The meaning of the 7 times of Nebuchadnezzar’s madness?

//The meaning of the 7 times of Nebuchadnezzar’s madness?

Question from a reader in Romania: Jehovah’s Witnesses base their 1914 doctrine on the prophecy found in Daniel 4:10-17.  Could you please give me the correct meaning of this prophecy according to your understanding?


ANSWER: The prophecy centers on King Nebuchadnezzar. In fact, he was the one whom God caused to have the dream, which Daniel was inspired to interpret and record for us.

The dream involved an gigantic tree that Nebuchadnezzar described thusly: “Now the visions of my head upon my bed I happened to be beholding, and, look! a tree in the midst of the earth, the height of which was immense. The tree grew up and became strong, and its very height finally reached the heavens, and it was visible to the extremity of the whole earth. Its foliage was fair, and its fruit was abundant, and there was food for all on it. Under it the beast of the field would seek shade, and on its boughs the birds of the heavens would dwell, and from it all flesh would feed itself.”

At the time the Nebuchadnezzar had the dream he was presiding over the kingdom of Babylonia, which was the largest empire that had ever existed up until then. It had conquered many lands, including Assyria, Judah, Moab and Edom, Tyre and even Egypt. When the Persians took over the kingdom there were 120 satraps. A satrap was a governor of a province, like a viceroy of the modern British imperial system. So, Babylon ruled over 120 jurisdictional districts called satrapies.

As Daniel indicated Nebuchadnezzar’s rulership extended to the extremities of the earth. The king was represented by the immense tree and as the account goes on to show the king of Babylon was forced from his throne for seven times, which in his case turned out to be seven literal years and then his sanity and kingdom were restored to him. 

Since its inception the Watchtower Society has taught that the immense tree actually represented the kingdom of Judah, which Nebuchadnezzar had cut down. And the seven times are interpreted to be 2,520 years. But there is no justification in connecting the “seven times” to the “appointed times” allotted to the nations to trample upon “Jerusalem.” Jesus was referring to a future desolation, not what had already occurred. (See article: The Gentile Times.)

And is it reasonable that the kingdom of Judah ought to be likened to an immense tree that was “visible to the extremity of the earth”? In what way was the tiny and relatively insignificant kingdom of Judah a haven for the “beast of the field”?

And how did all flesh feed itself by means of Judah? How did Judah extend its rule over the extremity of the earth?

True, during the glory days of Solomon the Queen of Sheba is said to have come from the ends of the earth to marvel at Solomon’s wisdom and the glory of his kingdom, but the kingdom did not last. The 10 tribes were ripped away from Jerusalem and had already been conquered by Assyria before the remaining Judean kingdom was felled by the Chaldeans. So, it is unreasonable that the diminished kingdom of Judah ought to be described in such grandiose terms as applied to Babylon.

But what is meant by the fact that the Most High set up over the world the lowliest one of mankind? Although Nebuchadnezzar was lifted up from his lowly state, surely it applies also to the one who is envisioned in the 7th chapter of Daniel as “someone like a son of man.” After all, every prophecy of Daniel concludes with the coming of the messiah and kingdom.

But here is the problem with the Watchtower’s interpretation: The purpose of God in removing the haughty and giving the kingdom to the lowly is so that people may know that the Most High is Ruler over mankind. Nebuchadnezzar certainly came to that realization. But were any of the political rulers of mankind forced to recognize the supremacy of the Most High back in 1914? Obviously not.

So, does the lesson imposed upon Nebuchadnezzar back then have any prophetic value as regards the coming of the kingdom? Yes, it does.

As Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to know, prophecy interprets prophecy. That being so, the prophet Ezekiel, who was a contemporary of Daniel and also an exile in Babylon, received a similar vision from God regarding a massive tree with its top in the heavens under whose shade all the populous nations dwelt. Like the tree in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream God commanded that the tree be cut down. Its felling is said to rock the world and is described as occurring in the “day belonging to Jehovah.”

But the tree Ezekiel wrote about is Egypt, not Babylon. But both Egypt and Babylon have prophetic significance. That is evident from the fact that the subjugation of “Egypt” appears in Daniel’s prophecy of the king of the north and south as something that will take place in “the time of the end.” And, of course, both Egypt and Babylon are part of the composite beast of Revelation. So, both Egypt and Babylon are interchangeably used to symbolize the last kingdom of Satan’s beastly system that will come under God’s judgment when the kingdom is given to Christ.

