The Precision of the Times of the Gentiles
ust exactly how precise are the Times of the Gentiles? We know from our study of Scripture Studies Volume II "The Time is at Hand" Study IV
that the "Times of the Gentiles" was a period of 2520 years, ending on 1914. The question is: Is there a way to determine this period with any greater precision?
As it turns out there is, but it takes just a little investigation and we get a little help from Jewish tradition.
The first thing we need is to look at when the Times of the Gentiles began. We recall that this was when King Nebudchadnezzar's army conquered the city of Jerusalem, took king Zedekiah captive and burned the temple. We have two accounts of this.
1. 2 Kings 25:1-7
describes for us the siege of Jerusalem and the eventual capture of Zedekiah by Babylon's army. Then in verses 25:8-9
we have the following:
"And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:  And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire."
The same events are described in Jer. 52:4-11
(i.e., the siege of Jerusalem, etc.) Then in verses 12-13
"Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,  And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire."
There seems to be a discrepancy. Is it the seventh or the tenth day? Admittedly this is only a few days difference, yet we still want to see if greater precision can be found. This is where Jewish tradition helps. According to Jewish tradition the LORD's temple (often referred to as "Solomon's Temple,") was set on fire on the ninth day of the fifth month – the month of AV. This is the primary basis for this as being their primary official day of mourning. Not only was the first temple burned on that day but so too was the second (Herod's) temple in 70 A.D. Both were burned on the 9th
of AV! – see Tisha B'Av
If some are disposed to object to making reference to Jewish tradition we would remind all that when our Lord chided them concerning their traditions it was not because they had them, rather it was because they were allowing some of them to become more important (in their eyes) than the Word of God. – Mark 7:2-13
. In this case our Lord refers to "Corban." This tradition was like saying "I have consecrated this thing (their work, their money, some future income, etc.) to the temple treasury. I have made it a "gift" to the Lord. Whether the "gift" amounted to money or time or anything else, if it had been thus dedicated the parents had no right (under this tradition) to expect that thing from their son. This, as Jesus pointed out, made the Corban tradition in direct opposition to God's commandment to "Honor thy father and thy mother.." Exo. 20:12
; Deu. 5:16
In other words, it was not all traditions that our Lord objected to. Only those which violated God's Word.
How does knowing the exact date for the Beginning of the Times of the Gentiles help us in our faith?
The answer comes to us when we fast-forward 2,520 years from the fall of Jerusalem to the King of Babylon. That brings us to the year 1914 and the outbreak of "The Great War," the "War to end All Wars," or (as we know it today) "World War I" – the time when the nations that made up "Christ's Kingdom" went to battle against each other.
The following time-line is from worldwar-1.net
This time-line covers all the political and military events that spread across Europe and the rest of the world during 1914. The flames of war were fanned with the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, plunging Europe into a war the like of which had never been seen before, although hope still remained as German and British soldiers celebrated a Christmas truce that winter.
|| Archduke Francis Ferdinand heir to the Austria-Hungary throne and his wife are assassinated by a Serbian Nationalist in Sarejevo.
||Kaiser William II promises German support for Austria against Serbia.
|| Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia and Russia.
|| Russia begins to mobilise her armed forces. Austria-Hungarian troops invade Serbia.
||Official outbreak of World War I. Germany declares war on Russia.
||Germany invades Luxembourg.
|| Germany declares war on France.
|| Germany declares war on neutral Belgium and invades in a right flanking move designed to defeat France quickly. This violates a treaty signed by Prussia respecting Belgian neutrality. As a result of this invasion, Britain declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary. Canada follows suit and joins the war. U.S President Woodrow Wilson declares policy of American neutrality.
The reason why August 1 and not July 28 or 29 is because at that time it was still a war between two parties, just like preceding wars. That all changed on August 1, 1914.
God's time-clock strikes!
August 1, 1914 on the Gregorian calendar (which we use today) was the 9th of AV
on the Jewish calendar. — 2,520 years from the beginning of the "Times of the Gentiles" – to the very day!