This third article will conclude establishing the signposts we will need on our “Journey of Discovery through Time”. It covers the time period from the 19th year of Jehoiachin’s exile to the 6th Year of Darius the Persian (Great).

There is then a review of the important signposts that have become visible under “Questions for Reflection (Reasoning from the Scriptures)” in preparation for getting underway and following our route on our “Journey of Discovery through Time” in the fourth article of the series.

Summaries of Relevant Scriptures – After the 19th Year of Jehoiachin’s exile (continued)

bb.  Summary of Daniel 4

Time Period: Middle to latter part of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign? (Reigned 43 Regnal years) After Jerusalem’s final destruction, and the capture of Tyre and Egypt.

Main Points:

  • (1-8) Nebuchadnezzar praises the Most High God and recalls having a dream and asking Daniel to interpret.
  • (9-18) Nebuchadnezzar relates the Dream to Daniel.
  • (19-25) Daniel gives interpretation of the dream of the Luxuriant Tree which is cut down and banded.
  • (26-27) Daniel warns Nebuchadnezzar to repent of his pride, so that the dream does not befall him.
  • (28-33) Nebuchadnezzar does not listen and 1 lunar year later while boasting of his achievements Jehovah strikes him so that he acts as a beast of the field in fulfilment of the dream.
  • (34-37) Nebuchadnezzar is restored to kingship at the end of the days.[i]

cc.   Summary of Daniel 5

Time Period: 16th day, 7th month (Tishri) (of 539 BC approx. October 5th modern calendar) (17th Regnal Year of Nabonidus, 14th Regnal Year of Belshazzar).

Main Points:

  • (1-4) Belshazzar has a feast and uses the golden and silver vessels from Jehovah’s Temple.
  • (5-7) Writing on the wall leads to Belshazzar offering the 3rd place in the kingdom.
  • (8-12) Belshazzar becomes increasingly frightened until the Queen (mother?) suggests calling Daniel.
  • (13-21) Belshazzar repeats promise of reward to Daniel, who reminds him what happened to Nebuchadnezzar.
  • (22-23) Daniel condemns Belshazzar.
  • (24-28) Daniel interprets the writing on the wall.
  • (29) Daniel rewarded.
  • (30-31) Babylon falls that night to Darius the Mede and Belshazzar is killed.

dd.  Summary of Daniel 9

Time Period: 1st year of Darius the Mede (v1)

Main Points:

  • (1-2) 1st Year of Darius the Mede, Daniel discerns when was the end of the 70 years from Jeremiah and events which had taken place. (see Jeremiah 25:12) (Prophecy understood when fulfilled).
  • (3-19) Daniel realises repentance is required to end devastations of Jerusalem. (see 1 Kings 8:46-52[ii], Jeremiah 29:12-29)
  • (20-27) Vision given by angel of 70 weeks prophecy for Jesus arrival.

ee.  Summary of 2 Chronicles 36

Time Period: Death of Josiah to 1st year of Cyrus the Persian (the Great (II))

Main Points:

  • (1-4) Jehoahaz king for 3 months before King of Egypt takes him to Egypt and puts Jehoiakim on throne.
  • (5-8) Jehoiakim wicked in eyes of Jehovah and Nebuchadnezzar comes to remove.
  • (9-10) Jehoiachin made king by the people. Then taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar who makes Zedekiah king.
  • (11-16) Zedekiah acts badly in Jehovah’s eyes and rebels against Nebuchadnezzar. People ignore warnings.
  • (17-19) Jerusalem destroyed by King of Babylon as a result of ignoring warnings.
  • (20-21) Servants of Babylon until Cyrus starts to reign. To fulfil Jehovah’s word by Jeremiah, while desolate paid off Sabbaths (not kept), until completion of 70 years. (to fulfil 70 years)
  • (22-23) To fulfil Jehovah’s word through Jeremiah, Jehovah roused Cyrus to release in his 1st Year. (see 1 Kings 8:46-52[iii], Jeremiah 29:12-29, Daniel 9:3-19)  “22 In 1st year of Cyrus the King of Persia, that Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah roused the spirit of Cyrus the King of Persia, so that he caused a cry to pass through all his kingdom and also in writing saying.23.This is what Cyrus the King of Persia has said ‘All the kingdoms of the earth Jehovah the God of the Heavens has given me, and he himself has commissioned me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, Jehovah his God be with him. So let him go up.”.

