either.

With that in mind, when you read the section from the Insight book, you will probably understand why I quoted from Insight earlier:

*** INSIGHT-1 p. 453 Chronology ***
A Babylonian clay tablet is helpful for connecting Babylonian chronology with Biblical chronology. This tablet contains the following astronomical information for the seventh year of Cambyses II son of Cyrus II: “Year 7, Tammuz, night of the 14th, 1 2⁄3 double hours [three hours and twenty minutes] after night came, a lunar eclipse; visible in its full course; it reached over the northern half disc [of the moon]. Tebet, night of the 14th, two and a half double hours [five hours] at night before morning [in the latter part of the night], the disc of the moon was eclipsed; the whole course visible; over the southern and northern part the eclipse reached.” (Inschriften von Cambyses, König von Babylon, by J. N. Strassmaier, Leipzig, 1890, No. 400, lines 45-48; Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, by F. X. Kugler, Münster, 1907, Vol. I, pp. 70, 71) These two lunar eclipses can evidently be identified with the lunar eclipses that were visible at Babylon on July 16, 523 B.C.E., and on January 10, 522 B.C.E. (Oppolzer’s Canon of Eclipses, translated by O. Gingerich, 1962, p. 335) Thus, this tablet points to the spring of 523 B.C.E. as the beginning of the seventh year of Cambyses II.
Since the seventh year of Cambyses II began in spring of 523 B.C.E., his first year of rule was 529 B.C.E. and his accession year, and the last year of Cyrus II as king of Babylon, was 530 B.C.E. The latest tablet dated in the reign of Cyrus II is from the 5th month, 23rd day of his 9th year. (Babylonian Chronology, 626 B.C.–A.D. 75, by R. Parker and W. Dubberstein, 1971, p. 14) As the ninth year of Cyrus II as king of Babylon was 530 B.C.E., his first year according to that reckoning was 538 B.C.E. and his accession year was 539 B.C.E.

You already can see from reading "Insight" that the WTS relies on a Babylonian clay tablet to get the astronomy reading of an eclipse to find a certain year in Cambyses' reign. They also rely on the fact that there are no missing business/contract tablets, in order to claim that Cyrus ruled for only 9 years. (Yet the WTS also relies on the NECESSITY that there are 20 missing years of these tens of thousands of tablets. The writer from Finland that CC quoted earlier would put these missing years in the reign of Nabonidus, who immediately preceded Cyrus. )

And some of the other information Insight (WTS) relies on would be obvious from a reading of the source material like Parker & Dubberstein where the entire Babylonian calendar has been recreated, based on hundreds of tablets and inscriptions. These sources include astronomical diaries and king lists. The WTS can't know that the order of kings was Nabonidus, Cyrus, Cambyses, for example, without relying on the king lists (or relying on others who relied on them). They are also relying on other secular sources to determine the length of these reigns.

Is there even one word of what I just said that you think is not true? If so, please let me know what it is that you don't believe.

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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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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I'm not trying to twist your words. I went to some trouble trying to get you (Allen Smith) to see this the last time you presented information about -607 and tried to pass it off as 607 BCE. -607 is 608 BCE!  So your inclusion of -625 is also therefore 626 BCE!

This is your personal opinion NOT based on astronomical evidence. Your position is for #47 not #57. Don't try to wiggle your way out of being incompetent all this time by criticizing the Watchtower. Now you're trying to manipulate the calendar year, 608/7 BC and 626/5 BC, your assumption is wrong. There are 2 points for 625 BC and 2 points for 607 BC. 3 points for 606 BC.

This cycle doesn't include 599/8/7 BC. Where is your precious Babylonian Chronicles?

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10 hours ago, César Chávez said:

This is your personal opinion NOT based on astronomical evidence. Your position is for #47 not #57. Don't try to wiggle your way out of being incompetent all this time by criticizing the Watchtower. Now you're trying to manipulate the calendar year, 608/7 BC and 626/5 BC, your assumption is wrong. There are 2 points for 625 BC and 2 points for 607 BC. 3 points for 606 BC.

This cycle doesn't include 599/8/7 BC. Where is your precious Babylonian Chronicles?

 🤦‍♀️ CC, if you still can't understand something so basic as the astronomical dating convention for BCE dates, what are you doing here? 

@JW Insider is correct. You are wrong. And what is '599/8/7 BC' about? Are you aware that lunar eclipses can only occur at full moon and that only lunar eclipses can be included in a lunar eclipse cycle?

