The‘Golden Image’….A case of Mistaken Identity
This post is concerning an important number in the minds of all who have been taught as Jehovah’s Witnesses. This brief article will not way dispute the understanding that we have been taught concerning the significance of this ‘number’ as it relates to Bible prophecy.And,there is ample evidence that this prophetic time period did begin about 606/607 B.C.E.
It is not about varying arguments about interpreting the prophecy concerning the ‘gentile times’ found in the Book of Daniel.
This article is about how Jehovah’s Witnesses view the prophecy. It accepts the beginning date of 606/607 B.C.E. as the starting point when God removed the crown and scepter of Divine sovereignty. That the period of the “appointed times of the nations” (Gentile Times) was to last 2,520 years till end. And that in correlation with other Scripture, that the end of this period would as well mark the beginning of “the last days”. During these last days, the One with the right to rule (Lord Jesus Christ) would appear and re-establish the presence of Divine rulership. It does not agree with the common assumption of when this prophetic period expired.
The number “1914″ is a very significant number.
Please remember the title of this article as you read.
After a brief introduction into the subject, you will be directed to other post url’s that contain all of the arithmetic in detail including a mathematical plot of the question of what C.E. year marks the end the Gentile Times.
IF YOU BELIEVE as Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the significance of the number “1914″ in fulfilling the completion of the GGentile Times (appointed times of the nations), then please take note.
Yard to meters….gallons to liters….etc. When going from one standard of measure to another, naturally some mathematical conversion is necessary. That is important to remember.
These facts that are easily verifiable:
The number “1914″ is a number derived from subtracting 606/607 from the number 2,520. That number is: 1914 lunar calendar years that were remaining till expiration when the Common Era calendar came into use. That number is defined therefore as: 1914 lunar-years counting down.
According to the calendar used in the Bible, that “1914″ is equal to 1914 times 360 days; which is equal to 689,040 days.
Our current Common Era calendar is based on a 365 day year. 1914 C.E. is therefore equal to 1914 times 365 days; which is equal to 698,610 days.
They do not equal and therefore are not the same. There is a difference of 9,570 days between the two calendars . In Common Era years that equals 26.21 years.
Because of this difference, there is a 26.21 common era year deviation from the original “1914″ we started with.
Since “1914″ is a number in a sequence of numbers counting down, mathematically it is a negative number (-1914) . And because it is used to find the difference between the two calendars, that result is also a negative number (-26.21 C.E.).
-26.21 C.E. is the conversion factor.
This all reduces to a simple addition of the two numbers.
The mathematics involved in solving this problem is not as straightforward as a person might intuitively think.
The plot below is based on the equation at the bottom. That equation is the mathematical representation of the question: What C.E. date corresponds to the end of the Gentile Times? The associated articles explain what the correct date actually is, as is based on the standard applied mathematics for a problem with these parameters and factors.
According to what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about the interpretation of this prophecy, the date 1914 C.E. is a false image (a false positive) of that number’s real value. This mistaken identification has altered man’s perception of where he actually stands in the stream of time and events. Please consider Dan. 7:25.
Is 607 B.C.E. a Valid or an Invalid Date?
Is 607B.C.E. worthy to be considered as a valid date or not?
For your consideration.
There are several factors that must be scrutinized before one can develop an accurately informed opinion as to whether or not the date 607 B.C.E. is a “valid” date.
The use of the word “valid” is critical of course, because it must first be understood:
Valid of or for what exactly?
What purportedly is supposed to have occurred at that time?
The answer is contained in the Holy Scriptures.
The period of the “gentile times” or “appointed times of the nations” is an issue of sovereignty, kingship, and dominion.
Note Ezekiel 21
English Standard Version
25 “And you, O profane and wicked one, prince of Israel, he whose day has come, it he time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.”
“Remove the turban and remove the crown” is the Scriptural demarcation for the start of this period of gentile domination.
This has nothing to do with the physical destruction of the city of Jerusalem.
The city and Temple both were reconstructed shortly after the exile.
What did not return was the nation’s sovereignty. From the fall of the last king in the Davidic line until the destruction in 70 C.E. by the Romans, Israel existed as a vassal state to a greater national power. (gentile power)
Logically if it were linked to Jerusalem’s actual destruction which was around 587 B.C.E. the numbers wouldn’t reconcile.
