The '70 years' of Jeremiah

End, a Great City




INTRODUCTION


The seventy weeks prophecy is found in the later portion of Daniel chapter
nine, but in the opening verses of this chapter we are introduced to a
period of just seventy years. This period we are informed is spoken of by
the prophet Jeremiah.


    Dan    9:1    In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of
                  the lineage of the Medes, ....
            :2    in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood
                  by the books the number of the years specified by the
                  word of the LORD, given through Jeremiah the prophet,
                  that He would accomplish seventy years in the
                  desolations of Jerusalem.


This raises the question of whether a relationship exists between the periods
of ‘seventy weeks’ and ‘seventy years’?


Are the seventy year prophecies reflecting the time required to mark the
passing of the 3,500 years? When one considers the period of 3,500 years
represents the full quota of time associated with the passing of 70 Jubilee
years (a Jubilee year occurs every 50 years) there does seem to be a strong
possibility that a correlation is being implied.  


In addition, since the 70 Jubilees represent the first half of the verse 27
'week', could the seventy year prophecies sometimes be reflecting the much
shorter second half of this 'week'? 


When we look at Scripture we find the period of seventy years mentioned in
the following verses,


                   A)  Jeremiah 25:11 & 12 

                   B)  Jeremiah 29:10

                   C)  Isaiah   23:15 & 17

                   D)  Zechariah 1:12

                   E)  Zechariah 7:5.


A) JEREMIAH 25:11 & 12


    Jer   25:1    The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the
                  people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the
                  son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first
                  year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon),
            :2    which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people
                  of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
                  saying:

            :8    Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Because you
                  have not heard My words,
            :9    behold, I will send and take all the families of the
                  north,' says the LORD, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king
                  of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against
                  this land, against its inhabitants, and against these
                  nations all around, and will utterly destroy them,
                  and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and
                  perpetual desolations.
            :10   Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth
                  and the voice of gladness, the voice of the
                  bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of
                  the millstones and the light of the lamp.
            :11   And this whole land shall be a desolation and an
                  astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king
                  of Babylon seventy years.
            :12   Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are
                  completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and
                  that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their
                  iniquity,' says the LORD; 'and I will make it a
                  perpetual desolation.
            :13   So I will bring on that land all My words which I
                  have pronounced against it, all that is written in
                  this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning
                  all the nations.'


This prophecy is set in the 4th year of Jehoiakim, which was also the 1st year
of Nebuchadnezzar.


The passage at first appears to apply solely to the 70 year captivity of the
house of Judah, however there are indications that another period is being
discussed.


a)  Verses 12 & 13 refer to all the prophecies within the book of
    Jeremiah being fulfilled following the completion of 70 years.
    Nevertheless, even a cursory reading of Jeremiah shows a number
    of prophecies have a secondary application to the period just
    prior to the return of Christ!


b)  Verse 9 talks about the rendering of the House of Judah as a
    perpetual desolation. However, we know from such books as Ezra
    and Nehemiah, the people of Judah returned and rebuilt Jerusalem.


c)  These verses talk about the king of Babylon and his people the
    Chaldeans coming with violence. Such a thought is reflected
    in Habakkuk with a future end time application.

    Hab    1:5    "Look among the nations and watch - be utterly
                  astonished! For I will work a work in your days
                  which you would not believe, though it were told
                  you.
            :6    For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a
                  bitter and hasty nation which marches through
                  the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling
                  places that are not theirs.
            :7    They are terrible and dreadful; ....
            :8    .... they fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.
            :9    They all come for violence; ...."
  
           2:2    Then the LORD answered me and said:
                  "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,
                  that he may run who reads it.    
           2:3    For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but
                  at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
                  Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will
                  surely come, it will not tarry."


d)  Verse 10 is very similar to the end time Rev 18:23, which describes
    the fate of an entity symbolically referred to as 'Babylon the Great'
    (not to be confused with the literal city of ancient Babylon).

    Rev   18:21   Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great
                  millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
                  "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall
                  be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.
            :22   .... And the sound of a millstone shall not be
                  heard in you anymore.
            :23   And the light of a lamp shall not shine in you
                  anymore. And the voice of bridegroom and bride
                  shall not be heard in you anymore. ...."


    These thoughts are also found in such verses as Jer 7:34 and Hosea 2:11.


    Jer    7:34   Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah
                  and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth
                  and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom
                  and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be
                  desolate.


    Hos    2:11   I will also cause all her mirth to cease, ....


    In this chapter of Hosea, following this period of trial, God is once
    again kind to His people at a time identified as ‘that day’.


    Hos    2:16   "And it shall be, in that day", says the LORD,
                  "that you will call Me My Husband", ....
 
            :18   In that day I will make a covenant for them with
                  the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air,
                  and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow
                  and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
                  to make them lie down safely.



As can be seen, Jer 25:8-13 has a significant level of secondary meaning.
This meaning appears to pertain mainly to the shorter 2nd half of the week
when the desolator is to reign.


