What does the number 1260 represent in Bible prophecy?

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“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25).

The 1260 period is referenced in seven places in Daniel and Revelation (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5). The phrases appear three times as a time, times, and half a time, twice as 42 months and twice as 1260 days. If we consider the 30-day calendar used by the Jews, these periods are all the same duration of time:

3 1/2 years = 42 months = 1,260 days.

And according to Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34, a prophetic day equals one literal year. Thus, the little horn (Antichrist) was to rule over the saints for 1,260 prophetic days or 1,260 literal years.

The rule of the papacy began in A.D. 538, when the last of the three opposing Arian kingdoms was uprooted or destroyed. And the political rule of the papacy lasted until 1798 when Napoleon’s general, Berthier, took the pope captive with the goal of destroying both Pope Pius VI and the political, secular power of the papacy. This period of time is an exact fulfillment of the 1260 year prophecy. The blow was a deadly wound for the papacy, but that wound began to heal to our present time.

Jesus, in Matthew 2:21, mentions the 1260 period as the worst era of persecution to God’s children. And Jesus adds that it was so deadly that not one person would have survived if God had not shortened it (v. 22). This prophetic time period is one of the 11 points that identify the beast and the Antichrist which is mentioned in Revelation 13:5.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team



 

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