THE SEVENTY YEAR VERSES
In chapter nine of the book of Daniel there is a mention of a
period of seventy years. This seventy years having been advised
through Jeremiah the prophet. It is said that this seventy years
would represent the time God would allow desolations of Jerusalem.
Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus,
of the lineage of the Medes, ....
:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood
by the books the number of the years specified by
the word of the LORD, given through Jeremiah the
prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years
in the desolations of Jerusalem.
As the 'seventy years' is found in Daniel chapter 9, it raises the
question of whether a relationship exists between the 'seventy years'
of Jeremiah and the seventy 'sevens' prophecy.
When we look at Scripture we find the period of seventy years
mentioned in the following verses,
A) Jeremiah 25:11 & 12
B) Jeremiah 29:10
C) Isaiah 23:15 & 17
D) Zechariah 1:12
E) Zechariah 7:5.
A) JEREMIAH 25:11 & 12
Jer 25:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the
people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the
son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first
year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon),
:2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people
of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
:8 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Because you
have not heard My words,
:9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the
north,' says the LORD, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king
of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against
this land, against its inhabitants, and against these
nations all around, and will utterly destroy them,
and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and
:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth
and the voice of gladness, the voice of the
bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of
the millstones and the light of the lamp.
:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation and an
astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king
of Babylon seventy years.
:12 Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are
completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and
that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their
iniquity,' says the LORD; 'and I will make it a
:13 So I will bring on that land all My words which I
have pronounced against it, all that is written in
this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning
all the nations.'
This prophecy is set in the 4th year of Jehoiakim, which was also the
1st year of Nebuchadnezzar.
The passage at first appears to apply solely to the 70 year captivity
of the house of Judah, however there are indications that another
period is being discussed.
a) Verses 12 & 13 refer to all the prophecies within the book of
Jeremiah being fulfilled following the completion of 70 years.
Nevertheless, even a cursory reading of Jeremiah shows a number
of prophecies have a secondary application to the period just
prior to the return of Christ!
b) Verse 9 talks about the rendering of the House of Judah as a
perpetual desolation. However, we know from such books as Ezra
and Nehemiah, the people of Judah returned and rebuilt Jerusalem.
c) These verses talk about the king of Babylon and his people the
Chaldeans coming with violence. Such a thought is reflected
in Habakkuk with a future end time application.
Hab 1:5 "Look among the nations and watch - be utterly
astonished! For I will work a work in your days
which you would not believe, though it were told
:6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a
bitter and hasty nation which marches through
the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling
places that are not theirs.
:7 They are terrible and dreadful; ....
:8 .... they fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.
:9 They all come for violence; ...."
2:2 Then the LORD answered me and said:
"Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,
that he may run who reads it.
2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but
at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will
surely come, it will not tarry."
d) Verse 10 is very similar to the end time Rev 18:23, which describes
the fate of an entity symbolically referred to as 'Babylon the
Great' (not to be confused with the literal city of ancient
Rev 18:21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great
millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
"Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall
be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.
:22 .... And the sound of a millstone shall not be
heard in you anymore.
:23 And the light of a lamp shall not shine in you
anymore. And the voice of bridegroom and bride
shall not be heard in you anymore. ...."
These thoughts are also found in such verses as Jer 7:34 and Hosea
Jer 7:34 Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah
and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth
and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bride-
groom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall
Hos 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, ....
In this chapter of Hosea, following this period of trial, God is
once again kind to His people at a time identified as "that day".
Hos 2:16 "And it shall be, in that day", says the LORD,
"that you will call Me My Husband", ....
:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with
the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air,
and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow
and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
to make them lie down safely.
As can be seen, Jer 25:8-13 has a significant level of secondary
meaning. This meaning appears to pertain mainly to the shorter
2nd half of the week when the desolator is to reign.
B) JEREMIAH 29:10
Jer 29:8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are
in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams
which you cause to be dreamed.
:9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have
not sent them, says the LORD.
:10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are
completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform
My good word toward you, and cause you to return to
:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says
the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give
you a future and a hope.
:12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and
I will listen to you.
:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for
Me with all your heart.
:14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will
bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you
from all nations and from all the places where I have
driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to
the place from which I cause you to be carried away
While these verses no doubt apply to the people to whom this letter
was written, there again appears within these words a shadow of a
Verse 14 for example talks about a time of release from captivity.
This is an event which is also due to occur in the future with the
return of Christ. Notice the following verse.
Jer 3:17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne
of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered
to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem; they
shall walk no more after the stubbornness of their
:18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the
house of Israel, and they shall come together out of
the land of the north ....
Note, verse 17 indicates the people of Jerusalem will walk after
their evil heart until some future period.
C) ISAIAH 23:15 & 17
These verses finalise chapter 23, which has been discussing God's
proclamation against Tyre.
Isa 23:15 Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will
be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of
one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen
to Tyre as in the song of the harlot:
:16 "Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten
harlot; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that
you may be remembered."
:17 And it will be, at the end of seventy years, that the
LORD will visit Tyre. She will return to her pay, and
commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world
on the face of the earth.
:18 Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD;
it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain
will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat
sufficiently, and for fine clothing.
a) Verse 17 in particular is obviously linked to;
Rev 17:1 ".... I will show you the judgment of the great
harlot who sits on many waters,
:2 "with whom the kings of the earth committed
fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth
were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."
In the above verses in Isaiah, this harlot is described as having
been a harlot previously and she returns to her pay toward the end
of seventy years. In Scripture Jerusalem is often referred to as a
harlot. Therefore, the indication is Jerusalem will once again play
the harlot until she is finally judged by the Lord God.
Refer Rev 19:1,2.
b) Verse 18 talks about the gain of the end time harlot being set
aside for the righteous.
Ezek 22:25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like
a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured
people; they have taken treasure and precious things;
they have made many widows in her midst.
Jer 15:13 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder
without price, because of all your sins, throughout
:14 And I will make you cross over with your enemies into
a land which you do not know; ...
The wealth which Jerusalem gains by playing the harlot with the
teachings of God, and by this means robbing the spiritually poor,
is to be given to her enemies until the Kingdom of God is set up.
D) ZECHARIAH 1:12
Zech 1:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which
is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius,
the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of
Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:
:12 Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said,
"O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have
mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah,
against which You were angry these seventy years?"
:13 And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me,
with good and comforting words.
:14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me,
"Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts:
"I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great
:15 I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
for I was a little angry, and they helped - but
with evil intent." ' "
This vision was given to Zechariah in the second year of Darius.
This is Darius king of Persia (refer Ezra 4:24 - 5:1 & 6:14),
not to be confused with Darius the Mede who ruled many years
earlier. This appears to be a number of decades after the decree
of Cyrus, since a search had to be made of the archives to confirm
Cyrus had indeed issued a decree to have the house of God rebuilt.
Ezra 6:1 Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search
was made in the archives, where the treasures
were stored in Babylon.
:2 And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the
province of Media, a scroll was found, and in
it a record was written thus:
:3 "In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued
a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem:
Even the enemies of Judah were unsure if this decree had been
Ezra 5:3 At the same time Tattenai the governor of the region
beyond the River .... spoke thus to them: "Who has
commanded you to build this temple and finish this
:6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai sent: ...
:17 Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let a
search be made in the king's treasure house, which
is there in Babylon, whether it is so that a decree
was issued by King Cyrus to build this house of God
at Jerusalem, and let the king send us his pleasure
concerning this matter.
When the decree of Cyrus had initially been issued the people of
God began to build the house of the LORD (Ezra 3:10), but their
enemies conspired against them (Ezra 4:4-5) and by force prevented
it from being completed at that time.
Ezra 4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin
heard that the descendants of the captivity were
building the temple of the LORD God of Israel,
:23 .... when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was
read .... they went up in haste to Jerusalem
against the Jews, and by force of arms made them
:24 Thus the work of the house of God which is at
Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until
the second year of the reign of Darius king of
Upon first reading Zech 1:12 it may appear the seventy years
mentioned in this verse refers to the seventy years of captivity
to Babylon. However, when the timing is considered, it is obvious
it refers to the seventy years following the captivity! It would
have taken these seventy years for the enemies of Judah to no
longer be able to recall the earlier decree of Cyrus.
