“FOR SIGNS AND FOR SEASONS”
Luke 21:25-27 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; ...”
E.W. Bullinger edited by J.E. Bradburn
Luke 21:25-27 (KJV)
25 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 “Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
27 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
We have seen the great TRUTHS which are taught from the position, and forms, and names of the heavenly bodies. There are also TRUTHS to be learned from their motions. When God created them and set them in the firmament of heaven, He said in:
Genesis 1:14 (KJV) “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:’”
Here the word “signs” is othoth, plural of oth, from the root, to come. Hence a sign, of something or some One to come. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
In Jeremiah 10:2 (KJV) “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.’”
The word “seasons” does not denote merely what we call the four seasons of the year, but cycles of time. It is, appointed time (from the verb, to point out, appoint). It occurs three more times in Genesis, each time in connection with the promised Seed—
1. Genesis 17:21 (KJV), “At this set time in the next year”;
2. Genesis 18:14 (KJV), “At the time appointed I will return”;
3. Genesis 21: 2 (KJV), “At the set time of which God had spoken.”
Genesis 1:14 is therefore, “They (the sun, moon, and stars) shall be for signs (things to come) and in cycles (appointed times).”
Here, then, we have a distinct declaration from God, that the heavens contain not only a Revelation concerning things to come in the “Signs,” but also concerning appointed times in the wondrous movements of the sun, moon, and stars. which means;
The motions of the sun and moon are so arranged that at the end of a given interval of time they return into almost precisely the same position, with regard to each other and the earth, as they held at the beginning of that interval. “Almost precisely,” but not quite precisely. There will be a slight outstanding difference, which will gradually increase in successive intervals, and finally destroy the possibility of the combination recurring, or lead to combinations of a different character. Thus the daily difference between the movement of the sun and of the stars leads the sun back very nearly to conjunction with the same star as it was twelve months earlier, and gives us the cycle of the year.
The slight difference in the sun’s position relative to the stars at the end of the year, finally leads the sun back to the same star at the same time of the year, e.g. at the spring equinox, and gives us the great Precessional cycle of 25,800 years.
So, too, with eclipses. Since the circumstances of any given eclipse are reproduced almost exactly 18 years and 11 days later, this period is called and Eclipse Cycle, to which the ancient astronomers gave the name of Saros; and eclipses separated from each other by an exact cycle, and, therefore, corresponding closely in their conditions, are spoken of as being one and the same eclipse. Each Saros contains, on average, about 70 eclipses. Of these, again, on average 42 are solar, and 28 are lunar. Since the Saros is 11 days (or, more correctly, 10·96 days) longer than 18 years, the successive recurrences of each eclipse fall 11 days later in the year each time, and in 33 Sari will have travelled on through the year and come around very nearly to the original date .
But as the Saros does not reproduce the conditions of an eclipse with absolute exactness, and as the difference increases with every successive return, a time comes when the return of the Saros fails to bring about an eclipse at all. If the eclipse be a solar one before this takes place, a new eclipse begins to form a month later in the year than the old one, and becomes the first eclipse of a new series.
This is the history of one such eclipse: On May 15 (Julian), 850 A.D. there was a new eclipse of the sun, and it occurred as a partial eclipse. On Aug 20 (Julian), this new eclipse became total. From that time it has become an annular eclipse, the latitude of the central shadow gradually shifting southward from the north, until on December 17 (Julian), 1210, it had reached N. Lat. 430. It turned northward again after 1210, until March 14 (Julian), 1355, when it fell in N. Lat. 430. Then it turned south, and has moved steadily in that direction, until on March 18 (Gregorian), 1950, its last appearance as an annular eclipse have taken place. On May 22 (Greg), 2058, it will fall so far from the node that a new eclipse will follow it on June 21. It will make three more appearances as an ever diminishing partial eclipse, and be last seen on June 24 (Greg), 2112.
Its total life-history, therefore, will have been 1,262 years and 36 days, and will have occupied 70 Sari. In the above life history of an eclipse there is not the slightest difficulty as to its identification. The Saros does not show any break, and no interruption; nor does the character of the eclipse suffer any abrupt change. The district over which it is visible moves in a slow and orderly fashion from occurrence to occurrence over the earth’s surface.
Now the important point is this, that if we take the prophetic reckoning of 360 days to the year, we have the following significant Biblical numbers:-
In the first place, we already have the 70 Sari divided into two portions of 33 + 37. A perfect cycle is accomplished in 33 Sari, or 595 years, when the eclipse, by a series of unbroken Sari, has accomplished a passage through the year of 360 days; or, if we reckon only the whole numbers, i.e. the 18 completed years, we have for the 33 Sari the period of 594 years, while the remaining portion of 37 Sari makes 666 years (37 x 18); and the whole 70 Sari makes 1,260 years (594 + 666).
The relations between 595 years and 1,262 years 36 days, are the same in the relations between 594 years and 1,260 years. The difference of the two years 36 days is due to the excess of 10·96 days over the 18 completed years in each Saros.
