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Thread: The Day-Year Principle (the Prophectic Year)

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    The Day-Year Principle (the Prophectic Year)

    The day-year principle, year-day principle or year-for-a-day principle is a method of interpretation of Bible prophecy in which the word day in prophecy is considered to be symbolic of a year of actual time. In Biblical eschatology a 'Prophetic Year' is a time different than from an ordinary year, as it was referred to as a 'day' when it actually was a year. The three primary precedents in Scripture:

    1. Numbers 14:34. The Israelites will wander for 40 years in the wilderness, one year for every day spent by the spies in Canaan.

    2. Ezekiel 4:5-6. The prophet Ezekiel is commanded to lie on his left side for 390 days, followed by his right side for 40 days, to symbolize the equivalent number of years of punishment on Israel and Judah respectively.

    3. Daniel 9:24-27. This is known as the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks. The majority of scholars do understand the passage to refer to 70 "sevens" or "septets" of years—that is, a total of 490 years.

    We also see its use in the 360-year period of "time" composed of 360-day "years". So why is it not a year equal to 365 days as we hold today? Well in ancient times the year was held to be at 360 days. The fact that the prophets understood a year as 360 days is well attested, and can be seen in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation as seen in the use of "time, times and half a time" (i.e. 1+2+0.5=3.5), "1,260 days" and "42 months". These references represent a period of 1260 years (based on the 360 day Jewish year multiplied by 3.5). Divide 1,260 days by 42 months and you will get a 30-day month, as 12 months of 30 days equals 360-days in a year

    These time periods occur eight times in scripture:
    Daniel 7:25, "time, times and a half".
    Daniel 9:27, "half one set of seven".
    Daniel 12:7, "time, times and a half".
    Revelation 11:2, "42 months".
    Revelation 11:3, "1260 days".
    Revelation 12:6, "1260 days".
    Revelation 12:14, "time, times and a half".
    Revelation 13:5, "42 months".

    We can see how it relates in the following Bible verses referring to the period translated, "time".

    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. Daniel 7:25

    And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. Daniel 12:7

    And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. Revelation 12:14

    So its clear, the "time, times and half a time" (i.e. 1+2+0.5=3.5), "1,260 days" and "42 months" mentioned in Daniel and Revelation represent a period of 1260 years (based on the 360 day Jewish year multiplied by 3.5).

    The fact that a day can signify a year is of crucial importance in the study of Bible Prophecy. This view was recognized by the Jews as seen in Daniel 9:24-27, and as seen in Jesus' use of the day-year principle in Luke 13 verses 31-33, and in the early church. The Reformers and many others, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Wycliffe, John Knox, William Tyndale, Phillip Melanchthon, Sir Isaac Newton, Jan Huss, John Foxe, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, C. H. Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, E. B. Elliot, H. Grattan Guinness, and Bishop Thomas Newton understood this to name just a few.

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    Now we can easily see Christ's use of the day-year principle in Luke 13 verses 31-33.

    Luke 13:31-33 King James Version (KJV)

    31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

    This is after John the Baptist is arrested and the Pharisees are saying "Herod will kill Thee". In other words, you’d better get out of here, you’re next. Jesus replies in verse 32, "Go tell that fox, behold I cast out devils and I do cures, today, tomorrow, and the third day I will be perfected." John died near the start of Jesus’ ministry of three years, so the "to day, and to morrow, and the day following" is shown by Christ as the time of His ministry, three years

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    The day-year principle, year-day principle or year-for-a-day principle is a method of interpretation of Bible prophecy in which the word day in prophecy is considered to be symbolic of a year of actual time. In Biblical eschatology a 'Prophetic Year' is a time different than from an ordinary year, as it was referred to as a 'day' when it actually was a year.
    The idea of a year-day principle has led many people to false interpretations of prophecy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    The fact that a day can signify a year is of crucial importance in the study of Bible Prophecy. This view was recognized by the Jews as seen in Daniel 9:24-27
    Daniel 9:24-27 does not mention any days.
    Learn to read what is written.

    _____
    The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence.
    ~ Dr Freeman Dyson

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    That is why you have to read the Bible as a whole, and see how the prophecies are repeated such as Daniel and Revelation, or come from Christ and His prophets and come to pass.

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    Now lets look at the prophecy in Daniel 9, in which seventy literal weeks would not be enough time to accomplish all the things mentioned as having to transpire within the scope of Daniel's "seventy-weeks" vision. Student of historicism and Bible scholars for this reason view the seventy weeks of Daniel as symbolic years. Here are the verses:

    Daniel 9:24-27
    24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
    25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
    26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    The 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9 in verse 24, clearly establishes this principle related to prophetic time. Its plain to see that the 70 weeks are not literally 70 weeks, but rather 70 weeks of years, or 490 years. The day-year principle is the key to understanding this prophecy. We read the verses and can see this equation is clearly established in scripture:

    Numbers 14:34
    King James Version (KJV)
    34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

    In this verse, a relationship between day and year is clear, each day will equate to a literal year. For the forty days that Israel spied in Canaan in unbelief, they would be punished by wandering forty years in the desert.


    Ezekiel 4:6
    King James Version (KJV)
    6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

    Here again, the equation is stated quite openly, a prophetic day represents a literal year. So to return to the 70 weeks of Daniel, you must first determine the number of days represented. Seventy weeks is 70 x 7 or 490 days, which will then equate to a literal 490 years in the fulfillment of the prophecy.

    So the next step is to find out the start which verse 25 gives us, "25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: ".

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