Tag Archives: Babylon

The Babylonian Exile Shaped the Future [of Prophetic Speculation] – Doug Mason

Doug Mason has favored us again with another of his very detailed and scholarly studies of subjects related to chronological speculation. (Click here.) We have always found these studies informative and useful for any serious student of the Bible, history, prophecy, chronology and eschatology. These are not studies that push a particular religious agenda. Doug Mason’s knowledge of the specific issues and concerns of Jehovah’s Witnesses make his writing very relevant for this site.

This latest article he has contributed, “The Babylonian Exile Shaped the Future,” is 107 pages long, and available in PDF.

The following is a high level summary of the content and theme as given by Doug Mason:

The theme of the attached Study is simple:
  1. The Hebrews considered themselves to be “God’s Chosen People”, yet Israel had been dispersed by the Assyrians and Judah was dominated by Egypt and then by Babylon.
  2. In response to Judah’s captivity, its prophets promised the nation that God would restore them to their rightful position and that God would forever maintain the throne of David.
  3. When exiles returned from Babylon, they set about creating a nation that was faithful to God.
  4. Centuries passed but the Hebrews remained oppressed by successive Gentile powers. In response, the Jews anticipated imminent divine intervention.
  5. Followers of Jesus Christ applied the prophets’ promises to their leaders and to themselves, anticipating an imminent divine intervention.
  6. In every succeeding century, people kept expecting divine intervention during their life.

One of the images that shows the scope of the study is included below:

scopemason

And lastly, just to give a preview, the Table of Contents is included (in spite of the fact that it will not be formatted correctly):

  • Outline and Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
  • Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
  • Table of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
  • References cited in this Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
  • Recommended further reading ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 I. PROMISES TO THE EXILES ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
  • THE EXILES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
  • Little documented evidence of the exilic period ………………………………………………………………… 20
  • Exiles mostly came from Jerusalem and its environs …………………………………………………………. 20
  • Exiles permitted to settle in their own groups ……………………………………………………………………. 21
  • The religion of the Exiled Jews……………………………………………………………………………………….. 22
  • The exiled Jews had to reformulate themselves …………………………………………………………………. 22
  • Expressed with sad literature their longing for home …………………………………………………………. 23
  • Babylon appointed a local as Governor of Judah ……………………………………………………………….. 23
  • Babylonians comprehended Israelite practice ……………………………………………………………………. 23
  • Worship by the Exiles in Egypt ………………………………………………………………………………………. 23
  • JEREMIAH …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
  • Jeremiah, a tortured soul ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
  • Jeremiah’s promises to the exiles …………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
  • Foreigners will no longer enslave them ………………………………………………………………………… 24
  • The LORD will heal them and restore them ………………………………………………………………….. 24
  • God promised to enter into a new agreement with them …………………………………………………. 24
  • David will always have a man on the throne of Israel …………………………………………………….. 25
  • The composition of the book of Jeremiah is an untraceable complex process ……………………….. 25
  • The Hebrew and Greek texts of Jeremiah differ significantly ……………………………………………… 25
  • EZEKIEL ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
  • Ezekiel and Jeremiah were of a different order of priests ……………………………………………………. 25
  • Older generations blamed for their situation ……………………………………………………………………… 25
  • Ezekiel’s covenant promises: Restoration of the nation and of the throne …………………………….. 26
  • ISAIAH CHAPTERS 40 TO 66 …………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
  • The sixth-century setting of Isaiah 40-66 …………………………………………………………………………. 26
