Category Archives: Chronology

Synchronism between Bible and Current Events

Although we regard the collapse of our modern civilization as inevitable, it is most likely impossible to determine when that will occur and what it will look like. Our modern world system is hugely complex and tightly coupled and the unfolding of events is very dependent on human decisions especially by key people. However, we may be able to set some date boundaries around future events if (1) the Bible is the word of God and if (2) it lays out a prophetic word picture of God’s plan, and if (3) we can interpret it correctly. Up until now the third point has been singularly unsuccessful especially when it comes to the timing of future events.

Perhaps the most serious example of difficulty in using the Bible to predict future events is seen in the huge diversity of ways the seventy sevens prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 has been used to calculate events in Jesus’ first coming. Careful examination of these calculations shows their methodology to be highly suspect. In particular they often assume what they are trying to prove and try to adjust the beginning and end points to fit this assumption. This arises because the anointed person in Daniel 9:25 and 26 is translated “Messiah” (=Jesus) in some English translations when the Hebrew word is less specific and so it needs to be proved that it is Jesus (it cannot be legitimately assumed). In one well known case, a calculation was made predicting Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem to the very day and for many years this was touted as the most amazing prophecy in the Bible until it was discovered that there was a simple oversight in the calculation arising because of confusion over the use of Julian and Gregorian calendars resulting in a 3 day predictive error.

As my just published book, “The Time is Near Volume 1” seeks to show among other things, the whole basis for Preterist and Futurist end time theologies is seriously to be questioned because of the way the Seventy Sevens prophecy is used as a foundation framework in those theologies. In my opinion, the root assumptions in these theologies, that so often go unquestioned, are seriously flawed and that is why future prophesies are so often wrong.

Aside from this, in my view the real situation is not as bad as it seems and we have to continue to search why specific events linked to periods of time are recorded in the Bible. We also have to recognize that Daniel did precisely predict the rise of key leaders, notably Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Antiochus the Great and others and he did predict significant details of emerging empires 100’s of years before they happened. Most encouraging is that research in the last 50 years continues to improve our understanding and knowledge of past events including their timing. In reality, today we are in a better position than ever, to interpret what the Bible says providing we are careful and rigorous in our approach.

To assist us in this we can learn from the attempts to match events in the Bible with extra-Biblical sources (synchronism’s) in order to accurately fix dates. Perhaps the oldest of these which has a large measure of concurrence is the lunar eclipse recorded by Ptolemy and the Babylonian Chronicles in the fifth year of Nabopolassor king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar’s father, which computer calculations can pinpoint accurately to 621 BC. Both the Canon of Ptolemy and the Babylonian Chronicles record that he reigned for 21 years which enables us to pinpoint the Battle of Carchemish to 605 BC (probably May or June) and the exact day of Nebuchadnezzar’s accession to the throne (30 August, 605 BC). Since Jeremiah 25:1 says that this was the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, a synchronism between the Bible and history can be made with a high degree of confidence. All significant historical events later than this are usually known accurately to within a year or two. Bible chronologists can work backwards from this date using numerical details in the Bible such as the lengths of the reigns of kings to pinpoint when earlier events occurred..

Most chronology recorded in our modern Bibles for the kings of Judah and Israel, is based on the work of Thiele which starts the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son in 931/930 BC. however, research continues to question his work especially the accuracy of the synchronism’s he made with the Assyrian records and his inference that the Southern kingdom dated the accession of most of their kings from the seventh month of the Hebrew year rather than the first. This can lead to the date of Rehoboam’s reign starting up to 45 years earlier in 975 BC, so that dates of Rehoboam’s reign near 975 BC are probably more accurate and the dates of the kings in many Bible Study notes could be in error by up to at least 30 years. Still, to date the reign of a king 3,000 years ago within 45 years is not bad. We can also date Abraham pretty accurately too. Here we should seriously question the skepticism of many about the Bible. In reality, it gives us a remarkably accurate, honest and relatively detailed history of a nation whose existence began some 4,000 years ago. No other ancient literature comes close to this achievement.