Here, I've drawn a diagram for you:

image.png

You're welcome.

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3 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

 🤦‍♀️ CC, if you still can't understand something so basic as the astronomical dating convention for BCE dates, what are you doing here? 

He seems to be suffering from two serious defects: a mind damaged by JWism, and the biggest case of Dunning-Kruger effect I've ever seen.

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18 hours ago, JW Insider said:

course this is impossible without at least one astronomical reading.

So even if there is historical (olympiads) evidence we MUST have astronomical evidence according to you.......because this is the only evidence that will be conclusive...... even though there is proof that one must not put too much store on incomplete descriptions of "heavenly events" which could be misleading and often were copied from events written down by other writers. Please read the section in the insight book about eclipses.

Ptolemy wrote about the stars 600 years after events in Babylon  and cannot be verified as historically accurate because there is no other documents to verify it..... and its chronology creates great confusion with Asurbanipals reign. .....who claimed his father's campaigns for himself.   It does not add up.   Therefore, the bible is our best source of chronology ..... not the stars. 

Interestingly the Cyrus cylinder was found in Babylon - not in any capital of Persia.  It is written in Akkadian - which is the ancient diplomatic language of the King of Kings in chaldea and assyria - a title which originated in Babylon in Akkadian.  (Nimrod was the first to conquer other city-states in Assyria and chaldea - the original tradition comes from there!) It was a title given to kings who conquered both chaldea and Assyria in the numerous wars between the 2 regions. Nebuchanezzar is called the king of Akkad. 

In this Cyrus cylinder,  Cyrus claimed that the God of Babylon, Marduk, gave him his crown to bring peace to the realm and send displaced peoples back.  An indication that he received his crown as king of kings at this location.

He was the first king to appoint Satraps. He had done this when he conquered Croesus (minted gold coins) and many other territories before appointing Darius the Mede as Satrap at Babylin.  He did leave Babylon to go back to Ecbatana where he had a summer palace. 

The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was later found at Ecbatana (Ezra 6).   But interestingly the cyrus cylinder has an event on it which happened after he brought order to the city - some time after 539 bce: 

"It extols Cyrus as a benefactor of the citizens of Babylonia who improved their lives, repatriated displaced people and restored temples and cult sanctuaries across 

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 and elsewhere in the region. It concludes with a description of how Cyrus repaired the city wall of Babylon and found a similar inscription placed there by an earlier king.

 

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27 minutes ago, Arauna said:

So even if there is historical (olympiads) evidence we MUST have astronomical evidence according to you.......because this is the only evidence that will be conclusive.

When you brought up the "olympiads" before, I mentioned that the WTS rejects the accuracy of the olympiads, because the WTS disagrees with them through the period of Artaxerxes, for example. Besides, the use of the olympiad was started many years after the NeoBabylonian period, well after Cyrus, and then the dating system was extended backwards from the 200's BC back to the 700's BCE. This doesn't mean they must be inaccurate, but if they are accurate for 539, then Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year must be 587 BCE, which the WTS also rejects.

Besides that, how do you think someone ever added a BCE date to the Olympiad era without checking against the astronomical readings associated with that era?

Perhaps this is the reason that INSIGHT states that it has relied on an astronomical tablet to get to the 539 BCE date, and didn't mention relying on the olympiad dating scheme.

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8 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

still can't understand something so basic as the astronomical dating convention for BCE dates, what are you doing here? 

He is a bible student not a star gazer. He should accept bible chronological dates before he accepts the dates of people who were not historians...... but had other pagan occupations. People  who by chance wrote hundreds of years later about events and quoted others in their work......... full lunar eclipses for example are not half eclipses......  it could be mistaken for the other, especially when copied from another's writings.

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30 minutes ago, Arauna said:

even though there is proof that one must not put too much store on incomplete descriptions of "heavenly events" which could be misleading and often were copied from events written down by other writers.

Yes, there is plenty of evidence that we must be careful about not putting too much stock in incomplete descriptions. Some of these probably can be misleading, and several of them were copied from earlier originals. This is one of the reasons that I have decided to look at more than a dozen of these readings, and only the complete ones, to see if the standard chronology is dependable enough.

And the WTS still relies on such inscriptions, and contract tablets and a couple of these astronomical heavenly events to get the Babylonian calendar. And the WTS, according to INSIGHT, picks one or two of these eclipse descriptions to rely on for the reign of Cambyses, by which they get the reign of Cyrus as King of Babylon.

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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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