I recieved a PM, from a prominent Watchtower apologist on this site this morning. I post it here with my comments in the next posting below. I do not do so to reveal anything confidiential - as he clearly has not made it confidential in other such postings - and I leave it anonymous;
In case you are interested in knowing the truth.
How Long Are the Seven Times?
This has been discussed at length by the WT publications. Very briefly Revelation 12:6 tells us: "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days." Later in verse 13 of the same chapter we read, "the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place; there is where she is fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent."
Clearly we can readily see that 3.5 times = 1260 days. By doubling both figures we can easily conclude that 7 times = 2520 days. Then by applying the day for a year rule we deduct that 7 times = 2520 years. Amazing as it may seem, it is 2520 years from 607BCE to 1914CE. Are the seven times of Daniel chapter 4 to be applied in connection with the Gentile Times and God's rulership?
Why Daniel Used the Word 'Times' not Years
The claim is made by many that the tree dream only applied to Neb and nothing more. That he would have his sickness for 7 years and then be restored after that 7 years. But it is most interesting that the word Daniel chose to use in Daniel 4 concerning the tree was not the same word used for the word 'year'. He used the word "iddan" which means epoch, age, seasons, or times . Iddan is not the word that would be used merely to describe one year if one year is what is meant. There is a different word used to describe the word 'year'. For example, the word for year in Hebrew is "shana". By using the word "iddan" it becomes evident that Daniel wanted to convey the thought that something was meant beyond a simple seven years otherwise why not just use the word for years?
What can we conclude concerning Daniel's use of the word 'iddan'? That Dalniel must have used that word for 'times' purposely or was at least directed by Jehovah to use the word. We have to wonder why? Why the use of the word 'times' instead of years? There must have been a reason. If the tree dream is only to be applied to Nebuchadnezzar then why didn't the prophecy simply say 7 years. Why 7 times? The only reasonable conclusion one can draw is so that it could later be connected to Revelation to show that 7 times does equal 2520. Apparently it was meant for 7 times to be deciphered as 2520 in order to show us that it has greater significance other than just the 7 years upon Neb? Otherwise, why the clues? Was it Jehovah's intention to mislead Bible readers?
There can be no doubt that the verses in Revelation were written to show us exactly the length of seven times so we can understand the tree dream in Daniel. Otherwise, John could have just been directed to write 1260 days and leave the cryptic 'time times and half of times' out all together since it is just repetition and does not help us in the interpretation of Revelation at all. In other words the seven times in Daniel do not help us to figure out what the 3.5 times are in Revelation. It is the other way around.
Think about this: If seven times mean only 7 years then Daniel could have simply said 7 years. Then Revelation could have simply said 3.5 years or 1260 days or 42 months. And nobody would ever even need to mention 'times' and everyone would be happy and understand it all. But because 7 times means 7 years with Neb but 2520 years in the great scheme of things then Daniel had to use a different term other than years. He had to use a word that could convey both the 7 years upon Neb and the hundreds of years spanning the Gentile times. That term he was directed by Jehovah to use was 'iddan' or 'times'. Since this needed to be understood, then John was directed to use the same terminology, 'times', to show the length of seven times and thus the book of Daniel could be understood by seekers of truth.
In view of the foregoing is it reasonable to think that Daniel 4 is only about Nebuchadnezzar? Why does Daniel specifically use the word 'times' rather than years? And why does Revelation then help us to see the length of 7 times? And why does Daniel tell of 7 times passing over until the lowliest one of mankind is set up. Dan 4:17, "to the intent that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind.” This cannot be mere coincidence, can it?
Could Seven Times Mean 70 Years?
Some make the claim that 7 times just meant 7 decades therefore concluding that it coincides with the 70 years of Babylonian domination. However, the question would need to be answered: In what way was a lowly one put on high in 537? No king of Judah was restored at that time.
We have a parallel in Neb. He was brought low only to be put on high after 7 times. God's rulership in the form of the Davidic Kings (the last one being Zedekiah) was brought low in 607. It would not be until someone sat on that throne again that the lowly one would be put on high. That lowly one of course is Jesus Christ. When would that lowly one be put on high? That is what the prophecy is answering. First it answers that question in regards to Nebuchadnezzar. Secondly, and most importantly, it answers that question as regards to God's rulership.
