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History of the 7 Times of the Gentiles

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PROPHETIC PERIODS

The Second Advent Manual - Apollos Hale

The first of the prophetic periods, which are considered as main pillars in the calculations of Mr. Miller, is found in Leviticus 26: 18-28. {1843 ApH, TSAM 33.1} The objections urged against this are, 1. That it should not be considered a prophetic period at all. 2. If it he so considered,-as the seven times occur four times in the text,-it should be understood as a period of four times seven times. 3. Admitting it to express only one period of seven times, which, understood prophetically, would be 2520 years, why should the period begin B. C. 677? {1843 ApH, TSAM 33.2} 1. Why consider the seven times of Leviticus a prophetic period? Answer. That is the first meaning we should think of attaching to the text. If the word times did not occur in other parts of the word of God, when chronological arrangements are spoken of, there would be some show of propriety in demanding the reasons for so understanding it in this case. But when we read of the seven times in the history of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. iv., in which case only one signification has ever been supposed; and of the time, times and half a time, repeatedly spoken of in the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments; and of the times of the Gentiles, Luke xxi. 21; and of the times of the restitution of all things, Acts iii. 21; and of the dispensation of the fulness of times, Eph. i. 10; and of the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his times ho shall show, 1 Tim. vi. 15, etc, etc., the text in Lev. is at once recognised as one of a most numerous and important class. The text is a part of the last communication which "the Lord spake unto Moses in Mount Sinia, (xxv. 1; xxvii. 34,) and was specially designed for the warning of the children of Israel," when they should "come into the land which God gave them"-a portion of truth which brought before them, in a most impressive manner, conditionally, their future history as a nation. {1843 ApH, TSAM 33.3} And this, if any doubt might exist, would confirm the idea that the text was intended to be understood chronologically. "And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins." "Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins." "And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins." Lev. 26: 18, 24, 27, 28. {1843 ApH, TSAM 34.1} "But does not the text mean to express that God would punish them in measure according to perfect justice?" That is a truth which it could hardly bb necessary to assert. None could doubt that his administration would be according to perfect justice; and to punish them seven times might be as perfectly just as to punish them for any other period. {1843 ApH, TSAM 34.2} If any class of expositors should be called upon to give special reasons, they should do it who understand the text in any other sense than its obvious, chronological sense. Besides Mr. Miller, we know the Rev. Mr. Duffield, and Mr. Campbell, and others in our country, understand the text to contain a prophetic period, which they all understand figuratively to be 2520 years-as it must be understood in the nature of the case. Among the European writers, Mr. Philip (I think that is the name) understands and applies the period exactly as Mr. Miller does. I refer to him because he could have no knowledge of Mr. M. (See "Morning Watch"-a rare work in this country.) {1843 ApH, TSAM 34.3} 2. "If the seven times be understood as a prophetic period, does not the text contain four of those periods?" I may be excused for inserting a quotation, which shows at once the carelessness and "ignorance" upon questions which every man may decide who can read his Bible, which are so characteristic of many who fill the most important stations in the modern church. It is from the pen of the editor of the Protestant Banner, published in Philadelphia-a most efficient antagonist of nominal popery. The writer had made a display of his powers