BABYLON; JERUSALEM and 70 YEARS —
586 BCE or 607 BCE?
(Investigator 182, 2018 September)
When were Jerusalem and its Temple destroyed by the Babylonians and the Jews exiled to Babylon? Did the exile last 70 years?
In this article we'll investigate:
1. Scholarly denials that the Jewish exile happened.
Whether the exile lasted about 50 years instead of 70 — textbooks teach
that Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BCE and repopulated by Jewish
returnees in the 530s.
3. The historicity of kings and officials connected with the exile.
The claim that 586 BCE is wrong and should be 607 BCE. The sect that
makes this claim needs the date to be 607 in order to add 2520 years
and come up with 1914 when in their view the generation that would
suffer Armageddon already lived.
5. Disagreements of one or two years in dating some events.
DESOLATION DENIED; LATER CONFIRMED
Bible's teaching that Judah and Jerusalem were devastated by the army
of King Nebuchadnezzar and many Jews transferred to Babylon used to be
denied. Keller (1963) writes:
like S. A. Cook and C. C. Torrey have denied the truth of the Biblical
tradition of this carrying off into exile. In their view there was
never a mass deportation from Judah, at the most some of the nobility
were imprisoned in Babylon. (p. 285)
Stanley Arthur Cook (1873-1949) was Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge and author of The Religion of Ancient Palestine in the Second Millennium B.C. (1908) and Lectures on the Religion of the Semites
(1927). Charles Cutler Torrey (1863-1956) was an American historian and
scholar who founded the American School of Archaeology at Jerusalem,
and taught Semitic languages at Yale University.
and Torrey were reputable scholars. But the Bible has often turned out
correct, confirmed by science, even in points that scholars and
scientists declared false. The Jewish exile dispute, likewise, was
settled in the Bible's favour, in this instance by archaeology. Keller
1926 a considerable number of towns and fortresses in Judah have been
either wholly or partly excavated and carefully examined with a view to
establishing the date of their destruction or depopulation. "The
results," says Professor Albright, "are uniform and convincing: many
towns were destroyed at the beginning of the 6th century and were never
again re-settled. There is not a single known case of a town in Judah
being continuously inhabited during the exile." The Babylonians
permanently destroyed and depopulated Judah: in brief, as far as
archaeology is concerned they made a clean sweep…
Bible's outline is confirmed. Jerusalem, its Temple, and towns
throughout Judah were reduced to ruins in 586 BCE and many Jews
transferred to Babylon. Other Jews fled en masse to Egypt; and a
further Babylonian incursion occurred in 581 BCE.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica uses the spelling "Nebuchadrezzar" (with an "r") and gives the dates listed below. Some dates are uncertain by one year — Chambers Biographical Dictionary puts Nebuchadnezzar's death in 562 BCE instead of 561.
|| Birth of Nebuchadrezzar.
||Babylon and Media demolish the Assyrian Empire.
||Nebuchadrezzar as commander in chief shattered Egypt's army of Pharoah Necho at Carchemish by the Euphrates River.
||Death of Nebuchadrezzar's father after which Nebuchadrezzar returned to Babylon and ascended the throne.
|| Syria, Judah and Ashkelon submitted to Nebuchadrezzar.
||Nebuchadrezzar clashed with an Egyptian army and suffered heavy losses after which Judah and some other vassal states defected.
||Nebuchadrezzar captured Jerusalem and deported its king, Jehoiachin, to Babylon.
||Jerusalem was "completely destroyed".
An engraving with a royal inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II. Anton Nyström, 1901.
• Nabopolassar (Reigned 626-605). Father of Nebuchadnezzar.
The territory of these six reigns is known as the "Neo-Babylonian Empire" which lasted 87 years.
Evil-Merodach (Amel Marduk) (Reigned c.562-560). Son of Nebuchadnezzar.
His name and length of his reign are recorded in the Canon of Ptolemy.
The first archaeological support for him was an alabaster vase
discovered at Susa, Persia, bearing the inscription, "Palace of
Amel-Marduk, King of Babylon, son of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon."
