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Ezekiel’s Prophecy of Israel’s Restoration

I was recently told that an excellent example of prophecy fulfillment in the Bible is the prophecy that the nation of Israel would be restored, as recorded in Ezekiel 4. If true, that would be a huge boost to the Bible’s credibility, so let’s dig in and see how it fares.

In Ezek 4:4-6, God tells Ezekiel to do the following:

4 “Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.”

A little context is probably in order. Ezekiel lived during the time that the nation of Judah was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Much of his writings talk about the captivity that the Jews are under, and in this passage, he prophesies about when they’ll return from captivity. As the end of verse 6 says, each of these days represents one year.

The Case For This Being a True Prophecy

The person who pointed me to this prophecy gave this link as a good explanation of how this prophecy works, so I’ll be referring to its points throughout this post.

First, we take these two periods and add them together: 390 years for Israel + 40 years for Judah = 430 years.

Next, Babylon took Judah captive in 606 BCE for exactly 70 years leaving 360 years left to go. But how do we explain this leftover 360 years?

Well, it turns out that Leviticus 26 lays out all these conditions on the Israelites. There, God tells them that as long as they serve him faithfully, he’ll bless them. But if they don’t serve him faithfully, then he’ll punish them “7 fold” or “7 times” for their sins (Lev 26:18-33). So if we take those remaining 360 years and multiply them by 7, we get 2,520 years.

But we’re not done yet. We must remember that the Jews used a calendar based on both lunar and solar years. They had 12 30-day months and would occasionally add in leap-months as needed to keep the seasons lining up correctly. So to understand what Ezekiel meant by “year,” we need to convert these 2,520 years into days, which comes out to 2,520 x 360 = 907,200 days.

Now to find out how many actual years this represents, we need to convert back to the standard 365.25 day/year calendar that we use today. This comes out to 907,200 / 365.25 = 2,483.78 years.

We can finally connect all the dots:
606 BCE – 70 years = 536 BCE
-536 (since it’s BCE) + 2,483 + 1 (since there’s no year 0) = 1948 CE

And 1948 is the year that Israel was again made a nation! Furthermore, Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE, 19 years after he took Judah. And Jerusalem was restored to Israel in 1967 CE — exactly 19 years after they reclaimed the nation of Israel! So the numbers work out for Jerusalem as well!

So that’s the case for the prophecy being legit. But are there reasons to be skeptical?

The Case Against This Being a True Prophecy

There are actually a number of problems with what I laid out above, and those familiar with the Old Testament may have already seen them.

First of all, why should the years in Ezekiel’s prophecy be added together at all? Ezekiel says there will be 390 years for Israel and 40 years for Judah — it’s no accident that he separated them. According to Jewish tradition, all 12 tribes of Israel were united when they took the land of Canaan. They remained united through all 15 judges and through kings Saul, David, and Solomon. But after Solomon died, the nation split into two kingdoms: the nation of Israel, consisting of the northern 10 tribes, and the nation of Judah, consisting of the southern 2 tribes. So far, the archaeological evidence leans away from this story. It appears that Israel and Judah were never united into one large kingdom, but that’s outside the scope of this article, so we’ll leave it at that for now.

Israel was taken into captivity by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BCE. Many passages in later parts of the OT predict those lost tribes being restored, and it seems that this is what Ezekiel is referring to in this passage. That’s why they’re given a different period of time than Judah is — they were taken captive almost 150 years before Judah was. So it does not make sense to add these years together as though they refer to one specific thing. Israel and Judah were being dealt with separately here.

Secondly, the starting date of 606 BCE for Judah’s captivity isn’t accurate. In 606 BCE, Judah was its own kingdom, though it was a vassal state to Egypt and had been for 2 or 3 years. Egypt and Babylon were butting heads in the region during this time. Nebuchadnezzar came to the throne in 605 BCE, and he defeated Egypt at Carchemish that same year. That’s when Judah changed allegiance from Egypt to Babylon, as it was suddenly clear that they were now the most powerful force in the region. But it wouldn’t be appropriate to say they were under captivity at that time. They were still a separate kingdom that paid homage to Babylon. If we were to make the case that such a scenario equaled captivity, then Judah’s captivity would actually have begun in 609 or 608 BCE under Egypt.

