Israel, God's Timepiece

The nation of Israel is God's timepiece. God could measure no certain time by we Gentiles for He deals with us as individuals, elect but ephemeral and scattered throughout the world like flowers of the field. His servant Israel is a permanent entity - one nation separated from the nations in its own country with a common law and culture like the hundred and twenty on the day of Pentecost who were in one heart and mind in one place. Thus He can establish specific times and seasons with Israel - so Isaiah 66:8 declared "the nation will be born in one day".

God's Covenant with Israel is of no effect outside the Land, and the nation was never lawfuly outside the Promised Land without God setting a precise time for their return. God will never forsake Israel, and deals with them only in the Promised Land. We will be examining certain times God set for Israel.

I. 400 years of
Affliction


After Abram defeated the four Gentile and Babylonian kings, God appeared in a vision to console him, because he was despairing of his childlessness. God gave him the promise of fruitfulness and prophesied "Your seed will be afflicted 400 years in a strange land" and be in servitude to a foreign nation whom I will judge (Genesis 15:12-21).

God promised Israel, that when the iniquity of the Amorites was full, He would destroy them before His people because of their wickedness, and give the land and the cities of these nations to Abraham's seed (Leviticus 18:24-30; Deuteronomy 9:4-6).

"Multiculturalism" is a deception of the Devil to curse Adam's race by misalliances with his hybrid children. Israel was forbidden from intermarrying among these heathens but was to dwell alone and separated from the nations (Exodus 34:12-16). The wicked racial Amorites were 'cherem' in that day as the spiritual Amorites or denominations are today (Deuteronomy 7:1-4; Revelation 2:20-23; 18; 19:20; 20:10), and God's people, Spiritual Israel, is to live separated from the denomi-nations (Numbers 23:9; Revelation 18:4).

As the chief and leading tribe the Amorites here represent all of the Canaanite nations, even the chief and leading denomination, Rome represents the entire worldly church of Catholics and Protestants, indeed it will represent all religions in restoring peace following the earthquakes and a brief World War III, heading-up the initial stage of one world government. In the visions of Daniel and John, the church is shown to be seated on or controlling the fourth world power (Revelation 17:3), and God who defeated Abram's enemies will shortly consume these spiritual Canaanites who have rejected His Seed (Daniel 2:40-44; 7:20-24; Revelation 17:12-18).

It is a prophetic type for us in this day to note that the word "Amorite" means 'prominent,' and in Sumerian, 'westerner'. When we see the hubris of denominations confederating, and strange races coming into our midst with religions abhorrent to God, we know the iniquity of the once Christian Western world is full.

Israel's sins accumulated west in the sanctuary of the Temple, which required an annual cleansing. Paul said these things were for our instruction. The Gospel Son-light has followed civilization from the east to the west as first the nations of Europe, then those of the New World came to its Light. The United States, or "new world," is as far west as civilization can travel. The American Superpower and the most prominent of nations, leads the world in sin. Sin is heaped up on the west coast: soon Los Angeles and Hollywood, which cause the world to worship filth, will be cast into the sea.

Moses demanded, "Let my people go to serve the Lord." Pharaoh would not release Israel, but in the fourth generation, when the iniquity of the Amorites was full, God liberated Israel with a strong hand. Rome which will not release God's people to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, but at the close of the fourth Seal at the zenith of Rome's power, when the iniquity of the modern-day Amorites, or Westerners, is full, God has promised Christ's Bride a jubilee.

As Jesus rose and cleansed the heavenly sanctuary of the sins of the Old Testament saints who were captives of death, and made them captives of Life, there'll come another cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary for the reception of the Bride. The sins borne on Calvary and carried away by our Lord will be laid upon Satan, who, together with his demons, will be put out from the heavenly realm where he has been accusing the brethren and cast down to earth (Revelation 12:9-10). At that time, a massive earthquake will sink Los Angeles and 1,500x3-400 miles of earth. No longer will America be an independent, dominant power, for she will be controlled by Rome and ten European nations which yield their power and their strength to her (Revelation 17).

In the days of this confederation of Christ-rejecting nations, the God of heaven shall set up a Word kingdom that will never be destroyed, and His Word will break in pieces and consume all of these kingdoms. After Armageddon, He will cleanse this earthly sanctuary for the Millennium "honeymoon" of Christ and His Bride who followed Christ by their own free will, becoming Abraham's Seed by the baptism of the Holy Ghost or new birth, and will inherit the whole earth.

When Cain was presented with the faith, he murdered God's messenger and was accursed by His justice (Genesis 4:3-15; Matthew 23:33-36). When the exponents of multiculturalism who married into Cain's race increased the fruit of the accursed Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God overwhelmed the world with a flood. The seed of that Tree reproduced in Canaan's offspring. When they replicated the depravity of their forebears, God confiscated and gave their land to Israel.

Throughout history, whenever nations settle down in vice and corruption, the decay of their institutions follows upon that of their morals, and they either waste away or give place to some more manly race of conquerors, and like the Amorites, are deprived of their country. As God has one law for all people, and is no respecter of persons, both Israel and Judah would subsequently bear punishment in accordance with their sinfulness, and the United States will soon come under the iron grip of Rome.

First, God had to make Israel a nation. Genesis 15:13, "And He said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years".

But according to Exodus 12:40, "the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years" so the prophecy of Genesis 15:13 commenced with the call and Covenant of Genesis 12:1-4, when Abraham entered Canaan at the age of 75, 430 years before the Law was delivered on Mount Sinai on the fiftieth day after the Exodus. Paul explains this in Galatians 3:17. Thus the prophecy commenced 30 years before the " affliction" of Abraham's seed "in a strange land".