ff.     Summary of Jeremiah 52

Time Period: 1st Year of Zedekiah to 1st Year of Evil-Merodach

Main Points:

  • (1-5) Zedekiah becomes king, rebels against Nebuchadnezzar, leading to siege of Jerusalem from 10th month, Year 9 of Zedekiah (v4) to 11th Year (v5). See Ezekiel 24:1, 2. (10th day, 10th month, 9th year of Jehoiachin exile).[iv]
  • (6-11) Fall of Jerusalem in 4th month 11th year of Zedekiah. Zedekiah’s family killed.
  • (12-16) Burning of Jerusalem and Temple. Most Jews exiled; a few labourers remain with Gedaliah.
  • (17-23) Pillage of remaining Temple objects, (copper basin etc.)
  • (24-27) Execution of High Priest Seraiah and 2nd Priest.
  • (28-30) Various times of exile stated along with number of exiles taken at each exile.
  • (31-34) Release of Jehoiachin in 1st Regnal Year of Evil-Merodach (son of Nebuchadnezzar).

gg.   Summary of Ezra 4

Time Period: (2nd Year Cyrus?) to 2nd Regnal Year Darius the Persian (the Great) (v24)

Main Points:

  • (1-3) Samaritans try to join Jews in rebuilding of Temple and are rejected by Zerubbabel.
  • (4-7) Opposition from Samaritans and others during later part of reign of Cyrus through till Darius of Persia.
  • (8-16) Complaint by opposers to Artaxerxes (Bardiya?)
  • (17-24) Artaxerxes stops the rebuilding of the temple, until 2nd Regnal Year of Darius the Persian.

hh.  Summary of Ezra 5

Time Period: (2nd Year of Darius the Persian (the Great) as per Haggai and Zechariah)

Main Points:

  • (1-5) Haggai and Zechariah start prophesying and encourage rebuilding of Temple. Zerubbabel and Jeshua start its rebuilding.
  • (6-10) Letter to Darius by opposers in attempt to stop the rebuilding.
  • (11-16) Zerubbabel’s letter to Darius to defend actions of the Jews.
  • (17) Darius requests a search in the palace archives, to make judgement.

ii.      Summary of Zechariah 1

Time Period: 2nd Regnal Year of Darius the Great (Persian) (v1)

Main Points:

  • (1-2) Jehovah’s word to Zechariah in 8th month of 2nd Regnal Year of Darius the Persian.
  • (3-6) Jehovah implores the Jews to return to him.
  • (7-11) Vision on 24th day 11th month 2nd Regnal Year of Darius, Angels report no disturbance on the earth.
  • (12) Angel asks: when will Jehovah show mercy to Jerusalem and Judah, which have been denounced for the previous 70 years.
  • (13-15) Jehovah says he wanted to help them, but they put themselves in that predicament because of their continued sinful actions.
  • (16-17) Promises to return to Jerusalem with mercies and see the temple rebuilt.
  • (18-21) Vision of horns.

jj.      Summary of Haggai 1

Time Period: 1st day 6th month 2nd Regnal Year of Darius the Persian. (v1)

Main Points:

  • (1) Jehovah’s word to Haggai on 1st day 6th Month 2nd Regnal Year of Darius the Persian.

 

  • (2-6) People were saying they did not have time to build Jehovah’s house, yet people have nice panelled houses for themselves.

 

  • (7-11) Jehovah wants his house built. Jehovah withheld the dew and crop growth because they had not rebuilt the temple.

 

  • (12-15) Jews motivated to start on 24th day 6 month 2nd Year of Darius.

kk.  Summary of Haggai 2

Time Period: 21st day 7th month 2nd Regnal year of Darius the Persian. (v2 and Chapter 1)

Main Points:

  • (1-3) Haggai asks Jews who saw the house of Jehovah in its former glory and can compare it with the current one.

 

  • (4-9) Jehovah promises to back them in rebuilding Temple.

 

  • (10-17) 24th day 9th Jews were not blessed because they were unclean and disobedient.

