According to the Watchtower, correctly understanding the 70 year prophecy, as mentioned in several places in Scripture, is crucial to understand the date for when Jerusalem was destroyed. According to The Watchtower, Jerusalem fell in 607. If Jerusalem didn’t fall in 607, then the chronology falls apart and 1914 is no longer true. Therefore, if we were to investigate such an important issue, we should not find any holes or inconsistencies for such an important doctrine. Therefore, the Watchtower’s chronology should be tested see if it holds up to scrutiny.
*** si p. 84 par. 35 Bible Book Number 14—2 Chronicles ***
The closing verses of Second Chronicles (36:17-23) give conclusive proof of the fulfillment of Jeremiah 25:12 and, in addition, show that a full 70 years must be counted from the complete desolation of the land to the restoration of Jehovah’s worship at Jerusalem in 537 B.C.E. This desolation therefore begins in 607 B.C.E.—Jer. 29:10; 2 Ki. 25:1-26; Ezra 3:1-6.
According to the Watchtower, the seventy years ended in 537. And the only way to arrive at the correct date for the destruction of Jerusalem is to count backwards 70 years, which would end up in 607.
*** gm chap. 9 p. 123 par. 16 Prophecies That Came True ***
In 539 B.C.E., the time of Babylon’s rule as the preeminent world power came to an end when the vigorous Persian ruler Cyrus, accompanied by the army of Media, marched against the city.
We have 539 not as the date for the end of the 70 years, but for the end of Babylon’s rule, which was then taken over by Cyrus.
*** kc p. 189 Appendix to Chapter 14 ***
Daniel relied on that word, trusting that the 70 years were not a ‘round number’ but an exact figure that could be counted on.
In this reference, we have an explicit and clear declaration by the Watchtower that the 70 years has to be 70 years, not 68, 69, or 71, but 70.
Let’s review what we have so far:
According to the Watchtower,
1. The seventy years ended in 537 (si p. 84 par. 35)
2. Babylon’s rule came to an end in 539 (gm chap. 9 p. 123 par. 16)
3. The 70 years cannot be a round number (kc p. 189)
Now, let’s test these three points against what the Scriptures teach.
“And all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years. “ (Jeremiah 25:11, NWT)
Here we have a mention of the seventy years, which the Watchtower believes started with the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 and ended in 537.
“And it must occur that when seventy years have been fulfilled I shall call to account against the king of Babylon and against that nation.” (Jeremiah 25:12, NWT)
With this verse, there is one very important detail to notice: Babylon falls after the 70 years are fulfilled. And according to the Watchtower, when did the 70 years end? Didn’t they say 537? But didn’t they also say that Babylon fell in 539? This is a very noteworthy discrepancy. Just to make sure this is correct, let’s review the facts.
1. Jeremiah 25:12 says that the King of Babylon will be punished after the 70 years have been fulfilled.
2. The Watchtower says that Babylon’s rule came to an end in 539 (gm chap. 9 p. 123 par. 16)
3. Therefore, the seventy years must have ended in 539, not in 537.
Either the Bible is right in the 70 years ending with Babylon’s fall in 539, or the Bible is wrong, since the Watchtower claims the 70 years had to of ended in 537.