Abraham was 75 when he departed from Haran without seed (Genesis 12:4). He was 86 when Ishmael was born (Genesis 16:15-16), but Ishmael was not the promised seed (Genesis 17:19), and 100 when Isaac the promised seed, was born (Genesis 21:1-5).

Isaac, Abraham's appointed seed whose descendants would see the complete fulfillment of this prophecy, was a sojourner, and began early in life to be afflicted by his rival, Ishmael (Genesis 21:8-12,22). The period from the giving of the Covenant when Abraham was 75, to the separation of Ishmael, takes account of this 30 years and commences the four hundred years Abraham's seed would be afflicted in a strange land - 185 years in Palestine, and 215 years in Egypt.

In Galatians 4:27-5:1, Paul compares Ishmael, the child of the bondwoman, with Isaac, the child of the free, making a parallel between the Law and Christian faith. Whereas Ishmael persecuted Isaac, today Israel born of earthly Jerusalem after the flesh persecutes Christians born of heavenly Jerusalem by the Spirit of Promise. Whereas both Ishmael and Isaac shared the same father according to the flesh, neither was the Spiritual Seed of Promise. And today, all who call themselves Christians claim the same Father, but only an election is born of the Spirit and nominal Christians of the flesh persecute Christians of the Promise and have been cast out (Revelation 18:4).

So the prophecy of Israel's release to return to the Land was an exact date, Exodus 12:40-41, 51, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt".

So the Exodus occurred precisely four hundred and thirty years to the day after the Promise to Abraham. Later the Crucifixion took place on that day, and the Gentile Dispensation will end on the same day.

The sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years. But as Paul explains, these 430 years are computed from the call of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.

Galatians 3:17, "Understand this, that the Law which came four hundred and thirty years after the Covenant wherein God promised Abraham that his seed would be the Messiah, cannot annul that Covenant or make the promise of no effect".

The entire period of Israel's wanderings was to be four centuries, but the statement in Genesis 15:13 is explained and qualified by the words in verse 16. When the passage speaks specifically of their sojourn in Egypt it says: "But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again. . . " This was accurately fulfilled, as Moses, whose mother was a daughter of Levi (Exodus 2:1), was fourth in descent from Jacob (Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses).

Because of unbelief, God caused the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the generation from twenty years old and upward perished . . . "Each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know My breach of Promise" (Numbers 13:25; 14:26-34; Hebrews 3:8-19).

Exactly the same thing has happened to Laodicea.

The revival at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, in 1906, marks the start of the Pentecostal or Laodicean Age. The Jubilee is the "release", but all who reject the Gospel Trumpet of freedom are enslaved for ever and can never go free. The Jubilee or fiftieth anniversary of Pentecost was in 1956.

Brother Branham, the prophet of Malachi 4:5-6, said "Now, let me bring something else. . . in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois, standing at the Lane Tech High School . . . I said, 'This year is going to be the changing point of America.' I've just come from overseas, don't know why I . . . canceled my meetings in Africa and around, came back."

"America's on her downward move right now. She will never come back again. She's gone. That's right. She's been gone since 1956 when she condemned and turned away God from the great revival hours" (Hybrid Religion, p. 7:3-4; 31:2).

"You just watch, we're going to reap what we sow! She's at the end. I prophesied in 1956 when Billy Graham would return, and I said that Tommy Osborn would return, and America would receive her last call." (A Super Sign, p. 163:165).

"Then there is all this talk about the glossalalia - it is supposed to be the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and people are thinking that we are in the midst of a great revival. The revival is over. America had her last chance in 1957. Now the tongues are God's sign of impending disaster, even as they were when they appeared upon the wall at Belshazzar's feast. Don't you know that "many are going to come in the last day and say, Lord, Lord, have we not done many wonderful works in Your Name, even to the casting out of devils? And He will say, Depart from Me, you who work iniquity. I never knew you" (Matthew 7:22-23).

Jesus said they were workers of iniquity. Yet, you get a man that can come and pray for the sick, get oil and blood appearing in the congregation, prophecy coming forth and all manner of the supernatural, and the people will gather round him, and swear that he is of the Lord, even though he is actually making a money racket of religion and living in sin. The only answer they have is the absolutely unbiblical answer of 'well he gets results, so he must be of God.' How terrible. How actually poor this age is in the Spirit of God, and the poor poverty- stricken ones don't even know it" (Laodicean Church Age p. 347-2).

As Pentecost refused to carry on with the Message and rejected her jubilee, America rejected her last chance for national revival, and the foundation was laid for a revived Roman Empire and the return to Roman bondage as indicated by Revelation 17:1 - 18:20 which shows the Roman Catholic church controling the last world empire until the consummation. The Treaty of Rome, was signed in 1957. Now there is a European parliament, a European court, a Central Bank of Europe and the Protestant denominations are reuniting Roman Catholicism.

America, hence the world, rejected its opportunity for Revival in 1956. Most who saw the public show of the Supernatural in Pentecost never entered in. Like Israel at Kadesh-Barnea, they tasted of the heavenly gift and the good things on the other side, but drew back. They have been wandering in a Spiritual wilderness for forty years, ever since Brother Branham finished his Ministry in 1965, and there they will perish.

Israel's the fathers died in the wilderness, lost, their names removed from the Book of Life, and it was not till 470 years after the covenant with Abraham that his descendants took their place as one of the nations of the earth. They were strangers in Canaan, slaves in Egypt, and in the wilderness they were wanderers; but under Joshua they entered the Land of Promise and became a nation. With this last event begins a series of contiguous cycles of 'seventy weeks' of years.

From the entrance into Canaan (1586-5BC) to the establishment of the kingdom under Saul (1096BC) was 490 years. From the kingdom (1096BC) to the servitude to Babylon (606BC) was 490 years.

