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I was pleasantly surprised to see the popularity of Daniel's seventy weeks prophecy held by Christians across multiple denominations in an recent question about "the fulness of time". In it, one day in prophecy, is interpreted as one year, and predicts the year of Jesus' ministry and death.

For those who hold this view, what is the basis for some to then interpret Daniel's 1260 day prophecy as days and not years?

Would it not be more consistent to continue the interpretation that one prophetic day is equal to one calendar year, as per other Christian Historicist understandings?

As background, 1260 days is equal to 42 months (42 x 30 days), and is equal to a time, times and half a times (360 + 360 x2 + 180 days)

"the women fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days." Rev 12:6

"And to the women were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness in to her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time" Rev 12:14

"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: 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." Rev 11:2-3

"And he 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 time." Dan 7:25

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." Rev 13:5

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    while I have no current opinion/belief on this matter, it does say day instead of year (Rev 9:15 says year) – depperm Jul 16 at 16:18
  • @depperm - I am struggling to understand how your comment relates to the above question. – user43409 Jul 17 at 0:36
  • "continue the interpretation that one prophetic day is equal to one calendar year, as per other Christian traditions" What is this prophetic tradition? I've never heard of it, other than as a complete misunderstanding of 2 Peter 3:8. – curiousdannii Jul 17 at 3:56
  • @curiousdannii interpreting 1260 days as years a common historicist application in the 1800s. See Day year principle 1260 year prophecy section en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-year_principle. If you have never heard it, then you have some investigating. God has repeated this specific time frame 7-8 times in the Bible. – Beestocks Jul 17 at 11:39
  • @Beestocks Okay, I have heard of it in the context of the 70 weeks. And I've also heard of the so-called "prophetic month", though I'm unconvinced it's Biblically supportable. In any case, your question seems to be reversing where the burden of proof should be. "Day" far more often means a day. – curiousdannii Jul 17 at 11:44
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Whether a day is interpretted as a literal day or as a year depends on the context. Interpretters looked at the 70 sevens of the Daniel 9 and almost unanimously decided it cannot be literal days, but it could be years. (However, some interpretters duck the whole issue and go for an indeterminate length of time.)

With the 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) and 1335 days (Dan 12:12), though, the context suggests literal days. How could an individual patiently wait for the coming of 1335 years? (Dan 12:12)

Daniel 8:14 says 2300 "evening-mornings": some think that means 2300 days, and some, such as William Hendriksen, think it means a total of 2300 sacrifices, half in the morning and half in the evening making 1150 days. Hendriksen then says this is the exact number of days that the sacrifices stopped in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, though where he gets that information I do not know.

  • Context is a good point. Not able to wait patiently could still suggest either way, perhaps that is precisely why the book was sealed until the last days (Dan 12:4, 12:9) until there should be "time no longer" Rev 10:5-7 (vs. Dan 12:7). – Beestocks Jul 17 at 12:06

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