(Barton, 1916, p. 381)
Nerig-lissar (Nergal-sharezer) (Reigned 560-556). Son in law of
Nebuchadnezzar. He is mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3, 13-14 as an official,
26 years before he became king.
• Labashi-Marduk (Reigned nine months in 556). Son of Nerig-lissar.
Nabonidus (Reigned 556-539). Son in law of Nebuchadnezzar. From 550 to
539 he lived in Arabia, leaving Belshazzar to rule in Babylon.
Belshazzar (Ruled 550-539). Son of Nabonidus and co-regent. Died when
Persians took Babylon in 539 BCE. Until the 1850s Belshazzar was known
only from the Book of Daniel and some
scholars denied his historicity. References to him were then discovered
on Babylonian cuneiform tablets. Daniel calls Belshazzar son of
Nebuchadnezzar but Babylonian inscriptions say he was the son of
Nabonidus. However, it is common biblical practice to call someone "son" where we would say "descendant".
original sources for Babylon's history are the Babylonian Chronicles.
These are clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform script which list major
events year by year from the 8th to 4th centuries BCE. The Nabonidus
Chronicle, for example, gives a year by year account of the reign of
Nabonidus, ending at 17 years.
Chronicles were transferred to the British museum after 19th century
excavations in Babylon. Wikipedia lists 54 Chronicles at:
Chronicle 21946 (also known as "Jerusalem Chronicle") is a clay tablet,
8.3 x 6.2 centimetres. It covers the first 11 years of Nebuchadnezzar's
reign and answers: "certain vexing problems of the chronology of the
Judean kings". (Tadmor 1956)
independently confirms the Bible regarding Pharoah Necho's defeat at
Carchemish and dates Nebuchadnezzar's 597 BCE capture of Jerusalem
(Jeremiah 52:28) to his: "Year 7 … on the second Adar…" which
historians pinpoint to March 16, 597 BCE.
the Babylonian Chronicles historians also have writings of Babylonian
priest Berossus, the Canon of Claudius Ptolemy, books of Jewish
historian Josephus, archaeological discoveries, Egyptian records, and
ancient letters, law suits, financial transactions, and astronomical
THREE SIEGES; THREE LAST KINGS
The Bible mentions 70 years in:
• II Chronicles 36:20-21
Chronicles 36 records three sieges when Nebuchadnezzar plundered
Jerusalem, and also tells about Jerusalem's three last kings. The
Temple was burned down in the third siege [586 BCE].
The kings and sieges were:
• Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10
• Daniel 9:1-3
• Zechariah 1:7, 12; 7:1-5
Kings 25 says the Temple was burned in Zedekiah's 10th year, 5th month,
7th day. Therefore the 11 years in II Chronicles 36:11 appears to be
rounded out. This was also the "nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar,
King of Babylon". (II Kings 25:8)
If 586 BCE was Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year then his reign began in 605 BCE.
||Jehoiakim reigned 11 years and then Nebuchadnezzar plundered the Temple and
"bound him with fetters to take him to Babylon." (36:5-8) [597 BCE]
Josephus says 3000 "principal persons" were transferred to Babylon,
which agrees with Jeremiah's 3023 persons. (52:28)
(same person as "Jeconiah" in Jeremiah 29) reigned 3 months and 10
days. Nebuchadnezzar plundered the Temple and took him to Babylon.
(36:9-10) [597 BCE]
This occurred in the eighth year of
Nebuchadnezzar's reign and 10,000 Jewish prisoners were taken to Babylon. (II Kings 24:8-14)
(1956) says: "Tablets listing the rations given to Jehoiachin, king of
Judah, and other Jews and fellow-captives have been found in the royal
quarters at Babylon." (p. 34)
reigned 11 years (36:11). Then [586 BCE] Nebuchadnezzar again
plundered the Temple (36:17-19), this time burned it down, and
demolished Jerusalem's wall. (36:19) Some 832 Jews were taken to
Babylon. (Jeremiah 52:29)
605 BCE, the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, was also "the fourth year of King Jehoiakim…" (Jeremiah 25:1), and when Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt at the Euphrates River:
Egypt, about the army of Pharoah Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the
river Euphrates at Carchemish and which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
defeated in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim … of Judah: … (Jeremiah
The Carchemish battle is a historical event which history dates to 605 BCE.
