The Seventy Years Captivity of Israel in Babylon

 The Seventy Years Captivity of Israel in Babylon  


Much is made by some Bible critics, that the seventy years of Israel’s captivity, was in fact not seventy years, but a shorter period, depending on the particular persons calculations and assertions.  The purpose is always to try to prove the Holy Bible is in error, and therefore disprove the existence of Almighty God; which is one of the main purposes of the great enemy Satan at this particular time in the history of mankind, and in the timing of Almighty God in this Age of His Grace towards the Gentiles in particular, (see: Acts 28:28). 

It is worth stating at this stage that the purpose of Satan at the present time is:

1)   To thwart the spiritual birth of the Body of Christ (Christians true), which Body must be complete prior to the Lord’s return (and in the opinion of the writers, during Israel’s Lo-Ammi state), which confirms that now is a  spiritual warfare.

2)  To thwart the promises of Jehovah Zebaoth to Israel.  To that end spiritual forces are arrayed against mankind (Eph. 6:12) (particularly Gentiles since Acts 28:28).   

The Enemy has great recourses in this endeavour, which are invested in human and superhuman agencies.  At present, the main usage is human, with the invisible superhuman in the background.  In the coming Tribulation Period, the superhuman will become visual, as is shown in Revelation!

The human agencies are usually well versed in Scripture, and can quote a text to suit their perverse purpose very often better than some Christians, but they quote almost exclusively out of context, in attempting to achieve their objective.  Many true Christ-Ones can be unsettled by these agents of Satan, and the only way to combat them is with the Word (the Bible), and prayerful use of the Word!  It is also important to know when to leave them alone, as they thrive on attention! 

Taking the subject in hand; and turning to the Word, Daniel knew from his prayerful study of the Word that had been given to Israel, that the period of the captivity of Israel was soon to come to an end. (See: Dan. 9:2 KJV)

“ I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem”.

The reference to Jeremiah that Daniel refers to is Jer. 29:1-10, and 25:11.  The context is to the captive Jews, that they should “not diminish” (v6), and that they should therefore hold to the hope of the captivity ending after seventy years.

This captivity did end as predicted by God, and the people returned to Jerusalem.

Some of Satan’s agents try to say that the period was not seventy years, and provide “proof” of such.  The “proof” in question is in the form of their own dating system, or that “borrowed” from others! The real confusion they try to use is the misconstruence of the whole subject in context, which is described below. 

Turning to 2Chron. 36:21, “To fulfil the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths, to fulfil threescore and ten years”.

As per Leviticus, the Jews disobeyed Jehovah!  The balance was restored after the Babylonian captivity of seventy years, and fulfilled Jehovah’s promise of retribution on the disobedient Israel, (Lev. 26:3 & 14, and 27).  The condition “if” is placed on these words of God to His people, which they did break, and the consequence was The “Servitude”, The “Captivity” and The “Desolations” which Israel was to endure as the consequence! 

The following is comment by E.W. Bullinger, which summarises the subject well.

Special note on 2Chron. 36:21:

The “Servitude”, The “Captivity” And The “Desolations”.

Three Periods of seventy years are assigned to these three respectively, and it is necessary that they should be differentiated. 

The “Servitude”

This began in the fourth year of Jehoiakim and the first of Nebuchadnezzer when the “Kingdom” passed under Chaldean rule for seventy years (Jer. 25:1).  This period closed with the capture of Babylon by Darius the Median (Astyages), and the “Decree” of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple.  It lasted from 496- 426 B.C. 

The “Captivity”

Commenced and is dated by Ezekiel from the carrying away to Babylon of Jechoniah in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24. 8-16).  This was in 489 B.C.  Consequently, when the “Servitude” ended in 426 B.C. , the “Captivity” had lasted for 63 years.  Seven years later Cyrus died, in 419 B.C.  That same year is also notable for:

1)            The appointment of Nehemiah as Governor of Jerusalem by 

Cambyses (Neh. 5:14).

2)      The completion of “the wall” in fifty two days (Neh. 6:15).

3)      The fact it marks the end of the fifth of the “seven sevens" of Dan. 9:25!  

         The “Captivity” lasting from 489 to 419 B.C. 

The “Desolations”

Commenced with the beginning of the third and last siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzer in 479 B.C. , and cover a period of “seventy years”, ending in the second year of Darius Hystaspis; i.e. in 409 B.C.

This “three score and ten years” which is referred to here (2Chron. 6:21), is the fulfilment of Lev. 26: 32-35, and has reference to “the Land”.

It is this period that Daniel says he “understood by books”, as being the number of the years that Jehovah “would accomplish in the Desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:2).

The Darius here (Dan. 9:1) is evidently Cyrus, the son of Astyages; and as the first year of his reign was 426 B.C., it follows that seventeen years had then yet to run before the “Desolations” of the Land were ended, in 409 B.C.

Hence, Daniel’s prayer, that follows, resulting in the giving to him of the famous prophecy of  “the seventy sevens” of years contained in Dan. 9:20-27. 

There is no doubt that Almighty God’s Words in these remarkable “end time” prophecies are of great import to Israel, and to true Christ-Ones; and are the more so as the time of their fulfilment draws near.

It is not surprising that the agents of Satan are so concerned about these majestic Words of The Almighty, and constantly attack the veracity of these prophecies, and the whole of Scripture, as the desire of Israel, and the fulfilment of Christ-Ones draws near; which also means their own demise! 


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