Redating the First Deportation of Judah
From 606 B.C. to 597 B.C.

By Jim Hopkins


1. Daniel states that in the third year of Jehoiakim (606 BC), Jerusalem was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan 1:1).

2. That Jehoiakim was given into his hand with ‘part of the vessels’ of the temple. (Dan 1:2).

3. That Nebuchadnezzar carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. (Dan 1:2).

4. That Ashpenaz, the master of the king’s eunuchs, was instructed by Nebuchadnezzar to bring in children of royalty and nobility. (Dan 1:3).

5. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (Dan 1:6).


1. To correlate the dates given by Daniel and the other writers concerning the captivity of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar.

2. To understand the meaning of the ‘third year of Jehoiakim’s reign.’

a. The usual understanding of the ‘third year of Jehoiakim’s reign’ is the year 606 BC – one year prior to the succession of Nebuchadnezzar to the throne.

b. It is proposed by this study that the ‘third year of Jehoiakim’s reign’ to which Daniel refers is the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign ‘in servitude’ to Nebuchadnezzar’ (2nd Kings 24:1) and would apply to Jehoiakim’s eleventh year, 598 BC and Nebuchadnezzar’s eighth year.

c. This dating is in keeping with the three deportations of Judah into Babylon as recorded in Jeremiah 52:2830 as the seventh, the eighteenth, and twentythird years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign.


1. A review of the Biblical and historical accounts of Judah at the time of Nebuchadnezzar will be conducted and the applicable portions listed.

2. The Biblical accounts will be summarized rather than quoted.


A. Data given about Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Second Kings:

1. Josiah, king of Judah, was killed at Megiddo by Necho, king of Egypt. 609 BC. (23:29).

2. After his death, Jehoahaz reigned for three months. He was replaced by Necho, and carried in bonds to Egypt there he died. (23:3334).

3. He was replaced by Jehoiakim, who ruled eleven years. 609598 BC. (23:34, 36).

4. Nebuchadnezzar came in his days and he became his servant three years. 600-598 BC. (24:1).

5. Jehoiakim died and his son, Jehoiachin, reigned three months in his place. 598 BC. (24:6,8).

6. During this threemonth reign, Nebuchadnezzar returned to the city and besieged it. Jehoiachin, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to him. They were taken to Babylon in the eighth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. 597 BC. (24:1012).

7. ‘All of the treasures’ of the temple and the king’s house were taken to Babylon. 597 BC. (24:13).

8. He carried all the people of Jerusalem away: the princes, the fighting men, the craftsmen, and the smiths for a total of ten thousand captives. Only the poorest of the people were left. (24:14).

9. The king, his mother, his wives, his officers, and the chief men were also carried away captive to Babylon. (24:15).

10. He was replaced by Zedekiah, his uncle, who reigned for eleven years. 597586 BC. (24:17,18).

11. Jerusalem was again besieged by Nebuchadnezzar from the ninth through the eleventh years of Zedekiah. 588586 BC. (25:1,2).

12. In the eleventh year a breach was made in the city. All the fighting men and the king fled by a gate between two walls. The king was captured and taken to Riblah. His sons were killed before him. Then his eyes were put out and he was taken in fetters to Babylon. 586 BC. (25:46).

13. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, burned the temple. This was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 586 BC. (25:8,9).

B. Data given about Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Second Chronicles:

1. Neco (Necho), king of Egypt, came up out of Egypt to make war at Carchemish. Josiah, king of Judah, went out to stop him. 609 BC. (35:20).

