In Revelation 11:1-3, John was told that the holy city would be downtrodden by the Gentiles for “forty- two months,” and that the two witnesses would testify for 1260 days, i.e. the time when the city was to be downtrodden.
Unmistakably the source for these time statements in Revelation 11 is Daniel’s referent to “the time, times, and halftime” in Dan. 12:7 (1,260 days or 3 ½ years).
Notice that in Daniel 12, the prophet was given a vision of the Great Tribulation, the final resurrection, the righteous shining forth in the Kingdom (Dan. 12:1-3), and is told that all of these things belong to the time of the end (v. 4). His vision was to be sealed however, until the time came for its fulfillment.
Now notice what Daniel witnesses. The prophet sees and hears one angel ask another angel, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” (Dan. 12:6). Will heaven answer that question, or will the reader be left to wonder about the framework and time for the fulfillment of Biblical eschatology? Will we be given more enigma, more revelation that would be like seeing “through a mirror darkly,” or will we be given clear insight?
Heaven gives a vague answer and a clear answer. The responding angel, “held up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, that it shall be a time, times and half a time.” (Dan. 12:7).
Now, unless there are two different “time, times and half a time” periods for the consummation of Biblical eschatology, then this means that Daniel 12 ties in directly with the two witnesses and the fate of the holy city in Revelation 11. Since it is agreed by virtually all commentators that these referents are to the same time, i.e. the time of the end, then this much should be clear:
First, we are dealing with the same time period as Daniel 9, i.e. the fulfillment of the Seventy Weeks, since Daniel 9 and Daniel 12 both deal with the fate of Daniel’s people (Dan. 9:24; Dan. 12:1). Thus, all of these referents must be viewed within the confines of God’s dealings with Israel. As I believe it is clear that Daniel 9 and Daniel 12 are dealing with the same time subject, then there is simply no way to posit either text into a far distant future and “end of time” application.
Second, if Daniel 9 and Daniel 12 are parallel texts, then since the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 consummate in the “overwhelming flood” of the time of the end against “your people and your holy city” (Dan. 9:24), then this means that Daniel 12 must consummate at that same time.
Third, if Daniel 9 and Daniel 12 are parallel, then since the “time, times and half a time” of Daniel 12 are also the ground for Revelation 11-13, then this means that the “time, times and half a time” of Revelation is inextricably bound up with the fulfillment of the seventy weeks and the fate of “your people and your holy city.” (Dan. 9:24).
Fourth, to answer the question posed above, “Will heaven answer that question, or will the reader be left to wonder about the framework and time for the fulfillment of Biblical eschatology?” Daniel not only heard that the end time events would be fulfilled at the end of “the time, times and half a time,” but heaven then answered the question so definitively that there can be no escape. The time, times and half a time would be consummated, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all of these things will be fulfilled” (Dan. 12:7b). So, Daniel’s seventy weeks would be fulfilled, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered,” and this agrees perfectly with his prediction that “the end thereof shall be with a flood” when “the holy city” would suffer desolation. (Dan. 9:27).
Further, “the time, times and half a time” would be fulfilled when the city that killed the two witnesses, and was, “where the Lord was slain,” was destroyed (Rev. 11:6-8). This agrees perfectly with Daniel’s prediction that the time of the end would be, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all of these things will be fulfilled.”
Can there be any doubt as to when the power of the holy people was completely shattered? The holy people here cannot be the church being destroyed at the end of the Christian age. The Kingdom will never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44; 7:13-14; Isa. 9:7; Eph. 3:21). Further, there is no place in the Postmillennial or Amillennial paradigm for a total destruction of Israel at the end of the Christian age. Both views believe Israel was finally destroyed in AD 70. This being true, this demands that the Great Tribulation, the final Resurrection of the dead ones out of Hades/Sheol, and the consummation of the eternal Kingdom of Daniel 12 was fulfilled by AD 70.
Of course this agrees perfectly with Daniel 9. The time of the resurrection is the time to bring in everlasting righteousness and the time of the fulfillment of all things as we have seen. So, the time of the bringing in everlasting righteousness of Daniel 9 is the time of the final resurrection of Daniel 12. But, the bringing in everlasting righteousness of Daniel 9 is confined to and would be fulfilled no later than AD 70. Therefore, the time of the final resurrection of Daniel 12:2 is confined to and would be fulfilled no later than AD 70.
See also related “Topic Studies & Terms”:
Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 9 Lesson 2 The Book of Daniel Chpt 10-12”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 3 Rev. Chapters 10 thru 12”]