The Bible and False Prophecy
long was the Babylonian captivity?
CLAIMS: Jeremiah 25:11 predicts the Jews would be captives in Babylon for
70 years, and II Chronicles 36:20-21 views the prophecy as fulfilled. But the
Jews were taken into captivity by the Chaldeans when Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C.E.
And Cyrus of Persia issued an order in 538 B.C.E. allowing them to return from
Babylon to Judah. Thus, the Babylonian captivity lasted about 48 years..
does the prophecy specifically say?
whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the
king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will be when seventy years are completed
I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation," declares the Lord, "for
their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting
desolation. - Jeremiah 25:11-12
The prophecy is that
the Jews (and the nations around them) will SERVE the king of Babylon seventy
years. In other words, they will be under the rule of Babylon. Although for most
of the time many Jews will be in captivity in the city of Babylon, and in other
Babylonian cities, for part of the time many Jews will remain in Palestine and
Jerusalem under the rule of Babylon... serving the king of Babylon.
when did the land of Judah begin to serve the king of Babylon? It turns out
the Jews are rather stubborn people and they did not like being ruled by Babylon,
so the Baylonian armies had to return three times. Here is a brief time line:
BC* - King Jehoiakim becomes a servant of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
BC - The Jews rebel. Nebuchadnezzar sends armies to defeat Jerusalem and takes
captives back to Babylon. This is when Daniel is taken captive.
597 BC -
Jerusalem rebels again, Nebuchadnezzar sends another army, captures Jerusalem
and deports many more Jews to Babylon
588-586 BC - Jerusalem rebels again,
Nebuchadnezzar sends another army, lays siege to Jerusalem, totally destroys Jerusalem
and deports just about everyone to Babylon, leaving a few of the very poorest
The humanists are saying the Jews became captives of Babylon when
Jerusalem fell for the third time in about 586 BC. But, that's not when they began
to serve the king of Babylon. That happened in 607 BC and is described in 2 Kings
In his days Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years;
- 2 Kings 24:1
Jehoiakim began serving the king of Babylon
in 607 BC. The time of servitude was 607 to 537* BC... a total of 70 years. This
time period has come to be called the "Babylonian Captivity," implying
all 70 years were spent as captives in Babylon. But, that's not what scripture
says. For part of the time of "captivity" Jews were still in Jerusalem.
If they had not rebelled against God and the Babylonians, they might have spent
all of the "captivity" in Jerusalem serving the king of Babylon there.
we read what was written, that the Jews were to serve the king of Babylon for
70 years, the prophecy was perfectly and exactly fulfilled.
of other unfulfilled Old Testament prophecies include the following: the Jews
will occupy the land from the Nile to the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18); they shall
never lose their land and shall be disturbed no more (II Samuel 7:10); King Davids
throne and kingdom shall be established forever (II Samuel 7:16); no uncircumcised
person will ever enter Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:1); and the waters of Egypt will dry
up (Isaiah 19:5-7).
Now they are just throwing out prophecies and hoping
something will stick. We'll take a look at each one of these. Click
* Note: dates are +/- one year due to
differences in calendars, and because specific months are not identified. When
we convert dates to our current method of dating, we can not be 100% sure which
year in our current dating system is the exact correct year.