Bible Chronology Timeline

Chronologies of the Mysteries of God

Genesis 5:1
“This is the book of the generations of
Adam. In the day that God created man,
in the likeness of God made he him”
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Jeremiah’s Ministry since King Josiah’s 13th Year in 3589

Jeremiah, a mighty warrior of faith, was the son of Hilkiah (Jeremiah 1:1); this Hilkiah was the High Priest who found the book of the Law in the temple in the days of King Josiah. Like Josiah, Jeremiah was also looking forward to a spiritual reform in Israel (2 Kings 22:10). He began his prophetic ministry in the year 3589, which was the thirteenth year of King Josiah’s reign (Jeremiah 1:2,5,6). His ministry as a prophet of the Lord lasted forty one years until the year 3630, which was the 11th year of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 1:3). To be more specific, Jeremiah received the Word of God until the very month when the temple was burnt and Jerusalem was taken captive by Babylon in the fifth month (Jeremiah 1:3; Jeremiah 52:12-13) of that year 3630.

13th of Josiah 3589 Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry begins

11th of Zedekiah 3630 Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry ends

Being the son of the high priest, Jeremiah also played an important role in the reform of Israel in the days of King Josiah; God delivered His messages through Jeremiah when Josiah had been reigning for thirteen years. The spiritual reform of Israel lasted until the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign (2 Kings 22:3; 23:23) in the year 3594. Thus, five years prior to the great reform, God had been preparing Josiah’s heart through the ministry of Jeremiah. Given that the king and the High Priest had resolved to achieve spiritual reform in Israel, the hard work of the prophet was safeguarded for the next 13 years until the death of King Josiah in 3607.

From the outset of his ministry, when Jeremiah was a young man until his adult years, the prophet delivered a hard message, but a message of salvation and eternal life. He addressed kings, priests, governors and the whole nation with the message to return to the statutes given in former times by God. Thus, he encouraged his people to “ask for the old paths, where is the good way” (Jeremiah 6:16). But the people were obstinate in their heathen customs for they said: “We will not walk therein” (Jeremiah 6:16).

Judah was so imbued with pagan traditions that they had accepted as part of their religious liturgy worldly customs which they had come to consider inoffensive. But those customs were an abomination to God. As Israel cherished their new traditions, Jeremiah’s reproofs were repulsive to them; although Jeremiah’s words were not his own, but the direct word of God. For instance: “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2). This the Lord said regarding the worldly custom of decorating a tree, which had become part of Israel’s celebrations and traditions. God continued: “For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jeremiah 10:3,4). Somehow the people had learned that the tree would bless or curse them, depending on their attitude towards it. Such trees were upright as palm trees (Jeremiah 10:5) and the Lord had said: “Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good” (Jeremiah 10:5).

Not only had they changed God’s solemn feasts for remembrance festivities, inventions of their own (1 Kings 12:32), but they also introduced the custom of representing divinity with images. Therefore, Jeremiah challenged them with God’s questionings: “…Is not the LORD in Zion… Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?” (Jeremiah 8:19). Then Jeremiah expressed how the unrepentant sinner will feel on the day of judgment: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20).

Jeremiah Risks his Life as he Prophesies

Early in his prophetic ministry Jeremiah was announcing that God’s temporal retribution and judgment was coming on Israel. He had been prophesying with a thus says the Lord, “The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end” (Jeremiah 4:27). The prophet also revealed to them how they would turn cannibalistic at the time of the Babylonian incursion and siege of the city of Jerusalem. “And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege…”(Jeremiah 19:9).

Jeremiah was a man of power, and great love for God, one who had learned to speak with bravery. A few years before the final events for Jerusalem he was sent to Tophet in the valley of the sons of Hinnom (Jeremiah 19:2) to address the inhabitants of Jerusalem and its kings and warn them of the terrible evil God was intending to bring upon their beloved city (Jeremiah19:3). That place Tophet is where the fathers of Israel had for a long time burned their children with fire for burnt offerings to Baal (Jeremiah19:5). They had shed and filled that place with innocent blood (Jeremiah 19:4). But retribution was on its way, Tophet was to be plundered by their enemies to the extent that it would be called the place of slaughter (Jeremiah 19:6:7). The small town of Tophet is where they buried their many dead from Jerusalem (Jeremiah 19:11). But the whole city of Jerusalem was going to be defiled as the place of Tophet (Jeremiah 19:13). So desperate was their condition that they would be eating their own children (Jeremiah 19:9). Then, Jeremiah walked from Tophet to the court of the Lord’s house (Jeremiah 19:14) and declared what the Lord was about to do to Jerusalem and all its towns (Jeremiah 19:15).

