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 Post subject: Jerusalem's Temple Destruction Date of 607 BCE Re-Examined
PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 1:19 pm 
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Jerusalem's Temple Destruction Date of 607 BCE Re-Examined

Part 1.

[See blog with graphics at: http://www.singnewsong.com/607bce.html]

The following information is an excerpt taken from the publication called: The "Report" Volume I pages 221-252.

You may be surprised to know that many Bible events can be dated by proper use of the Scriptures. In addition, secular history and the Bible are in complete agreement and in full harmony on many points of interest for serious Bible students. Let's examine a few of these.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR AND JERUSALEM'S DESTRUCTION

2 Kings 25:8 says:

"And in the fifth month on the seventh [day] of the month, that is to say, the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the chief of the bodyguard, the servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. And he proceeded to burn the house of Jehovah and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; and the house of every great man he burned with fire. And the walls of Jerusalem, all around, the entire military force of Chaldeans that were with the chief of the bodyguard pulled down."

Yes, the city of Jerusalem and its great and magnificent temple was destroyed in the nineteenth year of the King Nebuchadnezzar.

As pointed out in chapter 2 of THE "REPORT," the Watchtower Society theorizes that this particular act, namely that of (a) destroying the temple in Jerusalem, and (b) removing the present king (Zedekiah), brought to an end the earthly reign of the Davidic line upon "Jehovah's throne." In other words, the whole line of descendants of David, whether good or bad makes no difference, yes any and all descendants of David, who sat upon the throne in Jerusalem, were actually "sitting upon Jehovah's throne," and thus representing Jehovah God's "supreme rulership over earth." And of course, the Watchtower Society further purports that this all occurred in 607 BCE, with the removal of wicked king Zedekiah from the throne. You may recall this comment from the publication You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, pages 138, 139, paragraph 14, which again shows the Watchtower Society's clear position on this subject by way of the "tree" dream of Nebuchadnezzar. It states:

"So, in a more important way, this heaven-high tree, comes to represent the supreme rulership of God, particularly in its relationship to our earth. Jehovah's rulership was expressed for a time through the kingdom that he set up over the nation of Israel. Thus the kings of the tribe of Judah who reigned over the Israelites were said to `sit upon Jehovah's throne.' -- 1 Chronicles 29:23."

This publication along with numerous other publications released by the Watchtower Society over the years, have repeatedly shown, using what seems to be extensive "Biblical chronological proofs," that this great event had to occur in 607 BCE -- thus completely contrary to what historians world-wide state on the subject. Yes, the Watchtower Society emphatically state that all the historians are clearly wrong in saying that Jerusalem's temple was destroyed in 587/586 BCE! Yes, the historians of the world, as the Watchtower Society maintains, simply do not take into account the Bible's chronological evidence, and that's what makes them so wrong. -- See Let Your Kingdom Come pg. 184-189.

Therefore, the question could be raised, did Jehovah God really strip the Israelite nation and its Davidic line of the privilege of representing His "supreme rulership" upon earth with the removal of wicked Zedekiah from the throne? And further, did the destruction of the temple mark the time Jehovah CEASED to use the nation of Israel as His representative, His royal government on earth? And all of that, in the fateful year of 607 BCE?

As in the case of teaching any doctrine of the Bible, accurate knowledge is of the utmost importance, since precious lives of individuals are involved! It is as Philippians 1:9, 10 says:

"And this is what I continue praying, that your love may abound yet more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment; that you may make sure of the more important things, so that you may be flawless and not be stumbling others up to the day of Christ."

Therefore, let's examine the inspired record itself to `make sure of these more important things.' Yes, let's see if the Watchtower Society, as the tutor of more than 6 million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, themselves truly have "accurate knowledge" and "full discernment" of these Biblical events.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM AND DANIEL

To properly resolve this matter, we must go back in time, in Daniel's day. In Daniel the 2nd chapter, we read the account of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of an immense image where the head was made out of gold, its breasts and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of copper, its legs were of iron, its feet were partly of iron and partly of molded clay. (vss. 31, 32) The dream disturbed Nebuchadnezzar very much since he could not understand its meaning. Therefore, he instructed the wise men of his time to interpret the dream to him. And to insure the accuracy of the interpretation C they must also relate to him WHAT HE DREAMED before relating its interpretation! A colossal task indeed!

Therefore, the person interpreting the dream would first have to RECALL the dream to Nebuchadnezzar! Only the True God, Jehovah could actually do such a thing. The stage is now set for a dramatic event. First, the wise men of Babylon were consulted by the king.

But, the interpretation could not be given by all the wise men of Babylon. Remember, they had to recall the dream first, to the king. And that was a very difficult task indeed!

The wise men of the entire kingdom fail, and now, the king becomes infuriated and decides to take drastic action which endangers even Jehovah's servants living in Babylon! The Bible states:

"Because of this the king himself became angry and got very furious, and he said to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the order itself went out and the wise men were about to be killed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions, for them to be killed." -- Daniel 2:12, 13

However, Daniel interceded, prayed to Jehovah, and the answer was given to him by Jehovah. (vss. 14-24) And what was the interpretation?

After relating to Nebuchadnezzar the exact account of his dream, Daniel now makes the all important interpretation. At Daniel 2:37, 38 we read:

"You, O king, the king of kings, you to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the might, and the strength and the dignity, and into whose hand he has given, wherever the sons of mankind are dwelling, the beasts of the field and the winged creatures of the heavens, and whom he has made ruler over all of them, you yourself are the head of gold."

Now, that is quite an interpretation! Jehovah revealed all that Nebuchadnezzar was, all that he had become, the head over everything, every nation, every kingdom -- Jehovah had given all this into his hands! Jehovah made him WORLD RULER! Yes, he was the "head of gold." But wait! This poses a serious problem for the Watchtower Society and its aforementioned explanation. Yes, the problem of Israel and its Davidic line representing Jehovah's "supreme rulership on earth" up until the time the temple was destroyed. Why?

THE TIMING OF THE DREAM IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT

Let's go back to the timing of the Dream and of its interpretation as recorded by Daniel himself. At Daniel 2:1 we read:

"And in the second year of the Kingship of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, and his spirit began to feel agitated, and his very sleep was made to be something beyond him."

Did you get it? Why yes -- it was in the "second year of the kingship of Nebuchadnezzar," that this dream occurred! However, as we previously read earlier, Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed the temple in his "nineteenth year" of kingship. That's right, in his "nineteenth year" of rulership. And again, what is our source for establishing these "chronological events?" Why, you say: "God's Word, the Bible itself clearly states these facts!" And you are right, it's just that simple. But still, at this point, you may be saying: "Well, what does all that mean...I don't get the point...why is that fact so important?" -- See 2 Kings 25:8.