Now consider Jeremiah:
This is the number of the people Nebuchadnezzar carried into exile:
In the seventh year, 3023 Jews;
in Nebuchadnezzar's eighteenth year, 832 people from Jerusalem;
in his twenty-third year, 745 Jews taken into exile by Nebuzaradan the commander of the imperial guard. (52:28-30)
These three events refer to 597; and 586; and 581. In 581, Babylonian
commander Nebuzaradan suppressed residual Jewish resistance.
Nebuzaradan was also present in 586 when he supervised the burning of
Jerusalem's Temple. (II Kings 25:8-9) He is listed with other officials
on a clay tablet dated c.570 BCE discovered in Nebuchadnezzar's palace.
Babylonian official present in 586 BCE is Nebo-Sarsekim. (Jeremiah
39:3) His existence was confirmed in 2007 with the finding of his name
on a 5.5 cm tablet at the British Museum. The tablet was written eight
years before the 586 BCE siege and was a receipt for gold that
Nebo-Sarsekim paid to a temple in Babylon on, "Month XI, day 18, year
10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon." (Reynolds 2007)
DANIEL: ANOTHER SIEGE & DEPORTATION — 605 BCE
was another attack on Judah prior to the three sieges of 597, 597 and
586, which is not directly mentioned in II Chronicles 36, II Kings 24,
or Jeremiah, but its occurrence is implied in Jeremiah 35:11 and II
Daniel 1:1-2 says: "In the third year of King Jehoiakim when King Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and besieged it..."
On that occasion some of the royal family and nobility including Daniel were taken to Babylon. (Daniel 1:3)
Since King Jehoiakim reigned 11 years until 597 BCE, his reign began about 608 BCE, and his third year ended in 605 BCE.
This initial siege is when "Judah and Ashkelon submitted to Nebuchadrezzar" which the Britannica dates "604 June to December".
Events subsequent to the Carchemish Battle are mentioned by Berossus in his Babyloniaca (History of Babylon) (c. 300 BCE):
a short time Nabuchodonosor [i.e. Nebuchadnezzar], receiving the
intelligence of his father's death, set the affairs of Egypt and the
other countries, in order, and committed the captives he had taken from
the Jews, and Phoenicians, and Syrians, and of the nations belonging to
Egypt, to some of his friends, that they might conduct that part of the
forces that had on heavy armour, with the rest of his baggage, to
Babylonia; while he went in haste, with a few followers, across the
desert to Babylon; where, when he was come, he found that affairs had
been well conducted by the Chaldacans, and that the principal person
among them had preserved the kingdom for him: Accordingly he now
obtained possession of all his father's dominions.
Nebuchadnezzar tablets [of the Babylonian Chronicles] published by D.J.
Wiseman (1956) reveal that after defeating the Egyptians,
Nebuchadnezzar "took away the heavy tribute of Hatti [meaning Syria
& Palestine] to Babylon." Writing about these
post-Battle-of-Carchemish events Wiseman says:
to both the Old Testament and Josephus, Nebuchadrezzar took all Syria
from the Euphrates to the Egyptian border without entering the hilly
terrain of Judah itself. The effect on Judah was that king Jehoiakim, a
vassal of Necho, submitted voluntarily to Nebuchadrezzar, and some
Jews, including the prophet Daniel, were taken as captives or hostages
to Babylon. None of the sources implies that Nebuchadrezzar himself
moved far south at this time. (p. 26)
Wiseman provides the dates:
• 605 May: Battle of Carchemish; Syria and Palestine then conquered.
• 605 August 15: King Nabopolassar of Babylon died;
• 605 September 7: Accession of Nebuchadnezzar.
