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The Seventy years of Jeremiah 25:11

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The Seventy years of Jeremiah 25:11

"And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years. (2Chronicles 36:19-21)"

The prediction by Jeremiah that the Jews were to serve the king of Babylon seventy years came to him in the "fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon (Jer 25:1)." When this seventy years was to start is not given, but according to the Canon of Ptolemy, a work that the history of Babylon and Persia is based on, the time between the first year of Nebuchadnezzar 604 B.C.E. and the last year of Nabonidus the king defeated by Cyrus in 538 B.C.E. is only 67 years. If the seventy years that the Jews were to serve ended at the fall of Babylon, then it must have started three years before Nebuchadnezzar came to the throne. In the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar the city of Jerusalem and the temple were burned by fire and lay desolate until the first year of Cyrus when he gave a decree to the Jews to rebuild the temple. Flavius Josephus reports; "These accounts agree with the true histories in our books; for in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of his reign, laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years; but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus its foundations were laid,(Against Apion.1.21)." If Josephus is right and the temple lay desolate for only fifty years and not seventy, then it must have been destroyed in the twentieth or twenty-first year of the seventy year period spoken of by Jeremiah. Twenty years before the final destruction of Jerusalem, in 3484ACE. Josiah was killed by Neco when he; "Pharaoh- nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates." The king of Assyria at this time was no other than Nebuchadnezzar, placed on the Assyrian throne by his father Nabopolassar king of Babylon to subdue Assyria and maintain order there. Nebuchadnezzar was very ambitious towards the throne of the whole of Babylon and for the next twenty years after the defete of Neco he continued to subdue the western provinces including Judah right down to the borders of Egypt.

The reign of the Babylonian kings and the exile of the Jews is so much an integral part of the history of Judah that this account would remain lacking if the dates for their times were not given in the Adamic Creation Era format. The Cannon of Kings created by Ptolemy records the names and length of reign of each king from the first year of Nabonassar 747 B.C.E. down to the last year of Darius-III king of Persia 332 B.C.E. The period of the exile of the Jews in Babylon is covered by the following kings:-

Nebuchadnezzar 43 years 604-562 B.C.E.

Amel-Marduk 2 years 561-560 B.C.E.

Nergal-shar-user 4 years 559-556 B.C.E.

Nabonidus 17 years 555-539 B.C.E.

As can be ascertained from the list, the reigns of each king has been calculated in the postdating format, eliminating the need to take account of overlapping regnal years when succession takes place.

Nebuchadnezzar 43 years 3487 to 3530 ACE.

For one of the earliest connections between Jehoiakim and Nebuchadnezzar's reign we must look at Jeremiah 25:1 "The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;" This is in complete agreement with the work of Josephus Antiquities of the Jews book 10.6.1. But Josephus appends that Nebuchadnezzar defeated Neco and all Syria but left Judea alone. "But when Nebuchadnezzar had already reigned four years, which was the eighth of Jehoiakim's government over the Hebrews, the king of Babylon made an expedition with mighty forces against the Jews, and required tribute of Jehoiakim." If the forth year of Jehoiakim was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, then his eighth year would be Nebuchadnezzar's fifth, agreeing with the statement of Josephus that he had already reigned for four years and would therefore be in his fifth year. "In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years (2Ki 24:1)." If Jehoiakim became Nebuchadnezzar's servant in the eighth year of his reign and he served him three years, then the year he rebelled was his tenth and the seventh or eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar. In Nebuchadnezzar's eighth year he made an military expedition into Egypt and defeated Neco for the last time, Egypt would never again threaten the power of Babylon. He then turned his attention towards Jerusalem and besieged the city. Jehoiakim surrendered the city and was killed. The first year of Jehoiakim's reign was 3485 ACE. and therefore his forth year 3488 ACE. was also the first year of Nebuchadnezzar. The beginning of the reign of Zedekiah and the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar, as stated above occurred in 3495 ACE. But the corresponding years given for the reigns of Zedekiah with those of Nebuchadnezzar bring to mind the circumstances between the calenders of Israel and Judah. If the first year of Zedekiah were the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar then the eleventh year of Zedekiah would have been his eighteenth and not his nineteenth year as given in 2Ki 25:8-9. Fortunately Daniel 1:1 comes to our aid "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it." This is contrary to the statement of Josephus above, that Nebuchadnezzar did not come to Jerusalem until the eighth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, but it helps to place the beginning of the Babylonian year at a different time than that of the Jews. The first year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign started at sometime in the third year of Jehoiakim and ended in his forth year. The eighteenth year of his reign would therefore start in Zedekiah's tenth year and end in his eleventh. "And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up (Jer 39:1-2)." If Josephus is correct, placing the fall of Jerusalem in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, and the destruction ot the temple by fire in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, then the Babylonian new year must fall between these two dates. As most new years fall at the beginning of a lunar month, the Babylonian year would start at the fifth month of the Mosaic year.

