“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.”
These verses are the initial passage that begins the prophecy that made Daniel inquire of the Lord as to what was to happen to Judah next, as the seventy years of their captivity by Babylon was about to expire. It was a warning to Judah that they were going to be conquered by Nebudchadrezzar and go into captivity for seventy years. God seems to like to use the same visualizations when pronouncing judgment. Notice the voice of mirth, the bridegroom and bride, the millstones, and candles. These are all things mentioned about Babylon the Whore in Revelation, but in this case it was a pronouncement against Judah. Following his judgment on Judah, he pronounces judgment on Babylon. After the seventy years are up, Babylon will become a perpetual desolation and more importantly, it says that all that is written in the book of Jeremiah in the way of judgments about Babylon will be visited upon it. Some of the things written have not been fulfilled yet.
This and the words “perpetual desolation” are the keys that tells us that this may be more than just a prophecy about ancient Babylon. Without that clue, it would look as if this prophecy only has to deal with ancient Babylon, as clearly this prophecy was fulfilled as to Babylon being destroyed after seventy years. Therefore this must also be addressed to Babylon the Whore, as Iraq cannot be called a perpetual desolation. We already know from other verses that Babylon the Whore is going to be a perpetual desolation, so what is the big deal about this prophecy? Well, what about the seventy years? It says that after seventy years, Babylon will be destroyed in a perpetual desolation. True, ancient Babylon was destroyed after seventy years, but Iraq does not qualify as a perpetual desolation. Does that mean that there is a seventy year period that God is counting off for America before she is destroyed? This could be a crucial key to helping us understand the approximate time for Daniel's 70th week.
God has given us several clues to a time frame. First there was the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24:32-24. It said that when the fig tree started to put forth leaves, that the generation that saw that happen would not pass until everything was fulfilled. A generation (as discussed in other posts) is considered to be seventy years. (Again with the seventy). Some people think the fig tree put forth leaves when Israel became a nation, as God calls Israel His fig tree (Hosea 9:10). Some think it was when they gained Jerusalem in the six-day war in 1967. I believe it was when Israel became a nation. She came alive or out of dormancy again at that time. That is what happens when a tree puts forth leaves. It comes out of dormancy and starts to grow again. If that is correct, a generation or seventy years passing would bring us to 2018. (If we counted from 1967, it would be 2037, which I believe is too far away for the world situation to last.) If God began the countdown for Babylon at that time, it would again bring us to 2018. We do not know exactly when the destruction of Babylon occurs, but it probably happens quite close to the end of the 70th week of Daniel. If that is when Babylon is destroyed, and that is when the generation ends, then the 70th week of Daniel would have to start sometime in the next year or two. (We are not counting on a generation being exactly 70 years, and we do not know the exact time of Babylon's destruction, so we cannot exactly pinpoint how the seven year period would fall around those two things.) It is an interesting hypothesis based on these clues, but until I see the temple go up, I am not going to consider that I have anything definitive to tell me we are in it. I do know that the 70th week must start sometime between September and December, as we know it ends in that time frame due to the feasts of the Lord. The next couple of years bear close watching.