Egypt’s Pharaoh Establishes Jehoiakim as King

In 3607 when the good King Josiah was killed by the Egyptian king Pharaoh Necho in the battle of Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29), the common people anointed Jehoahaz his son and made him king (2 Kings 23:30). But Jehoahaz “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 23:32) and he only reigned three months (2 Kings 23:31). Pharaoh Necho ended Jehoahaz’ reign and established Eliakim, the other son of Josiah, as king over Jerusalem. Moreover, Pharaoh Necho changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim (2 Chronicles 36:4).

In that same year 3607 when Jehoiakim had begun to reign, Jeremiah stood at the court of the Lord’s house (Jeremiah 26:1,2) and spoke the words of the Lord that if they did not walk in God’s law then He shall make the temple desolate like Shiloh and the city a curse (Jeremiah 26:6). Hearing Jeremiah’s words, the priests, the prophets and all the people took him and sentenced him to death (Jeremiah 26:8). They did not kill the prophet because Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, intervened so that he was not delivered to the people (Jeremiah 26:24). But evil King Jehoiakim killed Urijah who prophesied according to the words of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:20,23).

Chart of the Babylonian Captivity






JEHOIAKIM (Eliakim) 4TH year 1st BABYLONIAN INCURSION Jeremiah 25:1 3612
JEHOIAKIM Nebuchadnezzar 4TH year1st year Nebuchadnezzar 1st incursion Temple vessels carried away Daniel 1:1 Daniel 1:2-3 Jeremiah 24:1 3612
Nebuchadnezzar JEHOIAKIM 1ST year 4TH year Jeremiah’s Prophecy Jeremiah 25:1,3 Jeremiah 25:12 3612
Nebuchadnezzar 2nd year Statue Dream Daniel 2:1 3613
JEHOIAKIM Crowned in 3607 11 Years 2nd BABYLONIAN INCURSION 2 Kings 23:36 3618
JEHOIAKIM 11 yrs End of Jehoiakim’s 11 year reign 2 Kings 23:36 3618
JEHOIACHIN 3 months 8 years old taken captive to Babylon 2 Chronicles 36:92 Kings 24:12 3619
ZEDEKIAH 9TH Jerusalem is Besieged Jeremiah 52:52 Kings 25:1 3628
Zedekiah Nebuchadnezzar 10th year 18th year The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD Jeremiah 32:1 3629
ZEDEKIAH Nebuchadnezzar 11th year 19th year Jerusalem’s 70-year Desolation Begins TEMPLE IS BURNT Jeremiah 52:5-11 Jeremiah 52:12 Jeremiah 52:13-14,27 3630
ZEDEKIAHNEBUCHADNEZZAR 11th year.19th year 3rd BABYLONIAN INCURSION TEMPLE BURNT 2 Kings 24:17-18 Jeremiah 52:12 3630

First Babylonian Incursion in 3612

For many years Jeremiah had been prophesying that the Babylonians shall invade Jerusalem and pillage the city of all its treasures. Finally the time had come for Babylon’s first incursion into Jerusalem. It happened in the year 3612 when the armies of Babylon, commanded by its king, the great Nebuchadnezar, entered Jerusalem. He carried away the princes of Judah, including Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim and the qualified skilled work force, carpenters and metal workers (Jeremiah 24:1).

Daniel speaks of the third year of Jehoikim when Nebuchadnezar besieged Jerusalem (Daniel 1:1), when the king of Babylon carried away some of the vessels of the temple and the king’s seed and princes, plus children skillful in all wisdom, knowledge and understanding science (Daniel 1:3,4) among whom was Daniel himself and his three friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Daniel 1:6).

In the chronologies of the kings of Israel there is found an account of historical data that clarifies how the events happened in the year of the first Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. Jehoikim, king of Judah had previously been made tributary to the treasury of Babylon; he had been a servant of Nebuchadnezzar for three years (2 Kings 24:1) until the year when he rebelled against Babylon and its king (2 Kings 24:1). Those are the tree years that Daniel mentions as being the third year of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1). Bear in mind that Jehoikim reigned for eleven years (2 Kings 23:36), and his successor, his son Jehoiachin, (2 Kings 24:6) reigned only three months (2 Kings 24:8). The following section clarifies that fact.

Jeremiah’s Prophecy of 70 Years for Jerusalem’s Desolation

When the first Babylonian incursion happened in the year 3612; which was the fourth year of King Jehoiakim and the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (Jeremiah 25:1), Jeremiah prophesied about Israel’s 70 years in Babylonian exile. The prophecy was that their land shall be left in desolation by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:9). Let us analyze Jeremiah’s chronological explanation of the events that took place in that particular year.