We have then the following figures:-
18 x 33 = 594 years.
18 x 37 = 666 years.
18 x 70 = 1260 years.
Independently of this, we also know that 1,260 years is a soli—lunar cycle, so exact that its epact, or difference, is only six hours! There must, therefore, be something significant in these numbers, i.e. 70; in the number 1,260, with its divisions, not into two equal parts, but into 594 and 666; as also in its double, 2,520. There must be something to be learned in the occurrence and repetition of these heavenly cycles, which for nearly 6,000 years have been constantly repeated in the heavens, especially when we find these same numbers very prominently presented in the Word of God in connection with the fulfilment of prophecy.
Genesis 3: 20—24 (KJV)
20 “And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm
21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/ethhaadham.htm
22 “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/markofcain.htm
23 “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm
24 “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Orion.htm
Let us speak of this 6,000 years, here, mentioned above; (from The Companion Bible By E.W. Bullinger).
THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES
First Book. For its relation to the other books of the Pentateuch as well as to the Hebrew Canon of the O.T. https://levendwater.org/companion/append1.html Book See Ap 47 https://levendwater.org/companion/append47.html Moses ascribed to him:
Mark 10:2—8 (KJV)
2 And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?” tempting him.
3 And He answered and said unto them, “What did Moses command you?”
4 And they said, “Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.”
5 And Jesus answered and said unto them,” For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.”
Gen 2 (KJV)
7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
6 “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.”
7 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;”
8 “And they twain (two) shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain (two), but one flesh.
This is no part of Hebrew Title, which is simply Berēshīth, “in the beginning,” because it is the Book of all beginnings. Genesis is Greek = generation, creation. For its being complimentary to the Apocalypse. https://levendwater.org/companion/append3.html
1) “THE WORLD THAT THEN WAS”
2 Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)
5 “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”
6 “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”
Genesis 1:1—2:3 (KJV) THE INTRODUCTION
(Alternation) (See structure)
A1 | A | Chapter 1: verse 1 “THE WORLD THAT THEN WAS” (2 Peter 3: 6 KJV). ITS CREATION IN ETERNITY PAST
| B | Chapter 1: verse 2-. ITS END. RUIN.
| A | Chapter 1: --2—31. THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH WHICH ARE NOW” (2 Peter 3:7 KJV). THEIR CREATION IN TIME PRESENT (THE SIX DAYS.)
| B | Chapter 2: 1—3, THERE END. BLESSING.
A1 Here we have Creation in Eternity past, to which all “Fossils” and “Remains” belong. God. Hebrew Elohim, plural. Its first occurrence connects it with Creation, and denotes, by usage, the Creator in relation to His creatures. See appendix 4 https://levendwater.org/companion/append4.html. The Hebrew accent Athnach places the emphasis and gives pause on “God” as being Himself the great worker, separating the Worker from His work.
Created (singular). Occurs 6 times in this Introduction. Other Acts 46 times. See Appendix 5 https://levendwater.org/companion/append5.html. Perfection implied. [Deut 32:4. 2 Sam 22:31. Job 35:7. Ps 111; 147:3—5.Proverbs 3:19. Ecclesiastical 3:11—14. [Even the Greek Cosmos means ornament. Ex 33:4—6. Isa 49:18. Jer 4:30. Eze 7:20. 1 Pet 3:3;] the heaven and the earth. With Hebrew particle eth before each, emphasising the Article “the”, and thus distinguishing both from Gen 2:1 (structure) “Heavens” in Hebrew always in plural.
Luke 23:43 (KJV) “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.’”
Heavens and the earth means the heaven and the earth are always plural and with Hebrew particle ’eth, except for (Genesis 2:1KJV), see first Book above.
2) And. Note the Figure Polysyndeton:
Po'ly-syn'de-ton; or, Many Ands (Genesis 22:9, 11. Joshua 7:24. Luke 14:21). The repetition of the word "and" at the beginning of successive clauses, each independent, important, and emphatic, with no climax at the end. (Compare Aysndeton and Luke 14:13). A-syn'-de-ton; or, No-Ands (Mark 7:21-23. Luke 14:13). The usual conjunction is omitted, so that the point to be emphasised may be quickly reached and ended with an emphatic climax (compare to Polysyndeton, and Luke 14:21).
Luke 14:13 (KJV) “But when thou makest a feast, (or party) call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:”
Luke 14:21 (KJV) “So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.’”
By which, in the 34 verses of this introduction, each one of 102 separate acts are emphasised; and the important word “God” in verse Gen 1 is carried like a lamp through the whole of this introduction (Gen 1:1—2:3).
