It Was for Exactly a Time, Times, and Half a Time

(Daniel 12:7-11)

An angel told Daniel the Antichrist will “wear out the saints of the Most High, and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” In 135, Justin Martyr said the Jews of his day believed that “time, times, and half a time” meant time plus two times plus half a time, and they thought this would be at least 350 years: 100 years plus 200 years plus 50 years.1Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 32

From the prophecy of the Messiah’s coming after 483 days, we know that Daniel’s days are really years, but no one in Justin Martyr’s Day could have imagined that “a time, times, and half a time” was 3 ½ years in days, with each day representing one year!

In Daniel’s last chapter, we are told that the saints will be given into Satan’s hand for exactly “a time, times, and half a time.” One angel asks another, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”

“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand, and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time….”2Dan 12:7

Three and a half years is 1,278 days. A year is 365.25 days; when multiplied by 3 ½, this gives us exactly 1,278 days.

At the end of Daniel 12, an angel used the months of the Jewish lunar calendar to give us 1,290 days. In 3 ½ years, there are 43 months of 30 days. In the Book of Revelation, the angel used the solar calendar of the Romans to give us 42 months of 30 days, or 1,260 days. The exact number of 1,278 days lies between Daniel’s 1,290 days and John’s 1,260 days.

These 1,278 days began when the bishop of Rome exalted himself as high as Christ in 193, and ended in 1471, when the Moravian Church escaped from his hand.