The Great Tribulation

The term Great Tribulation was first used by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25), in which He addressed His Jewish disciples Peter, James and John (Mark 13:3) who had asked Him "when will these things be (destruction of the Temple - Mt 24:2), and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Mt 24:3)

At the outset, it should be noted that while some writers use tribulation and Great Tribulation interchangeably, it is more accurate to distinguish these terms because the "Tribulation" as commonly used refers to the entire future seven year period of Daniel's Seventieth Week (see discussion of Daniel 9:27 below). On the other hand Great Tribulation refers to the last three and one-half years of Daniel's Seventieth Week. It should also be noted that while the seven year period of Daniel is frequently referred to as "The Tribulation" it is difficult to find a Scripture that supports this designation. Some writers refer to Jesus' use of the word "tribulation" in Mt 24:9 as a reference to the seven years of Daniel, but that interpretation is not conclusive. Nevertheless, because the term is so ingrained in the literature, we will use the term "Tribulation" as a synonym for Daniel's Seventieth Week

BACKGROUND TO HELP 
UNDERSTAND THE GREAT TRIBULATION

(1) THE INCREDIBLE PROPHECY OF DANIEL 9:24-27

In Daniel 9:24-27 (background regarding interpretation of Da 9:24-27 and why it is so important) the prophet Daniel receives an answer to prayer (Da 9:3,4-note) in which the messenger Gabriel (Da 9:21, 22, 23-note) reveals in summary form the future of the nation of Israel. This prophecy is very detailed and the interested reader is referred to the specific commentary notes on each "prophecy-packed" verse (Da 9:24-note; Da 9:25-note; Da 9:26-note; Da 9:27-note). Suffice it to say that Daniel 9:24-27 describes a period of seventy weeks ("seventy sevens" - Da 9:24NIV) which in context is interpreted as "seventy sevens" of years or 490 years which lay out the future of the nation of Israel, the coming (Da 9:25-note) and crucifixion of their Messiah (Da 9:26-note) and the subsequent coming of the Antichrist. As an aside these words of God have been instrumental in the conversion of a number of Jews (Leopold Cohn-founder of Chosen People's Ministry and Rabbi Marcus Bergman) Daniel 9:27 summarizes the last week of the 490 years, commonly designated the "Daniel's Seventieth Week": 

He (the Antichrist) will make a firm covenant with the many (the Jews, the nation of Israel as determined from Da 9:24-note which identifies the content of the message as referring to "your [Daniel's] people and your holy city") for one week (one seven year period), but in the middle of the week (after 3.5 years of the seven year covenant) he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering (the Antichrist will break his  7 year covenant with Israel); and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (See commentary)

(2) THE CRITICAL PROPHECY OF JESUS IN MATTHEW 24:15-21

In Matthew 24 Jesus refers to Daniel 9:27 as the sign the Jews were to look for which would mark the breaking of the seven year covenant by the Antichrist and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. 

“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet (referring to Daniel 9:27), standing in the holy place (the rebuilt Jewish Temple) (let the reader understand), 16 then (When? When you see the clear sign of the abomination! This indicates that there will be no confusion to the Jews which is important because modern commentaries differ greatly on the interpretation of this sign!) let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 17 let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; 18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. 19 “But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! 20 “But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath (So clearly Jesus is warning the Jews to escape when they see the sign of the abomination of desolation in the Holy Temple -- it will be an obvious sign that a horrible Jewish persecution is imminent); 21 for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. (Mt 24:15-21)

Comment: A major objection to a literal (futuristic) interpretation of Jesus' warning is the absence of a Jewish Temple, but will it seems humanly impossible, it is not too difficult for God to sovereignly arrange for one to be built on Temple Mount!  

Related Resources -

Notice Jesus' phrase "for then" in Matthew 24:21 which in context clearly links to the obvious sign in Matthew 24:15. In short, when the Jews see the abomination of desolation standing in the the Holy Place of their rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, they are to understand that the Great Tribulation has begun.

(3) THE CORROBATING PROPHECY BY PAUL IN 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-4

The apostle Paul writing to the saints at Thessalonia who were fearful that they had entered the Day of the Lord (a broader time period which includes the 3.5 year time of the Great Tribulation) explains that they had not missed the rapture (2 Thes 2:1) and were not in the describes the "abomination of desolation" in more detail writing

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him (referring to the rapture he had taught them in his first letter - 1 Thes 4:13-18), 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord has come.  3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (Day of the Lord) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thes 2:1-4-notes)

In a clear parallel with the warning of Jesus in Mt 24:15, Paul states that when the Antichrist "takes his seat in the Temple of God" will be the clear sign of the "abomination of desolation" also described in Daniel 9:27 (note). 


