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Time, Times, and Half a Time?

One of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted time periods to be found in scripture is the time, times and half a time which is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation:

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Dan 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

The word time in this context refers to a period of a year. In the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, because of his pride, he went crazy for seven years and ate grass as an ox-

Dan 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

So on a literal level, time, times and half a time means time (1 year), times (2 years) and half a time (1/2 year) or 3 1/2 years. Most people who study Bible prophecy stop at this point and accept the 3 1/2 years only at face value. The period that this is generally attributed to by most people, is the last half of the 70th week of Daniel and the reign of the AntiChrist, which is proposed to be fulfilled at some time in the future.

A Day Equals One Year

The 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9:24, however, establishes a principle related to prophetic time that few completely understand. Virtually everyone acknowledges that the 70 weeks are not literally 70 weeks, but rather 70 weeks of years, or 490 years. The principle is that in Bible prophecy, you must substitute a period of a year in place of a day. This is the day=year principle. This equation is clearly established in scripture-

Num 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

In this verse, a relationship between day and year is clear, each day will equate to a literal year. For the forty days that Israel spied in Canaan in unbelief, they would be punished by wandering forty years in the desert.

Ezek 4:6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

Here again, the equation is stated quite openly, a prophetic day represents a literal year. So to return to the 70 weeks of Daniel, you must first determine the number of days represented. Seventy weeks is 70 x 7 or 490 days, which will then equate to a literal 490 years in the fulfillment of the prophecy.

The Lunar Calendar

So now to apply this formula to the 3 1/2 times we must first establish just exactly how many days this represents. The Jews did not use a solar calendar as we do today, they used instead a lunar calendar, as indicated in Psalms-

Psa 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

The length of the lunar month can be determined from Genesis-

Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Gen 7:24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

Gen 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

Note that the there were exactly 5 months from the point where the flood began and the ark came to rest on Ararat, and that this was a period of 150 days. This demonstrates that the lunar calendar set forth in the Bible has a 30 day month, therefore the year is counted as 360 days. (This 360 day lunar year also accounts for the reason that there are 360 degrees in the compass).

The 1260 Days

Returning to the 3 1/2 times, which we now know represents 3 1/2 lunar years of 360 days each, using the same methodology as is used for the 70 weeks of Daniel we calculate it to actually represent 1260 literal years. So, Time, Times and half a Time in prophecy is really 1260 years! To confirm this formula we need only to look to the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation-

Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Here the woman represents the faithful church, who flees into the wilderness for 1260 days. Again using the day=year formula, this actually speaks of 1260 years that the church would be persecuted. Now look at this next verse from the same chapter-

Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Here the exact same time of persecution is referred to as 3 1/2 times, again meaning the same period of 1260 days/years as found in verse 6. In the book of Daniel, this exact same period of persecution in church history is found-

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

This verse in context is referring to a period of time that the little horn or AntiChrist will persecute the true believers or true church, again for 1260 years. The same is true for this next verse-

Dan 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

The Two Witnesses

The exact same 1260 years is found in Revelation chapter 11-

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

The commonly accepted interpretation of the verse is that the two witnesses are real prophets, perhaps Moses and Elijah. When you understand that the time period does not represent 1260 literal days, but rather 1260 years, it can be seen that it cannot be referring to real people as witnesses. One clue is in the next verse-

Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The two witnesses are also called two olive trees standing before God. This links us to-

Zec 4:2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
Zec 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zec 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?

Zechariah sees a candlestick and two olive trees and asks what they are. Note the answer-

Zec 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

The candlestick and two olive trees are the word of the Lord! So the language used in Revelation 11:4 is prophetic and symbolic, the two witnesses actually representing the word of God, the Old and New Testament, that would "prophesy in sackcloth" or be suppressed during the very same 1260 years of persecution we are considering.

The 42 Months

This same period of persecution is found in the following verses-

Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Again as in Rev 12, we have a strong relationship between this 42 months of verse 2 and the 1260 days of Rev 11: 3. Forty two months calculates as 42 x 30 (30 days in a lunar month) which equals 1260 days/years. This verse is saying that the Gentiles or unbelievers would trample the people of God (the holy city) for 1260 years. Again this same time period of 42 months is found in Revelation 13-

Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

This passage speaks of the great and terrible beast from the sea, which actually is the same as the little horn of Daniel, which is to say the AntiChrist power that would persecute the people of God for 1260 years.

So, here is a complete listing of the passages that deal with the same 1260 year time period of persecution-

If you know much about what is called the Dark Ages, then you probably know who this persecuting power is already. So now, to find out exactly when this 1260 years is fulfilled, and the real identity of the little horn and beast from the sea in Revelation that persecuted God's people for those 1260 years, please continue to The Red Dragon and Rome, or

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