B) JEREMIAH 29:10


    Jer   29:8    For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
                  Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are
                  in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams
                  which you cause to be dreamed.
            :9    For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have
                  not sent them, says the LORD.
            :10   For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are
                  completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform
                  My good word toward you, and cause you to return to
                  this place.
            :11   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says
                  the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give
                  you a future and a hope.
            :12   Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and
                  I will listen to you.
            :13   And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for
                  Me with all your heart.
            :14   I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will
                  bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you
                  from all nations and from all the places where I have
                  driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to
                  the place from which I cause you to be carried away
                  captive.


    While these verses no doubt apply to the people to whom this letter was
    written, there again appears within these words a shadow of a second
    meaning.


    Verse 14 for example talks about a time of release from captivity.
    This is an event which is also due to occur in the future with the
    return of Christ. Notice the following verse.


    Jer    3:17   At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne
                  of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered
                  to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem; they
                  shall walk no more after the stubbornness of their
                  evil heart.
            :18   In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the
                  house of Israel, and they shall come together out of
                  the land of the north  .... 


    Note, verse 17 indicates the people of Jerusalem will walk after their
    evil heart until some future period. 


C) ISAIAH 23:15 & 17


These verses finalise chapter 23, which has been discussing God’s proclamation
against Tyre.


    Isa   23:15   Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will
                  be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of
                  one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen
                  to Tyre as in the song of the harlot:
            :16   "Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten
                  harlot; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that
                  you may be remembered."
            :17   And it will be, at the end of seventy years, that the
                  LORD will visit Tyre. She will return to her pay, and
                  commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world
                  on the face of the earth.
            :18   Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD;
                  it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain
                  will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat
                  sufficiently, and for fine clothing.


a)  Verse 17 in particular is obviously linked to;

    Rev   17:1    ".... I will show you the judgment of the great
                  harlot who sits on many waters,
            :2    "with whom the kings of the earth committed
                  fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth
                  were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."


    In the above verses in Isaiah, this harlot is described as having been
    a harlot previously and she returns to her pay toward the end of seventy
    years. In Scripture Jerusalem is often referred to as a harlot.
    Therefore, the indication is Jerusalem will once again play the harlot
    until she is finally judged by the Lord God. Refer Rev 19:1,2.


b)  Verse 18 talks about the gain of the end time harlot being set
    aside for the righteous.


    Ezek  22:25   The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a
                  roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured
                  people; they have taken treasure and precious things;
                  they have made many widows in her midst.

    Jer   15:13   Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder
                  without price, because of all your sins, throughout
                  your territories.
            :14   And I will make you cross over with your enemies into
                  a land which you do not know; ....

    The wealth which Jerusalem gains by playing the harlot with the teachings
    of God, and by this means robbing the spiritually poor, is to be given to
    her enemies until the Kingdom of God is set up.


D) ZECHARIAH 1:12


    Zech   1:7    On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which
                  is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius,
                  the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of
                  Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:

            :12   Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said,
                  "O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have
                  mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah,
                  against which You were angry these seventy years?"
            :13   And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me,
                  with good and comforting words.
            :14   So the angel who spoke with me said to me,
                  "Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:
                  "I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great
                  zeal.
            :15   I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
                  for I was a little angry, and they helped - but
                  with evil intent."’"
   

    This vision was given to Zechariah in the second year of Darius. This is
    Darius king of Persia (refer Ezra 4:24 - 5:1 & 6:14), not to be confused
    with Darius the Mede who ruled many years earlier. This appears to be a
    number of decades after the decree of Cyrus, since a search had to be
    made of the archives to confirm Cyrus had indeed issued a decree to have
    the house of God rebuilt.


    Ezra   6:1    Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was
                  made in the archives, where the treasures were stored
                  in Babylon.
            :2    And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province
                  of Media, a scroll was found, and in it a record was
                  written thus:
            :3    "In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued
                  a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem:
                  ...."

    
    Even the enemies of Judah were unsure if this decree had been issued.


    Ezra   5:3    At the same time Tattenai the governor of the region
                  beyond the River .... spoke thus to them: "Who has
                  commanded you to build this temple and finish this
                  wall?"

            :6    This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai sent: ....

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


    When the decree of Cyrus had initially been issued the people of God
    began to build the house of the LORD (Ezra 3:10), but their enemies
    conspired against them (Ezra 4:4-5) and by force prevented it from being
    completed at that time.

    Ezra   4:1    Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin
                  heard that the descendants of the captivity were
                  building the temple of the LORD God of Israel,

            :23   .... when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was
                  read .... they went up in haste to Jerusalem
                  against the Jews, and by force of arms made them
                  cease.
            :24   Thus the work of the house of God which is at
                  Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until
                  the second year of the reign of Darius king of
                  Persia.     


    Upon first reading Zech 1:12 it may appear the seventy years mentioned
    in this verse refers to the seventy years of captivity to Babylon.
    However, when the timing is considered, it is obvious it refers to the

    seventy years following the captivity! It would have taken these seventy
    years for the enemies of Judah to no longer be able to recall the earlier
    decree of Cyrus.


    This then presents an interesting arrangement, seventy years of captivity
    followed by another seventy years of frustrated freedom.    
    