1:1-3, referring to Nebuchadnezzar's 1st year, agrees chronologically
with Daniel 2 where Daniel interprets a dream for Nebuchadnezzar "In
the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign…" (Daniel 2:1)
seeming discrepancy is that Daniel 1:1-2 calls Nebuchadnezzar "King" in
the "third year of King Jehoiakim" whereas Jeremiah 25:1 says
Nebuchadnezzar's "first year" of reign was in Jehoiakim's "fourth year".
1st year could have overlapped with both Jehoiakim's 3rd and 4th year.
However, the scholarly explanation is: "It was customary for the
Babylonians to consider the first year of a king's reign as the year of
accession and to call the next year the first year." (Walvoord 2012;
Tadmor 1956) Apparently Jeremiah counted Nebuchadnezzar's accession
year as the first year, whereas Daniel followed Babylonian custom and
counted the following year as the first year.
Let's summarize before going on:
• 609: Babylon terminates the Assyrian Empire.
• c.608: King Jehoiakim, Jerusalem's third to last king, begins his 11-year reign.
• 605: Nebuchadnezzar victorious at Carchemish; subsequently becomes king.
• 605: Prominent Jews including Daniel transferred from Jerusalem to Babylon. (Daniel 1:1-2)
• 597: Nebuchadnezzar deposes Jehoiakim and transfers 3000 Jews to Babylon.
597: King Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) reigns 3 months in Jerusalem after
which the Babylonians transfer 10,000 Jews to Babylon.
• 586: The Babylonians burn Jerusalem's Temple and transfer 832 Jews to Babylon.
586: Jews kill their governor and flee to Egypt (II Kings 25:22-26),
seeking refuge under Pharoah Hophra. (Jeremiah 40-43; 44:30
52:30) [History knows Hophra as "Apries" — he reigned 589-570 BCE.]
• 581: Nebuzaradan takes 745 Jews to Babylon.
JEREMIAH'S SEVENTY YEARS
The error of sectarians who argue for a 70-year desolation of Jerusalem that commenced 607 BCE is:
They assume the 70 years began after the fourth siege of Jerusalem when
the Temple was burned whereas the Bible begins the 70 years at or
before the first siege.
2. They ignore that Jeremiah's 70 years refer to when Babylon dominated neighbouring nations:
word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the
fourth year of King Jehoiakim … that was the first year of King
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon… [605/604 BCE]
the 70 years are when various nations "serve the king of Babylon".
Jeremiah 25 lists Judah, Syria, Egypt, Philistia, Tyre, Media, Arabia
and other nations. They don't all "serve" exactly 70 years since their
servitude begins "one after another" (25:26) and "disaster is spreading
from nation to nation…" (25:32)
27, written "In the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah" (597 BCE)
just after King Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) with 10,000 Jews had gone to
whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall
serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after 70 years are
completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land
of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says the LORD, making the land an
everlasting waste. (25:11-12)
Now I [God] have given all these lands into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon...
the nations shall serve him and his son and his
grandson, until the time of his own land comes, then many nations and
great kings shall make him their slave. (27:1, 6-7)
The seventy years of servitude clearly had already begun. The exile of
Jehoiachin adds to and continues the servitude commenced earlier.
Jeremiah then sent a letter from Jerusalem to the exiles in Babylon with Jehoiachin, which reads:
thus says the LORD: Only when Babylon's seventy years are completed
will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you
back to this place … from which I sent you into exile." (29:10-14)
Again, we see that Babylon's 70 seventy years were already underway.
Christians who count 70 years from the 4th siege of Jerusalem in 586
BCE (which they redate to 607) rely on II Chronicles 36 which says:
[Nebuchadnezzar) took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from
the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the
establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD
by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its Sabbaths.
All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy
years. (II Chronicles 36:21)
70 years to be "fulfilled" were (according to Jeremiah) Babylon's 70
years of power which had begun many years earlier. This fourth siege
and its consequences were only part of the fulfilment of Jeremiah's
prophecy, or contributed to it.
