Jeremiah’s prophecy of a 70 year Babylonian captivity has long puzzled Bible scholars. The captivity ended in 539 BCE when Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. Such a clear end date makes the 70 year starting date simple – it had to be 609 BCE.
But Babylon didn’t come against Judah until 605 BCE, and they didn’t destroy the temple until 586 BCE. Neither of those dates give 70 years for Babylon. But there is an answer in the Septuagint (Greek version) of Jeremiah 25 – This prophecy was made in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Joakim), just before Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah – they had already served 4 years under foreign rule to Egypt. It doesn’t describe 70 years for Babylon, but ’70 years among the Gentiles’ –
Behold I will send and take a family from the north, and will bring them against this land…And all the land shall be a desolation; and they shall serve among the Gentiles seventy years. Jeremiah 25:11 (Septuagint)
This is a critical difference – the combined time under Egypt and Babylon was 70 years –
It seems that Daniel had this version of the prophecy because he wasn’t expecting Judah to be in Babylon for 70 years, but Jerusalem to be desolate –
In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes, a Mede by descent, who was made ruler over the kingdom of the Chaldeans – in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the sacred books, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. Dan. 9:1-2
Daniel did not call it a 70 year Babylonian captivity.
Jeremiah 29 mentions Babylon as the place where the prophecy terminates
Thus says the LORD, After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. Jer. 29:10
DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM
It seems that just as Daniel could interpret dreams, so he could interpret prophecy. He equated the desolation of Jerusalem with ‘70 years among the Gentiles’- Jerusalem itself (the physical city) wasn’t desolate for 70 years – this prophecy was true in the greater spiritual sense.
Jesus Himself equated the desolation of Jerusalem with the Jewish rejection of their Messiah. At a time when the city and temple were still standing He said –
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her, … Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you that you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Matt. 23:37-38 (spoken in 31CE)
The temple and city of Jesus’ time weren’t desolate or destroyed until 70 CE, 39 years after He proclaimed them desolate. Daniel understood the spiritual desolation of Jerusalem just as Jesus did. In becoming desolate, Jerusalem became ‘Babylon’. God continually pleaded with His people to come out of ‘Babylon’ –
|Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. Jer. 51:6||Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues. For her sins are piled up to heaven. Rev. 18:4|
‘Jerusalem’ became desolate by degrees and the escalating curses of Leviticus 26 came on Israel.
As Judah continued to decline spiritually, God took away the continual covenant of Blessing in the valley of Megiddo when Josiah, the last good King died (609 BCE). From this time on Judah joined her sister Israel and came under foreign rule.
The foreign rule of the Jews while still in their land would continue for 666 years – until they were finally scattered (the Bible equates the foreign rulership of Israel with ‘Beast’ kingdoms). When Israel ‘self-ruled’ and when they were scattered, the time clock stopped ticking, they were not under ‘foreign/Beast rule’ in their land (See: 666 – Counting the Number of the Beast)
Click on chart below until right size for viewing
Because Israel did not fully turn to God after their Babylonian captivity God allowed other foreign nations to rule over them. After they rejected Jesus He finally scattered them from their land and there is an apparent time gap in many prophecies until they are back in the land in the end days – almost reading as if 2,000 years pass without comment –
Notice in this picture the green line for Daniel 11 & 12.
Daniel 11 brings us to Herod and time of Christ (See Daniel 11 Explained) Daniel 12:1 follows straight on and talks of the time of trouble such as never was which is remarkably similar to Matthew 24. It is the time of trouble for Israel that escalated when they rejected their Messiah – it ends when they accept Jesus at the time of the resurrection – Daniel 12
|Dan. 12 – There will be a time of distress, the likes of which will not have occurred from the beginning of nations until that time. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt.||Matt: 24:21-22 There will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.|
In Revelation the theme of Babylon is again picked up. Israel, back in the land, becomes ‘Mystery Babylon’ –still largely in blindness of their Messiah – See ‘Revelation – A Message to Israel’. Revelation expands on the theme established in Daniel –
The starting date for the Daniel 12 prophecy concerning the ‘TIME OF 1335 DAYS’ is the same as the starting date for the 70 years of desolation for Jerusalem. The prophecy says it starts from the turning aside of the perpetual or continual (covenant).
