Author: Ron Graham
The Many Days of Daniel
—Times and seasons in prophecy
Times of Tribulation (Revelation 6-11) >Seven Seals >Excursus on time and suffering (8)
We continue to think about statements in the first and last chapters of Revelation: "The time is near... These things must shortly take place... Surely I am coming quickly..."
1 Your Life in View
In the Bible's presentation of tribulation and the antichrist, there are two elements woven together.
- A general world view. The Bible describes a wicked world, exemplified by, but not unique to, the Roman worldwide empire which was the crucible of Christianity.
- This view addresses "the world forces of this darkness" which have polluted the whole world with wickedness throughout history (Ephesians 6:12).
- A particular personal view. Our own individual lives are a microcosm of that world problem. Within prophecy and vision we see our own personal experience portrayed, not just the broad sweep of world history.
- I consider it harmful that this personal focus has been lost in popular interpretation of prophecy and vision. So people's attention has been distracted toward future world scenarios instead of to their own personal struggle with Satan through the power of Christ operating in their own daily lives.
2 Daniel’s Days
It's fitting to complement our study of Revelation with an interpretation of the days at the end of Daniel (Daniel 12:7-13). In these symbolic days you see not only the broad world view, but you also see yourself and your own lifetime represented.
The 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) and the 1335 days (Daniel 12:12) are combinations of "a time, times, and half a time" (Daniel 12:7.)
Let's take each number of days as composed of two elements. Using the symbolic calendar, we, take one element as 1260 days (three-and-a-half years).
Now let us see what remains for the second element in each case. We have left over 30 days or one month from the first number, and 75 days or two and a half months from the second number of days.
So there is a time, times, and half a time in months as well as the time, times, and half a time in years.
3 1290 and 1335 are the Same Period
I don't regard the two numbers of days as separate periods but as one period of 1260 days with one month added in the first instance, and a greater burden of two-and-a-half months added in the second instance.
Years for World, Months for You
I would suggest that the years represent the world, and the months represent our individual lives. This fits in with the thrust of the passage where Daniel is seeking knowledge of the world, but he is not told much.
Rather, the angel turns Daniel's attention to himself and his own lifetime: "As for you, go your way to the end, then you will enter into rest and rise again for your alotted portion at the end of the days" (Daniel 12:13).
Each of us, like Daniel, has an interest and a place in world history and in the world future. But we don't live in history nor in the future but in the present.
World history and the world future are symbolically represented as 1260 days or a time, times and half a time in years. Our own personal lifetime is symbolically represented as 30 days or a "time" in months.
In our lifetime, as children of God, we will suffer. It may even be that we suffer double trouble (symbolized as two months) but God helps us along the way and he makes it seem like "half a time".