Moving forward from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s accession to the throne in 605 BC we can be confident that Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586 BC (some say 587 BC). Jeremiah’s prophecies in chapter 25 and 29 also tell us that after 70 years the servitude of the nations to Babylon would end and the exiled Jews would return to their land and start to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. History pinpoints the fall of Babylon to Cyrus the Great in 539 BC and the commencement of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem to about 535 BC, 70 years after Nebuchadnezzar came to the throne.

The book of Daniel gives us some remarkable prophetic detail of key events that will impact the Jews. In particular it speaks of Alexander the Great and the subsequent Ptolemaic and Seleucid kings whose campaigns trampled over the Promised Land until the Seleucid king Antiochus IV sought to destroy the Jews (we know about 164 BC). The subsequent uprising by the Jews which led to their survival is then briefly mentioned. This is then followed in Daniel 11:36 and onward with a description of the rise and fall of Rome beginning with the major military conflict of Antiochus III with Rome (Daniel 11:40) which history dates as occurring from 192-188 BC. It then gives details of the advance of Rome leading to the fall of Jerusalem (we know this occurred in 63 BC) and Egypt becoming a major resource of wealth for the Roman Empire (Daniel 11:43, dated 30 BC) among other things. Rome’s character is also accurately described in the military prowess of their infantry especially in siege warfare (Daniel 11:38) and their soldiers worship of a Persian god (see Daniel 11:39). The persecution of the Jews which led to their eventual scattering and total loss of control over Jerusalem (which we know finally occurred when the Muslims captured Jerusalem in 638 AD) is then described (Daniel 12:1 and 7). From these descriptions we get a sense of the degree of significance of historical events impacting Israel which lead to them being mentioned in the Bible. This gives us major clues as to events in recent history concerning the Jews whose significance might lead us to expect some entry in the Bible.

This has led us to conclude that in the modern era, there are three very important synchronism’s about which we can have a reasonable degree of confidence These are

1. The end of the 1260 days in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 which equates to the end of the period of time when the Jews were without a home and scattered all over the world and during which God’s people mourned and fasted for Jerusalem. We suggest this equates to the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948.

2. The end of the 42 months (which computes to 1279 days if converted to days and rounded up using the Julian Calendar in use by the Roman Empire) in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5. This equates to the period of time when Jerusalem was under the authority of non-Jewish people’s which ended historically in 1967 with the outcome of the famous six day war.

3. Is it then coincidence that if you regard the days as years, both these periods of time begin in the same year and that year is 688 AD when the “Dome of the Rock” was bring constructed in Jerusalem and probably the year when that construction began? For those that question there is substantial evidence in the Bible of equating the Hebrew word for day with years. There are no less than 6 explicit examples when this is being done.

In further support of these synchronism’s we can provide extensive subjective reasons based on the correspondence between many Biblical prophecies with the current situation in the Middle East. It is beyond the scope of this post to go into that here. Just let me say that the ongoing pressure on the nation of Israel and negotiations that focus on the nation of Israel returning to its 1967 borders highlights the huge significance of the outcome of the six day war in modern Jewish history. In my opinion, when compared with significant events of Jewish history in Daniel, it has sufficient stature so that it is very likely to be included in Biblical prophecies. Both Jesus in Luke 21:24 and John in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 pointed to a specific time when full governmental authority over Jerusalem would be restored to the Jews.

Let me also add that it is most unreasonable for literal interpretations of the 1260 days and 42 months to claim they are the same length of time. Their use in Revelation has very distinct contexts and a 360 day year had been replaced by a more accurate calendar by all nations by the time of Daniel all of which point to a year of around 365 days.