The coming of Christ in kingdom power is no ordinary event. It initiates the day of Jehovah – judgment day. The ouster of Satan from heaven will have the knock-on effect of striking a withering blow to the ruling earthly kingdom under the Devil’s dominion. The fall of the symbolic Egyptian cedar foreshadows the coming crash of America. The entire global system will shudder. But the beast will arise like the fabled phoenix for a time, just as the maddened king was briefly restored to his throne. (See article: Downfall of America)

The seventh chapter of Daniel harmonizes with the extension given to the beasts after the time the kingdom is given to Christ. Daniel 7:12 states: “But as for the rest of the beasts, their rulerships were taken away, and there was a lengthening in life given to them for a time and a season.”

So, the seven times may apply to the period of judgment that will commence in the aftermath of the fall of the leading nation of the world. It may be that the seven times are a literal seven years or simply a symbolic period. Time will tell. (No pun intended.)

But, we may be certain that during that period all people will be forced to know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind. 

 

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2015-09-19T04:57:10+00:00 July 7th, 2013|Mailbag|22 Comments
  • there is a great deal of prophetic meaning meaning here iv’e been studying this for some time now and there is still much to be answered. great article Robert as usual

  • very

  • there is a great deal of prophetic meaning here iv’e been studying this for some time now and there is still much to be answered. great article Robert as usual very insightful. thank you.

  • Bklyn Kevin

    A plausible explanation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s 7 times or seven years and how it might apply to Jehovah’s people in the last days or end times.

    But before we continue with the details, one must realize the significance of the number 7 and that it symbolizes divine “completeness.” In the Scriptures, certain numbers have symbolic significance. The number seven, for example, is often used to symbolize that which is complete, or perfect, in God’s eyes. For instance, God’s creative week comprises seven ‘days,’ or extended time periods, during which God completely accomplishes his creative purpose regarding the earth. (Genesis 1:3–2:3) God’s “sayings” are like silver that has been “clarified seven times,” thus perfectly refined. (Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5, 6) The leper Naaman was told to bathe seven times in the Jordan River, after which he was completely healed.—2 Kings 5:10, 14.

    For example take note of the scripture below

    Thus the heavens and the earth and everything in them were “completed” And by the “seventh” day, God had “completed” the work that he had been doing, and he began to rest on the “seventh” day from all his work that he had been doing. And God went on to bless the “seventh” day and to declare it sacred, for on it God has been resting from all the work that he has created, all that he purposed to make. Genesis 2:1-3.

    Now Nebuchadnezzar came under divine judgment because he did not recognize Jehovah’s sovereignty in fact Nebuchadnezzar usurped Jehovah’s Glory by claiming he himself has built the royal house / Babylon the great by his own strength and by his might and for the Glory of his own majesty. Daniel 4:29-30.

    So Jehovah decreed a divine judgment / punishment upon him and Nebuchadnezzar was to be as a beast in the field until “seven times” had past over him until Nebuchadnezzar recognized Jehovah’s sovereignty.

    So in essence the “seven year” punishment inflicted upon Nebuchadnezzar was Jehovah’s “complete” judgment upon Nebuchadnezzar due to his Arrogance / pride.

    While the word was yet in the king’s mouth, a voice came down from the heavens: “To you it is being said, O King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘The kingdom has gone away from you and from mankind you are being driven away. With the beasts of the field your dwelling will be, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and “seven times”[or seven years] will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants. Daniel 4:31-32.

    Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens, because all his works are truth and his ways are just, and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride. Daniel 4:37.

    So the question remains does the “seven times” of Nebuchadnezzar have any prophetic significance in the last days or the end times? well yes in that Nebuchadnezzar’s divine punishment had lasted for a complete “seven years” so too will the same time frame of seven years be inflicted upon Jehovah’s people in the near future for their prideful arrogance in the last days .

    Let [Nebuchadnezzar] heart be changed from that of a human, and let it be given the heart of a beast, and let “seven times” [ or seven years] pass over it. This is by the decree of watchers. Daniel 4:16-17.

    Now please take note of what Moses said to Israel concerning a seven year punishment if they did not heed Jehovah’s warnings.

    But if you keep walking in opposition to me and refuse to listen to me, I will then have to strike you “seven times” [or seven years] as much, according to your sins. Leviticus 26:21.