2. Josiah was wounded in battle and was returned to Jerusalem where he died. 609 BC. (35:24).

3. Jehoahaz, his son, was placed on the throne and reigned three months. 609 BC. (36:1,2).

4. Neco took him into Egypt and replaced him with Jehoiakim. 609 BC. (36:4).

5. Jehoiakim reigned eleven years. 609598 BC. (36:5).

6. Nebuchadnezzar came up against him and bound him in chains to carry him to Babylon. 598 BC. (36:6).

7. Nebuchadnezzar took ‘some of the vessels’ of the temple to Babylon. 598 BC. (36:7).

8. Jehoiachin was made king and reigned three months. 598-597 BC. (36:9).

9. At the turn of the year Nebuchadnezzar returned, captured Jerusalem and replaced Jehoiachin with Zedekiah. Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon ‘with the vessels’ from the temple. 597 BC. (36:10).

10. Zedekiah reigned eleven years. 597586 BC. (36:11).

11. Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. 588 BC. (36:13).

12. The Lord brought against them the king of the Chaldeans who killed the young men with the sword in the sanctuary and had no compassion on young or old. They were all given into his hand. 586 BC. (36:17).

13. ‘All the articles’ of the house of God, the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and his officers, he took to Babylon. 586 BC. (36:18).

14. He burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned its fortified buildings. 586 BC. (36:19).

C. Data recorded by Ezekiel concerning Nebuchadnezzar.

1. Ezekiel saw his first vision in the fifth year of Jehoiachin. 593 BC. (1:1,2).

2. In the parable of the two eagles and the vine, Ezekiel interpreted that the king of Babylon would come to Jerusalem, and take the king and the princes to Babylon. He predicted that Zedekiah would die in Babylon. 592 BC. (17:1116).

3. Ezekiel was told in a vision of the day that Nebuchadnezzar would beseige Jerusalem. 589 BC. (24:2).

4. He also predicted the fall of Egypt, and that they would be made a desolation for forty years. Afterwards God would restore them, but they would never rule the nations again. 588 BC. (29:115).

5. His predictions included the overthrow of the city of Tyre. It would be a bare rock and would not be built any more. 587 BC. (26:114).

6. In his prophecy against Egypt, Ezekiel said that the king of Babylon would overthrow it. 587586 BC. (Chap 31 & 32).

7. One who escaped the destruction of Jerusalem arrived in Babylon four months later and told Ezekiel about the fall of Jerusalem. January 585 BC. (33:21).

8. The twentyfifth year of captivity was the fourteenth year after the fall of Jerusalem. 572 BC. (40:1).

9. Ezekiel’s last prophecy: Because Nebuchadnezzar had been long in the siege of Tyre and had received no wages, the Lord would repay him for his services by giving him Egypt. 571 BC. (29:1720).

D. Data recorded by Jeremiah concerning Nebuchadnezzar:

1. Jeremiah began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of Josiah (626 BC). His prophecy continued to the deportation of the captives of Jerusalem (586 BC). He prophesied forty years. (1:13).

2. He prophesied the death of Jehoiakim: “He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.” (22:19).

3. Of Jehoiachin he said that he would be given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and be taken into another land where he would die. (22:25,26).

4. Of Zedekiah he said that just as bad figs cannot be eaten, so would he give up Zedekiah, the princes, the remainder of Jerusalem and of the land and those that dwell in Egypt. (24:8).

5. The fourth year of Jehoiakim is said to be the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, 605 BC. Jeremiah prophesied that the Lord would send Nebuchadnezzar, his servant, against the land, the people and the nations around them; that he would utterly destroy them and make them an astonishment, a hissing and a perpetual desolations; and that the whole land would serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (25:1,9,11).

6. It was in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 BC) when Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish that Jeremiah predicted Egypt’s defeat by Nebuchadnezzar. (46:2). He later prophesied that the Lord would deliver Egypt into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. (46:13,26).

7. In the fifth year of Jehoiakim (604 BC), Jeremiah’s book was read to the king. Jehoiakim took his penknife, cut up the book and cast it into the fire. Having done so, Jeremiah prophesied that Jehoiakim would have no seed to sit upon the throne of David and that his lifeless body would be unburied and exposed in the day to the heat and at night to the frost. (36:2030).