If this analysis is correct, then we can pinpoint where we are today with respect to prophecies in the book of Revelation. I would suggest somewhere in Revelation 11:3-6 since we are after the end of the 42 months, but the witness of the church has not finished. Somewhere approaching Revelation 12:13-16, because Satan is still trying to destroy the Jews. Somewhere around Revelation 13:6-7a, because this is after the end of the 42 months and the opposition to the church is increasing.

If you accept these synchronism’s then it sheds a very different light on the chronology of Revelation than most scholars promote, while retaining a very literal interpretation. This is very evident in Revelation 11. Firstly, the two witnesses can no longer be individuals for the period of their prophetic ministry exceeds 1,000 years. Secondly, there is an unspecified period of time between the end of the 1,260 days and the completion of the prophetic ministry of the two witnesses referred to in Revelation 11:7.

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The Structure is Key Part 2

This is the second of what was going to be six posts on the structure of the book of Daniel and Revelation and continues the post written for Christians interested in end times theology.

Instead of completing this content as six separate posts, the whole content is now available as a single PDF file on the download page of this website. The reason for this change is its technical complexity and some difficulties in formatting some of its content.

Shaking the Foundations

This is another post written for Christians who are interested in the end times. If you accept what is written here it will revolutionise your end time convictions.

For all published end time theologies up until now, perhaps the most crucial foundation comes from the interpretation of the seventy sevens prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27. Since 2006 I have had the conviction that this is incorrect; instead the key that unlocks our end time theology is in Daniel’s final vision from Daniel 11:36-12:13, the passage that has been a mystery to us all throughout the church age.

I suggest that if we think big picture, we will see that the seventy sevens prophecy cannot fulfil the foundational role that has been given to it and will continue to cause confusion as long as we try to give it this role. The Hebrew text of Daniel 9:24-27 is arguably one of the most ambiguous (if not the most ambiguous) passages in the Bible. This ambiguity is reflected in the differences in our English translations and in the huge number of different interpretations it has been given which correlate with the huge number of end time theologies. Most extraordinary is the extent to which each of us have held onto our particular view so strongly given the rather obvious ambiguity that is present.

Related to this and just as notable are the large number of commentaries on the book of Revelation which say little about their interpretation of the book of Daniel even though the bonding between these two books is so critical and the interpretation given is so tightly coupled to it.

Having said this, let’s now consider Daniel’s final vision to see why it can fulfil the role that the seventy sevens prophecy never could.

Firstly, it is written as a prophetic, historical narrative which is so accurate that many scholars believe it was written after the events described. It is therefore not written in hard to interpret symbolic, apocalyptic language and there are only small variations of interpretation right up until Daniel 11:35. This vision is not open to many plausible interpretations depending on interpretation principles as is the case with the other visions in Daniel and most of Revelation.

Second we note that the man in linen “came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come” (see Daniel 10:14). It is written so Daniel can understand what will happen to his people in the future. We should be able to as well and especially because we live after most of the history has already occurred.

Third, we note that it quickly surveys the period of the Persian Empire and then up to verse 35 covers in greater detail the period of the Greek Empire describing the various Ptolemaic kings (kings of the south) and Seleucid kings (kings of the north) which impacted Daniel’s people up until the Jews regained authority over Jerusalem by defeating the armies of Antiochus IV in 164 BC.

So in line with the purpose of this vision and the flow of the continuation of history our natural expectation of the next passage, Daniel 11:36-12:13, is that it would describe the rise and fall of the next empire to occupy Jerusalem, that is Rome. And that is precisely what it does. After searching through many books on Daniel, I was totally amazed that this option has never even been considered in the modern era and very rarely before that.

The criteria that we have applied to test this interpretation is that it must match history at least as well as the earlier description of the Greek Empire. This it does very well. The full detail of this is in a file available for download, but to give you a taste of this note the following

1. The king in Daniel 11:36 is the government of Rome. Daniel 11:36-39 describes the character of Rome in a remarkably elegant and precisely accurate way.

