By JW Insider
We know that dates like 1513 BCE, 606 BCE, 587 BCE, 539 BCE, 70 CE (or AD), don't occur in the Bible, nor in the ancient astronomical diaries either. If we can pin a specific astronomical event to a record of any of Nebuchadnezzar's years, it would help. But we don't need those kinds dates yet. We can get them later.
The first thing we need to do is to figure out where the variously listed kings fit in our timeline relative to each other. If we knew the order of the kings in succession and knew how long they each ruled for, we could at least create a "relative" timeline.
So. To begin. Do ancient records provide an agreed upon list of kings, their order of succession, and the lengths of their rule?
Do all ancient records agree?
No. (Most would argue that they agree in all the important areas, and minor disagreements are easily fixed, but we should still admit that not all records are 100% in agreement.)
So. Can we find two or three that do agree with each other, or perhaps even the majority of the records, in order to start a tentative timeline, and then deal with the disagreements later?
Yes. The most important of the ancient records from Babylon itself and from those who made use of Babylonian records for astronomical purposes all agree anyway (Babylonians, Persians, Greeks). We would expect the most accurate records to relate to works for predicting or understanding eclipses (for example) or various lunar cycles and planetary movements. We know that certain types of astronomical phenomena were predicted in advance, or even known to be occurring even if invisible behind thick clouds, or because it occurred below the horizon, or invisible because some events relative to stars and planets could not be seen in the daytime. So we should expect records accurate enough to be used to actually calculate and predict a future eclipse even if it would be invisible.
OK. So we'll put into our chart an example where two of these records agree with each other. For now, we'll pick the Royal King List that must have been available to Ptolemy's Almagest as a kind of "look-up table" and the writings of Berossus a Babylonian historian/priest from the Seleucid Period. They both agree on the following:
Nabopolassar 21 years Nebuchadnezzar 43 years Awel-Marduk 2 years Neriglissar 4 years [Labashi-Marduk 9 months]* Nabonidus 17 years So, we have two "witnesses" (so far) to the names, years, and order of succession for these kings, which I will place in the chart below. To save space and give us a fairly legible font size, I only put in the last few years of Nabopolassar's 21 year reign. And we haven't discussed the length of position of Cyrus reign yet, but both Berossus and the Royal King List give him 9 years starting immediately after the 17th year of Nabonidus.
So this, so far, becomes an 81-year span (arbitarily) from the 16th year of Nabopolassar up to the 9th year of Cyrus as King of Babylon. It might not be right, but it's a version that we can begin to test against the data to see if it holds up. E-M by the way, is short for Evil-Merodach (Awel-Marduk).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 Nabopo-lassar N E B U C H A D N E Z Z A R II (reigned for 43 years) E-M Nerig- lissar N A B O N I D U S C Y R U S 16 17 18 19 20 21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 1 2 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
*Labashi-Marduk reigned only a few months, but we would NOT expect his name included in a timeline used for counting the number of years between any points on the timeline. And we definitely would not expect it to be included for any purposes related to astronomy calculations. That's because if a reign was so short that it started in a year already counted as "Neriglissar 4" and it ended before the start of "Nabonidus 1" then it should not be inserted because those full years were already counted. In fact, it would be considered a mistake then to include it in an astronomical reference, because it would have thrown off all calculations. predictions and cycles by a full year, making the entire king list worthless. In this case, Berossus, in the role of historian mentions him, but in the Royal King List used for astronomical purposes as a reference for Ptolemy's Almagest, for example, it should NOT be listed, and it wasn't.
By JW Insider
Looking at today's scripture text, I see that there is a fairly good reference to the concept of "core doctrines" in the commentary. Some have questioned whether this concept of core doctrines is correct, with the alternative being that we should accept ALL doctrines, great and small, with equal vigor. In other words, we should be ready to die for the our current teaching concerning "whether people of Sodom would be resurrected" just as strongly as we should be ready to die for the doctrine of the Ransom.
The day's text is about the resurrection, and the commentary speaks of the importance of including this among our key doctrines, as if it might not have been "up there" with the rest.
*** Text for Tuesday, December 10, 2019 ***
What are the key teachings of your faith? Surely you would stress that Jehovah is the Creator and Life-Giver. You would likely mention your belief in Jesus Christ, who died as a ransom. And you would happily add that an earthly paradise is ahead, where God’s people will live forever. But would you mention the resurrection as one of your most cherished beliefs? We have good reasons to include the resurrection as a key teaching even if we personally hope to survive the great tribulation and live on earth forever. The resurrection is central to our faith. Had Christ not been resurrected, he would not be our ruling King, and our teaching about Christ’s rule would be in vain. (1 Cor. 15:12-19) However, we know that Jesus was resurrected, and we hold firm to our belief in the resurrection.