  • Deutero-Isaiah’s promises to the Exiles ……………………………………………………………………………. 27
  • Monotheistic statements located at the early part of “Deutero-Isaiah” ………………………………….. 27
  • DEUTERONOMIC HISTORY ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 28
  • The Sources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
  • Deuteronomy provides the key ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 28
  • 7
  • Discovery of Deuteronomy …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 28
  • The Deuteronomists’ History ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29
  • The Deuteronomic Historian …………………………………………………………………………………………… 29
  • Israel’s history was reshaped in Babylon ………………………………………………………………………….. 30
  • Subsequent redactions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 30 II. PROMISES PRODUCED POST-EXILIC ACTION …………………………………………………………. 31
  • THE FALL OF BABYLON ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32
  • The 50 years of exile had been an age of mysteries ……………………………………………………………. 33
  • Decree by Cyrus ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 33
  • SOME EXILES RETURN …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 33
  • Returnees led by Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel ………………………………………………………………….. 33
  • Social Stratification ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33
  • Conflict in the Postexilic Community ………………………………………………………………………………. 34
  • Little clarity in the record of the Persian period ………………………………………………………………… 34
  • Archaeological material not reliable for the period ……………………………………………………………. 35
  • Subsistence farming continued during the Persian period …………………………………………………… 35
  • Persian strategy …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 35
  • Emphases of the Biblical texts from the Persian period ……………………………………………………… 35
  • RESURGENCE OF THE PRIESTLY CLASS …………………………………………………………………….. 36
  • Success of the Aaronid priesthood …………………………………………………………………………………… 36
  • Religion’s attempt at continuity with the past……………………………………………………………………. 36
  • The Priesthood ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 37
  • The Temple …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 37
  • WRITINGS WERE COMPOSED DURING AND AFTER THE EXILE ………………………………… 37
  • EZRA AND NEHEMIAH …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 38
  • Two phases of attempted restoration ……………………………………………………………………………….. 38
  • Ezra arrived with two important documents ……………………………………………………………………… 38
  • Ezra the lawgiver ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
  • Ezra, architect of Israel’s new identity ……………………………………………………………………………… 38
  • The book of Ezra …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 39
  • Theme of Ezra-Nehemiah ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
  • Ezra influential in the redaction process …………………………………………………………………………… 40
  • Nehemiah, visionary and a man of action …………………………………………………………………………. 40
  • Nehemiah repaired the walls of Jerusalem………………………………………………………………………… 41
  • Dedication of the new walls marked the end of the Exile ……………………………………………………. 41
  • CHRONICLES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41
  • Two Histories: Kings (part of the “Deuteronomic History”) and Chronicles …………………………. 41
  • Chronicles: Date ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41
  • Chronicles: Style …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42
  • 8
  • Chronicles: Is not literal history ………………………………………………………………………………………. 42
  • Chronicles: Is theological history ……………………………………………………………………………………. 42
  • POST-EXILIC PSALMS …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 43 III. UNFULFILLED PROMISES PRODUCED CHANGE ………………………………………………….. 44
  • ROOTS OF APOCALYPTICISM ………………………………………………………………………………………. 45
  • Failure of Ezekiel’s promise of national resurrection …………………………………………………………. 45
  • Prophecy declined and apocalyptic speculation grew …………………………………………………………. 45
  • Postexilic writings are proto-apocalyptic ………………………………………………………………………….. 45
  • Apocalypticism’s indebtedness to ancient Near Eastern myths and Hebrew prophecy ……………. 45
  • Apocalypticism not the exclusive property of any one sect or movement ……………………………… 46
  • Apocalyptic writings do not reflects the viewpoint of established power ……………………………… 46
