Two thousand years have very little significance in God's plan. Humans think in terms of thousands because we use a decimal system. However, in the Bible ten is a number of evil. Joseph was sold by his ten brothers. There were ten tribes in the northern kingdom which first rebelled against God. There are ten kings who give their power to the beast of Revelation. Satan is bound for a thousand years.

1000 is ten to the power of three (103). Three symbolises God, so 1000 symbolises the power of evil under the power of God.

God orders things in terms of the number seven. There are:

To understand where we are in the New Testament history, we must understand the patterns of sevens.

An interesting pattern of sevens can be seen in the times and seasons of the New Testament age. The phrase used several times in Revelation and Daniel to mark out the first half of this age is "a time, times and half a time". This phrase is essential for the understanding the Times of the Gentiles. The interpretation is quite simple.

a time = one year,

times = two years

half a time = half a year

This means that "a time, times and half a time" equals three and a half years:

3½ years = time, times and a half

Daniel and Revelation use two other expressions in a similar way. Three and a half years is the same as forty-two months:

12 x 3½ = 42

In the Hebrew calendar, a month is thirty days, so three and a half years equals 1,260 days.

12 x 30 x 3½ = 1260

The key to interpreting these expressions is to understand that the New Testament age has two halves. Three and a half is half of seven. Seven signifies fullness or perfection, so seven years represent the entire New Testament age, from the ascension of Jesus to the end of the age. These seven years can be split into two halves of 3½ years each.

Revelation and Daniel refer to the Times of the Gentiles as "three and half years", which makes it is the first half of the New Testament age:

Seven times or years represent the full New Testament age. The first 3½ times or years is divided into a time, times and half a time, which is also 42 months (Rev 11:2; 13:5) and 1260 days (Rev 11:3). Both numbers are the equivalent of 3½ years, which is half of seven years. A time, times and half a time is 3½ times.

The first half of the New Testament age ends with the fullness of the Jews and the end of the Times of the Gentiles. It can be divided into a time, times and half a time (Dan 7:25; 12:2; Rev 12:14) as follows:

The second half of New Testament history can be described as three times and half a time. Three is the symbol of God, so "three times" represent the Kingdom of God. The season when the Kingdom of God is fulfilled can be described as "Three Times". This divides the second half of the New Testament age in the following way. Together, these add up to 7 times (3½ +3½) which represent the full New Testament age.

Return to Times and Seasons.