Why seventy years? (29:10)

10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Jeremiah 29:10 - 14

ESV - 10 For thus says the Lord : When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 03 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Although this question (Number 20587) references a different passage in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:10, rather than Jeremiah 25:11-12) than a previous question (Number 20578) on this same subject by the same questioner, I would say that the two passages are referring to the same period of time, and that the answer to this question (as far as the reason for the length of seventy years for the exile of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin in Babylon) would be the same as I indicated in response to the previous question, as follows:

"My understanding is that the length of seventy years was meant as punishment corresponding to the number of times that the people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin had neglected to obey the "Sabbath year" provision of the Law (Leviticus 25:2-7), in which they had been commanded by God to allow the land to lie fallow (that is, uncultivated) every seventh year. This commandment had apparently gone unobserved for 490 years (from the time of Israel's occupancy of Canaan following the exodus from Egypt, to the beginning of the Babylonian exile), during which seventy years that should have been Sabbath years had not been treated as such."

However, the emphasis in Jeremiah 29:10-14 is not (as it had been in Jeremiah 25:11-12) on what the tribes of Judah and Benjamin had done to deserve their seventy-year exile in Babylon, but instead on God's plans to restore Judah and Benjamin following those seventy years, and to once again give them a future and a hope in the land of Israel.

July 03 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Aurel Gheorghe
Here Jeremiah tells the exiles to settle into their new homes because they were going to be there for a long time - 70 years. Though Ezekiel, a contemporary among the captives in Babylon, God was telling them not to believe the false predictions of an early return from Babylon. 

However, God wanted them to be reassured that He plans to bless the nation in the future – but all was conditional on their repentance and obedience (Jer 29:11-14

In this case, God was using Babylon to punish Judah for idolatry, but none of this came upon them without plenty of warnings. Ezekiel 8:9-18 presents a vision of “the vile abominations that they are committing.” People of Judah tuned their back to God and worshiped the sun instead. 

In the Bible number seven represents perfection, completeness, a sign of God, divine worship, obedience, and rest (Gen 2:1-4, Psalm 119:164; Ex 20:8-11)

The number seven is most common in biblical prophecy, occurring 42 times in Daniel and Revelation alone. In Revelation there are seven churches, seven spirits, seven golden candlesticks, seven stars, seven lamps, seven seals, seven horns, seven eyes, seven angels, seven trumpets, seven thunders, seven thousand slain in a great earthquake, seven heads, seven crowns, seven last plagues, seven golden vials, seven mountains, and seven kings.

I believe that God sent His people in exile for 70 years so they can realize that He is their God who can save them and all the gods that they were worshiping had no power to deliver them from the Babylonian captivity. Also, in 70 AD, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Holy Temple (Matt 24:1-2). The temple was destroyed on the 10th day of the 5th month, the same day of the year on which Nebuchadnezzar burned down the first temple some 656 years earlier.

July 05 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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