The Year-Day Principle
found extensively in Scripture, is of an interesting form. It consists
of successive lines presenting the same sentiments in differing words.
In this poetry frequently the Jews used "years" and "days" in parallel.
Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations.
For all our days are passed away in thy
We spend our years as a tale that is told.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times. (Psalm 77:5)
Are thy days as the days of man?
Are thy years as manís days? (Job 10:5)
(all emphasis supplied)
In the book of Daniel we find that the prophecies
extend to the "time of the end." If these prophecies consisted of
literal days they would not extend for such a period. The 1260-day
prophecy would consist of a mere three and one-half years. No power of
such a brief cameo appearance on earth would occupy the Scripture
through numbers of chapters in Daniel, Revelation, the epistles of John
and the second Pauline letter to the Thessalonians.
We provide "time of the end" texts for consideration.
So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I
was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O
son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. (Daniel
And at the time of the end shall the king of the
south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him
like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many
ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and
pass over. (Daniel 11:40)
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the
book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and
knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are
closed up and sealed till the time of the end. (Daniel 12:9)
Thus the prophecies of Daniel clearly extend far
beyond the period in which they were written.
Ezekiel, a Levitical priest, was taken captive to
Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in his second attack on Jerusalem in 597
b.c. Daniel had been taken captive in the first assault on the city in
605 b.c. They were thus contemporary exiles in Babylon. In fact, in his
prophecy Ezekiel refers to Daniel on no less than three occasions.
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were
in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness,
saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 14:14)
Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I
live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter;
they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no
secret that they can hide from thee. (Ezekiel 28:3)
It is not a coincidence that Ezekiel the prophet,
Danielís fellow prophet in exile, enunciated the year-day principle
(below) indicating that as in other portions of Daniel and Revelation
literal numbers are invariably linked to symbolic entities.
Other examples of a literal number with a symbol are
plentiful in both Daniel and Revelation. We cite a few:
1. The four heads on the leopard beast of Daniel
7:6, as we have seen, were four kingdoms into which Greece divided
after the death of Alexander the Great.
2. The four beasts of Daniel 7 were four kings or
kingdoms. (See Daniel 7:17.)
3. The ten toes of Daniel 2:42 represented the ten
kingdoms into which the Western Roman Empire eventually divided.
4. The seven vials of Revelation 16 symbolized the
seven last plagues, as the chapter clearly explains.
5. The three angelsí messages of Revelation 14:6ó12
represent the three last messages of love presented, not by angels,
but by Godís human servants.
6. The seven stars of Revelation 1:20 represent the
seven angels of the seven churches.
7. The seven churches were themselves symbolic of
seven periods of the Christian Church. (See Revelation chapters 2 and
8. The seven candlesticks of Revelation 1:20 were
symbolic of the seven churches.
9. The seven heads of Revelation 17:9, 10 represent
seven kings or kingdoms.
Numerous other examples of a literal number
associated with a symbolic entity are present in the books of Daniel and
Revelation, up to the Second Coming of Christ.
Ezekiel set forth this principle in respect of the
I have appointed thee each day for a year. (Ezekiel
Thus the 1260-days prophecy certifies that the little
horn would exert power for 1260 years, not a brief 1260 days, on three
solid Biblical grounds.
1. Throughout the prophetic books of Daniel and
Revelation prior to the Second Coming of Christ, the numbers are
always literal and are always associated with symbols. Literal days
would violate this consistent principle.
2. The prophecies are specifically for the end
times, a period vastly beyond the period of the times in which they
3. The prophet Ezekiel set forth the year-day
principle in Danielís day.
4. The year-day principle meets the acid test of
being precisely confirmed by the events of documented history, as we
We have shown, assuming at this point that the
Protestant Reformers were correct in identifying the Papacy as the
little horn power, that the commencement of its rule can be firmly fixed
at 538. Thus we would expect it to rule throughout the Dark Ages and the
Medieval Times, until the eighteenth century, and that in 1798, 1260
years after its power was first fully established, some great
catastrophe would take place by which the Papacy would summarily fall
from power. It is a fascinating study to search history in order to
discover whether such an event took place in 1798.