2. The rise and fall of the Empire is covered in Daniel 11:40-45. It is Jerusalem centric and only describes the history of Rome in Daniel’s known world which extends West to East from Greece to Persia and North to South from Turkey to the Sudan.

3. The history begins with Rome’s entry into the region with its war with the Seleucid Empire under Antiochus III. We can identify it with confidence because Antiochus III was the only major force outside of Rome which had a large navy and they engaged Rome in battle with navy and army from 192-188 BC. History tells us that Ptolemy V, the king of the south at that time, called to Rome for help against the king if the north because he was trying to capture land in the Aegean belonging to the Ptolemaic Kingdom. To accept this interpretation we have to realise that our English translators did not know the conflict that was being described and so assumed that the “king” fought against the “king of the south”, however the Hebrew text only says that the king engaged in battle with him which could equally be translated to mean that they fought on the same side against the king of the north.

4. With this interpretation of Daniel 11:40, Daniel’s perspective is that the “time of the end” starts with the Roman Empire. We must understand the book of Daniel from Daniel’s perspective for which these events are far in the future, not from our perspective today.

5. History tells us that after capturing Jerusalem in 63 BC, the Romans advanced against Petra, the capital of the Nabateans who were an Arab people who now occupied the region previously comprising Edom, Moab and Ammon in Daniel’s time. Rome accepted a bribe of 300 talents to withdraw from their attack and so fulfilled the prophecy in Daniel 11:41 precisely.

6. Daniel 11:44 describes in a very brief way the many battles Rome had to defend its Eastern and Northern provinces until it was eventually defeated by the northern tribes.

7. Daniel 12:1-4 gives us a description of the Jews persecution under Rome which is described as the worst until then. In allusion to these verses, Jesus says that the persecution of the Jews just before His return will be the worst until then, but will never be repeated (Matthew 24:21). There is a clue here that Jesus would have understood Daniel 12:1-4 as persecution by Rome, not at the end of the age.

These seven points give a taste of why this interpretation is so strong. In fact, every phrase can be shown to match history very well. Now let us see how this enables us to compute the length of the time, times and half a time.

Daniel 12:6-7 NIV
6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”
7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”

The question asked by the angel assumes that the start time for the period is Daniel’s now, that is the third year of Cyrus, about 535 BC. That would be the natural way to understand the question; why many assume it starts with the king in Daniel 11:36 makes little sense. The end point is when the power of the Jews is finally broken. In the context of this prophecy, this occurred when the Jews were scattered all over the Empire and lost control of Jerusalem. History reveals that after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD they made about 10 attempts to rebuild it. The last one was in cooperation with the Muslims about 638 AD when they captured Jerusalem. The final “nail in the coffin” which eliminated all possibility of rebuilding the temple was the construction of the “Dome of the Rock” on the Temple Mount which began in 688 AD. This matches the end of the prophecy described in Daniel 12:11. Thus the prophecies of the book of Daniel, whose first was given to Nebuchadnezzar in his second year of reign (603 BC) ends in 688 AD after 1290 years. The time, times and half a time which begins in 535 BC ends in 688 BC after 1222 years. This is very different from the 3½ years normally assumed, but is far more robust in its derivation.

It is but a short step from here to arrive at the conclusion that the little horn in Daniel 7 must be Muhammed, the founder and prophet of Islam.

If we know the book of Daniel, we will quickly make a connection between the time, times and half a time in Daniel 12:7 with the one in Daniel 7:25. The results are even more dramatic. If the king in Daniel 11:36 is Rome, we can be sure that the four empires described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 and the vision in Daniel 7 are the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. Since the little horn in Daniel 7:8 who emerges from the Roman Empire also lasts for a time, times and half a time (TT½) as explained in Daniel 7:25 it cannot be the same period of time, it must be contiguous with the one in Daniel 12:7 and follow after it. When joined together they make a single longer period of seven, starting in 535 BC and still continuing today and with an abomination that causes desolation in the middle (Daniel 12:11-12).

The total period of time from these two TT½ must exceed 2,500 years as the end of the age has not yet come.