The earth. Figure Anadiplosis An'-a-di-plo'-sis; or, Like Sentence Endings and Beginnings (Genesis 1:1,2. Psalm 121:1,2). The word or words concluding one sentence are repeated at the beginning of another. Was = became. (See Gen 2:7; 4:3; 9:15;19:26. Exodus 32:1. Deut 27:9. 2 Sam 7:24 etc.) Also rendered (translated) [in the sense become], verse 3, &c, and where the verb (action) “to be” is not in Italic type. Hence Ex3:1, kept= became keeper, quit= become men, etc.
https://levendwater.org/companion/append7.html Without form means waste. Hebrew tohū vā bohū ( Par-o-no-ma'-si-a: or, Rhyming Words (Genesis 18:27). The repetition of words similar in sound, but not necessarily in sense.).
It was not created tohū vā bohū (Isa 45:18), but became tohū (Gen 1:2. 2 Peter 3:5—6) “an enemy (Satan) has done this” [Matt13:25,28, 39. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:33].
Matthew 13:25, 28, 39 (KJV)
25 “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/parables.htm
28 “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?”
39 “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.”
1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
See Appendix 8. 8. THE SO-CALLED "CREATION TABLETS."
The Cosmogony of Genesis is in flat, contradiction to that of the so-called "Creation Tablets," preserved in an epic poem in honor of Merodach, the patron god of Babylon. If Genesis looks back to Creation, it is to put on record the profound contrast between them, and to give, instead of the corruption of primitive truth, which had been handed down by tradition, the Divine account by Him Who created all things, by the hand and pen of Moses.
The word "without form" (Heb. tohu) is used of a subsequent event which, we know not how long after the Creation, befell the primitive creation of Gen. 1:1. It occurs in Gen. 1:2. Deut. 32:10. 1Sam. 12:21 (twice). Job 6:18; 12:24; 26:7. Ps. 107:40. Isa. 24:10; 29:21; 34:11; 40:17, 23; 41:29; 44:9; 45:18, 19; 49:4; 59:4. Jer. 4:23.
The Heb. bohu, rendered "void", means desolate, and occurs in Gen. 1:2. Isa. 34:11. Jer. 4:23.
The two words together occur in Gen. 1:2. Isa. 34:11. Jer. 4:23.
1.The Tablets begin with chaos.
The Bible with perfection (Gen. 1:1).
2.The Tablets make the heavenly bodies to be gods.
Genesis makes them created matter.
3.The Tablets are all polytheistic mythology.
Genesis is a monotheistic truth.
4.The Tablets make all the work of a craftsman.
In Genesis, God speaks, and it is done.
5.In the Tablets we meet everywhere with the puerilities (immature) of a grotesque superstition.
In Genesis we find the grand and solemn realities of righteousness and holiness.
Was. This is in Italic type, because there is no verb “to be” in the Hebrew language. In like manner man became a ruin (Gen 3 http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm
Psalm 14:1-3 (KJV)
1 “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.’”
2 “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.”
3 “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
1.-2:31 “THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH WHICH IS NOW” (Genesis “Creation” 6000 Years ago http://godsplan.org.uk/fleshage.htm)
A | a | -2-5. Darkness and light. Night and Day 1st Day.
| | b | 6—8. Waters. Division between them. 2nd Day.
| c | 9—13. Earth. (Good) Fruit from it. 3rd Day.
| a |14—19. Day and Night. Sun and Moon. 4th Day.
| | b | 20—23. Waters. Life from them. 5th Day.
| c | 24—31. Earth. Life from it. 6th Day.
-2 The spirit of God moved https://levendwater.org/companion/append9.html means: The beginning of “the heavens and earth which are now”.
2 Peter 3:7 (KJV) “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm
It is even so in the New Creation. The Spirit moves (John 3:3—8. Rom 8:5,9,14. Gal 4:29. 2 Cor 5:17—18).
John 3:3-8 (KJV)
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (See (Genesis 2:7 KJV): http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm)
7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
8 “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Romans 8:5,9, 14. (KJV)
05 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
09 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of His.”
14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Galatians 4:29 (KJV) “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted Him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (KJV)
17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
18 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”
God said (Occurs 10 times in this introduction) this begins each day: 3rd day twice; 6th day four times. The second act is also of God which is (1 Peter 23—25 KJV). https://levendwater.org/companion/append5.html 5. CREATION VERSUS EVOLUTION.
1 Peter 1:23-25 (KJV)
23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
24 “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:”
25 “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
Be light = become light (as in verse 2), not the verb “to be.” Light was not created until the 4th Day. Was = became, as in verse 2. It is even so in the New Creation: His word enters and gives light (Psalm 119:130. 2 Cor 4:6).