Well simply put, this is very important because it means that this "dream," and it's interpretation by the prophet Daniel, actually occurred some 17 years before Jerusalem was destroyed! Yes, 17 years before! Therefore, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon was really the "head of gold" by Jehovah's permission at least 17 years before Jerusalem was destroyed! Now how can the Watchtower Society teach that `Judean kings, Jehoiakim (who was on the throne at the time of Daniel's interpretation), Jehoiachin and finally Zedekiah, represented "Jehovah's Supreme rulership on earth" when Daniel the prophet has made known by means of the interpretation of the "dream" that Jehovah God indeed had already given Nebuchadnezzar "ALL the dignity, kingdom, might strength . . . WHEREVER THE SONS OF MANKIND ARE DWELLING."

Really, the expression "wherever the sons of mankind are dwelling" graphically depicts the broad scope of Nebuchadnezzar's world rulership and would by necessity include, you guessed it, none other than, Israel's "Davidic" king, wicked Jehoiakim who was on the throne at the time! Therefore, we can plainly see that this world domination of Babylon, as demonstrated by Nebuchadnezzar becoming the "head of gold," must also include the nation of Israel and its Davidic king sitting upon the throne in Jerusalem!

THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY'S "POSITION"

But you must be wondering: "What is the Society's position on this matter...this is clearly damaging to their teaching that those wicked Judean kings represented `His royal government on earth'... how does the Society explain this...?" Well, there can be no question, no doubt, that this small bit of information you have just read, has caused great distress to the Watchtower Society and their "chronologists" in the Writing Department. Why? Well, again if we consider that Jehovah had already set up Nebuchadnezzar, as the king and ruler over everything, then the purported temple destruction date, regardless of whatever date it was, would not hold any significance whatsoever to the Sovereign of the Universe! That's right -- He had already turned everything over to Babylon 17 years before the temple was destroyed and Nebuchadnezzar's subsequent removal of the wicked "Davidic" king, Zedekiah.

Therefore, Jehovah would not use the date of 607 BCE or any other date that can be established for the temple destruction as HIS DATE to begin the count of the 2,520 year formula and thus arriving at the Watchtower Society's pivotal date of 1914. So you can see, that this bit of information would be very damaging to the Watchtower Society and its doctrine of 1914. But let's get back to the question again: How then does the illustrious Watchtower Society explain this apparent discrepancy between their "chronology" and the plain statement at Daniel 2:1?

THIS WAY: In the publication Insight On The Scriptures, Volume II, page 481, paragraph 2, this direct quote can be found on the subject. It states:

"The book of Daniel states that it was in `the second year' of Nebuchadnezzar's kingship (probably counting from the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 BCE and therefore actually referring to his 20th regnal year) that Nebuchadnezzar had the dream about the golden-headed image."

Yes, that is their answer!

CONTEMPT FOR GOD'S WORD EXPRESSED

Can you believe it! The Watchtower Society has the audacity to say the actual Bible-statement is in error! Yes, isn't that what they have just said? Let's back up and look at what they have just said again. Did you read it? Yes, the Watchtower Society says that when God's Word says as recorded by the inspired eye-witness Daniel, that the Dream happened in the "2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar's kingship" or reign, that it really means the twentieth year [20th] of his reign! In other words brothers, the Watchtower Society is CONTRADICTING THE BIBLE ITSELF!!! Can you believe it! The Watchtower Society is showing outright contempt for God's Word the Bible.

Brothers, do you not see just how far the Watchtower Society will go to uphold their 1914 doctrine? Do you see it? Yes, they will do exactly what they have said for many many years the clergy of Christendom does -- yes, the Watchtower Society will actually contradict the Bible itself. This is how far will they go to uphold their 1914 dogma. Yes, they will resort to even "twisting" the words of the Holy Scriptures to make "their" doctrine seem correct! How irreverent, ungodly and disgusting they are! 2 Peter 3:16 says of such like ones in part:

" . . . In them [Paul's letters], however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are TWISTING, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION."

Brothers, does this sound like the work or activity of the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" -- that Jesus promised would give his disciples "their food at the proper time?" Is it any wonder, as pointed out in chapter 4 of THE "REPORT," the Bible speaks of them [particularly the Governing Body] as the villianous "Man of Lawlessness" -- the "son of destruction," the traitor. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.

THE WRITINGS OF JEREMIAH HELP IN DATING BIBLICAL EVENTS

Actually, the fact that Jehovah had indeed given the dominant position of world rulership and kingdom to Babylon is consistent with what Jeremiah urged during his day, before the destruction of Jerusalem. We must remember that Jeremiah was made "prophet" to not only Jerusalem and its inhabitants, but also to the "nations." (Jeremiah 1:5, 10) Therefore, his message was not limited to Israel alone. The account says that he began his prophetic mission during the "thirteenth year" of Josiah's reign and continued as such until the "eleventh year of Zedekiah" when "Jerusalem went into exile." (Jeremiah 1:2, 3) It was during the reign of Zedekiah that Jeremiah continually urged the people to "come under the yoke of Babylon" and submit to his (Nebuchadnezzar's) rule. And this was certainly by the order of Jehovah. For notice how after instructing Jeremiah to "make for yourself bands and yoke bars" and send them to the "kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, Sidon and Judah" at Jeremiah 27:2-5, the prophet is to make clear this all important point at Jeremiah 27:6-8:

"`And now I myself have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, MY SERVANT; and even the wild beasts of the field I have given him to serve him. And all the nations must serve even him and his son and his grandson until the time even of his own land comes, and many nations and great kings must exploit him as a servant. And it must occur that the nation and the kingdom that will not serve him, even Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; and the one that will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, with the sword and with the famine and with the pestilence I shall turn my attention upon that nation,' is the utterance of Jehovah, `until I shall have finished them off by his hand.'"

SEVENTY YEARS CALCULATED

Jeremiah 25:8-13 gives us the clue when it says:

"Therefore this is what Jehovah of armies has said, `for the reason that you did not obey my words, here I am sending and I will take all the families of the north,' is the utterance of Jehovah, `even sending to Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will devote them to destruction and make them an object of astonishment and something to whistle at and places devastated to time indefinite . . . And all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years.'"

"`And it must occur that when seventy years have been fulfilled I shall call to account against the king of Babylon and against that nation,' is the utterance of Jehovah, `their error, even against the land of the Chaldeans, and I will make it desolate wastes to time indefinite. And I will bring in upon that land all my words that I have spoken against it, even all that is written in this book that Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations.'"