Others argue that a year is 365 days not 360 days. Therefore they conclude that 7 times should be 7 X 365. But the Bible interprets itself. The book of Revelation clearly shows that 3 and a half times equals 1260 days. Therefore 7 times equals 2520. We can't argue with that. We can't say, oh no , there are 365 days in a year. That doesn't matter. The Bible shows what 7 times equals. We can't change it. 7 times =2520 days. If it is a day for a year then 7 times is equal to 2520 years. You only have 2 choices. Either seven times = seven years. Or seven times = 2520 years. (based on a day for a year) It can't be 7 X 365 or 70 years or 7 months or 7 days unless we are going to totally disregard the Bible's explanation of times in Revelation.
What the Tree Pictures
Just why was the tree dream given to Nebuchadnezzar concerning the large tree that would be cut down and banded and that after seven times had passed over the bands would be removed and the tree once again would be able to grow? From the very outset of Daniel chapter 4 the theme is set. In verse 3 we read of Jehovah, "How grand his signs are, and how mighty his wonders are! His kingdom is a kingdom to time indefinite, and his rulership is for generation after generation." Continuing the theme the Bible explains the reason for the dream in simple terms at Dan 4:17, "to the intent that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind.” Yes, God's everlasting rulership toward the earth and his choosing of whomever he sees fit to place in the position of rulership is the centralized theme of Daniel 4.
As has been said before, the Bible interprets itself and so we do not have to guess about the meaning of Daniel chapter 4 at all. Incredibly, similar words of Daniel 4:17 are used concerning the kingship of Zedekiah. Ezekiel 21:25-27 reads concerning Zedekiah: "As for you, O deadly wounded, wicked chieftain of Israel, whose day has come in the time of the error of the end, this is what the Lord Jehovah has said, Remove the turban, and lift off the crown. This will not be the same. Put on high even what is low, and bring low even the high one. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I shall make it. As for this also, it will certainly become no ones until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him."
Most Bible scholars will readily agree that this prophecy does indeed apply to the last king of Judah, Zedekiah. Ezekiel 20:1 gives the time period that the prophecy was given, "Now it came about in the seventh year..." The seventh year being the 7th year of Ezekiel's exile. Ezekiel's 7th year of exile was during the rule of King Zedekiah. In fact a quick reading of the entire 21st chapter of of the book of Ezekiel will confirm that the prophecy is against Jerusalem and "against the soil of Israel," and verses 18 through 21 confirm that it is the "king of Babylon" who would come against Judah and Jerusalem. Ezekiel 21:25-27 must therefore apply to Zedekiah and only Zedekiah since he was the ruling king of Judah at the time when the prophecy was given, he was the last king of Judah, and he was in fact shortly thereafter conquered by the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.
But there is even more evidence in Ezekiel 21 for connecting the kings of Judah including the last king Zedekiah with the tree in Neb's dream. In reading the entire chapter of Ezekiel 21 did you notice that Jehovah has a sword that he will unsheath upon Judah because of their rebelliousness. It is concerning that sword that the question is asked in verse 10, “Is it (the executional sword) rejecting the scepter (rulership) of my own son (Israel), as [it does] every tree?"
12 “‘Cry out and howl, O son of man, for it itself has come to be against my people; it (Jehovah's sword) is against all the chieftains of Israel." Amazing! Exactly paralleling Neb's tree dream, Jehovah's sword will even cut down the tree or scepter or rulership of Israel.
The cutting down of the tree or rulership of Israel is of great significance because those kings of Israel represented Jehovah's rulership in the earth.
1 Chronicles 29:23 tells us, "And Sol´o·mon began to sit upon Jehovah’s throne as king in place of David his father" From this we can see that the kings of Israel did indeed represent Jehovah's rulership on earth.
It is in this regard that Lamentations 4:20 written after the desolation of Jerusalem and the end of Zedekiah tells us, "The very breath of our nostrils, the anointed one (king of Israel) of Jehovah, has been captured in their large pit, The one of whom we have said: “In his shade we shall live among the nations.” By using the word shade in connection with the king of Israel we are once again reminded of the large tree in Daniel 4 that would provide protective shade covering for all. This is the same protective tree-like shade that God's rulership provided as represented by the kings of Israel.
