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Eugene W. Prewitt

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The 1260, 1290, and 1335 Day Prophecies

The 1260, 1290 and 1335 Day Prophecies

An Abbreviated Exposition

The final revelation to Daniel is found in Daniel 11 and 12. There the history of over 2400 years is briefly outlined. The concluding elements are found in Daniel 12:1-3. These are the deliverance of God’s people during the time of trouble, the special resurrection, and the glorification of the saints at the beginning of their everlasting life.

Then Daniel is ordered to close and seal his messages until the time of the end.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Daniel 12:4

When the scroll is unsealed, when men can finally understand it, they will move accordingly. They will unroll the scroll and hasten up and down it to better be able to study its various parts. And they will, accordingly, come to understand it. Knowledge will be increased regarding the book of Daniel.

But an angel nearby asked the question that Daniel must have been wondering.

And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? Daniel 12:6

Jesus swears in the next verse that it will be at the end, or accomplishment, of a 1260 day scattering period. This is neither the first nor the last reference to this same period of time in the scriptures. These 1260 prophetic days mark the period in which the papacy held the position of successor to Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome as master over the known world.

Though the papacy was powerful even in the fourth century, though she converted many pagan tribes in the fifth, it was not until the sixth that she mounted the dragon that she is pictured as riding in Revelation 17. In other words, not until the 6th century was the papacy in control of a nation.

She became a civil power, allowing her to appear in the empire prophecies of Daniel 7 and 8, when the pope became the feudal lord over the Franks in 508. She became the world’s dominant civil power when she became feudal lord over the city of Rome and of the Eastern Roman Empire in 538.

This was her time to rule over God’s people, to war against them, to drive them (as it were) into the wilderness. And these ideas, connected with the 1260 days in Daniel 7, Revelation 12, and Revelation 13, are summarized in Daniel 12:6 as a scattering of the power of God’s people.

But these things were not understood by the prophet himself. Like the angel, he wanted to know when the time would come for the book to be unsealed. And as he had not understood the answer to the question, he asked again.

And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? Daniel 12:8

Jesus begins to answer by alluding to the fact that there is a good reason for Daniel’s inability to comprehend. The vision is not yet unsealed. Thinking about it will not change this, so Daniel might as well go about his business.

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Daniel 12:9

But this is only the beginning of Jesus’ answer. When the time of the end comes, Jesus explains, some will participate in a special work of sanctification. Others will not. And none of the others will be able to understand the book when it is unsealed. Only the “wise” sanctified ones will understand.

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. Daniel 12:10

Daniel asked about the time of the end but hadn’t yet received any more information about its timing. That information Jesus gave next. When will the time of the end be?

And from the time that the daily . . . shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Daniel 12:11.

It is ironic that persons do not catch the connection between verse 11 and verses 8-9. Without the connection one is left to speculate regarding the event prophesied to take place at the conclusion of the 1290. Verse 11 says nothing about what happens at the close of the period.

It would not be sensible to say “It will be fourteen days from the last snow until nothing in particular happens.” But if a prominent event has been the theme of conversation and a knowing person pipes up, regarding time, “and from the time of the first snow it will be 14 days” all would understand that the prominent event would take place at the conclusion of the period.

What has been the theme of the seven verses before verse 11? The book is sealed until the “time of the end” (v. 4), at the end men will “understand” the book (v. 5), so how long will be “to the end” (v. 6)? The end will be after 1260 days of scattering (v. 7).  Daniel asks again regarding “the end” (v. 8).  The book is sealed until “the time of the end” (v. 9). At the point the wise “will understand” (v. 10).

Emphatically the topic has been the unsealing of Daniel’s prophecies at “the time of the end.” So when our Lord Jesus says “and from the taking away of the daily it will be 1290 days” we ought to understand that this is a second way to arrive at the date of the time of the end.

As our pioneers noted, the word “sanctuary” is supplied in verse 11 as it is repeatedly in Daniel 8. The Hebrew word translated “daily” is used 95 times outside the book of Daniel. Eighty of these occurrences are translated “continual” or “continually.” Only two are translated “daily.”

When used substantively (that is, as a noun, like in its usage in the book of Daniel), the closest English equivalent is “continuity.”

Interestingly, in Daniel 7 the fourth beast is said to be “diverse” from the first three. Daniel asks particularly about the “diverse” beast. He is told that it will be the fourth kingdom on the earth. And finally, in the next verse after that, we are told what it is that makes the Roman beast “diverse.”

. . . and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. Da 7:7

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others . . . which . . . stamped the [remnant] with his feet; Da 7:19

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms . . .  Da 7:23

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. Da 7:24

That diverse little horn, of course, dominates the rest of the prophecy and much of the book of Daniel.

So what was it that brought an end to the continuity of empire successions in Daniel 7? It was the rise of the papacy as a small civil power. And this happened in 508, as described above when proto-France became the first subjugated land of this little horn. Then that little horn shows up again in chapter eight, again taking away the continuity.

How was the little horn “diverse”? In Daniel 8 it differs from Persia and Greece in several ways. It had power over God’s people (v. 10, “even to the host of heaven.”) It magnified itself to equality with Prince Jesus (v. 11). The truth (v. 12) regarding the sanctuary (v. 11) was cast down.