Yes, seventy years of world domination by Babylon. That's what Jeremiah prophesied about -- Babylon's subjugation of the surrounding nations for seventy years with Jerusalem included among them! It appears from all available evidence that this period ran from 609 to 539 BCE (the fall of Babylon). And again, who was to be affected by Jehovah's great change in events concerning world domination -- namely for seventy years? If you consider verses 17-26 of the same chapter you will plainly see:

`Jerusalem, the cities of Judah and her kings, her princes, Pharaoh the king of Egypt, all the kings of the land of Uz, the kings of the Philistines, Ashkelon and Gaza, Ekron, Ashdod, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, Sidon, Dedan, Tema, Buz, Zimri, Elam, Medes, and all the kings of the North who are near and far away, one after the other, and all the other kingdoms of the earth that are on the surface of the ground.'

Yes, the whole world!

THE QUESTION OF JEWISH EXILE AND CAPTIVITY

Therefore placing the time of the destruction of the temple is a relatively simple task when we let God's Word speak for itself. There is no conflict or lack of harmony with the sacred scriptures and the historical evidence we have today. Let us consider the evidence presented in the Bible.

First, the Bible record tells us when Daniel and the first exiles were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. At Daniel 1:1, 2 we read:

"In the third year of the kingship of Jehoiakim the king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and proceeded to lay siege to it. In time Jehovah gave into his hand Jehoiakim the king of Judah and a part of the utensils of the house of the true God, so that he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and the utensils he brought to the treasure-house of his god."

Also, verses 6 and 7 of the same chapter say:

"Now there happened to be among them some of the sons of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. And to them the principal court official went assigning names. So he assigned to Daniel [the name of] Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, Shadrach; and to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego."

Now, did you notice that Daniel is very specific in stating that he along with certain ones of the "sons of Israel and of the royal offspring and of the nobles" were taken captive in the third year of Jehoiakim? Did you see it?

Again, the Watchtower Society contests this plain Biblical fact in the publication Insight On The Scriptures Volume I, page 1269, paragraph 1, where it states:

"Second Kings 24:1 shows that Nebuchadnezzar brought pressure upon the Judean king `and so Jehoiakim became his servant [or vassal] for three years. However, he [Jehoiakim] turned back and rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzer].' Evidently it is to this third year of Jehoiakim as a VASSAL king under Babylon that Daniel refers at Daniel 1:1. It could not be Jehoiakim's third year of his 11-year reign over Judah, for at that time Jehoiakim was a VASSAL, not to Babylon, but to Egypt's Pharaoh Necho."

Therefore, according to the Society, Daniel was taken not in the "third year of Jehoiakim," as he said, but he was taken captive actually in his third vassal year which really means his ELEVENTH YEAR. Now, what do you think of that explanation?

THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY CONTRADICTS THE BIBLE AGAIN

Yes, this is just another example of the Watchtower Society's "special insight" into chronological matters. Again, we see that they are turning a very simple matter into a very complex and elaborate scheme to attempt to establish their own 'phony chronology.' Yes, again, let us remember the Watchtower Society is really stating that the account written by Daniel does not mean what it plainly says! However, the Bible, God's Word, the Holy Scriptures says it was in the THIRD YEAR of Jehoiakim's reign and that is exactly what it means! This is no difficult matter. Even a child of very tender age could understand what the Bible is plainly saying! Therefore, why is the Watchtower Society attempting to "twist" this plainly stated scripture? Is it any wonder the Society's chronology does not match up with the historical evidence of our time!

It was recently reported in the well-known magazine that less than 4 percent of all Jehovah's Witnesses are college educated. The survey taken ranks Jehovah's Witnesses among the lowest in all of America in this particular category. And certainly this is not surprising since this type of faulty door-to-door, house-to-house Bible teaching and instruction could indeed cause thinking, honest-hearted reasoning people like doctors, school teachers, college professors, archaeologists, scientists, historians, lawyers, or any person with some formal education to turn away from the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses ALTOGETHER. And why?

Well, it is obvious. When these more informed individuals see the trickery, the mind-control phony antics of these pious, self-righteous leaders of the Watchtower Society on one hand, claiming to uphold God's Word before millions of people and on the other hand, actually contradicting the Bible itself, when it conflicts with some of their precious 1914 dogma -- they have to be repelled! The arrogance of these religious leaders is so obvious, that rather than admit that they are wrong, they would rather turn and contradict the Bible, the very source they claim to hold so dear. What disgusting hypocrites. And even those who are "ignorant" of these published viewpoints of the Watchtower Society, yes those uninformed "Jehovah's Witnesses" that go from door-to-door and thus continue to promulgate these false "Watchtower facts" in printed form throughout the land -- they too unwittingly, can cause reasonable, thinking persons (when a point like this is brought to their attention) to doubt the worthiness of even having a `religious preference,' as well as the integrity and honesty of individuals who would ascribe to such "fallacious words." Yes, we remember opening this discussion with the scripture at Phillippians 1:9,10 which says in gist: `do not continue stumbling others up to the day of Christ.' No, this brand of "chronology" cannot be pleasing to Jehovah in any form or fashion. It is as Jeremiah appropriately said:

"The wise ones have become ashamed. They have become terrified and will be caught. Look! They have rejected the very word of Jehovah, and what wisdom do they have?" -- Jeremiah 8:9

GOD'S WORD OR THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY'S WORD -- WHICH DO YOU ACCEPT?

Therefore, all we need to do is accept what the Bible is saying at face-value. There is nothing complicated about that. So then, if we consider that Zedekiah ruled for eleven years, Jehoiachin ruled for three months and Jehoiakim ruled for eleven years, then we know that Daniel must have been taken captive in the last year of Nebuchadnezzar's being the Crown Prince. Historical records show that in the spring of 605/604 BCE the Crown Prince Nebuchadnezzar (his father Nabopolassar was king) attacked Egypt at Carchemish. After heavy losses on both sides, Egypt was decisively defeated and pursued through Syria by the Babylonian Army. Nabopolassar dies during this time and Nebuchadnezzar hastens to Babylon to claim the throne. -- See Babylon, by Joan Oates, page 128.

This historical record matches the Bible account as recorded by Jeremiah. Jeremiah 46:2 also shows this attack at Carchemish as taking place during the fourth year of Jehoiakim. However, the events of Daniel 1:1 were said to have occurred in the third year of Jehoiakim. And so, how do we resolve the seeming discrepancy between Daniel's account and Jeremiah's account? Simple.

These two events no doubt happened within months of each other, DURING THE SAME YEAR. Yes, during the same year. But you may be saying: "How could it be the same year when one account says it was the 4th year of Jehoiakim and the other account says it was the 3rd year of Jehoiakim?" Well, it is actually very simple to harmonize these two accounts. Let's pay close attention to the following:

Daniel, since writing his account in Babylon could very easily have used the Babylonian accession year system because this is the way the Babylonians counted their years. And Jeremiah could have used the Jewish non-ascension year system.

