The period of 1260 days has been ascribed various meanings;
- a relatively short end-time period, eg 3.5 years,
- a period of 1,260 years,
- the entire period of Christianity,
- the time of God's work with Israel.
A Relatively Short Period
Since the book of Revelation is a book of symbolism and 'times' is often
thought to literally mean 'years', it is unlikely that a prophetic period
of 3.5 years is being implied. There being an absence of any symbolic
However, another relatively short period could be being implied.
If this was the case the 1260 days would refer to a period of special
A Period of 1,260 Years?
Various start and end dates may be proposed by different proponents.
However, they usually all suffer from the same weakness. They require
the reader to accept that the key to understanding bible prophecy is
the reading of history books. Many interpretations which expound a 1260
year viewpoint typically have both their start and end dates anchored
by dates derived from history books.
Serious bible students should dismiss such views and look for solutions,
which are anchored in biblically relevant history or prophetically
anchored in the end-time.
The Entire Period of Christianity
When we consider the story flow of Revelation chapter 12 it would appear
the child born to rule the nations is Jesus Christ. This view implies the
1260 day period represents a period of approximately 2,000 years.
There is however two obvious problems with this perspective;
1) Scripture introduces a further aspect to what the heavenly
woman endures in order to give birth.
"... she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth."
The Hebrew word for 'pain' encountered in this Scripture
is commonly translated 'torment' or 'tormented' in other
verses. The woman not only suffers the pain of labour,
but also some form of mental and/or physical torture!
2) Assuming the tribulation is expected to take place within
the approaching decades, by what means could the '1,260
days' symbolize a period of approximately 2,000 years?
The Time of God's Work with Israel
The congregation of the children of Israel and recorded Scripture
essentially came into existence at the time of the exodus of the
children of Israel from Egypt.
Initiating the 1,260 days with the Exodus allows us to understand the
torture associated with the birth of the child. That is, it reflected
the hardship the children of Israel were suffering in Egypt prior to
To initiate the symbolic '1260 days' with Exodus and end the '1260 days'
in the end-time would mean that it would have to represent a period of
approximately 3,500 years (1,500 years of Old Covenant faith followed by
approximately 2,000 years of Christianity).
In practice if one tries to link from Exodus to the end-time, the symbolic
'1260 days' period could only refer to a period of 3,500 years.
The link, while less obvious than the simple '1 day equals 1 year',
- first, equate 1260 days to 3.5 years;
- second, using the day for a year principle (eg Ezek 4:6),
3.5 years can be converted to 3.5 days;
- third, using the day for a thousand years principle (eg Ps 90:4)
3.5 days can be converted to 3,500 years.
While at first this may appear overly complex, the mere proven existence
of the 'day for a year' and the 'day for a thousand years' principles have
always implied that the third element 'a year for a thousand years' also
Whether in practice bible chronology or bible prophecy actually supports
the existence of such a 3,500 year period also has be considered. In this
respect the reader should consider the solution to the 70 weeks prophecy
presented on this site and the bible chronology compilation.
It is this fourth solution, ie '1260 days' symbolizes 3,500 years, which
is favoured by the author.