So ask yourself this: Out of 'every tree' or scepter or rulership that Jehovah's sword would cut down by means of Babylon which tree would be unbanded and restored in the future, receiving kingship from Jehovah himself as he saw fit? Which one would provide the 'lowliest' twig that would shoot forth and become a majestic cedar in Jehovah's Holy Mountain put on high like no other? It could only be the tree picturing Jehovah's rulership as represented by the kings of Judah who were said to 'sit upon Jehovah's throne'. It could only be that Judean tree which for 7 times would remain banded but thereafter would bring forth God's chosen ruler of all the earth.
Ezekiel 19 provides us with even more amazing similarities in comparing the rulership of Judah with the tree of Neb's dream in Daniel 4. After comparing the rulers of Judah to young cubs of a lioness notice the similarties of the tree in Daniel 4 with what is said of that mother lion comparing her to a vine in verses 10-14, “‘Your mother was like a vine in your blood, planted by waters. A bearer of fruit and full of branches she became because of abundant water. 11 And they came to be for her strong rods, meant for the scepters of rulers. And its height gradually became tall up among branches, and it got to be visible because of its tallness, because of the abundance of its foliage.
Compare that description to Daniel 4:11 "The tree grew up and became strong, and its very height finally reached the heavens, and it was visible to the extremity of the whole earth. 12 Its foliage was fair, and its fruit was abundant, and there was food for all on it. Under it the beast of the field would seek shade, and on its boughs the birds of the heavens would dwell, and from it all flesh would feed itself."
And just as the tree was chopped down notice the similar outcome of the vine/tree in Ezekiel 19:12 "But she was finally uprooted in fury. To the earth she was thrown, and there was an east wind that dried up her fruit. Her strong rod was torn off and became dry. Fire itself devoured it. 13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a waterless and thirsty land. 14 And fire proceeded to come forth from [her] rod. It devoured her very shoots, her very fruit, and there proved to be in her no strong rod, no scepter for ruling."
And so it was that finally the high one, Zedekiah, the last ruler of Israel, was 'devoured' by fire, brought low as it were, and the Pagan gentile ruler of the time was put on high even above the kings that had sat on 'Jehovah's throne' in Jerusalem. And the kingly representative of Jehovah on earth ceased for a time. The tree was banded until he who had the legal right would come and once again 'sit upon Jehovah's throne' as king. This lowly one with the legal right would be put on high when the tree was unbanded. How do we know this to be the case? Amazingly once again, we have the Bible explaining itself in no uncertain terms. Again the book of Ezekiel explains it.
The Riddle of Ezekiel 17
The whole 17th chapter of Ezekiel describes the end of Zedekiah by means of Nebuchadnezzar and thus the end of that tree. Notice it: 17:1 "And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: 2 Son of man, propound a riddle and compose a proverbial saying toward the house of Israel. 3 And you must say, This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: The great eagle (nebuchadnezzer), having great wings, with long pinions, full of plumage, which had color variety, came to Leb´a·non (Jerusalem) and proceeded to take the treetop (Jehoiachin) of the cedar. 4 He plucked off the very top of its young shoots and came bringing it to the land of Ca´naan; in a city of traders (Babylon, Ezek 17:12) he placed it.
5 Furthermore, he took some of the seed of the land and put it in a field for seed. As a willow by vast waters, as a willow tree (Zedekiah) he placed it. 6 And it began to sprout and gradually became a luxuriantly growing vine low in height (Just a mere vassal king of Babylon, not lofty. Ezekial 17:13), inclined to turn its foliage inward; and as for its roots, they gradually came to be under it. And it finally became a vine and produced shoots and sent forth branches. 7 And there came to be another great eagle (Egypt's Pharoah. Ezekiel 17:15), having great wings, and having large pinions, and, look! this very vine stretched its roots hungrily toward him. And its foliage it thrust out to him in order [for him] to irrigate it, away from the garden beds where it was planted. 8 Into a good field, by vast waters, it was already transplanted, in order to produce boughs and to bear fruit, to become a majestic vine. 9 Say, This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: Will it have success? Will not someone tear out its very roots and make its very fruit scaly? And must [not] all its freshly plucked sprouts become dry? It will become dry. Neither by a great arm nor by a multitudinous people will it have to be lifted up from its roots. 10 And, look! although transplanted, will it have success? Will it not dry up completely, even as when the east wind touches it? In the garden beds of its sprout it will dry up."