 

FUTURE JUDGMENT

1) During the Seventieth Week of Daniel (commonly referred to as "The Tribulation") the earth and "earth dwellers" will be impacted by a series of "judgments" that flow sequentially from the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments described in detail in Revelation 6-19. For an excellent, conservative (literal) verse by verse analysis of this time when God's wrath is poured out, I highly recommend Tony Garland's commentary on the Revelation entitled Tony Garland's commentary on the Revelation entitled "A Testimony of Jesus Christ".

2) The Judgment of the Nations (synonymous with "Gentiles") (Mt 25:31-46)

The Sheep (saved Gentiles) and the Goats (unsaved Gentiles) will be separated. The Gentiles who come out of the time of the Great Tribulation are saved by grace through faith, but in Matthew 25 Jesus teaches that they will be identified on the basis of whether they befriended the Jews during the Great Tribulation in which anti-Semitism will reach its historical zenith. The fact that these Gentiles befriend Jews does not earn their salvation but demonstrates that they are saved. The saved Gentiles will have the wonderful privilege of entering into the Millennial Reign of Christ in their natural bodies.

3) The Judgment of Israel (Zech 13:8, 9. Ezekiel 20:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38).

Paul taught in Romans "they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel" (Ro 9:6) and after the Great Tribulation there will be a time in which God specifically judges Israel to determine who is the "true Israel" and it is these born again Jews who will enter into the Millennial reign of Christ.

4) The Judgment of Satan and his fallen angelic cohorts

These judgments are described in (Jude 1:6, Re 20:1-note, Re 20:2-note, Re 20:3-note, Re 20:7-note, Re 20:8-note, Re 20:9-note, Re 20:10-note)

5) The Judgment of the Unbelieving Dead

This judgment is most commonly referred to as the "Great White Throne" Judgment (Re 20:11-note, Re 20:12-note, Re 20:13-note, Re 20:14-note, Re 20:15-note) and follows (1) the 1000 year binding of Satan, subsequent release and utter defeat and (2) the 1000 year reign of the saints with Christ on earth (Re 20:4-note, Re 20:5-note, Re 20:6-note). Compare 2Thes 1:6, 7, 8, 9 which describes the tragedy of hell, which is eternal separation from the Living God. May this immutable, awesome truth drive us to pray fervently and urgently for the lost in our sphere and influence and to witness to the liberating truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

A Google search for "Great Tribulation" (Aug, 2016) retrieves almost one-half million hits! First, let me clarify that I will avoid the term "tribulation" by itself as much as possible in favor of the more accurate designation "Daniel's Seventieth Week," (period of seven years) as I can find no passage in Scripture that definitively designates the seven year period as "The Tribulation." The term "Great Tribulation" is a designation of the last 3.5 years of Daniel's Seventieth Week. Also, in interest of "full disclosure," the reader needs to understand that for over 30 years my approach to the Word of God is to observe and interpret it literally. As a result of this literal approach, there is no question in my mind that the seven year period is yet future and has not occurred historically. You are probably saying well of course that's your interpretation because you are a dispensationalist. I am not a dispensationalist, but I am a "literalist," and frankly I do not even fully understand what that term means. My basic rule is if the plain sense of the text makes good sense in context, then seek to make no other sense of it, lest one end up with "nonsense." 

 

In Matthew 24:15 Jesus Gives the Jews the Sign Which Marks the Beginning of the Great Tribulation - Jesus has just ended Mt 24:14-note with the words "the end" (the very last Greek word in Mt 24:14) and now responds to the disciples' initial request for a sign (Mt 24:3+) by giving them a very unique sign which will mark the beginning of the end of this age (Mt 24:3+). And so Jesus describes a specific sign which will literally be fulfilled in the future. Recall that a sign is something that one can see which points to something else. In Mt 24:15 Jesus says "when you see" indicating that this is a visible sign. He explains that the sign is the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. He also explains that study of the book of Daniel will help the reader understand the sign. The Temple was destroyed in 70AD, but Jesus says the sign is of some one or some thing standing in the Temple (holy place). Of course the problem with Jesus' prophecy is that there is currently no Temple. It follows that the Jewish Temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem (see note). If God can cause the nation of Israel to be reborn in May, 1948 against all odds, then a rebuilt Temple will not be too difficult for Him (Jer 32:17+, Jer 32:27+). Does this take faith to accept? Of course it does, but the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (a rebuilt Temple, Heb 11:1+) are based not on an active imagination but on our faithful God (Lam 3:23) and His faith producing Word (Ro 10:17+, cf Rev 11:2+).