  • First major cluster of Jewish apocalyptic writings are about the time of the Maccabean revolt .. 46
  • Cluster of eschatological prophets …………………………………………………………………………………… 46
  • Jubilees ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
  • 1 and 2 Maccabees record the Antiochene crisis ……………………………………………………………….. 47
  • 1 Maccabees shows that Daniel 9 had Antiochus IV in mind ………………………………………………. 47
  • The Testaments …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
  • 1 Enoch ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 48
  • First Book of Enoch may be the starting point of apocalypticism ………………………………………… 48
  • Apocalyptic texts were the alchemist’s crucible ………………………………………………………………… 49
  • Unfulfilled prophecy appears to be a major defect of apocalyptic works ………………………………. 49
  • The most influential passage in Jewish apocalyptic literature ……………………………………………… 49
  • ASSIMILATION WITH HELLENISTIC WORLD LED TO THE MACCABEAN REVOLT …… 50
  • The Maccabees/Hasmoneans: History & Overview (166 – 129 BCE) …………………………………… 50
  • The contemporary Maccabean/Hasmonean history ……………………………………………………………. 50
  • The Jewish Hammer ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51
  • Jews Regain Their Independence …………………………………………………………………………………. 51
  • The words “Maccabee” and “Hasmonean” ……………………………………………………………………….. 52
  • THE BOOK OF DANIEL …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 52
  • The plot of the book of Daniel ………………………………………………………………………………………… 52
  • Daniel is a composite book …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52
  • Versions of the Book of Daniel ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 52
  • Less stable and diverse redaction, editing, and transmission of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel … 53
  • The Jews place the book of Daniel in the Writings ……………………………………………………………. 53
  • The author of Daniel drew from the surrounding cultures …………………………………………………… 53
  • The book of Daniel is Hellenistic ……………………………………………………………………………………. 53
  • Daniel reflects the Hellenistic belief in an afterlife ……………………………………………………………. 53
  • DANIEL COMPOSED IN THE SECOND CENTURY BCE ………………………………………………… 54
  • Daniel is a historical book written around 167-165 BCE ……………………………………………………… 54
  • 9
  • Stories of Daniel and the visions collected during the 2nd century BCE ………………………………… 54
  • Daniel written in response to a religious and political threat in the 2nd century BCE ………………. 54
  • Daniel’s interest in the Seleucid Kingdom………………………………………………………………………… 55
  • Enoch and Daniel arise out of crises created by Hellenism and Antiochus Epiphanes ……………. 55
  • Daniel completed shortly before the death of Antiochus …………………………………………………….. 55
  • Most scholars assign the final form of Daniel 7-12 to the Antiochene period ………………………… 55
  • The “Daniel” seems to have lived in the second century BCE ……………………………………………… 55
  • Development of the idea that Daniel related to the second century BCE ……………………………….. 55
  • HISTORICAL ACCURACIES AND INACCURACIES OF DANIEL……………………………………. 56
  • The Book of Daniel is not meant as literal history……………………………………………………………… 56
  • Nothing is known historically of a Daniel in Babylon ………………………………………………………… 56
  • Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar for the first time in 597 BCE …………………………………………… 56
  • Some of the historical errors in Daniel …………………………………………………………………………….. 56
  • Historical accuracies and inaccuracies date the completion of the book of Daniel …………………. 57
  • The writer lived long after the events, and made mistakes ………………………………………………….. 57
  • No place in history for “Darius the Mede” ……………………………………………………………………….. 57
  • Daniel records Alexander, the Ptolemies and the Seleucids ………………………………………………… 58
  • RELIGIOUS PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL ………………………………………………………… 58
  • The author of Daniel is preoccupied with cultic issues ……………………………………………………….. 58
  • The stories prove that God is great ………………………………………………………………………………….. 59
  • Stories illustrate an attitude about living as a Jew ……………………………………………………………… 59
  • The fanciful narratives provide instruction for living in the Diaspora …………………………………… 59
  • They endure martyrdom to purify themselves for union with God and his angels ………………….. 60
  • DANIEL PROVIDES ESOTERIC EXPLANATIONS ………………………………………………………….. 60