Psalm 119:130 (KJV) “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Saw. Occurs 7 times in the Introduction: Good = beautiful. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV) “He hath made everything beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
Divided. Occurs twice. Each day’s work was called “good”, except for the second day, because nothing created on that day: only division made. 5. Called. Occurs 5 times Ap 5. Evening and morning Fig Synecdoche (means of the part) Ap 6. Put for a full day. The beginning and end of anything is put for the whole of it. (Cp Ecc3:11; 10:13; 11:6. Ps 92:2. Isa 41:4; 44:6; 48:12. Rev 1:8, 11,17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13.) First, for spiritual significance see: https://levendwater.org/companion/append10.html First day = day one. The word “day” may refer to a prolonged period when used without any qualifying words. But when qualified with a numeral (carinal or ordinal) it is defined and limited by it to a day of 24 hours. It is further limited here by its boundaries “evening and morning”, as well as by the 7th day. Cp Exodus 20:9, 11. See Ap 11 https://levendwater.org/companion/append11.html. 6. Firmament = expanse. Something spread out. 7. Made. Occurs 7 times Ap 5. 8 Heaven= Hebrew. (high, lofty).
Genesis 1:14 (KJV) “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:”
For out of Genesis 1:14 just a small quote, that can easily be missed, or misunderstood, and that is “and let them be for signs.” So what are these signs? We have the great “seven times” (2520) connected with the duration of Israel’s punishment, and of the Gentiles’ power. We have in Daniel and the Apocalypse the half of this great period presented as “days” (1260), as “months” (42), and as “times” or years (31/2). Futurists believe that these “days” and “months,” etc, interpret for us the purposes and counsels of God as connected with “the time of the end,” and as meaning literal “days” and “months,” etc.
Historicists take these terms and themselves interpret the numbers, in the sense of a “day” being put for a year, and they believe that these “1260 days” will be fulfilled as 1,260 years. One party boldly and ungraciously charges the other with teaching “The Fallacies of Futurism”; while the other might well retort with a reference to the Heresies of Historicism.
1. However; is there any necessity for the existence of two hostile camps?
2. Is it not possible that there may be what we call a long fulfillment in years?
3. Is it not more than probable that in the time of the end, the crisis, there will be also a short and literal fulfillment in days?
We firmly believe that there will be this literal and short fulfillment. We believe that when God says “days,” He means days; and when He says “42 months,” He means months, and not 1,260 years. In all the passages referred to by historicists in support of what is called “the year day theory,” the Holy Spirit uses these words “days” and “years” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/gifts.htm in the sense of days and years. In the two particular instances of Israel’s wanderings (Numbers 14:34), and Ezekiel’s prophesying (Ezekiel 4:6), He chooses to take the number of days as denoting the same number of years; but He does not tell us that we are to do the same in other cases!
Numbers 14:34 (KJV) “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.”
Ezekiel 4:6 (KJV) “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.”
1. He only asserts His sovereignty by thus acting,
2. While we only show our presumption in taking His sovereign act as a general principle.
But while fully believing in the short fulfillment, we are quite prepared to admit that there may be along fulfillment as well; and that, owing to the wondrous harmony, and marvellous correspondence, and infinite wisdom of all the works and ways of God, there may be a fulfillment, or rather a “filment,” if we may coin the word, in years, which will be only a foreshadowing of the literal fulfillment afterwards to take place in days.
If historicists will allow us this liberty as to interpretation, and permit us to believe that God means what He says, we will give them some remarkable evidence in support of their views, by way of application. In other words, if they will allow us to interpret “days” as meaning days, we will gladly allow them, and be at one with them, in applying them to years. So that while we believe that the interpretation to mean “days,” and to teach a short fulfillment at the time of the end, we will thankfully admit an application which shall take these days as foreshowing a long fulfillment in years.
In applying, then, these significant numbers (42, 70, 594, 666, 1,260, and 2,520) to years, from what point or date shall we begin to reckon the “times of the Gentiles”?
Luke 21:24 (KJV) “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
That there are such definite “times” the words of the Lord Jesus show, when He says, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” That there are “seven times” of Gentile dominion is more than intimated by the symbolic episode in the life of Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel 4; and that there are “Seven times,” of Israel’s punishment is clearly stated:
Leviticus 26:18 (KJV) “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
“Seven times,” according to the Historicist school of interpreters, are equal to 2,520 years. Instead of asking where they begin, let us first note the fact that it is duration which is emphasised in the Scriptures rather than chronology; and look at the duration of of these years independently of, and before we attempt to fix, their beginning and ending. In Daniel 2, 7, it is shown first to Nebuchadnezzar in a “dream,” and afterwards to God’s servant the prophet in a “vision,” that Israel was to be put on one side and become “Lo-ammi” (not My people), while government was to be put in the hands of the Gentiles. Jerusalem was the central point of both these great and solemn facts. That is to say, during 2,520 years, while Jerusalem should remain in the power of the Gentiles, Israel; could “be no more a nation.” in possession of their land and city.
We know, as a matter of fact, that today Jerusalem is in the hands of the Turks, and that it is still “trodden down of the Gentiles”
1. If we ask how long will it continue to be “trodden down”?
2. How long will it be before Israel shall again possess their city and their land?
3. The answer brings us at once to the heart of our subject.
In seeking to determine both duration and chronology, it is necessary to plant both our feet on sure ground. To do this, let us take a point on which all are agreed. There is one date which is universally accepted; and concerning which the evidence is unquestioned.