Daniel 9:27+ describes a prince who is to come (Da 9:26+) who will make a 7 year covenant ("one week" - see Daniel's Seventieth Week) with the "many," the "many" clearly being the Jews in context ("your [Daniel a Jewish man's] people" Da 9:24+). This "prince" is the Antichrist (name used only in 1Jn 2:18+) who Daniel identifies as the "Little Horn" and who rises to power out of a 10 nation confederacy (Daniel 7:8+, cp Da 2:44-45+ where "the days of those kings" = "10 toe stage" [Da 2:42+] = 10 horns = 10 kings - cp Da 7:24+). The first 3.5 years, his devilish character is not obvious (see note on Rev 6:2), but in the middle of the 7 year "peace" covenant, he breaks the covenant with Israel and puts a stop to sacrifices and offerings in the rebuilt Temple (Da 9:27+) fulfilling Jesus' prophecy in Mt 24:15 and marking the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Daniel says the Antichrist (the "Little Horn") will also overpower 3 of the original 10 members of the confederacy (Da 7:8+, Da 7:20+). Paul adds that the Antichrist ("man of lawlessness...son of perdition") will go into the "holy place," the rebuilt Temple, and take "his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (" 2Th 2:3+, 2Th 2:4+, cp Da 11:36 2Th 2:3- 2Th 2:3- 2Th 2:3-+) In so doing he will commit the abomination that makes the Temple desolate. Note that this sign is not the Roman army surrounding Jerusalem in the past (70AD - see notes on Lk 21:20+), but a real person who will commit a real act of defilement (abomination) of the Jewish Temple in the future. Regarding the specific nature of the abomination, since it is unlikely the Antichrist will personally remain standing in the holy place, it is more likely that it is his image which the false prophet creates and commands the world to worship, which will remain standing in the holy place (cp Rev 13:14-15+, Rev 14:9, 11+, Rev 16:2+, Rev 19:20+, contrast Rev 20:4+)

At the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the midpoint of the 7 year covenant of Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist (The Beast) will be empowered by the dragon (the devil) for 42 months or the last 3.5 years of the 7 year period (Rev 13:4-5+). In other words the Antichrist is given authority to rule for the entire 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation. 

The Great Tribulation and the Time of Jacob's Trouble - During this last 3.5 years, the Antichrist will begin to pursue and persecute the Jews, which is the impetus for Jesus taking five verses to command and convince the Jews to flee when they see the sign of the abomination of desolation (Read Mt 24:16-20)! During his last 3.5 years of the Seventieth Week, the Antichrist "will speak out against the Most High (beginning in Mt 24:15, 2Th 2:4 2Th 2:4, blaspheming God - Rev 13:6+, cp his great, boasts - Da 7:8+, Da 7:11+, Da 7:20+) and wear down the saints (refers to Jews) of the Highest One, with the intent to make alterations in times and in law (cp Da 9:27+ "stop to sacrifice and grain offering"); and they (the Jews) will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time." (Da 7:25+ = Da 7:21+ = the Little Horn who "was waging war with the [Jewish] saints and overpowering them")

In other words, after the Antichrist breaks his covenant with the Jews at the midpoint of the 7 years, inaugurating the Great Tribulation, the Jews will be given into his hand for "time, times and half a time" (3.5 years, John says the Jews will be persecuted for 1260 days in Rev 12:6+, the same time period he repeats in Rev 12:14+ as "time, times, and half a time" = 42 months). John records "it was given to him (the Antichrist) to make war with the saints (the Jews first, but then to all who refuse to worship his image - Rev 13:15+) and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him." (Rev 13:7+) For how long? For three and one-half years beginning with the unmistakably clear sign in Mt 24:15 which inaugurates the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21+ = Mk 13:19 = the "time of Jacob's distress" = Jer 30:7+) a time "such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall." Daniel describes the Great Tribulation as "a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time" (Da 12:1+) but a time which "shall be cut short" (Mt 24:22) after "a time, times, and half a time" (Da 12:7+), during which "many (Jews) will be purged, purified and refined." (Da 12:10+, cf Zech 13:8, 9, Zech 12:10, Ro 11:26-27+)

God will allow the Antichrist 1260 days (42 months) to do his worst, but not one day longer, because the true Christ will return and bring that Lawless One "to an end by the appearance of His coming" (2Thes 2:7-8, 9-10). Then the true Christ will fulfill many OT prophecies (Amos 9:11,12, Jer 30:9+, Jer 31:28+, Jer 32:42, 43+, Jer 33:14, 15, 16+, Ezek 37:22, 23, 24, 25+, Zech 14:11, 16, 17), and set up His 1000 year Kingdom on earth (cp Acts 1:6, 15:13-14, 15-18, Lk 19:11 Rev 20:4-5+), demonstrating God's best after the 3.5 year Great Tribulation which was Satan's worst

 

 

(1) What? 