In 601 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar tried to invade Egypt, but his forces were driven back, which caused several of the kingdoms in the Levant to rebel against him. Judah was one of them. In 599 BCE, Babylon besieged Jerusalem, and the city fell in 597 BCE. But at this point, Judah still retained its status as a vassal kingdom, and Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah as king. But several years later, Zedekiah revolted, aligning the kingdom with Egypt once again. This time, when Nebuchadnezzar took the city, he practically leveled it, and much of the population was taken off into captivity. This was in 587 BCE.

Considering this information, the most likely candidate to mark the beginning of Judah’s captivity is 587 BCE. Even if you try to push it back further, it’s hard to make a case for any time before 597 BCE, and this causes problems for the math that was laid out above.

One of the problems has to do with the 70 years of Babylonian captivity that was talked about above. When you were reading the above arguments, it may have struck you as odd that 70 years got subtracted for Judah’s captivity to Babylon, when Ezekiel said 40 years. The reason 70 was brought up is because of Jeremiah 29:10, where Jeremiah prophesies that Judah would be in captivity for 70 years. But that’s not what happened.

When the Persian Empire overthrew Babylon in 539 BCE, they allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem that same year (Ezra 1:1). The numbers differ depending on when you count Judah’s captivity as beginning, but this makes Judah’s captivity as few as 48 years (the more likely figure) or as many as 66 years. This again causes problems for all the equations that were used above.

There’s also the issue of multiplying the years by 7. There’s some discussion about whether the passage in Leviticus means that punishments would be multiplied by 7 years, or whether it would mean 7 separate punishments (like 7 additional plagues, etc). There’s also the issue that this kind of language is often taken to be more symbolic than literal. Furthermore, if this is how God was going to mete out the punishment, perhaps that’s already been calculated into the numbers he gives Ezekiel. Again, the passage has God say “a day for each year,” and there’s no indication that it should mean anything else. But I view those as side points.

The main problem I have is why does the multiplication of 7 only apply to 360 of the years? Why wouldn’t it have applied to all of them? So if we add the years together, and multiply by 7, we would have 3,010 years, not 2,520. Even if we continue to use 360-day years, that calculation comes out to 2,966.74 years, which puts us around the year 2431 CE. Of course, that isn’t helpful to those who want this prophecy to be true.

There’s another issue that should be mentioned as well. It turns out that the Septuagint doesn’t use the same figures as the Masoretic text. The Septuagint records Ezekiel 4:4-6 like this:

And thou shalt lie upon thy left side, and lay the iniquities of the house of Israel upon it, according to the number of the hundred and fifty days during which thou shalt lie upon it: and thou shalt bear their iniquities. 5 For I have appointed thee their iniquities for a number of days, for a hundred and ninety days: so thou shalt bear the iniquities of the house of Israel. 6 And thou shalt accomplish this, and then shalt lie on thy right side, and shalt bear the iniquities of the house of Juda forty days: I have appointed thee a day for a year.

It’s hard to say if 390 is the correct number, or if 150 is. Some people think that 150 is original, but that later scribes changed it once that amount of time had passed. But who knows? Unfortunately, there’s not a way to know which number is original to the text, which makes it very hard to base predictions upon.

Finally, the last piece of this that should be questioned is using a 360-day calendar. The Hebrew calendar was based on both the cycle of the moon as well as the solar year. Therefore, it is said that their calendar consisted of 12 30-day months, and every couple of years they would add a 13th month to keep the years aligned correctly with the seasons. But this isn’t exactly right. A lunar month follows the phases of the moon, which does not work out to 30 days exactly. Instead, it will alternate between 29 and 30-day months, meaning that the Hebrew calendar year came out to 354-355 days (or 385 days on leap years). This calls into question using a 360-day calendar to recalibrate the years in Ezekiel’s prophecy.

Furthermore, the Jews still understood that a year consists of 4 seasons (which is why they used intercalary years), so it seems bizarre to redefine “year” every time it’s used in prophecies. And it’s easy to see how big a 5.25 day variance can be. In the example at the beginning of this post, it took us from 2,520 years to 2,483.78 years. Daniel 12 and the Book of Revelation are the only places in the Bible I’m aware of that use a 360-day average in reference to a year. But I think it’s hard to argue that those references mean every time “year” is used in a prophecy it should be recalculated using 360-day years. Most calendars in the ancient world did not operate that way, and 360 days per year was a good generic estimate when referring to how many days are in a year at that time. Just as today we refer to a year as 365 days, when we realize that an extra day is needed every 4 years. That doesn’t mean when someone says something will happen in 20 years we have to recompute it to 19.98 years — we know they mean 20, regardless of how the leap years fall. I’m sure there are some Christians who would argue vociferously over the need to use 360-day “prophetic” years, but they have to. Without them, too much fails.

Conclusion

This was a really long post, and we’ve covered a lot of ground. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I personally do not find this prophecy to be a good example of a real prophecy. When taken at face value, Ezekiel talks about 390 years for Israel and 40 years for Judah. Neither of those figures work out correctly. Since they don’t, many different explanations have been sought after to make this prophecy point to something significant. The beginning of this post laid out one of those arguments, and on the surface, it seems pretty impressive. It gets us to the years 1948 and 1967 which are definitely important to the nation of Israel. But to get there, we’re making several sacrifices, like what year Judah went into captivity, adding the years together, multiplying some of them by 7, and converting the years to a 360-day format that almost certainly wasn’t the intent. And there’s still the issue of whether or not that translation is even accurate.

To me, this prophecy is simply too vague to be of any use. And the method used to create a connection to modern-day Israel is too problematic to be anything but evidence against prophecy-fulfillment, in my opinion.

Resources used in this article:
http://www.alphanewsdaily.com/mathprophecy2.html
http://www.theskepticalreview.com/JFTProphecyEzekiel4.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezekiel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Judah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_%28587_BC%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebuchadnezzar_II_of_Babylon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_calendar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunisolar_calendar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_month
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophetic_Year

159 thoughts on “Ezekiel’s Prophecy of Israel’s Restoration”

  1. what’s interesting to me is the discrepancy in the transcripts… Once upon a time i once thought the “originals” (which were really just copies) were harmonious.

    what happens when you dont have an original to check and your copies dont agree?

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  2. 🙂 🙂 so many error in your post its not funny nate

    Like you said its a long post so it will it take a couple copy and pates (but not too many)

    “I was recently told that an excellent example of prophecy fulfillment in the Bible is the prophecy that the nation of Israel would be restored, as recorded in Ezekiel 4.”

    First off this is a lie. I didn’t give a single excellent example. I know how atheists like yourself operate to avoid the truth of fulfilled prophecies so I specifically stated I would mention many. However that said let see how you fare. 🙂

    “First of all, why should the years in Ezekiel’s prophecy be added together at all? Ezekiel says there will be 390 years for Israel and 40 years for Judah — it’s no accident that he separated them. ”

    Its actually no accident that Ezekiel lies on his side for 430 days consecutively. he doesn’t conflate them as you claim so why should you? Thats fudging because you don’t like how the numbers play out

    Ezekiel 4:4-6 (KJV)
    4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
    5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
    6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

    Its pretty clear that Good old Zeke is out there for 430 days. Theres nothing subtracted for overlap. so what is to be played out in the drama IS 430 days without any question whatsoever. IF nate were right that they should not be added then their would be a conflation of the number as to reflect that but the passage says its 430 days representing years that must be played out against Jerusalem

    THATS NATE FAIL NUMBER ONE

    “Secondly, the starting date of 606 BCE for Judah’s captivity isn’t accurate. In 606 BCE, Judah was its own kingdom, though it was a vassal state to Egypt and had been for 2 or 3 years. Egypt and Babylon were butting heads in the region during this time. Nebuchadnezzar came to the throne in 605 BCE, and he defeated Egypt at Carchemish that same year”

    An expected claim. But what nate has missed is that even his secular sources indicate that the Bible is indicating 606 BC.

    Daniel 1:1 (KJV)
    1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

    Behold the sceptic’s own …Ahem Bible admission
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/dan/1.html

    “The third year of the reign of Jehoiakim would be 606 BCE, at which time Nebuchadnezzar was not yet king of Babylon. It was 597 BCE that Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem for the first time (without actually destroying it).”

    the explanation for that can be found multiple places. Heres one

    http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/q33.htm

    THATS NATES FAIL NUMBER TWO

    To be continued.