ABU OBEIDA, the Mohammedan General, laid siege to Jerusalem towards the close of 636 A.D. The city was then occupied by the Romans, who held out for four months. When they capitulated, the Patriarch SOPHRONIUS obtained a clause in the treaty giving security to the inhabitants, and requiring the ratification of Omar himself. OMAR, who had therefore to be sent for, arrived some six months afterwards, and the delay caused the actual delivering up of the city to take place early in the autumn of A.D. 637. This is the date which concerns only the city of Jerusalem. The Romans were not completely driven out from the land until Cǣsarea had fallen in 638, when the conquest was finally completed. See Gibbon’s Decline and Fall.
The year A.D. 636-7 is therefore the date of the passing over of Jerusalem from the Romans to the Turks.
OMAR seems to have stayed in the city for only about ten days, during which he must have given his instructions for the erection of the Mosque on the site of the Temple. This Mosque, therefore, stands as the sign and the symbol of the treading down of Jerusalem, and while it remains, those times of treading down cannot be considered as fulfilled.
How steady was Israel’s decadence (a process of decline or decay in a society, especially in its morals) from Nebuchadnezzar to OMAR! Nothing could exceed that darkest moment in Israel’s history, when Israel was well-nigh obliterated in the mighty struggles of her enemies who fought over her inheritance. Thus OMAR becomes the great central point of the 2,520 years, whether reckoned as Lunar, Zodiacal, or Solar, dividing them equally into two portions of 1,260 years.* This date 636-7 is a great and important central date, whether we reckon backwards or forwards; whether we reckon them as Lunar, Zodiacal (360 days), or Solar (365 days) years. If we take Lunar years (which = 12221/2 Solar) - reckoning backward, we get to 587 B.C., the very date of the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar.
When we reckon forward we get to 1860 A.D., the very date of the European intervention in Lebanon, which has brought the Eastern Question into its present prominent position.
If we take Zodiacal years (which =1242 Solar) – reckoning backward we get to 608 B.C. the date of the battle Carchemish (2 Chron35:20 KJV), when Babylon completed the conquest of Assyria, and became supreme; utterly shattering all the hope which Israel had in Egypt.
Reckoning forward brings us to 1879 A.D, when, by the treaty of Berlin, Ottoman power received a blow from which it has never recovered, and which has prepared the way for its extinction.
If we take Solar years, then- Reckoning backward, we get to B.C. 624 (A.M. 3376), the beginning of the babylonian kingdom, the “head of gold”. Reckoning forward we get to 1896-7 A.D. which is yet future. These reckonings in their beginnings and endings form an introversion, or Epanodos, thus:-
608 B. C. dates increasing.
1879 A. D. dates increasing.
The Solar reckonings are the more important dates; the Lunar are next in significance; while Zodiacal reckonings furnish us with dates which, to say the least, fit neatly into their places.
Having thus fixed the central date, which already points forward to the end, let us go back and find the starting point, that we may the better understand the end. When Daniel was explaining to Nebuchadnezzar his mysterious dream, he said:
Daniel 2:38 (KJV) “And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”
This moment is popularly, but erroneously, (incorrect, based on an incorrect assumption) supposed to mark the commencement of the Babylonian kingdom—the first of these four great Gentile powers. But Daniel spoke of what ALREADY existed, and was explaining the then condition of things. He said again:
Daniel 2:37 (KJV) “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.”
The kingdom of Babylon had already been in existence for more than thirty years, for its king had destroyed Jerusalem and burnt the Temple with fire, and brought away many captives, amongst whom was Daniel and his companions. The opening words of the book make this very clear.
The monumental history of Babylon, as now dug up, shows that before this it had been sometimes tributary to, and sometimes almost independent of, Assyria. In A.M. 3352 after a sever struggle with Assurbanipal, the Assyrian king, Babylon was once more subdued, and its king setting fire to his palace perished in the flames. After that there was peace for 22 years, during which time Kandalanu governed Babylon in succession to Sumas-sum-ukin, a son of Assurbanipal.
In A.M 3375 (i.e B.C. 627), These dates are those furnished by the monuments, as given by Dr Budge, of the British Museum, in his Babylonian Life and History, RTS 1885. They also agree with the dates dug up by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1862, consisting of fragments of seven copies of the famous “Eponym Canon of Assyria,” by which the Assyrian chronology has been definitely settled. Before this, historians had to be content with inferences and conjectures. Another revolt broke out, and the Assyrian king sent a general of great ability to quell it. His name was Nabu-pal-user (which means Nebo protects his son). He put down the rebellion with so much skill that Assurbanipal made him governor of Babylon.
He shortly afterwards, in A.M. 3376, himself rebelled, and made himself King of Babylon. Associating with him his son Nebuchadnezzar, they commenced a campaign against Assurbanipal;, which ended in the fall of Nineveh and the complete subjugation of Assyria. The kingdom of Babylon, thus commencing in B.C. 625, became the first great Gentile Kingdom as foretold in Daniel. There is practically no question, now, as to this date.