What is the Great Tribulation as described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21? Tribulation is the word thlipsis (derived from thlibo = to crush, press together, squash, hem in, compress, squeeze in turn derived from thláo = to break) originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. Thlipsis then is a very picturesque term which does not refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships. Medically thlipsis was used of the pulse (pressure). The idea of thlipsis is a pressing together as one does when one crushes grapes. Thlipsis conveys the idea of being squeezed, placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. There is an interesting illustration from an ancient law of England, where individuals who refused to plead guilty had heavy weights placed on their chest, pressing and crushing them even to the point of causing death. Clearly thlipsis does not refer to mild discomfort but to great difficulty. So Jesus says it is not just thlipsis but "mega" (great) thlipsis! The "What" of the Great Tribulation is also described under the "Who" below.

John MacArthur adds that "Thlipsis (tribulations) has the underlying meaning of being under pressure and was used of squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice… In Scripture the word thlipsis is perhaps most often used of outward difficulties, but it is also used of emotional stress." (Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)

Figuratively thlipsis pictures one being "crushed" by intense pressure, difficult circumstances, suffering or trouble pressing upon them from without. Thus persecution, affliction, distress, opposition or tribulation, all press hard on one's soul. Thlipsis does not refer to mild discomfort but to great difficulty. In Scripture the thlipsis is most often used of outward difficulties, but it is also used of emotional stress and sorrows which "weighs down" a man’s spirit like the sorrows and burden his heart. Thlipsis then includes the disappointments which can "crush the life" out of the one who is afflicted.

The English word "tribulation" is derived from the Latin word tribulum (literally a thing with teeth that tears), which was a heavy piece of timber with spikes in it, used for threshing the corn or grain. Thetribulum was drawn over the grain and it separated the wheat from the chaff. As believers experience the "tribulum" of tribulations, and depend on God’s grace, the trials purify us and rid us of the chaff.

Lawrence Richards writes that "thlipsis is used as a technical theological term for the Great Tribulation(see note below) of the end times. Thlipsis is also used in a non-theological, figurative way to convey the idea of the great emotional and spiritual stress that can be caused by external or internal pressures. Of the fifty-five uses of this root (thlipsis and thlibo) in the NT, fifty-three are figurative and correspond closely to the Hebrew words tsarah and tsar." (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)

While one cannot give the exact starting point of Daniel's Seventieth Week in the Book of the Revelation,  it is clear that from Revelation 6 through Revelation 19 John is describing a time of intense "thlipsis" on the face of the earth, with the Great Tribulation beginning when the Beast (Anti-christ, Son of lawlessness) is revealed in all his satanically inspired, character, John recording "there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months (3.5 years, 1260 days - Rev 12:6, time, times and half a time - Da 7:25, Rev 12:14) was given to him." (Rev 13:5)

In sum the "what" of the Great Tribulation is as someone has said "the time of Satan's desperation" when he is allowed to unleash "hell on earth" through the Antichrist. 

(2) When?

The last seven year of this age (Daniel's Seventieth Week--See also discussion at Gotquestions for how we know it will last 7 years) and the especially horrible last 3.5 years will be brought to an end by the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. But when does the Great Tribulation begin and how long does it last? If we compare Jesus' description of the "great tribulation" in Mt 24:21 with Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, it is clear that this horrible time occurs in the last half of the seven year period described in Daniel 9:27. One can also compare the synonymous descriptions of three and one-half years (42 months, 1260 days, time, times and half a time) (see chart below) which adds support to the conclusion that the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week is the Great Tribulation. 

(3) Who? and Why?

Who will experience the "great tribulation?" Therefore everyone who is alive at that time will experience  this difficult time to one degree or another. If you believe in a "pre-tribulation" (pre - Daniel's Seventieth Week) rapture (which I favor) than the Bride of Christ, the Church will not be on earth during the seven year period or the last half of that period. When folks try to challenge me because I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, I am not disturbed because if I am wrong and genuine believers are on earth, I cannot imagine a more exciting (and yes probably dangerous) time to share the Gospel with the lost!! The worst they could do to us is to kill us, but for us that is actually the best because we are instantly and forever in the presence of our Lord. We win either way! 

So while all the world will "experience" the difficult times during the terminal 7 years of this present age, the last 3.5 years has a specific purpose in the sovereign plan of God. Satan has always been the ultimately "anti-semite" but he will be allowed by the sovereign God to exert his final and greatest wrath against the Jews. What Satan means for evil (his goal is to annihilate the Jewish race once and for all), God will use for good. The Great Tribulation will be to test, purge and refine the nation of Israel and to bring forth a believing remnant of Jews who will then enter the Messianic Kingdom.

Gotquestions sums it up this way - The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: (1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and (2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6-18). 

