1998: Year of the Apocalypse
Or, A Firmly Held Opinion of One Who Is Incurably Watching
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man"
by Tom Stewart
aniel's Seventy Weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) has rightly held the attention of evangelical Christians since Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918)-- a Sherlock Holmes "contemporary" at Scotland Yard-- published his classic exposition, The Coming Prince ---New Window. He desired to defend the integrity of the prophecies of Daniel from the Higher Criticism of his day. Thus, modern prophecy teachers may sometimes refer to Sir Robert Anderson when they, too, defend and expound Daniel's Seventy Week prophecy.
As we approach the Seventieth Week of Daniel, it would greatly aid the faith of those who are watching and waiting, as the Wise Virgins of Matthew 25, to see how the LORD told Ezekiel to record a prophecy in 593 BC that would mathematically bring us to the 1967 Israeli recapture of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. And what is the significance of that June 7, 1967 date? It marked the beginning of the generation that "shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled" (Luke 21:32). Without a question, this is the Terminal Generation.
Ezekiel Predicted the 1967 Recapture of Jerusalem
lthough the Seventy Weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) is the tool of greatest familiarity to students of Bible prophecy, Ezekiel deserves a closer look by all who, like the prophets, look into the matter of the timing of future events. "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (1 Peter 1:11).
Ezekiel was a prophet of the Babylonian Captivity (606-537 BC). His prophecies mainly concern the Destruction of Jerusalem. Henry Halley's Bible Handbook (p. 324) notes that Ezekiel employed the phrase, "They shall know that I am God", 62 times throughout the book. God wanted Israel to be taught this important lesson, but what a price for the education!
About a dozen times, Ezekiel identifies the exact year-- "of our captivity" (Ezekiel 33:21), which began about April 15, 597 BC (Julian) with Jehoiachin's Captivity. He also gave the month (where the 1st month is the equivalent of Nisan), and the day. Virtually everything is arranged in chronological order, with all that falls in between belonging to the previously mentioned date. Thus, Ezekiel's time oriented prophecy of Ezekiel 4:1-8 belongs to the date established in Ezekiel 1:1-2. The date was July 1, 593 BC (Julian), when Ezekiel received the prophecy from the LORD concerning the 390 days of bearing Israel's iniquity, and 40 additional days of bearing Judah's iniquity.
430 Days of Ezekiel Prophecy
|1.||Begin: 390 days of punishment for the iniquity of Israel (10 northern tribes) (4:5).|
|2.||Add: 40 days of punishment for the iniquity of Judah (2 southern tribes) (4:6).|
|3.||Total: 430 combined days of punishment laid upon Ezekiel (4:5-6).|
|4.||Convert: Each day for a year = 430 years of punishment (4:6).|
|5.||Occasion: Siege of Jerusalem (4:2,3,7 cp. 24:1)-- began on December 11,589 BC (Gregorian).|
|6.||Date of the prophecy: June 25, 593 BC (Gregorian) (4:1-8 cp. 1:2).|
|7.||Background: Servitude of the Nation already begun (Jeremiah 25:11)-- July 18, 606 BC (Gregorian).|
|8.||Result: Desolations of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:2) would begin on July 24, 587 BC (Gregorian).|
What is the prophecy of Ezekiel 4? "Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it. And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege" (Ezekiel 4:1-8).
Ezekiel was intended by the LORD to be a sign to the the Jews of the Babylonian Captivity. Ezekiel showed them that they were not about to return to Israel. Jeremiah was prophesying during the same time a similar message. "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jeremiah 25:11). The LORD still had to accomplish their sanctification by an additional time of suffering.
Did not the LORD ordain that man would be sanctified by his sufferings? "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). If the Sinless Son of Man learned obedience through His sufferings, why should it be different with the children of men? Whether it is the Babylonian Captivity of Israel or the Tribulation Week Captivity of the present Laodicean Church, God will teach His sinful people holiness through their pain and suffering.
Ezekiel was to model on a tile the siege of the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 4:1-2). He was to set an iron pan between the model of the besieged city of Jerusalem and himself (4:3). Laying on his side, Ezekiel was to bear "the iniquity of the house of Israel" (4:4). What did this all mean? The model of the besieged city of Jerusalem represented the nation of Israel. The iron pan represented the iron wall separating Israel from Jehovah. The act of setting Ezekiel's face against the model and the pan represented the LORD's anger against Israel. Bearing "the iniquity of the house of Israel" (4:4) by Ezekiel laying on his side represented the Sinless Lamb of God taking "away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
The LORD God of Israel specified in Ezekiel 4:5-6 that Ezekiel would lay on his left side for 390 days to symbolically bear the iniquity of Israel (the northern 10 tribes), and 40 additional days on his right side to symbolically bear the iniquity of Judah (the 2 remaining southern tribes). Other than the symbolism, what can those two numbers tell us? After reading an article online by Guy Cramer entitled "Ezekiel Prophesied the 1967 Recapture of Jerusalem", it is apparent that those numbers can tell us plenty!
