Jeremiah prophesies about seventy years
Jeremiah 25:10-12 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 candle. (11) And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (12) And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
This specific prophecy has several predictions:
- This land (Judah) shall be a desolation and an astonishment.
- These nations would serve the King of Babylon
- For seventy years
- After the seventy year period, Babylon and her king would punished.
Babylon destroyed and made desolate, Judah and took most her people captive in 586 B.C. The sound of mirth and gladness had ceased from the land of Israel for seventy years as the Israelites served the king of Babylon.
Seventy year Babylonian empire
The seventy years here speaks both of the seventy year reign of the Babylonian empire as well as the seventy year captivity of the Israelites. The reign of the Babylonian empire started in 609 B.C. after they defeated the Assyrians and came to a close in 539 B.C. when Cyrus conquered Babylon.
Seventy year captivity for the Israelites
This seventy year period is often calculated in two different ways. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 B.C. and was rebuilt in 516 B.C. resulting in a 70 year period. Others argue that the seventy year time was accomplished from 605 B.C. when the Israelites were taken captive, to 536 B.C. when the Israelites built the first alter back in their homeland. Either way you look at it (I prefer the latter), The prophecy was fulfilled perfectly. Once again God gives us specific prophecies through his word that have come to pass.
Isaiah Predicts the exact name of the king who would let the Israelites return home
A hundred and fifty years before these prophesied events, God speaks through Isaiah telling his people about their future deliverance by the hand of a man named Cyrus.
Isaiah 44:24-28 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; (25) That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; (26) That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: (27) That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: (28) That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; (2) I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: (3) And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (4) For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. (5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: (6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
This specific prophecy has several predictions:
- Jerusalem would be rebuilt and inhabited (it was still inhabited during the writing of the prophecy).
- God would dry up the rivers.
- Cyrus would say to Jerusalem “Thou shalt be built and to the temple, thy foundations shall be laid”.
- Cyrus would subdue nations.
Isaiah wrote this prophecy around 700-681 B.C. and he predicts that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and inhabited. Jerusalem was not destroyed until 586 B.C. Daniel gives us an account of how this prophecy was fulfilled. During one of Belshazzar’s parties, a hand wrote on a wall foretelling of the end of the Medo-Persian reign over the Israelites. This caused great fear to fall on Darius (loose the loins of kings). That very night, the forces of Cyrus entered into Jerusalem through the water ways under the city (I will dry up the rivers), and took the city. Cyrus was the king who allowed the Israelites to return to Israel and rebuild. Once again, God knows the end from the beginning and proves it through his word.
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