Ezekiel's chapter four seige enactment prophecy gives the time parameters that govern this prophecy about the Lords' designated holy city Jerusalem. In the fifth year of his captivity in the fourth month on the fifth day the prophet Ezekiel had an awesome encounter with God. We read about this encounter in the opening verses of chapter one in the book of Ezekiel. It was during this divine encounter that God called Ezekiel to be a prophet to the children of Israel, a rebellious nation. Ezekiel had been taken prisioner with King Jehoaichin's group of exiles in the winter of 597 BC.
Ten thousand prisioners were taken during that seige in the early months of 597 BC.
In chapter three we read how the Spirit lifted Ezekiel up and placed him among the captives at Tel Abib where he remained astonished among them for seven days. I believe those seven days symbolically represent the next seven years. I say this because not only is this day/.year pattern present in other prophecies but if we fast forward seven years from Ezekiel's initial encounter it would be four days prior to the time when the Jerusalem wall was breached by the Babylonian army in 586 BC. At the end of those seven days the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel saying, "Son of Man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from my mouth and give them warning from me. God told Ezekiel the eternal consequences about not warning the people whether they were righteous or wicked. In chapter four the Spirit told Ezekiel to shut himself inside his house and God made Ezekiel mute so he could not rebuke his fellow hostages if confronted. Then Ezekiel was told to take a clay tablet and portray the city Jerusalem upon it. Ezekiel 4:1-8 (KJV)
1 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:
2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.
8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.
This seige portrayal of Jerusalem began almost seven years to the day from the day Ezekiel had his encounter with God.
Ezekiels's seige enactment portrayed the total number of years for the divided nations' sin, 390 for Israel and 40 for Judah. But when was the start month and year for each nation? The low 40 years judgment against Judah suggest that God judged that nation from the religious calendar year during which He made a new covenant with them. During King Josiah's reign in 624 BC the book of the Law was found in the temple and the words of the Law were read before the King and the people. Then the people of Judah and Jerusalem stood before God at the temple and made a new covenant before Him. Vowing to keep the words of Gods' Law with all his heart and soul, and to perform all the words of the covneant then King Josiah and the people with him made sweeping reforms throughout Judah and Samaria. They destroyed all the idols and anything dedicated to worship of foreign Gods. They even destroyed the altar at Bethel set up by King Jeroboam when Israel split from Judah in 931 BC. Because this was a religious matter it was likely governed by the religious calendar year which began in the month Nisan. Therefore the start time for this judgment against Judah by God began in 624 BC. Measuring 40 Luna years from Nisan in 624 BC brings the calculation to late November in 586 BC. By November the first Jerusalem temple had been burned with fire and the city walls destroyed during the prior seven months.
Nebuzaradan the captain of the gaurd had taken some prisioners captive to Riblah where they were assasinated while others were taken hostage to Babylon. In regards to the starting point of the 390 years judment against Israel it likely began in the eighth month of 961 BC when the temple Solomon'built was completed.
It was at that point in time Israel was a unified nation and the temple had just been finished in King Solomon's 11th year (Sept. 961 BC). When 390 Luna years
are measured from September in 961 BC it brings the calculation to late January in 582 BC. January in 582 BC was five months into the 23rd year of King Nebuchadnezzar. It was in the 23rd year when the final Babylonian captivity listed in the Bible took place, during which 745 captives were taken by Nebuzaradan from Judah (Jeremiah 52:30). Reflecting on the past to determine when the start points began is necessary but the more important question is exactly when are the God imposed years of judgment against Jerusalem fulfilled? That brings us back to the present day and year when Ezekiel had his vision on the fifth day of Tammuz in 593 BC. It was on that very day from which the judgments against both Israel and Judah can be determined. When the two amounts of time are added together it totals 430 days. However each day represents one year during which Israel/Judah was to be judged. Because the focus of this prophecy is on the Lord's designated holy city Jerusalem then it makes logical sense to apply the time parameters to Jerusalem. Recalling the words of Jesus regarding Jerusalem he said: "Jerusalem will be trampled on by the gentiles until the 'times of the gentiles' are fulfilled." Meaning that Jerusalem would not function as Gods' designated holy city performing all the required animal sacrifices prescribed under the Law of Moses and the Levitical code until 'the times of the gentiles were fulfilled'. On the webpage entitled 'The Rebirth of Israel in 1948
' I show what I perceive to be the 'times of the gentiles' in regards to national Israel but this page deals with the 'times of the gentiles' for the designated holy city Jerusalem. Distinguishing between these two distinct periods of time is important because it can be confusing if one does not see the differences.
