Search every reference and you will see that historically the kingdom of Babylon under king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem around 587-586 BCE. Yet some make the claim that Jerusalem was destroyed earlier. In fact the claim is made that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE by King Nebuchadnezzar. This is an important claim to some major organisations who use this as the starting dates for a significant Bible prophecy.
Historically, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon put down a Judaean revolt in 597 BCE. At that time he took into captivity many of the nations leaders. He returned in 587 BCE on a march of conquest and after putting down an Egyptian attack he turned his attention to Jerusalem and somewhere between 587-586 BCE he conquered the city. His armies returned to the area in 582 BCE to take an additional number of Jews into captivity. This was a huge event in the history of the Jewish people.
The Babylonians kept very good records of events that occurred during their history and their records, along with the records of the Persians who conquered the city of Babylon in 539 BCE under the rule of Cyrus the great, form the basis for some reliable archaeological record keeping. The year 539 BCE is regarded as an absolute year in that it can be established from a number of secular records. Historical events can be counted forward or back from this absolute year. In 538 BCE Cyrus gave the instruction for a number of slaves of the Babylonian Empire newly conquered by the Persians, to be returned to their homeland with the freedom to rebuild their cities as long as the kingdoms remained vassal kingdoms within the Persian Empire. The kingdom of Israel was re-established in 537 BCE. Though there was an intent to restore worship at the temple in Jerusalem there is little doubt that the effect of the return on the Jews was a distraction as they were an agricultural community and therefore it was essential to look after their harvests and farmland. They also had to contend with the Samaritans who had expanded their hold on the land of Israel. There was political pressure from outside kingdoms not to allow the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. This took some time to achieve. It is very good from a Bible student point of view to be able to read historical records with the level of accuracy of the Babylonians and Persians which leave us in no doubt as to the time when the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian invasion – Approx 586- BCE.
Some Bible students have asserted that Jerusalem must have been destroyed in 607 BCE due to a prophecy concerning 70 years having to do with the time that the land would be left in desolation following its destruction. [The prophet Daniel discovered this reference to 70 years in prophecy and was clearly excited to know that they were towards the latter part of the prophecy.] They count back from 537 BCE which was when the nation of Israel first had returning inhabitants. 537+70 brings you to 607 BCE. However what was restored in 537 BCE exactly? It was not an independent kingdom. The only thing that could be restored was true worship which required the temple. This was not completed for another 20 years. And during this time there is a scriptural reference to the 70 years still being running in the book of Zechariah chapter 1. The Bible itself shows that the 70 years did not finish in 537 B.C.E. as some Bible students asserted in the 19th century.
Zechariah 1:12-16 Shows that the 70 years were still going in 518 B.C.E. It was at this time that Jehovah empowered the work of building the temple. The 70 years run from late 586 B.C.E. to early 515 B.C.E. when the temple was inaugurated in Jerusalem
Spoken in 518 B.C.E. the wording reads. And Jehovah’s angel answered ‘Jehovah of Armies, how long before you will have any tenderness for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, to which you have been hostile these seventy years?’ 13 And Jehovah answered the angel that was speaking with me with kindly words, comforting words; 14 and the angel that was speaking with me said to me ‘Call out “Says Jehovah of Armies, I am greatly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I am greatly incensed with the nations that are at ease, because I had been a little incensed and they helped on to disaster. 16 So Jehovah says, I have come back to Jerusalem in tenderness; my house shall be built in it, says Jehovah of Armies, and a measuring-line shall be stretched over Jerusalem.”
The BIBLE ITSELF clearly shows that the 70 years were to end after the return to Jerusalem in 537 BCE when only a partial restoration of the city began.
According the Elijah 2:19 however these misunderstandings are to be expected. “For a time of great confusion has been in place. And the word has been confused by many. It is just as at harvest time when wheat and weeds are mixed together. And so the time of confusion must pass. And men must see things clearly and then know the truth.”
Elijah 2 discusses how confusion reigns and how easy it is for institutions to hold onto wrong ideas because they have built much on these ideas. It’s human nature in some ways. When this is updated to reflect the truth that is recorded in the Bible it will require a lot of humility. But this is possible and will show that those who teach this have sufficient humility to go forward in a different way and enjoy even greater success and growth in the future.
According the Elijah we should not be harsh in judging those who hold onto mistaken ideas. There is often evidence that can be read in different ways just as Jesus mentioned in his prophecies regarding sleep and the field of wheat and weeds. Elijah 28 shows that there is a way forward to those who adjust their ways.
Elijah 28:10 “And there should be a coming together as in the days of Nehemiah. And there should be a time of repentance and adjustment. And with a new spirit you should go forth but you should know that though there is a great work, the time is short. For I Jehovah am saying that the time is short. And this time the work will come to a completion according to the words of Elijah.”
There are numerous historical records that anyone can have access to that clearly show the truth regarding Nebuchadnezzar. He was not even King in 607 BCE and therefore could not have destroyed the city. Elijah reveals that he was approached 70 years following the beginning of the last days period, which are significant to Bible prophecy. This confirms that the last days period began in 1935. Satans first action on being ousted from the heavens was to attack the children of Abraham and who can doubt this that this occurred during World War Two. [See Elijah 2:20 “So it has been. I placed my king upon mount Zion and my king exercised sovereignty over the earth. And so judgment began and pronouncements of judgment have gone forth throughout the earth against those that have exercised falsehood in my name. For my messengers went forth and in the heavens did my messengers declare my judgments. And the evil one was cast down and he attacked the sons of Abraham. And there have been wars and earthquakes and famines and pestilences in the earth in the last days. And the horsemen have ridden forth. And despite these things there has not been a turning to God.”]