    Obvious you can see the parallel that Nebuchadnezzar’s prophecy has in common with the seven times is that they are both divinely punished for “seven years”.

    The appointed times of the nation’s are just that- an appointment on Jehovah’s celestial calendar when he metes out complete divine justice but not only on the nation’s but also on his own people and for a period of no less then 7 times or seven years ‘cause that’s what the scriptures allude to.

    However the reader should take note that the appointed time, times, and half a time that is mentioned in Daniel 7:25 falls within the perimeter of the seven times of Jehovah’s complete divine judgment.

    And in the final part of their kingdom, as the transgressors act to a completion, a fierce-looking king who understands ambiguous sayings will stand up. His power will become great, but not through his own power. He will bring ruin in an extraordinary way, and he will be successful and act effectively. He will bring mighty ones to ruin, also the people made up of the holy ones. Daniel 8:23-24.

    And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. Luke 21:24.

    Please take note of the scriptures below in order to verify my point that Jehovah uses seven years to mete out justice.

    If even this does not make you listen to me, I will have to chastise you seven times as much for your sins. Leviticus 26:18.

    But if you keep walking in opposition to me and refuse to listen to me, I will then have to strike you seven times as much, according to your sins. Leviticus 26:21.

    If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction and you insist on walking in opposition to me, then I too will walk in opposition to you, and I myself will strike you seven times for your sins. Leviticus 26:23-24

    If in spite of this you will not listen to me and you insist on walking in opposition to me, I will intensify my opposition to you, and I myself will have to chastise you seven times for your sins. Leviticus 26:27-28.

    For it is the appointed time for the judgment to start with the house of God. Now if it starts first with us, what will the outcome be for those who are not obedient to the good news of God? 1 Peter 4:17.

    And a reed like a rod was given to me as he said: “Get up and measure the temple sanctuary of God and the altar and those worshipping in it. But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, leave it out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth. Revelation 11:1-3.

    There are 70 weeks that have been determined for your people and your holy city, Daniel 9:24. A. And he will keep the covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week, he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease Daniel 9:27.

    So whether it’s 70 weeks of years or a literal seven years Jehovah always stays within his divine boundary of seven when meting out divine justice.

    • this is really very interesting I get the basics of it but I have to read this over a few times for a better understanding.

    • so basicly what you are saying here is that Jehovah sticks to his divine pattern of 7 70 0r 77 and therefore this 7 year pattern of King Nebuchadnezzar’s could very well apply to the appointed times. interesting.

    • Leonard k > Bklyn Kevin • a few seconds ago

      kevin iv’e gone over the scriptures and it appears that what you are suggesting seems to be scripturally sound your reasoning and logic also appears to be sound. I am not a bible scholar but this explanation seems reasonable. brother Robert do you have any thoughts on this? as I am sure you have a greater understanding and insight on the deeper things of prophecy and I would very much like to hear your thoughts concerning this Theory.

      • Bklyn Kevin

        It’s not what I’m suggesting, that’s what the bible is suggesting

        I’m just saying I’ve noticed whether it’s 70 weeks of years or a literal seven years Jehovah always seems to stay within his divine boundary of seven when accomplishing his purpose, so then why wouldn’t it be the same for the tribulations

        I think the Tribulation refers to a full seven year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation witch is three and one half years.

        Lets say that the great tribulation is going to be 3 ½ years like the bible clearly states, then how do we explain Daniel’s 1,290 days as well his 1.335 days which go over the 3 ½ year time period?.
        Obviously It just does not make any sense at all unless you use a seven year time period or 2,520 days .

        Now 2,520 Days equal
        Seven years and is symbolic of one Biblical week. See Daniel 9:24-27.
        There are 70 weeks that have been determined for your
        people and your holy city.

        First half of the week is 3 ½ years or—–1,260 days
        Second half of the week is 3 ½ years or-1,260 days
        Now add > 1.260 days =1,260 days —-= 2,520

        Now subtract Daniel’s 12:11 prophetic days -1.290
        that would mean the disgusting thing gets put
        In place In the first half of the week on day = 1,230

        In the first half of the week on day 1 – one of the heads of the wild beast will be inflicted with a sword-stroke only to revive and put the disgusting thing in place on day 1,230 and misleads everyone on the earth.

