SPECIAL TOPIC: FORTY-TWO MONTHS
The number forty-two months is prophetically characteristic of a period of persecution. The trampling of the outer court is a proverb for the people of God under the domination of unbelievers in different periods in history—Antiochus Epiphanes, the Romans in a.d. 70, and the end-time Antichrist.
Forty-two months, or its equivalent, is mentioned several times in the Bible. The origin seems to be the book of Daniel.
1. Daniel 7:25; 12:7 mention "a time, times, and half a time" or 1277 days (assuming a "time" equals one year)
2. Daniel 8:14 mentions 2300 evenings and mornings
3. Daniel 12:11 mentions 1290 days
4. Daniel 12:12 mentions 1335 days. Similar phrasing is found in Rev. 12:6 (1260 days) and 13:5 (42 months).
When all of these occurrences are taken into account, their variety seems to speak of the symbolic nature of the numbers, while their proximity to forty-two months seems to show that it is a symbolic number for a period of persecution. Since three and a half is half of seven, it seems to be a reference to a complete period of persecution that has been cut short (cf. Matt. 24:22; Mark 13:20; Luke 21:24). Persecution is limited in God's love as is judgment.
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