Jeremiah stated that from the thirteenth year of King Josiah’s reign until the year when he declared the prophecy of Jerusalem’s desolation (Jeremiah 25:2), had passed 23 years (Jeremiah 25:3). Now, let us consider this precious chronological data: Josiah was crowned in the year 3576; therefore, from Josiah’s coronation until the thirteenth year of his reign we come to the year 3589, the year in which Jeremiah began his prophetic ministry. Now, Jeremiah mentioned that from that year when he began his public ministry a total of 23 years had passed (Jeremiah 25:3). So, if we add the 23 years to the year 3589 it will rightly take us to the year 3612, the year in which the Jeremiah delivered a prophecy that would take effect on the 3rd Babylonian incursion. The 23 years of Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry that he mentioned, takes us exactly to the fourth year of Jehoikim’s reign in 3612.

“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened” (Jeremiah 25:3).

    3576   Josiah’s coronation year
    +  13
 = 3589   the thirteenth year of King Josiah; Jeremiah begins his ministry

     + 23   twenty three years of Jeremiah’s ministry
 = 3612   First Babylonian Incursion in the 23rd year of Jeremiah

At this moment, let us reflect on the prophecy given in the year 3612. The people of Israel, and in particular the remnant of Judah and Jerusalem, were concerned about what would become of their captives taken to Babylon in that year. So, one early morning, Jeremiah addressed the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a reproof, warning that they were adding hurt upon hurt on themselves. First, he begins by reminding them how they have turned a deaf ear to the admonitions of the prophets (Jeremiah 25:4). Secondly, he reminds them of the prophets’ reproofs against Israel’s idolatry, and urges them not to provoke the Lord with the works of their hands, and then the Lord will do them no harm (Jeremiah 25:6). And finally, Jeremiah tells them what the Lord says: you have not listened to me, to your own harm (Jeremiah 25:7). Therefore, the prophet reveals to them a prophecy which they were not expecting nor willing to hear, namely that: “this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the King of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:11). When the 70 years should be over, the Lord said, “I will punish the King of Babylon” (Jeremiah 25:12).

Prophecy Concerning the Temple Vessels

It requires bravery to carry out a ministry of the caliber of Jeremiah’s prophetic mission. Fearlessly Jeremiah delivered another hard message for the already hurt pride of Jerusalem. The temple had previously been plundered, and its sacred golden vessels had been taken away by the Babylonians. And as if that was not sufficient a punishment for Israel, they still did not understand that it was their sinful condition that was bringing on them such extreme inflictions. They were still not willing to repent of their idolatrous temple rites.

King Jehoiakim was forced to surrender part of the temple vessels at the first Babylonian siege. Very soon an even greater desecration of the house of God would occur. But before that happened, God sent Jeremiah to the religious leaders and the people of Jerusalem to let them know their impending hard future. Therefore, under God’s direction, Jeremiah solemnly declared that the Babylonian armies under the leadership of King Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:6), were soon to wreck havoc in the land of Judah and in particular to the temple and the city of Jerusalem.

During these years Jeremiah had been constantly reminding Jerusalem’s dwellers that the temple was going to be left destroyed and desolate (Jeremiah 26:6,9). But Jeremiah constantly repeated the prophecies in the hearing of his people, even under death threats, imprisonment and torture. Such boldness, of course, in the view of his contemporaries, was deserving of immediate capital punishment, as Jeremiah had defied the religious and civil authorities.

Nonetheless, a most daring speech was yet to be delivered by Jeremiah. This time it was concerning the temple’s pillars, the sea, the bases, and the remainder of the vessels which Nebuchadnezzar did not take in his first incursion (Jeremiah 27:19-20). The temple was soon to suffer another blow and be completely emptied. Jeremiah’s usual introduction to his speeches was: “Thus saith the Lord,” and he continued: “the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord will be carried to Babylon (Jeremiah 27:22). However, God’s messages were always accompanied with tenderness and hope; He assured them that every item that had been taken away and or that would be carried away to Babylon would be restored to its rightful place in the temple when the Lord shall punish the Babylonian invaders (Jeremiah 27:22).

These were not alarmist speeches, but were prophecies to alert the priests and the rest of the people about what would happen soon. They had been witnesses to the recent Babylonian incursion, in which most of the temple vessels were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar. Now the prophet was telling them that the rest of the vessels and even the brass pillars would suffer the same fate (2 Kings 25:13).