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  3. Hi Mike,

    The Daniel passage does say that, you’re right. But the 606 BCE year is not supported by historical documents, nor is it supported by Jeremiah 36. In the 9th verse, it says that Jeremiah is prophesying in the 5th year of Jehoiakim, and the 29th verse says this:

    29 And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord, You have burned this scroll, saying, “Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?”

    This shows that Jehoiakim was still reigning beyond his 3rd year. Also, 2 Chronicles 36 shows us that Jehoiakim reigned a total of 11 years, and when Nebuchadnezzar did come against him, he took him captive to Babylon:

    5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. 6 Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried part of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his palace in Babylon.

    So Daniel’s account can’t be right. Considering the other issues in the Book of Daniel, I don’t suppose this is a huge shock. Scholars are fairly united in thinking it was written during the Maccabean time period, which would explain the historical mistakes.

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  4. “Considering this information, the most likely candidate to mark the beginning of Judah’s captivity is 587 BCE. Even if you try to push it back further, it’s hard to make a case for any time before 597 BCE, ”

    Here Nate you are hopelessly confused. There were two periods of Nebuchanezzars actions against Jerusalem one which resulted in no destruction in which Daniel goes into captivity and the later destruction of jerusalem in tragedy

    In reality both dates are used. Its not a matter of one over the other. One forecasts the return of sovereignty in 1948 and one the return of jerusalem in 1967 in what we know as the 6 day war. Both dates work beautifully. Had you waited to discuss the issue instead of this failed attempt to rebut we would have gotten into the details of the 1967 calculation

    “When the Persian Empire overthrew Babylon in 539 BCE, they allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem that same year (Ezra 1:1). The numbers differ depending on when you count Judah’s captivity as beginning, but this makes Judah’s captivity as few as 48 years (the more likely figure) ”

    Wrong in every way conceivable.

    A) The first year of a king’s reign (which is what Ezra specifies) does not line up with the beginning of a year. It lines up with whatever time he began to reign. Anytime within his year even if that should go over into another calendar year.

    B) You did an awful job at reading the text. If you had even read the chapter you would see the message is ADDRESSED to the group that was taken into captivity BEFORE the fall of Jerusalem and its sooooo obvious it should hurt

    Jeremiah 29:1 (Darby)
    1 And these are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the residue of the elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon

    See? Jeremiah is still at Jerusalem writing a message to those taken in the captivity. SO what we have is no “likely” 48 years but nearly 70. 69 in fact which lines up with a 360 day year as well. some time in 538 BC for the decree and easily 537 by the time they get there and start tilling the land again that was to rest for the sabbatical years

    “This again causes problems for all the equations that were used above.”

    your numbers being off your conclusion falls flat

    ANOTHER FAILED POINT

    “There’s also the issue of multiplying the years by 7. There’s some discussion about whether the passage in Leviticus means that punishments would be multiplied by 7 years, or whether it would mean 7 separate punishments (like 7 additional plagues, etc).There’s also the issue that this kind of language is often taken to be more symbolic than literal.”

    Unfortunately nothing but fudging. 7 or 7 times is how the word is translated in the Hebrew and leviticus 26 is part of the law not something symbolic. That ridiculous.

    ANOTHER FAILED POINT—-

    “The main problem I have is why does the multiplication of 7 only apply to 360 of the years? Why wouldn’t it have applied to all of them? So if we add the years together, and multiply by 7, we would have 3,010 years, not 2,520.”

    Thats easy if again you had done the research. God could not accept the seventy years for Daniels captivity and then multiply that on them. They were the good figs

    Jeremiah 24:1-7 (ASV)
    5 Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans, for good.
    6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
    7 And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Jehovah: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

    This is contrasted later with the bad figs who would continue to be persecuted outside the land. God could not multiply the 70 years they had served because the condition of the law required the seven times only if they would not listen and repent. Once there was one group of bad and one group of good but only one land then in order to finally ends the diaspora the 70 years had to be subtracted (you would not have the land desolate and not at the same time)

    IN addition Daniel 9 clearly indicates that 70 sevens are to be cut off off time

    So sorry but there is no issue with subtracting the seventy years. the law would require it.