8. After seventy years the Lord would punish Babylon and make the land desolate for ever. (25:12). The seventy years (606536 BC) were numbered for Babylon’s reign and not Judah’s captivity. (29:10).

9. Jeremiah told Zedekiah that the pillars, the sea, the bases, and ‘the remaining vessels’ of the temple, that Nebuchadnezzar did not take with him when he took Jehoiachin away, would be taken away to Babylon and there they would remain until the day that the Lord should visit them. Then would he restore them to Jerusalem. (27:2022).

10. In the fourth year of Zedekiah (593 BC), Hananiah prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would be overthrown and that ‘all the vessels’ of the temple would be returned in two years. Jeremiah restated that the Lord had put a yoke of iron on the necks of the nations that they should serve Nebuchadnezzar. To prove that he spoke the truth, Hananiah would die that year. He died two months later. (28:317).

11. In the fourth year of Zedekiah (593 BC), Zedekiah visited Babylon. Jeremiah sent a letter to the captives in Babylon by the chief chamberlain describing the evil and desolation that was going to come on Babylon. (51:59).

12. In the ninth year of Zedekiah (588 BC), Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. (39:1; 52:4).

13. In the tenth year of Zedekiah and the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar (587 BC), the city was under heavy siege from the Babylonians. Jeremiah bought his cousin’s land at Anathoth, because the Lord had promised that houses, fields, and vineyards would yet again be bought in the land. (32:115).

14. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, a breach was made in the wall and the city fell. 586 BC. (39:2; 52:5).

15. The eleventh year of Zedekiah was also the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. During this year the temple, the king’s house, and the city were burned. He then carried away captive the poorest of the land. 586 BC. (52:1316).

16. Three deportations are listed and seem to be taken from Babylonian records (Thiele, 190). The first occurred in the seventh year (598 BC) of Nebuchadnezzar and took 3023 captives. The second in the eighteenth year (587 BC) of Nebuchadnezzar and took 832 captives. The third in the twenty third year (582 BC) of Nebuchadnezzar and took 745 captives, for a total of 4,600 captives carried away. (52:2830).


A. Data recorded by the Jewish historian, Josephus.

1. In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar took the government over the Babylonians. 605 C. (Ant X,vi,1).

2. At the same time, Nebuchadnezzar went up to Carchemish on the Euphrates with the resolution to fight with Neco, king of Egypt, because all Syria was under Neco’s control. (Ant X,vi,1).

3. When Neco learned of this expedition against him, he quickly traveled to the Euphrates with a large army to defend himself. (Ant X,vi,1).

4. Neco was beaten and lost many tens of thousands of soldiers. (Ant X,vi,1).

5. It was then that Nebuchadnezzar passed over the Euphrates and took all of Syria, except Judea, as far as Pelusium (a city on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt). (Ant X,vi,1).

6. But after Nebuchadnezzar had reigned four years, he made an expedition with a large army against Jehoiakim, who was then in the eighth year of his reign. 600 BC. (Ant X,vi,1).

7. Nebuchadnezzar required tribute of Jehoiakim, which he brought for three years. 600598 BC. (Ant X,vi,1).

8. In the third year (of his servitude) Jehoiakim heard that Nebuchadnezzar had made an expedition against the Egyptians, so he did not pay the tribute. But the Egyptians would not fight and left Jehoiakim facing retaliation from Babylon. 598 BC. (Ant X,vi,2).

9. Jeremiah had foretold every day how that it would be in vain to place their hopes on the Egyptians, how the city would be overthrown by the king of Babylon and that Jehoiakim would be subdued by him. (Ant X,vi,2).

10. What Jeremiah had prophesied would be of no advantage to them, because there would be none that would escape. For the rulers and the people had no concern about what they heard. But being displeased, they had accused Jeremiah and tried to bring him into court. The elders refused to do so and quietly sent the prophet away. (Ant X,vi,2).

