How long is a prophetic hour?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Prophetic Hour – One Hour

The phrase prophetic hour is referred to by the apostle John in the book of Revelation chapter 17. John wrote,The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast” (Revelation 17:12). Revelation chapter 17 begins by describing a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast and the beast has seven heads and ten horns.  This woman represents Babylon (Vatican), the mother of harlots, false religion, or apostate Christianity.

The Bible says the seven heads are seven mountains. This church sits among seven hills (Rome). The ten horns are the ten divisions of the Roman Empire that represent the nations of the world today. This is just similar to Daniel chapter 2, where the ten toes of the image are the ten divisions of that Empire. And in verse 12 it says, ‘…the ten horns you saw are ten kings.’  The word kings there means kings or kingdoms (Daniel 7) “…which have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”

We are told that there’s going to be a short period near the end of time where this beast power is going to allow these different nations to have authority if they direct their people and the worship back to this religious institution. Then, Revelation 18 describes the fall of Babylon, and the kings of the earth are bewailing and lamenting her destruction.  So, we can conclude that for a brief period, just before the plagues are poured out, the divisions of the Roman Empire are going to direct their authority back once again to the beast.

Is the Prophetic Hour a Period of Two Weeks?

Some interpret the “one hour” of Revelation 17:12 as “prophetic hour,” that represents a literal period of about two weeks. But the context doesn’t imply that. It is commonly known that chapter 18 gives a more detailed explanation of events described in chapter 17:12–17. The period designated as “one day” in chapter 18:8 is also called “one hour” in vs. 10, 17, 19. This is a clear message of inspiration to show a brief period without specifying its precise length. Therefore, it seems preferable to understand the expression “one hour” (prophetic hour) in chapter 17:12 in the same sense, as signifying a brief but unspecified period of “time.”

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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