From the epoch of the servitude (606BC) until the royal edict of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus (445BC, Nehemiah 1:1-2:8), the national independence of Judah was in abeyance, and with that date began the mystic era of 490 years, which forms the Seventy Weeks of Daniel's prophecy.

II. 70 Years Servitude to Babylon, the Desolation of Jerusalem, and 62 Years Captivity

The second time Israel left their Land is called the Captivity when the southern kingdom of Judah (predominantly the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and some Levites) was transported captive to Babylon. The ten northern Tribes had previously been taken captive by Sargon of Assyria in 721 BC. Israel never acquiesced in heart in the Divine decree, which, in distributing the tribal dignities, entrusted the sceptre to the House of Judah, while it adjudged the birthright to the favored family of Joseph (Genesis 49:10; I Chronicles 5:2) and their mutual jealousies and feuds, though kept in check by the personal influence of David, and the surpassing splendor of Solomon's reign, produced a natural disruption on the succession of Rehoboam. In revolting from Judah, the Israelites also apostasized from God; and forsaking the worship of Jehovah, lapsed into open and flagrant idolatry.

Jeremiah prophesied Judah would serve the king of Babylon 70 years and then return. The time of their return was set and foretold before they went into captivity. Seventy years is a lifetime.

Jeremiah 25:8-11, "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will gather together all the armies of the north under Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, (who, unlike Judah, is the performer of My commands), and will bring them all against this land and its people and against all the neighbouring nations, and I will utterly destroy them, and make you a byword of contempt forever. Moreover I will take away your joy, your gladness and your wedding feasts, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. This whole land shall be a desolation, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years".

Jeremiah 29:10, "For thus saith the Lord, After seventy years are completed for Babylon I will visit you and fulfill My promise to you in returning you to this place".

Daniel was taken captive with some youths of the seed royal and carried to Babylon with certain holy vessels of the temple (II Kings 24:1-2; II Chronicles 36:5-7; Daniel 1:1-4). He lived in Babylon throughout the entire seventy years of the servitude. He knew Jeremiah was a vindicated prophet (Daniel 9:2).

During Jeremiah's lifetime, his warnings went unheeded, but his seventy years prophecy was taken seriously as a Divine Message of hope. The sacred historian added Jeremiah's prophecy to the record of the fall of Jerusalem.

II Chronicles 36:20-23, "Nebuchadnezzar took captive to Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia conquered Babylon, to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept a sabbath- rest, to fulfil seventy years."

"In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus to make this proclamation throughout all his kingdom, putting it into writing: "All the kingdoms of the earth have been given to me by the Lord God of heaven, and He has instructed me to build Him a temple in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, return to Israel for this task, and the Lord his God be with him".


When Cyrus conquered Babylon he was shown the prophetic letter of Isaiah 44-45, addressed to him by name two centuries earlier, highlighting his meteoric career and foretelling that he would free the Hebrew captives to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. It was in awe of the God of Israel who could make such accurite prophecy that he was persuaded to obediently release the Hebrew captives to return to Judea to rebuild their temple.

One of the ordinances of Jewish law required the land to lie fallow every seventh year, and it was in relation to the neglect of this ordinance that the era of the desolations was decreed. It was to last "until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths; for so long as she lay desolate, she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years".

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE
From the Servitude to Babylon to the Dedication of the Second Temple.

Jewish Year*

Kings of Babylon

Kings of Judah

Era of Servitude

Era of Captivity

Era of the Desolations

Events and Remarks

606BC

20th year of Nabopolassar

3rd year of Jehoiakim (Eliakim)

1

-

-

3rd year of Jehoiakim: Nisan 1, 606 - Nisan 1, 605. Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem (Daniel 1:1-2). Servitude to Babylon begins 490 years after establishment of the Kingdom under Saul. 4th year of Jehoiakim was the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar," (i.e. the year beginning Nisan 1, 605 (Jer. 25:1).

605

Nebuchadnezzar

4

2

-

-

604

2

5

3

-

-

Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan. 2)

603

3

6

4

-

-

-

602

4

7

5

-

-

-

601

5

8

6

-

-

-

600

6

9

7

-

-

-

599

7

10

8

-

-

-

598

8

11

9

1

-

This year included the 3 months' reign of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah), his captivity began in the 8th year of Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 24:12).

3 months of Jehoiachin

597

9

Zedekiah

10

2

-

Reigned 11 years (II Kings 24:18).

596

10

2

11

3

-

-

595

11

3

12

4

-

-

594

12

4

13

5

-

Ezekiel began to prophesy in the 30th year from Josiah's Passover (II Kings 23:23), and the 5th year of the captivity (Ezekiel 1:1-2.)

593

13

5

14

6

-

-

592

14

6

15

7

-

-

591

15

7

16

8

-

-

590

16

8

17

9

-

-

589

17

9

18

10

1

Jerusalem invested for the third time by Nebuchadnezzar, on the 10th day of Tebeth - "the fast of Tebeth," - epoch of "Desolations"

588

18

10

19

11

2

"The 10th year of Zedekiah, which was the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar" (Jeremiah 32:1).

587

19

11

20

12

3

Jerusalem taken on the 9th day of the 4th month, and burnt on the 7th day of the 5th month in the 11th year of Zedekiah, and the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:2-3,8-9) called "The 12th year of our Captivity" (Ezekiel 33:21). News reaching exiles on the 5th day of the 10th month.

