English blog

chronology (6) seventy years of devastation

07-12-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

images21 In the previous blog we have seen the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar was the end of a period of four hundred thirty years. By two independent pathways, we came to this number of years. Firstly we have added the years of reign from the second appearance of the Lord to Solomon, including the years of change of rule. That produced four hundred and thirty years. A time period that is explicitly confirmed in Ezekiel 4, where the period leading up to Jerusalem’s fall, is divided into three hundred and ninety years and forty years, thus giving the same total (390 + 40 = 430). So far, we are strongly determined to time periods of five hundred years. From Abrams birth to the Exodus was five hundred years. And from the exodus to the completion of the temple and palace buildings also five hundred years. Only for this reason the four hundred and thirty years until Jerusalem’s destruction, would only need to be completed with an additional seventy years. And it is exactly like that. At the end of the book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 36 the dramatic end of Jerusalem is described, the burning of the Temple and the exile of the remaining people. And then the author makes this statement about the term:

20 …until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. 22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia…

From the destruction of Jerusalem until the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (2Chron.36: 21), are seventy years. So that the first year of Cyrus in which a start could be made with the rebuilding of the house of God, (430 + 70 =) took place five hundred years after the appearance to Solomon. And a thousand years after the exodus from Egypt. It was the year 3500 AH and so again a jubilee. And what a jubilee it was! For it was not only the end of seventy years of destruction of the temple, but it is also the seventieth jubilee since the creation of Adam! But there is something else. Because 2 Chronicles 36:21 says not only that the period of seventy years had to be made full, because the prophet Jeremiah had foretold this. There is also a reason given for the number of years: the land got her Sabbaths reimbursed. We saw earlier (from Leviticus 25) that Israel was not allowed to cultivate the land nor to harvest it.  Every fifty years the country would receive seven sabbatical years. I.e. when the land will get compensated seventy sabbatical years, then this is for a period of (10 x 50 =) five hundred years. The end of the seventy years of Jerusalem’s destruction, is also the end of a period of five hundred years. The seventy years as  sabbatical years, therefore  take us to the starting year, when the Lord appeared to Solomon and warned him of the destruction of the temple and the exile. Five hundred years which are divided into four hundred and thirty years, and seventy years. So we have three independent witnesses for the same period. God keeps his word and makes everything come true in His time! images_10 1_blog_13 MLH