    ANOTHER FAILED POINT —–

    one more short post because from what I have seen you have not even put a finger on this biblical calculation

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  5. Interesting article and discussion. I’m always interested in prophecy related stuff, and typically my viewpoints don’t line up with most of my Christian peers. Looking forward to reading more.

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  6. Jeremiah 29:3 says this:

    3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

    Obviously, since Zedekiah was king, this was after the events of 597 BCE. There’s 58 years between 597 and 539. So despite your reference to Jeremiah 29:1, you’re still very short of the 70 years Jeremiah spoke of.

    As to the good figs, let me make sure I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying that God allowed a group of people to be taken captive by foreign invaders, but then called them the “good figs”? And this somehow excludes them from the 7x punishment? I think you’re making a lot of connections in various spots of the OT that don’t really connect.

    I mean, Jeremiah 24 says that the “bad figs” will have all kinds of bad things happen to them, and they’ll be utterly destroyed. It does not say that they will be captive 7 times longer than the “good figs.” And even if it did say that, it wouldn’t make any sense, seeing as how these people couldn’t have lived 2000+ years anyway.

    I understand your need to make all this fit together. It just simply doesn’t fit as well as you’d like for it to. I won’t call you names or rub it in your face, because I know it’s a difficult position to be in. I’m sorry.

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  7. ” I won’t call you names or rub it in your face”

    🙂 🙂 Nate I am really sorry if I explained things to you in a way that made you FEEL like you even actually had anything to rub in my face.

    I will try and break things down for you a little better so you have a better understanding.

    You are quite wrong that the 70 years relies on Jeremiah 29:10. You missed the following

    Jeremiah 25:11 (ASV)
    11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

    along with the other passages that I already laid out there is no doubt whatsoever that seventy years is a key number to be subtracted. its in Daniel and Its in Jeremiah. Theres nothing you can do about this. Its a number in the text.

    In addition theres nothing you can do about this

    Jeremiah 29:10 (ASV)
    10 For thus saith Jehovah, After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

    Put those two verse together and its pretty clear its a 70 year period in which Judah and other nations must serve babylon and the results would be desolation and astonishment on the land from those years. Ez peazy

    perhaps that will clear up your misunderstanding a bit.

    and as I said Daniel also calls for the same 70 times 7 to be cut off out. – A kind of Double whammy against your position.

    Its also clear at the end of this point there is repentance by the good figs. I’ve already shown that but I’ll get to it again in debunking your points in order

    that said onto these objections that you apparently think are so killer you could rub them in my face with them if you wanted to.

    First your Daniel 1 claim That daniel is wrong. Unfortunately all predicated on the fact that Jehoiakim is still reigning years later. As you write

    “This shows that Jehoiakim was still reigning beyond his 3rd year. Also, 2 Chronicles 36 shows us that Jehoiakim reigned a total of 11 years, and when Nebuchadnezzar did come against him, he took him captive to Babylon:”

    Your problem Nate? No one said Jehoiakim didn’t continue to reign and you are DEAD WRONG in the latter half when you say that when Neb did come up against him he took him hostage. In fact he came up against him long before and didn’t take him captive

    2 Kings 24:1 (ASV)
    1 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.

    So Daniel is entirely in order despite your claims. Neb comes up and makes Jeho his vassal continuing to rule.From the first time that Babylon comes up against Jerusalem he makes JUdah to serve him fulfilling the beginning of the seventy years of service to babylon. As part of that arrangement Daniel is sent to Babylon along with other captives from the royals and nobles

    Daniel 1:3-7 (ASV)
    3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;
    4 youths in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skilful in all wisdom, and endued with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king’s palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

    Jehoakim continues to serve under him but then rebels. Years later yes he’s taken out. EZ peazy.

    “So Daniel’s account can’t be right.”

    Actually it can and it is. Theres nothing about Jehoakim not continuing to reign. You clearly missed the first coming up of Neb to Judah where Jehoakim is made a vassal.

    long post.