Before discussing the significance of the 390 days and 40 days
of Ezekiel 4, we need to understand the difference between the Servitude of the Nation
and the Desolations of Jerusalem. I use the term Nation in this context to refer
to the entire 12 tribes of Israel, unless the Scriptural context uses it to refer
to the 10 northern tribes. When the LORD took Jehoiakim captive by Nebuchadnezzar
on July 18, 606 BC (Gregorian)-- and the northern tribes about 120 years earlier
by Sargon-- He effectively began Israel's Servitude. This can be called the Servitude
of the Nation. When the Temple of Solomon was burned by Nebuchadnezzar on July 24,
587 BC (Gregorian)-- Av 10 on the Jewish calendar-- this began the Desolations of
Again, Jeremiah informed us about the Servitude of the Nation. "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jeremiah 25:11). Daniel enlightened us about the Desolations of Jerusalem. "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem" (Daniel 9:2).
Ezekiel's 430 Day Prophecy Combined With Jeremiah
and Daniel's Prophecies
|9.||Subtract (inclusive): Jeremiah 25:12's 70 years (25,200 days) from the Servitude of the Nation = 360 years Additional Punishment in the Servitude of the Nation.|
|10.||Application: July 18, 606 BC (Gregorian) through July 15, 537 BC (Gregorian)-- Beginning and End of the Initial Servitude of the Nation-- is 70 years (25,200 days).|
|11.||Subtract (inclusive): Daniel 9:2's 70 years (25.200 days) from the Desolations of Jerusalem = 360 years of Additional Punishment in the Desolations of Jerusalem.|
|12.||Application: July 24, 587 BC (Gregorian) thru July 21, 518 BC (Gregorian)-- Beginning and End of the Initial Desolations of Jerusalem.|
Ezekiel's 430 Day Prophecy Combined With Moses'
|13.||Multiply: 7 times the remaining 360 years of punishment for the Servitude of the Nation = 2,520 years (907,200 days) Additional Servitude.|
|14.||Add: 907,200 days to the End of the Initial Servitude, and you arrive at the divinely ordained birth of Israel as a modern nation-- May 14, 1948 AD (Gregorian).|
|15.||Multiply: 7 times the remaining 360 years of punishment for the Desolations of Jerusalem = 2,520 years (907,200 days) Additional Desolations.|
|16.||Add: 907,200 days to the End of the Initial Desolations of Jerusalem, and you arrive 18 days prior to the divinely ordained Israeli recapture of Jerusalem, which was June 7, 1967 AD (Gregorian).|
Dates Significant to Ezekiel's 430 Days Prophecy
|July 18, 606 BC (Gregorian): Nebuchadnezzar takes Jehoiakim captive (2 Chr. 36:6).|
|July 18, 606 BC (Gregorian): Initial Servitude of the Nation begins (Jer. 25:12).|
|April 15, 597 BC (Julian): Ezekiel taken captive with Jehoiachin (Eze. 33:21; 40:1).|
|July 1, 593 BC (Julian): Date Ezekiel received the 430 Days prophecy of Ezekiel 4.|
|December 11, 589 BC (Gregorian): Siege of Jerusalem began (Eze. 24:1).|
|June 24, 587 BC (Gregorian): Jerusalem fell (Jer. 39:2).|
|July 24, 587 BC (Gregorian): Nebuchadnezzar burns the Temple (Jer. 52:12-13).|
|July 24, 587 BC (Gregorian): Initial Desolations of Jerusalem began (Dan. 9:2).|
|July 15, 537 BC (Gregorian): Cyrus decrees Jews to return to Israel (2 Chr. 36:22-23).|
|July 15, 537 BC (Gregorian): End of Initial Servitude of the Nation (Lev. 26:18).|
|July 21, 518 BC (Gregorian): Haggai & Zechariah finishing 2nd Temple (Hag. 1:2).|
|July 21, 518 BC (Gregorian): End of Initial Desolations of Jerusalem (Zec. 1:16).|
|May 14, 1948 AD (Gregorian): Israel born as modern nation (Dan. 4:35).|
|May 14, 1948 AD (Gregorian): End of Additional Servitude of the Nation (Is. 14:27).|
|June 7, 1967 AD (Gregorian): Israelis recapture Jerusalem's Temple Mt. (Mat. 24:32).|
|June 7, 1967 AD (Gregorian): End of Add'l. Desolations of Jerusalem (Lk. 21:24b).|
The Coming Prince ---New Window
by Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918)
Complete with charts, tables, and reference footnotes.
Undoubtedly, Sir Robert Anderson intended the title of his book, "The Coming Prince", to refer to the Antichrist, who is noted as the "prince that shall come" (Daniel 9:26). In Chapter 15, also entitled "The Coming Prince", Anderson wrote:
On the other hand, his "Introduction" (Chapter 1) begins with a defense of the prophetic fact that the LORD Jesus Christ will most certainly return to judge the world. Anderson wrote:
"The Coming Prince" is a classic interpretation of the prophecies of Daniel, especially the ninth chapter. Concerning Daniel's Seventy Weeks, Anderson wrote:
And for more about the author, read:
Sir Robert Anderson and the Seventy Weeks of Daniel ---New Window
Big Chart - The tribulation timeline displayed all at once.
Index - An in-depth index of all topics displayed on the Big Chart, but in small chart form.
Print - It is recommended that you print out the Big Chart, to help you see an overview easier, and for future reference.
Section Index for Timeline
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