586

20

-

21

13

4

-

585

21

-

22

14

5

-

584

22

-

23

15

6

-

583

23

-

24

16

7

-

582

24

-

25

17

8

-

581

25

-

26

18

9

-

580

26

-

27

19

10

-

579

27

28

20

11

-

-

578

28

29

21

12

-

-

577

29

30

22

13

-

-

576

30

31

23

14

-

-

575

31

32

24

15

-

-

574

32

33

25

16

-

The 25th year of the Captivity was the 14th ( inclusive, as the Jews usually reckoned) from the destruction of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40:1).

573

33

34

26

17

-

-

572

34

35

27

18

-

-

571

35

36

28

19

-

-

570

36

37

29

20

-

-

569

37

38

30

21

-

-

568

38

39

31

22

-

-

567

39

40

32

23

-

-

566

40

41

33

24

-

-

565

41

42

34

25

-

-

564

42

43

35

26

-

-

563

43

44

36

27

-

-

562

44

45

37

28

-

According to the Canon, the accession of Iluoradam (Evil-Merodach) was in the year beginning 1st Thoth (11th Jan.) 561BC. But the year 562 in this table is the Jewish year, i.e., the year preceding 1st Nisan (or about 5th April 561, and the 37th year of Jehoiachin's captivity was current till towards the close of that year. In this year Jehoiachin was "brought forth out of prison." (Jeremiah 52:31).

561

Evil- Merodach

46

38

29

-

-

560

2

47

39

30

-

-

559

Neriglissar or Nergalsherezer

48

40

31

-

-

558

2

-

49

41

32

-

557

3

-

50

42

33

-

556

4

-

51

43

34

-

555

Nabonidus

-

52

44

35

The Nabonadius of the Canon is called Nabunnahit in the Inscriptions, and Labynetus by Herodotus.

554

2

-

53

45

36

-

553

3

-

54

46

37

-

552

4

-

55

47

38

-

551

5

-

56

48

39

-

550

6

-

57

49

40

-

549

7

-

58

50

41

-

548

8

-

59

51

42

-

547

9

-

60

52

43

-

546

10

-

61

53

44

-

545

11

-

62

54

45

-

544

12

-

63

55

46

-

543

13

-

64

56

47

-

542

14

-

65

57

48

-

541

15

-

66

58

49

In or before this year, Belshazzar became regent in the lifetime of his father, Nabonadius. Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts was in the 1st year, and his vision of the Ram and the Goat was in the 3rd year of Belshazzar (Daniel 7: 8).

540

16

-

67

59

50

-

539

17

-

68

60

51

-

538

Darius the Mede

-

69

61

52

Babylon taken by Cyrus. Daniel's vision of the 70 weeks was in this year.

537

2

-

70

62

53

-

536

Cyrus

-

-

-

54

Decree of Cyrus authorizing the Jews to return to Jerusalem: end of the Servitude. (N.B. The 70th year of the Servitude was current till the Nisan 1, 536).

535

2

-

-

-

55

-

534

3

-

-

-

56

Year of Daniel's last vision (Daniel 10 - 12).

533

4

-

-

-

57

-

532

5

-

-

-

58

-

531

6

-

-

-

59

-

530

7

-

-

-

60

-

529

Cambyses

-

-

-

61

-

528

2

-

-

-

62

-

527

3

-

-

-

63

-

526

4

-

-

-

64

-

525

5

-

-

-

65

-

524

6

-

-

-

66

-

523

7

-

-

-

67

-

522

8

-

-

-

68

-

521

Darius I

-

-

-

69

Darius Hystaspes

520

2

-

-

-

70

End of the Desolations. The foundation of the Second Temple laid on 24th day of 9th month in the 2nd year of Darius (Haggai 2:18).

519

3

-

-

-

-

-

518

4

-

-

-

-

-

517

5

-

-

-

-

-

516

6

-

-

-

-

The Temple finished on the 3rd day of Adar in the 6th year of Darius (Ezra 4:15).

515

7

-

-

-

-

The Temple dedicated at the Passover in Nisan 515 (Ezra 4:15-22), 490 years after the dedication of Solomon's temple in 1005BC, and 70 years before the edict to build the city.

Moses had prophesied this almost 900 Years before

Leviticus 26:31-35, "I will lay your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not respond to your incense offerings. And I will desolate the land: so that your enemies (the Edomites) who settle in it will be amazed at what I have done to you. And I will scatter you among the nations, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then the land shall its sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when you dwelt upon it".

The essential element in the judgment of the desolations was not a ruined city, but a land laid desolate by the scourge of a hostile invasion, whose effects were perpetuated by famine and pestilence, the continuing proofs of Divine displeasure. It is obvious therefore, that the true epoch of the judgment is not as has been generally assumed, the capture of Jerusalem, but the invasion of Judea. From the time the Babylonian armies entered the land, all agricultural pursuits were suspended, and therefore the desolations may be reckoned from the day the capital was invested, namely the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah, September 23, 589BC (Julian Day Number 1506196.5; II Kings 25:1; Jeremiah 39:1; 52:4).

This was the epoch as revealed to Ezekiel the prophet in his exile on the banks of the Euphrates: Ezekiel 24:1-2. And for 2,520 years this day has been observed as the fast of by Jews in every land (Zechariah 8:19).

Scripture indicates the close of this era with equal precision, as "the four-and-twentieth day of the ninth month in the second year of Darius," 520BC (Haggai 2:10,15-19).

Now from Tebeth 10 (December 15), 589BC to Chisleu 24 (December 17), 520BC was 25,202 days. We may conclude, therefore, that the era of the desolations was a precise period of 70 years of 360 days from the day after the Babylonian army besieged Jerusalem to the day before the foundation of the second temple was laid or 69x365.25-day years which is precisely 70x360-day years.

