At approx. 599 BC Zedekiah’s reign began. Zedekiah was a tributary to Babylon for at least 7 years (approx.). He was sworn in by oath to the King of Babylon (2 Kings 24:17-19, Ezek. 17:11-21), and at some point around the 7th year of his reign he rebelled against the King of Babylon (2 Kings 24:20, Ezek. 17:11-21). This rebellion, probably by not paying the tribute, resulted in Babylon’s eventual attack which came in the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign (2 Kings 24:20). The tribute to Babylon was withheld in hopes to hire Egyptian horses and or soldiers as an aid against a retaliatory attack by Babylon (Ezek. 17:15, Jer. 37:5-16). Babylon eventually attacked at the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign, as formerly mentioned, but Egypt was not officially hired until the 10th year of Zedekiah’s reign. By officially hired, I mean, Egypt did not assemble to aid the Kingdom of Judah until this time. But, Egypt proved to be a broken reed. Here’s what happened…
At the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign, Jeremiah prophesied 3 times. After this, no prophecy is received or delivered for approximately 4 years. At the 4th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Jeremiah prophesied 1 time. At the 5th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel is ordained and he prophesies approximately 7 times. In the midst of the 6th and 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel prophesies approximately 9 times & Jeremiah prophesies approximately 1 time. From the 7th to the 9th year Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel prophesies approximately 3 times. In the midst of the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel prophesies approximately 3 times & Jeremiah prophesies approximately 3 times. At the 10th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Jeremiah prophesies approximately 5 times. At the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Jeremiah prophesies approximately 2 times. From the 9th to the 12th year of what would have been Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel prophesies approximately 9 times. From the 12th to the 25th year since Jechoniah’s captivity, Ezekiel prophesies approximately 7 times.
– At the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign (see Jer. 28:1) and after approximately 7 years of hiding, Jeremiah’s public ministry was re-engaged! [Note: to understand the depth and significance of Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, please see the .] With the Kingdom of Judah humbled by the and Captivities, there was reason to hope that the newly installed King of Judah (appointed by Babylon; 2 Kings 24:17) would hear the word of the LORD to embrace tribulation and submit to Babylon, and live. Sadly, though, even from the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign he was collaborating with other Nations for a potential rebellion from Babylon (Jer. 27:3, 12, 28:1). Can you believe it? Of course, God told Jeremiah about it. Fittingly, Jeremiah made the collaborating Kings their own personal yokes to get across the point (Jer. 27:1-11)! Furthermore, it must have been humbling for Zedekiah watch his brother, Jehoiakim, bound with chains and left for dead in the open field just outside of Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:6, Jer. 22:18-19). Truly. Considering the course of rebellion from Babylon that Jehoiakim took, how did Zedekiah do it? He watched on as Jehoiakim lead the formerly righteous nation into 5 years of backsliding and, meanwhile, he became the unwilling tributary of Babylon. He watched when the Kingdom of Judah was almost turned to God, yet, Jehoiakim struck it down. He watched Jehoiakim put his faith in the promise of “liberty” from Babylon in the 7th year of his reign, and to what end? According to prophecy, Jerusalem was made to endure a long siege by an undefeatable Army, the Babylonians, hence: the sword, famine, and pestilence were as a cup of drunkenness to all the people of Judah! Yea, after all this… Zedekiah is collaborating rebellion AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS REIGN (Jer. 28:1)! What was the Word?
With a yoke upon Jeremiah’s neck, and yokes for the other Kings, Jeremiah declared: “And it shall come to pass, that the Nation and Kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the King of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the King of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein” (Jer. 27:8-11). Of course, the demon-inspired Prophets of foreign nations and the supposed Prophets of the Kingdom of Judah were heralding the same promise as from God, saying, “Ye shall not serve the King of Babylon”, and so Jeremiah’s reengagement of public ministry was in the throes of serious conflict.
