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Old Testament History Revised - The 390 Days Of Ezekiel

Dec 7, 2007
Let's take a look at Ezekiel's prophecy regarding the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 4:1-6):

"Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.""

According to this prophecy of Ezekiel 390 years would pass to pay for the iniquity of Israel and forty years would pass to pay for the iniquity of Judah. I propose in my book, "The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate", that Zedekiah's reign ended at 390 B.C.; the reason his reign ended then was because Nebuchadnezzar's forces had set up siegeworks against Jerusalem nineteen months before (2 Kings 25:1). Now do the math; 390 years from the end of the siege brings us to 0 B.C. (or A.D. 0 for that matter). Since many theologians belive that Jesus Christ was crucified in A.D. 33, then the date of birth would have been 0 B.C. since he lived for 33 years.

Now consider the context of the prophecy. Ezekiel was asked to place the punishment of Israel on himself; wasn't Christ's purpose to come to Earth and carry the punishment for sin for Israel (and the rest of the world) on the cross? Therefore I believe this prophecy was used as a sign to indicate the time of Jesus Christ's birth.

I believe this prophecy has another element to it. Consider Ezekiel 4:13:

"And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them." I believe that according to this verse that in the 390 year period the Israelites would be scattered among the Gentile nations and then brought back to Israel at the end of the 390 year period so they wouldn't have to "eat their bread among the Gentiles". So how would they be brought back? The New Testament records that Caesar Augustus declares a census and because of this Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus Christ, were to go to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-3): "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius (Greek version of Quiriniuis) was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city." Historians have observed that all the citizens of the vast territory of the Roman Empire were required to return to their original countries within the Empire as part of this census. This act sent peoples that had been separated from their original countries because of enslavement through acts of war to return to their homelands. The fulfillment of this prophecy proclaimed by Ezekiel regarding the 390 years was accomplished by the Roman Empire and the census that brought Jesus Christ to Bethlehem.

According to conventional chronologists this 390 years of "eating with the Gentiles" marked the split of the nation of Israel into two countries during the rule of Rehoboam 390 years before the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. This explanation has several problems. 1.) Reading the context of Ezekiel's account just sounds like a prophecy rather than a retelling of history as proposed by the conventional chronologists. It sounds like Ezekiel is preparing the Israelites for some awful set of circumstances that are yet to occur. 2.) If the 390 years is describing an event that happens in the past, then what about Judah's 40 years? Do the 40 years describe an event that has already occurred? There is just not an event that occurs 40 years in the past from the destruction of Jerusalem that happens to Judah that also fits the prophecy. 3.) If the destruction of Jerusalem marks the end of the period, why is Israel still "eating with the Gentiles"? Even when Jerusalem is destroyed, this time of "eating with the Gentiles" has not ended because all of Israel has been relocated either to Assyria or Babylon; so this can not be the fulfillment of this prophecy. The prophecy is only fulfilled when the Israelites came back home during the census of Cyrenius.

Forty Days Now consider the prophecy that impacted the nation of Judah (Ezekiel 4:6):

"And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year."

I believe this prophecy predicted when the tribe of Judah would return to Jerusalem from Babylon as directed by Cyrus the Great; this would have been forty years from 390 B.C., which would be 350 B.C.
About the Author
My name is Darren Thompson and I am a chemical engineer that has worked in the rocket propulsion industry for over 15 years. I hold 10 patents and am the author of over 20 papers in rocket propellant development. I have written two books, "The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate" and "Why the Bible is Historically Accurate (2nd Edition)" which are available at amazon.com or lulu.com. You can check out my book website at The Fourth Day
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