Jehoiakim                    Zedekiah
  3 | 4 | ~ | 8 | 9 |10 |11/1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |10 |11 |
  | 1 | ~ | 5 | 6 | 7 |  8 | 9 |10 |11 |12 |13 |14 |15 |16 |17 |18 |19 |

Nebuchadnezzar reigned for forty-three years according to the Ptolemy Cannon, placing the first year of his reign in 3487-8 ACE. this places his last year in 3529-30 ACE. As Ptolemy uses the postdating method of counting the passage of years during the Babylonian period his successor Amel-Marduk would count his the first year of his reign from the new year in 3530-31 ACE.

Amel-Marduk 2 years 3530 to 3532 ACE.

Amel-Marduk or Evil-Merodach reigned for only two years; "And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; and he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon, and changed his prison garments. And Jehoiachin did eat bread before him continually all the days of his life: and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him of the king, every day a portion, all the days of his life (2Ki 25:27-30)." Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon in 3495 ACE, thirty-seven years later places the end of his imprisonment in 3531 ACE. The beginning of this year would be close to the end of the first year of the reign of Evil-Merodach in agreement with the Cannon of Ptolemy to this point. The second year of his reign ended in 3532 ACE. when he was killed by his brother-in-law in a plot to seize the throne.

Nergal-shar-usur 4 years 3532 to 3536 ACE.

Nergal-shar-usur usurped the throne after his successful plot to kill his brother-in-law. His first regnal year began in 3532 ACE and he reigned for four years until 3536 ACE. when he was succeeded by his son.

Nabonidus 17 years 3536 to 3553 ACE.

Nabonidus reigned for seventeen years from 3536 to 3553 ACE when, after making his son Belshazzar crowned prince and leaving Babylon in his care, went on a campaign. While he was away Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall and "in that night Belshazzar the Chaldean King was slain (Dan 5:30)." The city fell to the Medes and Persians under Cyrus in 3553 ACE.

So far our journey through time from the creation of Adam to the end of the Babylonian captivity and the first year of the reign of Cyrus king of Persia has covered a minimum of 3553 years. This is the shortest time period possible to contain all the events and time periods given in the Bible up to the reign of Cyrus. All that should be required to calculate the date for the creation of Adam in today's B.C.E. format and therefore the minimum number of years that have already passed is to add the dates given for the first year of the reign Cyrus to the 3553 years of Biblical history that preceded it. The first year of Cyrus is given as 538 B.C.E. add to this 3553 years and the creation of Adam would appear to have occurred in or before 4090 B.C.E. We have already passed the year 2000 and as it would appear to be at least 90 years beyond the six thousand years allowed for the completion of Gods work at that point, the question still remains; do we reject the date given by Ptolemy for the reign of Cyrus or scrap the six thousand year theology?

If the theology of six thousand years from Adam to the return of Christ is correct, there is room for less than four hundred and forty-seven years between the first year of Cyrus and the start of the current era, assuming that Christ had returned by the year 2000 A.D. This didn't happen, therefore the time between these two events must be even shorter to allow for the return of Christ to be in the future. The dates of Ptolemy Canon have been fixed through astronomical calculations and as most historians will testify, are so well established they may as well be written in stone. Before the dates for the reigns of the kings of the Canon can be questioned it should first be ascertained whether there is a Biblical time line from the reign of Cyrus to Christ.

From Cyrus to Christ

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years whereof the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:1-3)." While he was praying he had a vision, and the man Gabriel came to give Daniel understanding of the vision. "Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:24-26)" In this prophesy Daniel was given the time period between two very important events as far as this chronology is concerned. Namely the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, and the cutting off of the anointed one or the crucifixion of Christ.

The seventy weeks, a more accurate translation would be seventy sevens, pertain to seventy periods of seven years for a total of four hundred and ninety years. The seventy weeks are divided up into three parts each of different length, seven weeks sixty-two weeks and one week. The seven and sixty-two weeks relate to the rebuilding of Jerusalem in troubled times and the coming of the anointed one, were as the sixty-two weeks pertains only to the cutting off of the anointed one. If the whole period of seventy weeks is equivalent to a total of four hundred and ninety years between the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed one, and the crucifixion of Christ is placed in 33 A.D. it would still require four hundred and fifty-seven years between Cyrus and the beginning of the current era, placing the creation of Adam in 4009 B.C.E. and the end of the six thousand in the past, disqualifying this position. Even the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks is only seven years shorter than above and still to long a period to qualify. Only the sixty-two weeks or four hundred and thirty-four years between the commandment to restore Jerusalem unto the cutting off of the anointed one is short enough to place the end of the six thousand years in the future, and as will be shown is the correct interpretation of this sequence of events.

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath Jehovah, the God of heaven, given me; and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosoever there is among you of all his people, Jehovah his God be with him, and let him go up (2Chron 36:22-23)."

Darius was the king of the Medes and Cyrus was the king of Persia. At the fall of the city of Babylon both kings assumed the throne and reigned concurrently with each other so when Daniel claims that the seventy years was complete in the first year of Darius it is not in conflict with 2Chronicles which defines the same year as the first year of Cyrus. Between this year and the crucifixion there can only be four hundred and thirty-four years. Christ was crucified in 27 C.E. (see The Real Birth Date of Christ) therefore the first year of Cyrus began in 408 and ended in 407 B.C.E. This configuration places the creation of Adam in or before 3960 B.C.E. and the return of Christ yet in the future.

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