E) ZECHARIAH 7:5


    Zech   7:1    Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass
                  that the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, ....
            :5    Say to all the people of the land, and to the
                  priests: "When you fasted and mourned in the fifth
                  and seventh months during those seventy years, did
                  you really fast for Me - for Me?
            :6    When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and
                  drink for yourselves?
            :7    Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD
                  proclaimed through the former prophets ...."

            :9    .... ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion
                  everyone to his brother.
            :10   Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien
                  or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart
                  against his brother.’
            :11   "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders,
                  and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.
            :12   Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to
                  hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts
                  had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.
                  Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
            :13   Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed
                  and they would not hear, so they called out and I
                  would not listen," says the LORD of hosts.
            :14   "But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the
                  nations which they had not known. Thus the land
                  became desolate after them, so that no one passed
                  through or returned; for they made the pleasant land
                  desolate."

    In these passages in Zechariah we come across the concept of
    the 'whirlwind' as judgment upon the hard hearted people of God.


    Jer    4:5    Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and
                  say: ....
            :6    "Set up the standard toward Zion.
                  Take refuge! Do not delay!
                  For I will bring disaster from the north,
                  and great destruction."

            :9    "And it shall come to pass in that day", says the LORD,
                  "that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart
                  of the princes; the priests shall be astonished, and the
                  prophets shall wonder.

            :11   At that time it will be said to this people and to
                  Jerusalem, a dry wind of the desolate heights blows in
                  the wilderness toward the daughter of My people - not
                  to fan or cleanse -
            :12   a wind too strong for these will come for Me; now I
                  will also speak judgment against them."


          23:19   Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in
                  fury - a violent whirlwind! ....
            :20   .... In the latter days you will understand it
                  perfectly.


          30:23   Behold the whirlwind of the LORD goes forth with fury,
                  a continuing whirlwind; it will fall violently on the
                  head of the wicked.
            :24   The fierce anger of the LORD will not return until He
                  has done it, and until He has performed the intents of
                  His heart.
                  In the latter days you will consider it.

    Hos    8:7    They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.
                  The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal.
                  If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.
            :8    Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles
                  like a vessel in which there is no pleasure. ....


    This 'whirlwind' and the destruction associated with it are basically
    the events described in the book of Revelation. A great destruction
    just prior to the glorified return of Christ.


    Daniel refers to an entity which is described as being a whirlwind
    coming from the north.


    Dan   11:40   At the time of the end the king of the South shall
                  attack him; and the king of the North shall come
                  against him like a whirlwind, ....


SUMMARY


In the verses of Jeremiah dealing with the 'seventy years' we see:


1) A reference to the fulfillment of prophecy following the end of
   70 years. (Jer 25:12-13)

2) An attack coming out of the north, which is described as a whirlwind
   and occurring at the end time. (Jer 25:9, 4:5-12, 23:19-20)

3) The rendering of the land of Judah a perpetual desolation. (Jer 25:9)

4) A return to their land at the end of 70 years. (Jer 29:10)

5) A cleansing of the heart of the people of Jerusalem, leading to their
   return from captivity at the end time. (Jer 29:13-14, 3:17-18)



Conclusion : As can be seen from the above, there is evidence of broader
             meanings associated with the 70 years.


When we take a another look at the 70 year Scriptures and try to relate them
to the pattern of the two halves of the Daniel 9:27 ‘week’, (the first half
long and constructive, the second short and destructive), we observe the
following;


   1) Jer 25 - The literal 70 years refers to the period of Babylonian
               captivity. The secondary meaning however seems to be related
               to the future period of desolation, i.e. the 2nd half of the
               week. The time of the desolator. When the voice of mirth
               and gladness cease.

   2) Jer 29 - Once again we have a reference to the Babylonian captivity
               and the future period of desolation (i.e. 2nd half of the
               week). In this case we are discussing the softening of hearts
               and the regathering from captivity.

   3) Isa 23 - In this text the '70 years' appears to pertain to the period
               of ‘seventy 'weeks'’, i.e. the 1st half of the week. The
               harlot returns to her harlotry immediately prior to the
               completion of this period.

   4) Zec  1 - This verse depicts a literal period of 70 years, which
               follows the more commonly known literal 70 years of Babylonian
               captivity. We therefore are presented with a period of 140
               years with two halves, each of 70 years duration.   

   5) Zec  7 - We are introduced here to the ‘whirlwind’. A concept related
               to the desolator and the 2nd half of the prophetic week.



Allusions to the 1st and 2nd halves of the prophetic verse 27 'week' are

evident in the verses supplying prophetic references to '70 years'.



Introduction
to
Daniel 9:24-27
Daniel 9:24-27
Revised
Translation
The
Missing
One
'weeks'
Seventy
Weeks
Milestone
Events
The 'week'
of
verse 27
Jerusalem
in the
Prophecy
Time
Chart
Summary
Text
Meaning
Summary
The
70 Weeks
Warning
Summary


* OTHER ASPECTS *

Review of
Traditional
Perspective

Symbolic
Jerusalem

History
of Literal
Jerusalem






E m a i l   C o n t a c t B i b l e   S t u d y   I n d e x