Note that the text reminds us a few things that the great crowd, perhaps, do not get reminded of enough: We might die. The great hope is that "You May Survive Armageddon into God's New World." But since the book of that title came out, most of us who studied that book as JWs are now dead. The key teachings mentioned above are therefore:
Jehovah is the Creator, Jesus' Ransom, Living Forever in an Earthly Paradise The Resurrection The Teaching about Christ's Kingdom I would agree that these are definitely the core teachings.
Of course that final one might be a nod to "1914" as a key teaching, but it is worded here in such a way that no one could dismiss Christ's Kingdom as a key teaching. This is true whether one focuses on the
Kingdom preaching beginning in 29 CE through 33 CE, or the Kingdom's beginning in 33 when Christ began to rule as king (1 Cor 15, Colossians 1, Acts 2, Revelation 1, etc.), or the historical outworking of the Kingdom with renewed emphasis on preaching since WWI, or the focus on what that Kingdom will bring to the new heavens and new earth. But the fact that 1 Cor 15 is quoted above as the context to the teaching about Christ's rule, and that Paul goes on in verse 25 to indicate that "sit at my right hand" is the equivalent of "rule as king" tells me that 1914 might have been left off on purpose. (Because Jesus sat at God's right hand in 33 CE., therefore he began ruling as king in 33 CE. --1 Cor 15:25)
That's an easy solution to all the current difficulties and contradictions in the 1914 teaching. But it's not the "difficult teaching" I had in mind.
If you look at the text through the Watchtower Library, you will also see that it is somewhat related to the material for the Midweek meeting (December 9-15), which starts out with a discussion of Revelation 11.
*** Text for Tuesday, December 10, 2019 ***
TREASURES FROM GOD’S WORD
• “‘Two Witnesses’ Are Killed and Brought Back to Life”: (10 min.)
Re 11:3—“Two witnesses” prophesy for 1,260 days (w14 11/15 30)
Re 11:7—They are killed by “the wild beast”
Re 11:11—The “two witnesses” are brought back to life after “the three and a half days”
I'll explain later today.
Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses). If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
Any scriptural thoughts?
By JW Insider
Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
Everything we read about the "70-Week" prophecy reported in the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!" (Chapter 11) is worthy of attention and demonstrates how accurate and reliable the word of God is even when pronouncing prophecies very distant in time. The historical accuracy and the numerous Scriptural references that gave weight and authority to the whole speech were also evident. Anyone who approaches the Word of God without preconceptions can not but be struck by this demonstration of power and wisdom on the part of God. The explanation of the 70 weeks is unexceptionable but can be said to be the same as other prophecies? What about those calculations on which many of us have based the hopes of a lifetime and that clashed with the criticism of the majority? We are talking about 1914. Is this also a prophecy of Daniel? Was this also treated with the same marvelous accuracy of the seventy weeks we have just read? Although it may not be easy, we try to be truly objective because understanding or not understanding the prophecy, like the rest of God's Word, can make much difference to our eternal future - John 17: 3; 2 Thessalonians 1: 8 WHAT DID OF 1914? Â The book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" on pages 85 to 97 explains in detail the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the 7-time prophecy asserting that it indicates the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914. It would therefore be profitable to take the book and compare it with what will be read below. Does Nebuchadnezzar's dream really prophesy the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914? Â THAT'S IT? Let's try to examine what is written in the book without prejudices. At a first reading it seems that Jehovah God wanted to give a lesson of humility to Nebuchadnezzar, which happened. The "seven times", at least for him, were seven years and this is confirmed by the whole story. 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… 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. Â Â“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. Â‘Whom are you like in your greatness? Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â There was an AsÂ·syr?iÂ·an, a cedar in Leb?aÂ·non,With beautiful branches like a shady thicket, lofty in stature;Its top was among the clouds. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â 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. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â 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. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â 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. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches,For its roots went down into abundant waters. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â 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 beautyÂ”. 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 Â“Â“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: Â‘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. Â 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 wickednessÂ”. 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… 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. Â 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. Â 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? Â 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? Â 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. Â“HezÂ·eÂ·ki?ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. HezÂ·eÂ·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. Â And HezÂ·eÂ·ki?ah began to prayHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. before Jehovah and say: Â“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. Â 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 SenÂ·nach?erÂ·ib has sent to taunt the living God. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of AsÂ·syr?iÂ·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. Â 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. Â 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.Â” 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… 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.Â” - 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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" Â 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. Â 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. Â * 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 Â Â
By JW Insider
There are evidently FOUR basic problems in the latest explanation of the "GENERATION" teaching. Of course, this is the teaching based on Jesus' words in Matthew 24:34 where he says that "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." The latest update to the explanation is that Jesus was referring to two groups of anointed persons: the first group who could discern the meaning of the sign they witnessed in 1914, and a second group of anointed persons, whose lives overlapped with that first group.