To that summary I would add that he brings to an end the kingdoms of men when the Stone, the Messiah, returns and crushes Nebuchadnezzar's statue representative of the major kingdoms of world history. The age of man will then give way to the Age of the Perfect Man, the Messianic Age. Daniel 2 summarizes it this way:

And in the days of those kings (he is referring to a future time in history when there will be a "ten nation confederacy" somehow related to the historical Roman Empire) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms (symbolized by Nebuchadnezzar's statute - gold, silver, bronze, and iron), but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a Stone (the Messiah) was cut out of the mountain without hands (indicating His supernatural arrival on earth) and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” (Da 2:44-45-see in depth verse by verse analysis)

The prophet Daniel describes a period that appears to clearly parallel the "Great Tribulation" described by Jesus:

"Now at that time (when the Antichrist is killing all who do not receive the mark of the Beast) Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time (perfect parallel to Jesus' description of the Great Tribulation in Mt 24:21); and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. (Daniel 12:1).

Daniel 12:7 says how long this horrible time will last for 

And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time (3.5 years); and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people (Jews), all these events will be completed.

Daniel 12:10 explains that as a result of this three and one-half year period of great distress

"Many (Jews) will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand."

The prophet Jeremiah describes this final period of distress for the Jews declaring

"'Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it and it is the time of Jacob's distress (Lxx = thlipsis, same word used by Jesus in Mt 24:21), but he will be saved from it." (Jeremiah 30:7 - see in depth discussion of this passage)

Jeremiah goes on to quote Jehovah's promise to Jacob (Israel) 

'And it shall come about on that day,' (What day? The day they are saved - Jer 30:7b) declares the LORD of hosts, 'that I will break his yoke from off their neck, and will tear off their bonds; and strangers shall no longer make them their slaves. 9  'But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. (Jeremiah 30:8-9)

Paul explains how Jacob will be saved from the Great Tribulation...

Thus all (not all of all time or even the end time but "all" who believe - see Zechariah's prophecy below) Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." "AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."

The prophet Zechariah records Jehovah's promise to Israel during this horrible final 3.5 years

"And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.

Zechariah goes on to record Jehovah's promise regarding His purging and refining to bring forth a believing remnant...

"And it will come about in all the land," Declares the LORD, "That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.  And I will bring the third part (the believing Jewish remnant) through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" (Zechariah 13:8-9)

The prophet Ezekiel describes the final separation of believing and non-believing Jews prior to the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom 

Ezekiel 20:36  "As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you," declares the Lord GOD.
37  "And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant;
38  and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 20:36-38)

The phrase "the Great Tribulation" is found in 3 passages in the New Testament - Mt 24:21, Rev 2:22 and Rev 7:14. 

The first use of this phrase is by Jesus Himself to describe a future time of intense persecution of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. Matthew 24 records Jesus' Olivet Discourse and gives us the most complete description of this time of coming affliction for the nation of Israel:

15  "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place( let the reader understand),
16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
17  let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house;
18  and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak.
19  "But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days!
20  "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;
21  for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.
22  "And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.
 

Rev 2:22  'Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

Rev 7:14  And I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
 

While Mark does not use the exact phrase "the great tribulation," from the context it is clear that Jesus is referring to the same time period when He declares

Mark 13:19 For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will."

 

In his comments on the word tribulation (thlipsis) Romans 2:9 ("There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek" note) Ralph Earle has some comments that are worth pondering in regard to the Great Tribulation:

The Greek word is thlipsis. It is found 45 times in the NT; 21 times it is translated "tribulation," 17 times "affliction." The word comes from the verb thlibe 5, which means "press," a term used for pressing out grapes in a winepress (see pix). A winepress can be seen today near the Garden Tomb. It is cut in the rock (representative picture). The ripe grapes would be put in the rock basin and then women and children would squeeze out the juice by walking around on the grapes with their bare feet. 

The figure suggests the heavy pressures of life that sometimes become almost unbearable. One feels as if he is being trodden down until he cannot take it any longer.

In Romans 2:9 it is the tribulation of the wicked that is mentioned (Ed: To some degree the Great Tribulation will be "tribulation of the wicked" but it is only a foretaste of their final, eternal tribulation!). A striking parallel may be found in Isa 63:1-3 (Ed: see commentary), where the Lord says that He has "trodden the winepress alone" and adds: "for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury." The reference is to God destroying the enemies of Israel (Ed: Which will reach it's culmination in the Great Tribulation). Here it is the wicked who will experience God's wrath and fury for their willful disobedience. There is another figure which is suggested by the English word tribulation. This term comes from the Latin tribulum (see youtube video), which means a threshing instrument. In NT times there were two ways of threshing grain. If the amount was very small, one might use a flail. Usually, however, the grain was piled about a foot and a half deep on the smooth, hard threshing floor. These threshing floors can still be seen outside the villages of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, with oxen pulling a threshing sled around on the grain. This sled is about four feet long and two and a half feet wide. Attached to the bottom are sharp stones or pieces of metal. These tear the grain loose from the stalks, and the oxen's feet help in the process. One may still see two yoke of oxen, each pulling a threshing sled ridden by women or children, just as it was done back in the days of David, a thousand years before the birth of Christ. (Word Meanings in the NT)

WHICH IS IT -  "THE TRIBULATION"
OR "THE GREAT TRIBULATION?"

I often read commentaries that use the names tribulation and great tribulation interchangeably, but I think they are not referring to exactly the same time period. As most folks use the term "the tribulation" they seem to be referring to the entire seven year period and not just the last 3.5 years. The most accurate designation of the seven year period is the somewhat cumbersome term Daniel's Seventieth Week.  While Mark Hitchcock (below) thinks that "tribulation" in Matthew 24:9 refers to the seven year period, I think such a conclusion is not absolutely definitive, and so I usually refer to the entire seven year period as Daniel's Seventieth Week.  On the other hand in my opinion the term "tribulation" (if by that one means to refer to the seven years) and "great tribulation" are distinctly different terms in my opinion (and Hitchcock agrees below). 

Mark Hitchcock (101 Answers to the Most Asked Questions About the End Times - well done book) - Addresses the question...

Is the "Tribulation" the Same As the "Great Tribulation"? The most commonly used term for the future seven-year period of God's judgment on the world is the "Tribulation." This term is found in Matthew 24:9 in many modern translations. A few verses later (Mt 24:21) the term is intensified: "a great tribulation." The relationship between the phrases tribulation and great tribulation has confused some people. God's Word teaches that the future seven-year time of worldwide trouble will be divided into two equal segments of three and a half years. On this point almost all would agree. However, there are several opinions concerning how the terms tribulation and great tribulation relate to this seven-year period.

Option 1 
Initial 3½ years = tribulation
Final 3½ years = great tribulation

Option 2
Entire 7 years = tribulation
Entire 7 years = great tribulation

Option 3
Entire 7 years = tribulation
Final 3½ years = great tribulation

Any of these interpretations is possible. However, I favor option 3. The term tribulation in Matthew 24:9 seems to encompass the entire seven-year period. It is an excellent word to describe the overall nature of the final seven years of this age and is frequently used that way by most students of Bible prophecy The term great tribulation, on the other hand, seems to be used in Matthew 24:21 to describe the more specific time that will follow the setting up of the abomination of desolation (an idolatrous image in the temple) at the midpoint of the seven-year period. Therefore, it appears that the title "great tribulation" is used to describe the intensification of God's wrath during the final three and a half years of the total seven-year tribulation period
 

it is described in multiple passages under various synonyms as outlined in the following table...

SYNONYMS FOR THE
SECOND 3.5 YEARS

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

  • Click Chart Summarizing Daniel's 70th Week
SCRIPTURE TIME PHRASE DESCRIPTION
Matthew 24:15-note
Matthew 24:21-note
Great
Tribulation

The time begins when the abomination of desolation takes His place in the holy place of the Temple as prophesied in Daniel this event inaugurating "a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall."

Deut 4:29, 30-note Distress

"But from there you (Israel) will seek the LORD your God and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress ("tribulation" KJV) and all these things have come upon you in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God & listen to His voice."

Daniel 11:36-note Indignation

"he (Antichrist) will prosper until the indignation is finished (end of 70th week) for that which is decreed will be done."

Daniel 12:1-note Time
of distress

"There will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time and at that time your people (Israel) everyone who is found written in the book will be rescued"

Isaiah 26:20, 21 Indignation

"Come, my people (Jews), enter into your rooms, and close your doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until indignation (Hebrew = intense anger, wrath) runs its course."

Jeremiah 30:7
(read vv 1-11)
Time of
Jacob's distress

"Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it (it is distinct) and it is the time of Jacob's distress but he (Israel) will be saved from it."

Rev 7:14
(note)
Great
Tribulation

And I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These (Re 7:9-note) are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

 

According to Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel's Seventieth Week is inaugurated by a peace treaty between the Anti-christ and Israel ("he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week" - Da 9:27-note). The Antichrist (little horn, man of sin, man of lawlessness, son of destruction, the beast - see complete list of his aliases) is characterized by boastful words and ascends to power out of a 10 nation/kingdom loose confederacy ("another will arise after them" Da 7:24) which most literal interpreters take to be a form of the "revived Roman Empire", possibly related to modern day Europe and/or the European Union (speculation). In Antichrist's rise to power, 3 of the 10 kingdoms are rooted up and destroyed ("he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings." Da 7:24), leaving 8 "kingdoms" (the original 7 plus that of the antichrist's kingdom).