11. Earlier, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim (604 BC) after the prophecies were written, they were read before the assembly at the temple. When the rulers heard it, they took the book, told Jeremiah to leave, and gave the book to the king. When Jehoiakim heard what it contained, he tore it and threw it into the fire. (Ant X,vi,2).

12. A little while after Nebuchadnezzar’s expedition against the Egyptians, 598 BC, he came against Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim received him into the city because of his fear of Jeremiah’s predictions. He thought nothing terrible would happen to him and did not shut the gates or fight against Nebuchadnezzar. (Ant X,vi,3).

13. Nebuchadnezzar did not keep the covenant that he had made, and after entering the city killed the young, those of great dignity, and the king, whom he commanded to be thrown before the walls without any burial. (Ant X,vi,3).

14. He made Jehoiachin the king and took 3000 of the rulers and their families captive to Babylon, among whom was Ezekiel. (Ant X,vi,3).

15. Jehoiachin ruled three months and ten days. After Nebuchadnezzar departed, a terror seized him concerning Jehoiachin. He was afraid that Jehoiachin would hold a grudge because he had killed his father and make the country revolt against him. 597 BC. (Ant X,vii,1).

16. Wherefore, he sent his army and besieged Jerusalem. Jehoiachin did not want the city endangered because of him, so he delivered his mother, his kinsmen and himself to the commanders of the army, accepting their oaths that they nor the city would suffer any harm. (Ant X,vii,1).

17. They did not keep their covenant for a single year, because the king of Babylon gave orders for the generals to take captive all that were in the city both youth and handicraftsmen, and to bring them bound to Babylon. Their number was 10,832. He appointed Zedekiah to be king. (Ant X,vii,1).

18. In the eighth year Zedekiah broke his word with Babylon and asked the assistance of the Egyptians. When Nebuchadnezzar heard it, he made war against him, laid the country waste, took his fortified towns and besieged Jerusalem. 589 BC. (Ant X,vii,3).

19. The Egyptians came with a great army to break the siege and the Babylonians went out to meet them. The false prophets said that Babylon would no longer make war against the king or the people nor remove them to Babylon. Jeremiah insisted that the temple would be burned, the city would be utterly overthrown, and that they and their posterity would serve him seventy years. (Ant X,vii,3).

20. In the ninth year of Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar returned and renewed the siege after putting to route the Egyptians. The siege lasted eighteen months and subjected the city to famine and pestilence. (Ant X,vii,4).

21. The city was taken and the temple burned in the eleventh year of Zedekiah. This was also the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 586 BC. (Ant X,vii,5).

22. The Babylonian general overthrew the city to its foundations and removed all the people. The high priest, the rulers and Zedekiah’s sons were killed in Syria and Zedekiah was blinded. He and the remaining captives were led away to Babylon. (Ant X,viii,5).

23. After the death of the governor, the Jews fled to Egypt fearing retaliation from the Babylonians. They forced Jeremiah to go with them. But he gave them no comfort, predicting rather that Nebuchadnezzar would overthrow Egypt and then take them away to Babylon. (Ant X,ix,6).

24. Five years after the fall of Jerusalem in the twentythird year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Egypt was overthrown and the Jews that had fled there were taken away to Babylon. 581 BC. (Ant X,ix,7).

25. Daniel, Ananias, Mishael and Azarias are said to be kinsmen of Zedekiah but no date is given for their deportation (Ant X,x,1). Inference could be made that it was at the time that Zedekiah was made king and to insure his loyalty by having his kinsmen captive.

B. Data given by the historian, Berosus, as quoted by Josephus.

1. “When Nebuchadnezzar’s father, Nabopollassar, heard that the governor whom he had set over Egypt, and the places around Syria and Phoenicia, had revolted from him, and because he was not able himself to undergo the hardships (of war), he committed to his son, Nebuchadnezzar, who was still but a youth, some parts of his army, and sent them against him.”

