Ezekiel’s Seventy Years,
Who is Egypt?
At first glance, it would appear simple to determine what people are described as Egypt! Dah! But Hagar was an Egyptian and her son Ishmael was half-Egyptian and half-Semitic. As such, he carried some of both heritages, but in his youth he was separated from his father’s family and raised by his mother. By predominent training, then, he was Egyptian, and the peoples descended from him, the Arab nations, are Egyptian in their heritage. Recognizing this, Ezekiel’s references to Egypt includes the Arabic peoples. Thus discussions of the Egyptian peoples being scattered and slaughtered is as faithfully fulfilled in the history of the displaced Arabs as in the history of the nation of Egypt.
Likewise, the Palestinian peoples are descended from the Scriptural Philistines, themselves a branch of the Babylonian people. With this heritage, Ezekiel can speak of the Palentinian Black September Organization and their behind the scenes leadership as “the king of Babylon” who “set himself against Jerusalem this same day.” Ezekiel 24:1.
The historical information regarding Jehoiachin is nicely collected by Wycliffe: “King Jehoiachin. The eighteenth, and next to the last, king of Judah, was the son of the petty tyrant, Jehoiakim, and grandson of the godly Josiah. His name, meaning ‘Yehuveh establishes,’ is variously spelled: Yoyakin, Ezekiel 1:2; Yehoykin, 2 Kings 24:6,8,12,15; 25:27 a, b; Jeremiah 52:31 a, b; 2 Chronicles 36:8, 9; Yekonya, Jeremiah 27:20; 28:4; 29:2; Esther 2:6; 1 Chronicles 3:16,17; Yekon Yahu, Jeremiah 24:1; Konyahu, Jeremiah 22:24,28; 37:1. Enthroned by Pharaoh-necho of Egypt, he reigned only three months, when he was deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in the year 597, along with the upper classes (2 Kings 24:8-16). He was released by Amel Marduk (Evil Merodach), son of Nebuchadnezzar in 560, the thirty-seventh year of his exile (2 Kings 25:27). ‘The Jehoiachin tablets,’ published in 1939, refer to ‘Yaukin’ and his sons as receiving rations (Albright, BA, V (Dec. 1942), pp. 49-55). Jeremiah (22:20-30) and Ezekiel (19:5-9) appear sympathetic toward him. His grandson Zerubbabel was in the Messianic line (cf. Matthew 1:11,12; Ezra 3:8; 1 Chronicles 3:17-19).
“The fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity (June-July, 592) is the first of fourteen date references in the book of Ezekiel (cf. 1:2; 3:16; 8:1; 20:1; 24:1; 26:1; 29:1; 29:17; 30:20; 31:1; 32:1; 32:17; 33:21; 40:1). Ezekiel was the first prophet to date his messages chronologically. (For dates of the period, cf. J. Finegan, ‘Nebuchadnezzar and Jerusalem,’ JBR, 25 (1957), pp. 203-205.)”
Brought into the present, if “the thirtieth year” “was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity,” and if this year was the spring of 1967 to the spring of 1968, then this captivity began in the year that spanned spring of 1963 to the spring of 1964. What occurred in 1963-1964 that would constitute the captivity of Israel’s highest established leadership? From historical accounts many things happened that year which had long-term impact on the nation of Israel and on the people of Israel whom Yehuveh is seeking to restore. However, the primary point of concern for us is that all the remaining dates in the book of Ezekiel are based on the beginning of this specific captivity, that is, on a 1963-1964 beginning year.
Prayerfully study the next page, a summary of the fourteen dates of Ezekiel as they pertain to these seventy-years of indignation against Jerusalem. It has much relevance for our lives, both in the present and in the near future.
Originally Written: 7 June 2006
Latest Update: 20 November 2007
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