posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 09:18 AM
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In this series, I've been putting together my own version of a "timeline" of Revelation events.
But I made no attempt whatever to tie them in with the current calendar.
I haven't been trying to calculate exactly when the times of "tribulation" might start or finish.
There are reasons for this.
In the first place, Jesus himself refused to give any indication of time. He told his disciples that it was "not for them to know" the times which
the Father had set. Why on earth should we think that we're entitled to acquire knowledge which they weren't allowed to know? But everybody knows
There's also the pragmatic point, that so many calculations have been made and proved wrong in the past.
I'm also convinced that trying to calculate exact intervals of years from one event to another is a waste of time, because this is not the way God
works. There is no reason to think that God lays out events at exact time-intervals, so there is no point in trying to second-guess his
As a test case, let's take the "seventy years" predicted by Jeremiah.
Jeremiah told Jerusalem that "these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jeremiah ch25 v11), that God would punish Babylon "when
seventy years are completed" (ch25 v12), and that he would bring the exiles back from Babylon "when seventy years are completed for Babylon" (ch29
So if God is working with exact time-intervals, there should be seventy years between the destruction of Jerusalem and the fall of Babylon.
But the records of history tell us that the respective dates were 587 B.C. and 539 B.C. This is not an exact seventy year interval.
The explanation is probably that "seventy" is a symbolic number, one that keeps appearing in the Bible and Jewish tradition. It combines "7", the
number which points us towards God, with "10", the number which points towards completeness or perfection. So "seventy years" means "the complete
period which God has assigned".
And I suspect that exact calculations based on the implied "seven years" of Daniel ch9 v27 will go astray for exactly the same reason. We need to
recognise how often numbers are part of the symbolism,
The purpose of Revelation is the building of faith, in order to motivate the "patient endurance of the saints".
But date-calculation may be a symptom of impatience, an unconscious attempt to reduce the necessity of endurance.
And a failed date-calculation, after the event can be a very effective killer of faith.
Faith would be patient and willing to wait for God to do things in his own time.