Jeremiah’s Letter to the First Captives in Babylon in 3612

Isaiah prophesied that the princes of Judah shall be turned into eunuchs as he reproved King Hezekiah with the words: “And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon” (2 Kings 20:18). Therefore, it is possible that Daniel himself was a eunuch as well; remember that he was under the care of the chief of the eunuchs in Babylon (Daniel 1:7). Jeremiah wrote a letter to these Jewish captives in Babylon, thus demonstrating his love for them (Jeremiah 29:1-3). The letter was written a short time after the first group of captives had been taken away; that is, after Jeconiah, the eunuchs and the princes were taken captives (Jeremiah 29:2). This Jeconiah was the son of Jehoikim, king of Judah (Jeremiah 24:1), and he was taken captive at the first Babylonian incursion of 3612. Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle was also among the first captives (Esther 2:5,6).

Jeremiah’s inspiring letter was written to encourage them. The letter begins by assuring the Hebrews that the message is from God (Jeremiah 29:4). The God of Israel declared to them that it is He Who caused them to be carried away (Jeremiah 29:4).

The letter was meant to encourage them to build houses and seek to settle down in Babylon, to plant gardens and eat the fruit from them (Jeremiah 29:5). Also the Lord counseled them to take wives for their sons and to give their daughters to husbands and begin families (Jeremiah 29:6).

Now, after the Lord counseled them with those words, He also reiterated the previous prophecy:

“That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” Jeremiah 29:10.

Having told them that their stay in Babylon was going to be long, the Lord also confirmed the fact that He loved them, therefore He assured them with the following words: “the thoughts that I think toward you are thoughts of peace and not of evil… to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). Their expected end was to return home to their homeland and worship in Jerusalem. Nonetheless, they must first come to their senses that they need to repent, confess their sin and ask forgiveness. Such spiritual preparation was necessary, and God saw fit for them to spend seventy years in captivity until the wonderful promise should become a reality in their lives. The Lord affirmed them:

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Second Babylonian Incursion in 3618

A second Babylonian incursion against Jerusalem occurred in the year 3618, the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (2 Kings 24:12), which was exactly the eleventh year of King Jehoakim’s reign (2 kgs. 23:36). At that time Nebuchadnezzar took all the treasures of the house of the Lord and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon had put in the temple (2 Kings 24:13). In that raid, the king of Babylon took from Jerusalem ten thousand captives, including all the princes (2 Kings 24:14). He also took captive the eight year old King Jehoiachin, who had only reined three months and ten days in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:9). This incursion happened at the very end of the year (2 Chronicles 36:10), in 3618.

Although Nebuchadnezzar took all the princes, Jerusalem still kept its monarchy, as Nebuchadnezzar replaced Jehoichin with his uncle Mattaniah whose name he changed to Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17). It was a tough job for Zedekiah to try to improve his realm’s hard hit economy. Jerusalem’s work force had been taken captive, its few remaining dwellers were saddened and despondent, and their national sovereignty had been deeply ashamed by being subjugated to the power of Babylon. For the first time since the date of its construction and dedication in the year 3207, the magnificent temple of Solomon, decked in gold, had been emptied of all its sacred emblems. The Babylonians had removed from the temple walls all the gold they could find. Thus, the word of God was fulfilled as prophesied by His prophet Jeremiah.

But the reader may question, What about the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy Seat? Were they also carried away by the Babylonian troops? Or did the priests bury the Ark under the ground? Perhaps Jeremiah hid it in some desert cave? Or did God providentially remove it away from Israel? To many of these questions we won’t have a concrete answer until we get to Heaven, on the day of Jesus’ Second Coming. On that day the Ark of His Testament, shall be seen in His Heavenly Temple, as John the revelator saw in vision (Revelation 11:19). However, Jeremiah prophesied that the time will come when it will be fulfilled that the people of Israel” shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more” (Jeremiah 3:16). With these words the prophet was revealing an important piece of information, for they will see the Ark no more until God shall show it in the temple of Heaven.

Jeremiah Reveals Jerusalem’s Doom to Zedekiah

Times were quickly turning from bad to worse. God had urged Israel to repent, but were obstinate in their rebellion. Yet, King Zedekiah was moved to enquire of the Lord for Israel’s fate. He sent to ask Jeremiah to intercede for them, as Nebuchadnezar was constantly waging war against Israel. He wanted to know if God’s favor was with them so that the Babylonian armies would leave them in peace (Jeremiah 21:2). To Zedekiah’s concern, the prophet responded that the Lord was going to deliver Zedekiah to the King of Babylon and that many people in Jerusalem would die of pestilence, others by the sword and the rest by famine (Jeremiah 21:7). Apart from that he also reminded Zedekiah that the Babylonians would burn the city of Jerusalem with fire (Jeremiah 21:10).

A Prophecy in Zedekiah’s 10th and Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th Year Reign

Jeremiah delivered a message in the year 3629, exactly one year before the desolation of Jerusalem, which was Zedekiah’s 10th year reign and Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year reign (Jeremiah 32:1). The matching of this chronological data is very important because in that way it is preserved the continuity of the biblical chronology.

