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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Daniel's Prophecy of the 70 Weeks # 10

2. This Seventieth Week also provides the exact chronological framework for the great events recorded in chapters six to nineteen of the Book of Revelation.

It is a fact, open to all who can read, that the only chronological data of these chapters are in every case based upon a single measure of time which is variously stated as "time, and times, and a half a time" (12:14), "forty and two months" (11:2; 13:5), and "a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (11:3; 12:6). Now, disregarding for a moment all the finespun theories about the meaning of these phrases, and sticking to the common-sense meaning of words, it is evident that we have here just one measure of time, that is, exactly three and a half prophetic years of 360 days each.

These are the simple facts. But what have interpreters done with them? They are, roughly speaking, three schools of opinion. One school regards all prophetic numbers as merely symbolic and therefore meaningless from the standpoint of chronology. A second school, holding to the unscriptural "year-day" theory of prophetic interpretation, has proceeded to erect all kinds of fantastic chronological schemes covering the present age, even to the extent of setting dates for the coming of the Lord. A third school, noting that the three and a half years of Revelation are exactly one-half of seven years, and remembering that Daniel's prophecy divides the Seventieth Week into two halves, has used Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks as a point of departure and the inspired key to the interpretation of the Book of Revelation, which was obvious and sensible thing to do.

There is one question, however: Since the chronology in the Book of Revelation is always stated in terms of one-half of seven years, do the events of the book cover only one-half of the Seventieth Week or can both halves of the week be identified? I believe that the entire Seventieth Week of seven years can be located in the Book of Revelation, and that the key passage is 11:2-3, which reads as follows: "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles [nations]: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses; and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."

Now, since the "forty and two months" of verse 2 constitute a three and a half year period during which Gentile powers shall "tread under foot" the Holy City, this must refer to the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week, because it is in the middle o the seventieth Week that the Roman prince stops the Jewish sacrifice and becomes their persecutor (Daniel 9:27). It is likewise apparent that the "thousand two hundred and threescore days" of verse 3 must refer to the first half of the Seventieth Week, because the two witnesses bear their testimony during this period, and they cannot be slain until the Roman beast comes to he height of his power when is is "given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (Revelation 11:7; 13:7). Thus we have here clearly the entire Seventieth Week: the first half as the period of the rising power of the Roman prince and the testimony of the Two Witnesses; while the second half is the period of the Beast's absolute dominion over the world and his terrible persecution of Israel. The exact middle of the Seventieth Week is marked by the killing of the Witnesses and the sounding of the "seventh angel" (Revelation 11:1-15).

Only one question remains: Can we locate the beginning and the end of this Seventieth Week in the record of the Book of Revelation? Since we already know that the week will end with the glorious appearing of the true Christ from heaven, it is clear that the seven-year period must end in chapter 19, verses 11 to 21. And since the period begins with the revelation of the false Christ, as we have seen above, the Seventieth Week must begin in Revelation 6:1-2, where the Roman beast begins his ruthless ride to world power. Thus chapters six to nineteen  of Revelation cover the Seventieth Week of Daniel's prophecy, an exact period of seven prophetic years divided into two equal halves at the sounding of the "seventh angel". Born along by the same Spirit of prophecy, Daniel furnishes the chronological frame and John fills in the details. If we separate the two, prophecy becomes an insoluble enigma.

~Alva J. McClain~

(continued with # 11 - "... a firm covenant"...)

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