  • The four kingdoms of Daniel ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 60
  • Do not set dates today from the book of Daniel…………………………………………………………………. 60
  • THE LAST-DAY COMMUNITY AT QUMRAN ………………………………………………………………… 61
  • The authors of the DSS formed a sect ………………………………………………………………………………. 61
  • Qumran history ran from 150 BCE to 68 CE ………………………………………………………………………. 61
  • Two events might have impacted early Qumran history……………………………………………………… 61
  • Authors of the DSS were anti-Hasmonean ……………………………………………………………………….. 62
  • QUMRAN WRITINGS …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 62
  • Scrolls, but no book or codex………………………………………………………………………………………….. 62
  • The Qumran community had no single, stable text …………………………………………………………….. 62
  • Various editions of several books ……………………………………………………………………………………. 63
  • Extreme fluidity of the DSS texts ……………………………………………………………………………………. 63
  • Assumed link between the DSS and the Masoretic Text contradicted by historical evidence ….. 63
  • The Masoretic Text is not the main witness to the Hebrew Bible ………………………………………… 63
  • A variety of sources used during the Second Temple period ……………………………………………….. 64
  • 10
  • There were collections of scripture but no fixed list (canon) ……………………………………………….. 64
  • Qumran had no list of sacred titles …………………………………………………………………………………… 65
  • The Temple Scroll and the Book of Jubilees were cited as authoritative ……………………………….. 65
  • QUMRAN EXPECTATIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 65
  • Qumran considered themselves the restored Israel …………………………………………………………….. 65
  • Full restoration still hoped for …………………………………………………………………………………………. 66
  • The End of Days was imminent ………………………………………………………………………………………. 66
  • They expected Daniel’s visions would be fulfilled in their day ……………………………………………. 66
  • Qumran believed their times were the fulfilment of biblical predictions ………………………………. 67
  • Qumran anticipated the restoration of David’s throne ………………………………………………………… 67
  • They considered themselves the true Israel ………………………………………………………………………. 67
  • Qumran was the true Israel of the last days, receiving the new covenant ………………………………. 67
  • Actions taken at Qumran in preparation for the coming messianic age …………………………………. 67
  • THE QUMRAN COMMUNITY AND CHRISTIANITY ……………………………………………………… 67
  • Similarities of the Qumran community and Christianity …………………………………………………….. 67
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the origins of Christianity …………………………………………………………. 68
  • The DSS, the NT and apocalypticism ………………………………………………………………………………. 68
  • The DSS and the NT retell Israel’s story from an apocalyptic view ……………………………………… 68
  • Qumran and Christianity each believed they were the apocalyptic restored Israel ………………….. 68
  • DSS and the NT are reconstructions of Israel’s story …………………………………………………………. 69
  • Essene and Christian use of the Hebrew Scriptures ……………………………………………………………. 69
  • Real relationship of the DSS and the NT ………………………………………………………………………….. 69
  • John the Baptist might have been associated with the Qumran sect ……………………………………… 70
  • JEWISH MYSTICISM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 70
  • The four most well-known Jewish groups concurrent with Qumran …………………………………….. 70
  • Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots………………………………………………………………………. 70
  • The religious movements cannot be understood independently of the others ………………………… 71
  • Expulsion practised at Qumran ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 71
  • Recording of history was not strong among those Jews ……………………………………………………… 72 IV. PROMISES EXTENDED TO THE GENTILES ……………………………………………………………. 73
  • JESUS (YESHUA) …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 74
  • Daniel influenced Jesus ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
  • The Gospel’s “little apocalypses” were a midrash on Daniel ………………………………………………. 74
  • Jesus reinterpreted Israel’s Scriptures ………………………………………………………………………………. 74
  • Jesus contradicted many of Qumran’s standards ……………………………………………………………….. 74
  • Jesus threatened the ideologies of the priestly establishment and groups like those at Qumran .. 75
  • Jesus’ call to be open to all nations ………………………………………………………………………………….. 75
  • Luke emphasised Jesus’ outreach beyond Judaism ……………………………………………………………. 75