11 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: 12 Say, please, to the rebellious house, Do YOU people actually not know what these things mean? Say, Look! The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and proceeded to take its king and its princes and bring them to himself at Babylon. 13 Furthermore, he took one of the royal seed and concluded a covenant with him and brought him into an oath; and the foremost men of the land he took away, 14 in order that the kingdom might become low, unable to lift itself up, that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he finally rebelled against him in sending his messengers to Egypt, [for it] to give him horses and a multitudinous people. Will he have success? Will he escape, he who is doing these things, and who has broken a covenant? And will he actually escape? 16 As I am alive, is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, in the place of the king who put in as king the one that despised his oath and that broke his covenant, with him in the midst of Babylon he will die. 17 And by a great military force and by a multitudinous congregation Phar´aoh will not make him effective in the war, by throwing up a siege rampart and by building a siege wall, in order to cut off many souls. 18 And he has despised an oath in breaking a covenant, and, look! he had given his hand and has done even all these things. He will not make his escape."
19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: As I am alive, surely my oath that he has despised and my covenant that he has broken I will even bring it upon his head. 20 And I will spread over him my net, and he will certainly be caught in my hunting net; and I will bring him to Babylon and put myself on judgment with him there respecting his unfaithfulness with which he acted against me. 21 And as regards all the fugitives of his in all his bands, by the sword they will fall, and the ones left remaining will be spread abroad even to every wind. And YOU people will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have spoken [it]."
The remaining verses describe the return of a twig as God's ruler. 22 "This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: I myself will also take and put some of the lofty treetop of the cedar; from the top of its twigs I shall pluck off a tender one (Jesus) and I will myself transplant [it] upon a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain of the height of Israel I shall transplant it, and it will certainly bear boughs and produce fruit and become a majestic cedar. And under it there will actually reside all the birds of every wing; in the shadow of its foliage they will reside."
Especially notice the final verse. 24 "And all the trees of the field will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have abased the high tree, have put on high the low tree, have dried up the still-moist tree and have made the dry tree blossom. I myself, Jehovah, have spoken and have done [it]."
Did you notice? The high tree is abased, dried up. The rulership ends. But at a later date a twig from the royal tree will return. For a twig will be planted in Jehovah's Holy Mountain and it will become a majestic tree.
Did you see the connection that the Bible makes between Daniel 4 and Ezekiel 21 and 17? Compare Daniel 4:17 "that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind"
And compare Ezek 21:26,27 about the end of Zedekiah's rule and the beginning of Jesus' rule, "Put on high even what is low, and bring low even the high one. 27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I shall make it. As for this also, it will certainly become no [one's] until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give [it] to him."
And Ezekiel 17:24 "And all the trees of the field will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have abased the high tree, have put on high the low tree, have dried up the still-moist tree and have made the dry tree blossom. I myself, Jehovah, have spoken and have done [it]."
In all 3 Bible texts it is mentioned that the low will be put on high and that Jehovah is the one giving the rulership to whomever he chooses. There can be no doubt that the tree pictures God's rulership. The end of Zedekiah ends that rulership and is replaced by gentile rulership. The rulership continues once again when the one who has the legal right returns, the twig of Jesse if you will, and once again takes over that rulership.
Trees, Stumps, Roots,Twigs and the Kingship of Jesus
Notice the correlation between scriptures as regards to trees and stumps and twigs and roots and Christ's kingship:
Isa 10:33 "Look! The [true] Lord, Jehovah of armies, is lopping off boughs with a terrible crash; and those tall in growth are being cut down, and the high ones themselves become low. 34 And he has struck down the thickets of the forest with an iron tool, and by a powerful one Leb´a·non itself will fall. 11 And there must go forth a twig out of the stump of Jes´se; and out of his roots a sprout will be fruitful. 2 And upon him the spirit of Jehovah must settle down, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of mightiness, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah; 3 and there will be enjoyment by him in the fear of Jehovah. 10 And it must occur in that day that there will be the root of Jes´se that will be standing up as a signal for the peoples. To him even the nations will turn inquiringly, and his resting-place must become glorious."