 

  • (18-23) Jehovah asks them for a change of heart and he will then bless and protect them.

ll.      Summary of Zechariah 7

Time Period: 4th Year of Darius the Great (Persian) (v1)

Main Points:

  • (1) 4th Day of 9th month of 4th Regnal Year of Darius.
  • (2-7) Priests asked if they should weep and practise abstinence on the 5th month as they had for many years. Jehovah asks that when fasting and weeping in 5th and 7th months for the last 70 years, did they fast for him or for themselves.
  • (8-14) Jehovah reminds them why they were exiled. (14) It was because they would not listen, (13) the land became desolate and an object of astonishment. Verse 8: They are reminded to judge with true justice.

mm.              Zechariah 8:19

Time Period: (4th Regnal Year of Darius the Great based on Chapter 7)

Main Points:

  • Fast of the 4th month (see Jeremiah 52:6) remembering severe famine in Jerusalem.
  • Fast of the 5th month (see Jeremiah 52:12) remembering the fall of Jerusalem.
  • Fast of the 7th month (see 2 Kings 25:25) recalling the murder of Gedaliah and the final clearance of Judah.
  • Fast of the 10th month (see Jeremiah 52:4) remembering the start of the siege of Jerusalem.

nn.  Summary of Ezra 6

Time Period: (2nd) to 6th Regnal Year of Darius the Great (v15)

Main Points:

  • (1-5) Darius issues a new order to rebuild the Temple.
  • (6-12) Opponents given orders not to interfere, but rather help.
  • (13-15) Building of Temple completed by 6th Year of Darius the Great (Persian)
  • (16-22) Festivals and inauguration of the Temple.

Figure 2.4 – From 19th Year Jehoiachin’s Exile to 8th Year Darius the Great.

 

Key discoveries from a brief review of the Bible Chapter Summaries

Questions for Reflection (by Reasoning on the Scriptures)

These brief review questions are in multiple choice format. The answers are given at the bottom. No cheating!!!

