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Jehovah`s Witness/607 BCE - Destruction of Jeresuleum


Larry L. Wilson wrote at 2008-03-22 18:07:53
The above information is outdated and contradicted by new research which shows the VAT4956 was actually a document designed as a "diary" in order to hide the original chronology for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar which was 511 BCE.  Year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar in 511 BCE matches the alternative "strict" Biblical chronology which otherwise dates year 1 of Cyrus to 455 BCE (ref. Martin Anstey's "Romance of Bible Chronology")  Thus now the VAT4956 confirms both the 70-year interval suggested by the Bible and JWs, as well as the 455 BCE; only note that the 70 years occur from year 23, the last deportation, and the 1st of Cyrus and not from the fall of Jerusalem (year 18/19).  This, of course, has always been the traditional Jewish historical view of these 70 years as noted by Josephus in Ant. 11.1.1 where he also dates a 70-year period of "servitude" for those last deported ("removed off their land") in year 23 of Nebuchadnezzar.  Ultimately, therefore, your article is out of date now without addressing the new VAT4956 evidence/theory.  Thanks so much.    Larry Wilson, independent Biblical Research Analyst

heather wrote at 2009-04-10 12:29:41
Hi Pamela, the answer you received from Brandon Harper is NOT correct.

He speaks from the witnesses view-point only. I was a witnesses for 38 years until learning the witnesses have many wrong teachings, 607 being one of the most important dates in their religion.

The simple truth is:- The prophecy concerning Jerusalem being under the king of Babylon for 70 years from 605 (when Nebuchadnezzar became king) to 538 when Cyrus took over babylon is correct BUT Jeremiah gives another prophecy that Jerusalem will be desolate for 70 years and this is NOT the same prophecy but is infact TWO prophesies which JWs do not fully understand. You can research this for yourself from God's word.

Jerusalem served the king of Babylon from 605 to 538 when the decrre was issued by Cyrus, 70 years.

It was in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar after taking the city he actually destroyed Jerusalem that was in 586 so from this date 586 for 70 years desolations takes us to the account in Ezra the temple  was rebuilt and dedicated once more in the 6th year of king Darius who became king in 522 making the desolations of Jerusalem from 586-516 BC.70 years.

So although a remnant returned to Jerusalem after 538 the city and temple remained desolate until 516 BC.

My web page is

check these dates out and you will find the truth. The prophesies are two prophesies and not one prophecy.

70 years under the king of Babylon and

70 years of desolations for Jerusalem.  

Karl wrote at 2010-01-29 04:13:16
Here is a reprint WTBTS, It helped me a lot.

Babylonian Chronology. Babylon enters the Biblical picture principally from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II onward. The reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s father Nabopolassar marked the start of what is called the Neo-Babylonian Empire; it ended with the reigns of Nabonidus and his son Belshazzar and the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus the Persian. This period is of great interest to Bible scholars since it embraces the time of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and the greater part of the 70-year period of Jewish exile.

Jeremiah 52:28 says that in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar (or Nebuchadrezzar) the first group of Jewish exiles was taken to Babylon. In harmony with this, a cuneiform inscription of the Babylonian Chronicle (British Museum 21946) states: “The seventh year: In the month Kislev the king of Akkad mustered his army and marched to Hattu. He encamped against the city of Judah and on the second day of the month Adar he captured the city (and) seized (its) king [Jehoiachin]. A king of his own choice [Zedekiah] he appointed in the city (and) taking the vast tribute he brought it into Babylon.” (Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, by A. K. Grayson, 1975, p. 102; compare 2Ki 24:1-17; 2Ch 36:5-10.) (PICTURE, Vol. 2, p. 326) For the final 32 years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, there are no historical records of the chronicle type except a fragmentary inscription of a campaign against Egypt in Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year.

For Awil-Marduk (Evil-merodach, 2Ki 25:27, 28), tablets dated up to his second year of rule have been found. For Neriglissar, considered to be the successor of Awil-Marduk, contract tablets are known dated to his fourth year.

A Babylonian clay tablet is helpful for connecting Babylonian chronology with Biblical chronology. This tablet contains the following astronomical information for the seventh year of Cambyses II son of Cyrus II: “Year 7, Tammuz, night of the 14th, 1 2⁄3 double hours [three hours and twenty minutes] after night came, a lunar eclipse; visible in its full course; it reached over the northern half disc [of the moon]. Tebet, night of the 14th, two and a half double hours [five hours] at night before morning [in the latter part of the night], the disc of the moon was eclipsed; the whole course visible; over the southern and northern part the eclipse reached.” (Inschriften von Cambyses, König von Babylon, by J. N. Strassmaier, Leipzig, 1890, No. 400, lines 45-48; Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, by F. X. Kugler, Münster, 1907, Vol. I, pp. 70, 71) These two lunar eclipses can evidently be identified with the lunar eclipses that were visible at Babylon on July 16, 523 B.C.E., and on January 10, 522 B.C.E. (Oppolzer’s Canon of Eclipses, translated by O. Gingerich, 1962, p. 335) Thus, this tablet establishes the seventh year of Cambyses II as beginning in the spring of 523 B.C.E. This is an astronomically confirmed date.

Since the seventh year of Cambyses II began in spring of 523 B.C.E., his first year of rule was 529 B.C.E. and his accession year, and the last year of Cyrus II as king of Babylon, was 530 B.C.E. The latest tablet dated in the reign of Cyrus II is from the 5th month, 23rd day of his 9th year. (Babylonian Chronology, 626 B.C.–A.D. 75, by R. Parker and W. Dubberstein, 1971, p. 14) As the ninth year of Cyrus II as king of Babylon was 530 B.C.E., his first year according to that reckoning was 538 B.C.E. and his accession year was 539 B.C.E.

