How long will the Great Tribulation be. 3.5 years or 7 years?
How long will the Great Tribulation be. 3.5 years or 7 years?

How long is the Tribulation mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Many are quoting 7 years based on the Book of Daniel 70 weeks of years reference in Daniel 9:24-27, others are taking the literal time mentioned 6 times in the Bible as 3.5 Years Or 42 months or 1230 days. There is a lot of confusion surrounding these two different time periods.

Are we in the Great Tribulation period now?. No, we would know for sure, the troubles in the world we are seeing now are “The Beginnings of Sorrows” mentioned in the Bible.

Mark 13:8
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

There will be no mistaking when we are in the Tribulation period but this will be confirmed further within this article which only deals with the time span of the Great Tribulation not the actual events (that is another article entirely).

This article is in a form your own opinion format, presenting both time span theories. The relevant popular scriptures will be presented that support either the 7 year Tribulation period or the 3.5 year tribulation period with some supporting words to add some clarity. At the end will be my views, things I´ve come across whilst researching this article and finally some things to ponder over if you are in the Christian faith.

Introduction.

Just like the Rapture which has it´s Pre, Mid and Post proponents, the Tribulation view is split into mainly two camps, either the 3.5 year period mentioned numerous times in the Bible or the 7 year period which is mainly derived from the 70 weeks of years prophecy referenced in Daniel 9:24-27. There is a third that is in the minority that says there will be NO Tribulation. There is also a fourth which is the delayed camp and this theory is based on the Jewish Shemitah cycle which will be looked at briefly. The NO Tribulation theory will not be discussed here, as the Book of Revelation makes it perfectly clear that there is a Tribulation coming in the End Days, the likes of which as described in that Book in no way has happened yet, although the word Tribulation itself is not actually used throughout the Bible in reference to an End Time scenario.

The Rapture and the Tribulation are intricately linked and are two major key elements in the infamous Last Days before the Millennial Kingdom set up (again a whole article in it´s own right) and consequently especially in these times can become a prime area of focus and study and debate amongst those in the Christian faith. The key to all this is to not look for things in the Bible that are not there, not enter this with preconceived ideas or notions of how things will pan out and have all sorts of bizarre theories or some sort of cracking “code”, or worse start twisting some Bible verse to fit some preconceived theory.

Whatever ideas you have, there will be a Bible verse that will fit, or sort of fit that idea, that´s a given, it doesn´t prove anything. The only and best way is to just “read the word”, with your brain in neutral and see God´s plan unfold. Not what your idea of God´s plan is…….but God´s plan…….he doesn´t think like us and is vastly superior in all respects to us mere mortals. That´s the approach I´ve taken with this article and with anything of this nature, just keeping it simple and cutting out the confusion. Confusion is not of the Lord.

You normally know when you are on the right tracks when you start cross referencing to other parts of the Bible and scripture starts leaping off the page in droves leaving you no doubt in your mind. The jigsaw pieces will fit…and very precisely. If you are on some bizarre track trying to prove your certain normally extremely complicated and clever theory, the Bible will not confirm in any shape or form via any other supporting scripture and you will be fumbling around with jigsaw pieces, some fitting but the picture will be scrambled with some pieces of the puzzle bizarrely still left over. Normally the best answers are the simple ones that don´t immediately leap off the page, but on a second or third read…..there it is, staring you right in the face!

This is not a Prophecy or Date Setting or Fixing article but merely aims to cut through the confusion of this topic and make it clearer what the Bible actually says about the length of the Tribulation and whether we are in the times of Tribulation or getting close.

The Seven Year Tribulation Theory

This theory states that the entire Tribulation will span a 7 year period and is based on what is known as the Daniel 70 weeks. The 7 year tribulation Period will be the fulfilment of the 70th. week of Daniel mentioned in ch.9.This 7 years will be divided into two parts consisting of 3.5 years each, or 1260 days each; based on the Jewish lunar calendar.The Daniel 70 weeks and the 7 year Tribulation theory is primarily based on Daniel 9:24-27, everything is contained within those verses. The proponents of this argument say 70 weeks is actually 70 weeks of years or 490 days and each day is a year hence 490 years.

This diagram one of many on the web explains the prophecy in simple terms. via the aptly named Revelation Logic.com website

The Daniel 70 weeks of Years Prophecy and Timeline
The Daniel 70 weeks of Years Prophecy and Timeline

The objective of this prophecy is to fulfil the following as in Daniel 9:24:

– to finish the transgression,
– to make an end of sin,
– to make atonement for iniquity,
– to bring in everlasting righteousness,
– to seal up vision and prophecy and
– to anoint the most holy place

The Prophecy is split into three parts:

1. the 7 weeks or 49 years which is a decree issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (decree of Artaxerxes)
2. the 62 weeks or 434 years which is the arrival of Messiah the Prince. (Jesus Christ)

Total 483 years subtracted from totally prophecy of 490 years = 7 years remaining which leads us to

3. the final week which equates to the 7 years which are the final 7 years before the second coming and the return of Christ.

These first two prophecies or weeks of years have been fulfilled with the Christ Cut off as in his death being the end of the 434 years. This portion of the prophecy is astounding by itself because (1) it foretold the decree of Artaxerxes, and (2) it foretold a time centuries later that confirms Jesus as the Messiah. We are now in the Gap in the Prophecy and waiting for the final 1 week or 7 years

In this view, this seven-year period is considered to be the final week of Daniel’s Prophecy of Seventy Weeks, found in Daniel chapter 9. It is theorised that each week represents seven years, with the timetable beginning from Artaxerxes’ order to rebuild the Second Temple in Jerusalem. After seven weeks and 62 weeks, the prophecy says that the messiah will be “cut off”, which is taken to correspond to the death of Christ. This is seen as creating a break of indeterminate length in the time line, with one week remaining to be fulfilled. via  Wikipedia 

The KEY BIBLE VERSES IN DANIEL CHAPTER 9

The Book of Daniel especially Chapter 9 is an incredibly important part of the Bible in relation to Prophecy and is one of those key Chapters. Also in the Book of Revelation, we are told that the Beast stops the Daily Sacrifice in the Temple, sets up the Abomination of Desolation, blasphemes against God, and persecutes the Saints of the Most High God for a period of three and a half Jewish years. This period is mentioned in these key Bible verses from Daniel Chapter 9:24-27 as the following:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Daniel:9:24

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Daniel:9:25

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Daniel:9:26

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Daniel:9:27

There are a few flaws with this 7 year Tribulation argument.
1. Some are saying that the 490 year period is one continuous period with no gap of unspecified duration and the prophecy has been fulfilled in it´s entirety??
2. The final 1 week period of the Prophecy that has not been fulfilled states very clearly the time of troubles as mentioned in Daniel 9:27 will start IN THE MIDST of the 1 week period which would make the Tribulation 3.5 years in duration signaled by the set up of the all important The Abominations of Desolation.
3. Some say the 7 year Tribulation period is split into two parts, the first 3.5 years being The Minor Tribulations and the second 3.5 years being The Great Tribulation.
4. Nowhere in the Bible is there mentioned a 7 year Tribulation period using the words “7 Year Tribulation”??
5. The Daniel Prophecy for the final 7 years or final week involves a lot of jiggery pokery to get things to fall in line??

Wikipedia states the following.
According to Dispensationalists who hold the futurist view, the Tribulation is thought to occur before the Second Coming of Jesus and during the End Times. In this view the Tribulation will last seven prophetic Hebrew years (lasting 360 days each) in all but the Great Tribulation will be the second half of the Tribulation period (see Matt 24:15 and Matt 24:21 showing the Great Tribulation is after the Abomination of Desolation, which marks the midpoint of the Tribulation).

The 3.5 years, 42 months or 1260 days Theory

With the 3.5 years Tribulation theory things seem to be more clear cut. It is supported by numerous Bible verses from Daniel, Revelation with 6 quotes stating quite clearly how long this period of great trouble will last and is quoted in one of three ways:

1. Time, Times and a half time (or similar) = Time = 1 year, Times = 2 years, half time = half year =3.5 years
2. A thousand two hundred and three score days (a score is 20) = 1260 days or 3.5 Jewish Years
3. 42 months = 3.5 years

The Prophet Daniel also mentions a 1,290 day period, as well as a 1,335 day period. This latter time span is the same as 44.4 Jewish months at thirty days each, while the 1,290 days equals exactly forty-three Jewish months. Following are the specific verses where these time spans are mentioned in both Daniel and Revelation. Explanations in brackets to make things clearer:

“And he [the Beast] shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”
Daniel 7:25, KJV (3.5 years)

“And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he [the Beast] shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
Daniel 12:7, KJV (3.5 years)

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
Daniel 12:11-12, KJV (1290 days) and (1335 days)

“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Revelation 11:2-3, KJV (1260 days = 3.5 years )

“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”
Revelation 12:6, KJV (1260 days = 3.5 days)

“And there was given unto him [the Beast] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Revelation 13:5-7, KJV (42 months = 3.5 years)

The Abomination of Desolation is the key to determining when the Tribulation starts as mentioned many times in the above Bible Quotes. The Bible verses from Matthew 24:15-22 explain the situation very clearly and on this occasion the word Great Tribulation is used. Condensed down to it´s purest and simplest form it is Abomination of Desolation – Evacuation – Tribulation.

Matthew 24:15-22
15. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16. Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Things just seem that much clearer with the 3.5 year theory. The Bible verses spell it out clearly, are confirmed in Matthew 24 and if you fast forward to this present day you realise although the world is experiencing harrowing times, the Abomination of Desolation that would mark the beginning of the Tribulation has yet to happen which would confirm that we are not in the times of the Great Tribulation yet.

Here´s somebody on You Tube that has her theories on why the Tribulation is 3.5 years and not 7 years. Some of her ideas were incredibly helpful and were used in this article, although I´m not sure about some of the names or dates here, but it´s a fascinating watch and demonstrates that even the KJV Bible is fallible when you use the literal original Jewish words. In two parts. This is Part 1

Some other theories to consider

The Shemitah Cycle Delayed Tribulation Theory, Isaac Newton and the Cosmos

The Shemitah Cycle is a Jewish 7 year cycle that is based on an Old Covenant farming rule to grow crops for 6 years then let the land rest for the final year. It also applies to the Jewish week where the 7th day is the day of rest, there are many other cycles that are tied to this such as debts and others. We are currently in a Super Shemitah Year (50th) which will finish in the next month or so what is commonly known as a a Jubilee Year and are approaching Rosh Hashana and the Feast of Trumpets an incredibly significant period in our time (again another article entirely) This video is a couple of years old shedding a different light on the Daniel 70 years and the Isaac Newton Theory to ponder over.

2015, Daniel 9, and the Lord’s Jubilee

The other theory concerning Shemitah Cycles is that for the Tribulation to start it would have to be at the beginning of a new Shemitah cycle. Have a read of this

Mark Biltz, author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” is not predicting that the Tribulation will start with the beginning of a new seven-year cycle at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 13 2015. But if it doesn’t start, then he says it likely won’t for at least another seven years.

Further details of that over at Cogwriter

My Theory

This is my theory for what it is worth based on a powerful Prophecy Video which I´ve vowed never to make public in this website (it´s horrific) and scripture from he Word.

The 7 year period is not the length of the Tribulation but marks the period from beginning to end of the period of the Anti Christ. From when he arrives on the scene to the sealing for a 1000 years in fire and brimstone, that is the length of time that God has given him to rise and fall. In that time he will be in the ascendant for 3.5 years and these will be times of peace and prosperity. When he is crowned Tsar or ruler of the world (The New world Order) and declares himself God to be worshiped by all as in The Abomination of Desolation, this will mark the beginning of the declining 3.5 years and also the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Therefore the Great Tribulation length is 3.5 years but the period of the Anti Christ is 7 years total. The 3.5 year period where the Anti Christ will be on the rise will be the times of Great Deception and Wonders to the extent that everybody will be convinced he is the real Messiah.

We are in the period now where the way is being paved for the Anti Christ and the foundations are being laid for the Beast System. The burning question ………Is the Anti Christ here now? I think he is here now, maybe since late last year but as yet unannounced and is not one of the current world leaders or even religious leaders that immediately spring to mind. Again just a theory which would mean we are in the beginnings of the first half of the 3.5 year cycle before the Great Tribulation.

That´s just my theories and my two pence worth!

Conclusions

On my travels to produce this article which is still not conclusive by any stretch of the imagination, many videos and articles were stumbled upon, the general impression is there is a lot of confusion and concern over this matter just like The Pre Trib,Post Trib Rapture debate. There are some very good and convincing arguments, others demonstrating some amazing advanced theories and ideas but the scripture doesn´t line up and they have added extra formula to “make” or bend the scripture to finally arrive at what they think the end result should actually be. Have even seen world leaders and religious leaders thrown into the equation to come up with some amazing theories. It´s easy to get confused.

On You Tube I came across more of the same with people giving their theory on why the Tribulation is 3.5 years or 7 years, all are convinced of their argument. The Tribulation argument is very much the same as the Rapture argument.

The bottom line is it really doesn´t matter when the Tribulation will start and how long the Tribulation is. As carefree as that sounds, it´s the truth. Whether the Tribulation is 3.5 months, 3.5 years, 7 years, 10 years or 50 years. It really doesn’t make any difference. If the Rapture is Pre Trib, Mid Trib or Post Trib it really doesn’t matter either, that´s if you are in the faith. If you´re not in the faith……… then it makes a world of difference.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Matthew:24:22

God has a plan and only he knows it, but he did give it to us in his Word as in The Bible. If you are a truly Born Again “Saved” Holy Spirit filled believer, whatever is coming our way, whether we will be here or not, it´s not in our hands. God will ensure that those who are in his flock will be protected, why would he do otherwise?

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:14
WE are the little ones!

If you read the word daily and pray daily you will know when it is time. Tearing your hair out and trying to predict the day and the hour is futile, but make no mistake we are in the season and the time is close indeed. Everybody I know that is in the faith are all saying the same thing. Many are experiencing strange dreams and visions recently, myself included.

“Faith” and “Be Prepared” and “Keep Watching the Signs” are the operative words here and don´t get confused by what is on the web, as was stated earlier…..confusion is not of the Lord.

Bible Quotes

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 Timothy:3:1

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Luke:17:26

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts:2:17

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Mark:13:24

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Matthew:24:22

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Matthew:24:21

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matthew:24:29

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Mark:13:24

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Acts:14:22

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Revelation:2:10

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