From Re 11:1, 2 (notes) we know that the Jewish Temple is rebuilt either before or during the first three and one half years of Daniel's Seventieth Week (the exact timing of the Temple rebuilding is not clear in Scripture but it is interesting that Jewish members of the Temple Mount Faithful Movement are actively preparing for such an event) thus allowing the Jews to reinstitute Temple sacrifices. At the time of this writing (July, 2008), such an event would appear to be an impossibility and could even initiate a "Jihad". Why? Because the Dome of the Rock, one of the Islam's holiest shrines, now occupies a major portion of the Temple Mount, where the future Jewish Temple will be rebuilt (although some believe the actual site of the previous Jewish Temple is in the northern section of Temple Mount, so that theoretically one would not have to destroy the Dome of the Rock to rebuild the Jewish Temple but this is speculation). Because of the "firm covenant" (Da 9:27-note) between Israel and the antichrist, the Jews will be living at peace in the land of Israel during the first half of Daniel's Seventieth Week for the first time over 2000 years! And they will owe their allegiance to the Antichrist who brokered this long sought Middle East peace accord.

 

The Tribulation
Seventieth Week of Daniel

 

Pre-Tribulation
Rapture

Antichrist Breaks
Covenant w/ Israel

|
v

Millennium

3.5 Years
2 Witnesses
Prophesy 1260 days

3.5 Years
Great
Tribulation

 

During the 3.5 years of the Tribulation or Daniel's Seventieth Week, God grants "authority to two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days (42 months, 3.5 years, time, times, half a time) clothed in sackcloth" (Re 11:3, 4, 5, 6, 7 - see notes Re 11:3; 11:4; 11:5; 11:6; 11:7) until the antichrist, "the beast" kills them (see note Revelation 11:7). At this midpoint (of the 7 years) a critically important set of events transpire (Re 11:13,14, 15 - see notes Re 11:13;14; 15) John recording the worldwide "breaking news" documenting the literal resurrection of the 2 witnesses in Jerusalem...

And after the three and a half days the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were beholding them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city (Jerusalem) fell; and 7000 people were killed in the earthquake (these details will undoubtedly be reported widely reported by the news media so that the whole world recognizes the time of the "Great Tribulation" is at hand - see below), and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (see notes Re 11:11; 11:12; 11:13)

Israel's peace will prove to be a false peace, as the subsequent events that occur at the middle of Daniel's Seventieth Week begin to transpire. John records that at this midpoint of the seven years Satan will be "thrown down to the earth" (Re 12:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-see notes Re 12:7; 12:8; 12:9; 10; 11; 13) and will give "his authority to the beast (the antichrist)" (Re 13:4-note), thus "energizing" him. Empowered by Satan, the antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, causing her sacrifices to cease (Da 9:27-note) and

exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2Th 2:4).

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Jesus emphasizes the critical importance of recognizing these midpoint events declaring that...

Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION (the antichrist displaying himself as being God) which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (the holy of holies in the rebuilt Jewish Temple) (let the reader understand)...for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short. (Mt 24:15, 21-22)

The midpoint events inaugurate the Great Tribulation, the horrific last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week. The false prophet actively promotes the antichrist during the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week, deceiving

those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the Beast (note) (another note on "beast"; the Antichrist = his aliases), telling those who dwell on the earth (see See Earth Dwellers) to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life (a "counterfeit" resurrection). And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he (the False Prophet who) causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (666). (see notes Revelation 13:14; 15; 16; 17; 18)

During this last 3.5 years (Click for synonymous time phrases), Jerusalem is "tread under foot...for forty-two months" (Re 11:2-note) by the Gentile nations, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy of "the times of the Gentiles" (Lu 21:24) during which "Jerusalem (would) be trampled under foot by the Gentiles", this trampling having begun with Babylon's defeat of Judah in 586BC.

Although this last 3.5 years will be a Great Tribulation for Israel, this horrific time will also be a time of one of the greatest harvests of souls the world has ever seen as the result of the powerful testimony of the "two witnesses" in the first 3.5 years (Re 11:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, -see notes Re 11:3; 11:4; 11:5; 11:6; 11:7), possibly the ministry of 144,000 Jews (Re 7:4-note -- many feel they will be witnesses, although Scripture is not clear) and finally as a result of the worldwide proclamation of the gospel (which appears to be right at the midpoint of the last 7 years), John recording that...

And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice,

Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters. (see notes Revelation 14:6; 14:7)

And so during the last 3.5 year reign of terror, John records the wonderful vision of...

a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white" those martyred for their faith in the Messiah, having "come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (see notes Revelation 7:9; 7:10; 7:11; 7:12; 7:13; 7:14)

Paul addressing the fate of Israel during this last 3.5 years records that...

and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." "AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." (see notes Romans 11:26; 11:27)

This all Israel is all of those who have become believers in Messiah during the Great Tribulation, Zechariah explaining that..

it will come about in all the land," declares the LORD, "that two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. (the so-called faithful remnant) And I will bring the third part (corresponds to 'all Israel in Ro 11:26 {note}) through the fire (the time of Jacob's distress), refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.' (this is the oneness of covenant - see study on New Covenant in the Old Testament) (Zechariah 13:8-9)

As the "Great Tribulation" draws to a close, we see a rapid fire series of events occurring on a global scale.