        Let the reader take note that the interval between the wild beast
        sword-stroke and the disgusting thing being put in place is the beginning of the time period for meting out divine justice when the four apocalyptic horsemen ride and men become faint out of fear because of the anguish of the nation’s not knowing the way out. Luke 21:25-27 Revelation 6:1-4.

        All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.
        Matthew 24:8

        It misleads those who dwell on the earth, because of the
        signs that it was permitted to perform in the sight of the wild beast, while it
        tells those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the wild beast that had the sword-stroke and yet revived. Revelation 13:14.
        And arms will stand up, proceeding from him; and they
        will profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant feature. And they will put in place the disgusting thing that causes desolation. Daniel 11:31.

        The disgusting thing that causes desolation will be put in place on day 1,230 in the first half of the week and then the seven headed beast revives and springs into the eighth king. Revelation 17:11. At this point – Daniel’s 1,290 days begins.

        • Yes of course I get the sense of it and it all seems scriptually sound. I’ve gone over this a few times and it only seems logical. Clearly Jehovah has a pattern that he always follows and Jehovah never changes so I can only conclude that what you have pointed out here seems to be valid. But if what you are pointing out here is correct this will have far more significance for futer refrance concerning prophecy meaning the pointed times of course. Very interesting read I need to go over this again.

        • Yes of course I get the sense of it and it all seems scriptually sound. I’ve gone over this a few times and it only seems logical. Clearly Jehovah has a pattern that he always follows and Jehovah never changes so I can only conclude that what you have pointed out here seems to be valid. But if what you are pointing out here is correct this will have far more significance for futer refrance concerning prophecy meaning the Apointed times of course. Very interesting read I need to go over this again.

    • there is a great deal to discern here and I can see how this is working but still I see through a misty haze and I’m going to have to go over this till I have a better understanding.

  • Song of Hannah

    Because the 3½ years are mentioned in a few different ways in both Daniel and Revelation, I always wondered if God might be really be referring to two distinct 3½ periods, instead of one. Interestingly, that would also add up to the 7 times that are referred to in this prophecy. But if anyone sees why it might not fit, please share. Just striving for further understanding. Thanks!

    • e.v.g

      I think the three years and a half period is the same period in both books, but I wonder how long it will take since nations fight each other until the eighth king rises .

      • e.v.g

        Or even how long it will take since the preaching work is over until the time of repurchase, according to Ezekiel chapter 37 the bones will be very dry, meaning that the work of JW’s will be completely dead, maybe a strange question concerning those who continue to seek the guidance of the watchtower during that period or even during the time that the sons of the kingdom give their testimony.

      • Bklyn Kevin

        If my hypothesis is right concerning the seven years then the eighth king / disgusting thing will be put in place in the first half of the week on day 1,230 or on the 37th month.

        First half of the week is 3 ½ years or—–1,260 days
        Second half of the week is 3 ½ years or-1,260 days
        Now add > 1.260 days +1,260 days—-= 2,520 days

        Now subtract Daniel’s 12:11 prophetic days -1.290
        that would mean the disgusting thing / eighth king gets put
        In place In the first half of the week on day = 1,230

        The disgusting thing that causes desolation will be put in place on day 1,230 in the first half of the week when the seven headed wild beast revives and springs in to the eighth king. Revelation 17:11. At this point – Daniel’s 1,290 days begins.
        And the wild beast that was but is not, it is also an eighth king, but it springs from the seven, and it goes off into destruction.
        Revelation 17:11. At this point – Daniel’s 1,290 days begins.

        • Erik

          Just curious what do you believe therefore is the significance of the 1,335 days mentioned in Daniel 12:12?

          • Bklyn Kevin

            Hello Erik at present I think I have an answer to your question however I would like to form the answer in a scriptural context, so I’ll need a couple of days.
            However I will tell you this, since there’s an arrival point then there must be a starting point and if I use the same principle I used with Daniel’s 1,290 days and subtracted the 1,335 days from 2,520 days or 7 years than that would bring us to the first half of the week on day 1,185.
            In other words in the first half of the week on the 1,185 something very significant is going to start and come to it’s end on day 1,335.
            Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days!.Daniel 12:12.

