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Seven years : Revisted

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I have been asked numerous times why do many Christians believe the tribulation will last 7 years. To be honest, it is difficult to find this.
7 years would be 84 months, or 2,556 days. Neither of these numbers are directly given in the Bible as a time-frame.

So then... why 7 years? Really it is two time periods. One is simply called "the tribulation", and the other is called "the great tribulation".
Each will last approximately 3 1/2 years. Depending on how you read the Bible there could be a short time between these two periods of time.

Some these are ambiguous, but some are quite specific.

Daniel 7
23. “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.
24. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
25. He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
26. But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

Most Bible scholars believe this fourth beast to be the beast of Revelation. (and Thessalonians) But verse 25 above mentions "a time, times, and half a time". This is one of those ambiguous passages that really isn't
specific about what this means. However there are other clues in Daniel later. But usually this is taken as "a year, two years, and a half a year" for a total of 3 1/2 years.

Daniel 12
5. Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river.
6. And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?”
7. I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.
8. As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?”
9. He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.
10. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
11. From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
12. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
13. But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”

Again in 7 here we see the phrase "a time, times, and half a time" (probably 3 1/2 years) but again it is ambiguous, and it's hard to tell for sure.
But then we move down to verses 11 and 12. Now we get a lot more more specific. 1,290 days and 1,335 days are mentioned.

If there are 365 days in a year... 1290 divided by 365 is pretty close to 3.5 ( 3 1/2 years ) 1335 divided by 365 is a little over 3.6.
In several other threads we have talked about the timing of the rapture... pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib.
In verse 7 above it says the power of God's people will be shattered. Does that mean God's people will still be here during this time?
Verse 10 says some will be purged, purified and refined. Surely this would be believers (Christians) who are still on the earth during this time.

The abomination of desolation could be a subject unto itself (and has been a few times here on TalkJesus ) but whatever it is... it will last for 3 1/2 years.
Some believers will make it through this time. Then something will happen 45 days later. ( 1,335 - 1,290 = 45 )

Lets go back to the beginning of Daniel 12
1. “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
2. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
3. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
4. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.

"there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation" this is remarkably similar to....

Matt 24:21; For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will
Mark 13:19; For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.

Verse 2 is remarkably similar to....

John 5
28. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,
29. and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Verse 3.. "those who lead the many to righteousness".. people will be saved during this time. ( see Rev 7:14; )

Verse 4.. "many will go back and forth", some take this time mean some will be undecided, wavering, trying to ride the fence as it were. But it says in the end times "knowledge will increase".
What an exciting time, those of us alive in the end times will have things revealed to us not even the prophets knew.

... to be continued ....
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Revelation 11
1. Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.
2. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
3. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth

the temple of God... this is one of those verses that many believe proves that the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt, at least for a while.
But it says the nations will tread (walk all over) the courtyard outside the temple... for 42 months. If there are 12 months in a year. 42 divided by 12 = 3 1/2 years.
Then it says the two witnesses will prophesy for 1,260 days. 1,260 divided by 365 = 3.45 years (pretty close to 3 1/2)

Depending on how you read the passage above... the temple will be desecrated by the nations for 42 months... ( the same amount of time the abomination of desolation will occur )
and then the two witnesses will prophesy for roughly 3 1/2 years. So close to 7 years total. (There are other events that put the total time period closer to a full seven years)
But it seems the desecration of the temple will happen during the "regular tribulation". Then the two witnesses will show up, and they will prophesy during "the great tribulation".

... to be continued ...
Revelation 13
2. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
3. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;
4. they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”
5. There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.
6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

In verse 5 above... it says the beast will be given "authority to act" for forty-two months. Again 42 divided by 12 (months in a year) = 3 1/2 years.

... to be continued ...