In the first year of Darius the Mede (538 BC) Daniel was reading the writings of Jeremiah the prophet when he understood from those writings that Jerusalem would be desolate for a period of seventy years. Daniel along with his three Hebrew friends had been taken captive in the third year of the reign of King Jehoaikim (607 - 606 BC). Measuring 70 Luna years from Nisan 606 BC brings the calculation to late January in 538 BC. It was likely about Nisan in 538 BC when about 50,000 Israelite captives departed Babylon with the decree of Cyrus and headed home toward Jerusalem. King Cyrus had issued the first decree allowing the first captives to return to Jerusalem and Judah. Those captives likely departed Babylon sometime about the first month and by the seventh month the people were settled in their cities. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer sacrifices on the new altar of sacrifice, both the morning and evening sacrifices. Seventy Luna years had been fulfilled
since Daniel was taken from Judah. However the seventy years mentioned by Daniel in chapter nine of his book concerned the 'desolation' of Jerusalem. Jerusalem did not become desolate until 586 BC when the temple was burnt and the walls destroyed by the army of Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25). Therefore the reference mentioned in Daniel 9:2 about the seventy years of desolation must be governed by a different set of time parameters such as those given to the prophet Ezekiel. I therefore use Ezekiel's vision date with God as the start point for the desolation of Jerusalem. Recall how Ezekiel remained astonished among the captives at Tel Abib for a seven day period (representing the next seven years) this would propel him seven years into the future from 593 when he had the vision. Therefore I begin Ezekiel's seige enactment prophecy on the fifth day of the fourth month in 586 BC (Tammuz 5). This was four days before the Babylonian army breached the walls of Jerusalem after they had surrounded the city for the past 18 month. By cutting off all the food supplies the people in Jerusalem had run out of food and were now starving to death. So much so that the fathers had eaten their sons and the sons had eaten their fathers.
Measuring 70 Hebrew calendar years from the 5th day of Tammuz in 586 BC brings the calculation to the 5th day of Tammuz in 516 BC. The year 516 BC is significant because it was during this sixth year in the reign of Darius that the second Jerusalem temple was completed on the third day of the final month, Adar, in 515 BC. After the initial 70 years were completed for Jerusalem there remained 360 years of judgment to be fulfilled against the designated holy city Jerusalem (430-70 = 360). The second temple represented the New Covenant of Grace first mentioned in Jeremiah 31:31. From the writings in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah we know how the people of Judah and Jerusalem continued to fall into disobedience against God and their leaders were the ones most responsible. According to the statutes set forth in Leviticus chapter 26 the people would be punished seven times more for their sins. This resulted in the remaining 360 years to be multiplied seven times more. 7 x 360 = 2520. The statutes set forth in the Laws of Moses resulted in the Lord's designated holy city being subject to 2,520 years of judgment before the 'times of the gentiles pertaining to Jerusalem would be fulfilled. The initial seventy years of judment against Jerusalem was completed on the fifth day of Tammuz in 516 BC. Because of the seven times more statute another 2,520 Hebrew calendar years are added to that fulfillment day in 516 BC. Adding another 2,520 Hebrew years brings the new calculation to the 5th day of Tammuz in
2005 AD. One would expect the prophecy to be fulfilled on this day except nothing happened. Just as the Old Testament had three distinct periods of uncounted years so also does the New Covenant period. God simply skips over those periods and does not count them in His calendar of redemption. The three periods of uncounted time during the New Covenant were 1) The 2300 evenings and mornings beginning in 169 BC. 2) The 1,260 day ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. 3) The 1278 day ministry of the Holy Spirit. When those three periods of time are added up they account for 4,838 more uncounted days. Therefore the 4,838 uncounted days must be added to the Tammuz 5th date in 2005. Adding 4,838 days to Tammuz 5 in 2005 brings the calculation to Elul 30, the final day of the civil year calendar but also the same day on which the Feast of Trumpets begins in 2018 (Sept. 9th). The Feast of Trumpets beginning after sunset on September 9/10 in 2018 will certainly be a memorable day if these calculations are correct. Recalling what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24 about the 'Sign of the Son of Man' Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet
, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
It is certainly no coincidence the Feast of Trumpets begins on the same day as the fulfillment date of Ezekiel's prophecy. I expect the tribulation period mentioned here will be with the nation of Iran. A nuclear armed Iran will be a threat to this entire world. The current limitations imposed against Iran will literally be under-mined by any means possible to achieve nuclear weapons capability.
or just a new beginning!