When was Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians?
It doesn’t matter as it’s destruction and the subsequent rebuilding were prophesied and fulfilled in scripture. There is no modern day fulfillment of the prophecies. Secular sources believe that Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 or 587 BC based on thousands of pieces of historical evidence. Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, believe that it was destroyed in 607 BCE. They rely on a single piece of evidence and all other leanings are on the fact that the prophecy said that 70 years would pass from the destruction of Jerusalem to its being rebuilt. Jerusalem was rebuilt in 537 BC so counting back 70 years this is 607 BC, But, as already mentioned, this date is of no significance today, except for Millennialists, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses who use the date to somehow prove that Jesus has returned to Earth as King since 1914.
How did Jehovah’s Witnesses reach a date of October 1914?
They arrive at 1914 using a mish-mash of scriptures and chronological rules which they believe are scriptural. There are a number of different methods to arrive at 1914 but I am only going to present one. All are as equally complex.
- Daniel 12:7 reads:
Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was up above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left hand to the heavens and swore by the One who is alive forever: “It will be for an appointed time, appointed times, and half a time.” As soon as the dashing to pieces of the power of the holy people comes to an end, all these things will come to their finish.
As you can see it talks about “time”, “times” and “half a time”. This is a total of 3 and a half times.
- Next, Revelation 11:2 reads:
But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, leave it out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months.
42 months is equal to 3 and a half years. 3 and a half times is equal to 3 and a half years. Each year equals 360 days because in this case each of the 42 months is 30 days in length. Therefore, one time is equal to 360 days. Based on that, 3 and a half times would be equal to 1260 days. Or, to put it another way, 42 months times 30 days equals 1260 days.
- 1260 days is not a very long time. In fact, it’s less than 3 and a half years. So, now we have to rely on another scripture. Let’s read Ezekiel 4:6:
“Then for a second time you will lie down, on your right side, and you will carry the guilt of the house of Judah for 40 days. A day for a year, a day for a year, is what I have given you.
If one applies this “rule” of a day for a year, 1260 days becomes 1260 years.
- If we go back to Daniel 4:25, it talks about “seven times” so if 3 and a half times is equal to 1260 years, then 7 times is double that: 2520 years.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses then count 2520 years from 607 BC and arrive at 1914, bearing in mind that there is no 0 AD year: one jumps from 1BC to 1AD.
The whole prophecy is nonsensical. It’s taking scriptures from random locations and messing with numbers to come up with a prophecy that is non-existent in scripture.
How long are the Gentile Times?
No one knows. It’s a time period set by God. As it is set by God, then one would do well to observe the words in Matthew 25:13:
“Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour.