At several points in the Song of Songs drama, the daughters of Jerusalem are charged not to awaken love before it is ready. This happens when the bride is waiting for the realization of hope. In comparing the story of the history of the church, we see the charges appearing during periods of trial and expectation for God's people - times when the fulfillment of love had to remain asleep.
The specific length of one period of trial is mentioned in seven different verses the books of Daniel and Revelation. It is noted as 3½ "times" or years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14), as 42 months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), and as 1260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6). For this period and most others in the Bible books of prophecy I have found the "day" to be a prophetic symbol for a year. Here are several lines of evidence:
1. On two specific occasions, a day is said to represent a year. When the Children of Israel refused to enter Canaan, the divine pronouncement was, "According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection" (Num. 14:34). And, speaking to Ezekiel, God said, "I have laid on you a day for each year" (Ezek. 4:6).
2. The time span described in two major prophecies is obviously greater than the number of literal days specified. In Daniel 8:13, 14, the trampling was to be stopped and the sanctuary cleansed or vindicated "after 2300 days." Part of the question introducing the 2300 days was, "How long will be the vision?" The vision began (8:2) when the ram (Media and Persia, 8:20) was standing (in power), and continued during the time of Greece (8:5, 21) and on through the power of the little horn (8:9). This did not all happen in 2300 literal days (six 360-day years plus 140 days).
The other long time period is the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:25-27 (somewhat more than a year in literal time). Seven of the weeks (49 days) were allotted for building Jerusalem (verse 25). That couldn't have happened in 49 days or even 490. And the earthly ministry of the Messiah (cut off in the middle of the week following the 62 weeks, verses 26, 27) was centuries after the time of Daniel.
The day-for-a-year principle is consistent with a New Testament interpretation of the 70 weeks. Paul was evidently referring to the prophecy in Daniel 9 in writing that God sent His Son "when the fullness of the time had come." (Gal. 4:4; Dan. 9:25-27). For the fulfillment to reach to Christ's time more than literal days were required.
3. Thinking of years in terms of "days" (although not necessarily as equivalent to days) was common in Old Testament times just as we use expressions like "back in his day" and "in this day and age" to mean more than single days. Here is a biblical example: "And Jacob said to Pharaoh, 'The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.'" (Gen. 47:9). Also study Leviticus 25, especially verse 8.
4. In the three prophecies mentioned where 3½ literal years stands for years of symbolic days, the word "times" (in the original languages) is substituted for the usual word for years. This would seem unnecessary except to avoid confusion between literal years and symbolic years (as days) in the same passage. (See Dan. 4:10 for the use of "times" as literal years.)
5. It works. As noted for Song of Soloman 2:5, dates 1260 years apart mark a period of time matching the prophetic description. "Days" in other time prophecies may also be seen as years in historical fulfillments.
offered for the 1260 and 2300-day time periods differ from some others
you may hear. But to this simple Bible reader they are clear, consistent,
and logical while other explanations run into difficulty when the verses
are taken in context and when they are compared with the facts of history.
I appeal to your personal study, as "a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). The 2300-day prophecy
is mentioned briefly in the commentary for Song of Solomon 3:5. You may
want to look there to pick up the thread of the discussion which follows.
| Some people feel
that Jesus' sitting down on His Father's throne (Rev.
3:20) is represented by the high priest's entering the most holy place
on the Day of Atonement. Since Jesus sat down on the throne after He ascended
to heaven (Heb. 1:3),
they reason that nothing special happened in 1844 (after 2300 years). The
idea sounds good except that sitting down on the throne was symbolized
by something else - the setting up (inauguration) of the whole system of
the sanctuary (explained under "crowned" at Song
3:11). Furthermore, if the ministry in what the Bible usually calls
the Most Holy Place had begun immediately after the ascension, there would
have been no time allotted to the Holy Place ministry, since neither was
possible before Christ's blood was shed on the cross (Heb.
9:22). When our Saviour died, the temple veil was torn in two by an
unseen hand, showing that He had brought to an end the old system of sacrifice
and offerings (Matt.
27:51; Dan. 9:27).
At the last supper with His disciples, Jesus had said, "This [bread] is
my body. . . ." and "this cup is the new covenant in My blood" (1
Cor. 11:25). Since the cross, we are able to approach Him "by a new
and living way, through the veil, that is, His flesh" (Heb.
10: 19; The veil was the door to the whole tabernacle. A second veil
partitioned off the inner sanctuary or Most Holy Place (Heb.
After the cross, Christ's work began in the sanctuary in heaven. This ministry was for people of both the Old and New Testaments. It had been accepted as a promise by worshipers at the tabernacle Moses set up and at the Jewish temples which followed. After Christ, as the Lamb of God, had been sacrificed as the lamb in the courtyard (the earth), it was time for Him, as the priest, to continue His ministry inside the tabernacle (heaven). Before beginning that work he received the crown and sat down with His Father on the throne (which was not confined to the Most Holy Place, Isa. 66: 1; Psalms 139:7-10; Matt. 26:64; Psalm 110:1). He was first to minister in the Holy Place for the forgiveness of sin, and later (after 2300 years) in the Most Holy for the cleansing of sin from the sanctuary (and thus from the people). This process would stop the trampling (Dan. 8:13, 14). Incidentally, these verses do not say that the sanctuary restoration would be accomplished In an instant at the end of 2300 days.
Do you see these time prophecies about Christ and His church reflected in the story of the Song of Songs? How did the Old Testament sanctuary illustrate God's on-going resolution of the sin problem? Here are challenges for your study.
Bible texts from the NKJV