God reckoned with the heathen inasmuch as they touched the apple of His eye, the Church, but He had special judgments reserved for the Church. The false prophets of Judah cried, “Behold, the vessels of the LORD’s House shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon” (27:14, 16), and the LORD responded with a challenge and sound reason (Jer. 27:18-22). When this was to no avail, and the conflict escalated, the LORD capitalized on the opportunity. With all boldness and in direct opposition to Jeremiah’s prophesying, Hananiah falsely prophesied that within 2 years the people and vessels would be returned and all nations would be removed from the yoke of Babylon (Jer. 28:2-4, 11). Then, shockingly, in less than 1-year God killed the man! A bold and defiant lie warranted a bold confrontation of truth. The slaying of this Prophet should have been a sure signal to all spectators! Lo, and behold, they were under the meticulous observation of an inescapable KING! They were bound as by chains of sovereignty! The LORD retaliated and is retaliating, and thereby all Church Members were being led into a calculated death: the sword, the famine, and the pestilence (a remnant excluded)! In the midst of the Great Falling Away, this is the Operation of Grace performed by the Glory of God.
– At the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign (Jer. 24:1, 8, 2 Kings 24:11-17) and certainly subsequent to the events and prophecies recorded in Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah delivered a scathing response to the backwards people among whom he dwelt. Furthermore, this message was of incalculable significance in that it, for the first time, foundationally disclosed the redemptive purpose of the Tribulation Period and, very specifically, the means and method of saving an elect remnant from total annihilation. Wonderfully, this message marks a theological pivot, a venturing into a strong and continuous message of redemption theretofore largely unexplained and thenceforth exceedingly expounded! See the .
– At the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign (Jer. 29:1-2) and directly subsequent to the prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 24:1-10, Jeremiah was inspired to send an urgent Letter to the Captives in Babylon. We know that Jeremiah 24:1-10 was given and delivered prior Jeremiah 29:1-32 because the Good and Evil Figs were introduced in the former and further explained in the latter. See the .
– At the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign (Jer. 49:34), Jeremiah prophesies against Elam. This prophecy to Elam is one of eight prophecies delivered to various Heathen Nations, besides those delivered to Babylon.
– At the 4th year of Zedekiah’s reign (Jer. 51:59-64), this prophecy was delivered by Letter to the Jews in Babylonian Captivity (the Good Figs). Babylon’s complete and total annihilation was prophesied at length with shocking detail and intensity! See the .
Approx. 1 Year passed…
– At the 5th year of Zedekiah’s reign (Ezek. 1:2), Ezekiel was ordained a Prophet and the essence of his ministry was revealed. My reader, this was a timely ordination! For, fearfully, the Good Figs still weren’t good! Can you believe it? These individuals, the Good Figs, had been digressing even further into sin the past 5 years of Zedekiah’s reign. Contextually, this is a very important observation and essential to understanding the Tribulation Period and the Tribulation Prophets. See the for an in-depth and vital address of Ezekiel’s shocking ordination as a Prophet only 6 years from Judgment Day (the at the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign).
– At the 5th year of Zedekiah’s reign (individual prophecies/events/instructions within the same year: Ezek. 1:2-3:14, 3:16-22, 3:23-27, 4:1-17, 5:1-17, 6:1-14, 7:1-27; time change: Ezek. 8:1), soon after Ezekiel’s ordination as a Prophet, the first series of prophetic messages were received and delivered with all speed as a rescue attempt for the Good Figs. God was intent upon the conversion or restoration of the Good Figs, and nothing would stand in His way. Contextually, though, the situation was far from friendly to the God of Jeremiah and Ezekiel; the Evil Figs were deceiving the Good Figs even though they were so radically removed from one another! In this order, let us understand: Firstly, the shockingly violent condition of the Good Figs hinders Ezekiel’s liberality of preaching. In the same time period Jeremiah was going to and fro among the Evil Figs as a reprover, but Ezekiel couldn’t behave thus among the Good Figs. Secondarily, the vain hope and deceptive trust of the people was directly targeted by God – their trust in the City of Jerusalem & the Kingdom of Judah via Covenantal Ideals. Hence, the LORD prophetically unfolding the progressive judgments before they were manifest to confront the doomsday people to give God the glory. With this end goal, the horrors of unthinkable depravity amidst suffering was foretold so that when it happens they would remember the LORD (Ezek. 5:9). Thirdly, the primary provocation that infuriated God was identified. Unspeakable wrath was thereby justified! And, dare we commit this provocation in its New Testament form, my reader? Think of it… because judgment was compromised by Church Officers, God would do the judgment and NONE WOULD ESCAPE. Fourthly, and unexpectantly, an amendment was added to the repertoire of damnation constituted for the Evil Figs. See the for an in-depth and vital assessment of this series of messages.
