Chapter 3: Some Key Dates

We have seen that the 7-Times Prophecy shows that God has numbered the days of Gentile dominion over Israel and Jerusalem at 2,520 years. Therefore after 2,520 years the Times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled with Israel being restored to the Land and in control of Jerusalem. Impressively, Bible-believers understood this before the Rebirth of Israel even looked to be a possibility and used the 7 Times to accurately predict keys dates in this process of restoration at the closing period of the 7 Times.

 The 7-Times Prophecy is well known in some circles that study prophecy and it is not without controversy. As we shall see it has had sufficient success in predicting end-time events in the last century to cause many to believe it is valid. However it does not seem to predict the key dates of 1948 and 1967 for the end of the Times of the Gentiles and this causes others to doubt its validity. However in this book we are presenting a new development of the 7 Times Prophecy which will prove that it is a perfect chronological prophecy that predicts the exact end of the Times of the Gentiles!

 However we need to start by looking at the initial attempts to apply the 7-Times prophecy before we add the final refinement that brings it to perfection. In this we want to particularly honour the astronomer and prophecy-student: Gratten-Guiness, who wrote; ‘Light for the Last Days’ among other books. He had the courage to announce at the end of the 19th century that on the basis of the Bible, Israel will be restored to the Promised Land. Many laughed at such an idea. But he went even further. On the basis of the 7-Times Prophecy, he predicted the dates that he expected would mark the key moments of Israel’s Restoration and the end of the Times of the Gentiles. Students of Bible-Prophecy began to watch world events to see if these things were so, and they were amazed to see that God was indeed moving to restore Israel in fulfilment of prophecy, and the dates marked by the Prophecy were indeed important events in this process of restoration.

 In this Chapter, we will basically reproduce this work done by the first students of the 7-Times Prophecy and show how indeed this Prophecy did give dates that impressively marked the beginning of Israel’s restoration in the closing period of the Times of the Gentiles, which establishes its validity. Now other groups tried to use the 7-Times Prophecy to predict the time of the 2nd-Coming which was a misapplication of the 7-Times Prophecy leading to it being discredited in many eyes, but we must not throw the baby out with the bath water. However Gratten-Guinness demonstrated that there was a partial fulfilment of the prophecy, by giving key dates of Israel’s restoration. Let us now review this achievement.

 The start of these Times is the Babylonian Servitude and Captivity giving starting dates of 607-588 BC. Thus there were 19 years of increasing Gentile dominion over Israel leading up to the start of these Times. Likewise we might also expect a corresponding 19 years of decreasing Gentile dominion and increasing Jewish restoration - at the end of the 7-Times. We shall see that this was indeed the case. Interestingly, these were also the starting dates for a shorter 70-year period of discipline for Israel in which she was under Servitude and in Captivity in Babylon (2Chronicles 36:21, Jeremiah 25:1,11,12, Jeremiah 29:10, Daniel 9:2, Zechariah 1:12, 7:5), which likewise ended over 19 years: 537-518 BC. Thus these 70 years formed the start of a longer period of Gentile dominion.

Although Israel was released to return to her Land by the Cyrus Decree at the end of the 70 years (having repented of her idolatry), she was not fully released from discipline, for she continued to remain as a province of a Gentile superpower (whether Persia, Greece or Rome) even though she maintained her own identity and a measure of self-rule. When Israel rejected her Messiah, her discipline increased again as she was evicted from the Land in AD 70 and scattered to the nations for 1900 years. The length of time of this expulsion reveals the seriousness of the sin that caused it.

 The 70 Years of the Babylonian Servitude and Desolations.

 In Chronology, there are always debates over exact historical dates. Anyone interested in confirming my starting dates, should take into account the dating of the Babylonian Captivity which the Bible says was 70 years. This fixes the Cyrus decree at 537BC and the start of the Servitude as 607 BC. I will cover other technical issues in a later book.
Going forward 7 TIMES = 2520 years
 from the key starting dates
of Israel’s captivity in Babylon, we should get the key dates for Israel’s restoration as a nation. Bible students at these times of fulfilment at the end of the 7-Times were expecting to see the restoration of Israel in phases based on the 7-Times Prophecy:

 In 607 BC, Israel’s Servitude to Babylon began. Daniel and other young royal princes were the first group to go into Captivity (Daniel 1:1, this was Tishri 607 BC at the start of Jehoiakim’s 3rd).

 *2520 years take us to 1914 AD.
In 1914, World War 1 began.
The fact that this was the beginning of the end of the Times of Gentile dominion was shown by this start of a great shaking of nations, which led to the capture of Jerusalem (1917) and rebirth of Israel. World-War was the first sign given by Jesus of being in the end times of the Church-Age (the time immediately before the Tribulation) - Matthew 24:7. This world-war was essential in preparing the Land for Israel’s Return.

