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25

He shall speak words against the Most High,

shall wear out the holy ones of the Most High,

and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons and the law;

and they shall be given into his power

for a time, two times, and half a time.


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25. Three attributes of Antichrist are specified: (1) The highest worldly wisdom and civilization. (2) The uniting of the whole civilized world under his dominion. (3) Atheism, antitheism, and autotheism in its fullest development (1Jo 2:22). Therefore, not only is power taken from the fourth beast, as in the case of the other three, but God destroys it and the world power in general by a final judgment. The present external Christianity is to give place to an almost universal apostasy.

think—literally, "carry within him as it were the burden of the thought."

change times—the prerogative of God alone (Da 2:21); blasphemously assumed by Antichrist. The "times and laws" here meant are those of religious ordinance; stated times of feasts [Maurer]. Perhaps there are included the times assigned by God to the duration of kingdoms. He shall set Himself above all that is called God (2Th 2:4), putting his own "will" above God's times and laws (Da 11:36, 37). But the "times" of His wilfulness are limited for the elect's sake (Mt 24:22).

they—the saints.

given into his hand—to be persecuted.

time … times and … dividing of time—one year, two years, and half a year: 1260 days (Re 12:6, 14); forty-two months (Re 11:2, 3). That literally three and a half years are to be the term of Antichrist's persecution is favored by Da 4:16, 23, where the year-day theory would be impossible. If the Church, moreover, had been informed that 1260 years must elapse before the second advent, the attitude of expectancy which is inculcated (Lu 12:38; 1Co 1:7; 1Th 1:9, 10; 2Pe 3:12) on the ground of the uncertainty of the time, would be out of place. The original word for "time" denotes a stated period or set feast; or the interval from one set feast to its recurrence, that is, a year [Tregelles]; Le 23:4, "seasons"; Le 23:44, "feasts." The passages in favor of the year-day theory are Eze 4:6, where each day of the forty during which Ezekiel lay on his right side is defined by God as meaning a year. Compare Nu 14:34, where a year of wandering in the wilderness was appointed for each day of the forty during which the spies searched Canaan; but the days were, in these two cases, merely the type or reason for the years, which were announced as they were to be fulfilled. In the prophetic part of Nu 14:34 "years" are literal. If the year-day system was applied to them, they would be 14,400 years! In Eze 4:4-6, if day meant year, Ezekiel would have lain on his right side forty years! The context here in Da 7:24, 25, is not symbolical. Antichrist is no longer called a horn, but a king subduing three out of ten kings (no longer horns, Da 7:7, 8). So in Da 12:7, where "time, times, and half a time," again occurs, nothing symbolic occurs in the context. So that there is no reason why the three and a half years should be so. For the first four centuries the "days" were interpreted literally; a mystical meaning of the 1260 days then began. Walter Brute first suggested the year-day theory in the end of the fourteenth century. The seventy years of the Babylonian captivity foretold by Jeremiah (Jer 25:12; 29:10) were understood by Daniel (Da 9:2) as literal years, not symbolical, which would have been 25,200 years! [Tregelles]. It is possible that the year-day and day-day theories are both true. The seven (symbolical) times of the Gentile monarchies (Le 26:24) during Israel's casting off will end in the seven years of Antichrist. The 1260 years of papal misrule in the name of Christ may be represented by three and a half years of open Antichristianity and persecution before the millennium. Witnessing churches may be succeeded by witnessing individuals, the former occupying the longer, the latter the shorter period (Re 11:3). The beginning of the 1260 years is by Elliott set at A.D. 529 or 533, when Justinian's edict acknowledged Pope John II to be head of the Church; by Luther, at 606, when Phocas confirmed Justinian's grant. But 752 is the most likely date, when the temporal dominion of the popes began by Pepin's grant to Stephen II (for Zachary, his predecessor's recognition of his title to France), confirmed by Charlemagne. For it was then first that the little horn plucked up three horns, and so became the prolongation of the fourth secular kingdom [Newton]. This would bring us down to about A.D. 2000, or the seventh thousand millenary from creation. But Clinton makes about 1862 the seventh millenary, which may favor the dating from A.D. 529.




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