Ezekiel’s Seventy Years,
A Whole New Look at Ezekiel!
In Zechariah 1:12, “the angel of Yehuveh answered [Yehuveh in behalf of Zechariah] and said, O Yehuveh of hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which Thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?” These words, spoken in reference to “the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius,” 12 February 2007, indicate that the seventy years are almost over. What seventy years is this messenger discussing and what events during and following them are important to us? Zechariah 1:7.
Ezekiel tells the story of these seventy years by pointing out highlights which marked turning points. Seventeen times in the book of Ezekiel, information is associated with a very specific year, month and day. The month-day information is easily determined astronomically when the years have been specified. The indignation ends at the beginning of “the acceptable year of Yehuveh” [spring 2008 to spring 2009 (Yehuveh’s years begin in March or April, not on January 1)] when Israel’s debt is fully paid. Knowing this, we have a determined beginning point seventy years earlier, namely the year spanning spring 1938 to spring 1939.
Within this seventy year span, from 1938 to 2008, Ezekiel provides considerable information and insight dated to very specific dates. Sometimes these dates pinpoint explicit events, as in Ezekiel 24:1, where Yehuveh says to Ezekiel, “Write thee the name of the day, even of this same day; the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day,” 28 November 1971. On this very date, a Palestinian terrorist group calling themselves Black September [Organization, BSO] struck their first violent attack in what would become an all-out effort to destroy Israel. Less than a year later they kidnapped and killed eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. The violence unleashed on Israel and others who were sympathetic or supportive of Israel has only accelerated since this date. Yehuveh foretold this event in graphic detail, to the very day, giving us an absolute anchor for these seventy-years. [How Black September is tied to the king of Babylon is discussed in the notes on Ezekiel 24:1.] The dates in Ezekiel 1:1 and 26:1 are equally explicit.
Others of these dates cannot be as explicit, for the events discussed are more general. Ezekiel 29 - 30 - 31 describe Yehuvehs appeals and cautions and forecasts to the leaders of Egypt just before they launched the Yom Kippur War against Israel. Repeatedly Yehuveh stated that Egypt would be destroyed in what they were about to undertake. They were!
Yehuveh not only points out specific events and warnings related to them, but describes the aftermath of these events for both Israel and the rest of the world. Why does any of this matter to us? Because more than half the book of Ezekiel is describing events yet future. As we witness how accurately Yehuveh has told us the past, we will have confidence to trust Him and intelligence to co-operate with Him as this very future unfolds. This is more than a fascinating good read. Decisions we must make very shortly directly depend on our understanding “how long” until Yehuveh again has “mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah.”
Originally Written: 7 June 2006
Latest Update: 20 November 2007
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