 In 604 BC, there was a further submission by Israel to Babylon, where Tribute was taken, as recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.

 *2520 years take us to 1917.
In 1917 AD
, there was more evidence that the Times of the Gentiles were nearing closure when the British General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Islamic Turks on December 11th, 40 days after the British made the Balfour Declaration promising Israel nationhood in their homeland. No shot had to be fired because of a Turkish surrender when they saw the planes of the Royal Flying Corps fly over Jerusalem dropping leaflets to surrender. Aviation in warfare was new and the Turks took this as a message from Heaven. Unique in the war, no damage was done in capturing a city. It was seen as a fulfilment of Isaiah 31:5:
Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.”

The squadron’s motto was: “I spread my wings and keep my promise.” As a Bible-believer, Allenby humbly entered on foot to take control, but he did not come as a conqueror for the British had promised to return the land to the Jews. These developments were a clear signal that the Times of the Gentiles were coming to a close, alerting Bible-students to watch carefully.

 In 603 BC, having completed his 3 (Nisan based Babylonian) years of training (Daniel 1), Daniel received the key vision that warned of the coming Times of Gentile dominion (see Daniel 2). His vision charted the whole course of the Times of the Gentiles, revealing the future World Empires that would dominate Israel.

 *2520 years take us to 1918.
In 1918 AD,
the end of World-War One at 11 am of the 11th day
of the 11th month, exactly 11 months after the recapture of Jerusalem signified to many Bible-students that 11 o'clock had come in the Times of the Gentiles, warning us that they were about to end. The end of World-War 1 led quickly to the formation of the League of Nations (the forerunner of the UN), which was man’s attempt to unite the nations in order to prevent World-War breaking out again).

 In 598 BC, Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem and conquers it, leading to another wave of people going into Babylonian captivity.

 *2520 years take us to 1923 AD.
In 1923
, the Palestinian Mandate (for Britain to administer the holy-land) came into operation, so that the promises Britain made in the Balfour Declaration could now be implemented.

 In 588 BC, Jerusalem was besieged by Babylon, leading to its final
destruction soon after. The siege is described in Jeremiah 52 and Ezekiel 24. It started in January 588 BC. Jeremiah 34:8-22 and Jeremiah 37:6-10 tell how the siege was lifted for a time as a result of some repentance, with the leaders of Judah making a solemn vow to release their slaves according to the law (one of the reasons for the judgement was their failure to keep the Sabbath and Jubilee Years). God sent the Egyptian army to defend them and so the Babylonians withdrew. However when the pressure was off them they then failed to keep their vow, and so Jeremiah announced that they had now crossed the point of no return and that judgement was certain, resulting in the inevitable destruction of Jerusalem.

He said that Egypt would now withdraw and no longer help them, and that Babylon would return and continue the siege and it happened as he said. Thus we can date the time when God’s hand of final judgement came down on Judah, when Jerusalem came under the final siege, as being later in 588 BC. In fact the 430 years of Israel and Judah’s sin in Ezekiel 4, which start in Tishri 1018 BC confirm
that this was more precisely in Tishri 588 BC. From this point on, Jerusalem’s doom was certain, although it was only finally destroyed by the Babylonian’s in 586 BC.

 Thus our final starting date for the Times of the Gentiles, when Gentile dominion was fully established over Israel is Tishri 588BC.

 *2520 years take us to 1933 AD.
In 1933,
at team of Bible-students led by Arthur Ware who had been watching the fulfilment of the Times of the Gentiles, and who had seen signs of them ending in 1914, 1917, 1918, 1923, were expecting to see them finally end in 1933, but clearly they did not end at this time. However these believers were able to mark 1933 as a key spiritual end-point. They came to the understanding that this was the year when, according to Romans 11:22, God cut off spiritually the Gentile nations (but not the Church) from
the place of favour that they had been grafted into when Israel was cut off in October AD 33. For more explanation on this, see the Appendix: “What happened in 1933?”

 Summary. The Seven-Times started with the Babylonian Captivity (607-588 BC). At the end of these Times, God should restore control of Jerusalem to Israel. Going forward 2520 years from the starting dates took us to 1914-1917-1918-1923-1933.

These are all key dates for the ending of the Times of Gentile domination and the re-establishment of Israel

 However we must admit that it was manifestly not until 1948 and 1967 that we can say that the Times of the Gentiles finally ended. So this interpretation of the 7 Times has been partially successful, but not fully successful. How can we understand this puzzle? If it is truly a prophecy from God giving the timing for the end of the Times of the Gentiles then we would expect it to give the exact end-dates for the Times of the Gentiles in 1948 and 1967.

 We must be missing something! We must be missing a final key in interpreting this prophecy correctly.

 In the next Chapter we will discover what this missing key is.