Daniel also mentions 70 years. Persia conquered Babylon in 539 BCE at which time Daniel:
perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word
of the LORD to the prophet Jeremiah, must be fulfilled for the
devastation of Jerusalem, seventy years. (Daniel 9:1-2)
NRSV has "devastation" (singular) but other Bibles use the plural.
Jerusalem/Judah suffered at least five devastations between 605 and
581. Jeremiah's 70 years refer to Babylon's time of power
but the same 70 years "fulfilled … the devastations of Jerusalem…"
SEVENTY YEARS COMPLETED
Babylon's 70 years count from its victory over Egypt at Carchemish and
the first "devastation" of Jerusalem in 605 BCE, and are exact not an
approximation, they would end in 535 BCE.
of Persia conquered Babylon in 539 BCE, but perhaps it took until 535
to dismantle Babylon's garrisons throughout its Empire.
Alternatively, Babylon's 70 years began in 609 BCE when Babylon took Assyria's capital city and the Assyrian Empire ended.
The Jews would return to Jerusalem when "Babylon's seventy years are completed". (Jeremiah 29:10)
Ezra 1:1-2 says:
the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the
LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred
up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald
throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared:
"first year of King Cyrus of Persia" means his "first year" at Babylon,
539/538 BCE. The month of the conquest, October, is established from
the Nabonidus Chronicle located at the British Museum.
the time of Cyrus' decree the exile of some Jews had lasted 66 years
(605-539); others 58 years (597-539); others 47 years (586-539), and
those in Egypt of whom "few" would return (Jeremiah 44:28) 42 years.
first and biggest batch to leave Babylon for Jerusalem numbered 50,000.
(Ezra 2:64) To sell their homes and organize the departure could have
taken several years. Seven months after leaving Babylon they reached
Jerusalem (Ezra 3:1). A probable date is 535 BCE — 70 years since 605
says King Cyrus of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me
all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a
house at Jerusalem in Judah…"
ZECHARIAH'S 70 YEARS
Chapter 1 has its setting in the 2nd year of King Darius (1:1, 7) of
Persia or 520 BCE, and speaks of God being "angry these seventy years".
(1:1, 7, 12)
God's "anger" is evident from the poverty of Judah and the ruined state the Temple. (1:16-17; 6:15)
7 is set in Darius' 4th year, 518 BCE, and mentions annual fasts "for
these seventy years" in the 5th and 7th months.
The 5th and 7th months
are when the Temple was burned, and Jerusalem's governor was murdered
after the siege of 586 BCE. (II Kings 25:8, 25)
therefore, could be an approximation for the 66 and 68 years which had
passed, in 520 and 518 BCE, since the Temple was burned.
"seventy" anticipates when the rebuilding of the Temple is finished,
"in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius" (Ezra 6:15) — in 516
Since 516+70=586 Zechariah supports 586 BCE over 607 BCE.
SOME DATES NOT EXACT
As mentioned in the Introduction, some events in Babylon's history have alternative dates differing by one or two years.
reason is the complexities when dealing with different calendars of
different nations with different start-months for the year, different
ways of measuring the lengths of kings' reigns, besides mistakes by
Tadmor (1956) corrected previous work by 1 year and says:
The new chronicle B.M. 21946 … dates the fall of Jerusalem during the short reign of Jehoiachin to Adar 2d (March 16) 597…
To pursue this dating matter you might start with:
foremost importance is the new date for the battle of Carchemish in the
last year of Nabopolassar … between Nisan and Ab 605.
• R.P. BenDekek
writes, "Jer. 46.2 … seems to be authentic … as is most of the
historical information in Jeremiah…" If this viewpoint gets confirmed,
and Jeremiah got correct what specialists working for a century failed
to finalize, it's an argument for Jeremiah being supernaturally
year of Nebuchadnezzar's victory at Carchemish has ranged from 606 to
604 BCE, his accession 606-603, and the main desolation of Jerusalem
587-585. In these instances 605 and 586 are now commonly accepted.