In adjusting the A.M. and B.C. dates, the latter are always apparently one year in advance of the former, because B.C. 4000 was A.M. 1, and B. C. 3999 was A.M. 2. Hence A. M. 3376 is not B.C. 624, but it is B.C. 625.
The actual duration of the three kingdoms that followed-, Babylon, Medo Persia, and Greece, may not be so accurately determined. Their total duration is known, because it is fixed by a known date at the other end, but it might introduce controversial matter if we attempted to assign to them their exact relative duration. Probably they were, roughly:- Babylon about 90 years; Medo Persia about 200 years; Greece about 304 years.
We believe these to be fairly proportionate, Cyrus took Babylon, according to the Monuments, in the 17th year of Nabonidus, B.C. 539. (1 Maccabees 1) begins with the first of Alexander from the death of Darius Codomannus in A.M. 3672. This would slightly vary the above distribution of the years of separate duration. But whether they are or not, their total amount must have been 594 years, because the undisputed date of the battle of ACTIUM, by which Augustus became the head of the Roman Empire, was September B.C. 31. From this date Jerusalem passed permanently under the power of Rome until the Mahommedans conquest in A.D.636-7.
We have, therefore, three fixed dates, and these decide for us the duration of the intervening periods; dividing them into the two great Eclipse Cycles of 594 years and 666 years!
Jerusalem under the Gentiles
Fixed Dates. Duration of Years
Babylon (the 1st kingdom) commenced B.C. 625
Battle of Actium, ending the possession
Of the third kingdom - - - B.C. 31
Duration of the three kingdoms,
Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece, 594
Together (1st Eclipse Cycle) - - -
Rome (the 4th Kingdom) became the
Possessor of Jerusalem - - - B.C, 31
Mahommedans conquest of Jerusalem,
Ending the possession of Rome - A.D. 636
Duration of Rome’s possession of
Jerusalem (and 2nd Eclipse Cycle) - 666
FIRST HALF OF “THE TIMES OF
THE GENTILES”- - - - 1260
Date of Mahommedans conquest
Jerusalem - - - - - A.D. 636-7
SECOND HALF OF “THE TIMES OF
GENTILES “ and Duration of 1260 1260
Mahommedans possession of Jerusalem
End and “fulness” of “ the times of
the Gentiles.” - - - - A.D 1896-7 2520
In passing from B.C. dates to A.D. dates, one year must always be deducted. e.g. from B.C. 2 to A.D.2 is only three years, not four! Thus- From Jan 1 B.C. 2 to Jan 1 B.C. 1 is one year, and so on. Hence B.C.31 to A.D. 636 = 666 years, not 667.
From this it appears that 1896—7 A.D. would mark an important year in connection with the “times of the Gentiles.” The above reckoning has the following advantages over all previous historicist interpretations:-
1. Controverted dates are excluded. (Controverted = to argue strongly about something).
2. The whole period of 2520 years is dealt with, instead of only the latter half (1260), as is usually the case.
3. It confines these “times” to the one place where the Lord Himself put them, viz, “JERUSALEM.” He said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
4. These “times,” therefore, are confined to Jerusalem.
5. This “treading down” is confined to Jerusalem.
It is not the city of Rome that is to be trodden down for 1260 years.
1. Why, then, should these “times” be separated from what is characteristic of their duration, and applied to Rome, Papal or imperial?
2. Why should historicists search for some act of emperors or popes in the early part of the seventh century in order to add it to 1260, so as to find some terminal date in or near our own times!*
*While the premises of the Historicists school are thus strengthened, their conclusions are shown to be erroneous.
We claim that the Lord Himself has joined these “times of Gentiles” with the city of “Jerusalem,” and we say, “What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder “ (Matt 19:6 KJV).
When Jesus spoke of this treading down, it looks as though it were then still future; for He said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down,” etc. The occupation of Jerusalem by Babylon, Med-Persia, Greece, and Rome, was for purposes of government rather than for a wanton treading down. Government on the earth was committed unto them. But when Jerusalem passed from the government of the Roman Empire into the hands of the Turks, it could then be said, in a very special sense, to be “trodden down.” For of any government worthy of the name there has been none; and of desolation and desecration the city has been full. Under the feeble rule of the Turks, all the Gentiles seem to have combined in laying waste the holy city.
Though Jews are returning thither in ever increasing numbers, they are only strangers there. They have as yet no independent position, nor can they make any treaties. But when these “times” shall end, it means they will have a position of sufficient independence to be able to make a treaty or league with the coming Prince.
Daniel 9:27 (KJV) (Check out the numbers of this verse). “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.”
Then the course of events will bring on another treading down of 1260 literal “days,” which will thus have had a foreshadowing fulfillment in years! This is written in (Rev 11:2). And to save us from any misunderstanding, the time is given, not in days, but in “months.” [30 days in a Biblical month}
Revelation 11:2 (KJV) “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” 31/2 Years.
