The Seventy Years

The seventy years defined in numerous prophecies of scripture refer to the captivity of Babylon. Jesus said,

"For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over." (Luke 21:24).

Daniel, studying the writings of Jeremiah, noted that 'seventy years' had to pass before these successive devastations of Jerusalem would come to an end. (Dn.9:2).

Defining this age historically, the seventy years encompasses the 1900 years that both Houses of Israel (Christians and Jews) have spent in exile around the world, forbidden access to the Moslem lands and cities of Palestine, including Jerusalem. It is the scriptural age when the people of God are being held in the captivity of Babylon. This captivity was made possible by a treaty the king of Babylon made with Jesus, the king of the Jews which was sealed by God on the cross.

That treaty sealed the fate of earthly Jerusalem and the people who inhabited it:

"I will now send for all the clans of the North (it is God who speaks -- referring to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, my servant) and bring them down on this land and its inhabitants. I will lay the ban on them and make them an object of horror, of scorn of lasting shame. I will put an end to the...light of the lamp. The whole land shall be devastated and reduced to a desert, while they will stay in slavery among the nations for seventy years.

But when the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation-it is God who speaks -- for the wrong they have done; and punish the land of the Chaldaeans too, and make it a desert forever. I will bring down on that country all the words I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book." (Jer.24:9-13).

Underscoring the length of this captivity, Jeremiah ordered his people, when they got to Babylon, to

"Build houses, settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce...for the Lord says this: Only when the seventy years granted to Babylon are over, will I visit you and fulfill my promise in your favor by bringing you back to this place." (Jer.29:10).

Daniel, studying Jeremiah's writings pondered these seventy years and asked God about the end of them (Dn.9:2-4). An angel came down to him, and in a series of visions explained all the things that were to occur when the seventy years ended. Jesus verified Daniel's account and told us to watch for his observations, explaining that when we saw the most devastating of them occur, the desolating sacrilege, we should all run for the mountains.

For much more on this subject, see:

1. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 8, 'Seventy Years in Babylon'

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