Q. Why do you and many others refer to the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles as starting with Nebuchadnezzar instead of earlier when the Assyrians conquered northern Israel? Why isn’t that part of the reigning and trampling of Gentiles?
A. When the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom, it was meant by God to be a warning to the South. Ezekiel explained this in his story of the two adulterous sisters (Ezekiel 23). Earlier, all the believers had moved to the southern Kingdom in protest against the North’s apostasy ( 2 Chron. 11:16), and Judah, as the south was called, was still a powerful representative of God’s Kingdom on Earth. But when God sent Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Judah for failing to heed the warning, the Kingdom ceased to exist.
Later Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a giant statue. Daniel said that it represented four earthly kingdoms, and that as King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold. Daniel said as far as God was concerned, Nebuchadnezzar was king of the whole Earth, the first gentile to be so designated (Daniel 2:37-38). Then Daniel spoke of three other earthly kingdoms that would follow his. We know them as Persia, Greece and Rome. Based on this dream, scholars have begun the times of the Gentiles with Babylon. From that time on the world’s powers have all been gentile kingdoms, and will continue to be until the 2nd Coming.