In short, the little horn was intent on something more than secular dominion. It was domineering over the people of God and over the truth. And this is precisely how Daniel 7 characterizes the little horn in the next verse after v. 24 above. In verse 25 the people of God are given into the Papacy’s power for 1260 days and the truth regarding the Law is perverted by her.

So we are not surprised to find Daniel 12 referring back to the little horn’s rise in two stages. In the first stage a triple-crown power takes its first national conquest. The diverse little horn rises. In the second stage the little horn subdues three others with the empire’s forces, making them her own, and rises to world dominion.

From either of these dates men may get a bead on the “time of the end.” It is 1290 years from the first and 1260 years from the second. Both bring you to 1798 when, in a perfectly sensible conclusion to either reckoning, the Papacy simultaneously lost both world dominion and national existence. Rome was made a republic by the French.

Dating from the first of these events, Jesus continues, you will find a blessed movement rising after 1798. What do we know about the movement from Daniel 12:12?

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. Da 12:12.

We know that the movement is “blessed.”

We know that the movement is a waiting movement.

We know that the movement has a time in mind. They are coming to a date.

We know the date is 1843 (1335 days plus a 508 start date).

From the rest of Daniel 12 we know that the movement is based on an understanding of the book of Daniel opened in 1798.

So the book of Daniel concludes with a prophecy of the blessed Advent movement, the only movement rising in response to an understanding of the book of Daniel to wait for an event in 1843.

Why not 1844? The answer is plain. The 1335 days is not about an event at its termination. No terminating event is even given in the text. The 1335 is about the blessedness of a movement that was waiting for Christ’s coming based on an understanding of Daniel. And what year were the Adventists looking forward to during the years leading up to 1843? Not 1844, but 1843.

How sad it is that many persons try to place the 1335 day prophecy, with the 1290, into the future. If they are in the future, then the book of Daniel is not yet unsealed. Then the advent movement was founded on an error. Then we are robbed of one of the most simple and direct prophecies of the founding of this great Advent Movement. Let it not be.

As earlier in the chapter Daniel was told to go on his way because the book could not yet be understood, so he is told again at the close.

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. Da 12:13

Daniel has been standing in his portion as teacher since 1798 (the end of the 1290 days) and in his position as being judged by the books since 1844 (the end of the 2300 days). Though resting from his labors, his book has been opened. His lifework has been the lifeblood of a blessed movement. And that is the message of Revelation 10 and 14, the subjects of some other Bible study some other time.

Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word, who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other. They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these last days they will explain themselves.  {7BC 949.6}

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” [Daniel 12:8-13]. Daniel has been standing in his lot since the seal was removed and the light of truth has been shining upon his visions. He stands in his lot, bearing the testimony which was to be understood at the end of the days.  {1SAT 225.5}

A careful consideration of the latter of these two statements by Ellen White will show that she placed the “end of the days” of the 1290 and 1335 in her past. That was sensible. It still is. As Daniel stands teaching on earth and stands in judgment in heaven, so do we. Our message should be like his that our judgment may be like his also.

The_1260_1290_1335_short_version   Click this link for the Word document.


(4) Comments

  1. 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. Daniel 12:11
    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:)
    Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
    Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
    Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
    And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
    But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
    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 24:15-21.
    So we see conclusively that the 1290 days is future to 2015.

    • No, Daniel, you are confused. The special period for the Jews was the 490 years of Daniel 9, and at the conclusion of that period (which was approaching when Jesus mentioned the prophecy) there was an earlier desolation associated with abominations.
      Da 9:27 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.
      This is the abomination of desolation that Jesus referred to in Matthew 24:15-21. And as my article plainly shows, the later abomination (which was associated rather with the persecution of God’s people than with homes in Judea) came five centuries later.

  2. Dear Eugene,
    [John wrote me a very long and wrong letter. I have erased most of it here, but will expose you to the last two paragraphs he wrote…EP]

    I have also witnessed that mostly adventists cling still to the 1844 applications. I often ask people to imagine the medical practise of the 1800s and the scientific breakthrough of that time, in comparison to the present. If such enormous strides have been made in the temporal, why does the spiritual has to locked behind almost two centuries? Yet the prophesies in themselves ascribed their own unlocking to the end times?

    Why is it that as adventists we hold our predecessors to be infallible in the declarations they made, yet we question the infallibility determination of the Papacy? Are we not falling to the same error as they that we clearly and rightly ascribe to be in error? In regard to time locked prophecies, regardless of their concerted declarations, our fore-bearers were clearly in error in more than the aspect of the nature of the sanctuary to be cleansed. And owning up to the deficiency in the old wine is a step forward in appreciating and renewing our souls to the new, which we certainly require.



    • John, while science has made some remarkable progress in the last 2,000 years, it also has demonstrated some retrograde in the field of origins. When it comes to truth, the Bible is an old book that cannot be improved upon. And while I agree with you that my Adventist predecessors have nothing like infallibility (they would yell “amen!” were they alive), they were far more studious and sensible in their application of scripture than are their modern detractors. I believe them, when I do, not because they said something, but because their data and reasoning are sound. I think you can find even on this site plenty of data in favor of their views that is sound and sensible.

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