In summation, God knows how to make an Evil Fig become good! And, thereby, God knows how to make a presently evil Good Fig become good! They, the Evil Figs, didn’t believe in a total annihilation of the Land and Cities of Judah (because of Covenantal Idealism; Ezek. 5:10-15), they certainly denied that they would eat their friends and families flesh for food (because of self-righteous Phariseeism; Ezek. 5:9-10), they were depicted to be steadfast in impenitence even after judgment came upon the Cities of Judah (those who escaped to the Mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys thought they would inhabit the Land and reckon Covenantal Ideals; Ezek. 6:1-7), in such and such ways and more they would try to strengthen themselves in their iniquities as the judgments incrementally persisted… but they will fail to do so in the latter end (Ezek. 7:13-18, 25-27) – therefore, at last, the devastated survivors of a radically decreased multitude will finally lose faith in idolatry and shun False Judaism, they will become repentant insomuch that when they are scattered into all nations, they are prophetically depicted as ones giving glory to God by vindicating divine justice (Ezek. 6:8-10)! Furthermore, because the Evil Figs were deceiving the Good Figs, Ezekiel was moved to prophesy of the progressive and eventually dismantled status of Covenantal Idealism and Unconditional Eternal Security, the erroneous faith of the Evil Figs. This would, in turn, redirect the eyes of the Good Figs away from the Evil Figs unto God. This was their only hope.
All the prophecies of Ezekiel from Ezekiel 1:2 to Ezekiel 7:27 can be deciphered into approximately 7 prophecies. They all took place subsequently starting from the day when Ezekiel 1:2 took place, one by one, unto any time prior to the 5th day of the 6th month of the 6th year of Zedekiah’s reign. Approximately 1 Year, 6 months, and 5 days passed. Note: the 7 prophecies of Ezekiel are undated in the midst of the year in which they were received and delivered; they are deciphered as individual prophecies according to the details which give reference to the close of a message and the opening of another, and or various references to places, events, and actions.
– At the 6th year of Zedekiah’s reign (the 5th day of the 6th month - Ezek. 8:1), Ezekiel is again arrested by the Spirit of Prophecy, and let it suffice the reader to know that there is no other Prophet in all of Biblical Church History that so clearly and intentionally illustrates the earth-changing event: the Glory of God departing from the Church! The stoutest men on earth would be breath-taken with astonishment if only they could understand the meaning of it all! But, as Daniel lamented of the all-too-often estate of things, one must confess: “to us belongeth confusion of face” (Dan. 9:7-8), and, “yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth” (Dan. 9:13)! May it never be of us, dear saints! We, above others, stand in need of understanding and truth because we may be that fateful generation upon whom the end of the World is come (1 Cor. 10:11)! Therefore, may God open up our minds to understand the scriptures (“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” – Luke 24:45)! See the .
All prophecies of Ezekiel from Ezekiel 8:1 to Ezekiel 19:14 took place subsequently starting from the 5th day of the 6th month of the 6th year and onward, one by one, unto any time prior to the 10th day of the 5th month of the 7th year (see Ezek. 8:1 & Ezek. 20:1). In approximately 1 year, Ezekiel received and delivered 9 prophecies while Jeremiah received and delivered only 1 prophecy. Note: the 9 prophecies of Ezekiel are undated in the midst of the year in which they were received and delivered; they are deciphered as individual prophecies according to the details which give reference to the close of a message and the opening of another, and or various references to places, events, and actions.
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: 8:1 & 20:1), Ezekiel was compelled into another prophetic demonstration and this time, once again, concerning the Prince and people of Judah, the Evil Figs (Ezek. 12:12-16). As thoroughly addressed heretofore, however, the Evil Figs were a prophetic target in an effort to win the heart of the Good Figs (Ezek. 12:2-3)! And, shockingly, God is hopeful for the Good Figs to come to repentance based upon what He was presently directing Ezekiel to do by the Spirit of Prophecy! This should give us some pause. This is an unprecedented and rare statement of hopefulness in the heart of God on behalf of the Good Figs who were, at present, still yet, far from good (“it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious House” – Ezek. 12:3)! This hopefulness on behalf of the wicked and impenitent Good Figs was both sincere fully informed. This hopefulness indicates a profoundly strong thrust to save the Good Figs through Ezekiel’s prophecy! This was Divine Thinking in Divine Sincerity, a thoughtfulness that is far from the pretentious or erroneous like the uninformed hopefulness of human kind. See the .