Jeremiah delivered many of his messages prison, as Zedekiah had locked him up in the palace prison (Jeremiah 32:2). The city was already besieged by the Babylonian armies (Jeremiah 32:2), for it was besieged from the 9th year of King Zedekiah until the 11th year of his reign (2 Kings 25:1, 2).

Zedekiah was hoping against hope that Jeremiah’s prophecies should only be fallacies of his own invention. Even though Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonian armies, Zedekiah was enraged against Jeremiah for prophesying that the Lord was about to deliver the city into the hand of the King of Babylon (Jeremiah 32:3). Another foreboding that infuriated Zedekiah was Jeremiah’s persistence on prophesying that King Zedekiah would not escape from the hands of the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:4). Moreover, Zedekiah was in constant contention against his prisoner for daring to say that the day was approaching when Nebuchadnezzar will take him captive to Babylon (Jeremiah 32:5).

Nonetheless, in that year 3629, Jeremiah received a most unusual visit for a prisoner; this would be an object lesson of inspiration for all the Jews in the Babylonian captivity. God had already revealed to Jeremiah that his cousin Hanameel would visit him and offer him to purchase his property in Anathoth, because Jeremiah had the family right to buy it (Jeremiah 32:7). When Jeremiah heard his cousin’s proposal he realized that this matter was from the Lord (Jeremiah 32:8), and he purchased the land, subscribed the evidence and sealed it in the presence of witnesses (Jeremiah 32:9,10). Then Jeremiah asked his scribe Baruch, who was one of the witnesses, to take the documents and put them in an earthen vessel to preserve them unharmed for many years (Jeremiah 32:13,14). In that very moment, the prophet uttered God’s prophecy of hope for his people:

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land” (Jeremiah 32:15).

The time was imminent that Jerusalem and the temple were going to be consumed to ashes and left in dire desolation.

Third and Final Incursion of Jerusalem in 3630

Time was over for Israel’s monarchy, it ended in the year 3630. But still sadder was to see the destruction of the temple during Babylon’s third and final incursion occurred on the 9th day of the 4th month in the 11th year of King Zedekiah, the day on which the beloved city of Jerusalem was totally destroyed (Jeremiah 39:2).

It was necessary that the history of the third Babylonian siege should be written three times, twice by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39 and 52) and once in the chronologies of the Kings (2 Kings 25). Lest we forget the exact dating of the beginning of the 70 years of Jerusalem’s desolation. Therefore, God commanded his servants to write down that important chronological data.

According to the chronologies of the kings, the city of Jerusalem was besieged by King Nebuchadnezzar from the 10th day of the 10th month of Zedekiah’s 9th reigning year (2 Kings 25:1). And it remained besieged until the 11th year of King Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:2), which was the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:8). Once again the chronology of the kings of Israel is matched to the chronology of Babylon’s monarchy in order to preserve the continuity of God’s chronology.

Ezekiel wrote about this dreadful third Babylonian incursion: “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the Holy Places, and prophesy against the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 21:2). Thus of the third and final Babylonian incursion God told Ezekiel “let the sword be doubled the third time…” (Ezekiel 21:14). Such incursion was unparalleled because of the great slaughter in Jerusalem. God continued: “the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers” (Ezekiel 21:14).

Terrible retribution and judgment was visited upon the house of Israel in that year 3630. From the 9th day of the 4th month the great famine prevailed in Jerusalem so that there was no bread inside the city (2 Kings 25:3). The city was broken up and the men of war fled (2 Kings 25:4). The Chaldees overtook many of them (2 Kings 25:5, 6). Zedekiah’s sons were killed in the sight of Zedekiah’s, and soon after the slaughter of his children, Zedekiah’s eyes were plucked out and he was carried in fetters to Babylon (2 Kings 25:7).

In His mercy God did not let Israel continue in the great famine nor continue the cannibalism inside the city. On the 7th day of the 5th month of that fateful year it happened what the Israelites had feared most. Captain Nebuzaradan marched towards Jerusalem and set the temple on fire (2 Kings 25:7,8). He also burned the houses of Jerusalem, together with the king’s palace (2 Kings 25:9).

The 70 Years of Desolation Began in 3630

The question may arise: how can it be that the 70 year prophecy began in 3630 and not when the first captives, including Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon? Notice that the prophecy was not about 70 year’s captivity in Babylon but 70 years for the desolation of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 25:11). Bear in mind that the captivity for the children of Israel varied; some Jews spent more time in Babylon than others. Those who were taken captive in the year 3612 remained in Babylon the longest, but those who were carried to Babylon when Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jewish temple burnt down, if they returned to Jerusalem when the decree was issued, they remained captive only 70 years. Also remember that many Hebrews were not so eager to leave Babylon. But 115 years after the destruction of the first Jewish temple Zechariah urged them to come out of Babylon. Zechariah’s message was given in 3745, four years before the dedication of the second Jewish temple (Zechariah 1:1; 2:7).

