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Times Appointed Part 3

20th August 2009, hej

 

5) Daniel 12: to the latter days: a time, times, and an half

Daniel 12 introduces the coming of Messiah and the resurrection. Before this coming there is a time of trouble for Daniel's people, when they are a nation, (“as never was since there was a nation”).

And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 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 an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:6-7)

The length of the time the power of holy people is scattered or 'overspread' is 1260 years. This period is ended not at the return but when “the wise shine as the brightness of the firmament” and at that time “many shall run to and fro”. This speaks of the end of oppression and the growth of the number of true servants of Yahweh. The date must also be related to Israel, and the people of Daniel.

It so happens that the growth of travel began at the time when there was a revival of people reading the Bible and of people seeking to create a homeland for the Jews. Eliot's Daniel Deronda of 1876 is credited with beginning political Zionism. But it had its roots in what historians have labelled 'the Great Awakenings'. The first was in America from 1730-40 the second was from 1800-30 and was far wider in scope and brought such groups as the Campbellites. The third and most significant was in 1857 (Considered to last from 1857-60). A further and greater resurgence came in 1880 and lasted till 1903.

At the same time as these Great Awakenings there was one amongst Jews. Before Zionism there was a large wave of immigration inspired by the messianic dreams of the Gaon of Vilna. This led to hundreds of the Gaon's disciples, settling in 1808 in Tiberias and Safed, and later in Jerusalem. There was an expectation of the arrival of the Messiah in the Jewish year 5600, English year 1840 and thousands of Jews from Persia, Morocco, Yemen and Russia moved to Israel increasing after 1832 when Muhammad Ali of Egypt captured Israel. The first great Aliyah then followed in 1882 and lasted to 1903.

The prophecy is in terms of “times” and this term possibly indicates an era as the start rather than a date. The great resurgence of two witness above, the Christian and the Jewish is concurrent, being from 1882-1903. This era also parallels the development of travel 'to and fro' with the first car being built in 1885, and car making becoming an industry by 1905. The 1260 years back from this era gives a start era from 622-643AD. During this time there is one who scatters or overspreads the “holy People”, or the Jewish people that arises.

From 614 to 629 the Persians captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine empire. However, the year 622 is extremely significant as this is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. By 637-8 the Islamic Caliph Umar had captured Jerusalem and several years later built a timber mosque on the temple mount, the current site of the Dome of the Rock, about the year 639AD. This Caliph died in 644. Add 1260 years to 644 and by 1904 their power to scatter the Jewish people had ended. By 1904 the beginning of the great gathering of Jews to Israel had begun.


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We have been given many time periods to prophetic events in the Bible. Many people think it too hard, and do not make an effort to understand them. However, if they were not to be understood, why were they given? And the Bible says the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10).

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