(1986) supports 587 BCE whereas I assume 586. My intention is not to
pre-empt the experts by solving 1-year discrepancies, but to examine
the big disagreement of 21 years where 586 BCE is replaced with 607.
http://www.kingscalendar.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=view news&id= 491
• Charles D. Davis
• Parker, R.A. & Dubberstein, W.H. 1956 Babylonian Chronology, 2nd edition, Brown University
Tadmor, H. Chronicle of the Last Kings of Judah, Journal of Near
Eastern Studies 15, No. 4, October 1956, pp 226-230
21 EXTRA YEARS — WHERE ARE THEY?
If the 586 BCE siege occurred in 607 BCE, one Babylonian king must have reigned 21 years longer than history records.
Not Nebuchadnezzar because:
the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in
the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiakin
king of Judah and freed him from prison…" (Jeremiah 52:31-34; II Kings
Nebuchadnezzar died in Jehoiachin's 37th year of exile i.e. after 36
years plus part of a year. Jehoiachin was exiled in Nebuchadnezzar's
8th year (II Kings 24:8-12) i.e. after 7 years plus part of a year. If
the two "parts" of a year are small parts then Nebuchadnezzar reigned
43 years — which agrees with history. Therefore, we cannot add 21 years
Pritchard (1969) supplies a translated text about the grandmother of Nabonidus wherein she says:
the king of gods … kept me alive from the time of Ashurbanipal, king of
Assyria, to the 6th year of Nabonidus, king of Babylon … for 104 happy
years… (pp 311-312)
back "104 happy years" from the 6th year of Nabonidus — i.e. back from
550 BCE using standard history — makes her birth-date c.654 BCE. This
is smack in the middle of the reign of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria
who, according to standard history, reigned 669-640 BCE. (Chambers
means we cannot add 21 years to Evil-Merodach's reign, or Nerig-lissar
or Labashi-Marduk — because the total back to Ashurbanipal comes to
more than 104 years.
leaves Nabonidus' reign as the only possibility for adding 21 years.
His grandmother reaching 104 in Nabonidus' 6th year still computes
whether he reigned 38 years or 17.
COMMERCIAL and LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Cuneiform texts dated by the year of the king's reign number tens of thousands! Alstola (2017) writes:
legal and administrative texts from private and temple archives from
the sixth and fifth centuries are a treasure trove ... tens of
thousands of such tablets are preserved in museums and private
collections." (p. 44)
(1904) discusses a Babylonian legal dispute over the ownership of a
slave which, "was decided in the tenth year of Nabonidus." (p. 181)
Horne (1917) discusses "Contract-Tablets Relating to Belshazzar" of
which one is dated "21st day of Nisan, the 5th year of Nabonidus, King
of Babylon"; others are dated the 11th and 12th years. (pp 457-459)
(1923) reports on almost 1000 tablets from the Goucher College
Babylonian Collection: "Each tablet represents a definite transaction
which took place at a certain time and place between individuals that
are mentioned by name..." (p. 16)
of the 1000 tablets belong to the reign of Nabonidus and "All the years
of Nabonidus are represented except the fourteenth." (p. 17) Dougherty
lists details from all 158 tablets, showing that no document is dated
later than Nabonidus' 17th year.
1929 Dougherty published a king list from Nabopolassar to Nabonidus
based on 2000 documents and got the same lengths of reign for Babylon's
kings as today's history books — totalling 87 years, 626-539 BCE.
studies of clay-text collections occur from time to time. Beaulieu
(2000) examined 313 clay texts in the Yale Babylonian Collection, and
did not find 21 extra years.