The angel, after directing John to measure the Temple of God and the altar, adds, “but the court which is without the Temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. This refers to a future treading down, which will be limited to the brief period of “forty two” literal “months,” during the time of the coming prince; (the “Antichrist”) “and in the midst” of the last week, when he shall break His covenant with the Jews*, *And cause sacrifice and oblation to cease (Daniel 9:27 KJV). We know that is referred, by historicists, to the Messiah. But they are not entitled to so interpret this passage unless they take with it (Dan 8:11, 11:31, and 12:11, KJV), where the same effect is distinctly referred to, and is spoken, not of Christ, but of Antichrist.
Daniel 8:11 (KJV) “Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.”
Daniel 11:31 (KJV) “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”
Daniel 12:11 (KJV) “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
Set up the “abomination of desolation”; (Daniel 9:27); which is still future in (Matt 24:15 (KJV), and tread down the holy city.”
Daniel 9:27 (KJV) [again check out the verse numbers] http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thenumbernine.htm “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.”
Matthew 24:15 (KJV) “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
We now desire to especially emphasise the fact that all these dates, and their termination in a rapidly approaching fulfillment, refers ONLY TO JERUSALEM, THE GENTILES, AND THE JEWS! They refer only to the end of the Gentile possession of Jerusalem, and to the settlement of the Jews in their own city and land.
These “times and seasons” have nothing whatsoever to do with “the Church of God” 1 Thess 5:1 (KJV) “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” The mystical Body of Christ, whenever its members are complete. Therefore; we are not dealing here with the coming of the Lord; either for His saints, or with them. We are not referring to what is commonly and erroneously called “the end of the world.” We are merely pointing out that the end of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem is drawing near! And we cannot close our eyes to the marvellous manner in which the veil is being removed from Jewish hearts: to the change which has come over the Jewish nation in its attitude towards Christ and Christianity, chiefly, under God, through the unparalleled circulation of more than a quarter of a million copies of a new translation of the New Testament into Hebrew, by the late Isaac Salkinson, published by the Trinitarian Bible Society, and freely distributed by the Mildmay Mission to the Jews: to the Palestine literature which has sprung up amongst the Jews in recent years: to the persecutions in various countries which are stirring their nest, and setting the nation in motion: to the organised emigration to Argentina, which its promoters avowedly speak of as “a nursery ground for Palestine” (Daily Graphic, March 10th, 1892): to the railways completed and in course of construction in the Holy Land: to the numerous Societies and their branches which have permeated the whole nation, which, while having various names, have only one object—“the colonisation of Palestine.”
When we put these events side by side with the teaching of the heavens as to the “cycles” or appointed times, we are merely showing how wonderfully they agree with what is written in the Book, and witnessed to by great and uncontested historic dates.
Nor are we absolutely naming a definite year or day even for Palestinian events. After all, they can be only approximate, for man has so misused every gift that God has ever given him, that even with such wondrous heavenly time-keepers he cannot really tell you what year it is! And, besides this loss of reckoning, there is confusion as to the commencement of the A.D. era, which makes absolute accuracy between the A.M. B.C. and A.D. dates impossible.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
Added to this, there is another point to be borne in mind, viz, that when the “times of the Gentiles” shall end, Jewish independence need not be either immediate or complete. For when Nebuchadnezzar began his kingdom of Babylon in A.M. 3376 (B.C. 635), the Jews, although in their land and city, were not independent. Nebuchadnezzar went to and from Jerusalem, and put down and set up whom he would; and it was not until some thirty years afterwards that he destroyed the City and Temple and made the people captives.
So, likewise, in the time of the end, there may be an Epanodos (the repetition of a group of words in reverse order). There may be a similar period of possession without independence, a quasi-independence guaranteed by the Great powers; and, for ought we know, it may be that, in order to gain complete independence, they may ultimately make that fatal league with the coming prince ('the prince who is to come'… the Antichrist). So while we name the dates 1896-7 as being significant, we are not “fixing dates” in the ordinary sense of the term, but merely pointing out some of “the signs of the times,” concerning which we ought not to be ignorant.
The true interpretation will in any case still remain, and will surely be literally fulfilled in its own time. The Word of God will be vindicated: its prophetic truth will be verified; God Himself will be glorified; and His people saved with an everlasting salvation. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Index.htm Meanwhile the members of His Body will “wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”
1 Thessalonians 1:10 (KJV) “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm
Acts 3:19-21 (KJV)
19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
20 “And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:”
21 “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/dispensationalplan.htm
“The world is sick, and yet not unto death;
There is for it a day of health in store;
From lips of love there comes the healing breath,-
The breath of Him who all its sickness bore,
And bids it rise to strength and beauty evermore.
Evil still reigns: and deep within we feel
The fever, and the palsy, and the pain
Of life’s perpetual heartaches, that reveal
The rooted poison, which, from heart and brain,
We labour to extract, but labour all in vain.
