Q. Could you explain the three hundred ninety days and forty days prophecy in Ezekiel 4:6. Does this apply to the regathering of Israel or the re-unification of Jerusalem or both?
A. Here’s a brief summary.
Ezekiel was told to lie on his left side for 390 days and on his right for 40 days, for a total of 430 days, to bear the sins of Israel. 390 was for the Northern Kingdom, since laying on his left side meant he was facing North, and 40 was for the South because he was laying on his right side facing south. Each day represented one year of idolatry (Ezekiel 4:4-6).
Some scholars feel this prophecy foretold the 2nd regathering of Israel, not the one after Babylon. They base this on the fact that the first Jews were taken to Babylon as captives soon after Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt and Assyria at the Battle of Carchemish in 606 BC. They say this began the 70 year servitude of the nation. After being freed by the Persians the Jews began returning from Babylon, rebuilding the altar in 536 BC just after the New year. (Ezra 3:1.) That meant 70 years of the 430 had been served, leaving 360.
These scholars point out that several times in Leviticus 26 the Lord warned that if they didn’t repent immediately upon sinning their punishment would be multiplied 7 times. 360 years times 7 = 2520 years. They also remind us that the Lord’s calendar has always been based on a 360 day year of 12 thirty day months. 2520 years of 360 days would be 2484 years on our 365.25 day calendar. From 536 BC to 1948 AD when Israel was re-born is 2484 years. Therefore the punishment was finally complete in 1948 when Israel was reborn.
Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem 19 years after the first captives were taken. When you add 19 years to 1948 you get 1967, the year Jerusalem was unified.