Love the question!
I have found this to be true, Hebrew has "Idioms" and this would be one of many. re: "time" .
Is a time a year like the day=years? One thing for sure, a time is not a year. Here is how we know. The Hebrew word for day is yom. The Hebrew and High Syriac words for time (as used in Dan "Time, Times & a Half" 7:25 and 12:7) are iddan and moadah. Creator of the universe knows the difference between iddan, moadah and yom. If, He gave us a yom for a year, not an iddan or a moadah for a year. So iddan (time), and moadah (time), must
mean something else. Let's call them time durations "X."
And what about the cryptic way in which those words were used, "time, times, and the dividing of a time?" How many "times" do we have there? As is true of English, Hebrew is full of idiomatic language. Like: Hebrew idiom "cut off" means to kill.
"Ate the pieces of" means to bring malicious accusations against, and so on.
So, Is "time, times, and the dividing of a time" also an idiom? Let's see if there is Scripture to support that hypothesis:
Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man
perceiveth it not.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea,
twice; but I will proceed no further.
Psalms 62:11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this;
that power belongeth unto God.
In the above, once is one, and twice is only one more, for a total of two: 1+1=2. A singular one followed by a plural twice is only two. In the same way, a singular time followed by a plural
times might be only two. Only two! The words are different, but the idiomatic form is the same. If the Lord had said, "time, yea times" we might have seen it instantly.
Now let's employ the same idiomatic language to interpret
time, times, and half a time. Time = one; times = one more, for a
total of two times. Add a half a time and we have two and a half times, or 1+1+1/2 = 2-1/2.
That is pretty simple, isn't it? So why have people been saying that "time, times, and half a time" are three and a half years? Who knows? Probably because it fits the Seven-Year tribulation scheme. Hebrew scholars know their grammar does not support 3-1/2 times as the correct translation for that idiom. I never would of understood this, had I not been shown it by my Pastor.
(Webmaster add-on: From the Tanach - ...that in the time of [two] times and a half,...)
All right, so "time, times, and half a time" are two and a half times. But if a time isn't a year, how long is it? Daniel understood day=years, but he didn't understand time. Why? Because day=
years were defined for him in Old Testament scriptures while time was not. In fact, time was not defined until late in the New Testament epistles:
I know you know this one:
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [Greek word, hemera] is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Greek word translated "day" in 2 Peter 3:8 is hemera, Hemera is an ambiguous wordsometimes translated: period, moment, season, year, and, guess
what ... Time. So what is the correct translation here? In Greek,
context often determines translation, but in the above verse, the
correct translation cannot be established with certainty because
context does not suggest the correct concept. Understandably,
translators went with "day," which is the most common usage, but
that may not be correct. Hemera is translated time in four verses
in the KJV, and twelve verses in the NASB. So time is a very accep-
table translation. Is it possible that duration "X" is a thousand
If time is a thousand years, and we have 2? of them, then "time, times, and half times" could be 2500 years. Thus far, we have only a supposition. But that is all we had for day=years until
we started plugging them into history. Let's see if there is an exact 2500 year historic fit that fulfills the Bible's description of these
times right to the year.
After Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon died in 562BC, each of his
three sons ruled for a couple of years.1 The kingdom was very
unstable. Though the archives don't tell us a lot about it, reading
about those Middle Eastern empires from secular sources gives us
a picture of what must have been going on there. King
Labashi-Marduk was murdered as a mere child. Daniel must have
been walking on eggs to avoid the plots and political intrigue in
the Babylonian court. Many of his fellow rulers in Babylon hated
him and some even plotted his death (Dan 6:4-13). However, the
Lord protected Daniel in that harrowing environment.
the empire for him. Then Nabonidus spent the rest of his life
wandering around Arabia, doing archeological digs and writing
lots of poetry.1
During these turbulent times, the Lord gave Daniel the vision
of four great beasts coming up out of the sea.2 Scripture tells us
when this was, right to the year, "In the 1st year of Belshazzar"
(Dan 7:1). In pictorial language, the vision then describes the four
great kingdoms that were to rule in the Holy Land during the time
of the Gentiles. At the end of that prophecy, the Lord tells Daniel
Daniel 7:25 And he 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.
Sometimes our doctrines get messed up because we don't think about who the Lord is speaking to, or when. In this instance, the Lord is speaking to Daniel in 552BC.
So in Daniel's day, who spoke out against God? Then, as now, Satan speaks out against God. Who were the saints in Daniel's time? The Jews, of course. So from 552BC, when this prophecy was given, the Lord is telling Daniel that the Jews would be under satanically controlled Gentile powers for two and a half times, or possibly 2500 years. That the Holy Land would be ruled by Gentile strangers far into the future. Now let's run that up and down the
framework of history and see what it fits. Since the definition for time was given in the New Testament, we don't even need to convert from Hebrew years to solar years to fit our calendar. A simple subtraction will do just fine:
2500 - 552BC = 1948AD, and new Israel!
Just a lucky hit? If that is not the correct interpretation, then it has to be one of the most remarkable coincidences in all of recorded history. It fits Scripture and history, right to the year.
(Skipping ahead, this fits for The Revelation of Jesus to John Also)
God is so kind. When He takes the blinders off, He gives enough proof for us to know for sure that we are headed in the right direction. At the end of Daniel's prophetic ministry, God gave him another vision containing times. This prophecy also includes the 1290 days which led us to understand that the Dome of the Rock is the Abomination that makes Desolate. This vision may be dated to the third year of Cyrus the Persian, or 533BC:
So this "time, times, and half a time" should begin in the
third year of Cyrus:
2500 - 533BC = 1967AD
Jerusalem freed of Gentile control!
Spent much time to understand these truths. reject or accept, doesn't matter too much, let us keep seeking, asking and knocking my friend, and oh yeah, Love one another because the hours is late.