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In Charles Ellicott's, ellicott's commentary he state that it's not necessarily the same period!

[...] But there is a limit to this desecration: forty and two months it is to last. The same length of time is expressed in different forms throughout the book. Sometimes we have twelve hundred and sixty days, as in Revelation 11:3 and in Revelation 12:6; at another time forty-two months, as here and in Revelation 13:5. A similar period seems to be meant in Revelation 12:14, where a time, times, and half a time is probably a way of expressing three years and a half; all three forms describe periods of the same length—not, of course, necessarily the same period. The idea is taken from Daniel, who uses such and similar expressions (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11). [...] Ellicott's Commentary

  • Is the 3½ years and 42 months and 1260 days one and the same period?
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  • 1
    Any question about Revelation seems, to me, to meet an inevitable crossroads of, about, four different ways forward, depending on which structure of the book one accepts. The fundamental decision as to the structure of the book will influence all other considerations of the details of the book.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 30 at 12:35
  • 1
    A related question.
    – Lucian
    Jul 30 at 13:19
  • @NigelJ tree way road I know the Book of Revelation can take, the symbolic way, the spiritual way and the literal way. Jul 31 at 8:27
  • 1
    @DanielDahlberg I am referring to your own three references ; 3.5/42/1260.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 31 at 9:46
  • 1
    @NigelJ OK thought you made your three ways. Those three all relate to the church age you believe yes I agree so do I also believe. Jul 31 at 10:59
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Yes, they are the same period. This is evident in both the parallel usage made of these periods and in their mathematical equivalency.

Let's look first at the math, to make sure that this is clear.

A biblical year consisted of 12 months; and each month has 30 days. Therefore, a full year would be 360 days. Notably, in Hebrew, the word "yowm" often translated as "day" can also mean "time" or "year." The day-for-a-year principle, as given in both Numbers 14:34 and in Ezekiel 4:4-6, follows a very simple Hebrew play on words, using the dual meaning of "yowm" to establish the symbolic equivalence between a day and a prophetic year.

Prophetic Day-for-Year Time Formulae

After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. (Numbers 14:34, KJV)

For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. (Ezekiel 4:5-6, KJV)

The equivalencies, therefore, look like this:

  • 1260 days / 360 days = 3 1/2 (3.5) years
  • 3 1/2 (3.5) years = 42 months
  • 42 months X 30 days = 1260 days

Whether we count in days, in months, or in years, each of these periods is the same. But we have one more equivalency to add: a "time." Again, because "yowm" can mean "day" or "time" or "year", the word "time," like "day," also represents a year. Because of this, one "time" is a year, "times," being plural, is two years, and half a time (or the dividing of time) is half a year.

Now let's look at how these time periods are used in Revelation.

Times

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (Revelation 12:14, KJV)

Days

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Revelation 12:6, KJV)

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3, KJV)

NOTE: "Threescore" means three scores, a score being twenty; therefore, threescore = 60.

Months

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (Revelation 11:2, KJV)

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (Revelation 13:5, KJV)

Notice that in Revelation 11:2, the time is given in months, but in the very next verse, it is repeated in days. This parallel usage shows clear equivalence. In 12:6, the time is again given in days, followed a few verses later (vs. 14) being given in times. Again, this is parallel usage.

Be careful: The 3 1/2 days of Revelation 11:9,11 also represent years, but three and a half years is clearly a different prophecy than one of 1260 years. So this is not an equivalent time period, nor is it referenced in parallel with the other prophecies in terms of its fulfillment.

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  • @Polychat Thanks +1 I knew it was, just when I saw Elliot's commentary doubt creep in if I might be wrong! Jul 31 at 8:29
  • "Be careful: The 3 1/2 days of Revelation 11:9,11 also represent years. How do you come to that conlusion when the scripture says "days".?
    – Bagpipes
    Aug 2 at 19:15
  • @Bagpipes When the fulfillment can be shown to apply in terms of years, it is easy to connect the prophetic time formula. "After three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them." (Revelation 11:11). It was in 1793 that the decrees which abolished the Christian religion and set aside the Bible (two witnesses: OT & NT) passed the French Assembly. Three and a half years later a resolution rescinding these decrees, thus granting toleration to the Scriptures, was adopted by the same body.
    – Polyhat
    Aug 2 at 20:14
  • Thanks for your reply.
    – Bagpipes
    Aug 3 at 18:47

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