Jehovah`s Witness/587 or 607 BC
I read a question on here discussing these dates but it failed to provide an answer to this question: Why do Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jerusalem fell in the year 607 BC when most others say it fell in 586 or 587 BC? While I realize the Bible does use dates as we do, any scriptural support for your position will be appreciated.
Did you mean to state that the Bible does NOT use dates as we do? That is what it looks like you meant.
Considering the fact that most people, especially scholars and archaeologists, believe that Jerusalem was devastated in 586 or 7 BCE, this is a very reasonable question.
The short answer is: Because we believe the Bible.
Here is a longer explanatory answer:
For those who believe the Bible to be true, the answer is simple. There is more evidence concerning the fall of Babylon in the year 539 BCE than there is concerning the fall of Jerusalem; and to my knowledge there has never been any conflicting evidence to that year. Keeping that in mind, the Bible is clear in that Jerusalem was devastated 70 years prior to the overthrow of Babylon. (Remember that the years BCE count down instead of up, so that 607 is earlier than 587, and these are both prior to 539. After Babylon was conquered in 539, and the Medo-Persian rule established, and the ruler had time to review the situation and release the Jews, this would allow them to be back in Jerusalem by 537 BCE, 70 years after they were exiled
Here are some passages as they relate to that 70 years of devastation and desolation:
“Furthermore, he carried off those remaining from the sword captive to Babylon, and they came to be servants to him and his sons until the royalty of Persia began to reign; to fulfill Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had paid off its sabbaths. All the days of lying desolated it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years
.” (2 Chronicles 36:20, 21
“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 I will destroy out of them the sound of exultation and the sound of rejoicing, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the hand mill and the light of the lamp. 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.’” (Jeremiah 25:8-12
“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
, ‘In accord with the fulfilling of seventy years at Babylon
I shall turn my attention to you people, and I will establish toward you my good word in bringing you back to this place
.’” (Jeremiah 29:4, 10
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus of the seed of the Medes, who had been made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reigning I myself, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of the years concerning which the word of Jehovah had occurred to Jeremiah the prophet, for fulfilling the devastations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years
.” (Daniel 9:1, 2
See also Zechariah 1:12 & 7:5
For those who do not believe Scripture, it is more complicated but can still be proved. Below are links to the October 1 and November 1 issues of The Watchtower
, containing parts 1 & 2 of the article “When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?” These articles discuss this subject providing both Scriptural and secular evidence for 607. They are both PDF documents. See pages 26—31 in the October issue, and 22—28 in the November issue. The 3rd link below is to another site that also supports 607 rather than 586 or 587. It too contains valuable information, but is rather lengthy.
NOTE: I cannot get the first two links below to display properly; if they do not work, just go to http://www.jw.org and select "Publications" then select Magazines, pick Watchtower and select year 2011. Sorry.
I hope this helps you to better understand where we are coming from on this issue, and why we have taken the position we have, even though it is in opposition to popular opinion.