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Explanation of The Day For A Year Principle For The 1260 Days

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1260 Days, 3 - 1/2 times, or 42 months Equals 1260 Years - Reasonable Evidence This is True

The Bible speaks of a prophetic time as a time, times, and half a time (or a dividing of time to mean "half a time").  Here are the texts in Daniel and Revelation that mention the phrase "time, times, and half a time (or a dividing of time)", the number 42 months, or the number 1260:

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 swore by him that liveth forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Note that Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7 make "the dividing of time" equal to half a time.

Daniel uses the term time, times and the dividing of time, note that it is in the explanation of the vision with symbolic beasts for nations.  Since the beasts are symbolic, it makes sense that time here is also representative or symbolic of time.  This should be true even though it speaks directly about a part of the fourth great beast of Daniel 7, the talking horn.  In other words, the beasts are symbolic, and any parts of the beast such as the heads and horns are symbolic, so time should also be symbolic.  In Revelation, note that Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 12:14 make the term time, times, and half a time equal to 1260 days.  Since the term day is clearly symbolic of literal time and we are talking about the time for which a power that speaks against God would have power, it would make sense that each day represents a year. 

If you say it represents a literal day, then you have to search through history from the time shortly after Rome to find a power that did some great deeds against God for 1260 days and meets all the other specifications for this power.  In addittion, the Roman emperors do not count because they existed before Rome ended, but this power occurred after Rome ended, not before.  You also have to show that it would be literal time when the vision concerning the beasts themselves is symbolic and historical experience shows that the actual time of existence of these beasts is hundreds of years. Remember that Rome itself existed as an empire from 168 B.C. to 476 A.D. 

You cannot logically break off the 1260 years of the talking horn and move it somewhere else in history.  That would violate the evidence of what the rules governing interpretation shows us.  Remember the Miller Principle - the body of a beast represents an initial kingdom, if there are multiple heads, they represent a subsequent breakup of the initial kingdom, and if there are multiple horns, these represent a still later breakup of whatever is left of the initial kingdom.  These are always contiguous kingdoms from the body to the heads to the horns, just as the head connects to the body of an animal, and the horns connect to the head.  One cannot move the 1260 years somewhere else in history.  Each of the periods that the body, the head, and the horns represent continues from the previous period.

If a day represents a month, then we must find something that did the things required of it for 1260 months. Something or someone for which nothing exist that meets the requirements. 

In conclusion, it is more reasonable to say that a day represents a year because of the symbolic nature of the term and the vision that contains it.  In addition, it is not difficult to find a power that had legal power given to it for 1260 years - the Papacy came out of Rome and gained legal powers from Rome of a special nature beginning in 538 A.D, and lost those powers in 1798 - exactly 1260 years later. 

The term forty-two months is also equal to 1260 days, for 42X30 = 1260.  This presumes use of a 30-day month, which is a reasonable assumption.  There is no other logical explanation for it.  The Bible mentions both the number 1260 days several times and the number 42 months.  It appears that the Bible writer expected the reader to equate the two.  The average number of days in a calendar month is approximately 30 days and this would show the same number as the 1260 days mentioned elsewhere.  The point is that it would be consistent with other texts.  Further, the beast is to continue 42 months.  The beast is the same power as the talking horn on the fourth beast of Daniel 7, which will continue for a time, times, and dividing of time, which we already know means 1260 days, so it is reasonable to conclude that 42 months = 1260 days.  Revelation 11:2 and 11:3 also suggests that these times are equal because these texts present the same period using the same terminology.

There is some additional biblical evidence to suggest that a 30-day month is what the author intended here.  The Jews used a lunar month, and periodically added days into the calendar to adjust the year so it did not get too far out of line with the actual year.  The Bible in the texts below indicates that a 30-day month is the Biblical definition of a month: 

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 a 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.