on that side of the question of "Millerism" so honorable at the present time, in which he had shown from "Mr. Miller's own terms," as he called them, that the seven times could not run out till "A. D. 9103," and then adds,- {1843 ApH, TSAM 34.4} "It will be in vain for any advocates of Millerism to evade this conclusion, from the premises which they assume; they dare not tell us that the seven times here spoken of are merely a repetition of the same period, because it is emphatically staled after each separate enumeration of the different judgments,-which are impending,-that they shall be punished seven times more, if they do not hearken." {1843 ApH, TSAM 35.1} Such a Protestant would not, of course, claim that kind of infallibility which might correct the written word; and if the reader will turn to the verses under consideration, it will he seen the word "more" occurs but twice at all; only once when the seven times are employed in stating their prospect of continued punishment, which is the first time the period is named, (v. 18,) and once when the measure of their punishment is compared with their sins-the only clear case of such comparison, (v. 21,) the second time the. seven times are used. I am sorry that so many of our able opponents art; willing thus to expose such an utter want of every essential qualification for scriptural discussion, as to take such a position, and then "dare the advocates of Millerism" to take that view of a text which every one, who is at all acquainted with the Bible, must see at once is the most consistent and obviously correct view of it,-"that the seven times here spoken of are merely a repetition of the same period," with the exception, perhaps, of the second case referred to above. I have yet to see "the advocate of Millerism," who is so ignorant of his Bible and so regardless of its contents, as to "dare" to make a statement like the above by the Rev. Mr. B--. {1843 ApH, TSAM 35.2} Surely, it can be no strange thing to suppose that God may have made "a repetition of the same" thing in the revelations he has given us of his designs and will, especially when the matter is one of such moment to the recipients of the revelation. God saw fit to make known to Pharaoh the seven years of famine by "a repetition" of dreams, which Joseph dared to tell the monarch were "one;" and, in explanation, adds-"And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established of God, and God will shortly bring it to pass." Gen.12: 32. In the predicted subjection of the Jews and other nations to the king of Babylon, we have "a repetition of the same period" four or five times by different prophets, (Isaiah 23: 15-17; Jer. 25: 11, 12,) and I do not know that it has ever been considered an evidence of any particular form of courage to suppose this "repetition" to speak of only one period of "seventy years." So invincible were the prejudices of Peter, and so important was it that he should understand the truth in the case, that there was "a repetition of the same" thing, three times, Acts. x. 9-16. John is remarkable for "a repetition of the same period:"-the forty-two months, or its equivalents, are named fives times, Rev. 11. 12. 13.; and the one thousand years are named six times certainly, chap. xx.; and yet I believe there are very few who suppose that the repetition, in each case, refers to more than one period. {1843 ApH, TSAM 36.1} The mystery of the seven times is, therefore, explained by the very natural and scriptural supposition of "a repetition of the same period." {1843 ApH, TSAM 36.2} One important feature of this prophecy, however, appears to have been overlooked. The language implies, and the history of the Jews proves, that these predictions of national judgments were conditional; not merely in the sense that the conduct of the Jews would determine whether they should begin or not,-that is too plain to be mistaken, vs. 14-18; but after they had been inflicted in part, and the different forms of the threatened punishment had begun, the remainder of it might have been suspended or remitted; for after the first threatening of the punishment, it says, vs. 23, 24, "And IF ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you YET seven times for your sins,"-implying that, after the judgments had begun, if they would hearken and do his commandments, he would not punish them to the full; but if not, then he would punish them yet seven times,-the full punishment of the first threatening shall be poured out upon them. So the prophets understood the subject, and in accordance with it they addressed their countrymen, until they finally rebelled by rejecting their Lord, and the wrath came upon them to the uttermost. Jer. 3: 7-20; 4: 1, 2; 7: 5-7; 17: 19-26; 22: 1-4. {1843 ApH, TSAM 36.3} 3. Why commence the seven times at the captivity of Manasseh, B. C. 677? {1843 ApH, TSAM 36.3} 1. The prediction itself points to that event. The first form of their punishment stated in connection with the first mention of the period is,-"And I will break the pride of your power." If their kingly form of civil government is here referred to, it was never "broken" until the captivity of Manasseh. Although it was the case, after the division of the Hebrews into the ten tribes and two tribes, that they were several times made tributary to foreigners, still one division remained independent while the other was subdued and tributary until his captivity; but at this period the ten tribes had lost their king, (2 Kings 27: 1-18,) and as soon as Manasseh, the king of the remaining division, was carried into captivity, their "power," as an independent people, was gone. Manasseh was the pride and the ruin of the Jews. {1843 ApH, TSAM 37.1} Again; the prediction specifies the particular sins on account of which this evil should befall them. {1843 ApH, TSAM 38.1} Some of these sins are as specifically charged upon Manasseh and the Jews as the direct cause of their calamity. Compare Lev. 26: 14, 18, 27, with 2 Kings 21: 9-13; and Lev. 26: 1, 2, with 2 Kings 21: 2-8; 2 Chron. 33: 2-11. {1843 ApH, TSAM 38.2} 2.Those texts which speak of the instruments of Providence in effecting this judgment, all point to his captivity as the time for the commencement of the period. Compare Isaiah 10: 5, 6, with 2 Kings xxi. 10-14. 2 Chron 33: 10, 11. Neh. 9: 32. {1843 ApH, TSAM 38.3} 3. The sacred historians refer to Manasseh's sins as the cause of their captivity and sufferings long after his captivity. 2 Kings 23: 26, 27; 24: 1-4; Jer. 15: 1-7. {1843 ApH, TSAM 38.4} 4. Although Manasseh was restored to his throne, and there were a few other kings of the Jewish nation after him, they have never been an independent people "from the day of the kings of Assyria unto this day." Neh. 9: 32. Nebuchadnezzar brought the kingdom, in its subjected form, to an end; when Babylon was conquered by Cyrus, the Jews passed under the power of the Medes and Persians; then under that of the Greeks; in the division of Greece, they were connected with Egypt; as a part of Egypt, were conquered by Syria; they prospered awhile under the Maccabees, and the protection of the Romans, who eventually "took away their place and nation." Since the destruction of their city, they have been "wanderers among the nations,"-a hissing and a by-word,-pitying none, pitied by none. {1843 ApH, TSAM 38.5} 5. The prophets, who lived long before the captivity of Manasseh, point to that event as the time of the passing away of the Jewish independence, by connecting it with other events. One of them gives the date. Hosea, more than a hundred years before, had said,-"And the pride of Israel (the ten tribes) doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim (the principal tribe of the ten) fall in their iniquity; Judah (the other division) shall also fall with them." Hosea v. 5. Isaiah, in the year 742 B. C., according to date in the margin, had said,-"And within three-score and five years shall ephraim be broken that it be not a people." 7: 8. From 742 deduct 65 leaves B. C. 677,-the only date ever given, I believe, for the captivity of Manasseh. {1843 ApH, TSAM 38.6} For an explanation of the quotations from Hosea and Isaiah, and for the most authentic history of the period before us, we add the following {1843 ApH, TSAM 39.1}

1850 Chart
1. Our Pillars

The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were made certain to us in 1844, after the passing of the time. The languishing souls are to be confirmed and quickened according to his word. And many of the ministers of the gospel and the Lord’s physicians will have their languishing souls quickened according to the word. Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth. Pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus. { NYI February 7, 1906, par. 4 }

2. Sacred Union

I have been instructed that the messages given in the past are to be revived, and that it is essential that as brethren and sisters, we be joined together in the bonds of sacred union in the accomplishment of the work before us. The world knows very little of the truths that we believe, and in clear, straight lines the message for this time must be given to all the world. The message comes to me, “Wake up the watchmen. Let every one now come into working order.” { RH April 19, 1906, par. 5 }

3. All the Messages

All the messages given from 1840-1844 are to be made forcible now, for there are many people who have lost their bearings. The messages are to go to all the churches. {21 MR 437.1} (LTR 54 1906)

Our Pioneers

Quotes from out Pioneers on the "7 Times of the Gentiles.

Sarah H. Brown

Recently, from listening to Bro. Miller's lecture on Dan. xii. 7; I was led to study the Bible relative to the "seven times," parts of which are referred to in the book of Daniel. The result has been the confirmation of my hopes by the light reflected from this single point, if we should yield up the 2300 days and the 70 weeks. These, however, are but fractions of the 7 times: for as they begin B. C. 457, and the 7 times B. C. 677, the difference is just 220 years, 2300-|-220=2520, 490-|-220-|-1810=2520. Thus we see that none of the numbers in the book of Daniel, are arbitrary, all springing from the 7 times; like streams diverging from a fountain we have still one mighty bulwark immovable as the pillars of heaven, for the oath of the Almighty hath established it. {March 20, 1844 JVHe, HST 55.18}

Josiah Litch

The time, times and a half, being reduced to days by John, Rev. xii. 14 and 6,-1260 days,-twice that will be seven times, or 2520 days. Subtract B. C. 677, from 2520, the whole period, leaves A. D. 1843. {1843 JoL, JUO 30.3} The objection to the understanding of a time of 360 days to be 360 years, is, that in that case Nebuchadnezzar was made to eat grass like oxen for 2520 years. This objection would lay against us if we always used a day for a year; but we do not. We always understand time literally, if the subject will admit of it. If it will not admit of its being understood literally, without contradicting matter of fact or scripture, we are obliged to understand it symbolically. {1843 JoL, JUO 30.4}

Joseph Bates

Matt. 25:5. "While the Bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept." In overhauling our dead reckoning, and re-examining our past observations, we could discover no mistake. But we did discover one thing which was to us a clear explanation of our text, at the same time so simple that the most we could say about it was, that God had withholden our eyes from this point as he did the two disciples in company with Jesus at his resurrection. And this was that six months had yet to be added to the prophetic periods before we could make them out full and complete. For instance, we now could see clearly that it would take every hour of 457 B.C., and 1843 years after to fill up 2300 days or years; and so of the seven times of the Gentiles; 677 B. C. and 1843, was only 2520 as given on the chart. Here we see plainly that the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, did not go forth until the middle of 457; and so of the captivity of Manasseh, B. C. 677. And also that the 6000 year of the world could not be complete until the seventh month, where it commences. {1847 JB, BP2 58.2}

William Miller

That, being a matter of history, and a sample only, was fulfilled in seven years; but this, being a prophecy, will only be fulfilled in seven prophetic times, which will be 7 times 360 years, which will make 2520 years; for one half of 7 times, that is, 3 times and a half, is called, in Rev. 12:6, 1260 days, (fulfilled in so many years.) See also Rev. 12:14; 13:5. Forty-two months is the one half of 2520, for twice 1260 is 2520. Therefore the sum and substance of the whole is, that the people of God would be among the beasts, or kings of the earth, seven times, which is 2520 years, one half of which time they would be among be under literal Babylon, which means the ruling kings of the earth, viz. 1260 years; and the other half under mystical Babylon, the mother of harlots, the abomination of the whole earth, 1260 years; making in all 2520 years. Therefore seven times would the people of God be punished for their sins, to fill up the measure of the sufferings of Christ, before they would be delivered from all their enemies, and come into possession of the glorified kingdom which was prepared for them from the foundation of earth.{1842 WiM, MWV2 261.1}

Apollos Hale

"Each day" of the prophetic period represents a true solar year-there being 2520 days in 7 times, understood symbolically, the period expresses 2520 true solar years. Prophetic time is the measure, true time the article to be measured. There is the same difference between the measure and the article to be measured in this case that there is in all other cases: the measure is an arbitrary abstract rule, by which the natural and real thing is to be measured off for use. {1843 ApH, TSAM 25.1}

Joshua V. Himes

Which pledge we find for one instance, and one is all sufficient, in the same scriptures as foreshowed our dispersion. See Lev xxvi. 40---42. "If they shall confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary to me, and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies, if then their uncircumcised (Rom. ii.28, 29,) hearts be humbled, and if they accept of the punishment of their iniquity; then (i. e. of course when we have been punished for our iniquity by being reigned over by our enemies 7 times or 2520 years) will I remember my covenant with Jacob, Gen. xxxv. 9---12, and also with Isaac, Gen, xxvi. 3, 4, and also with (Gen xxvii. 7,8.) Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. {April 5, 1843 JVHe, HST 38.15}

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