Timing of the Two Witnesses
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- This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Raymond.
September 26, 2022 at 11:25 am #3222
There are a number of Christians who believe the two witnesses operate after the mid way point of the 70th week.
I cant identify why we believe that 2 witnesses operate in the first half as opposed to why they have identified the last half.
So many views of when various seals, trumpets and bowls are released which seem to impact the timing of the 2 witnesses.
October 9, 2022 at 11:25 am #3284
1. In Rev 11:2-3 it says the witnesses will prophesy during 1260 days, in direct opposition to the time the Gentiles will tread the holy city under foot for 42 months. Since the latter refers to the second part of the tribulation, the former ought to refer to the first half.
2. The witnesses have the power to turn water into blood (Rev 11:6) which happens during the 1st and 2nd trumpet (Rev 8:7,8). (We know the first 4 trumpets are in the first half since they are escalated in the first 4 bowls which are in the second half.)
3. “When they shall have FINISHED their tesitmony” (Rev 11:7), the beast will ascend from the earth and kill them (Rev 11:7), and the people will rejoice (Rev 11:10). This is the middle of tribulation since that is the time the beast will ascend, and there is no way people will rejoice right after the second half.
4. In Rev 11:11-14, the witnesses are resurrected after 3 and a half days, were taken to heaven, an earthquake came, and the 2nd woe (6th trump) was immediately (?) followed by the 3rd woe (7th trump). This is at the end of the tribulation which may indicate the witnesses will operate during the 2nd half. However, if the 3,5 days equal 3,5 years it fits perfectly. (I believe Tim interprets the 3,5 days literally, so it would be interesting to hear his view on this.)
All well! /Anders
October 10, 2022 at 6:46 am #3285
Thanks for your reply. It does seem a bit unclear about the two witnesses and the timing involved.
I tend to believe that the 3.5 days are literal after their deaths. The problem is that they go up into the clouds which could mean heaven. I think Tim believes that they are relocated to the wilderness with the people who fled Israel after the Antichrist has made his entrance and we have precedent for that with Elijah in the OT and Phillip in the NT.
The one thing that I thought was important was that the Temple sacrifices could only start once a prophet has anointed the chief priest as Tim has stated. I dont know which scriptures in the OT support this. This implies that the 2 witnesses have to be active at the beginning of the 70th week if the temple starts operating at that time.
It would be good to get Tims input on this subject.
Below is Tim’s translation of Rev 11.
1 And a reed like a measuring rod was given to me and I was told: “Arise and measure the Temple of God, the altar, and those worshipping in it.
2 And exclude the court outside the Temple. You should not measure it because it was given to the Gentiles (they will also trample the holy city forty-two months).
3 And I will give to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days clothed in mohair.”
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands having come to stand before the Master of the Land.
5 And if anyone is willing to harm them, fire goes out from their mouth and consumes their enemies. And if anyone should be willing to harm them he must be killed in this manner.
6 These have authority to lock the sky, so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy. And they have authority over the waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the land with every blow, as often as they should be willing.
7 When they should finish their witness, the beast, ascending out of the deep, will do battle with them, will conquer them, and will kill them.
8 And their corpses will lie upon the street of the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Master was crucified.
9 And those from the peoples, and tribes, and languages, and nations watch their corpses three-and-a-half days. They do not permit their corpses to be put in graves.
10 And the dwellers on the land cheer over them, and rejoice, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those dwelling on the land.
11 And after the three-and-a-half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. And great fear fell on those watching them.
12 And they heard a loud voice from the sky saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended into the sky in the cloud and their enemies watched them.
13 In that hour there was a great shaking, and a tenth of the city fell, and seven thousand people were killed, and the rest became terrified and gave credit to the God of the sky.
October 20, 2022 at 10:57 am #3355
In addition to the reasons given by Anders, I believe the association of the two witnesses with Temple worship means that their 1260-days of prophesying is while the Jews have a functioning priesthood and Temple. Once the Abomination of desolation occurs, which also coincides with the stopping of the daily sacrifice, the Temple is “desolate” and the holy city is trampled for 3.5 years. IMO, the primary point of the two prophets is to provide the window of opportunity for Israel to return to the Law of Moses. Remember, Malachi 4 tells Israel “Remember the Law of My servant Moses,” and then prophesies of God sending them Elijah the prophet. This return to the Law is the only means Israel has (as the requirement) for God to then restore the nation nationally in fulfillment of His promises in Deut. 30. Israel is now under “the curse of the Law” as evidenced by the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the priesthood in AD 70, which desolation continues to this day. The only way they can return to the Law, as commanded in Malachi 4, is for God to restore the priesthood and Temple which was completely overthrown in AD 70. So, the two prophets will provide that brief window, the priesthood will be reinstated, and the two prophets will bring down plagues upon anyone or any nation which interferes with the restored Temple and its functioning priesthood and worship. The two prophets being killed coincides with the beast arising (present tense) from the abyss (Rev. 11:7), which means he kills them when arising from the pit, which occurs at the mid-point of the 70th week, and this is immediately followed by the abomination of desolation. It is also why the world begins to follow the Beast, because he appears to be the only one able to defeat the two prophets who “tormented” the people with their plagues for 1260 days.
I take the 3.5 days literally, and the prophets being caught up and relocated to the place in the “wilderness” when the woman is told to flee. Ch. 12 says “they shall feed her there.” There is no antecedent/referent for the pronoun “they” except the two prophets mentioned in the previous chapter.
