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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1

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    III. THE LENGTH OF “A TIME”—OR, HOW MUCH IS TWO TIMES?

    “A time” is an arbitrary period given by the Lord to measure the duration of prophetic events. It is used both in a literal and figurative sense; and the nature of the prophecy in connection with which the period is given must determine its import. For instance, in the prediction and history of the banishment of Nebuchadnezzar from among men until “seven times” passed over him, the nature of the prediction shows that it must be understood literally. But when it occurs in the seventh and twelfth chapters of Daniel, it is so used as to show it must mean something beside literal time.PREX1 91.4

    The length of a time is three hundred and sixty days, or twelve months of thirty days each; times, is seven hundred and twenty days, or twenty-four months of thirty days each; and a dividing of time, half a time, or six months of thirty days each.PREX1 92.1

    This time is not, as most expositors say, Jewish time. The Jews reckoned their time by moons; 291/2 days to a month, and twelve months or 355 days to a year. Two years of 355 days and the third year of thirteen months or 383 days. Once in nineteen years, one year of 355 days and two of 383 days. So that nineteen Jewish were equal to nineteen solar years. I have been utterly unable to find any evidence except bare assertion, that the Jews ever reckoned 360 days to a year.PREX1 92.2

    But we are asked, “how do you know how long a time is, and how much is meant by times?” I answer, the Holy Ghost has defined it. In Revelation 13th chapter, the same power predicted under the emblem of the little horn in Daniel 7th, is brought to view under the emblem of a beast. Daniel has given the time of his power, “a time, times, and dividing of a time.” John has given it, forty-two months. In forty-two months there are three and a half years. The forty-two months are reduced, Revelation 11th and 12th chapters, to days; 1260 days. We are not, therefore, left to vague conjecture as to the import of the time, for the Holy Ghost has defined it. The seven times of Nebuchadnezzar’s banishment would be 2520 literal days. The reign of the pope was fulfilled, as already proved, in 1260 full solar years. I call the time, then, neither Jewish time nor Chaldee time, but divine time; each day being the representative, either of a day of twenty four hours, or, if used figuratively, of a full solar year.PREX1 92.3