In 2 Chronicles 36:17-23, Almighty God himself through His prophet, stated that the captivity that would mark the beginning of the gentile time period was to last 70 years.
New International Version
17 “He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.
22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
23 ‘This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”
587 B.C.E., minus the 70 years of captivity period, would produce 517 B.C.E. as the year the release would have to had to occur. But we know for a fact that the captivity ended when King Cyrus conquered Babylon between 539 B.C.E. and 536 B.C.E. This would mean the captivity was only some 50 years long and not the 70 God had pronounced.
Therefore, it is impossible for the destruction of the city of Jerusalem to be the starting point of uninterrupted gentile domination of the Earth.
The gentile times was to be a period during which there would be an absence of a Divinely sanctioned representative of Sovereignty ruling in kingdom of man.
There are indicators that mark when this time period began.
King Josiah was the last faithful king who sat on the throne of his forefather David.
He died about 609 B.C.E. and was succeeded by his son Jehoiakim who reigned between 609 and 598 B.C.E.
Jehoiakim was an unfaithful despot who was overthrown.
The overthrowing of the anointed King of Judah has to be a marking point because “the turban was lifted and the crown removed” from Jehoiakim because of his rebellion against God.
2 Kings chapter 24:1-6 chronicles these events. Jehoiakim is there described as a “vassal” to the gentile King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel reports that in third year of Jehoiakim’s reign, Jerusalem came under siege by King Nebuchadnezzar (606/607 B.C.E.)
Daniel 1:1 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it.”
His son Jehoiachin was also wicked. He reigned a brief 3 months and was led off into captivity in shackles to Babylon by the king of the gentiles; well before Jerusalem was destroyed.
As regards his successor Zedekiah, there is a notable sign too about his appointment.
Another apparent marker of Israel’s having been yielded over to continuing gentile domination was the installation of Zedekiah by the gentile King, Nebuchadnezzar.
Wiliam F. Albright dates the start of Zedekiah’s reign to 606 BCE, while E. R. Thiele gives the start in 597 BCE. On that reckoning, Zedekiah was born in c. 627 BCE or 618 BCE, being twenty-one on becoming king. Zedekiah’s reign ended with the siege and fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar II, which both Albright and Thiele agree took place in 586 BCE, though more recent evidence dates the fall of Jerusalem to 587 BCE.
Any of these time frames, place the effects of gentile domination closer to the death of the last faithful King Josiah,the overthrowing and the carrying off into captivity of the last wicked of king to rule officially, Jehoiachin.
This was the period from 609 to 598 B.C.E.
Again, this is a prophecy about sovereignty and sovereignty has to do with kingship and dominion.
Any date suggested should be marked with signs that indicate a change from Divinely consecrated rulership to uninterrupted rulership by gentile nations.
Truthfully, I do not follow how C.T. Russell and the WTS arrived at the date 607 B.C.E. as a legitimate starting point of the gentile times, but the date itself is consistent with the relevant factors marking their begin.
What isn’t accurate is the teaching that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. and that the beginning of the appointed times of the nations was linked to that event. (The destruction of the city)
This is an example of mixing ‘apples’ and ‘oranges’ and causing predictable confusion.
Most people refuse 607 B.C.E. simply because of the false connection to the destruction of Jerusalem. So they hear nothing beyond that error. Oral traditions and not the Holy Scriptures set Jerusalem’s destruction and the desolation as the beginning point the gentile times began. These were effects of that shift that had already been ongoing.
Absent of that, 607 B.C.E. is a year within reason, viable on its own merit. And, 537 B.CE. + 70 years if captivity equals 607 B.C.E.
Whereas if one claims that the fall of the city of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. was the starting point; that will not reconcile with the date Cyrus freed the captives nor did it mark the beginning of gentiles exercising continuing sovereignty over Israel.
The devil knows that all he need do is slightly distort a reality to succeed in misleading. This is a mixture of truth and falsehood that must be separated; which means it cannot be accepted in whole as valid, but neither should the interpretation in its entirety be rejected.
C.T. Russell was a mixed seed of good and evil personified. He drank from two different spiritual cups and became a brook babbling both sweet and bitter water. He in turn, produced an organization and a message of like kind.
This operation of error also involves the projected date 1914 C.E.
1914 lunar years (360 days per year) counting down, cannot equal 1914 common era years (365 days per year).