There are several time prophecies in the Bible, but only in the book of Daniel and Revelation. All these different prophecies are within a specific time frames, and this is the frames that the longest time prophecy gives us.
Many would argue that there is a time prophecy in Genesis 15,13 where it says: And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; However, Exodus chapter 12 verses 40 (and 41) states that Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, [was] four hundred and thirty years.
This was said to Abraham (Abram) when he was 84-85 years old. Abraham was born in 1996 BC. This means that Abraham got this dream (see verse 12) around the years 1912 – 1911 BC. Ishmael was born in the year 1910 BC. when Abraham was 86 years old, and Isaac was born 14 years later in 1896 BC. when Abraham was 100 years old. Isaac was sacrificed in 1875 BC.
Joseph, who was born 1745 BC. was sold as a slave to Egypt when he was relatively young, and Jacob moved to Egypt with his entire house sometime between 1710 and 1700 BC. after it was made known that Joseph was alive,and was lord over Egypt, only Pharaoh was over Joseph. Israel was not enslaved in Egypt until after Joseph had died in 1635 BC. and they were slaves until Moses led them out of Egypt in the year 1445 BC
I have the following objections to this being a time prophecy.
- Here there is a discrepancy between Genesis 15 which says 400 years, and Exodus 12 which says 430 years. If the 400 years in Genesis 15 is a time prophecy then all texts that deal with the same prophecy must give us the same time period. Exodus 12 should therefor say 400 years, not 430 years as it says.
- Another argument that rejects that this is prophetic time is what the Septuagint writes that the children of Israel had lived in Egypt and Canaan for 430 years, and this fits better into the time aspect here. In the English edition of the Septuagint, the text of Exodus 12,40 is as follows: And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, was four hundred and thirty years.
- Israel was not slaves for 400 years. They did not even live in Egypt for 400 years. Jacob came to Egypt first around the year 1700 BC. and this means that Israel as a people was in Egypt for about 250 years, (ca. 1700 -1445). Israel was not enslaved as long as Joseph lived, and was not enslaved before year 1635, and no more than 190 years until 1445 AD.
- Genesis 15,13 states the time Israel will be in Egypt in year – literal years. No other time prophecies in the Bible indicate prophetic time in literal years, but instead use a symbolic time indication such as 2300 evenings and mornings, a time, times and a dividing of time, 1260, 1290, 1335 days and 70 weeks, which all indicate prophetic time periods, which cannot be interpreted literally.
The real beginning of the 430 years was when Abraham sacrificed Isaac.
It is so that God has used several ways to communicate with his people. From creation until the fall, God and man walked together in the Garden of Eden and could communicate face to face. After the fall, God continued to communicate directly to people, but then through Jesus Christ, and we see from the last part of this period that God communicated with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses until the state of Israel was established. Then follows a period in which God communicates his word through judges and prophets, and it seems that this stopped around the time which is considered the beginning of prophetic time. The last prophet who has been included in the Old Testament, Malachi, worked from 433 to 408 BC.
Prophetic time thus began about that time, but now there is no absolute necessity for such events to occur at the exact time of the shift from one time period to another. This we will see when we comes to the seven seals. When it comes to special events within the time periods, they will be exact as we will see by the prophecy of the 70 weeks.
Malachi was, as mentioned, the last prophet in Old Testament times, and he served for a 25-year period after the transition to prophetic time, and the closing message of Malachi is an end-time prophecy. God will send the prophet Elijah, an image of the Seventh-day Adventists in the end times. This time period, prophetic time, is a special time when most of the prophecies given in the Old Testament occur. All of these events that the time prophecies tell about will happen according to a carefully calculated plan from God’s hand, and they happen at the exact time that the prophecies indicate, for instance in that day (Zechariah 12,3) or (prepared for) an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year (Revelation 9,15) which God has predetermined.
When prophetic time ended, we entered a new time period, and Revelation 10,6 says about this period that there should be time no longer. We have entered the end time, and before the prophecies concerning this time period will be fulfilled, time is not taken into account, precisely because that there should be time no longer, but a series of events which must be completed before the prophecy is fulfilled, as for example in Revelation 9,15: And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
There are also those who claim that the time indication an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year is prophetic time. I will return to this later.
We understand from this text in Revelation 9,15 that at some point in history God placed four angels at the Euphrates. Euphrates is used here as a symbol of the evil and the destructive forces of the world. In Revelation chapter 7, John sees four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, which means the four directions of heaven holding back the four winds of the earth which are an image of war and destruction. In chapter 9, John sees the same four angels and now they are released. These angels hold back the winds of war because God will not allow the evil army to carry out its destruction before what God has determined has happened. The four angels are held back by God until everything that must happen (Matthew 24,6; Revelation 1,1; Revelation 4,1), and which is according to God’s good will, has been fulfilled down to the smallest detail – to the letter. Then, and only then, he will loosen the four angels and the result is that hell literally is unleashed, and a third part of world´s population will perish due to this.
The common denominator for the period we call prophetic time is that God has communicated with people through his Son and then through the Holy Spirit. Apart from Malachi (433 – 408) and Nehemiah (444 – 424) there have been no other prophets in the sense we mean by prophets in this period even though Jesus prophesied (Matthew 24) and that the apostles had visions (Peter in Acts 11,5). However, it is to be expected that when we go from prophetic time to the end time, God will make this known through his prophets, and that God will raise up a prophet at the entrance to the end time because as Amos 3,7 says. Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The following is the time prophecies we have and which we are going to look at:
- 1) 2300 days Daniel 8,14
- 2) 70 weeks Daniel 9,24
- 3) A time, times, and a half time Daniel 7,25; 12,7; Revelation 12,14
- 4) 42 months Revelation 11,2; 13,5
- 5) 1260 days Revelation 11,3; 12,6
- 6) 1290 days Daniel 12,11
- 7) 1335 days Daniel 12,12
With regard to paragraphs 6 and 7, I will return to these later.
All these time prophecies are within what we call prophetic time, and I think the prophecy of the 2300 days should be considered the main time prophecy in this context. This means that the other six prophecies, according to this claim, must be within the framework of the 2300 days. The other six prophecies can thus begin no earlier than the same year and must end no later than the same year as the 2300 evenings and mornings. The 70 weeks are crucial to set the starting time for the 2300 days. The 70 weeks will also be a decisive proof for those who believe that the prophecies are true.
Here we see that the prophecy of a time, times and a half time is to be found in both the book of Daniel and Revelation, and consequently connects the prophecies in these two books.
We began this section by stating that these different prophecies are within a certain time frame, and these are the frames that the longest time prophecy gives us. The longest time prophecy is the prophecy about the 2300 evenings and mornings.
We will take these prophecies in the order they are listed here, starting with the longest.