Jer 23:5 "Look! There are days coming,' is the utterance of Jehovah, 'and I will raise up to David a righteous sprout. And a king will certainly reign and act with discretion and execute justice and righteousness in the land."
Ezek 17:22 "This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: 'I myself will also take and put some of the lofty treetop of the cedar; from the top of its twigs I shall pluck off a tender one and I will myself transplant [it] upon a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain of the height of Israel I shall transplant it, and it will certainly bear boughs and produce fruit and become a majestic cedar. And under it there will actually reside all the birds of every wing; in the shadow of its foliage they will reside. 24 And all the trees of the field will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have abased the high tree, have put on high the low tree, have dried up the still-moist tree and have made the dry tree blossom. I myself, Jehovah, have spoken and have done [it]."
Zech 6:12 "And you must say to him, 'This is what Jehovah of armies has said: 'Here is the man whose name is Sprout. And from his own place he will sprout, and he will certainly build the temple of Jehovah. 13 And he himself will build the temple of Jehovah, and he, for his part, will carry [the] dignity; and he must sit down and rule on his throne, and he must become a priest upon his throne, and the very counsel of peace will prove to be between both of them"
Rev 22:16 "I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to YOU people of these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star."
All of these Bible verses confirm that the twig that comes forth from the tree is the rulership of Jesus Christ as king of God's kingdom. However the defining scripture that tops it all off and leaves us no doubt is found at Isaiah 6. Here at Isa 6:11, notice what is said in conjunction with the desolation of Jerusalem and the restoration of the seed that will come forth: "At this I said: 'How long, O Jehovah?' Then he said: 'Until the cities actually crash in ruins, to be without an inhabitant, and the houses be without earthling man, and the ground itself is ruined into a desolation; 12 and Jehovah actually removes earthling men far away, and the deserted condition does become very extensive in the midst of the land. 13 And there will still be in it a tenth, and it must again become something for burning down, like a big tree and like a massive tree in which, when there is a cutting down [of them], there is a stump; a holy seed will be the stump of it."
While this scripture had fulfillment when Jerusalem was restored in 537BCE it would also certainly apply to the holy seed which is to rule God's Kingdom, the foremost of who is Jesus Christ himself. Yes the big, massive tree was chopped down when Jerusalem was destroyed in 607BCE but there was a stump left and that stump is comprised of the holy seed, those who rule in God's Kingdom. Again further proof that the tree dream does indeed have direct bearing on God's Kingdom and His rulership.
The Prophecies of Daniel Point to Jesus as Ruler
Another thing to consider: Have you noted that every prophecy of Daniel concludes with Jesus arriving in God's Kingdom. Except the one in chapter 9 which concludes with the arrival of the Messiah who is the King of God's Kingdom.
Dan 2:44, "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite;"
Dan 7:27 "And the kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One. Their kingdom is an indefinitely lasting kingdom, and all the rulerships will serve and obey even them."
Dan 8:25: "And against the Prince of princes he will stand up, but it will be without hand that he will be broken."
Dan 12:1 "And during that time Mi´cha·el will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people."
How about Daniel 4. Does it also conclude with God's Kingdom? Dan 4:17 "By the decree of watchers the thing is, and [by] the saying of holy ones the request is, to the intent that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind."
Here is something else to consider. Since one of Daniel's prophecies foretold the arrival of Jesus Christ on earth, wouldn't it be expected (or at least not surprising) that it would also tell about his heavenly arrival as king. Daniel 4 accomplishes that very purpose. Does it make sense that all the prophecies of Daniel point to the Messiah/King either coming on earth (once) or ruling in heaven (the rest), but that this one prophecy in Daniel 4 does not have anything to do with the Messiah/King but only Nebuchadnezzar?
