Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Dan 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Rev 12:14 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. ;etc...

A few days ago, I came across Psalm 90:10, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

Ok, 1 score = 20 years. So, threescore and ten = 70 years. Nothing new.

What if "time" = 1 score(20), times = 2 score(40), and half a time = 0.5 score(10)?

Is it plausible that 3.5, as well as alternative renderings(e.g. "a thousand two hundred and threescore days", "forty and two months", etc.), could symbolize the "average" human lifetime?

4 Answers 4



This is an interesting take on the idiom, and while the KJV does translate the Hebrew of Psalm 90.10 as 'threescore years and ten', the Hebrew simply says 'seventy years' (שבעים שנה).

To understand the meaning of 'time, and times, and half a time', we really should stay within the individual context that we find the phrase, being Daniel (first of all), and the Revelation (second of all).

The idiom in Daniel

To summarize the reading of Daniel by critical scholarship (e.g. John J. Collins, Michael D. Coogan, Craig C. Hill), the apocalyptic visions of chapters 7-12 are understood as complementary recaps of each other. The 'little horn' of chapter 7 is the same as the 'little horn' of chapter 8, and the same as the 'king of the north' who is a 'contemptible person' of chapter 11.21-45, and probably also the same as the 'prince' and the 'desolator' of Daniel 9.26-27.

We find the 'time, times, and half a time' first mentioned in Daniel 7.25, where the 'little horn' persecutes the saints of Israel and attempts to abrogate the commands of the Torah.

He [the little horn] shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
(ESV translation)

This is then recapitulated in Daniel 8.9-14, where the 'little horn' assaults 'the glorious land' (Israel), and persecutes 'the host' and 'the stars' (explained to be the 'mighty men' and 'the saints' in verse 8.24), and attempts to abrogate the sacrificial offerings of the Torah during a period of '2300 evenings and mornings'.

And again this is recapitulated in Daniel 9.26-27. Here the 'days' of the seventy 'weeks' are commonly understood as representing years. Thus the final 'week' of seven years is split in half, where in one of those halves we again see the 'desolator' attempt to abrogate the sacrificial offerings of the Torah.

Once more this is recapitulated in Daniel 11.31, where we find the same abrogation of the sacrificial offerings. No time frame is provided in the immediately surrounding text, but chapter 11 does naturally flow into chapter 12, where we find references to the abrogation of offerings, connected to the 'time, times, and half a time' (12.7), and '1290 days' (12.11), and '1335 days' (12.12).

So between all these complementary parallels, we find the following time periods:

  • time, times, and half a time
  • 2300 evenings and mornings
  • half a 'week'
  • time, times, and half a time
  • 1290 days
  • 1335 days

The 1290 days is 3.53 years, while the 1335 days is about 3.65 years. How the the 2300 'evenings and mornings' should be understood is disputed, though a somewhat flimsy suggestion is that it should mean 1150 evenings and 1150 mornings, i.e. 1150 days total, which would be about 3.15 years in length. And of course, we have the half a 'week', which is widely accepted to mean 3.5 years. If we allow for some leniency in rounding these numbers off, they all come close to 3.5 years.

Because the 'time, times, and half a time' idiom appears in close relation to them, or in direct parallel, it is highly probable that the originally intended meaning of the phrase is 3.5 years.

The idiom in the Revelation

The Revelation certainly borrows the idiom from Daniel (along with other imagery from Daniel's apocalyptic visions, such as the beast, the river/lake of fire, or the son of man on the clouds). But where Daniel's symbol requires a bit of (I think reasonable) fudging the numbers to round off to 3.5 years, the Revelation is nearly explicit with this.

The Revelation mentions a few time periods of X duration (ten days in 2.10; five months in 9.5, etc.), but we find an interesting set of time periods within chapters 11-13. In quick succession, the author mentions a number of months, a number of days, a different number of days, and then mentions each of those three more times. When we study their appearances, their order is actually a chiasmus:

A — 42 months (11.2)
  B — 1260 days (11.3)
    C — 3.5 days (11.9)
    C' — 3.5 days (11.11)
  B' — 1260 days (12.5)
A' — 42 months (13.5)

If we follow a simplistic model of a 360-day year and convert the units for the four outside items, then we have:

A — 3.5 years (11.2)
  B — 3.5 years (11.3)
    C — 3.5 days (11.9)
    C' — 3.5 days (11.11)
  B' — 3.5 years (12.5)
A' — 3.5 years (13.5)

While the units are different, all of the numbers equate to 3.5... and it is only within this chiasmus (though, oddly, not at its center) that the author uses the phrase 'time, times, and half a time' in a passage where it is quite evident it is meant identically to one of those 3.5 years:

a. and the woman
b. fled into the wilderness,
c. where she has a place prepared by God,
d. in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
  (Revelation 12.6, ESV translation)


a. But the woman
b. was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness,
c. to the place
d. where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
  (Revelation 12.14, ESV translation)

Concluding summary

  1. The phrase 'threescore and ten' in Psalm 90.10 is simply the KJV's translation of the Hebrew word for 'seventy'. Any connection with the 'time, times, and half a time' idiom is superficial; it only works when we work from a specific English translation.