Now, notice that in Gen. 7:11 and Gen. 8:4, it says that there were exactly 5 months between the beginning of the flood and the day that the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.  Gen. 7:24 says that the waters prevailed for 150 days.  Now, 150 days divided by 5 months = 30 days per month.  Therefore, this is the reasonable evidence that the Bible defines a month as 30 days.

Additional evidence from the Bible that a day can symbolize a year in prophecy is these two texts below.  Scholars often cite these texts as being pertinent to this issue:

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.

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 God is suggesting that he is going to use days as symbols for a year.  That does not prove that this is then applicable to the prophetic days in Daniel, but it does tell us that when God intends to symbolize time, he may do so by using days to symbolize a year.  At least it shows he did so in these instances.  Given the symbolic nature of the prophetic beasts in Daniel and Revelation, and the fact those days are also symbolic.  The texts from Numbers and Ezekiel do suggest that God intends that a day symbolize a year.

Here are a couple of more texts that suggest the same thing:

Lev 25:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.

Lev 25:3  Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;

Lev 25:4  But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

Lev 25:8  And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.

Lev 25:9  Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

Lev 25:10  And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Lev 25:11  A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.

Now, these texts in Leviticus do suggest a symbolic relationship.  God set the Sabbath aside as a specific day for worshiping God and relieving the suffering of others.  However, here it says that God is setting aside a sabbath of a year every seven years.  Since the Bible normally defines a Sabbath as a day, this suggests a day for a year substitution.  There were to be 6 years of work on the land, and a 7th year of rest for the land, just as in the normal week there would be 6 days of work and a 7th day of rest.  Therefore, God was defining a week of work year cycles for the land, something that really makes agricultural sense if you know anything about farming. 

The land does indeed need to grow other plants after a time of growing plants for farmers (who often tend to grow one or only a few plants on soil) so that the soil can be restored.  Allowing it to lie fallow as farmers say (let it grow whatever grows wild naturally, though farmers today would usually grow legumes on such land), allows the land to replenish itself by several means.  by several means.  It can allow natural legumes to grow so that they help bring nitrogen back into the soil.  In addition, if the farmer plows under or allows the natural plants to decay in place, the plants become part of the soil underneath; the plants then return organic material to the soil, which helps the growth of bacteria, and fungi, which helps later plant growth of the farmers.  By bringing in additional plant material into the soil, it introduces pockets of air into the soil, allowing the roots of crop plants to better breath.  Roots do need air.  They do not photosynthesize as leaves do and must obtain energy in the same way you and I do - from sugars, fats, and proteins provided by the leaves and stems of the plant above the roots. 

Therefore, this introduction of a week of years as a work cycle of the land does indeed suggest a day as a symbol of a year.  Here God does not introduce it as a symbol for prophetic purposes, but God is showing that he does indeed use such symbolism.

However, there is an additional piece of evidence.  That is in the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:24.  Here you have 70 weeks that nearly everyone agrees are symbolic of 70 weeks of years (just as occurred in the Sabbath years of Leviticus 25, where a week of years of work of the land was to be observed), or 490 years (70 X 7 = 490 years).  Here the Bible in describing the prophetic time of nations and powers represented in the last half of Daniel that the symbolic days are to be years.  In addition, given that the nations and powers represented by the symbols of the vision lasted for hundreds of years, this makes excellent sense. 

What is significant about this prophecy is that though its beginning date is somewhat in dispute by some authorities.  It is important to consider that if the date 457 BC is used as the starting date (date of Ezra's trip to Jerusalem from Babylon - See The Biblical Timeline from Division to Return from Babylon), this brings you to 31 A.D, which is right in the time frame of the death of Jesus according to many historians.  Therefore, since this prophecy indicates that the messiah dies during the middle of the 70th week, and if days represent years, then it must be that the starting date indeed is 457 B.C.  This reasonably indicates that a day stands for a year in that prophecy.  If it does so here, it can elsewhere.

Therefore, to clarify; days are normally symbolically years in Bible prophecy where prophecy of nations or powers is concerned.  It is not out of character for God to use this type of symbolism.