This then presents an interesting arrangement, seventy years of
captivity followed by another seventy years of frustrated freedom.
E) ZECHARIAH 7:5
Zech 7:1 Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to
pass that the word of the LORD came to Zechariah,
:5 Say to all the people of the land, and to the
priests: "When you fasted and mourned in the fifth
and seventh months during those seventy years, did
you really fast for Me - for Me?
:6 When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and
drink for yourselves?
:7 Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD
proclaimed through the former prophets ...."
:9 .... 'Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion
everyone to his brother.
:10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien
or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart
against his brother.'
:11 "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders,
and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.
:12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to
hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts
had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.
Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
:13 Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed
and they would not hear, so they called out and I
would not listen," says the LORD of hosts.
:14 "But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the
nations which they had not known. Thus the land
became desolate after them, so that no one passed
through or returned; for they made the pleasant land
In these passages in Zechariah we come across the concept of
the 'whirlwind' as judgment upon the hard hearted people of God.
Jer 4:5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and
:6 "Set up the standard toward Zion.
Take refuge! Do not delay!
For I will bring disaster from the north,
and great destruction."
:9 "And it shall come to pass in that day", says the
LORD, "that the heart of the king shall perish,
and the heart of the princes; the priests shall be
astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
:11 At that time it will be said to this people and to
Jerusalem, a dry wind of the desolate heights blows
in the wilderness toward the daughter of My people
- not to fan or cleanse -
:12 a wind too strong for these will come for Me; now I
will also speak judgment against them."
23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in
fury - a violent whirlwind! ....
:20 .... In the latter days you will understand it
30:23 Behold the whirlwind of the LORD goes forth with
fury, a continuing whirlwind; it will fall
violently on the head of the wicked.
:24 The fierce anger of the LORD will not return until
He has done it, and until He has performed the
intents of His heart.
In the latter days you will consider it.
Hos 8:7 They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal.
If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.
:8 Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the
Gentiles like a vessel in which there is no pleasure.
This 'whirlwind' and the destruction associated with it are
basically the events described in the book of Revelation. A
great destruction just prior to the glorified return of Christ.
Daniel refers to an entity which is described as being a whirl-
wind coming from the north.
Dan 11:40 At the time of the end the king of the South shall
attack him; and the king of the North shall come
against him like a whirlwind, ....
In the verses of Jeremiah dealing with the 'seventy years' we see:
1) A reference to the fulfilment of prophecy following the end of
70 years. (Jer 25:12-13)
2) An attack coming out of the north, which is described as a
whirlwind and occurring at the end time. (Jer 25:9, 4:5-12,
3) The rendering of the land of Judah a perpetual desolation.
4) A return to their land at the end of 70 years. (Jer 29:10)
5) A cleansing of the heart of the people of Jerusalem, leading
to their return from captivity at the end time. (Jer 29:13-14,
Conclusion : As can be seen from the above, there is evidence of
broader meanings associated with the 70 years.
When we take another look at the 70 year Scriptures.
1) Jer 25 - The literal 70 years refers to the period of Babylonian
captivity. The secondary meaning however seems to be
related to the future period of desolation. When the
voice of mirth and gladness cease.
2) Jer 29 - Once again we have a reference to the Babylonian
captivity and the future period of desolation. In
this case we are discussing the softening of hearts
and the regathering from captivity.
3) Isa 23 - In this text the '70 years' appears to pertain to a
longer symbolic period of time. A forgotten spiritual
harlot returns to her harlotry and her gain will be
set aside for the Godly.
4) Zec 1 - This verse depicts a literal period of 70 years, which
comes after the more commonly known literal 70 years of
Babylonian captivity. We therefore are presented with
a period of 140 years with two halves, each of 70 years
5) Zec 7 - In this text we are initially told about a period of
70 years in which there was mourning, but it was not
genuine. We are then introduced to the concept of the
The 'whirlwind is a symbol related to the desolator
and the coming Great Tribulation.