posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 05:29 PM
I want to look at the relationship between two periods of time in Biblical prophecy.
One is the “week” which appears in Daniel ch9 v27 as the period when “the prince who is to come” will “make a strong covenant with many”.
Strictly speaking, this will be “a week of years”, the last in the sequence of “seventy weeks of years”
The other is the “one hour”, which appears in Revelation ch17 v12 as the period when the Beast and the ten kings hold authority.
Are they supposed to be measurements on the same scale? In that case we would have to understand the “hour” as a fragment of the “week”, in
proportion, and I’ve seen calculations made on that basis. However, I don’t think that’s the right way to treat them.
My own approach has a different starting-point.
In Daniel, the power of the great hostile king lasts for one week.
In Revelation, the power of the great hostile king lasts for one hour.
In studying the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, we take it for granted that they’re both talking about the same ruler.
It seems to me, then, that “one week” and “one hour” must be understood as two alternative labels for the same period of time.
In support of this claim, I hope to demonstrate that both periods have the same structure.
Daniel’s “week” is clearly divided into two portions. The king’s attack on the sacrifice and offerings occupies half a week. Presumably the
first half of the week has been more peaceful, because the king has been holding back
Is there any evidence that Revelation’s “hour” is divided into two portions? Indeed there is. We are told in ch8 v1 that there was silence in
heaven for “half an hour”.
To me, it seems glaringly obvious that if Revelation speaks of “half an hour” in one place, and “one hour” in another place, the first period
is meant to be understood as half the second period.
There’s a clue to the character of this “half an hour” in the phrase “silence in heaven”. It is noticeable, in Revelation, that when God’s
wrath is intervening upon the earth, it tends to be accompanied by things like “peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lighting and earthquakes”,
which is what we find when the “silence” is brought to an end in v5 of the same chapter. In short, God’s wrath on earth is accompanied by
noise in heaven. So I take the “silence” to be an oblique way of indicating that this is a period when God is not intervening in
wrath upon the earth. This implies that the “half an hour” corresponds with the more peaceful first half of the “week”. And therefore
represents the first half of the “hour”.
So there are signs of a similarity of structure, which can now be examined more closely.
What do we know of the first half of the “week”?
We do know of one important feature which covers the whole of the” week” (and therefore goes back to the beginning of it).
We are told that the king “shall make a strong covenant with many”.
Now covenants in the Old Testament, and in the secular history of the same period, are normally about the sealing of a one-to-one relationship between
two parties, whether they are equals, as in the case of. Abraham and Abimelech, or whether one is subordinate to another, as when a great king
covenants with a client king, or the Biblical God covenants with the people Israel. So I am convinced that the phrase in Daniel does not mean the king
makes a single covenant with a large number of people (such as the “peace treaty” proposed by some theorists). I think it means, rather, that he
makes a large number of one-to-one covenants, thus building up a network of friends.
We find in Revelation ch17 v13 that the ten kings “give over their power and authority to the Beast”. I believe this is describing the same event
as “makes a strong covenant with many”; it is the Revelation equivalent of that phrase. In other words, the Beast does not rule the whole world
directly, but dominates much of it through a network of client rulers.
Meanwhile the half-hour of “silence in heaven” also seems to cover the period when the servants of God are being “sealed”. God is making his
own preparations and building up his own network.
If the period has two halves, there must be a time of transition between them. In Daniel, this appears to be marked by the moment when the king stops
the sacrifice and offerings, setting in motion the “war” phase which occupies the second half-week. We’re not told about the equivalent moment
in Revelation, although it’s implied by the introduction of the persecution theme. However, we are certainly told what God does to mark the
transition. Responding to the prayers of the saints, he sends out the angels with trumpets, representing his reaction to what the Beast is doing.
Finally, the second half-week in Daniel is the period when the sacrifice has ceased, and “upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes
desolate”. This is the time when God’s people, as described in ch11 vv31-35, are falling “by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder”, and
are also being tempted to fall away from their God. This period is described by the angel in ch12 as “a time, two times, and half a time”.
Revelation has various references to different versions of that same “half-week”.
Thus the Beast is allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months (three and a half years). The nations are “trampling over the holy city” for
the same period.
The “two witnesses” are giving their testimony for one thousand, two hundred and sixty days, which is forty-two months, taken at thirty days a
Their dead bodies are left in the open for three and a half days. I make that half a week.
Finally the “woman” who represents God’s people is nourished in the wilderness for a period which is described both as one thousand, two hundred
and sixty days, and also as “a time, two times, and half a time”.
Thus all these events in Revelation are correlated with the half-week in Daniel.
So Daniel and Revelation give similar descriptions of the reign of the hostile ruler.
On the one hand, the prince rules for “one week”, divided into a peaceful first half and a war-troubled second half.
On the other hand, the Beast rules for “one hour”, divided into a peaceful first half and a war-troubled second half.
The obvious conclusion is that the “one week” and the “one hour” are two different labels for the same thing.