Both Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied about the desolation of Jerusalem and the temple. But it is the temple that takes precedence, as the temple was a revelation of the plan of redemption. Therefore Jeremiah’s prophecy of the 70 years applies more directly to the desolation of the temple and the holy city Jerusalem. This had been revealed by Isaiah, as he wrote:

“Thy holy cities are a wilderness; Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste” Isaiah 64:10-11.

Notice once again that when Jeremiah prophesied about those 70 years, he referred to the desolation of the land. Review the chronology and see that the land was completely desolated when Israel’s monarchy ended in 3630. On that occasion the Chaldeans broke down the walls of Jerusalem (Jeremiah39:8). So the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled that Jerusalem was left in complete destruction and desolation. See what Jeremiah wrote:

“And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 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” (Jeremiah 25:11-12).

Ezekiel Confirms 2nd and 3rd Babylonian Incursions

One of the captives who received visions from the Lord was Ezekiel the priest (Ezekiel 1:3). He was also chosen to be a prophet while in the Babylonian captivity. When he wrote about their experience in Babylon, he always referred back to any of the three Babylonian incursions as captivity. That is the case of Ezekiel when he wrote: “And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity…” (Ezekiel 33:21). In that year it happened that Jerusalem and the temple were doomed to desolation as they were utterly destroyed. Ezekiel explained that “one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, the city is smitten” (Ezekiel 33:21).

With this recollection of facts we discover that Ezekiel confirms the dates for the second and third Babylonian incursions. First, he states that he had been captive for 12 years and exactly in the 12th year of his captivity, the city was smitten. Remember that the city was destroyed and the temple burned in the third Babylonian incursion of the year 3630. So if from the year 3630 we subtract the 12 years of Ezekiel’s captivity, it reveals that he was taken captive in the second Babylonian incursion in the year 3618.

   3630   Year when city smitten, temple burnt, also twelfth year of Ezekiel’s captivity
     - 12
= 3618   Ezekiel was taken captive in the second Babylonian incursion of the year 3618

Ezekiel also supports the fact that the third Babylonian siege happened in the year 3630 and this date confirms the biblical chronology. Having revealed the date of his exile in 3618, Ezekiel continues to give further details regarding the chronology of the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel wrote: “in the five and twentieth year of our captivity… in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten… the hand of the Lord was upon me…” (Ezekiel 40:1). Let us put this data in arithmetical form:

   3630  year when city smitten in 3rd Babylonian incursion
   +  14
= 3644
 14th year after the city was smitten was the 25th year of Ezekiel’s captivity in 3644

Now if we add those 25 years of Ezekiel’s captivity to the year when he was taken to Babylon we have:

    3618   year when Ezekiel was taken captive
   +  25   years of Ezekiel captivity in Babylon
= 3643

Now the difference between the years 3643 and 3644 is because it was the beginning of the year 3644 when Ezekiel received the vision of the temple (Ezekiel 40:1), and the verse uses the word “after” meaning when the year had recently passed. But once again these chronological facts by Ezekiel affirm the accuracy and truthfulness of God’s chronology and more specifically the second and third Babylonian incursions climaxing with the desolation of Jerusalem.

Chart of Nebuchadnezzar’s and the Last Kings of Judah



1ST BABYLONIAN INCURSION 4th year reign 1st year reign Jeremiah 25:1
JERUSALEM UNDER SIEGE 10th year reign 18th year reign Jeremiah 32:1-2
TEMPLE BURNED 3RD BABYLONIAN INCURSION 11th year reign 19th year reign Jeremiah 52:5Jeremiah 52:12
70 YEARS DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM BEGINS 11th year reign 19th year reign 2 Kings 25:2,7,8

How the Chronology was Preserved

In His wisdom God deemed necessary that the historical facts regarding the Babylonian captivity for the people of Israel should be written by several prophets. God has always desired that His people strengthen their faith by a diligent search of the Scriptures; only there we will find the truth. As it is written:

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

Remember that to safeguard the continuity of the ancient chronology, God linked the periods of the last kings of Israel with the reigning years of Nebuchadnezzar. That was because the monarchy of Israel was abolished by the Babylonian Empire. Had they not linked both monarchies’ periods, the biblical chronology would have been lost and we would be forced to depend on the sophisms of centers of paganism such as the Alexandrian library to give us the wrong facts about Biblical history.

