Time, Times, Half a Time

In the interpretation of his vision in Chapter 7, Daniel received the limits for the time allotted to the “Little Horn” to persecute the saints – “Time, times, and part of a time.” After that, he lost his domain. The description is ambiguous but becomes clear in Daniel’s subsequent visions. And the Book of Revelation uses this cipher for the “Short Season” during which the “Dragon” and his agents are authorized to persecute the “saints.”

Daniel declared in the second chapter of the Book that Yahweh “changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.” In the present passage, the “Little Horn speaks words against the Most-High” as it presumes to challenge God by “changing seasons and laws.”

Hourglass Flower - Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
[Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash]

This is, in fact, the “
Mouth that speaks great things” in action as it slanders and persecutes the “saints.” But it receives the authority to do so only UNTIL “judgment is given FOR the saints,” afterward, it loses its “dominion” and suffers destruction:

  • (Daniel 7:21-26) – “And the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most-High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom…And he will speak words against the Most-High and wear out the saintsand he shall think to change seasons and law; and they will be given into his hand until a time and times and part of a time. But the judgment will be set, and they will take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end.”


This dark ruler conducts his “war” by “changing seasons and laws.” This refers to the suppression of the ritual practices of the Jewish nation, especially those connected to the annual calendar such as Passover. Here, the term “laws” refers to the calendrical and sacrificial regulations found in the Book of Leviticus.

The Aramaic term rendered “times” is ‘iddan, a general term for “time” that may have the sense “year,” depending on context.

The term rendered “season” represents the word zemân, or “season, set time.” These two terms can be used synonymously, but in places, zemân or “season” is substituted for its Hebrew equivalent mo’ed, which often refers to the “appointed feasts of Yahweh.”

And in the phrase, “time, times, part of a time,” the singular word “time” refers to one “time,” the plural “times” to two, and “part of a time” to just that – some portion of a whole “time,” however long that may be.

The Aramaic term pelag or “part” means a “dividing” or “portion” - not necessarily “half.” In this passage, if “time” represents a year, then the complete description refers to a period of over three years (i.e., three full years plus part of a fourth year).

2,300 DAYS

The Little Horn is central to the next vision of the “Ram and the Goat.” In it, this same figure “magnifies himself against the Prince of princes,” casts some “stars to the ground,” removes the daily burnt offering, and profanes the Sanctuary by erecting the “TRESPASS THAT DESOLATES” - (Daniel 8:9-14).

In that visions interpretation, the “King of fierce countenance” setout to “destroy the mighty ones and the saints,” which corresponds to the war of the “Little Horn” against the “saints” in the preceding vision. And so, the same set of events and conflicts are in view in both visions. (Daniel 8:20-26).

As before, in Chapter 8, a time limit is set for this ruler’s aggression against the “saints” - “Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings-mornings.” The key to understanding the number is the description – “evenings-mornings” - (there is no conjunction between the two words in the Hebrew clause).

The figure of 2,300 “evenings-mornings” alludes to the regulations governing the daily “burnt offerings” in the Sanctuary that were offered from morning to evening. And the 2,300 “evening-mornings” equates to 1,150 full days, or a little over three years. This is another way to describe the period of “time, times, and part of a time” - (Leviticus 6:20).


In Chapter 9 of Daniel, the prophecy of the “Seventy Weeks,” the period of intense conflict occurs in the final half of the “seventieth week,” or over a period of three and one-half years. This includes the removal of the daily sacrifice and the profanation of the Sanctuary by the “ABOMINATION THAT DESOLATES,” clear verbal links to the vision of the “Ram and the Goat” - (Daniel 9:27).

The conclusion of the Book recaps this same set of events and their chronological markers, including the “time, times, and part of a time” - The same timeframe and events are in view in each of the visions of the second half of Daniel - (Daniel 12:7-12).

The period of 1,290 days in the book’s concluding section equates to three and one-half years. Though presented in different formats, in each vision, the assault against the “saints” and the “Sanctuary” is predicted to last for over three years.

Whether this figure is literal or figurative, consistently, the several descriptions point to the same predetermined end of the “Tribulation” or “Indignation” when the persecution of God’s people by the “Little Horn” will cease. And this chronological marker is just one of several verbal and conceptual links that connect the visions of Daniel recorded in chapters 7-12.

And in the Book of Revelation, the period of a “time, times, and part of a time” during which the malevolent king attacks the “saints” is the background for the “forty-two months” or “1,260 days,” the “short season” during which the “Dragon” wages war on the “saints,” those who have the “testimony of Jesus” - (Revelation 11:1-4, 12:12-14, 13:4-10, 20:3).



Silence in Heaven

Sorrow Not