    I’ll follow up the rest shortly

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  8. Thanks Mike.

    I’m well aware that the Bible talks about the 70 year period in several places, it just didn’t work out that way historically. That’s the problem.

    And I already covered the relationship between Judah and Babylon in the post. Babylon defeated Egypt in 605 BCE. Until that time, Judah had been a vassal state of Egypt — Jehoiakim was even appointed by Pharaoh Necho. But once Egypt lost to Babylon, the Levant, including Judah, came under Babylon’s control. This was not the beginning of Judah’s captivity — if this period were considered captivity, then it would have begun when Egypt was still in control.

    This is the period spoken of in 2 Kings 24, when Jehoiakim served Nebuchadnezzar. About 3 years later, in 601 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar tried to invade Egypt, but was rebuffed. This is when Jehoiakim rebelled. Nebuchadnezzar did retaliate, and Jehoiakim was taken captive (according to 2 Chron 36), and he died shortly after. This was in 597 BCE.

    Judah finally came under actual captivity in 587 BCE, after they rebelled for the last time.

    The 606 date just doesn’t work. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t even reigning at that time, and Egypt still controlled Judah. Daniel is simply wrong, which isn’t surprising, considering that book’s other errors.

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  9. “Obviously, since Zedekiah was king, this was after the events of 597 BCE. There’s 58 years between 597 and 539. So despite your reference to Jeremiah 29:1, you’re still very short of the 70 years Jeremiah spoke of.”

    Sorry no you are wrong. Sure the letter is sent during the time of Zedekiah but by that time including the people in Daniel’s carry over to babylon they have been there for quite some time as daniel indicates rightfuly. 29:10 is explicit the time is for babylon and service to Babylon

    Jeremiah 29:10 (Darby)
    10 For thus saith Jehovah: When seventy years shall be accomplished for Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in bringing you back to this place.

    Again you just don’t get it. It can’t be talking to a time of 587 Bc and the destruction of Jerusalem because the clock had already started and Jerusalem was still standing. You are just plain wrong on that. now what that could apply to is a start date to do the 1967 maths yes but thats a different matter from the end of the captivity.

    “As to the good figs, let me make sure I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying that God allowed a group of people to be taken captive by foreign invaders, but then called them the “good figs”?”

    Nate your incredulity because you want to slide your way around this doesn’t matter to me or the text. I don’t have to say antyhing its what the text says. READ

    Jeremiah 24:1-7 (ASV)
    5 Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans, for good.

    Part of the reason they are sent out is for their own protection which is pretty easy to see when Babylon does take out Jerusalem. They all are removed peacefully

    ” I think you’re making a lot of connections in various spots of the OT that don’t really connect.”

    Oh please how can a passage about captivity in Babylon not be connected to the captivity in Babylon.

    “I mean, Jeremiah 24 says that the “bad figs” will have all kinds of bad things happen to them, and they’ll be utterly destroyed. It does not say that they will be captive 7 times longer than the “good figs.”

    Doesn’t have to – the multiplication of seven is even better than a prophecy in jeremiah. Its called for in the Law of Moses upon which all prophecies are based. You were a bible teacher you should know that.

    ” And even if it did say that, it wouldn’t make any sense, seeing as how these people couldn’t have lived 2000+ years anyway.’

    thats a pretty silly objection. the punishment was national and theres no doubt whatsoever that the bible predicts a long diaspora for many years for the Jews. Thats just desperation on your part

    “I understand your need to make all this fit together. ”

    I understand you have alot riding on not wanting to see anything that could even remotely prove you wrong about the bible. I’ve read you enough to know that but statistically this calculation isn’t something reasonable people would snuff at. The multiplication by seven is called for in the law and the numbers are all there on the surface text. You’ve faild to put a glove on them.

    I know that puts you in a difficult position and I won’t call you names or rub it in your face but – I’m sorry

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  10. Okay so having covered everything one thing remains. Nate spends a considerable amount of his post opining the 360 day year. he did this for the Daniel 9 passage but it just won’t work for this biblical calculation.

