Jerusalem 607 BCE Vindicated

Apostates and other opposers argue that Jerusalem was not destroyed in 607 BCE, but in 587 BCE, and provide what they claim is archaeological evidence to support this. If 607 BCE is wrong, then the “seven times” prophecy ending in 1914 CE would be wrong also.

Painting
The Bible says Jerusalem was devastated for seventy years, starting in 607 BCE.

However, as Jehovah's Witnesses, we only go by what the Bible says. Yet they claim that the Bible supports 587 BCE as the correct date too! The two most prominent apostates arguing this, Ray Franz and Karl Jonsson, sycophantically say words to this effect: “oh, if only it was a matter of believing the Bible, then we would believe in 607 too!” Oh, really?

Unsurprisingly, they do not mention that the 587 BCE date is a chronological disaster — biblically speaking. It makes several prophecies fail, breaks up chronological narratives, makes some passages absurd, and makes part of the scriptures contradict other parts. It truly is an absolute mess and a disgraceful misuse of the Bible.

Instead of dealing with these enormous critical problems, 587 promoters either ignore them, keep them secret, or pretend they don’t exist! Franz and Jonsson certainly make no mention of them to their readers. They instead concentrate on fallible secular evidence. While they do mention a few chosen bible verses, they keep quiet about whole passages, prophecies, and narratives that their 587 date contradicts. Oh, and by the way, many of the different “the Bible supports 587 too” theories contradict each other.

This website outlines plainly the scriptural chaos caused by 587 BCE which men like Franz and Jonsson don’t like to talk about. We, the authors, once believed in 587, but after a careful examination of the scriptural evidence, can see that 587 is wholly wrong. “Oh, if only it was a matter of believing the Bible, then we would believe in 607 too” is what they, in so many words, said. Well, the Bible overwhelmingly rubbishes 587 and makes it abundantly clear that 607 is the only possible date.

Please prayerfully examine the chapters below, and the appendix which covers more complex arguments. Please begin with chapter one, Why is 607 BCE Important?

— The Authors

P.S. We did not set out to examine the secular evidence, as the Bible is supreme to anything else. However, we were bemused to see that the little bit of secular evidence we did examine actually supports 607! We also found serious problems with reliability of the secular evidence. See: Appendix B: Secular records “correcting” the Bible, Appendix Q: The BM21946 Tablet and how it supports 607 rather than secular chronology, and Appendix R: Secular chronologist’s blatant disregard for the Bible.

Contents

Introduction: Why is 607 BCE Important?
Why is this date so important to Jehovah's Witnesses, why is the favourite point-of-attack for apostates, and what is the fuss about the 587 BCE date? Read this chapter...

1: The Real Issue: 70 Years
Why do we disagree with secular historians and reject their 587 date? When did the 70 years of desolation really begin? Read a summary of the different theories. Read this chapter...

2: Seventy years of what?
Promoters of 587 redefine the 70-year desolation to mean something figurative, such as servitude for seventy years. Read this chapter...

3: Is Jerusalem Included in the 70 Years of Desolation?
Jerusalem was indeed the primary part of the 70-year desolation, the scriptures deny anything else. Read this chapter...

4: Ruins, Desolation, Waste, a Wasteland
The Hebrew words used support the idea of a full 70-year desolation of Jerusalem with the city lying in ruins. Read this chapter...

5: Servitude to the King of Babylon for 70 Years?
What is the full meaning of the nations serving the King of Babylon for a full seventy years? Does it disprove 607, or is more involved? Read this chapter...

6: Did the 70 Years Begin in Neb’s 1st Year?
Several Bible passages contradict the apostate re-interpretation that the 70-year period began in Neb’s first year. Here they are to consider. Read this chapter...

7: Did the 70 years Begin with Assyria’s Defeat?
Another interpretation is that the 70 years began when Babylon took Assyria's status as the world power. It's just a shame the scriptures don't agree. Read this chapter...

8: Does 607 make Daniel Unrealistically Old?
The truth is that the accounts in Daniel's book harmonizes perfectly with 607 — while the 587 date causes a chronological mess in the narrative. Read this chapter...

9: The 70 Years for Tyre
Prophecy stated Tyre would be forgotten for 70 years before providing materials for the temple. Only the 607 date allows for this — a problem for 587 promoters. Read this chapter...

10: Egypt’s 40-Year Desolation
Only the 607 date allows for the full 40-years of Egypt's desolation by Nebuchadnezzar. Whereas the 587 date makes it impossible. Read this chapter...

11: Zechariah: Did the 70 Years Continue After 537?
Some claim the desolation continued after the repatriation of the Jews in their homeland. It's a shame the scriptures don't agree with this. Read this chapter...

12: What About 519 BCE?
Some are aware of the problems with reinterpretting 70 years as 50, they claim the date of Jewish repatriation is wrong, and is really 519 BCE. Read this chapter...

Conclusion: 607 BCE – The Only Year That Works
The 587 date is a poor explanation which is full of holes, while 607 harmonizes with the whole Bible like no other date. Read this chapter...


Appendix

Charts

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We also have available PDF versions of the website Setting the Record Straight, which is also about 607 BCE. We have it in US Letter format and standard A4.