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?

  • 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
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 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. Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 14:11
  • The same things happen to me often. I learn by writing.
    – user35953
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 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. Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 15:04

5 Answers 5


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).

  • (Days Equal Years?) For clarification, it must be noted that the common interpretation of Time, Times and Dividing of Time, is a reference to years: 31/2 years. To extrapolate and assume year-day theory goes beyond the normal reading of Daniel's prophecies; which are different than Ezekiel's (4:4). In like manner, the "weeks" in Daniel 9 represent "heptads" of years (70X7 years). It is not hermeneutically correct to lump prophetic timings together and assume they are all the same.
    – ray grant
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 23:06
  • @raygrant - generally, I agree with you. In the case of the day for year principle, there is quite a large amount of information, but that would go beyond the scope of this question.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 5:19

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.

  • For additional information on the possibility that Justinian may well be being referenced in Dan 7:25, please see the following link research.avondale.edu.au/theo_papers/135 Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 14:35
  • (Historical, Year-day Theory) Readers should not, for clarification, that the Historical, year-day interpretation is just one of several options in applying the numbers in the Biblical prophecies. And that much of the historical school teaching, popular in the Middle Ages, has been discredited by...history! The prophetic numbers that point to the ministry of Jesus in the first century have made more sense, giving great glory to Him and His Kingdom! "The spirit of prophesy is the testimony of Christ." (Revelation)
    – ray grant
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 23:15

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.


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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    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 15:34

Basically, it is derived from well-meaning individuals trying to make the historical and prophetical writings of scripture be harmonious. There is no reason to believe that the same word used twice in a row means three. Typically if a singular/plural word for year is used it is designated by how many to make it plural. I truly believe that they were well-meaning; however, this is not the way to interpret from one language to another. I've had many discussions on this and I believe I have an answer.

It is true that there are three and 1/2 years given to the Antichrist to pursue and overcome the saints and to change times and laws. But if you remember in the New Testament it is said that unless the days be cut short (Matthew 24:22), the days given to the Antichrist, there should be no flesh saved. I believe that the Antichrist persecuting the saints and the Jews is brought to an abrupt end after 2 and 1/2 years by the day of the Lord (Matthew 24:27). Jesus Christ returns in the clouds, the dead in Christ rise first, and we which are alive and remain will be caught up together to meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). This is not when Christ sets his foot on the Mount of Olives. At this time the wrath of God begins to be poured out (sixth seal). This lasts roughly one year and 10 days.

I don't have the time to continue adding to all of this, but the answers are there in scripture if you're willing to study.

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. I recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 4:22
  • @Michael Parker-"...the answers are there if you're willing to study." In the SE format you are to provide answers, not challenge the reader to go study! Also, discussing how others interpret meaninglessly does not add to your ability to answer the posted Question here.....By the way, in your interpretation of the verses mentioned, realize that the word, Antichrist, does not appear. It is being inserted where it does not appear (nor belong). After you read the "Help Center" continue studying the Bible; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 20:12
  • @ray grant I expect this kind of reply from non-believers. Maybe that is the case, nonetheless my answer stands. The same statement regarding time is made in the new testament and referred to regarding the antichrist. You can strain at a gnat (abstract rules in the "help center") if you like. It doesn't make my answer incorrect, only your reply meaningless. Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 18:14

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