Do the 42 months in Revelation 13:5 allude to Daniel 9:27?
The 42 months in Rev 13:5 is again mentioned in Rev 11:2 and it is the same as the 1260 days (Rev 11:3; 12:6) and the "time and times and half a time" (Rev 12:14). [time and times and half a time = 3½ years = 42 months = 42x30 = 1260 days] These time periods are all based on Daniel 7:25 and are always a time of persecution for God's people.
Daniel 9:27 describes the last "week" (seven years) awarded to Daniel's people (Dan 9:24). In the middle of that week, sacrifices are stopped. Consequently, it may be divided into two periods of 3½ years each. Therefore, in some interpretations, the "time and times and half a time" is equal to one of those periods of 3½ years.
In the critical interpretation, Daniel 9 describes the same crisis as the other prophecies in Daniel, namely the time of Antiochus IV in the middle of the second century B.C. Therefore, in this interpretation, the last week of Daniel 9, which is the crux of the prophecy, does include the "time and times and half a time" of Daniel 7:25.
In the dispensational interpretation, Revelation 4:1 is the rapture and everything after this verse happen in the last seven years of Daniel 9. Therefore, in this interpretation, the 42 months (Rev 11:2; 13:5) are also part of those seven last years.
Therefore, and because the 42 months originates in Daniel 7:25, in both of these interpretations, Daniel 7 describes the same crisis as Daniel 9:27. There are similarities. As stated, some argue that the “time, times and a half” of Daniel 7:25 and 12:7 are mathematically equal to the 3½ years of the 490 years. And, in both Daniel 9 and the other chapters, sacrifices are caused to cease, and is destruction predicted. However, I would like to argue that there are substantial differences between Daniel 7 and 9.
In the analysis below, I assume that the prophecies in Daniel 2, 7, 8, and 11 are parallel. In other words, they describe the same crisis (the persecution of God's people by the Antichrist) and the same series of events:
- Daniel 2 provides a broad framework of 6 phases of the history of mankind but does not mention an Antichrist.
- Daniel 7 describes the same 6 phases but adds and puts the emphasis on the Antichrist (the eleventh horn-king) that will reign during the fifth phase (the "divided kingdom" of Daniel 2:41).
- Daniel 8 uses two beasts to describe two of those empires but puts the focus almost entirely on the Antichrist. The other details become fuzzy.
- Instead of beasts, Daniel 11 has a series of kings leading up to the Antichrist.
Whether the Antichrist is Antiochus IV, an end-time tyrant, or a historical superpower is not relevant here. The point is that those four prophecies describe the same crisis. For the following reasons, I propose that Daniel 9 describes a different crisis:
(1) While Daniel 9 describes the 490 years allocated to Israel, the other prophecies deal with all time from the time of ancient Babylon until the return of Christ (Dan 7:27; Dan 2:38, 44).
(2) While Daniel 9 focuses exclusively on the Jewish nation (Dan 9:24), the other prophecies predict a series of heathen empires (e.g. Dan 2:38-40).
(3) While the other prophecies end with the return of Christ, the eternal kingdom (Dan 2:44-45; 7:18, 27), and the resurrection of the dead (Dan 12:2), Daniel 9 ends in chaos (Dan 9:27).
(4) In Daniel 9, the temple is destroyed (Dan 9:26). In Daniel 11, it is only profaned (Dan 11:31).
(5) In Daniel 9, the temple is first restored and then destroyed. It does not mention another restoration. In Daniel 8, the sequence is reversed: The temple is first desecrated and then restored (Dan 8:14).
(6) While Daniel 9 is a literal prophecy, the other prophecies use symbols. (I do not believe we need a year-day principle to interpret the 70 weeks as 490 years. Israel had weeks of years in which every seventh year was a Sabbath (Lev 25:2-4), and God made those years-weeks part of the covenant exile pattern (Lev 26:34-35; 43). Since we argue that the 70 weeks are an extension of God's covenant with Israel, they simply are 70 of those year-weeks.)
(7) In the other prophecies, the saints are persecuted (Dan 7:25), beasts symbolize empires (Dan 7:17), and the Antichrist is eventually destroyed (Dan 7:26). None of these are mentioned in Daniel 9.
(8) If the 2300 “evening morning” (Dan 8:14) are interpreted as 2300 sacrifices, of which there were two every day, thus interpreting the 2300 “evening morning” to 1150 days, it is equal to 3 years and 55 days and still not equal to anything in Daniel 9.
(9) In Daniel 9, we find the destruction of the city (Dan 9:26), the killing of the Messiah, and the 490 years, 49 years, 434 years, and 7 years. None of these are found in the other prophecies.
(1) While there are differences between the prophecies in Daniel 2, 7, 8, and 11, there is a significant similarity between these prophecies. But Daniel 9 seems to be very different.
(2) Daniel 9 does not describe the same crisis as the other prophecies in Daniel.
(3) This conclusion provides a challenge to both the critical and the dispensational interpretations.
(4) Many of the symbols in Daniel are carried forward into Revelation. For example, the Antichrist of Daniel and its reign of a time, times and ha;lf a time become the beast of Revelation (Rev 13:2), ruling for 42 months. But the prophecy of Daniel 9 does not seem to have a counterpart in Revelation.
For a further discussion, see here.