Israel’s Captivity

Q. God bless you and your family, you have been a great and constant voice for Lord!

I have this question: how long exactly has Israel been in captivity? Do we have records of this or is the information you have in your article “Happy New Year 5764!” everything?

Thank you so much for your time and patience! Peace of Christ!

A. I remember one of my early teachers explaining how in the time from Abraham to Jesus there have been four 490 year periods in the history of God’s people. Each one of them had been interrupted by at least one time of judgment when the clock stopped temporarily. When you subtract the time of judgment, each period is exactly 490 years long.

I’ve searched in vain for the reference this teacher used, but remember that he had a very well documented presentation that gave support to the position that the interruption in Daniel’s 70 weeks is not unique. Within that teaching were contained the actual years that the nation Israel was under another country’s authority as a result of a judgment.

The four periods are 1) Abraham to the Exodus, 2) the Exodus to David, 3) David to the Babylonian Captivity, and 4) the return from Babylon to Jesus. The 400 years in Egypt are not missing from Israel’s calendar because they weren’t part of a judgment upon Israel, the durations of the wilderness wanderings and the Babylonian Captivity are both clear, and Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy obviously explains the fourth period.

But between the Israelites’ arrival in the Promised Land and the Babylonian Captivity, there were several periods of time where the nation was subject to the Philistines and others. Adding these to the known periods of judgment will give us the exact total of years that may be missing from the Jewish calendar. I’d be grateful for any help I can get in locating the specific references for these. It would save me a lot of research.

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