    He could try and claim that the 360 year was invented after the fact to facilitate christians but this time the 360 day year is Waaaaaay before the fact and its clearly in revelations

    its in Revelations 11

    Revelation 11:2-3 (Darby)
    2 And the court which [is] without the temple cast out, and measure it not; because it has been given [up] to the nations, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty-two months.
    3 And I will give [power] to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

    Its in revelations 12
    Revelation 12:6 (Darby)
    6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has there a place prepared of God, that they should nourish her there a thousand two hundred [and] sixty days.

    Revelation 12:14 (Darby)
    14 And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the desert into her place, where she is nourished there a time, and times, and half a time, from [the] face of the serpent.

    and it correlates with Daniel chapter 9 using THE SAME multiplication by seven and including the same 70 year period being cut off.

    SO the 360 day year is a lock in the Bible and nothing changes that

    So whatever you think of this passage What are the odds that the same multiplication system called for in Daniel (and the law) and using the 70 years in Daniel would result in

    the date for the coming of christ
    the return of national sovereignty to Israel in 1948
    and the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967

    You asked me for prophecy evidence in the other thread not for one excellent example like you claimed in this OP. You failed to put a glove on this one so lets rock and roll over the next few days with a few more and you can show me your fudging skills

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  11. if this period were considered captivity, then it would have begun when Egypt was still in control.”

    Read the text and/or do some research for once Nate. the 70 years of service to Babylon cannot begin serving egypt, You make ZERO sense there

    “The 606 date just doesn’t work. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t even reigning at that time, ”

    It works fine and is the year specified in Daniel 1 as you already have admitted to. Your objections to Daniel 1 being thoroughly debunked theres no reason to disregard it. If you are pegging all your hopes and dreams of rebutting this to Neb reigning officially as king it won’t work. He could even be a general or a viceroy in 606 BC

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  12. if they literally meant that a year was 360 days, then eventually their December equivalent would fall in summer… and then hit all the other seasons over time.

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  13. @TBlacksman

    Riddle me this: if prophecy was considered so important to your particular Middle Eastern god, why not just impart something entirely unambiguous… something that didn’t require the mental hoop-tricks and frantic numbers games that are so embarrassingly unconvincing that no reasonable person could ever possibly accept them?

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  14. “Riddle me this: if prophecy was considered so important to your particular Middle Eastern god, why not just impart something entirely unambiguous……..that no reasonable person could ever possibly accept them?”
    .
    He does. Maybe the problem is that you are not very sensible or rational?

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  15. “if they literally meant that a year was 360 days, then eventually their December equivalent would fall in summer… and then hit all the other seasons over time.”

    DOA Sparkie. The Prophecy has noting to do with agriculture and theres no doubt whatsoever that revelations shows a prophetic 360 day year in use in what? Umm over 1500 years before 1948

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  16. “I see. Now give me a second to file your answer away as one of the weakest, most absurd excuses ever offered”

    You sure you have space in there after all your own entries? Looks kinda full

    Stick around john. I’ll have some prophecies for the mathematically challenged.

    and yeah sometimes atheist need to see that they an be zinged back better than they can give.

    Like

  17. I prefer Daniken’s interpretation of Ezekiel.
    One of Ezekiel’s descriptions is eerily like a Harrier jump jet. I cannot in all honesty see what else it could be.
    Either that or they were cooking up some really potent Babylonian Acid that Eze didn’t know if it was bum or breakfast time.

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  18. “One of Ezekiel’s descriptions is eerily like a Harrier jump jet.”

    Nah man Revelations takes the cake on that bro. Its got this gnarly passage that describes like a tank

    “Revelation 9:17-19 (Darby)
    17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and those that sat upon them, having breastplates of fire and jacinth and brimstone; and the heads of the horses [were] as heads of lions, and out of their mouths goes out fire and smoke and brimstone.
    18 By these three plagues were the third part of men killed, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which goes out of their mouths.
    19 For the power of the horses is in their mouth and in their tails: for their tails [are] like serpents, having heads, and with them they injure. ”

    Gnarly Dude 🙂

    Like

  19. @TBlacksman

    So, let me get this straight: in your mind, a fabulously obscure passage in Ezekiel is, you say, a thoroughly unambiguous, tremendously important prophecy made by your particular Middle Eastern god. However, even by the most inventive subtraction, addition, multiplication and division by Pi of the square root of the circumference of the earth the math just doesn’t work. To justify your belief you are forced to cite a series of astonishingly cryptic clues which you (presumably using your Magic Decoder Ring) have excavated from six completely unrelated books (Chronicles, Daniel, Leviticus, Ezra, Jeremiah, and Revelations), dealing with completely unrelated matters, which however, you claim, makes everything perfectly clear…. Provided, of course, you first add a dash of lime, lift one leg up off the ground, and close one eye while singing Kumbaya in Swahili.