The astute student of the word of God will also see that the two TT½’s matches the final seven in Daniel 9:26-27. It contains two contiguous three and one halves with an “abomination that causes desolation” in the middle. However, this is not seven years, but more than 2,500 years.

All of Daniel’s visions focus on God’s people and centre on Jerusalem. The four empires he describes in Daniel 2 and 7 are all empires which had authority over Jerusalem and interestingly each of the founders of these empires is explicitly identified. So the question must be asked, which empire has controlled Jerusalem for most of the time after the Roman Empire and who was its founder?. The answer is clear, the Islamic kingdom. The little horn in Daniel 7 must therefore be Muhammad, the prophet and founder of the Islamic kingdom.

The revived Roman Empire promoted by some must be the Islamic Kingdom

The Three and a Half Years Part 2

This post examines the second crucial, fundamental assumption which underpins much end time theology. It is particularly targeted to Christians with an interest in end times theology. This post examines the basis for concluding that the time, times and half a time in Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14 is 3½ years. It is expected that the conclusions will generate some strong resistance, but I implore you to examine the interpretation very carefully so that we engage in fruitful debate at the deepest level in order to establish the truth.

What is the reason for taking the time, times and half a time (in future abbreviated TT½) in Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14 as 3½ years? We believe that this assumption cannot be adequately supported from the Bible and it is a (perhaps the) primary reason for end time theological confusion.

We discover that it relies on a chain of linked time periods incorporating the 42 months in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5, the 1260 days in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6, the TT½ in Revelation 12:14, the two TT½ in Daniel 7:25 and 12:7 and the first or second half of the final seven in Daniel 9:27. The assumed common identity and literalness of these time periods is used to derive the conclusion that this length is 3½ years. For many, this is also the primary basis through which the prophecies in the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation are linked which leads to specific, crucial time elements being imparted to the book of Revelation.

Since the interpretation of this time chain and its validity is so crucial to a large percentage of end time views, it is vital that it is very carefully and thoroughly checked. From an analysis of most commentaries, this is rarely if ever done and is therefore a major hermeneutical weakness in these works. Usually, the time chain is only cursorily checked and few of the links are thoroughly examined. Many just assume that the work of a previous scholar is valid and consequently they rarely check the assumption thoroughly for themselves.

Let’s draw a diagram of this time chain whose sequence reflects the usual way in which the links are inferred. The biblical references are shown underneath. The abbreviations are D = Daniel, R = Revelation, d = days, m = months, y = years and TT½ is the time, times and half a time.

TT½ -> 1260d -> 1260d –> 42m (=3½y) -> 42m -> TT½ -> TT½ -> 3½y
R12:14-> R12:6-> R11:3-> R11:2-> R13:5-> D7:25-> D12:7-> D9:27

The way this typically works is that firstly, the assumed common identity of Revelation 12:14 and 12:6 is used to establish that the TT½ is 1260 days. Then secondly, it is assumed that the two periods of 1260 days are the same. Then thirdly, the assumed common identity of the 42 months and the 1260 days in Revelation 11:2 and 3 is used to establish that the 1260 days is 3½ years. Fourthly, it is assumed that the 42 months in Revelation 13:5 must be this same period of time as the 42 months in Revelation 11:2 and therefore 3½ years as well. Fifthly, it is assumed that the TT½’s in Revelation and Daniel are all the same period of time which must then be 3½ years in length. Finally, this is equated to the (usually) final 3½ years in the final seven of the seventy sevens prophecy whose length of time was independently asserted from the interpretation of that prophecy (this was examined in Part 1 of this post).

Notice how this chain has 8 nodes and 7 links. If at any point the chain should be broken through an invalid assumption or the chain weakened through an unproven or doubtful assumption, then the overall interpretation will be damaged. In this way, the time chain should be seen to be fragile. Note that not all end time interpretations necessarily require all the 8 nodes.