“From the time that the continual [?] shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred ninety days.”
Thus 609 BCE is also the date the longer prophecy for ‘Mystery Babylon’ commences.
When King Josiah died, the point is made that even he turned aside from God’s command on the plain of Megiddo
2 Chron 35:22 “Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo.”
Thus Megiddo becomes the place God finally cast off Judah. Appropriate that Rev. 16 refers to the mountain of Megiddo because the place of their demise will be the place of their repentance. Armageddon means “the mountain of Megiddo”
Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9 refers to the turning aside (H5493) of Israel from God’s covenant from 609BC (start of 70 yr captivity) – Dan 9:5
|Dan 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by turning aside (H5493) from thy precepts and from thy judgments:||Dan 12:11 and from the time of the turning aside (H5493) of the perpetual (?), and to the giving out of the desolating abomination, are days a thousand, two hundred, and ninety.|
So when God gave the Daniel 12 prophecy to Daniel and referred to the time of the “turning aside” Daniel would have understood it to mean 609 BC – when even Josiah turned aside and was cut off in the valley of Megiddo – and when God turned aside or took away His covenant with the Jews because they turned away from Him.
Daniel would have been aware of God’s words to Josiah via Huldah –
“This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people—all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah.” 2 Chron 34:24
3 KEY EVENTS occur in Dan 12
“From the time that the continual (covenant?) is taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1290 days. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the 1335 days”. Dan 12:11-12
- Removal of continual (covenant)
- Setting up of Abomination of Desolation
- The 1335 Days – a special time at the end.
1. 609 BCE – Removal of Continual Covenant – Israel under foreign rule without rightful king. (609 BC Coincided with start of 70 yrs for Gentile rule which ended 16th Tishri 539 BCE – (See Nabonidus Chronicle) Yom Kippur – appropriate time for Babylon to be conquered and Jews freed)
ADD 1290 YEARS
2. 682 CE ( add a year when passing zero ) – Abd Allahibn al-Zubay conquered Mecca and stopped pilgrims coming to the Hajj. Abd al-Malik the Umayyad Caliph, responded by creating a new holy site. He designated the Temple Mount in Jerusalem the site of the “Farthest Mosque”. Jerusalem was now a holy site for Islam– a ticking time bomb waiting for the end times when the holy war of Joel 3 seeks to liberate it for Islam.
ADD 1335 YEARS
3. 2017 – A blessing for the one who comes to the 1335 days.
“Blessed is the one who remains and comes to the 1335 days.” Dan. 12:12
We are not told it is the year Jesus returns, rather it brings us to the end of days when the sealed prophecies are made plain. The ‘1/2 a time’ – the weighing of Babylon, now applies to ‘mystery Babylon’.
“It will be for a time, and times, and half a time. When the power of the holy people has finally been shattered, all these things will be completed.” Dan. 12:7
The final captivity of Israel occurs when Revelation’s ‘Beast of the Abyss’ (Iran & proxies) have a successful attack – see Revelation the Time is at Hand
Of great interest is a coin the Mikdash Education Centre produced in 2017 with the words
‘TO FULFILL 70 YEARS
It depicts both Cyrus and Trump building a house to God in Jerusalem. Yet since the destruction of the second temple, Jesus is the one entrusted with that mission. He is ‘the cornerstone the builders rejected.’ He was always the one the true temple pointed to.
Though not the intended purpose of this coin, perhaps it is a prophetic pointer to mark 70 years for ‘Mystery Babylon’ – Israel – who still don’t acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, but rely on a ‘foreign god’. Cyrus liberated the Jews after Babylon had been weighed and found wanting. Revelation describes ‘Mystery Babylon’ as being weighed and found wanting.
HOW DOES IT END?
To see how the prophecies relate to Israel click Revelation – a Message to Israel