    Let me guess: you’re an avid viewer of Glenn Beck, right?

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  20. @arkenaten

    You may have a point. Moses always stepped down from the mountain with a “radiant” face. And it keeps mentioning that cloud of smoke around the tent of the tabernacle. Seems like the Yahweh cult had entheogenic origins.

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  21. ” However, even by the most inventive subtraction, addition, multiplication and division by Pi of the square root of the circumference of the earth the math just doesn’t work. ”

    Well that depends as to what decimal placements you used and whether you used the circumference of the south pole and took into account the angle of the earth’s tilt during a Chandler wobble to do the appropriate trigonometry. Did you do that?

    I’m sorry that you find subtracting 70 and multiplying by 7 and 360 so hard it makes your head hurt but we do after all have calculators to ease your pain. Walmart? Target nearby?

    “have excavated from six completely unrelated books (Chronicles, Daniel, Leviticus, Ezra, Jeremiah, and Revelations), dealing with completely unrelated matters,”

    OH vey I ‘m sorry I can’t think of a calculator that will help with English comprehension. All I can suggest is Sylvan’s – unrelated matters eh? 🙂

    As for can’t come to the right date. Heh. Nate has even come to 1967 yet. just warming up John

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  22. Sorry to barge in on the conversation, but I’d like to ask a few questions:

    Reading the text at face value it seems that the initial punishment was set for 430 years. Using the x7 rule wouldn’t it make more sense to be evaluated at the end of the punishment? If they had not repented after 430 years then the punishment should be multiplied by 7. 430 x 7 = 3,010 years of punishment. This would seem more straightforward.

    I have a few questions for the Bible experts on this site:

    Are there other places in the Bible where punishments are multiplied by seven?
    Does anyone know who discovered this prophecy?

    Thanks,
    Dan

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  23. “Reading the text at face value it seems that the initial punishment was set for 430 years. Using the x7 rule wouldn’t it make more sense to be evaluated at the end of the punishment?”

    Unrealized by many people much of prophecy comes out of the law. Its disobedience to the law that causes all the prophets to speak up in the first place. The answer to your question finds it self in the same passage and law referenced – Leviticus 26. there are two things going on. One we have touched on is the 7 times of sin’s punishment but the other which is referenced quite a lot in Jeremiah is the sabbatical rest and its mention here in Leviticus as well

    Leviticus 26:34-35 (Darby)
    34 Then shall the land enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, when ye are in your enemies’ land; then shall the land rest, and enjoy its sabbaths.
    35 All the days of the desolation it shall rest, [the days in] which it did not rest on your sabbaths, when ye dwelt therein.

    Every so many years Israel was supposed to lay off the land (a good principle even used not with crop rotations today). As you see the law calls for years of the land to rest and the land has to be vacated regardless. So regardless of any forgiveness the sabbath have to be observed, this period mirrors the seventy years and is another reason why it is subtracted for the overall 430 years.

    “Are there other places in the Bible where punishments are multiplied by seven?”

    I am not aware of any other command that requires seven time for sin punishment and not to an individual. However as you are probably aware multiplying seven is not unique for future calculations. Daniel chapter 9’s seventy weeks is the same idea and using one of only two likely points its numbers add up to the time of Christ using some of the calculations

    Its this combination that makes it HIGHLY unlikely this is coincidental and bear in mind Ezek 4 is primarily about Jerusalem and we have yet to touch on the 1967 date of Israel regaining control of Jerusalem which ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT rely on picking 606 or 605 BC as a start date.

    Unfortunately Nate decided to break away from our discussion and write this article when we had only gone half way into this issue and that part is not even discussed at any length in his piece.

    Like

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