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The Everlasting Covenant

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    The Seventy Years Fulfilled

    Just as God had named a definite time when he would deliver His people from Egypt, so He named the exact time of the captivity of Israel in the city of Babylon. “For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord; and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” 1Jeremiah 29:10-14.EVCO 477.1

    Exactly as in the first instance, so in the second, everything came to pass according to the word of God. The captivity began in B.C. 606, and sixty-eight years later, in B.C. 538 the city of Babylon fell into the hands of the Medes and Persians. (See Daniel 5.) Of that time we read, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” 1Daniel 9:1-3. Here was at least one man seeking God with his whole heart. We do not know if there were others who sought the Lord as Daniel did,—there were certainly not many,—but God nevertheless fulfilled His part to the letter. Two years after Daniel’s prayer, in the year B.C. 536, just seventy years after the beginning of Israel’s captivity in the city of Babylon, Cyrus, king of Persia, issued a proclamation which is thus recorded:—EVCO 477.2

    “Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is the God), which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” 2Ezra 1:1-4.EVCO 478.1

    The number of those who went back to Jerusalem as the result of this proclamation is set down as “forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.” “So the priests and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.” 1Ezra 2:64, 65, 70.EVCO 478.2

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