The WT put it well when it said: "examination of the entire book of Daniel reveals that the element of time is everywhere prominent in the visions and prophecies it presents; and the world powers and events described in each such vision are shown, not as isolated or as occurring at random with the time element left ambiguous, but, rather, as fitting into a historical setting or time sequence. Additionally, the book repeatedly points toward the conclusion that forms the theme of its prophecies: the establishment of a universal and eternal Kingdom of God exercised through the rulership of the 'son of man.'
In view of the above, it does not seem logical to evaluate the vision of the symbolic 'tree' and its reference to 'seven times' as having no other application than to the seven years of madness and subsequent recovery and return to power experienced by one Babylonian ruler...The time at which the vision was given: at the critical point in history when God, the Universal Sovereign, had allowed the very kingdom that he had established among his covenant people to be overthrown; the person to whom the vision was revealed: the very ruler who served as the divine instrument in such overthrow and who thereby became the recipient of world domination by divine permission, that is, without interference by any representative kingdom of Jehovah God; and the whole theme of the vision, namely: 'that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind' (Da 4:17) all of this gives strong reason for believing that the lengthy vision and its interpretation were included in the book of Daniel because of their revealing the duration of 'the appointed times of the nations' and the time for the establishment of God's Kingdom by his Christ. The fact is evident that the key point of the vision is Jehovah God's exercise of irresistible sovereignty in 'the kingdom of mankind,' and this provides the guide to the full meaning of the vision.
The tree is shown to have an application to Nebuchadnezzar, who at that point in history was the head of the dominant World Power, Babylon. Yet, prior to Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Jerusalem, the typical kingdom of God ruling out of that city was the agency by which Jehovah expressed his rightful sovereignty toward the earth. It thus constituted a divine block or impediment for Nebuchadnezzar in attaining his goal of world domination. By allowing that typical kingdom at Jerusalem to be overthrown, Jehovah permitted his own visible expression of sovereignty through the Davidic dynasty of kings to be cut down. The expression and exercise of world domination in the 'kingdom of mankind,' unhindered by any representative kingdom of God, now passed into the hands of the Gentile nations. (La 1:5; 2:2, 16, 17)
In the light of these facts the tree is seen to represent, beyond and above its application to Nebuchadnezzar, world sovereignty or domination by God's arrangement.
Should We Apply the Day for a Year Rule?
If a day for a year is not applied then that means that the 7 times lasted from 607 to 600. Did a ruler of God's Kingdom come forth then? Logical reasoning will lead a person to believe that the day for a year rule must apply otherwise the prophecy is meaningless. We have as an example the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel chapter 9. The day for a year rule must apply in Daniel chapter 9 or the prophecy is meaningless and is of no value.
As we have already shown Daniel used the word for 7 times instead of 7 years. Therefore it must mean more than 7 years. Otherwise he would have said 7 years not 7 times. Do you think that Jehovah was trying to trick us by using the terminology of 7 times and then explaining the length of 3.5 times in Revelation only to merely mean that the 7 times that pass over are 7 years and that is all? AT the same time he supplied the rule ' a day for a year ' when Ezekiel laid on his side for so many days (which by the way pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem in 607). He also supplied the prophecy of the 70 weeks which also needs the rule of 'a day for a year' for it to have value. The 70 weeks from 455 brings us to 453.5. Nothing happened. So surely it must be a day for a year.
With that said, is there any other reason to apply the day for a year rule to the dream? For a moment lets reason why God wanted us to know exactly how long 3 1/2 times are. In one place he calls it 42 months, in another place he calls it 1260 days. If it only meant 42 regular months then why be so specific about it. What difference does a few days here or there make? Why not just 3½ years or 42 lunar or solar months? The only time a few days does make a big difference is when you are dealing with a prophecy that has a day for a year rule applied. In this case every day makes a big difference. When you combine this with the fact that every prophecy of Daniel either concludes with Jesus arriving in God's Kingdom or with the arrival of the Messiah who is the King of God's Kingdom, then you have a pretty strong reason to apply the day for a year rule.
Jerusalem Will Be Trampled On by the Nations
Here are the words at Luke 21. 20 "Furthermore, when YOU see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. 21 Then let those in Ju·de´a begin fleeing to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her withdraw, and let those in the country places not enter into her; 22 because these are days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled. 23 Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled."
