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101: The Seventy Year Prophecy of Jeremiah

God told the people through Jeremiah:  

Jeremiah 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 25:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
Jeremiah 29:10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

Jerusalem fell in the fourth month [late Jun or early July] of 587 B.C. and after the city was looted,  Jerusalem and the Temple were burned on the ninth of Av [late Jul or  in Aug] the people of the city were removed to Babylon reaching that city after a four month journey near the end of that year.  Since the city fell and was destroyed in 587 B.C. the seventy years would be fulfilled at the end of 517 B.C.

Jeremiah 39:2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up.

Jeremiah 52:6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 52:7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden;

Later in 522 B.C. Daniel, understanding that The Seventy Year Prophecy was almost completed and yet the work on rebuilding the Temple was stalled, prayed about the prophecy..

 

Daniel’s Fast and Prayer

The context of Daniel’s fast was that the building of the temple had begun in 536 BC with the decree of Cyrus, and after that beginning the construction was later stopped. 

Daniel was deeply concerned realizing that the  seventy years were close to completion and the work had been stopped for some time, began to fast and pray that this stopping of the Temple building would be ended so that the prophecy of Jeremiah would be fulfilled.

Daniel 9:1   In the first year of Darius (522 B.C.) the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

The Fasting Prayer of Repentance by Daniel

There is a reason why this prayer of repentance is recorded for us: This is an example of the kind of sincere repentance prayer that God accepts from his people.  Please spend some time in carefully thinking about what a proper repentant attitude is, in the eyes of God. 

We desperately need to pray that the spiritual Temple and the spiritual Jerusalem of the Ekklesia as the Temple of God the Father: be restored to a proper relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father. 

9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

9:7 O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

9:12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

9:16 O LORD, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. Gabriel is sent to Daniel with the prophetic words of encouragement.

9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

All understanding of spiritual things comes from God.  Gabriel was sent as soon as Daniel began his prayer of repentance and supplication for himself, for the temple, for Judah/Israel and for Jerusalem.

9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.


 

 

The Struggle over the Building of the Temple

Ezra 4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time.

4:12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

4:13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.

4:14 Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 4:15 That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

4:16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

Ezra 4:17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.

The king’s answer

4:18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. 4:19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.

4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.

4:21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.

4:22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? 4:23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

Ezra 4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Which work stoppage – so close to the fulfilment of the Seventy Years – was the reason for the great concern of Daniel, Haggai and others. 

The adversary succeeded in delaying the building of the physical Temple for a short space; just as the adversary has succeeded in delaying the building of the spiritual temple of the Ekklesia for a short space today. 

Yet the building of that physical Temple was resumed, and that Temple was completed in an allegory that; no matter how bleak the situation in the Ekklesia looks today, the spiritual temple will also be completed. 

Today it will take a severe correction to save the called out, yet God’s will, will be fulfilled and his spiritual Temple and bride will be perfected!

Today the building and cleansing of the spiritual Temple to prepare the bride for the resurrection and marriage to the Lamb, has restarted; and Jesus Christ the Master Builder is hard at work to complete his Father’s Temple and perfect his collective spiritual bride.

 

Ezra 5

Here enters the prophets Haggai and Zechariah.  The people had been discouraged by the difficulties in building the Temple.  God’s spiritual faithful get discouraged at times and we can encourage one another, but must find our primary inspiration in prayer and the Word of God.

Ezra 5:1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.

Then Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor encouraged and inspired the people to continue the building of the Temple.  Before this time Sheshbazzar had been governor.

5:2 Then rose up Zerubbabel [the new governor] the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua [the high priest] the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

Then the Samaritans and surrounding nations worked hard to discourage the building work.

5:3 At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall? 5:4 Then said we [they demanded to know the names of the head builders, v 10] unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building?

Judah was encouraged in the LORD to do the work.  Even so the Spiritual Called Out must take their courage from God to do his will.

5:5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.

Then the opposition sent a message to the Darius king in Babylon. 

5:6 The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, sent unto Darius the king: 5:7 They sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus;

Unto Darius the king, all peace.

This is about building the Temple and NOT about building the city.

5:8 Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

5:9 Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls? 5:10 We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.

5:11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.

5:12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

5:13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.

Here the leader who brought those who were willin, to Jerusalem to build the temple is named; Sheshbazzar. 

King Cyrus of Persia had apparently appointed Sheshbazzar to build the Temple. He started to build the Temple (Ezra 5:16 ), but got no farther than the foundation when he was replaced by Zerubbabel.

5:14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; 5:15 And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place.

5:16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.

5:17 Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

Ezra 6

Then after Darius had seen the letter with the accusations and the answer of the Jews he searched and the decree of Cyrus was found and re-issued, rejecting the complaints of the adversaries.

Ezra 6:1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. 6:2 And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:

The 70 WEEKS Prophecy uses the decree to build the CITY Jerusalem as its starting point,  This Decree of Cyrus was about building the Temple only and had nothing to do with building the city and giving authority to Judah as a nation.

6:3 In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; 6:4 With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house:

6:5 And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God.

Darius orders the surrounding peoples NOT to interfere with the king’s command. The king then orders these people to support the work by paying tribute for its furtherance.

In the same way, God the great King, will intervene for his people who are building themselves into a fit Temple dwelling place for God and his Spirit, by internalizing the whole Word of God! 

6:6 Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:

6:7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.  6:8 Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.

Darius then commands the people to supply animals for sacrifice on the altar.

6:9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail: 6:10 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.

The king adds the pain of death for any disobedience.

6:11 Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.

Then Darius goes even further and curses anyone who interferes with the Temple construction, to be destroyed.  Spiritually, if we are faithful to internalize and keep the whole Word of God; things many seem difficult; but the Eternal goes before us!

6:12 And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.

This is an allegory that we, as we are working to make ourselves a spiritual  Temple of God, need to go to the Great King of the Universe for our help and our defense, so that we may internalize the nature of God and become a perfect Temple for his Spirit.

6:13 Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.

Then the  building of the Temple was prospered under the prophetic encouragement of Haggai and Zechariah

6:14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king [516 B.C. fulfilling the seventy years].

6:16 And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.

 


 

The Decrees and Dating the Seventy Years Completion

Jerusalem fell in the fourth month [Jun – Jul] and was destroyed in [late Jul – Aug] 587 B.C. and the seventy years were completed in 517 B.C.  Yet none of the four royal decrees fulfills the seventy years!

1. The decree of Cyrus recorded in Ezra 1:1-4

2. The decree of Darius I Ezra 6:1-12 (about 420 B.C.)

3. The decree of Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) Ezra 7:12-26 (457 B.C.)

4. The decree of Artaxerxes mentioned in Nehemiah chapters 1 and 2

The Decree of Darius is the only decree even coming close to 517 B.C. and fulfilling The Seventy Years Prophecy.

The record of the decree of Darius  is in Ezra 2:5 and chapters 4, 5 and 6; and at that same time Haggai commands the people from God to build the Temple in the sixth month of the second year of Darius (Haggai 1:1, 1:15, 2:10).

In the second year of Darius (521 B.C.) the king began to search the records and once a search had been done and proofs were found, he issued a decree to resume work about 520 B.C., but the date of that decree in the second year of Darius does not meet The Seventy Year Prophecy figure of 70 years!  

The answer is elusive because the decree is the wrong benchmark for The Seventy YEAR Prophecy, and remember that The Seventy YEAR Prophecy has absolutely nothing to do with The Seventy WEEKS Prophecy.  

True, Daniel was fasting and praying a prayer of repentance for the nation because he had seen The Seventy Year prophecies of Jeremiah (Dan 9), but God answered him with another prophecy about The Seventy WEEKS and the coming of Messiah the Christ, an entirely different prophecy from Jeremiah’s Seventy YEARS Prophecy.

In Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C. , Nebuchadnezzar broke through Jerusalem’s walls, conquering the city and in the summer of 587 B.C. the city and Temple were looted and burned and the people were removed on the ninth of Av [about late July or August]. Jeremiah dates the carrying away of the captives by a statement that the Word of the LORD came to him:

Jeremiah 1:3  It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.  

Jeremiah 39:2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up.

Jeremiah 52:6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 52:7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden;

Jerusalem fell in the fourth month and Judah was carried away in the fifth month [Av].

The city and Temple fell in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C.  and the captives were removed after the city was looted in summer 587 B.C. about August.  Tish B’Av, the ninth of Av, is observed to this day as the day that the city and temple were burnt and the captives removed at the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah 587 B.C.

The Temple had lain desolate for seventy years; from Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C.    until it was completed in Adar 517 B.C [actually about Feb 516].and then dedicated.

Darius’ regnal years were counted from October to October resulting in  the 517 – 516 confusion, but the scriptural mention of the specific months resolves that issue.

The solution to The Seventy Year Prophecy lies in the fact that the construction of the Temple was COMPLETED on Adar 3, at the end of the sixth year of king Darius [517 B.C. actually about Feb 516 B.C.]: and the Temple was then DEDICATED in the first month [about April 516 B.C.,  just before Passover, 70 years after the city and Temple fell.

Ezra 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius [517 B.C. actually about Feb 516] the king.

The temple was then DEDICATED in the First Month of the New Year about April of  516 B.C. 

To sum up: Jerusalem fell and was destroyed in summer 587 B.C. and the Jews arrived in Babylon near the end of that year.  Later the construction of the new Temple was completed at the end of 517 B.C. [actually about Feb 516] fulfilling the seventy years, and the Temple was then DEDICATED in the first month about April 516 B.C.

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