These notes were taught at my church on March 3, 2017, clarifying a number of time references we had seen in our study of Revelation.
First Half of the Tribulation
Rev 11:3: “they will prophesy for 1,260 days”
Dan 9:27: “he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week”
Second Half of the Tribulation
Rev 12:6: “the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days”
Dan 12:11: “And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days”
Dan 12:12: “Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days”
Rev 11:2: “they will trample the holy city for forty-two months”
Rev 13:5: “the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months”
Dan 7:25: “they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time”
Dan 12:7: “it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished”
Rev 12:14: But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
Half of the Week
Dan 9:27: “And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering”
Note: Jesus speaks of the “abomination of desolation,” which seems to be some sort of statue that the Antichrist sets up in the temple in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the Tribulation (cf. Matt 24:15), an image of the Antichrist that is Satanically empowered and worshipped as a result (cf. Rev 13:15).
Note: The fact that Daniel and John use the same terms for this time (days and times) without offering a figurative understanding of these times suggests that we should not understand them figuratively, recognizing that both Daniel and John have much symbolism otherwise in their visions. The fact that Jesus, Paul, and John elsewhere speak of a literal Antichrist within this future framework of timing supports this conclusion (cf. Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:8–10; 1 John 2:18).
In comparing Scripture to Scripture, the notes below explain other biblical conclusions that help to clarify and are in harmony with the seven-year timing of the Tribulation and its two primary divisions.
- Israel is distinct from the church, a fact that helps to understand numerous prophecies in the OT and NT.
God promised Abraham physical descendants who would become a great nation (Gen 12:2), the nation Israel. Though Israel is hardened from Christ for now, she is predestined by the grace of God to be saved in the future (Rom 11:2, 25–27). Just as unbelieving Israel was distinct from the church in the early church (e.g., Acts 3:12; 5:31), so she is today. She is also distinct from the ideal Israelite, Jesus Christ (cf. Isa 49:5).
- The Tribulation (used as a specific, eschatological term) refers to the final seven years of this present age.
The Tribulation is Daniel’s seventieth “seven,” a heptad of years (Dan 9:27). The first sixty-nine of a prophesied seventy sets of seven years (483 years) took place prior to the death of Christ, when “an anointed One shall be cut off and have nothing” (Dan 9:26; cf. 9:24–25). The final set of seven years is yet to come, a future time involving the Antichrist (cf. 2 Thess 2:8–10; 1 John 2:18). These 490 years are parallel to the years in which Israel forsook giving the land rest every seventh year, seventy years total (see 2 Chron 36:20–21 with Lev 25:1–7; Jer 25:8–14; Dan 9:1–2).
- There is biblical precedent for breaking a year into twelve months of thirty days each.
A biblical year can consist of 360 days, 12 months of 30 days each (cf. Gen 7:11, 24; 8:3–4). For the Tribulation, as seen above, this time of seven years (one week) is broken into two segments of three and one-half years (a time, times, and half a time), forty-two months, or 1,260 days. Though Daniel speaks of events that take place thirty and seventy-five days after the second 1,260 days of the Tribulation (cf. Dan 12:11–12 with Rev 12:6), his time markers simply speak of something after the Tribulation and do not contradict other passages dividing this period.