2. “So when Nebuchadnezzar had given battle, and fought with the rebel, he beat him, and reduced the country from under his subjection, and made it a branch of his own kingdom.”

3. “But about that time it happened that his father, Nabopollassar, fell ill, and ended his life in the city of Babylon, when he had reigned twentyone years.”

4. “When Nebuchadnezzar was made sensible, as he was after a little time, that his father, Nabopollassar, was dead, and having settled the affairs of Egypt, and the other countries, as also those that concerned the captive Jews, and Phoenicians, and Syrians, and those of the Egyptian nations, and having committed the conveyance of them to Babylon to certain of his friends, together with the gross of his army, and the rest of their ammunition and provisions, he went himself hastily, accompanied with a few others, over the desert, and came to Babylon.” (Ant X,xi,1).


A. It is recorded in Jeremiah 52:28 that the three deportations of Judah occurred in the seventh, eighteenth, and twentythird years of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. This would be 598, 587 and 582 BC respectively. No deportation is recorded in 606 BC.

1. In Second Kings 24:1012 the eighth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar is given as the time that the chief people of Judah were carried away with Jehoiachin. 597 BC.

2. In Jeremiah 52:1316 the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar is given as the time the city and temple were burned and the poorest of the land were carried away captive. 586 BC.

3. The deportations in the seventh and eighteenth years may be seen to be the same events as the eighth and nineteenth years, when consideration is given to the two different ways of computing the reign of kings.

a. The most frequent method is to recognize that some scribes used years beginning with the month of Nisan (April) and others used years beginning with the month of Tishri (September). This would cause a difference of one year when viewing an event occurring after the month of Nisan but before the month of Tishri, which is the case in both of these events.

b. Compounding the problem is that some scribes also did not count the year that the ruler came to the throne as his first year. It was called the accession year and the year was given to the ruler who proceeded him. This method would also induce a difference of one year.

c. Without reconciliation, the deportations given as the seventh and eighteenth years of Nebuchadnezzar would not be logical, because the deportations would take place before the capture of the city.

d. The first method mentioned above seems likely to have been used on this occasion by a scribe other than Baruch after the fall of Egypt. He was loyal to his method of computation although the rest of Jeremiah uses the other method of computation.

4. There is no biblical record of the fall of Egypt or of any deportation in the twentythird or twentyfourth year of Nebuchadnezzar, other than in this verse.

a. The Septuagint (LXX) omits these verses in Jeremiah 52:28 30 concerning the three deportations.

b. Josephus records the fall of Egypt five years after the fall of Jerusalem and in the twentythird year of Nebuchadnezzar, but some would discredit this account as an attempt to fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy.

c. Jeremiah had prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would overthrow the pharaoh of Egypt and carry away captive to Babylon the Jews that had fled there, but there is no historical confirmation of this account other than from Josephus.

d. The verses concerning the three deportations of Judah as given in Jeremiah have, therefore, been set aside and discredited by most commentaries.

e. But if the credibility of Jeremiah as a prophet is maintained, his prophecies must be considered as having been fulfilled and the third deporta-tion as having taken place after the fall of Egypt.

f. Ezekiel also prophesied in 571 BC (fifteen years after the fall of Jerusalem) that Egypt would be given to Nebuchadnezzar as wages for his service against Tyre in which he labored thirteen years and received no wages.

g. The late date of this prophecy is given as proof that Egypt was not taken by Nebuchadnezzar in the fifth year after the fall of Jerusalem.

h. But it should be evident by Nebuchadnezzar’s treatment of Judah that he used stages of deportation as a means of subjugating nations and suggests that what was true of Judah was also true of Egypt.

i. There should be no hesitation in believing that the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel both had their fulfillment, but not at the same time.

j. Both prophets had earlier been discounted by Zedekiah because they had given seemingly conflicting prophecies. One stated that Zedekiah would be taken captive to Babylon and die there. The other stated that he would never see it.

k. The prophets were vindicated when Zedekiah’s eyes were put out and he was led away captive to Babylon. Both prophecies were fulfilled. He did not see it and he was taken captive to Babylon.

l. Neither should there be any doubt in the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the deportation of the Jews out of Egypt, although it is seemingly in conflict with Ezekiel’s prophecy.