Our skill avails not; ages come and go,
Yet bring with them no respite and no cure;
The hidden wound, the sigh of pent up woe,
The sting we smother, but must still endure,
The worthless remedies which no relief procure,-
All these cry out for something more divine,
Which the worst woes of earth may not withstand;
Medicine that cannot fail—the oil and wine,
The balm an myrrh, growth of no earthly land,
And the all skilful touch of the great Healer’s hand.
Man needs a prophet: Heavenly prophet, speak,
And teach him what he is too proud to hear.
Man needs a priest: True Priest, Thy silence break,
And speak the words of pardon in his ear.
Man needs a king: O King, at length in peace appear.”
Note on the sign LIBRA
On page 47 we called attention to the point that in all probability the Sign Libra was a very ancient corruption. The ancient Akkadian name for the seventh month, which was the month when the sun was in the Sign now called Libra, was
Tul-ku, which means the sacred mound or altar. The Accadian name for this Sign was Bir, which means the Light, hence, the Lamp with its light, or the altar with its fire.
Its most ancient form was a circular altar.*
In Figure (1) (left) we have reproduced this, As proved by Mr Robert Brown Jnr, In his remarks on the Euphratean Astronomical names of the Signs of the Zodiac. and it will be at once seen that we have the original of the disc now preserved in the two circular scales which form the Sign of LIBRA.
The next stage of the corruption is shown in the Akkadian name of Scorpio (the Scorpion)—the Sign immediately to the left of the Altar. It was called Gir-tab, which means the Seizer and Stinger, and the next Figure (2), taken from a Euphratean boundary stone, shows the two Signs combined, for the Scorpion is stretching out its claws in order to seize the Lamp or Altar.
Thus the meaning of its name is exemplified. It is called the Seizer and Stinger. And just as in the constellation above it, the Serpent is struggling with the man, while at the same time it is stretching out its neck to seize the crown, so here the Scorpion, while trying to sting the same man in the heel, is stretching out its claws to seize the altar.
A Seal on a contract, nearly 700 B.C. shows this Circular Altar actually in the grasp of the Scorpion. Figure 3 is a picture of this Euphratean Seal, preserved on a contract made on the eighth day of the month Tisri, i.e. this same seventh month! This then is the next stage. But Mr Robert Brown, Jnr, observes, “The Circle or other representation of an altar not unnaturally disappeared as the use of the Sign advanced westward; whether by sea, or across Asia Minor, or both, and the Chelai alone remained where the shores of the Ćgean were reached.”
This is quite true, for the Greek name for the sign was Chelai, which means simply the Claws. And thus the Scorpion monopolised two Signs; its body one, and its claws the other. This led to the mistake of SERVIUS, the intelligent commentator on VIRGIL, which “the Chaldean Zodiac consisted of but eleven constellations.” We now know there were twelve Signs, and the mistake is thus explained.
Mr Brown quotes ACHILLES TATIUS, about 475 A.D. ARATUS says that “some few stars of the Claws are in the (Celestial) Equator.” And PTOLEMY describes the stars, now reckoned in LIBRA, as being in what he calls “The Constellation of the Claws” We have reproduced them so that his description of them may be readily traced.
“The bright one of those at the end of the southern Claw” (It is named Zuben el Genubi).
“The one more northerly than it, and dimmer”.
“The bright one of those at the end of the northern Claw” (named Zuben el Chemali.
“The one in front of it and dim.”
“The one in the middle of the southern Claw.”
“The one now marked in the northern Claw.”
“The one behind it in the same Claw.”
“The foremost of the three more northerly than the norther Claw.”
“The northern one of the two hindmost.”
“The hindmost of the three between the Claws.”
“The northern of the two remaining and preceding ones.”
“The southern one of them.”
This is how the stars formerly in the Sign of the (Circular) ALTAR, came to be reckoned in the Claws of the Scorpion; and this is how the circular scales of LIBRA came to be substituted for the ancient Circular ALTAR. This corruption of the primitive teaching of the ALTAR shows how the enemy (Satan) attempted to seize on the Atonement, bring in “the way of Cain,” and substitute human merit for the atoning sacrifice of Christ; http://www.godsplan.org.uk/markofcain.htm thus perverting the TRUTH at its fountain head. Just as in Gen 3 we have the woman’s promised Seed http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm in conflict with the Enemy, so in Gen4 we see the Scorpions claws—“the way of Cain” in conflict with “the way of God.”
There can be but little doubt, therefore, that the first Sign of the Zodiac was VIRGO, the second was the ALTAR, and the third was the SCORPION. The lesson which they teach is clear: The Seed of the woman (VIRGO), who was to come as a child, should be a sacrifice (the ALTAT) for the sins of His people; endure a great conflict with the enemy (SCORPIO), in which He would be wounded in the heel; but should in the end crush and tread the enemy underfoot. The one great central truth of prophecy, and written in the stars:
Genesis 3:15 (KJV) “And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (Israel), and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise Thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.