  • The Temple was for “all nations” ……………………………………………………………………………………. 75
  • 11
  • Defining the New Community (Matthew 11-13) ……………………………………………………………….. 75
  • The reconstitution of God’s promise to his covenant people ……………………………………………….. 75
  • The inclusiveness of the community of faith …………………………………………………………………….. 76
  • PAUL …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 76
  • Paul, the single most important figure in spreading the movement ………………………………………. 76
  • Paul was not a disciple and he was at odds with the leaders of the primitive church ………………. 76
  • Paul was in common with Jews of the Diaspora ………………………………………………………………… 76
  • Paul was also influenced by Hellenistic thinking ………………………………………………………………. 76
  • Stoicism…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 77
  • Conscience ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 77
  • Paul focused his mission towards Gentiles and pagans ………………………………………………………. 77
  • Paul excused Gentile Christians from having to observe ceremonial and dietary Jewish laws …. 77
  • Jesus’ and Paul’s expectation of the Parousia removed; church hierarchy instituted ……………… 78
  • PAUL’S JESUS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 78
  • Paul’s Jesus is different to the Gospel’s Jesus …………………………………………………………………… 78
  • The status of Christ in the Pauline religion ……………………………………………………………………….. 78
  • PAUL’S ESCHATOLOGY ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78
  • Paul’s “gathering” goes back to the OT gathering of the exiles …………………………………………… 78
  • Paul recalled the OT prophetic literature ………………………………………………………………………….. 79
  • Fulfillment of the eschatological promises made to Israel …………………………………………………… 79
  • Daniel influenced Paul …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 79
  • Apocalyptic eschatology means revealed eschatology ……………………………………………………….. 79
  • “Apocalyptic eschatology” can apply to Paul ……………………………………………………………………. 79
  • Paul’s imminent cosmic triumph of God ………………………………………………………………………….. 80
  • Paul: the present era nearly at its end and the return of Christ is imminent ……………………………. 80
  • Paul’s philadelphia (brotherly love) was an eschatological blessing ……………………………………. 80
  • PAUL’S CREATIVE MYTHOLOGIES ……………………………………………………………………………… 80
  • Paul turned baptism into a mythical re-enactment ……………………………………………………………… 80
  • Mythical meaning of the “Lord’s Supper” revealed to Paul by Christ, not from man ……………… 82
  • Paul was cautious about Charismatic manifestations ………………………………………………………….. 82
  • Paul’s fertile mind created an elaborate doctrinal construct ………………………………………………… 82
  • Paul’s part in the formation of Christianity……………………………………………………………………….. 83
  • PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY AND SCRIPTURE ………………………………………………………………. 83
  • Earliest Christians focused on a person, not on scripture ……………………………………………………. 83
  • NT writers sought prophecies about Jesus rather than in exegesis ……………………………………….. 83
  • NT writers saw continuity with the Hebrew Scriptures but not exact interpretations ……………… 83
  • Christians made highly selective use of the OT …………………………………………………………………. 83
  • The LXX was the Christians’ Bible …………………………………………………………………………………. 84
  • Paul cited the LXX rather than the MT, and he employed creative exegesis …………………………. 84
  • 12
  • The outward expression of Christianity changed ……………………………………………………………….. 84
  • “Original inspiration only” does not resolve the NT’s use of the Hebrew Scriptures ……………… 84
  • THE CHURCH DEPENDED ON ITS JEWISH APOCALYPTIC HERITAGE ……………………….. 84
  • The early church preserved a vast number of apocalyptic texts …………………………………………… 84
  • Primitive Christianity took root in Jewish apocalyptic literature ………………………………………….. 85
  • The debt of Christianity to its Jewish heritage, particularly its apocalyptic heritage ………………. 85
  • Jesus and the Gospel writers read Daniel typologically ………………………………………………………. 85
  • The OT, especially Daniel, permeates Revelation ……………………………………………………………… 85
  • Book of Daniel had the greatest influence on the book of Revelation …………………………………… 86
  • JUDAISM FOLLOWING THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM ……………………………………… 86
  • After the destruction of Jerusalem (70 CE), Judaism shifted from temple-based to text-based …. 86