Thus, the capture of Daniel would have taken place approximately 20 years before Jerusalem was destroyed! And if Jerusalem had really been destroyed and actually laid desolate for 70 years before the Jews were released, and taking into account that Daniel must have been of some age when he interpreted the dream for Nebuchadnezzar in his second year -- that would place Daniel's age when appointed over 120 satraps in excess of 100 years old! This takes a great stretch of the imagination to believe if one is realistic about it. -- Daniel 6:1-3; Psalms 90:10

An important point to keep in mind is that starting from the time period that Daniel was taken captive and Solomon's glorious temple ws descrated until the time of the new temple foundation was laid (537 BCE) would be approximately a duration of 70 years -- from 607 BCE to 537 BCE. And with the temple destruction coming some 20 years after that happening (50 years before the Jews were released), it could be said that the Jewish people starting with Daniel's capture would see 70 years of "devastations" (from 607 BCE to 537 BCE). -- Daniel 9:2

But what about the Watchtower Society's quote of Josephus' writings which state that Jerusalem lay waste for 70 years before Cyrus' release of the Jewish nation?

It is interesting to note this observation made by Dr. Hudson on Josephus' writings and the timing of the temple destruction (Antiquities of the Jews, published by Kriegel publications) which says:

"But then it is true that in one of Josephus' last books of all, I mean his first book against Apion, Sect. 21, he gives us, from the Tyrian Annuals, a series of kings and judges down from Ithobaal and Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus, amounting to 54 years and 3 months; wherein he says the temple lay waste, not 70 years, as he had formerly so often said, but only 50 years, which is very near the truth, by the Astronomical Canon itself, and may probably be his own correction in his old age."

607 BCE AS TEMPLE DESTRUCTION DATE

The Jewish nation was already in captivity during Jeremiah's time BEFORE Zedekiah was taken from the throne. This can be verified by considering a letter Jeremiah wrote as recorded at Jeremiah 29:1-3 where the letter was addressed to "priests, prophets, and all the people in exile." Jeremiah 29:4,7 also records the letter as stating:

"This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said to all the exiled people, whom I have caused to go into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon . . . Also, seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to go into EXILE, and pray in its behalf to Jehovah, for in its peace there will prove to be peace for you yourselves."

And verse 10 makes this point:

"For this is what Jehovah has said, `In accord with the fulfilling for seventy years [for] Babylon I shall turn my attention to you people [already down there in exile], and I will establish toward you my good word in bringing you back to this place."

Therefore those people, already in exile would have to wait until the fulfillment of 70 years ran to it's completion before they would be released to return to their homeland! From checking the context we can see that Zedekiah was still on the throne and the temple had not been destroyed at this time. (Please consider verse 21) Therefore this would mean that the seventy year period spoken of by the mouth of Jeremiah had actually already started before the temple was destroyed! No, there could not have been a 70 year period that would run from the time of the TEMPLE DESTRUCTION up until the Jews were released from Babylon captivity in 537/536 BCE as the Watchtower Society has purported!

The temple must have been destroyed 20 years AFTER Daniel and others were taken captive [in the 3rd year of King Jehoiakim], and eleven years AFTER Ezekiel and many others of the nation were taken captive. (See Ezekiel 40:1) This would be exactly when historians place the destruction of the temple, around 50 years before the Jews were released, in 587/586 BCE. Yes, the Bible and secular history are both in agreement with this provable fact! The time periods we have discussed are as follows:

BUT WHAT ABOUT DANIEL 9:2 AND 2 CHRONICLES 36:21?

Therefore, it becomes quite apparent, from reading the accounts of Daniel 9:2 and 2 Chronicles 36:21, that both accounts clearly mention the fulfillment of a 70-year period running upon the Jews, or more accurately upon "Jerusalem" itself. Therefore, since both accounts cite as their source the "books"/the `writings of Jeremiah,' -- these writers under inspiration (Ezra who wrote 2nd Chronicles and Daniel), must have spiritually "discerned" from the writings of Jeremiah and the 70 year Babylonish domination, that the Jewish nation and land thereof would be "devastated" and/or "desolated" for a specific 70 year period, though the two 70 year periods need not coincide or run parallel in time fulfillment with the 70 years of Babylon's World Domination.

Remember, evidently when Daniel "discerned" this, it was not known to the Jewish nation just how long they would reside in captivity, and would be finally released back to their homeland to restore their worship system. Jeremiah's account (as mention at 29:10) merely states that `after Babylon has had a full 70 years...I will turn my attention to you people [Jewish nation.]' But the real question to the Jewish people was: how much longer after the collapse of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (in 539 BCE) would the Jewish people have to stay in captivity. That was the question.

Therefore, Daniel "discerned" the Jewish nation would see "desolations" and "devastations" upon "Jerusalem," for 70 years, starting with his captivity and first desecration of the temple in Jerusalem, in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim. Indeed, Daniel "discerned" approximately when the Jews would be released and free to go back to their homeland to start their worship again to Jehovah God. Again, that period of "devastations" and "desolations" upon Jerusalem, would run from 607 BCE thru 537 BCE. And this was no doubt "good news" to the Jewish people. No, it was not known until Daniel revealed it. Therefore, we see that there was a particular 70-year period that had run its course by the time of the Jewish nation's release from captivity to Babylon (Spring 538 BCE) with the remainder of the time needed to re-establish their worship system by the laying of the foundation of the Temple in 537 BCE, in the ninth month and 24th day of that month. Thus, the 70-year period would begin from the first desecration of the temple, when Daniel was taken captive, in 607 and continue up till 537, when the temple foundation was laid. -- Daniel 1:1, 2, 6; Ezra 3:1, 6, 8, 10; Haggai 2:18

ANOTHER 70 YEAR PERIOD

At Zechariah 7:5, we read of still a third 70-year period for the Jewish nation. It reads:

". . . Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, `When you fasted and there was wailing in the fifth [month] and in the seventh [month], and this for seventy years, did you really fast to me, even me?'"

Notice the comment made by the Watchtower Society on these verses in the book Aid to Bible Understanding, Page 339 par. 7 which says:

". . . Endeavoring to uphold this seventy-year temple destruction theory (supposedly running from 586 to 516 BCE), some scholars cite Zechariah 7:5-7. Jehovah there refers to the fasting done by the Jews in certain months of each year for seventy years. But nothing is said in this text as to this seventy-year period terminating with the completion of the rebuilt temple in 516/515 BCE. Rather it is quite evident that Jehovah is referring to the past practice of the Jews, when they fasted at those specific times during the seventy years prior to their return to Jerusalem and Judah in 537 BCE. This is evident also from the fact that these words were spoken in the "fourth year of Darius the king," whereas the temple was not completed until Darius' "sixth year." -- Ezra 6:15, Zechariah 7:1."