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: 8:1 & 20:1), Ezekiel was commanded to do another demonstration. After targeting the vain admiration of the people toward the Prince of Judah (Ezek. 12:1-16), and, behold, the Prince was led away captive to Babylon as a blind man (Ezekiel demonstrated), the LORD provided a prophetic demonstration to reveal the soon-to-be experience of “the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the Land of Israel” (Ezek. 12:19): the Evil Figs. The renowned Unconditional Eternal Security loyalists, who abode in the Kingdom of Judah, refused to admit that there was breach in National Security. Think of it! The targets of God’s eternal fury were believers in an un-breach-able security! The no-security people did only and always meditate on God’s mercy! Furthermore, in the same event or in a sequence of events with short periods in between them, three prophecies were given: “And the word of the LORD came unto me…” (Ezek. 12:21, 26, 13:1). See the .
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1), the Elders of Israel gathered to inquire of Ezekiel for the second time (Ezek. 14:1). The Lord’s message to the insincere inquirers is a dreadful one: the deception of God.
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1), an illustrative word from the Lord came to Ezekiel, conveying: the worthwhile burning of the unworthy people.
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1), another illustrative word from the Lord came to Ezekiel. This time, divine argumentation was employed to unveil the abominableness of condemned Jerusalem in this order: firstly, in reference to Jerusalem’s father and mother before salvation; secondarily, in reference to her redeemed estate after her adoption, rearing, and beautification unto God as a Bride; thirdly, in reference to her adultery and harlotry; fourthly, in reference to God’s jealousy and Jerusalem’s destruction. In summation, Jerusalem’s latter end is worse than all of her family members; most astonishingly, though, she suffers a greater condemnation than Sodom and Samaria!
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1), Ezekiel is given a time-sensitive message to the events unfolding in Jerusalem; mind you, these are events Ezekiel knows nothing about except by the inspiration of God because he is in the Land of Chaldea! It is revealed to Ezekiel that Zedekiah rebelled as a tributary to Babylon despite the covenant and oath he swore to the King of Babylon (Ezek. 17:13). He did this with hopes to be in league with Egypt who would supply him with horses and a great army, given the fact that the tributary money meant for Babylon was used to hire Egypt. In response to Zedekiah’s plan, the LORD asked: “Shall he prosper? Shall he escape that doeth such things? Or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered” (Ezek. 17:15)? Notably, this is the same question delivered to the second of three vines addressed in the prophecy, the LORD saying, “Shall is prosper” (Ezek. 17:9-10)?
A parable us put forth of two great eagles whose plantings became two vines (Ezek. 17:3-6, 7-8), and then a third planting which became a goodly tree (Ezek. 17:22-24). The first two plantings are illustrated and then an interpretation was given (Ezek. 17:11-21), with the third planting following. According to the interpretation, the first planting of “the highest branch of cedar” (which became a vine) was by the King of Babylon, the great eagle, who took the King and the Princes of Judah to Babylon in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Captivity (Ezek. 17:12-14). Notably, this vine (in contrast to the second vine) will prosper (as God has already testified in Jer. 29:4-7)! It was God’s will that the Jews of the Kingdom of Judah were taken to Babylon (the Good Figs) as a chastisement with a promise of a future restoration (Ezek. 17:22-24).
However, the Jews located in the Kingdom of Judah (the Evil Figs) rebelled against Babylon at the time of this prophecy (approximately the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign) in hopes to become a prosperous people and Kingdom through the nourishment of Egypt (Ezek. 17:7-8, 15, 17). Being in covenant with Egypt (the planting of the second vine), Judah hoped to be supplied with horses and much people for a mighty army (Ezek. 17:15, 17). Remember, though, to break with Babylon and join with Egypt, Zedekiah had to break the covenant he made with the King of Babylon (Ezek. 18:15-19). God took this personally, and rightfully so! This rebellion was not an offence against a mere man, the King of Babylon. It was rebellion against God who raised up the King of Babylon as a chastisement to His people (Jer. 25:9, 27:6, 43:10). The morality of Unconditional Eternal Security believers knows no bounds! In response to this, the LORD said, “I will bring him to Babylon and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against Me” (Ezek. 17:20). As for the rest, all the fugitives of this “rebellious house” of Judah remaining in Jerusalem will be slain by “the sword” or “scattered toward all winds”, and the LORD said, “ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it” (Ezek. 17:21).