B. It has been noted that Daniel states that Jerusalem was besieged, and that the treasures of the temple and the children of nobility were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim.

1. This also is seemingly contradictory, because there is no other Biblical or historical record of this event.

2. Since Daniel’s credibility is in question, many commentaries have been written establishing the conquest of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC, the year before his accession to the throne. Some use 605 BC after the fall of Carchemish, but this poses the additional problem of being the fourth year of Jehoiakim rather than the third as stated by Daniel.

a. History does note that Nebuchadnezzar had been given the command of an army the year prior to his father’s death.

b. It is reasoned that since Daniel states that it was the third year of Jehoiakim, this was the year that he came to Jerusalem, besieged it and carried away treasure and nobility.

c. But it is not likely that Nebuchadnezzar could have besieged Jerusalem while it was under the control of Egypt. Therefore, these events are suggested by others to have occurred after the battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, the fourth year of Jehoiakim.

d. This could not be if the three deportations of Jer 52:2830 are viewed as correctly given. The besieging of Jerusalem, of which Daniel has writ-ten, took place at the end of Jehoiakim’s threeyear servitude to Nebuchadnezzar in 598 BC.

e. This coincides with the record given in Second Kings 24: Nebuchadnezzar came in the days of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim became his servant three years and then rebelled against him.

f. That the king of Egypt did not come out of his land any more because the king of Babylon had taken all the land that had pertained to Egypt from the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt.

g. That Jehoiachin reigns three months and during that time, Jerusalem was besieged. It is suggested that this is the besieging of Jerusalem that Daniel records. It is recorded as taking place at the changing of the year. That would place the date 598/597 BC.

h. That Jehoiachin surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar and was carried captive to Babylon with his family, servants and officers. 597 BC.

i. That Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures of the house of Jehovah, all Jerusalem, all the mighty men, all the princes and left only the poorest of the land.

j. That this deportation occurred in the eighth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. 597 BC.

k. Second Chronicles 36 also says that Nebuchadnezzar came against Jehoiakim and bound him to carry him to Babylon. He carried away the vessels of the house of Jehovah and placed them in his temple at Babylon.

l. That he was bound in order to carry him away to Babylon is not recorded by Second Kings, but it could be the very event that Daniel recorded as the third year of Jehoiakim.

m. This passage also records that after the threemonth reign of Jehoiachin “at the return of the year” that Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought Jehoiachin to Babylon with the vessels of the house of Jehovah.

n. This may have happened as an extention of the first deportation. It began after the death of Jehoiakim in which he took ‘part of the vessels’ and continued after returning to Jerusalem to take away Jehoiachin and ‘all of the vessels’.

o. Josephus wrote of Nebuchadnezzar: “a terror seized on the king of Babylon who had given the kingdom to Jehoiachin, and that immediately; he was afraid that he should bear him a grudge, because of his killing his father.” Ant X,vii,1.

p. He sent an army and besieged Jehoiachin in Jerusalem and instructed his generals to take all that were in the city captive, both the young and the handicraftsmen, and bring them bound to him.

q. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah to be king and “took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king.” “Among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah, of the

most excellent dispositions; the one of whom was called Daniel, another Ananias, another Mishael, and the fourth Azarias.” Ant X,x.1.


A. That the scriptures teach that Judah was carried into Babylonian captivity by three deportations which occurred in the seventh, eighteenth, and twentythird years of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. These dates coincide with the eighth, nineteenth, and twentyfourth years of Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in other sources. (Jer 32:152:12,28II Kgs 24:1225:8).