Yes, these words were spoken 2 years before the temple was completed. Nevertheless, is Zechariah really referring to a "past practice" of fasting? In other words, if we accept this viewpoint from the Society, this would mean that the 70 year period of "fasting" spoken of in Zechariah 7:5-7 occurred between 607 and 537 and therefore ENDED there!

If that is the case, then why does Zechariah record this message from Jehovah in the 8th chapter and verse 19. It states:

"This is what Jehovah of armies has said, "The fast of the fourth [month], and the fast of the fifth [month], and the fast of the seventh [month], and the fast of the tenth [month] will become for the house of Judah an exultation and a rejoicing and good festal seasons. So love truth and peace."

Clearly, the Jewish nation was still fasting, yes even two years before the temple was completed! However, Jehovah was saying that their fasting would be changed into fasting of "exultation" and fasting of "rejoicing and good festal seasons" -- Why? Because the temple would be completed shortly and true worship restored to its rightful place! Now that's something to rejoice about.

The main problem here for the Watchtower Society is that they ACCEPT the date for the temple being rebuilt as being 516/515 during Zechariah's day. Yes, this is a problem because no mention is made of Zechariah 1:12 which pointedly says:

"O Jehovah of armies, how long will you yourself not show mercy to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, whom you have denounced these seventy years?"

What "seventy years" is the angel talking about here? Yes, if Jerusalem had been fully "denounced" for "70 years," namely between 607 BCE and 537 BCE as the Society says, then why was there a 20 year delay in the rebuilding of the temple? And further, why were the Jews still "fasting" in the fifth, seventh and tenth month? The Jewish nation had been freed by Cyrus for close to twenty years! What was the problem? If the seventy years had been fully terminated as the Watchtower Society claims in 537 BCE, then why was there this twenty year delay?

And, why is Jehovah's angel stating here, some eighteen years after the fact, that Jerusalem `has been denounced these SEVENTY YEARS?' Surely, the angel is not confused concerning the time-frame of Jehovah's denunciation upon his own people, is he? Ridiculous, you say!

Therefore, this 70 year period must have extended beyond 537/536 BCE. Yes, this period continued even down to Zechariah's day, with the rebuilding of the temple in 516/517! Zechariah 1:12 certainly has to be taken into consideration. It cannot be so easily dismissed by any serious student of the Bible because it clearly refutes the presentation of the Watchtower Society on this subject.

Obviously, the Society does not want `their people' to begin to see that there are other "70-year periods" mentioned in the Bible since this may raise serious questions about their own brand of "chronology." It is also interesting to note that in the Bible dictionary that replaces the publication Aid to Bible Understanding where this quote is taken, (called Insight on the Scriptures), we do not find this discussion of Zechariah 7:5 at all. Why? You be the judge of that.

We do find instead the following statement in the "Insight" publication (Vol. I. Page 463) which says:

"The Bible prophecy (Jer. 25:8-11) does not allow for the application of the 70 year period to ANY TIME OTHER than that between the desolation of Judah, accompanying Jerusalem's destruction, and the return of the Jewish exiles to their homeland as a result of Cyrus' decree."

In other words, there can only be ONE "70-year desolation period" spoken of in the Bible for the Jewish nation. How very narrow-minded!

Again, if we use the historical and archaeological data available we find that 586 BCE is listed as the actual date for the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, from 586 BCE to the building of the temple in 516 BCE we have another 70 year period that the temple actually lay in ruins! We find that the Bible DOES allow for more than one 70 year period of "desolations" or "devastations" that in some way touched the lives of the Jewish nation!

ONE FINAL THOUGHT: In the Watchtower Society's zealous effort to explain away obvious and plain facts and establish `their own' chronology, the New World Bible Translation Committee took another suspicious liberty in the rendering of Jeremiah 24:5-10. The 24th chapter explains how Jehovah God views the exiles in comparison to those yet remaining in Jerusalem. There is a convenient mistranslation particularly in verse 5 which says:

" . . . `Like these good figs, so I shall regard the exiles of Judah, whom I WILL SEND away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans, in a good way.'"

This gives the impression that the "good figs" have not as of yet been sent off to Babylon. It is something that will occur in the future.

However, notice how the New International Version of the Bible (as well as numerous other translations) render the verb tense of the word "send" in this verse:

" . . . `Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I SENT away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.'"

Consider also the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible's rendering of this verse:

"Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I HAVE SENT out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans."

In fact, we have yet to find a single Bible that renders the verb in the future tense as does the New World Translation. Therefore, these captives are not the exiles taken to Babylon at the destruction of Jerusalem (as the New World Translation would lead one to believe), but are the exiles ALREADY IN BABYLON when Jerusalem is destroyed!

End of Part 1

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 Post subject: Jerusalem's Temple Destruction Date of 607 BCE Re-Examined
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JERUSALEM'S TEMPLE DESTRUCTION DATE OF 607 BCE RE-EXAMINED

Part 2.


The following information is an excerpt taken from the publication called: The "Report" Volume I pages 221-252.

BIBLE CHRONOLOGY'S HARMONY WITH HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY

Historians hold that Nebuchadnezzar ruled the Babylonian empire from 605/604 thru 562/561 BCE (A one year discrepancy exists among historians due to some counting the years as regnal and others as accession. For that reason, dates given in this text will be give as accession/regnal with reference to historical findings). Also historians list the destruction of Jerusalem as having occurred in 587/586 BCE. This secular chronology is based on:

a) Ptolemy's Canon - Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer who lived in the 2nd century CE;
b) Nabonidus Harran Stele which is a pillar with an inscription discovered in 1956;
c) VAT 4956 - a cuneiform tablet that provides astronomical information that dates to 568 BCE; and
d) thousands of contemporary Neo-Babylonian cuneiform tablets that record simple business transactions, stating the year of the Babylonian King when the transaction occurred. -- See Let Your Kingdom Come, pp. 186 and 187.

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in its publications disagree with the above stated chronological information and has listed the dates of Nebuchadnezzar's reign as 624-582 BCE and the destruction of Jerusalem as taking place in 607 BCE. While rejecting the historical dates surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, the Watch Tower Society does, however, accept the 539 BCE historical date for the fall of Babylon. Using this secular date of 539 BCE notice how the Society arrived at the date 607:

"The prophet Jeremiah predicted that the Babylonians would destroy Jerusalem and make the city and land a desolation. (Jeremiah 25:8,9) He added: `And all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years'. (Jeremiah 25:11) The 70 years expired when Cyrus the Great, in his first year released the Jews and they returned to their homeland. (2 Chronicles 36:17-23) We believe that the most direct reading of Jeremiah 25:11 and other texts is that the 70 years would date from when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and left the land of Judah desolate." -- Let Your Kingdom Come, pg. 187 & 6.