#1. It creates a set time limit for Armageddon to occur. #2. It is based on the idea that the date 1914 was predicted in the Bible. #3. It is based on a false definition of the word "generation." #4. It is based on a false premise about a supposed belief in 1914 that didn't even exist in 1914. If we're serious about:
paying constant attention to ourselves and our teaching, (1 Tim 4:16) handling the word of God aright, having nothing to be ashamed of, (2 Tim 2:15) not paying attention to false stories, (1 Tim 1:4-7) making sure of all things, (1 Thess 5:21) knowing that teachers will receive heavier judgment, etc., (James 3:1) then we would not be very good Christians if any of us taught something that we were not sure about.
On this forum, participants have already dealt extensively with #1 and #2 above, but there has not yet been a thorough discussion and focus on points #3 and #4.
By Patrick J Delaney
After much prayerful reflection on the Scriptures, I have come to the realisation that the true identity of the “generationÂ” Jesus spoke of at Matthew
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may soon be revealed. There Jesus said, Â“This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.Â” I think the understanding JehovahÂ’s Witnesses currently hold on this scripture is incorrect. I believe that Joel chapter 2 will have a second fulfillment in the last days of this complete world system, just as it had a primary fulfillment in the last days of the Jewish system at Pentecost 33 CE. At that time true Christians were sealed with Holy Spirit. I believe that there will be yet another true spirit anointing or sealing in the near future. This is what John was referring to when he spoke of the sealing of the 144,000 in revelation chapter 7. The spiritual Israelite nation must be reborn. (Isaiah 66:8). The great crowd mentioned in the same chapter belong to the same group but are seen standing before the throne after Armageddon coming out of all nations. This sealing will result in a true restoration of pure worship as indicated by EzekielÂ’s prophecy of the valley of dry bones. (Ezekiel 37). Jehovah blows his spirit into the bones and they live. The preaching work up to now could be compared to the work of John the Baptist. It is a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. By their actions JehovahÂ’s Witnesses prove themselves to be true Christians having repented of their sins. Yet they are not spirit anointed. I believe Jehovah is preparing them for a true spirit anointing. Their understanding of scripture will be refined. (See Malachi 3:1) The great worldwide preaching work, in fulfillment of the the Â“angel flying in mid heaven with everlasting good news to declareÂ” is yet future. (Revelation 14) The fulfillment of the prophecies in Matthew 24, and other related prophecies concerning the last days find their real fulfillment in the future. The last days have not yet begun. Jesus told his followers to Â“Learn from the fig tree when itÂ’s branch grows tender and puts forth leaves.Â” (Matthew Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. -34). The fig tree represents Israel. I believe that this illustration could be a referring to the spiritual Israelite nation blossoming forth beginning with an outpouring of Holy Spirit. At least some of the generation of Christians that witness the birth of this new spiritual nation will be still alive on earth to witness the end of the age. This outpouring of Holy Spirit may occur in the very near future. Â
So, I am reading in Matthew about how many generations there we're from the deportation from Babylon until the Christ, 14 generations. The way I do math 607 divided by 14 equals 43.3 years. This is how Scripture measures a generation.The way I see it since 1914 we have had 2 complete generations and are now working on a 3rd. According to Jesus shouldn't the end have come by now?
By Guest Kurt
Why did Jack cry? Maybe it was because he realized the old will get young again....JWs do have the Truth...and soon everyone will see that.....
Could Someone Be Disfellowshipped For Not Believing In The "Overlapping Generation" JW Doctrine AFTER Being Baptized?By PeterR
You would be asking the wrong question Anna.
You need to ask him whether someone could be disfellowshipped for NOT believing it after baptism.
If he says no, he is either misinformed, forgetful, or lying.
Now I grant you, not every elder will apply the letter of the law (although in a JC it's more likely because of the group dynamics). But that there are procedures in place to allow for DF'ing someone who refuses to believe in particular teachings is very real.
Let me ask you Anna - if I could prove beyond doubt that this was true would you accept it, or would you continue to make light of it?
If you are determined to see only what you want to see I have no agenda to change that. But I can assure you that I do not speak from a position of ignorance or partial information in this regard.
By Outta Here
Since 2009 there has been a great deal of discussion around the concept of an "overlapping generation" in connection with Jesus words at Matt. 24:34.
I don't see anything particularly difficult about the idea myself.
I mean, you have a two stage relay. Start point: 1914 CE on one end. Finish point: the "great tribulation" on the other end. The track between is the stream of time.
As it is impossible for one team of runners to span the distance from the start, 1914 CE, to the finish, the "great tribulation", there are two teams of "anointed" Christians. Starting the race, those who saw the year 1914 eventually meet up with those (born later) who will see the outbreak of the great tribulation. The baton is passed and the race completed by the second group.
The entire group are seen as the (anointed) generation of the last days in Jesus prophecy. Not really rocket science is it?
But, in all the discussion around this, I see a phrase in Jesus words at Matt 24:34 I find intriguing. He said that "this generation will by no means pass away" (NWT)
Other translations render this differently, many saying simply "will not pass" or words to that effect. Why does the NWT render it in this particular manner?