B. That the scriptures teach that Jerusalem was besieged in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, but that this should be understood as the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim ‘in servitude’ to Nebuchadnezzar. Dan 1:1

C. That the scriptures teach that the fourteenth year after the fall of Jerusalem was the twenty-fifth year of the captivity. The eleven year difference proves that the first deportation took place in 597 BC not 606 BC. (Ezek 40:1).

D. That this concept is supported by Biblical and historical sources:

1. Second Kings 24 tells that Nebuchadnezzar came in the days of Jehoiakim and that Jehoiakim was in servitude to him three years. Jehoiakim then rebels, dies, and is replaced on the throne by Jehoiachin. This infers Nebuchadnezzar came no earlier than the eighth year of Jehoiakim (601 BC).

2. Second Chronicles gives a similar report except that Jehoiakim was placed in fetters to be carried to Babylon. But this intent was never carried out, for it is known from prophetic sources that he was to die and to remain unburied. From historical sources it is known that he was thrown from the city wall and not allowed to be buried. This infers that Jehoiakim was going to be deported but was killed instead. Second Chronicles adds that on this occasion that vessels from the temple were carried away, but makes no mention of a similar event occurring eight years earlier.

3. Josephus provides the clearest evidence that Nebuchadnezzar did not cross the Euphrates river until after the battle of Carchemish (605 BC). After the battle he did take all the land ‘except Judah’ as far as Pelusium on the border of Egypt. He specifically mentions that in the fourth year of Nebuchadnezzar and the eighth year of Jehoiakim (601 BC) that Nebuchadnezzar made an expedition against the Jews. He required tribute of them which was paid three years. This should remove any speculation about Nebuchadnezzar besieging Jerusalem in 606 BC or even one year later after the battle of Carchemish. Ant. X,vi,1.

4. Josephus writes that Nebuchadnezzar took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king. That among these children were four from the family of Zedekiah. They were Daniel, Ananias, Mishael and Azarias. This infers that Zedekiah was already king when Daniel was taken away. This was meant to keep Zedekiah in line.

D. The only reason for the fabrication of a deportation in the year 606 or 605 BC is the statement of Daniel concerning the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim. But in misunderstanding Daniel’s statement, the credibility of other scriptures is rejected or at least placed in jeopardy. It is hoped that this survey of Biblical and historical documents has provided a reasonable answer to this age old problem of the dating of Daniel.

E. Some feel that the seventy-year servitude in Babylonian captivity (Jer. 25:11,12) is placed in jeopardy by this understanding. The current method is already lacking four years (606-539 BC). Some date the release in 536 BC to accomplish this, but the seventy years terminated with his overthrow in 539 BC. If seventy years is insisted upon, one might just as well date the release in 531 BC to accomplish seventy years (601-531 BC) since it is unknown when the Jews returned from captivity.


A. Josephus by Winston, Kregel Publications, 1976.

B. Thiele, E. R., The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Zondervan, 1983.

May the Lord bless you in your study of God’s Word.

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Date: 05 Dec 2005
Time: 09:16:49


Ezekiel prophecied in 571 that Egypt would be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and that the desolation would last 40 years. 40 years from 571 brings us to 531. But exiles were released in 537 according to the Bible. Also history records that Egypt had an alliance with the last Babylonian king Nabonidus before 539BCE. Your dates are therefore incorrect. Jerusalem must have been destroyed in 607BCE. And Ezekiels prophecy must have been given in 591BCE. The first exiles were taken in 617BCE.

Also Tyre was seiged right after the fall of Jerusalem. It was prophecied that there would be 70 years until Tyre would do a holy work for Jehovah. This occured when supplying timber at Jerusalem. 587 to 537 is only 50 years. Again you are off 20 years. Tyre must have been seiged shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 607/606 BCE.

I submit that your chronology is 20 years off.

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