Also, in Daniel 9:27, the statement “He shall renew (lit. ‘strengthen’) the covenant for one week,” refers to the reinstating of a previous “covenant.” This is not a new “peace agreement” as is taught by many. It is God’s reinstating the “covenant with Levi” (Mal. 2:4-5), that is the Levitical priesthood, which God suspended when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem (Heb. 7:18; Heb. 8:13; Heb. 10:5-9). The LXX reads: “And it will strengthen a covenant with many, one week, and by half of the week sacrifice and libation will cease, and in the temple there will be an abomination of desolations even until a consummation, and a consummation will be given for the desolation.” (Dan. 9:27 NETS). The ECFs quoted this passage as “My covenant will be strengthened” and interpreted it as God’s covenant.
So, it is not possible for the Temple worship which is described in Rev. 11 (which coincides with the 2 prophets) to continue once the “abomination of desolation” takes place, and the image of the Beast stands in the holy place (Dan. 9:27; Mark 13:14; Rev. 13:14).
October 21, 2022 at 4:58 am #3356
I realize the benefits of the belief that the 3,5 days for the witnesses are literal days. However, this is the 2nd woe and the 3rd woe is comming QUICKLY where the kingdoms HAVE BECOME kingdoms of our Lord. So it seems to me that the wakening of the witnesses ought to be close to the end. How do you interpret this?
[Rev 11:11-15 NKJV] 11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming QICKLY. 15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world HAVE BECOME [the kingdoms] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
October 21, 2022 at 9:09 am #3360
I view the numbered seals, trumpets, and bowls as necessarily taking place sequentially. Also, the three woes must take place sequentially. However, within the description of the seals and trumpets there are parenthetical sections. These sections are not themselves part of the numbered sequences but add further details or answer anticipated questions about what has been mentioned before. For example, between the sixth and seventh seal there is a parenthetical section which deals with the 144,000 from the 12 tribes. Remember, the sixth seal is the second coming of Christ with the cosmic signs. This parenthetical section answers the anticipated question, “What happens to the faithful remnant of Israel during the preceding seals which occur during the great tribulation?” This section is not sequential. It does not describe something that occurs AFTER the second coming, but rather BEFORE the entire sequence. It shows that 12k from each tribe of Israel will be preserved by God during the testimony of the two prophets (described in Rev. 11), which coincides with seals 1-4, and then the place of safety where the woman flees to the wilderness (developed in Rev. 12), but coincides with seals 5-6.
The same is true with the trumpets. The three “woes” are trumpets 5-7. They are called “woes” to let us know that this is much more severe than the first 4 trumpets, and they occur during the last 3.5 years which is called “great tribulation.” Yet between trumpets 6 & 7 (woe 2 & 3), there is another parenthetical section which takes us back to the very beginning of the 70th week, with the 2 prophets prophesying for 1260 days. All of Rev. 10:1 – 11:13 is this parenthetical section. The first woe (5th trumpet) is Rev. 9:1-12. The second woe (6th trumpet) is Rev. 9:13-21. The third woe (7th trumpet) is Rev. 11:14-19, the second coming of Christ. The worshippers at the temple and the two prophets are not part of the 2nd woe (6th trumpet).
One more thing. If the bodies of the two prophets are left to rot in the streets of Jerusalem for the entire 42 months of the great tribulation, then who are the persons referred to in Rev. 12:6 by the plural personal pronoun “they” (NKJV)? “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that THEY should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Rev. 12:6 NKJ)? The verb is τρέφωσιν, (subjunctive mood, active voice, 3rd person, plural). This requires an implied PLURAL subject which does the feeding. If it was “she might be nourished” as in the NASB, NIV, ESV, etc. the verb would have to be in the passive voice. If it referred back to God in the same verse, it would have to be singular. The fact that it is third person and active voice means there is an implied subject doing the action to her. That it is plural in number means that the implied subject must be more than one. This is the same as using the plural personal pronoun “they” which is why the KJV, NKJV, DRV, ETH, YLT all put it in the active voice and add the plural personal pronoun “they,” requiring an antecedent. The only possible antecedent is the two prophets in chapter 11.
In the LGV, I have the critical statement in brackets as a parenthetical statement as follows: “6 And the woman escaped into the wilderness where she has a place there having been prepared from God (so that they may be nourishing her there) a thousand two hundred sixty days.” Punctuating the sentence this way shows that the preparation of this place of safety took place during the previous 1260 days of the 2 prophets prophesying (Rev. 11:3) and solves the problem of both periods being described as 1260 days. Rather, the 1260 days always refers to the first half of the week, and the 42 months and time, times, and half a time always refers to the second half of the week, including in Daniel. In Dan. 12, the time, times, and half a time corresponds to 1290 days not 1260 days. IMO, part of the prophesying of the two prophets concerns instructions to God’s people concerning the preparation of this place of safety for the woman and includes the content of the seven thunders which John heard in ch. 10 but was instructed not to write down.
October 21, 2022 at 12:02 pm #3361
Now, I see my mistake. I missed the time-gap between verses 13 and 14 of Rev 11.
October 22, 2022 at 11:13 am #3422
No problem. My pleasure.
October 27, 2022 at 4:44 am #3577
Thanks to Anders and Tim for the input on this question. I now have a better understanding of the timing and why people come up with different timings for the 2 witnesses.
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