          • Bklyn Kevin

            Hello again Erik, concerning the 1,335 days as mentioned by Daniel .
            There doesn’t appear to be just one specific event that will occur on day 1,185 but a multitude of events that will take place if not simultaneously then consecutively.
            Perhaps these events will star off with the man of lawlessness getting reveal when he stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god and then the collapse of the watchtower ensues next and at the same time a great persecution has been in progress and many will be stumbled and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.
            And then when the separation is finished in preparation for the harvest we will then enter In to the second half of the week and then the disgusting thing will be put in place and will remain there for the duration of the great tribulations. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. Matthew 24:9-14.
            This is why Daniel is saying “Happy is the one who keeps in “expectation” and who “arrives” at the 1,335 days! Daniel 12:12.

            Question: Is the Watchtower Organization setting itself up to be a “false Messiah” or “false Christ” at the true parousia?

            “Answer: In a word, Yes.”
            However, we should not suppose it is by human design. Look at the role Israel played in accomplishing God’s purpose. Paul explained to the Hebrew Christians that the Jewish law had served as a tutor leading them to Christ. But how many of the Jewish leaders accepted Christ? Only a handful. The Jewish establishment became the hardened enemy of the Son of God and ultimately condemned him to a horrible death. They were opposed to Christ. Therefore it could be said of them that they were antichrists.

            We may expect the same pattern to play out at the second coming of the Son of man. How so?

            Up until now God has used the Watchtower Society as a tutor, teaching meek persons the essential truth necessary to know God’s will and purpose. It has produced the two groups foretold in scripture; namely, the little flock and the other sheep. But these must pass a final test before being granted entry into either the new heavens or the new earth.

            The final test will involve abandoning the tutor when it becomes apparent that God is finished with it.

            From its inception the Watchtower has promoted a faux parousia. This is the “deluding influence” Paul warned would emanate from a man of lawlessness with the backing of Satan using every powerful deception and lying sign. For example, pyramidology, coupled with pseudo-Bible chronology, convinced the original Bible Students that a great upheaval would occur in 1914; and Lo and Behold! The Great War erupted right on cue.

            But the point is, the parousia delusion occurs as a prelude to the actual parousia. Given the great lengths to which the Society has been driven to prop up the 1914 delusion over the past century, how will the leadership respond when the actual parousia begins? It is hard to imagine that they would humbly apologize for having deceived Jehovah’s Witnesses for so long. On the contrary, just as the Jewish hierarchy refused to accept Jesus, so will the leadership of the Watchtower Society. If any individuals do accept the new reality that will present itself then they will be persecuted – thrown out of the synagogue, as Jesus forewarned.

            Keep in mind that the man of lawlessness is also called the son of destruction, which is also applied to Judas. Judas likely did not intend to betray Jesus from the beginning. But during the Lord’s evening meal when Satan entered into him he had no choice at that point. Likewise, at the coming of Christ Satan will be allowed to again perform all manner of deceptive wonders for the purpose of deceiving, if possible, even the chosen ones – using his modern son of destruction, the man of lawlessness. Those who are rejected by Christ will become the hardened enemies of the true sons of the Kingdom.

            Think about it, the Devil has already misled the whole world. His work is done, for the most part. His intent now is to mislead those who have been called into Christ’s kingdom. But it is not possible for the demons to deceive the chosen ones except through the agency that they trust and view as Jehovah’s organization. https://e-watchman.com/will-watchtower-become-false-christ/

            httphttp://jehovah-is-king.com/harvest/ ://jehovah-is-king.com/man-of-lawlessness/

    • Bklyn Kevin

      Thank you Hannah, you gave me another perspective and I will surely put it to the test and let you know what I find.

    • e.v.g

      Moab will have three years to hide God’s people, could be prior to the sealing? there will be no chance for salvation after the sealing. it is just an opinion.

    • Robert has already pointed out that the 42 months in Revelation begin when the disgusting beast heals and is put in place. so sense the 42 months start once the beast comes out of the abyss then clearly there is a first part of the tribulation starting with the stroke of the current beast falling into the abyss.

    • Huldah

      Hi Hannah, just perusing everyone’s thoughts on the 7 and 3.5 years to get a better understanding.
      I think a strong explanation for why the 3.5 is mentioned in various ways is to emphasize that it is an actual ( not symbollic) number. This is the same reasoning the WT uses on the 144,000.
      I like Kevin’s reasoning on the matter. 3.5 plus 3.5equals 7 of course so t two 3.5 periods probably do occur consecutively to make the full 7 years perhaps from fall of US until Armageddon starts?
      Probably no time lag in between. Just thinking out loud.

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