Notably, the vine which represented the Good Figs would live and prosper (at least temporarily)! And, the vine which represented the Evil Figs would be uprooted and destroyed! They were, in other words, a Good Vine and an Evil Vine. Fearfully, though, through Unconditional Eternal Security the Jews in Jerusalem were claiming the promises of pastime in hopes that they could be reckoned for the present. In every other occasion, except the Great Tribulation, the promises of pastime were authoritatively God’s revealed will for the residue of Jews in Jerusalem… but not now! This was unseen time despite the “discerning eye” of false prophets who only and always preach the promises of God. Jesus said to the generation of the Great Tribulation in His day, “Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time” (Lk. 12:56)?
Having declared that the Jews (the Good Vine) with Babylon would prosper and the Jews with Egypt would be uprooted (the Evil Vine), the LORD illustrated the latter end: namely, the Jews returning to “the Mountain of the height of Israel” to become a “goodly cedar”, not merely a vine, “and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell” (Ezek. 17:24). Much of Ezekiel’s ministry has been a rescue attempt of the impenitent and wicked Good Figs, here called the Good Vine, and the LORD says that they will return to the Land of Israel in restoration and glory, but how? Will the LORD take the Jews of the Captivity (taken from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Captivities) as a whole and bring them to Zion (the Good Vine or Good Figs in their entirety)? No. the LORD promised to take only the elect of Babylon in the same way he took the elect from Judah and Jerusalem in the former 3 Captivities, saying, “I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it…” (Ezek. 17:22). Looking carefully, this is the same language used to describe the relocation and planting of the Jews in Babylon via the Captivities (Ezek. 17:3-6). Therefore, not all the Jews in Babylon would accompany the restoration that God promised to perform… only the hand-selected bunch would be. This people, above all others, will inherit the blessing God had intended for the Good Figs. This is a selected residue of the whole population of Jews who would be in Babylon, from Babylon-to-Israel just as they were hand-selected of old from Judah-to-Babylon. Triumphantly, the LORD said, “And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it” (Ezek. 17:24). Shocking.
Note: In response to this rebellion, Babylon would come and attack in a little under two years’ time and, after a long siege lasting approx. 3 years, Jerusalem would be successfully overthrown.
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1), a forcible and combative word is given to Ezekiel that answers the popular heresies that reign over the minds of the impenitent Jews. A snapshot into the situation can be observed and comprehensively studied in this order: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
– At the 6th year of the reign of Zedekiah, I conclude, because Jeremiah’s prophecy is chronologically complementary to Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ezek. 18:1-32), or vice versa (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1). Herein, Jeremiah forges the doctrine of “Jacob’s Trouble” as it relates to the eventual repentance of a remnant of God’s backslidden people. This experience is also known as the Wilderness Experience. Echoing Hosea, Jeremiah was careful to make mention of this experience because it is the beginning of what God was going to increasingly weave upon the tapestry as Ezekiel’s prophesying continues in this time period (culminating in Ezekiel 20:1-21:32).
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: see 8:1 & 20:1), a straightforward and plain-in-meaning parable was given as a lamentation for the princes of Jerusalem.
Approximately 1 Year transpired in the duration of the previous 10 prophecies…
– At the 7th year of the reign of Zedekiah (sometime between the 10th day of the 5th month of the 7th year to the 10th day of the 10th month of the 9th year; time references: see 20:1 & 24:1), Ezekiel was inspired by God to do judgment with unprecedented clarity (Ezek. 20:4). In doing so, one of the most essential messages to the Tribulation Period of this time was delivered, spoken, and written. Herein, the LORD endeavors to settle all controversies concerning the Majesty of the LORD in utilizing Babylon for the Tribulation Periods of the past, present, or future. This portion of prophecy is a guiding burden that is capable to lead the reader into a discovery of all the primary doctrines that have been forged in the Tribulation Period of old, things vitally relevant in how they correlate with the Trumpets of in the Tribulation Period of the future.
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 10th day of the 5th month of the 7th year to the 10th day of the 10th month of the 9th year; time references: see 20:1 & 24:1).
– Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 10th day of the 5th month of the 7th year to the 10th day of the 10th month of the 9th year; time references: see 20:1 & 24:1).