Daniel had been in captivity 68 years, since he was a lad of perhaps fifteen, and it was no doubt he who made Cyrus aware of Isaiah's prophecy; for in his decree he said, "The God of heaven has charged me to build Him a House at Jerusalem" (Ezra 1:2). And it will be noted the same charge included building both the Temple and the city (Isaiah 44:28). Furthermore, in Isaiah 45:13, God speaks of Cyrus releasing the captives in connection with the building of the city.

No doubt Daniel also showed King Cyrus the scroll bearing Jeremiah's prophecy of seventy years servitude (II Chronicles 36:20-23; Jeremiah 25:8-12; 29:10). Reading Jeremiah's prophecy, and knowing there remained but two years to complete the desolations of Jerusalem. He was in desperation, praying and fasting before the Lord (Daniel 9:2,17-18).

Jeremiah's prophecy is the only one mentioned in connection with return (Jeremiah 29:10). It made a strong impression on the minds of Israel's leaders because of the element of time. But the controlling factor was the proclamation of Cyrus prophesied by Isaiah.

As God's prophet, Daniel was anxious to understand his ministry, and how God would take away Israel's reproach and restore the people and His sanctuary in the holy city. As a result of his supplications, Gabriel was sent to inform him of a future period of 70 sevens (or heptads) that were to be accomplished before Israel could anticipate complete redemption (Daniel 9:21-27).

Scripture distinguishes three different eras, all in part concurrent, which have come to be spoken of as "the captivity." The seventy years of the "servitude to Babylon," and the seventy years of the "desolations of Jerusalem," are two separate eras which overlap each other, and the "captivity" was not seventy years at all.

First the Servitude from 606BC and which was brought to a close by the Decree of Cyrus 70 years later in 536BC (Ezra 1).

Second the Captivity which began when Nebuchadnezzar executed Jehoiakim, and was God's punishment for rebellion against the Divine decree which entrusted the imperial sceptre to Nebuchadnezzar. This brought upon the Jews the further judgment of 62 year's national deportation from 598BC (II Kings 24:1-2). The Captivity also ended with the Decree of Cyrus.

Thirdly, rebellion under Zedekiah, brought the destruction of Jerusalem, and the still more terrible chastisement of the Desolations which began in 598BC (with the siege of Jerusalem described above).

The language of Jeremiah 27:6,8 and 11 distinguishes the Servitude from the Captivity: "I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon . . . the nation which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand . . . but the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain in their own land, saith the Lord, and they shall till it and dwell therein".

The appointed era of this servitude was seventy years, and Jeremiah 29:10 was a message of hope to the captivity, that at the expiration of the 70 years servitude they should return to Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 25, on the other hand, was a prophecy for the rebellious Jews who remained in Jerusalem after the servitude had commenced, warning that their stubborn disobedience would bring on them utter destruction (cherem), and that for seventy years the whole land should be a "desolation." It was the era of the desolations , and not of the servitude which Daniel had in view.

Daniel 9:2,11-12, "In the first year of the reign of Darius the son of Ahasuerus (538BC), I Daniel understood from the book of Jeremiah that the desolations of Jerusalem must continue seventy years. . . all Israel has transgressed Your law, and turned aside, refusing to obey Your voice; and the curse and oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God (Leviticus 26:14 et seq.; Deuteronomy 28:15 et seq.;) have been poured out upon us because we have sinned against Him. And he has confirmed His Words, which He spoke against us, and against our rulers, by bringing upon us a great calamity: for under the whole heaven there has not been done the like of what has been done against Jerusalem".

There are Hidden Times and there are Revealed Times

Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the Words of this Law".

The great symbolical divisions of Israel's history, or rather of the times of God's dealings with them as a nation, are marked by the same number. They have to do with actual duration of years rather than the succession of years and chronological dates; with seasons, or definitely limited portions of time, rather than chronology in general. His dealings with Israel as a Nation were measured out into three periods, each consisting of 490 (70x7) years.

From the birth of Abraham to the Exodus and the birth of the Nation of Israel Years Total
From the birth of Abraham to the giving of the covenant of Genesis 11:29-12:4 75  
From the Covenant to the Exodus, the confirmation of Exodus 3:12 and the giving of the Law (Exodus 12:40-41; Galatians 3:16-17) 430 505
Deduct the 15 years while Ishmael was Abram's seed, delaying the seed of promise - 15  
Leaving the first 70 x 7 of years   490

As proof of this and a precedent to justify the belief that the era of the Seventy Weeks would not begin while the existence of Judah was in abeyance is the 480 years of I Kings 6:1. Computed from the Exodus to the Temple it is reckoned as 573 years in Acts 13:18-21, by including the sum of several eras of the servitudes when Israel was serving heathen powers. We see below that the 480th year is therefore clearly the 480th year of national life and national responsibilities in the service of God. As the Israelites were God's servant nation the days of Israel's servitude to the Gentiles and Serpent's seed are ignored in the Divine chronology but when the punishment has been meted out, God forgives; He likewise forgets the sin (Hebrews 10:17); which doubtless means the record is wiped out, and the period treated as if it were a blank.

From Exodus to the foundation of the Temple
Acts 13:18-21; I Kings 6:1,37
Years Total
In the Wilderness 40  
Under the Judges 450  
for the reign of Saul 40  
for the reign of David 40  
for Solomon (it was in his fourth year that he began to build the Temple) 3  
From these we must deduct the Servitudes under   573
Cushan of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:8) 8  
Eglon of Moab (Judges 3:14) 18  
Jabin of Canaan (Judges 3:8,14; 4:2-3) 20  
Midianites (Judges 6:1) 7  
Philistines (Judges 13:1) 40 93
The 480th year of Israel is therefore reckoned to be 573 - 93   480
To this we must add the years during which the Temple was in building, for the finishing of the house (I Kings 6:38) 7  
And at least for the furnishing and ending of all the work (I Kings 7:13-51) 3  
Making altogether the second 70x7 of years   490

There were 490 years from entering into Canaan (and the commencement of Israel's wanderings in the wilderness) to the Kingdom. (See above); 490 years from Saul to the Servitude commencing in 606; and 490 years of God's dealing with Israel from Nehemiah to the Millennium. These periods were thus lunisolar years of 360-days each.

