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Daniel 7:25 New International Version

He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.

What is the significance that time is mentioned as singular, plural, and fractional forms?

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  • The half a time is a reference to the middle of the week (9:27). The entire tripartite division mirrors that of 9:24-27 (seven, sixty-two, and one).
    – Lucian
    Jun 8 at 7:58
  • You really got me going on this one. Voted up + 1, for forcing me to dig deep here. Originally I was just going to comment but soon realized that I may just have a lot more to say (hence the A. below) and as usual I learnt more in the process. Jun 11 at 14:11
  • The same things happen to me often. I learn by writing.
    – Tony Chan
    Jun 11 at 14:18
  • Just added a link under my answer in the comment section, which I meant to put in my answer but I was up until 3:30 this morning, Colorado, USA time (MST), when tiredness overcame me. Don't know whether it was you or not that voted me up. Either way I would at least value your comment. Jun 11 at 15:04
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The trick here is to recognise that the "times" is a dual, ie, two times. Note the comments of Ellicott:

Time and times and the dividing of time.—This is frequently explained to mean three years and a half. Those who adopt this explanation assume that by “times” a dual is implied, which in Chaldee is represented by the plural. They next assume that by “a time” is meant one year, resting their assumption partly on Daniel 4:16, and partly on a comparison of Daniel 12:7 with Revelation 13:5; Revelation 11:2-3. This gives a sum of three years and a half, which is interpreted either literally, or explained to mean half a sabbatical period, or half some divinely-appointed period symbolised by the number “seven.”

Benson is similar:

And they shall be given, &c. — “A time, all agree, signifies a year; and a time, and times, and the dividing of time, or half a time, are three years and a half; and the ancient Jewish year, consisting of twelve months, and each month of thirty days, a time, and times, and half a time, or three years and a half, are reckoned in the Revelation 11:2-3; Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:14, as equivalent to forty-two months, or twelve hundred and sixty days; and a day, in the style of the prophets, is a year; (see Ezekiel 4:4;) and it is confessed that the seventy weeks, in Daniel 9. are weeks of years, and consequently twelve hundred and sixty days are twelve hundred and sixty years.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

time … times and … dividing of time—one year, two years, and half a year: 1260 days (Re 12:6, 14); forty-two months (Re 11:2, 3).

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What is the significance that time is mentioned as singular, plural, and fractional forms in Daniel 7:25

Apart from the fact that it is generally accepted that - time, times and half a time - is equal to 3 and one 1/2 years, or even 1260 years, if you apply the day for a year biblical rule, one probably should be asking the less than obvious '3-way split' question. That question being:- "Why, in Dan 7:25, is the apparent numeric figure, of 1260, expressed in such an obscure way"? The answer may lie in the fact that Daniel needed to differentiate from one 3 and one 1/2 year period, the 360 x 720 x 180 = 1260 day period and the other 3 and one 1/2 year period, the 365 x 730 x 182 and one 1/2 = 1277.5 day period. In other words he needed to differentiate from the time honored, 360 day year, and the solar, which deals in the 365 day year.

For the purposes of this argument, one needs to consider the possibility that a biblical 'time' may not necessarily mean: one 360 day year and that it could possibly mean: one 365.2422 day year. On this basis, let's consider the possibility that Dan 7:25 may actually be relating to a 1260 year period, made up of 365.2422 day years.

In Dan 7:23, we see that Daniel is referring to 'the fourth beast', widely accepted as being a reference to the Roman Empire. In Dan 7:24, he is referring to the 10 kingdoms that will arise thereafter (not to be confused with the much later 10 kingdoms of Revelation) and yet one more kingdom after those, who will subdue three kings. Theories abound as to who these three kings were, let alone who the 10 kingdoms were exactly. However, the Heruli, Ostrogoths and Vandals were defeated in the time of the Emperor Justinian of the remaining Eastern Roman Empire, the last of the three in 534 AD. It was in 538 AD however, when Justinian, now being the possible subject of Dan 7:25, proved responsible for the transition from Pagan Roman Empire to Holy Roman Empire and the start of Papal-Caesarism, which was to last until 1798 AD, whereupon Napoleon brought an end to this aggrandizing paradigm. The time in between being 1260 solar years, or a, time, times and half a time. Justinian was well known for changing times and laws ad hoc, with little regard for well established religious doctrine. Thus, it could be said of him that, he spoke out against the Most High and subsequently wore down the saints of the Highest One.

Dan 7:25 [NASB}...And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time.

NB: It should be interesting to note that in 898 AD, Pope John IX, ended the bizarre trial of a former dead Pope (Formosa), who was exhumed in order to stand on trial, which came to be known as the Cadaver Synod. This being 360 years (1 time) after 538 AD.

It may also be interesting to note that in 1618 AD, it was the start of the 30 Years War, the war between Catholic and Protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire. This being another 720 years (2 times) after 538 AD.

The end of the period, in 1798 AD, was another 180 years (half a time).

How's that for significance.

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Contemporary English Version

This king will speak evil of God Most High, and he will be cruel to God's chosen ones. He will try to change God's Law and the sacred seasons. And he will be able to do this for a time, two times, and half a time.

Amplified Bible

He will speak words against the Most High [God] and wear down the saints of the Most High, and he will intend to change the times and the law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, [two] times, and half a time [three and one-half years].

Both says 2 times as plural.

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Can anyone shed some light on where the plural ‘times’ came from? Looking at e-sword it appears that the same word was used for time and times… I’m sure there’s an explanation, but just can’t seem to find where they got the plural from in translation.

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