Here is the amazing prophecy of the 1260 days; also called the "time, times, and dividing of time," and the "forty-two months."
A day stands for a year in Bible prophecy (Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6). A "time" in prophecy is the same as a year (Daniel 11: 13, margin and Revised Version). This time-span prophecy is first mentioned in Daniel 7:25, where we are told that it is the length of time that the terrible "little horn" power was to bear rule and destroy God's people. During that time it would also try to change God's Law: "And he [the little horn} 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 for a time and times and a dividing of time." Daniel 7:25.
This, in Hebrew, equals "a time, 2 times and half a time." Using the ancient reckoning of 360 days to a year, 360 + 180 + 720 = 1260. And since a day is equivalent to a year in Bible prophecy, this little horn power would rule for 1260 years. In Revelation 12:6 we are told that the persecution would continue for "a thousand two hundred and threescore days:' which is 1260 prophetic days, or years. (Also note Revelation 11:3).
The God of heaven gave this important prophecy in yet a third way: The little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 is the same as the first beast of Revelation 13: "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." Revelation 13:5. (Compare Revelation 11:2.) Forty-two months equals 1260 days. And Revelation also calls this time prophecy the "time, and times, and half a time" (Revelation 12:14), just as Daniel does.
When did the little horn, symbolizing the papacy, have this rule? The decree of the emperor, Justinian, in A.D. 533, recognized the pope as the "head of all the holy churches" (Code of Justinian, Book 1, title 1, section 4). The overwhelming defeat of the Ostrogoths in the siege of Rome, just five years later (A.D. 538) was a death blow to the third of the three horns that were uprooted (see Daniel 7:8). With the year 538, then, begins the 1260 years of this prophecy of papal domination, which would extend to 1798. In that year as the Reign of Terror continued in the French Revolution and the Roman Catholic religion was set aside in France, the French army, under Berthier, entered Rome and took the pope prisoner. The date: February 10, 1798. The imprisoned pope died in exile the following year in Valence, France. A great cry was heard, "Catholicism is dead." The papacy had received the "deadly wound" of Revelation 13:3. But we are told that the wound is to be healed, and that the time is coming when all the world will "wonder after the beast." (Revelation 13:3).
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