Let us now examine these assumptions.

Firstly, is the 1260 days in Revelation 12:6 the same period of time as the TT½ in Revelation 12:14?

In Revelation 12:6 the woman flees, but why she flees is not explained and the focus of verse 6 is on the woman being “taken care of”. The Greek word used which occurs eight times focuses on the idea of feeding, nourishing and bringing up, but excludes the thought of protection from an enemy. Thus the focus of the 1260 days is nurture, not protection.

There are important similarities between the description of the woman fleeing into the wilderness to a place prepared for her and being nourished there in Revelation 12:6 and 12:14. For this reason, many scholars take the 1260 days and the TT½ as the same period of time. However, there are also important differences in the second passage reflected in all of Revelation 12;13-16 and these must be taken into account when making this assessment. Overall, it is apparent that the focus of the first passage is on nurture in the wilderness, whereas the focus in the second is protection from the direct attacks of the dragon and the indirect attacks of the serpent.

In Revelation 12:13, the woman is pursued, and by implication persecuted, by the dragon with the clear intention of destroying her. This would explain why she flees in Revelation 12:6. Then we are told in Revelation 12:14 that the woman is given the two wings of a great eagle and so is given help in her flight whereas in Revelation 12:6 no help is identified. Next, in Revelation 12:14 we are informed that she is carried to a place of refuge in the wilderness where she will be taken care of for a period of TT½. An important difference between Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 12:14 is that this place in the wilderness is “out of sight of the serpent”. It is quite curious that the identity of the woman’s aggressor changes from the “dragon” to the “serpent” although the same person is clearly in mind. Then we see that because the woman is out of sight, the serpent has to adopt a different “catch all” strategy to attack the woman as direct attack is not possible. So the serpent pours rivers of water out of his mouth to sweep her away. To understand this we need to recall the rivers of living water that flow from God’s throne as a picture of the work of the Holy Spirit. Here, the serpent’s counterfeit spiritual attack is designed as a catch all strategy to destroy the woman, much like Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus by killing all the babies less than two years old. The reason this attack fails is that “the earth swallowed the river”. We need to consider the vision picture here and we suggest that the reason the attack fails is that the “woman” is scattered over a large region implying that the woman is symbolic of a large group of people not a single individual.

The change of identity of Satan from being a “dragon” to be being a “serpent” reflects the different strategy needed to destroy the woman. As a dragon, the attack is direct and violent; as a serpent, the attack is subtle and deceptive.

So the focus on Revelation 12:13-16 is on Satan’s attempts to destroy the woman and the protection given to save her in the wilderness. This contrasts with Revelation 12:6 where the focus is on nourishing the woman in the wilderness. So what we must observe is that the period of 1260 days is related to the nourishment given to the woman at her location in the wilderness, whereas the TT½ is related to the protection given to the woman in the wilderness. The role of nourishment for 1260 days is replaced by the role of protection for a period of TT½.

When we examine the TT½ in Daniel 7:25 we see that the aggression of the little horn continues right up until the end of the age and so the protection of the woman must continue right up to the end as well. In contrast, when we examine the 1260 days in Revelation 11 it becomes apparent that there are events that follow after the end of the 1260 days before the end of the age. The TT½ must therefore be longer than the 1260 days. Although some may argue that the word translated “taken care of” in Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 12:14 means the same and therefore implies the period of time is the same length, a better explanation is provided if we include the wider context of Revelation 11 and Daniel 7 and recognise that the TT½ starts at the same time, but extends beyond the end of the 1260 days right to the end of the age.

Secondly, why does John make a distinction between the 1260 days and the 42 months?

This question is especially relevant if both are the same period of time. In my recollection, this question has not been examined, but the answer is obvious from the text. The 42 months is a period when Jerusalem is under the authority of her people’s enemies. The 1260 days is a period when the two witnesses are prophesying clothed in sackcloth and the woman has fled into the wilderness and so does not have a home so it has to do with actions of God’s people. Given that the two contexts are different, the onus is on the scholar to prove that they are the same; it cannot be assumed.