  2. In Daniel, the idiom 'time, times, and half a time' is to be read in parallel with the other time references, which equate 3.5 years, or may be rounded close to that.

  3. In the Revelation, the author has clearly borrowed the idiom from Daniel, and makes it very obvious he understood and intended for the phrase to mean 3.5 years.


Many people have said time, times & half-a-time has to do with a period within the first or 2nd half of tribulation, i.e. 3.5 years. But if you read Daniel 12:6, Daniel's question was not focused on a "supposed" 7 year tribulation. No, Daniel specifically asked how long will it take for these things to be fulfilled, and he was speaking from the time he was alive until it was fulfilled. Not part of some 7 year window that people call tribulation. He was speaking as if "from now" (while he was alive) how long will it take? So the period of time he was talking about includes not only the time of "unequaled trouble", but all the time up to that point as well. Especially if you consider what his vision was.

His vision, or the things that were shown to him, began in Chapter 10. Chapter 10, 11 and 12 are all a continuation of each other. The bible was not written in chapters and verses. Chapters and verses were added later. So, it is all one vision that was shown to him and Daniel said it was in the 3rd year of Cyrus. So, from Cyrus onward, "how long will it be until these things are fulfilled". That is what Daniel is talking about -- all of these thousands of years, or actually 2500 years. But don't ask me how 2500 years is derived from time,times and half-a-time.

It would sound as if we have another 1000 years to go if you use that "thousand year theory" you all were talking about. But I think we do not have another 1,000 years left because the Jews are back in their land once again. And Jesus said, when they return, you know that it is near. The tree was budding years ago. Also note: above I said the "supposed 7 year tribulation" because I think it is highly likely that it doesn't really last that long.

The Jews get a maximum of 70 weeks Daniel 9:24. It can be less. And the days are cut short otherwise no flash would be saved, and Daniel mentions in 8:13 After 2300 days the sanctuary will be reconsecrated. Lastly, You are blessed if you wait & remain until 1335 days Dan 12:12.

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NWT Revelation 12:13, 14 2 2Now when the dragon saw that it had been hurled down to the earth, it persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is to be fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent.

3 1/2 time rendered in another was is relating to the "woman" :-

NWT Revelation 12:6 "strong textAnd the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God and where they would feed her for 1,260 days.

3 1/2 times = 1,260- days.

So 2 x 1.260 = 2,520 the 7 times of Daniel:-

NWT Daniel 4:23-25 [] Added

"“‘And the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from the heavens, who was saying: “Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump with its roots in the ground, with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field. And let the dew of the heavens make it wet, and let its portion be with the beasts of the field until seven times pass over it.” 24 This is the interpretation, O king; it is the decree of the Most High [Jehovah] that must befall my lord the king. 25 You will be driven away from among men, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls; and you will become wet with the dew of the heavens, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High [Jehovah] is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he [Jehovah] grants it to whomever he wants [that is Jesus}."

A fantastic Messianic prophecy.



Time, times and half time is 70 years.

70 years is a very important, symbolic time period in Old Testament history. It's the period of time of Israel's punishment and Babylon's rule from the death of righteous King Josiah in 609BC to the year righteous King Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539BC. 70 years is the time period it took to totally destroy the power of the holy people [Israel.] Just as Babylon is symbolically used in Revelation, the 70 years is also given symbolically. And if one knows ancient Persian history, Cyrus is also symbolically present in Revelation.

Daniel was taken into Babylonian captivity as a child.

Daniel interpreted the mysterious words on Babylon's palace wall the very night Cyrus' troops invaded and conquered Babylon, liberating Babylon's captives.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

These are Aramaic words which when translated literally read:

counted and counted, weighed and divided

This relates to Daniel 12 = time, times and half-time = the time period of Babylon's rule and the destruction of the power of the holy people = 70 years.

counted and counted = times, weighed = time, divided = half-time

Cyrus conquered Babylon in the 70th year. Many Bible scholars believe Daniel's "Darius the Mede" was another name for Cyrus, which means Cyrus was 62 years old when he conquered Babylon. The clever method Cyrus used to secretly invade and conquer Babylon relates directly to Rev 16:12 and indirectly to Rev 19:11... which is not surprising because Cyrus is an Old Testament archetype of Christ.



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