God prophesied that Israel and Judah would be captives in Babylon for seventy years: “This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” Jeremiah 25:11. This began when King Nebuchadnezzar first conquered Jerusalem and exiled the Jews to Babylon, and then later destroyed Jerusalem.
While the prophet Ezekiel was living in Babylon during the seventy years, we find a strange assignment and prophecy: “For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.” Ezekiel 4:5-6. So, the total days of this prophecy are 390 plus 40, giving 430 years of punishment for the nation of Israel.
After the Jews served the seventy years in Babylon and returned to the land of Israel, there remained 360 years of the prophecy. There seems to be no way to identify the 360 years with any part of the Jew’s history. However, Leviticus 26:18 appears to be the key: “If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” And then God emphasizes this three more times in the same chapter.
So, multiplying 7 times 360, we get 2520 years, and this does fit roughly the time period between the Decree of Cyrus when the Jews were free to return to Jerusalem and the land of Israel, and May 14, 1948 when Israel became an independent nation again. It also fits roughly the period between the Decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild and restore Jerusalem, and June 7, 1967 when Israel again possessed all of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.
Before continuing, we need to understand that a Biblical prophetic year is 360 days. All the following refer to the same period of time, namely three and a half prophetic years:
1. 1260 days (Revelation 11:13, 12:6)
2. Times, times and half a time (Daniel 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 12:14)
3. Forty-two months (Revelation 13:5)
All these put together establish a Biblical prophetic year as 360 days and as twelve thirty-day months. Thirty-day months is seen in Genesis 7-8 referring to the time Noah was in the Ark. Also, the Biblical prophetic year is a key to understanding Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
So, if we multiply 2520 prophetic years times 360 days per year, we get 907,200 days, and this way the 2520 years fit almost exactly, only with an uncertainty of a few days because of the difficulty of establishing the ancient dates. In the diagram below, I have only shown the number of years. Fulfilling the ancient prophecies to precise years is a spectacular accomplishment, which is made even more spectacular if they are fulfilled to exact days.
So, the Servitude of the Nation started in 606 BC when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem the first time, and ended May 14, 1948 when the Jews became a sovereign nation again and were no longer under subjection to other nations. Similarly the Desolations of Jerusalem began in 587 BC when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, and ended June 7, 1967 when the sovereign nation of Israel again possessed all of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Clearly God likes to do things based on exact time frames. I believe that this is a way that He demonstrates to mankind that He is God and that He is in control of history. There are a number of other examples of this such as, the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years, exactly to the day (Exodus 12:41). Also, the Triumphal Entry of Jesus on Psalm Sunday (Luke 19:28-44) fulfilled to the day the 69th week of Daniels prophecy of the 70 weeks. Therefore, I have no doubt that the 907,200 days were fulfilled to the day. Furthermore, I expect the coming 7-year Tribulation to be exactly 7 times 360 days, or 2520 days.
How interesting that there were 430 years in Egypt and the 430 year prophecy of Ezekiel, and the 2520-year interval mentioned above and the 2520 days of the Tribulation, and each week of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks is 2520 days long.
These fulfilled prophecies are a powerful statement that the Jews are still God’s chosen people today and the Jews are still key in God’s plans. This should lay to rest any ideas that God has set aside the Jews and that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plans and purposes.
All this emphatically shows intelligent design. Who but God could have arranged history for the astonishing exactness of fulfillment of His prophecies. For a more detailed study of this subject, see “Ezekiel’s 430 Days”.