This conclusion is further reinforced when we recognise that under the Julian Calendar that was in use in John’s days, 42 months is equivalent to 1279 days if rounded up. If these periods are interpreted literally, they cannot be the same either. To overcome this, it is often taken that the 1260 days is 3½ years of 360 days (sometimes called a prophetic year) which can be shown to be valid in the days of Noah and probably in the days of Moses too. However, by the time of Daniel all countries in Mesopotamia were using calendars that recognised that a year was longer than 360 days. It is therefore highly doubtful that a 360 day year can be used literally although it might be used symbolically.

Thirdly, are the two periods of 1260 days the same?

Since the contexts of the two uses of this period of time are very similar, it is reasonable to assume that they are the same.

Fourthly, are the two periods of 42 months the same?

Since the contexts of the two uses of this period of time are very similar, it is reasonable to assume that they are the same.

Fifthly, is the 1260 days in Revelation 11:3 the same period of time as the 42 months in Revelation 11:2?

Since the descriptions are different, the contexts are different and the numbers expressing the length of time are different, the most natural assumption is to assume they are different. Although the two lengths are nearly the same, they are literally about 19 days different. A full explanation of this difference is necessary to be sure of any conclusion that we arrive at. This has rarely, if ever been done.

Our conviction is that the only possible conclusion that unifies the whole word of God is that these two periods are 3½ years symbolically, but something else literally.

Sixthly, are all the periods of TT½ the same?

If we allow the presence of the same numbers to determine our end time theology, this is like the “tail wagging the dog”. The presence of the same phrase does not prove they are the same period of time especially if the phrase is symbolic and since the context surrounding each use is so different, we need to have solid grounds for saying they are the same. To my knowledge, this has not been done.

The weight of textual evidence using sound interpretation principles strongly suggests that the TT½ in Daniel 12:7 begins at the time Daniel received this final vision, that is in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia which is about 535 BC. The question that is asked in Daniel 12:6 is “How long shall it be until the end of these wonders?”. The normal, natural meaning of this question is that the starting time for the period is Daniel’s now which is the third year of Cyrus, not when the king appears on the scene in Daniel 11:36.

It also strongly suggests that the TT½ in Daniel 7:25 begins when the little horn emerges out of Rome. Whatever interpretation you give to the little horn, the two TT½ cannot be the same. To conclude that the two TT½ are the same the validity of the time chain must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Seventhly, is the final period of seven in the seventy sevens prophecy a period of seven years so that the events that occur in the middle of that seven split it into two periods of 3½ years?

The argument given in Part 1 of this post strongly suggest that the periods of seven are either symbolic or determined from the context of the interpretation. We cannot without further evidence conclude that the final seven is a period of seven years.

Many other scholars, who interpret Revelation symbolically, still see these time periods as being the same length of time, but frequently interpret the period to be actually the whole or most of the church age. However, these scholars rarely debate the reason why John uses 1260 days in one place, 42 months in another and why Daniel and John use a time, times and half a time. If indeed John has written under the inspiration of the Lord with precision, the failure to explain these differences is a weakness in the interpretation.

In conclusion, it is very doubtful that we can validly conclude from intensive Bible study that the periods of seven in the seventy sevens prophecy are periods of years and the time, times and half a time is 3½ years. This means that substantial components of most end time theologies are in error and most certainly cannot be asserted with any degree of confidence. Accepting this conclusion will most definitely lead to the removal of much confusion and steer us to a much more accurate end time theology.

I do expect some strong emotional reactions to what has been written here. From my perspective what has been written is motivated by a strong desire to know God and a love for the truth reflected in my convictions that the word of God is accurate. I believe the truth is knowable so that the end time confusion reflects the fact that up until now there is so much confusion. Current end time theologies must to some extent be in error, because they neither unify the word of God nor do they bring unity to the world wide church.