  1. Jeremiah promised certain exiles they would be able to return. In whose reign were they exiled according to Jeremiah 24, Jeremiah 28 and Jeremiah 29?
    1. Reign of Jehoiakim?
    2. Brief reign of Jehoiachin?
    3. 11th Year of Zedekiah and Jerusalem’s Destruction?
  2. The Jews had definitely started to ‘serve Babylon’ by when, according to 2 Kings 24 & Jeremiah 27 & Daniel 1
    1. 4th Year Jehoiakim?
    2. With Jehoiachin’s exile?
    3. 11th Year Zedekiah and Jerusalem’s Destruction?
  3. According to Jeremiah 24, 28 & 29, by when were Jews were already in exile and serving Babylon?
    1. 4th Year Jehoiakim?
    2. With Jehoiachin’s exile?
    3. 11th Year Zedekiah and Jerusalem’s Destruction?
  4. According to Jeremiah 27 and Jeremiah 28 who would have to serve Nebuchadnezzar for 70 years?
    1. Judah only?
    2. Surrounding Nations Only?
    3. Judah and Surrounding Nations?
    4. No-one?
  5. When according to Jeremiah 52 and 2 Kings 25 & 25 were the largest amounts of exiles taken (by a large margin)?
    1. 4th Year Jehoiakim?
    2. With Jehoiachin’s exile?
    3. 11th Year Zedekiah and Jerusalem’s Destruction?
    4. 5 years after 11th Year Zedekiah?
  6. When does Matthew 1:11,12,17 suggest the Deportation started?
    1. 4th Year Jehoiakim?
    2. With Jehoiachin’s exile?
    3. 11th Year Zedekiah and Jerusalem’s Destruction?
  7. When does Ezekiel start the exile according to Ezekiel 1:2, Ezekiel 30:20, Ezekiel 31:1, Ezekiel 32:1,17, Ezekiel 33:21, Ezekiel 40:1, and according to Esther 2:5-6?
    1. 4th Year Jehoiakim?
    2. With Jehoiachin’s exile?
    3. 11th Year Zedekiah and Jerusalem’s Destruction?
  8. When would the 70 years for Babylon be completed according to Jeremiah 25:11-12
    1. Before Babylon’s fall?
    2. With Babylon’s Fall (by Cyrus)?
    3. Some unspecified time after Babylon’s fall?
  9. When was Babylon’s rule ended according to Daniel 5:26-28
    1. Before Babylon’s fall?
    2. With Babylon’s Fall (by Cyrus)?
    3. Some unspecified time after Babylon’s fall?
  10. When would the King of Babylon be called to account according to Jeremiah 25:11-12 and Jeremiah 27:7?
    1. Before 70 years?
    2. On completion of 70 years?
    3. Sometime after 70 years?
  11. Why was Jerusalem’s devastated according to 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 17:19-27, Jeremiah 19:1-15, Jeremiah 38:16-17 (All that apply)?
    1. Ignoring Jehovah’s Laws, doing what was bad?
    2. Because Non-repentant?
    3. Refusing to server Babylon?
    4. To serve Babylon?
  12. What was required before Jerusalem’s devastations could finish according to Deuteronomy 4:25-31, 1 Kings 8:46-52, Jeremiah 29:12-29, Daniel 9:3-19?
    1. Fall of Babylon?
    2. Repentance?
    3. Passing of 70 years?
  13. What was the purpose of the Dream of the Cut Down Tree given to Nebuchadnezzar? (Daniel 4:24-26,30-32,37 & Daniel 5:18-23)
    1. A nice story?
    2. To teach Nebuchadnezzar a lesson in humility?
    3. To create an anti-type for future fulfillment?
    4. Other?
  14. Please read Zechariah 1:1,7 & 12 and Zechariah 7:1-5. When was Zechariah 1:1,12 written? (see Ezra 4:4,5,24)[v]
    1. 1st Year of Cyrus/Darius 539 BCE / 538 BCE?
    2. 11th month, 2nd Year of Darius the Mede? 538 BCE / 537 BCE?
    3. 11th month 2nd Year of Darius the Persian (the Great) 520 BCE?
    4. 9th month 4th Year of Darius the Persian (Great) 518 BCE?
  15. How long had this denunciation been going on? (Zechariah 1)
    1. 50 years
    2. 70 years
    3. 90 years
  16. Why did the angel ask for mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? (Zechariah 1)
    1. Judah and Jerusalem still under domination of Babylon
    2. Jews still exiled and not yet released from Babylon
    3. Temple not yet rebuilt allowing restoration of true worship
  17. Working back from the answer to (14) with the years from (15) what year do you come to?
    1. 11th month 609 BCE
    2. 9th Month 607 BCE
    3. 11th Month 589 BCE
    4. 9th Month 587 BCE
  18. What major event occurred during the year chosen in (17) (see Jeremiah 52:4 & Jeremiah 39:1)
    1. Main Exile
    2. Nothing
    3. Siege of Jerusalem started
    4. Other
  19. When was Zechariah 7:1,3,5 written (also see Ezra 4:4,5,24)
    1. 1st Year of Cyrus/Darius 539 BCE / 538 BCE?
    2. 11th month, 2nd Year of Darius the Mede? 538 BCE / 537 BCE?
    3. 11th month 2nd Year of Darius the Persian (the Great) 520 BCE?
    4. 9th month 4th Year of Darius the Persian (Great) 518 BCE?
  20. How long had they been fasting in the 5th month and the 7th month? (Zechariah 7)
    1. 50 years
    2. 70 years
    3. 90 years
  21. What restarted in 2nd Year of Darius the Persian according to Ezra 4:24 & Ezra 5:1,2 & Ezra 6:1-8,14,15?
    1. End of Babylon’s Rule
    2. Return from Exile
    3. Rebuilding of the Temple
  22. Working back from the answer to (19) with the years from (20) what year do you come to?
    1. 11th month 609 BCE
    2. 9th Month 607 BCE
    3. 11th Month 589 BCE
    4. 9th Month 587 BCE
  23. What 2 major events occurred during the year chosen in (22) (see Jeremiah 39:2 & Jeremiah 52:12)
    1. Deportation of Jehoiachin
    2. Deportation from Egypt
    3. Destruction of Temple
    4. Murder of Gedaliah

Note: Answers to all multiple-choice questions (1-23) above are the choice(s) that is / are in italics.

Now we have established our signposts and the order in which to follow them and become familiar with the environment we will be travelling through.

We are now fully equipped to move on to make our important discoveries on our “Journey of Discovery through Time” in the fourth article of our series.

 

 

 

[i] Some have argued that the 7 times could be 7 seasons (Babylonians had two seasons, winter, and summer) i.e. 3.5 years but the wording here and referencing Daniel 7:12 ‘for a time and a season’ would more likely indicate ‘a time’ was one year, with a time and a season = 1.5 years.

[ii] 1 Kings 8:46-52. See Part 4, Section 2, “Earlier Prophecies Fulfilled by the events of the Jewish Exile and return”.

[iii] 1 Kings 8:46-52. See Part 4, Section 2, “Earlier Prophecies Fulfilled by the events of the Jewish Exile and return”.

[iv] Year of Jehoiachin exile = Year of Zedekiah until capture of Jerusalem in 11th year Zedekiah.

[v] Approximate Years given based on generally agreed secular and JW dates.

Tadua

Articles by Tadua.