In reviewing, two monarchical chronologies were matched. The first matching happened in 3612, in the 4th year of King Jehoiakim, which corresponds to the 1st year of King Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:1) at the first Babylonian incursion. The second matching happened in 3617, one year before the second Babylonian Incursion; Jeremiah from prison purchased a property (Jeremiah 32:12,15); this purchase happened in the 10th year of the reign of King Zedekiah which corresponds to the 18th year of King Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 32:1). Yet another matching happened at the 3rd Babylonian Incursion in 3630. This final incursion happened in the 11th year of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 52:5; 2 Kings 25:2), which was the 19th year of King Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 52:12; 2 Kings 25:8). In this year the temple was burned (Jeremiah 52:12, 13), and Jerusalem was left desolate.

The World Empires in Daniel’s Prophecy

In the year 3613, the 2nd year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (Daniel 2:1); through a dream, the God of Israel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar a great portion of world history until the end of the world. In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image (Daniel 2:31) that was composed of four different metals: His head was pure gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of bronze (Daniel 2:32), his legs of iron, and its feet a mixture of iron and clay (Daniel 2:33). The image stood erect until a stone cut out of a mountain without hands smote it on its feet and broke it in pieces (Daniel 2:34). The whole image was destroyed and it crumbled to pieces, beginning with the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold (Daniel 2:35).

Through this dream God revealed to the Babylonian monarch that the world would be dominated by subsequent global empires. Each metal in the image represented a kingdom. God told Nebuchadnezzar that the image’s head represented his kingdom of Babylon, He said: “Thou art this head of gold” (Daniel 2:38). Nebuchadnezzar was not told what kingdoms the other metals represented, but just before the time of Babylon’s fall, that revelation was given to Daniel in Daniel 8:20-21.

It happened in the 1st year of King Belshazzar, two years before the fall of Babylon, in 3698 (Daniel7:1), that Daniel received dreams and visions of four beasts depicting the four major world empires. He saw a lion with eagle’s wings (Daniel 7:4), a bear which raised up itself on one side with three ribs in its mouth (Daniel 7:5), a leopard having four wings on its back and four heads (Daniel 7:6), and a dreadful beast with great iron teeth and ten horns (Daniel 7:7). From the ten horns proceeded a little horn, by whom three of the first horns were uprooted. This little horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things (Daniel 7:7).

God told Daniel: These four great beasts are four kingdoms, which shall arise out of the earth (Daniel 7:17). Of those four beasts three of them are clearly identified (Daniel 2:38; 8:20-21). Concerning Babylon, Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that he represented his kingdom by the statue’s head of gold (Daniel 2:38) which is represented by the lion with eagles’ wings. The kings of Media and Persia were represented not only by silver and by the bear but also by a ram (Daniel 7:5; Daniel 8:20). The kingdom of Greece was represented by the metal bronze, by the leopard and also by the goat and its horn was the first king (Daniel 8:21), (Alexander the Great). The fourth kingdom was the Roman Empire that conquered Greece. Imperial Rome was represented by the metal iron. It appears that it was for the purpose of protecting the prophecies that the name of the Roman Empire was not given at that time. But it is revealed later in the chronology of the mysteries of God.

Babylon’s Fall: the Writing on the Wall

Babylon’s kingdom was on the edge of a precipice, as it was about to fall under the dominion of Medo-Persia. In the year 3700, the third year of the Babylonian King Belshazzar, (Daniel 8:1), Daniel was given a vision of a ram with two horns which represented the kings of Media and Persia (Daniel 8:20), and the goat, which was the king of Greece (Daniel 8:21). With that vision Daniel was given the foreknowledge that Babylon was going to be conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire.

The third year of Belshazzar was also the last year of Belshazzar’s life. It was in that year that Daniel was summoned to appear immediately before Belshazzar who was having a great feast in which he desecrated the vessels of the temple of God (Daniel 5:2). Then fingers of a man’s hand appeared on the wall, which frightened Belshazzar extremely (Daniel 5:5). The writing was:

“MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (Daniel 5:25).

Daniel was a man of renown throughout the years of the Babylonian captivity; but Belshazzar, an arrogant man, did not acknowledge him. Even under great distress, Belshazzar addressed Daniel as a stranger when he asked: “Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?” (Daniel 5:13). Then the king proceeded to offer Daniel luxurious gifts if he could read the writing on the wall (Daniel 5:16). Yet the prophet rejected the king’s gifts because he had come not for the purpose of gain but to deliver God’s message. Therefore, he went straight to the point, as he explained the writing:

“MENE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it” (Daniel 5:26).
“TEKEL: Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).
“PERES: Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:28)

On that fateful night Belshazzar ordered that Daniel be clothed with scarlet and appointed him to be the third ruler in the kingdom (Daniel 5:29). Although Daniel was bestowed with governmental authority in the Babylonian Empire, Belshazzar himself was killed on that very night (Daniel 5:30), and the Babylonian superpower came to an end as the armies of the Medians and Persians overthrew it.