From the entrance to Canaan (1586-5BC) to King Saul (1096) was 490 years. And from the Kingdom (1096BC) to the Servitude (606BC) was another 490 years.

From the Dedication of the Temple to Nehemiah's return in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Years Total
From the dedication in I Kings 8:2 to Nehemiah's return (Nehemiah 2:1) 560  
Deduct the 70 years' Captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11,12; Daniel 9:2) 70  
Leaving the third 70 x 7 years   490

From the Servitude to Nehemiah's return, Judah's national independence was in abeyance so these years were not accounted to the nation.

Daniel's Seventy Weeks began with "the going forth of the commandment to build and restore Jerusalem" and Nehemiah's return in 445BC, continued to the "cutting-off of Messiah the Prince" (Daniel 9:24-27), after which the the Gentile dispensation followed and Israel's national independance and the Davidic covenant were in abeyance. After the close of the Gentile dispensation, God will turn back to Israeland fulfil Daniel's Seventieth Week.

From Nehemiah's return to the 'cutting off of 'Messiah the Prince' Daniel 9:24-27 Years Total
"Seven weeks" (7x7) 49  
Plus "threescore and two weeks" (62x7) 434  
    483
"After" Messiah was "cut off" came the Gentile dispensation, the longest interval of all, now more than 1970 years. Thus if the principle of not accounting time to Israel when her national independence was in abeyance were intelligible to the Jew in regard to history, it was both natural and legitimate to introduce it in respect of the years of Daniel's Seventy Weeks when Judah's existence is in abeyance, for when wicked hands crucified our Lord, God pronounced the dread "Lo-ammi" upon the people (Hosea 1:9-10; Romans 9:25-26) "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 1:26). +1973  
Then God again deals with Israel for "One week" 7  
    490

In the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2, God suspended almost 2,000 years on a comma (,). When reading this Scripture in the synagogue, Jesus stopped at that comma (Luke 4:19). "The day of vengeance of our God" awaited a future fulfillment and spoke of proclaiming "the great and dreadful day of the Lord" and the close of the Gentile Dispensation. This day of vengeance was announced by another prophet 1938 years later, on February 19, 1965, when Brother Branham preached "This Day this Scripture is Fulfilled." The commission of the Prophet of Malachi 4:5-6 was to "restore the hearts of the children to the faith of their apostolic fathers," and to "declare the day of vengeance of our God".

III. 2,520 years of Worldwide Dispersion

Israel has experienced three major dispersions. The first was their sojourn and eventual bondage in Egypt; the second was the Servitude and Captivity in Babylon, and third was an extension of the second by 2,520 years of worldwide dispersion as punishment for refusing to return at the conclusion of the Servitude and Captivity. Thus Israel's flag did not fly above an independent state for a further 2,520 years. Moses, Daniel, Ezekiel and Brother Branham each foretold the number of years the Hebews would be stateless and scattered among the Gentiles (Goiim) or nations. Brother Branham said that the Israelites who refuse to return from their comfort among the Gentiles will be trapped and forfeit their redemption.

Daniel 9:24-27 has a period of 490 years divided into three parts:
7 weeks of years
62 weeks of years
1 week of years
 
Ezekiel 3:24 - 4:8 has a period of 430 years divided into two parts:
390 days of prophetic years
40 days of prophetic years

Jeremiah's 70 years was an exact time. At the end of the Servitude and Captivity in Babylon, Palestine again became a Israelite Homeland. All who so desired could return.

diagram 2,520 years of Israel's world-wide dispersion

The prophesied Servitude of seventy years was literally fulfilled by their return as recorded by Ezra and Nehemiah, following the Decree of Cyrus, fulfilling the Divine promise of Jeremiah 29:10 in accordance with which the fullest liberty was granted to the exiles to return to Palestine (Ezra 1, 2). But until the era of the Desolations had run its course, not one stone was to be set on another on Mount Moriah. This explains the seemingly inexplicable fact that the firman to build the temple, granted to eager agents by Cyrus in the zenith of his power, remained in abeyance until his death. Thus a few renegade Samaritans were able to thwart the execution of "the law of the Medes and Persians, which changeth not".

When the years of the Desolations were expired, a prophecy was given by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah for the building of the sanctuary at Jerusalem (Ezra 5:1-2,5; 6:14). In obedience to that Divine command, and without waiting for permission from the capital, the Hebrews returned to the work in which they had so long been hindered.

But the return from the Babylonian captivity was only partial. The vast majority of Israelites remained in Babylon whose culture and religion were repugnant to Yahweh Torah over which they were imposed in the form of the Pharisees' Talmud, and Babylon, not Jerusalem, remained the centre of Jewish religious scholarship until about AD1200. However, God had revealed to Moses that the punishments handed out to Israel for sin would be multiplied by seven if the people did not repent of their disobedience:

Leviticus 26:25-28, "I will bring a sword upon you that will avenge the breaking of My covenant. When you have gathered in your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be delivered into the hand of your enemy. When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and return your loaves weighed out; and you shall eat but not be satisfied. If in spite of this you will not hearken to Me but continue in hostile opposition, then I will be hostile toward you, and punish you sevenfold for your sins".

Thus, after the 70 years, Palestine did not became independent - it was always a captive nation. Israel never again had a reigning king and Palestine was in succession dominated by Persia, Greece, Syria and Rome. Finally, they were scattered once more among all nations where they have remained until this day, repeating since 1948 the disobedient behavior of the exiles who did not return from Babylon after 536BC.

At midnight on May 14, 1948, Britain's UN mandate expired. Israel became an independent nation, and worldwide dispersion was over for Israelites who were obedient to the Lord, for outside the Promised Land the Mosaic Covenant is of no effect. For the first time in history a nation that had ceased to exist was restored under its name and her medieval flag was flown over a sovereign land. But Jerusalem was a partitioned city.

Whenever the Israelites have been outside their land, times have been set for their return. In 536BC a small minority returned to Palestine, and history follows their descendants who were in the land at the time of the advent and rejection of Jesus the Messiah. But there is the other dispersion which has existed since the fall of Jerusalem in 586BC.

So there are two lines of history, and two lines of prophecy. One concerns the Hebrews who returned to Palestine in 536BC. The other concerns those that were scattered among the nations and later joined by those from Palestine, and are yet to return to their Land.

Daniel's prophecy follows the Jews who returned from Babylon, rebuilt Jerusalem and its walls, and rejected their Messiah.

Ezekiel's prophecy concerns those who did not return. It was stated in such a way as would not influence its fulfillment nor point to the time of the Resurrection. The time element was somewhat veiled, as the return of the Jews is associated so closely in time with the First Resurrection.

Ezekiel's Dramatized Prophecy

Ezekiel was a priest whose commission was probably in 593BC after he had lived among the captives in Babylon for six years (Ezekiel 1:1-2; 33:21). His mute prophecy takes the number of years of eventual dispersion and mimes a prophetic pantomime (Ezekiel 3:24-4:8).

God sealed his lips so he could not reprove Israel, then instructed His prophet to inscribe a picture or map of Jerusalem on a clay tile and bring against it an irresistible siege, indicated by the iron griddle. (Normally griddles were made of ceramic ware). By glaring at the city he expresses God's Own anger, and in his siege activities he represents Nebuchadnezzar as Jehovah's servant. This mock siege is a sign for "the house of Israel," Ezekiel's companions in Babylon. "Israel" almost always refers to the entire people, and in Ezekiel 2:3 connotes both the people back in Jerusalem as well as the exiles among whom he lived (Ezekiel 3:11).

For 390 days Ezekiel lay on his left side, bearing the iniquity of the House of Israel, a day for a year. He next lay on his right side for 40 days to bear the iniquity of the House of Judah. The 390 years of Israel's sin is reckoned from the day Israel rebelled with Jeroboam against Rehoboam (977BC) and received a covenant of blessing by the prophet Ahijah, to the day they were led away captive (I Kings 11:29-39) and signifies not only the years of apostasy but also the 390 days of the siege of Jerusalem. The 40 years of Judah's sin refers to that part of Manasseh's fifty-five year's reign in which he had not repented, and which, we are expressly told, was the cause of God's removal of Judah, notwithstanding king Josiah's reformation (II Kings 21:10-16; II Kings 23:26-27).

The symbolic action in Ezekiel 4:12-15 changes the setting from the siege of verses 9-11, where an anxious and desolate people were portrayed as eating food of limited weight and drink of limited measure, to life in exile. A Divine command calls upon Ezekiel to bake publicly a barley cake, the food of the poor, on fuel consisting of human dung to signify that the Israelites will have to eat their bread unclean among the nations. Since foreign lands were unclean in themselves, all consumption of food in exile would take place in a condition of uncleanliness (Amos 7:17).

These years began with the siege of Jerusalem in 589BC (Ezekiel 4:16-17). The purpose of the prophecy is to show how long the Israelites will be scattered among the nations one year for each day of Ezekiel's pantomime: 390 + 40 = 430 years.

But the iniquity and dispersion of Israel and Judah did not end in 390 years, nor in 40 more years. In fact, these figures from Ezekiel do not point to any experience in the dispersion of the Tribes. Therefore, some other factors or conditions must be applied. Those conditions are found in Leviticus 26:18.

Two periods of punishment are evident. But the length of time of the first punishment is not given in Leviticus, it is given in Jeremiah 29:10 and Daniel 9:2 The Lord said, that if after the first period His people do not leave their sins and turn to God, the balance of the punishment will be multiplied by seven.

Ezekiel in pantomime laid siege to Jerusalem for a total of 430 days, indicating 430 years were determined against Jerusalem for the combined punishment of the twelve tribes. They were punished in Babylon 70 years. 430 – 70 = 360 years.

According to Leviticus 26:18, God revealed to Moses, the penalty for refusing His correction was a sevenfold further punishment. 360 x 7 = 2,520 years. The number of years of world-wide dispersion from Jerusalem is therefore 2,520 years from the time of their restoration following the Desolation.

Nebuchadnezzar began the Captivity in about 606BC. He began the invasion of Jerusalem on Tebeth 10, (December 15), 589BC (Ezekiel 24:1-2). The city was taken on the 9th Tammuz, 587 (and burnt on 7th Ab in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, and the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar II Kings 25:2-3,8-9), called "the twelfth year of our captivity" in Ezekiel 33:21, the news having reached the exiles on 5th Tebeth 586, the year in which the last group of captives were transported to Babylon. The return also took about twenty years.

We are expressly told the period of Desolations were fixed at 70 years because of Israel's neglect of the Sabbath years (II Chronicles 36:21; Leviticus 26:34-35). This explains the fact that a few stubborn Samaritans were allowed to thwart the execution of the work expressly ordered by the edict of Cyrus.