Hasson (2015) reported:
little known collection of more than 100 clay tablets in Cuneiform
script, dating back to the Babylon Exile some 2,500 years ago, was
unveiled this week, allowing a glimpse into the everyday life of one of
the most ancient exile communities in the world…
(2017) analyses 289 clay tablets written in cuneiform. One is dated
"the fortieth year of Nebuchadnezzar" (p. 84), and others the tenth,
eleventh and twelfth years of Nabonidus. (pp 72-73; 216)
to the Babylonian custom of inscribing each document with the date,
according to the monarch's years in power, the archaeologists could
date the tablets to 572-477 B.C.E…
(See also: Schiffman 2015)
of these thousands of documents indicate any 6th century BCE Babylonian
king who reigned 21 years longer than stated in history books!
The date 586 BCE (or 587) for Jerusalem's destruction is accepted by historians and theological commentaries (such as The Expositor's Bible Commentary)
and is also consistent with the Bible.
The sectarian date, 607 BCE,
misinterprets the Bible and makes the Bible appear erroneous when it's
evidence is available (e.g. from Egyptian chronology and "astronomical
diaries" of Babylonian astronomers) but I've written enough to conclude:
1. Scholars who denied biblical teaching about Jews exiled in Babylon were wrong.
Nubuchadnezzar, Necho, Evil-Merodach, Nerig-lissar, Belshazzar,
Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Hophra, Zedekiah, Nebo-Sarsekim, Nebuzaradan,
Cyrus and Darius are confirmed by archaeology.
Babylon's 70-year domination of surrounding nations, beginning either
609 BCE with the oblivion of the Assyrian Empire, or in 605 BCE with
Babylon's victory over Egypt and the first of five invasions of Judah,
The physical destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple occurred in 586
BCE. To change 586 to 607 requires adding 21 years to the reign of
Nabonidus (or another 6th century BCE Babylonian king), but thousands
of dated documents bar us from doing this.
Synchronizing some Babylonian and biblically-calculated dates to the
precise year remains disputed but does not effect the refutation of 607
Alstola, T. 2017 Judeans in Babylonia A Study of Deportees in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE
Barton, G.A. 1916 Archaeology and the Bible, American Sunday-School Union, p. 381
Beaulieu, P. 2000 Legal and Administrative Texts from the Reign of Nabonidus, Yale University
Berossus (Translation) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/universo/siriusmystery/siriusmystery_appendix02.htm
Dougherty, R.P. 1923 Archives From Erech Time of Nebuchadrezzar And Nabonidus, Yale University
Dougherty, R.P. 1929/2008 Nabonidus and Belshazzar, Yale University
Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition, Chicago, Encyclopædia Britannica.
Gaebelein, F.E. 1986 The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 6, Zondervan
Grayson, A.K. 1975 Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Review by Millard A. in Journal of the American Oriental Society, July 1980
Hasson, N. Ancient Tablets Disclose Jewish Exiles' Life in Babylonia
Holtz, S.E. 2014 Neo-Babylonian Trial Records, Society of Biblical Literature
Horne, C.P. (Directing editor) 1917 The Sacred Books and Early Literature of The East, Parke, Austin & Lipscomb
Johns, C.H.W. 1904 Babylonian And Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters, Charles Scribner's Sons
Jonsson, C.O. 1986 The Gentile Times Reconsidered, 2nd edition, Commentary Press
Keller, W. 1963 The Bible As History (Revised), Hodder and Stoughton
Magnusson, M. (Editor) 1990 Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Chambers
Pritchard, J.B. (editor) 1969 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, Third Edition with Supplement, Princeton University, pp 305-312
Reynolds, N. (2007)
Schiffman, L.H. 2015 Archaeology & Jewish Life in Ancient Babylonia,
Walvoord, J.F. 2012 Daniel, Moody Publishers, p. 39
Whiston, W. (Translator), 1960 Josephus Complete Works, Antiquities Book 10, Chapters 6-11, Kregel Publications
Wiseman, D J 1956 Chronicles of Chaldean Kings 626-556 B.C. London: Trustees of the British Museum
Wiseman, D.J. 1985 Nebuchadrezzar and Babylon, Oxford
Wood, Bryant G.
See also: Exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon 586 or 607 bce (Investigator 186)
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