"Historians accept that Cyrus conquered Babylon in October 539 B.C.E. and that Cyrus' first regnal year began in the spring of 538 B.C.E. If Cyrus' decree came late in his first regnal year, the Jews could easily be back in their homeland by the seventh month (Tishri) as Ezra 3:1 says; this would be October 537 B.C.E." -- Let Your Kingdom Come, pg. 188 par. 4.

After arriving at the date believed to be the time for the return of the Jews to their homeland and using the historically given date of 539 BCE the following conclusion is reached:

"Hence, counting back 70 years from when the Jews returned to their homeland in 537 B.C.E., we arrive at 607 B.C.E. for the date when Nebuchadnezzar, in his 18th regnal year, destroyed Jerusalem, removed Zedekiah from the throne and brought to an end the Judean line of kings on a throne in earthly Jerusalem." -- Let Your Kingdom Come, pg. 189, par. 4.

The reason given for rejecting the historical date of 586 BCE is as follows:

"Yes, the Bible's internal harmony and the care exercised by its writers, even in matters of chronology, recommends it so strongly to the Christian that he places its authority above that of the ever-changing opinions of secular historians." -- Let Your Kingdom Come, pg. 187, par. 4.

This rule would hold true if the scriptural principle stated in 1 Chronicles 28:8 had been applied namely: ". . . take care and search for ALL the commandments of Jehovah your God." Yes, did the Watchtower society `search out all the commandments of God' before resorting to this conclusion??? Please consider the following information:

Daniel 1:1 states:

"In the THIRD year of the KINGSHIP of Jehoiakim the king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and proceeded to lay siege to it."

In an attempt to place the timing of the above mentioned event, the Society makes this comment in Insight on the Scriptures:

"Second Kings 24:1 shows that Nebuchadnezzar brought pressure upon the Judean king `and so Jehoiakim became his servant [or vassal] for three years. However, he [Jehoiakim] turned back and rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzar].' Evidently it is to this third year of Jehoiakim as a vassal king under Babylon that Daniel refers at Daniel 1:1. It COULD NOT BE JEHOIAKIM'S THIRD year of his 11-year reign over Judah, for at that time Jehoiakim was a vassal not to Babylon, but to Egypt's Pharaoh Necho." -- Insight on the Scriptures pg. 1269, Vol. I.

In other words "the THIRD year of the kingship of Jehoiakim" as recorded at Daniel 1:1 was NOT REALLY his third year as King. Was Daniel confused when he wrote this? Let's look further and see.

As for the one scripture used as a basis for the assumption that Daniel meant Jehoiakim's 3rd year of being vassal to Babylon, notice what the scripture actually says:

2 Kings 24:1

"In his days Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came up, and so Jehoiakim became his servant for three years. However, he turned back and rebelled against him."

This event could not have happened as the Society states. No, it COULD NOT have been the last three years (his eighth thru eleventh year) of his reign! Why??? Because AFTER he rebelled, Jehovah punished him by sending upon his kingdom "marauder bands" from various nations! Notice 2 Kings 24:2:

"And Jehovah began to send against him [Jehoiakim] marauder band of Chaldeans and marauder bands of Syrians and marauder bands of Moabites and marauder bands of the sons of Ammon, and he kept sending them against Judah to destroy it, according to Jehovah's word that he had spoken by means of his servants the prophets."

Therefore, if what the Watch Tower Society says were so, namely that Jehoiakim served as vassal to Babylon from his 8th thru his 11th years, the last three years of his reign, there simply would not have been ANY TIME LEFT for anything to happen to his kingdom while he was on the throne!!! We remember, he only reigned for 11 years total! So, there would have been no time left for these "marauder bands" to come up and attack his kingdom as 2 Kings 24:2 vividly points out!

EXAMINING THE HISTORICAL RECORD

Historical records show that in the spring of 605/604 BCE the Crown Prince Nebuchadnezzar (his father Nabopolassar was King) attacked Egypt at Carchemish. After heavy losses on both sides Egypt was decisively defeated and pursued through Syria by the Babylonian Army. Nabopolassar dies during this time and Nebuchadnezzar hastens to Babylon to claim the throne. (Babylon, John Oates, page 128) Jeremiah 46:2 shows this attack at Carchemish as taking place during the 4th year of Jehoiakim.

We should remember that the events surrounding the capture of Daniel and his companions occurred in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim. (Daniel 1:1) If that is the case, then this would place his capture around 607 BCE. However, Daniel may have used the Accession year system in counting since this is the way the Babylonians counted their years while Jeremiah at 2 Kings used the Jewish non-accession year system. This would place his capture around 607.

Under the subject of "Nebuchadnezzar," Smith's Bible Dictionary says: "Nebuchadnezzar, after having succeeded in recovering Carchemish, by defeating Necho, King of Egypt and conquering Phoenicia, Palestine and Jerusalem, marched into Egypt, when he was informed of the death of his father. He hurried back, accompanied by his light troops, to secure his succession to the throne, which he ascended in B.C. 604; the main army and captives (among whom were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah) following him by a longer route." Now, notice the comments on this same event first from the book Aid to Bible Understanding followed by the most recent publication Insight on the Scriptures.

"During the twenty-first year of Nabopolassar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar marched with the Babylonian army to Carchemish, there to fight against the Egyptians. He led his forces to victory and then swept over `Hatti-country' (considered to be Syria and Palestine). This took place in the fourth year of Judean King Jehoiakim (625 B.C.E.) -- Jer. 46:2" (Aid to Bible Understanding, pg. 1212)

During the twenty-first year of Nabopolassar's reign Nebuchadnezzar marched with the Babylonian army to Carchemish, there to fight against the Egyptians. He led his forces to victory. This took place in the fourth year of Judean King Jehoiakim (625 B.C.E.) -- Jeremiah 46:2." -- Insight on the Scriptures, pg. 480, Vol. II.

It is interesting to note in the "Insight" book, no mention is made of Nebuchadnezzar's entry into Hatti-country which is the area of Palestine. The publishers saw fit to "eliminate" this important detail which was originally included in the "Aid" book. Now what do you think of that?