Come Out of Babylon My People!

With the fall of Babylon also came the time to proclaim: “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity” (Jeremiah 51:6). And again: “Babylon…that made all the earth drunken… Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed…” (Jeremiah 51:7, 8). The prophet had prophesied about Belshazzar when by the Word of the Lord he proclaimed: “I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up” (Jeremiah 51:44). Remember that he had swallowed up wine using the vessels dedicated to the God of Heaven. By the fall of Babylon the time had come for the words spoken by the prophet to be rehearsed and obeyed: “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord” (Jeremiah 51:45).

In the Medo-Persian Empire

When Babylon was conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire, Darius of the Medes took the kingdom. But the reign of the 62 year old monarch (Daniel 5:31) would not last long. God had preordained that the Persian king Cyrus would fulfill both Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies. Therefore, Jeremiah prophesied about the internal transfer of power within the Medo-Persian Empire:

“And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler” (Jeremiah 51:46).

Chapter 51 of Jeremiah presents the prophecy regarding the utter destruction and thorough desolation of Babylon. Now, what is this rumour that Jeremiah prophesied about in the above statement? Is it possible that the children of Israel would feel sorrow for the destruction of Babylon? Would Israel feel pity for the nation that destroyed their holy city Jerusalem and their temple? Would a rumor like that make the children of Israel faint and fear? Of course not; but they were also conscious of the prophecies given by Isaiah and Jeremiah regarding Cyrus who was to issue the decree to end the desolation of Jerusalem and command to lay the foundation of the second Jewish temple, as well as allowing their liberation from Babylonian captivity (See next chapter).

The rumor that would make Israel faint and fear would be the enthronement of a monarch who would not fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah in favor of Israel. The rumour was that Darius the Mede, of whom nothing had been written in the prophecies, was taking over the kingdom of Babylon. Yet the monarch who should be in power to decree their liberation and the foundation of the temple was Cyrus the Persian, not Darius the Mede. No wonder Daniel was so worried when in the first year of Darius he searched the prophecies, Daniel wrote:

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. 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 9:1-2.

Daniel understood that the 70 years for the desolations of Jerusalem should be fulfilled in that year when Cyrus conquered Babylon but Darius took the kingdom. The rumor was that Darius’ reign would be short-lived and Cyrus would en enthroned instead. That was the violence of ruler against ruler from within the Medo-Persian Empire prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51:46). Daniel knew that prophecy very well. But how would he reveal it to Darius? Because, after all, Darius had recently given him the presidency of the Medo-Persian Empire when he was appointed the first President in Darius’ kingdom (Daniel 6:2). Having all this knowledge, Daniel had to encourage Darius to accept God’s will about the monarchy in the Persian Empire (Daniel 11:2). Therefore, Daniel wrote: “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him” (Daniel 11:1).

Daniel’s faith was confirmed by Jeremiah’s prophecy. And having understood the writings of Jeremiah, he earnestly pleaded with God that the 70 years of Jerusalem’s desolation should not be prolonged because of their sin. The prophet then explains: “…I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God” (Daniel 9:20). Daniel also understood Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding the contention for power between Darius and Cyrus in the year 3700.

Daniel in Office Until the First Year of Cyrus, in 3700

The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel a very distinguished position in his empire and “made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon” (Daniel 2:48). When Babylon was conquered Daniel also served in the Kingdom of Medo-Persia. King Darius gave him the presidency of his reign (Daniel 6:1, 2). But also bear in mind that “Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus (Daniel 1:21). Why did Daniel continue until the first year of Cyrus the Persian? Because that year was unequivocally the first year of Darius the Mede, whose power only lasted a few months before Cyrus took over the kingdom; that is why the Word of God says: “So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian” (Daniel 6:28). Daniel served the Medo-Persian Empire in the reign of Darius and also in the reign of Cyrus which happened in the same year. Remember that this was the rumour prophesied by Jeremiah that “shall both come in one year” (Jeremiah 51:46); Cyrus would dethrone Darius in the very year when the prophecy for the 70 years of Jerusalem desolation should come to an end. This was the first year of both Darius and Cyrus reign in 3700.

Although Daniel had retired from political office, he continued his prophetic ministry even after the year 3700. Remember that in the third year of Cyrus Daniel was still receiving visions and messages from God (Daniel 10:1).

Chronologies of the Mysteries of God - Page 7