THE NUMBERED DAYS OF DANIEL 12
There are three passages in Dan. 12 that speak of numbered days. They are, 12:7, 12:11 and 12:12. This paper is a study of each of those numbered days.
“And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, ‘How long shall it be to the end of these wonders’. 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 sware by Him That liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half…..” (Dan. 12:6-7).
Note the phrase, “a time, times, and an half”. A similar phrase is used in Dan. 7:25, which reads, “and he (the antichrist) 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 times”. I believe it is widely agreed that this verse refers to the antichrist and what he will do during the tribulation. And the same phrase as is used in Dan. 12:7 is also used in Rev. 12:14 which reads, “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”. The context of Rev. 12:4 is also clearly about the tribulation.
We know from Rev. 12:6, that the tribulation will last 1,260 days. That verse reads, “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”.
So far we have learned the tribulation will last 1,260 days. But it is very important to note, that we are not told the starting point of those 1,260 days.
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Dan. 12:10-11).
This passage is also clearly about the tribulation. Note, for example the reference to many being “made white” and compare that with Rev. 7:13-14, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes?……These are they which came out of the great tribulation…..”. . There are two important facts to note about Dan. 12:11. One is that the starting point is given, i.e. “from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up”. The second fact is that the number of days given is 1,290, i.e. 30 days longer than the 1,260 days of the tribulation given in the passages quoted above.
There are many opinions as to the difference, but I believe that this seeming difficulty is due to an assumption that the tribulation will begin with the setting up of the abomination. But the Word of God does not give us the starting point of the 1,260 days of the tribulation. Let us search the Word for the answer to this seeming difficulty.
Let us begin with a brief consideration of what the antichrist will do during the tribulation. We read in Rev. 13:5-10.”And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth (Gr. “ge”, i.e. land of Israel) shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.
It is important to note that the antichrist will make war against the saints for 42 months, or 1,260 days. My point is that the war against the saints will last the entire time of the tribulation, and therefore must begin at the very beginning of the tribulation.
Now let us turn our attention to the warning our Lord gave as recorded in Matt. 24:15-17, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house”.
We read in Rev. 13 that the antichrist will make war with the saints beginning with the first day of the tribulation. If the tribulation will begin when the abomination is set up, as most people assume, our Lord’s warning will not only be too late, it will be superfluous. Let me explain. One of the things the antichrist will do is to “make war with the saints”. No one will need to be warned at the time the war begins because it will be very obvious. That makes the warning superfluous. And if one waited for the war to begin, it will be too late for at least some to flee.
I believe, therefore, that there is reason to believe that the sign Christ gave as warning for believers to flee will be given 30 days before the tribulation begins. In other words, the abomination will be set up, and that is the warning sign Christ gave to flee. They will then have 30 days to heed that warning and after those 30 days, the antichrist will make war against the saints. And that accounts quite logically for the difference in the 1,290 days and the 1,260 days.
In short, the end of the tribulation will come 1,260 days from the beginning of the tribulation when the the antichrist will make war against the saints and 1,290 days after the abomination is set up.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five a thirty days” (Dan. 12:11-12).
There are two things to note in this passage. 1) The days of verse 11 are counted from the time that the abomination will be set up. Because verse 12 follows immediately, the most natural reading in my opinion, is that the 1,335 days are also counted from the time the abomination will be set up. 2) He that “waiteth” and “cometh” to the 1,335th day will be blessed. The most obvious questions are: for what are they waiting, and in what way will they be blessed? Obviously those who wait and are blessed will be those who will wait in faith. But what will they be waiting for?
Let us first turn our attention to the question of what it is these blessed ones will be waiting for. That is to say, what will happen on the 1,335th day after the abomination will be set up that will be a blessing to some? In order to be thorough in our study of these questions, let us first determine what will not happen on the 1,335th day. We know from Matt. 24:29-30 that Christ will be seen in the clouds “immediately after the tribulation”. That passage reads, in part, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light……….and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. I Thess. 4:16-17 tells us that when Christ will be seen in the clouds the dead will be raised and the living will be raptured. That passage reads, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from the heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air…..”. In short, on the 1,260th day from the beginning of the tribulation, and the 1,290th day from the setting up of the abomination, Christ will be seen in the clouds, and the dead will be resurrected and those who remain will be raptured. My point is that it is not the return of Christ or the resurrection or the rapture that some will be blessed if they wait for the 1,335th day after the abomination, because those event will have already occurred before the 1,335th day.
And we know from Dan. 8:13-14 that the temple will not be completed until 2,300 days after the abomination is set up. “Then I heard one saint speaking and another saint said unto that certain saint, which spake, ‘How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden down?’ And he said unto me, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days: then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”.
The question remains then, what will happen on the 1,335th day after the abomination is set up? The temple will not be built and cleansed until long after that, and the resurrection will have occurred long before. We are not told specifically, but I believe that there is a clue in the numbers as a type and a clue in the context.
The 1,335th day is 75 days after the abomination and 45 days after the beginning of the tribulation. There were 45 years from the time that Israel was led out of Egypt to the time She possessed the promised land. How do we know that? We know that from Josh. 14:9-10. .I will quote the NIV because that translation makes the point most succinctly. “So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly’. Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses…..” And verse 15 reads, “and the land had rest from war” (because Israel was occupying the land). This passage tells us that 45 years after Moses promised Joshua that he would occupy the land, Joshua possessed the land. And we read in Gen. 12:1 that God told Abram to go “unto a land that I will show you” (Canaan). Then in Gen. 12:4 we read that Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran for Canaan. “…..And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed Haran”. ” In short, the numbers 45 and 75 are intimately connected to Israel’s possession of the land.
For the clue from the context of Dan. 12:12 let us consider Dan. 12:7. The question is asked in verse 6, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” And in verse 7b we read, “it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he (the antichrist) shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished”. What is of particular interest in answering the question at hand is the Hebrew word translated “scatter”. That Hebrew word is “nahphatz”. It is generally translated “break” or “scatter”. Is. 11:12 is interesting in that the word is translated “dispersed“. That verse reads, in part, “and gather together the dispersed of Judah”. So in Dan. 12:7 we learn that the antichrist will scatter Israel and in doing so, will break their power.
So during the tribulation the antichrist will scatter Israel. But at the end of the tribulation, God will gather them. We read in Ezek. 11:17, “….Thus saith the Lord God, ‘I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel'”. And Ezek. 36:24 reads, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land”..
I believe that on the 1,335th day after the abomination is set up the dispersed of Israel will be gathered and those who waited in faith will be allowed entrance into the land for the millennial reign of Christ, i.e. they will be blessed.
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org