The book of Jeremiah gives three dates to consider. In Jeremiah 1:2 we read, “to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.”
Because Josiah began to reign at eight years of age, the king’s age would be twenty-one years when Jeremiah was called by God as a prophet. Jeremiah 1:5-6 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." 6 Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I [am] a youth."
Although Jeremiah was destined for the priesthood it would not happen until he was thirty years of age. God gives the age of twenty years when a man was to be counted, but thirty years was the age at which a man would enter the priesthood. Jeremiah’s first calling came as a youth (young man.) At the age of accountability of twenty years, it would make Jeremiah’s age close to that of King Josiah.
The two remaining dates were prophetic and deal with two distinctive seventy-year prophecies.
The first is in Jeremiah 25:10-11 “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.”
It should be understood that this applies to Jerusalem and the surrounding territory. Two important scriptures define this prophecy and give the correct understanding. II Chronicles 36:21 “to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”
Then Daniel 9:2 reads: “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 through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” This was also foretold in Leviticus 26:32-35: “I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. 33 I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. 34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you [are] in your enemies' land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 As long as [it] lies desolate it shall rest—for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.”
These three scriptures remove all doubt as to the meaning of Jeremiah 25:10-11 and are the key to understanding the Daniel 9 prophecy. They correctly place the first two chapters of Nehemiah into Bible history. Read the article “THE DESTRUCTION OF SOLOMON’S TEMPLE DATED” which can be found at:
The prophecies also correctly link the final days of the kingdom of the Jews to our modern dating system.
The remaining prophecy of seventy years is in Jeremiah 29:10: “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.”
This is a message to the first group of captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar as stated in II Kings 24:11-12, and 14 “And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it. 12 Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner. 14 Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.”
The concluding year of this prophecy is recorded in Daniel 5:25-31 which began in 533 BC, and ended in 463 BC. Daniel 5:25 "And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 26 This [is] the interpretation of [each] word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." 29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and [put] a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, [being] about sixty-two years old.”
The start of the first group of captives who were taken in 533 BC by Nebuchadnezzar is recorded in II Kings 24:11-14. Because Jeremiah wrote this prophecy before the final destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, it can only be applied to the first group of captives and not to those taken at the collapse of the kingdom as stated in II Kings 25:2-3 and 11 “So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 By the ninth [day] of the [fourth] month the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 11 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive the rest of the people [who] remained in the city and the defectors who had deserted to the king of Babylon, with the rest of the multitude.”
Don Roth July 24, 2020