Please take note that these words are different from the words of Matthew and Mark. In Matthew and Mark he does not specifically mention the Roman armies. He refers to the disgusting thing that causes desolation. But here he is without a doubt talking about the Roman armies and what they will do to the literal city of Jerusalem. And he is showing in verse 24 how those Jews in Jerusalem will die by the sword and be led into captivity. Then the statement is made that "Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled."
Remember that Jesus is talking to his disciples who believe that in the very near future Jesus will restore the nation of Israel and reside as king over it. In Acts 1:6 we read, "When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: 'Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?'" From this question it is clear that they are expecting Jesus to save Jerusalem and become the king. And so when Jesus is telling them exactly what will happen to the literal city of Jerusalem he then makes it clear to them that Jerusalem and its rulership, contrary to what they expect, will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed (seven) times of the nations are fulfilled. Only then will it truly be restored and he become king. Although they could not grasp that at the time, we can. Of course it was not to be the literal Jerusalem that was restored but the heavenly one.
We must not forget that Jesus is answering the question: "what will be the sign of your presence and conclusion of system of things." Then in Luke 21 he is telling what the near future holds for the literal city of Jerusalem and its people. But Jesus has not forgotten the big question: When is his presence? So after telling of the literal outcome of Jerusalem, he no doubt knows that his disciples are logically thinking, 'then Jerusalem will be restored and Christ's presence as king will begin,' just as they had previously ask in Acts 1:6. So he is letting them know that their thinking is Wrong. Jerusalem will not then be immediately restored.
Thus he reminds them that the Daniel prophecy said that 'Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times (or seven times) of the nations are fulfilled.' And only then will his presence and kingship commence. Only then after the appointed seven times of the nations have been fulfilled will Jerusalem be restored. While they did not understand at the time we do understand. And so his words were not just for his disciples living then but also for people living in the last days of this system of things.
Matthew and Mark said the 'disgusting thing' so that definitely had two fulfillments: 1. The roman army and 2. the UN. But Luke 21:20-23 is specifically and directly speaking about the literal events that would happen in the first century. Those events do not have a specific fulfillment in the last days although the parallel is similar. So after Jesus tells us literally what would happen to Jerusalem and the Jews he then explains to them that Jerusalem will be trampled until appointed times have ended. The Kingdom will not be restored until then. So they would come to recognize after holy spirit was poured out at Pentecost that God's Kingdom would not be established literally in Jerusalem as they had thought but it would be a heavenly kingdom that would come but not until the appointed times of the nations had ended.
To use an illustration: You go to an Elvis concert. He is older and has gained weight and is popping pills. He is not the King he use to be. A fire breaks out at the concert hall. Everybody begins scrambling for the doors. Elvis gets caught up in the crowd and falls down. He is being trampled on. After about 30 seconds a prophet appears to him and says to Elvis. "7 minutes will pass over you until you know who the real King is" Well after another 2 minutes passes another prophet appears and says, "Elvis' neck will be broken and the King will be trampled until the appointed minutes of the crowd are fulfilled." Finally after the 7 minutes have passed the King stands up. He is young, thin, good looking, and rejuvenated just like at the beginning of his career. Notice that the phrase used is 'the King will be trampled'. It works.
Elvis = Jerusalem
7 minutes=7 times.
Beginning of trampling=607BCE
fat druggy King=Israelite rulers until 607
Elvis' broken neck = Jerusalems destruction in 70CE
end of trampling=1914, true King restored
607 to 1914--The Gentile Times
What does all this lead us to? That the Gentile Times began in 607 BCE with the end of the king of Judah who sat on Jehovah's throne and ended in 1914CE when Jesus, the twig, who had the legal right to rule took over kingship of God's throne in the heavens. The events that took place on earth in 1914 and since then also confirm this. I submit that the artfully contrived story is not 1914 but rather those with the artfully contrived false story are those that contend that 607 is not the date of Jerusalem's destruction and 1914 is not the end of the Gentile Times. Those promoting this artfully contrived story that Jesus did not began his rule in 1914 are the same ones who fulfill the prophecy by saying, "Where is this promised presence of his?"