Also note this comment from Insight on the Scriptures, page 1269, Vol I:

"It could not be Jehoiakim's third year of his 11-year rule over Judah, for at that time Jehoiakim was a vassal not to Babylon, but Egypt's Pharaoh Necho. It was not until Jehoiakim's fourth year of rule over Judah that Nebuchadnezzar demolished Egyptian domination over Syria-Palestine by his victory at Carchemish (625 B.C.E. [apparently after Nisan]). (Jeremiah 46:2) Since Jehoiakim's revolt against Babylon led to his downfall after about 11 years on the throne, the beginning of his three-year vassalage to Babylon must have begun toward the end of his eighth year of rule, or early in 620 B.C.E."

LET'S REVIEW

Before going further, let's stop to pose some questions that would logically follow on the basis of the Watchtower Society's explanations:

1. Why would Nebuchadnezzar, having defeated Egypt in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, wait until the eighth year (four years later) to make Jehoiakim vassal king?

2. Why could not the obvious be true -- yes, after the battle of Carchemish Jerusalem became vassal to Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim?

3. If Jehoiakim rebelled in the third year of his being vassal king to Babylon (According to the INSIGHT ON THE SCRIPTURES, his eleventh year) when could marauder bands come against him as this would have been his last year as king? -- 2 Kings 24:2.

4. Why is it that according to 2 Kings 24:10-12 when Nebuchadnezzar sent his servants to Jerusalem to lay siege to it, JEHOICHIN is king and not Jehoiakim? The Society makes this comment in the INSIGHT ON THE SCRIPTURES, page 480, volume two: "Later, the rebellion of Judean King Jehoiakim against Nebuchadnezzar evidently resulted in a siege being laid against Jerusalem by the Babylonians. It appears that during this siege Jehoiakim died and his son Jehoiachin ascended the throne of Judah. But a mere three months and ten days thereafter the reign of the new king ended when Jehoiachin surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar (in the month of Adar [February-March] during Nebuchadnezzar's seventh regnal year [ending in Nisan 617 BCE] according to the Babylonian Chronicles)."

Really, there is nothing to show that Nebuchadnezzar had anything to do with the death of Jehoiakim. Jeremiah 22:18, 19 shows only the manner of his death. Nor is there any scriptural support that Nebuchadnezzar put Jehoiachin on the throne. It was following this siege as confirmed by the above quote, that Jehoiachin and ALL Jerusalem, except the common people, went into exile. Additionally, 2 Kings 24:13 shows that not SOME, but ALL the treasures of the house of Jehovah and those of the King's house, Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon.

Again the Insight On The Scriptures publication, page 576, volume one says:

"With Jehoiakim's inglorious death, Jehoichin, his son ruled for a few months before surrendering. Early in 617 BCE Jehoiachin and other "foremost men," with Daniel included among them (2 Kings 24:15) were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar."

But, if this is the time that Daniel calls the "third year of Jehoiakim," then the wrong person was sitting on the throne, Jehoiachin not Jehoiakim. Why?

5. Finally, when dating the time of his captivity, why didn't Daniel mark this time using the year of the kingship of his captor since he did so throughout his book as a rule? (i.e. Dan. 2:1: 7:1; 8:1; 9:1 & 10:1). Could it be that since Nebuchadnezzar was not crowned king until after the capture of Daniel in the fourth year of Jehoiakim as Jeremiah 25:1 tells us: ". . . in the FOURTH year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah the king of Judah, that is, the FIRST year of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon" that Daniel had to date his captivity using the regnal year of the king of Judah, Jehoiakim?

Certainly these are questions worthy of consideration wouldn't you agree?

The Watch Tower Society says in effect that "the THIRD year of the KINGSHIP of Jehoiakim" as recorded at Daniel 1:1 was not really his third year but his LAST year as king! Yet all of above listed questions cannot be harmonized with the sacred scriptures. So what happened to the earlier stated rule namely:

"the Bible's internal harmony and the care exercised by its writers, even in matters of chronology, recommends it so strongly to the Christian that he places its authority above that of the ever-changing opinions of secular historians."

Must not this principle be applied not only to historians, but also to the Watch Tower Society themselves! The prevailing problem we notice is not with the "ever-changing opinions of secular historians" C No, but actually with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and their obvious contempt for Jehovah God's Word, the Bible!

We can find no historical support nor Bible support for `their view' namely that Daniel did not mean EXACTLY what was written.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

1. Why must so many scriptures require a "special" interpretation to gain a proper understanding of them?

2. Why should the Watch Tower Society accept 539 BCE on the basis of historical and archaeological evidence and then totally reject 586 BCE [Jerusalem's temple destruction] which has the same source as its authority?

3. And finally, why is 607 BCE such an important date in the chronology of the Watch Tower Society? Why?

The answer is simple: 607 BCE is the beginning point [using the 2,520 formula] of the pivotal and main teaching of the Watch Tower Society namely, 1914 being the year of Christ's Heavenly Enthronement!!! (See chapter 2, Christ Comes into Kingdom Power -- When?, The "Report" Volume I.)

NOAH, DANIEL AND JOB

Let's consider some additional evidence from the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel and Daniel were both in exile down in Babylon before the destruction of Jerusalem. Daniel was taken down approximately 20 years before the destruction of the temple and Ezekiel around eleven years before its destruction. (Daniel 1:1; Ezekiel 40:1) Jehovah tells his prophet at Ezekiel 14:14, 16 and 20 that Jerusalem's condition was so chronic that if "Noah, Daniel and Job" were in it, they could only deliver themselves but not anyone else.

The Watch Tower Society asserts that Daniel was captured at the same time Ezekiel was -- which would be eleven years before the temple was destroyed. But amazingly, they also point out that Daniel actually interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of the immense Golden-headed image two years AFTER the destruction of the temple! Notice this quote from the publication Aid To Bible Understanding, page 415, par. 10, which says:

"In Nebuchadnezzar's second year (probably dating from Jerusalem's overthrow in 607 BCE) he has a dream that "agitates his spirit." All the wise men being unable to reveal it, Daniel comes before the king and not only tells him the dream, by divine revelation, but interprets it, thereby saving himself and the other wise men from execution. This prompts Nebuchadnezzar to make Daniel "ruler over all the jurisdictional district of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men. (Daniel 2:48)"

Now, aside from their comment being a DIRECT CONTRADICTION of the sacred Scriptures, namely the Bible expressly saying it was the second year of his kingship and not the second year after Jerusalem's temple was destroyed, this raises still another interesting question.

Ezekiel 8:1 clearly fixes the time frame of this statement by saying:

"And it came about in the sixth year, in the sixth [month], on the fifth day of the month, that I was sitting in my house and the older men of Judah were sitting before me, when the hand of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah fell upon me there."