Berossus. In the third century B.C.E. Berossus, a Babylonian priest, wrote a history of Babylon in the Greek language, evidently based on cuneiform records. Of his writings, Professor Olmstead said: “Only the merest fragments, abstracts, or traces, have come down to us. And the most important of these fragments have come down through a tradition almost without parallel. Today we must consult a modern Latin translation of an Armenian translation of the lost Greek original of the Chronicle of Eusebius, who borrowed in part from Alexander Polyhistor who borrowed from Berossus direct, in part from Abydenus who apparently borrowed from Juba who borrowed from Alexander Polyhistor and so from Berossus. To make a worse confusion, Eusebius has in some cases not recognized the fact that Abydenus is only a feeble echo of Polyhistor, and has quoted the accounts of each side by side! And this is not the worst. Although his Polyhistor account is in general to be preferred, Eusebius seems to have used a poor manuscript of that author.” (Assyrian Historiography, pp. 62, 63) Josephus, Jewish historian of the first century C.E., also claims that he quotes from Berossus. But it seems evident that chronological data supposedly from Berossus could hardly be considered conclusive.

Other factors allowing for differences. Casual students of ancient history often labor under the misconception that the cuneiform tablets (such as may have been used by Berossus) were always written at the same time or shortly after the events recorded on them. But, aside from the many cuneiform business documents that were truly contemporary, the Babylonian historical texts and even many astronomical texts often give evidence of being of a much later period. Thus, according to Assyriologist D. J. Wiseman, one portion of the so-called Babylonian Chronicle, covering the period from the rule of Nabu-nasir to Shamash-shum-u-kin (a period dated by secular historians as from 747-648 B.C.E.), is “a copy made in the twenty-second year of Darius [footnote says: I.e. 500/499 B.C. if Darius I] from an older and damaged text.” (Chronicles of Chaldaean Kings, London, 1956, p. 1) So, not only was this writing separated from the events recorded on it by anywhere from 150 to 250 years but it was also a copy of a defective earlier document, perhaps an original, perhaps not. Of the Neo-Babylonian Chronicle texts, covering the period from Nabopolassar to Nabonidus, the same author states: “The Neo-Babylonian Chronicle texts are written in a small script of a type which does not of itself allow any precise dating but which can mean that they were written from any time almost contemporary with the events themselves to the end of the Achaemenid rule.” This allows for the possibility that they were written as late as the close of the Persian Empire, which occurred in 331 B.C.E. some 200 years after the fall of Babylon. We have already seen that data, including numbers, can easily suffer change and even perversion at the hands of pagan scribes in the course of a few centuries. In view of all these factors it is certainly not wise to insist that the traditional figures for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings be received as definite.

Both the lack of contemporary historical records and the ease with which data could be altered definitely allow for the possibility that one or more of the Neo-Babylonian rulers had a longer reign than the traditional figures show. The fact that no tablets have been discovered that would cover the later years of such reign cannot consistently be used as a strong argument against this possibility. There are cases of kings whose reigns come much farther along in the stream of time and for whom no such confirming tablets have been found. For example, for both Artaxerxes III (Ochus) (who, historians say, ruled for 21 years [358 to 338 B.C.E.]) and Arses (credited with a 2-year rule [337 to 336 B.C.E.]) there is no known contemporary cuneiform evidence to help establish the length of their reigns.

In reality, historians do not know where to place certain Babylonian kings for whom records do exist. Professor A. W. Ahl (Outline of Persian History, 1922, p. 84) states: “On the Contract Tablets, found in Borsippa, appear the names of Babylonian kings which do not occur elsewhere. In all probability they belong to the last days of Darius I, extending into the first days of Xerxes I, as Ungnad conjectures.” Still, this remains only conjecture.

bobby ray wrote at 2014-11-22 17:12:58
First: I would recommend you obtain and read "THE GENTILE TIMES RECONSIDERD" by Carl Olof Jonsson a former elder from Sweden who challenged the governing body on this issue because of much new evidence uncovered in later years, absolute proof that the 607bc year is not correct. Second: get a copy of Raymond Franz a former governing body members book "CRISIS of CONSCIENCE" Both of these is a must read for any JW really eye opening.

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Brandon Harper


I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and was baptized for 21 years. I was a 4th generation Jehovah's Witness both paternally and maternally and am qualified to answer many questions regarding doctrine, doctrinal changes, historical basis for various doctrines, as well as offer rebuttal responses from the perspective of a former Jehovah's Witness. I can also answer questions from the perspective of an ardent Jehovah's Witness.


I am 33 years old, became a publisher and gave my first public talk at age 4, was baptized at age 12, became an inactive publisher at age 32, and disassociated myself at age 33. My father has served as a congregation servant/elder continuously from the age of 17 on. Of my 9 uncles, 6 are elders. Of my 9 aunts, four are regular pioneers. My father is the presiding overseer of a congregation. When I began seriously investigating this religion I had to prepare for conversations with a very large extended family steeped in the history and doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses. I have thoroughly studied many Watchtower Society publications that most Jehovah's Witnesses have never even read, if they have heard of them at all, seeking the origins of various doctrinal points. I knew I would need to have this knowledge to discuss the issues in detail with my family when I decided to disassociate myself.

I read every Watchtower and Awake! magazine from at least age 8 through age 32. According to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society I have the equivalent of several four-year degrees (Reference available on request). I would hope that education would qualify me as an expert.

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