  • The myth of Jamnia ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 86
  • Second major cluster of Jewish apocalyptic writings …………………………………………………………. 87 V. PROMISES KEEP BEING REPEATED………………………………………………………………………. 88
  • IT IS HAZARDOUS TO ASSUME SCRIPTURE TALKS OF ONE’S OWN TIME ………………… 91
  • Hazardous to claim that the book of Daniel directly refers to events of one’s own day …………… 91
  • Pesher assumes, as with the Qumran community, that Scripture is talking of one’s own time …. 91
  • The visions were addressed to people who needed to hear them ………………………………………….. 91
  • Numerous expositors see prophecies fulfilled in their own time ………………………………………….. 91
  • Daniel influenced succeeding millennia …………………………………………………………………………… 92
  • Each new generation applied Revelation to their own generation ………………………………………… 92
  • Revelation is a “language arsenal” that has stirred dangerous men and women …………………….. 92
  • The predictions of Revelation did not come to pass …………………………………………………………… 92
  • The world had persistently refused to end ………………………………………………………………………… 92
  • EACH GENERATION APPLIES PROPHECIES TO ITS OWN TIME ………………………………….. 93
  • Jesus announced the end would be seen by his contemporaries …………………………………………… 93
  • The first Christians expected they would witness the end of the world …………………………………. 93
  • First century CE Jews applied Daniel to themselves ………………………………………………………….. 93
  • First century apocalypses influenced by Daniel 7 ………………………………………………………………. 93
  • Josephus believed Daniel was speaking of the Roman Empire ……………………………………………. 93
  • Various interpretations of Daniel’s “four kingdoms” …………………………………………………………. 93
  • Revelation influenced succeeding millennia ……………………………………………………………………… 94
  • Fourth century upsurge of interest in Revelation ……………………………………………………………….. 94
  • Three-and-a-half year period invoked throughout late antiquity and the Middle Ages ……………. 95
  • Eschatological expectation in the Medieval times ……………………………………………………………… 95
  • 14th century: Beguines saw the church as the Antichrist ……………………………………………………. 95
  • 15th and 16th century applications to their own day ………………………………………………………….. 95
  • 16th century: Martin Luther identified the Turks as the eschatological fourth beast……………….. 95
  • 16th century: John Knox applied Daniel to the Papacy ………………………………………………………. 96
  • 13
  • 16th century: Joseph Mede expected the end to come in 1716 or in 1736 …………………………….. 96
  • 17th century: Aspinall applied Daniel to his own times ……………………………………………………… 96
  • 17th century: Tillinghast predicted the end to come in 1656 ……………………………………………….. 96
  • Daniel chapters 2 and 7 stimulated centuries of missionary movements ……………………………….. 96
  • 17th century: The “Fifth Monarchy Men” were the saints of Daniel 7 ………………………………….. 97
  • 18th century: The First Great Awakening of the American revival ………………………………………. 97
  • 19th century: Leaders saw Daniel being fulfilled in their own day ………………………………………. 97
  • 19th century: William Miller expected the end around 1843 ……………………………………………….. 97
  • 19th century: Invention of the “Rapture” by Darby; followed by Scofield and Moody …………… 98
  • 19th century: Special hope offered for the Jewish people …………………………………………………… 98
  • 19th century: Numerous speculative commentaries …………………………………………………………… 99
  • 19th century: The Shakers; Latter-day Saints; Charles Taze Russell ……………………………………. 99
  • 19th century: Sandford; Purnell; Pentacostalism ……………………………………………………………….. 99
  • The Great War of 1914-1918 sparked apocalyptic speculation ………………………………………….. 100
  • 20th century: Explosive growth of interest in apocalyptic …………………………………………………. 100
  • 20th century: Christabel Pankhurst on the “promised return of Jesus Christ” ………………………. 100
  • 1917: Toppling of Russian Czar seen as fulfilment of Ezekiel’s prophecy ………………………….. 100
  • 20th century: Signs produced anticipation in Christian circles …………………………………………… 101
  • 20th century: The number 666 applied to a string of contemporary candidates ……………………. 101
  • 20th century: Reagan feared the number 666; current events fulfilled biblical prophecy ………. 101
  • 1967 Six-Day war and Jerusalem’s liberation hailed as “a forward leap” ……………………………. 101 BONUS: ISRAEL’S DESCENDANTS…………………………………………………………………………………. 102
  • London, cleansed by fire, would be the ‘New Jerusalem’ …………………………………………………. 104