Yes, it was the "sixth year" of his exile when Jehovah stated that "Daniel, Noah and Job" could not save this wicked city. This would be 5-6 years before the temple was to be destroyed!

Therefore, if Daniel had interpreted the dream two years AFTER the temple was destroyed and thus became famous in Babylon, then what had he done by the "sixth year" of Jewish exile (five years before the temple was destroyed) to distinguish himself with such men as Noah and Job??? It is clear that even by the "sixth year of exile," Daniel was quite famous among all in Babylon -- Jewish exiles and Babylonians. If we accept what the Watchtower Society is saying on this matter, the action that made Daniel "someone great" was at least seven years in the future. So now we would have to resolve the question of what Daniel had done at this point of Ezekiel's writing chapter 14, verses 14, 16, 20 that would have made him without question worthy of mention with these other men of outstanding faith? Also consider this:

At Ezekiel 28:3, the prophet Ezekiel writes for our benefit:

"Look! you are wiser than Daniel. There are no secrets that have proved a match for you."

Now, after reading this simple verse, we must ask the following question:

Why does Ezekiel speak of Daniel as being so "wise," yes, so "wise" as to be known as one who could unlock "secrets."

Clearly, Ezekiel is all but coming out and saying that Daniel has preceded him and has gained a reputation as the `wisest' man down in Babylon, able to unlock "secrets." Surely Daniel has already intrepreted the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar before the destruction of the temple because Ezekiel uttered these words "in the eleventh year [of exile], on the first [day] of the month." (See Ezekiel 26:1) Therefore, Daniel did not intrepret the "tree" dream two years after the destruction of the temple, as the Watch Tower Society would have us believe, but he must have intrepreted it, as the Bible says, in the 2nd year of kingship of Nebuchadnezzar, several years before Ezekiel is taken captive. This would certainly allow time for Daniel to have gained a reputation as a very "wise" man, able to know "secrets."

Actually, just as the Society admits, Daniel did become famous among the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar by his interpretation of the Dream C The Dream that baffled all the wise men of Babylon. And what did Nebuchadnezzar have to say about it? Daniel 2:47, 48 states:

"The King was answering Daniel and saying: `Truly the God of you men is a God of gods and a Lord of Kings and a revealer of secrets, because you were able to reveal this secret. Consequently the king made Daniel someone great and many big gifts he gave to him, and he made him the ruler over all the jurisdictional districts of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon."

But again, the real question is:

When did he become famous?

If we simply accept what the Bible is saying, we must accept Daniel 2:1 at face-value! yes, Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's Dream in his "second year of KINGSHIP" and not the second year after Jerusalem's temple was destroyed! It's just that simple! And we can be thankful that the book of Ezekiel provides the necessary clues to prove that Daniel was already famous BEFORE the temple was destroyed. Daniel's reputation had to have been already established before the destruction of Jerusalem for Ezekiel to have written about him as he did. (Ezekiel 8:1; 14:14, 16, 20) And the Watch Tower Society's present explanation of Daniel 2:1 simply would not allow for that!

THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER

So we see that if we use the historical and archaeological data available, we find that 587/586 BCE is listed as the actual date for the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Since Jeremiah 52:12, 13 tells us it was in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign that the temple and city was destroyed, and if we count from his accession as king 605/604 to his 19th year we will have 587/586 BCE as the temple's destruction date.

Therefore we see that there is no conflict between the Bible's Internal Harmony and secular history's date of Jerusalem's destruction (of approximately 587/586 BCE) as the Watch Tower Society insists.

The following facts cannot be disputed:

1) Daniel and "SOME of the sons of Israel and of the royal offspring and of the nobles" (Daniel 1:3) were taken to Babylon in the third year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. This was in fulfillment of Isaiah 39:7 which says:

"And some of your own sons that will come forth from you, to whom you will become father, will themselves be taken and actually become court officials in the palace of the king of Babylon."

2) Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt and took the throne after the death of his father in the 4th year of the reign of Jehoiakim. (If using the non-accession method of counting, in the third year)

3) Daniel interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in the 2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign as king and the third year of his own captivity.

607 BCE -- DATE OF JERUSALEM'S DESTRUCTION???

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society takes exception to the information stated above, but in light of the information presented, the only way that the date 607 BCE could be correct is:

a) Daniel under inspiration had very little knowledge of the timing of the events that he wrote about.

b) Daniel did not know who was ruling at the time of his being taken captive.

c) All historical data on record concerning the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and the destruction of Jerusalem has been altered for some unknown reason by historians of numerous nations to arrive at the same date for Jerusalem's destruction.

d) And finally, the same historical sources which supposedly distorted the above chronology were completely accurate in stating that Babylon fell in 539 BCE. So much so that 539 BCE could be used by the Society as a pivotal date to arrive at 607 BCE!

The Watch Tower Society certainly has stubbornly and tenaciously held on to the date of 1914 CE. They have been even willing to change verses in the Bible to foster the doctrine of 1914! (See article Dating Bible Events Biblically Speaking) As Proverbs 30:5, 6 says:

"Every saying of God is refined. He is a shield to those taking refuge in him. ADD NOTHING to his words, that he may not REPROVE YOU, and that you may not have to be PROVED A LIAR."

After reading this article along with the article Dating Events Biblically Speaking, we would have to say that the Watch Tower Society has added to God's Word and have thus been "proved" a liar by the Scriptures themselves! We need only let the Bible speak for itself.

They are just as Jesus described the Pharisees at Matthew 23:27, 28 which says:

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men's bones and of every sort of uncleanness. In that way you also, outwardly indeed, appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

Yes, indeed they are the man of Lawlessness! (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)

However, we know that Jehovah will exact punishment for all such wicked acts of violence to His Law. (Zephaniah 3:4) His chief executioner, Jesus Christ put it this way at Revelation 22:18,19 which says:

"I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll; if ANYONE makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; and if ANYONE takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll."

End of Excerpt

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"He that is from God listens to the sayings of God..." -- John 8:47


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Link 1: YORWW Bible Academy Guidelines     Link 2: YORWW Academy -- Our Objective     Link 3: The "Report" Book Message For All Jehovah's Witnesses     Link 4: Babylon The Great -- What Is It?     Link 5: Community Guilt Upon All Jehovah's Witnesses!!!     Link 6: Were You Aware Of This???     Link 7: The "King Of The North" & "Small Horn" Scripturally Identified!!!     Link 8: Mystery "Babylon The Great" Openly & Shamelessly Apostatizes Before God & Man Today!!! (A Slide Show .. A Must See Item. )     Link 9: Oholah & Oholibah -- Wicked Prostitute Sisters Before God!     Link 10: YORWW Congregation "Key of Knowledge" 

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