The seven year covenant
The land of Canaan was a type and a shadow of better land, to which Christians have come, as taught in the New Testament. [Heb. 11:16; 12:22] Paul said that the experiences of the Israelites recorded in the Old Testament were written for our examples, and for our admonition. Peter said the prophets ministered, not to themselves, but unto us, that is, the saints, or the New Testament church. The prophets, he said, wrote about the gospel, (they “prophesied of the grace that should come unto you”) and they wrote by the spirit of Christ which was in them. [1 Peter 1:9-12]
A period of seven years is prominent in prophecy, and in the early history of Israel. Jacob agreed to serve Laban the Syrian seven years for his bride Rachel. [Gen. 29:20] But the time involved actually turned out to be longer than a literal seven years. When the time came for his marriage to Rachel, he was given her older sister Leah instead. His labour was to continue for another seven years, and then yet another six, and after this, he returned to the promised land. Jacob came back with not only Rachel, but also her sister Leah, their handmaidens, and all their children. They brought with them a large herd of cattle. At Galeed, several miles east of the Jordan River, Jacob and Laban made a covenant, that neither would pass that place to do any harm to the other. [Gen. 31:45-48, 51-53]
The time involved in the conquest of Canaan under Joshua was seven years.
In Ezekiel’s prophecies about Gog and Magog, the time that the people of Israel burn the weapons of the hordes of Gog and Magog for fuel is seven years. [Ezek. 39:9]
In Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy the time when Christ confirms his covenant with the church is one week, [or seven times] which corresponds to, or alludes to the time for which Jacob agreed to serve Laban for Rachel.
In the prophecies of Daniel, great kingdoms are described, but always in their relation to the saints, and the kingdom of God. The metallic image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 represents the major human kingdoms throughout all of history, and Babylon is featured in the prophecies of Revelation, where it represents all human society. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the head of the image was of fine gold, its breast and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of brass, its legs were of iron, and its feet were part of iron and part of clay. This man-like image was replaced by a mountain, that filled the earth. The mountain represents the kingdom of God. There is a continuity in the prophecy, because the prophecy depicts time as progressing vertically from top to bottom. There are no gaps in the image, and there are no gaps in time.
The prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 parallels the prophecy in chapter 7, where the same successive world governments or empires are depicted as animals. The four beasts correspond to the four metals, gold, silver, brass, and iron, in the prophecy of chapter 2. The head of fine gold in chapter 2 corresponds to the lion in chapter 7. The breast and arms of silver in chapter 2 corresponds to the bear in chapter 7. The belly and thighs of brass in chapter 2 correspond to the leopard with four heads in chapter 7. The legs of iron in chapter 2 correspond to the terrible beast described in chapter 7. The feet, part of iron and part of clay in chapter 2 correspond to the 10 horns of the beast in chapter 7. The stone cut without hands in chapter 2, that became a great mountain, corresponds to the saints and the kingdom of God in chapter 7.
In the prophecy of Daniel 7 another little horn, separate from the ten horns of the fourth beast, makes war with the saints. This is the antichrist spirit, with eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. The eyes like the eyes of a man represent a human viewpoint, which opposes the divine point of view of the prophets. It continues for a time, times and a half. [Dan. 7:25] John said that this spirit was already present in the first century. [1 John 4:3]
The time, times and a half in Daniel’s prophecies signifies half of seven times, and the swearing angel in Daniel 12:7 showed that it is the last time period. All of the events mentioned in Daniel’s prophecies will be finished, when that time period is fulfilled. There is another similar swearing figure depicted in Revelation 10, who declares that “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” [Rev. 10:7]
The seven times, or one week, of which the time, times and a half is the last portion, is without doubt the final week in the prophecy of Daniel 9. Here, three separate periods are described, which together make seventy weeks. They are 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week. The Messiah was to appear when the first two of the three were fulfilled, which began the last week, in which he would confirm the covenant with many. His earthly ministry was the first half of the final week. But he was crucified, and buried, and rose again from the grave, and ascended to heaven, to the throne of his Father.
Here, the units of the prophecy change, because earth days, months, and years, based on the period of the earth’s rotation, and its orbit around the sun, would not apply to things that are spiritual. God’s time does not equal our time. And therefore the time, times and a half when Christ continues to confirm his covenant with his church, is not earthly time, but it is the prophetic symbol for the final half-week, which is the whole age of the church. Thus, there are no gaps in Daniel’s time prophecies, and they agree perfectly with the visions of chapters 2 and 7.
The time remaining once the abomination of desolation is set up is given as 1,290 days. [Dan. 12:11] This number represents a symbolic three years and a half, where one year has 13 months, and the rest 12 months, and months are 30 days. Natural months are not exactly 30 days, so this period is symbolic, and not a literal 1,290 days or years.
The time that Christ waits for his church to be completed is 1,335 days. [Dan. 12:12] This number represents a symbolic three years and a half, where one year has 12 months, and the rest 13 months, and months are 30 days. Again, because natural months are not exactly 30 days, this period is symbolic, and not a literal 1,335 days or years.
In John’s prophecy the holy city is trampled by Gentiles for 42 months. [Rev. 11:2] The duration of the ministry of the two witnesses is 1,260 days. [Rev. 11:3] The time for which the woman in Revelation 12, who represents the church, remains in the wilderness, is stated in two ways, first as 1,260 days, and then as a time, times and a half. [Rev. 12:6, 14] The time when the beast makes war with the saints is 42 months. [Rev. 13:5]
The numbers that represent the whole age of the church, or any portion of it, are symbolic. The little horn, which makes war with the saints, and which has eyes like the eyes of a man representing a human point of view will “think to change times and laws.” [Dan. 7:25] These times include the times of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, and the prophecy of the 70 weeks. Those who say that there is a gap in the 70 weeks, are influenced by the “little horn.” Those who claim it is 490 literal years, or that the 1,290 days are literal days or literal years, or that the 1,335 days are literal days or literal years, or that the 1,260 days are literal days or literal years, are also influenced by the “little horn,” IMO. They fail to consider the necessary change in the nature of the units of time, when it is applied to things in the spiritual world, and the better land of the saints. The church which is being prepared in the present age is the bride of Christ, and the covenant which Christ confirms for one week is a covenant like the one Jacob made, to purchase his bride Rachel.