Until the era of the Desolations had run its course, the Divine judgment which rested on the land vetoed rebuilding the sacred Temple. The era ended and the first return commenced 70 years from the invasion, bringing us to Chisleu 24, 520BC in the second year of Darius Hystaspes of Persia: November 21, 520BC (Ezra 4:24; 5:1-2; Haggai 2:10,15-19; Zechariah 1:12).

An interval of seventeen years lapsed between the epoch of the servitude and that of the desolations so the second period extended beyond the first by seventeen years. Seventeen, the seventh prime or indivisible number, is the number of perfection of spiritual order which is why it was so often associated with the ministry of Brother Branham.

Desolations of Jerusalem

Israel lost its independence in 606BC but Jerusalem and its temple were unscathed. The city and Temple were destroyed in 586BC, God's punishment for resisting the "Servitude of the Nation" which began in 606BC with the first siege of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:6,8,11; 29:10; 38:17-21; Daniel 9:2).

Ezekiel 4:1-7 applies to the "Servitude of the Nation to Babylon" but also to the "Desolations of Jerusalem." In calculating these eras, we find ourselves at the end of the enforced dispersion of Daniel's "people" with Israel's restoration to statehood in 1948. Henceforth, those Israelites who do not return to the Homeland will be reprobates who have refused to obey the commands of God and rejected any claim to the Old Covenant. With the return of Daniel's "holy city" to Israel sovereignty the scene is set for God to meet with them in what is, as far as they are aware, God's only provided place of worship (Deuteronomy 16:1-6). For the Promised Land and the City of Jerusalem must both be under Israelite occupation before God can "set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people" and fulfil Daniel's Seventieth Week (Isaiah 11:11; Zechariah 13:7c; Revelation 6:12 - 7:8).

430 years – 70 years = 360 years x 7 = 2,520 prophetic years x 360 days = 907,200 days. Let us calculate back from May 14, 1948 using the 25,200 day (70 years) and the 907,200 days (2,520 years):


Restoration of Israel's Statehood

Julian day number: 2432686
Gregorian calendar: 14 May AD1948
Jewish calendar: 5 Iyyar 5708

- 907,200 days (Ezekiel 4:3-6; Leviticus 26:18)

Julian day number: 1525486
Gregorian calendar: 15 July 0537BC
Jewish calendar: 16 Av 3224

- 25,200 days (Jeremiah 25:11)

Julian day number: 1500286
Gregorian calendar: 17 July 0606BC
Jewish calendar: 5 Av 3155

Everything has been in transition from West to East since 1948. For all prophecy, including Daniel's Seventieth Week, must be fulfilled before the generation that saw Israel restored can pass away (Luke 21:32). Luke was a Greek Gentile (Colossians 4:10-14). This is inferred from the fact he is at pains to explain Jewish customs, sometimes substitutes Greek names for Hebrew, and that he addressed his gospel especially to the Gentiles. The day of the revealing of the Son of man is mentioned only in Luke (17:28-30).


Restoration of Israelite Sovereignty over Jerusalem

Julian day number: 2439649
Gregorian calendar: 7 June 1967AD
Jewish calendar: 29 Iyyar 5727

- 907,200 days (Ezekiel 4:1-7; Leviticus 26:18)

Julian day number: 1532449
Gregorian calendar: 8 August 0517BC
Jewish calendar: 9 Elul 3243

- 25,200 days (Daniel 9:24)

Julian day number: 1507249
Gregorian calendar: 10 August 0586BC
Jewish calendar: 28 Av 3174
(Solomon's temple was destroyed on 9-10 Av 3174 - 23-24 July 0586BC (Jeremiah 52:12-13). The rest of the city may have fallen some weeks later).


This approximates the date of the Six-Days or Yom Kippur War (5-10 June, 1967), fulfilling 2,520 years from the first return seventy years after the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC. Following this victory, Israel has controlled Jerusalem as an autonomous sovereign nation for the first time since Nebuchadnezzar conquered the city and burned the Temple. When Defense minister Moshe Dayan paid his first visit to the Old City of Jerusalem on June 7, he said, "We have unified Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to depart from it again." On June 27 the minister of the interior, under a law passed by the Knesset the day before, issued an order extending the limits of Jerusalem and jurisdiction of Israeli law to the eastern part of the city. At noon the next day, all barriers were removed. Now Israel is rapidly becoming what Ezekiel called it, "the center of the earth"  (Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12).

We may not have calculated precise days or dates but we have achieved a close reckoning and know that all 2,520 years have expired. If you would like to "prove all things," this Julian, Hebrew, and Gregorian calendar converter, and this calendar converter which also computes the years from Adam will be of great assistance.


The product of the four numbers of perfection is 2,520

3 is the number of Divine perfection.
7 is the number of Spiritual perfection.
10 is the number of Ordinal perfection.
12 is the number of Governmental perfection.
2,520 is the number of chronological perfection.

3 x 7 x 10 x 12 = 2,520. This is the least common multiple of the ten digits governing all numeration, and can therefore be divided by each of the ten digits without a remainder. Because the consummation of man's history will occur within the generation which saw Israel restored to the Promised Land, the prophecy of the 2,520 years concerns both natural and Spiritual Israel.

"The abomination of desolation" will be destroyed by an earthquake at the close of the Gentile dispensation to be replaced by a new abomination under a "prince" of Rome and will desecrate Jerusalem unto the consummation (Daniel 9:27; Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:1-2,8).

These things you will have to study out and confirm for yourself. Don't take what you heard across this pulpit just because It was preached, prove it in your own Bibles. Ask God for the revelation, and when you have It, share It with others for the hour is late. bb940715.htm

.../Back to Index to Sermons

Changing LINKS

e-mail to: ags@biblebelievers.org.au