The Antichrist enters Palestine and defeats Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia (Da 11:40, 41, 42, 43). At this same time the armies from the East and the North move toward Palestine (Da 11:44; Re 16:12 -note), which prompts the Antichrist to "go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many." (Da 11:44).

John records that during the last part of the Great Tribulation - Demons inspire "the kings of the whole world, to gather...together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty" and they "gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon" (notice "Armageddon" {click here} is not the battle per se as is often taught but is the gather prior to the battle) (see notes Revelation 16:14; 16:16)

Jerusalem is ravaged, Zechariah recording this horrible time declaring - Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My mountains (Zechariah 14:1-5a)

SUMMARY OF GREAT TRIBULATION
byTony Garland

Tony Garland, author of one of the best literal commentaries ever penned on The Revelation of Jesus Christ, offers the following summary of the Great Tribulation (A Testimony of Jesus Christ - Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation)...

Two other titles which are related to the coming Day of the Lord are the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation. (1 - see notes below) Notice that all three involve the concept of an unparalleled time of trouble. Unparalleled implies two things concerning the time periods involved:

1 Since there cannot be more than one unparalleled time of trouble, their time periods must overlap. (2)

2 These events have not transpired in the past. (3)

Regarding the timing of the Great Tribulation, Jesus said

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Mt 24:15-22, cp Mark 13:19-27)

Jesus referred to this Daniel 9:27 “overspreading of abominations” in Matthew 24:15. Then He said, “then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Mt 24:21), thereby indicating that the Great Tribulation will begin when the overspreading of abominations of Daniel 9:27 occurs. Since the Great Tribulation will begin when the overspreading of abominations occurs in the middle of the 70th week, we can conclude that the Great Tribulation will begin in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel, or after the first three and one-half years of that seven-year period have transpired. (4)

Notice Jesus says, “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” and “pray that your flight may not be . . . on the Sabbath.” There is an explicit Jewish element to this entire passage. This is because the events are related to the Time of Jacob’s Trouble described by Jeremiah:

‘For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah. For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.’ (Je 30:3-7)

Notice several important aspects within this passage:

1 Jacob is Israel - Jacob fathered the 12 tribes and was given the name Israel by God (Gen. 32:28). Thus, this is describing a time of trouble specifically for the Jews.

2 Gathering in the Land - This time of trouble occurs after Israel is gathered back in the Promised Land.

3 Birth Pangs - The passage refers to every man acting “like a woman in labor.” How similar this is to the words of Jesus, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Mt 24:8). Sorrows (ōdin) indicates “[A] pang or throe, especially of childbirth.” [emphasis added] 5

4 A Unique Day - There is no other day like it.

5 Results in Salvation - “But he shall be saved out of it.” Although the Jews undergo an extremely troubling time, salvation comes at the end. 6

The Jewish aspect of this period can also be seen in the wider context of Micah’s well-known prophecy concerning the birthplace of Messiah:

Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; He has laid siege against us; they will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth. (Mic. 5:1-4) [bolding added]

Scripture record’s two pregnancies in relation to Messiah. The first labor terminates in the First Coming of Messiah (Re 12:2, 3, 4-note). The second labor terminates in the ushering in of the Millennial Kingdom. It is this second period of labor, subsequent to the going forth of Messiah from Bethlehem, which Micah sets forth. This second labor leads to the millennial age: “For now He shall be great to the ends of the earth.” The time of Jacob’s trouble describes the labor pains associated with the second pregnancy.

“She who travaileth” does not refer to Israel bringing forth (giving birth to) Messiah, but to her last-day Tribulation travail (Jer. 30:5-7) in bringing forth a believing remnant, . . . Israel’s greatest and most anguishing sufferings of all her long and checkered history of woe will take place during the coming Great Tribulation (Rev. 8:1-note- Re 20:3-note). Her terrible travail pains that in God’s plan precede the joy of birth (cf. Mic. 4:9; cf. John 16:21), will bring forth a regenerated nation to enter the joy of the Kingdom, which will be as unparalleled as the agony that introduces it.7

This period is mentioned in the book of Revelation and also Daniel which provides additional details as to its duration: 8

Revelation 12-note states the length of time this persecution and hiding of the Jews in the wilderness will last . . . it will last 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6-note) . . . Revelation 12:14-note states that Israel will hide in the wilderness from Satan for “a time, and times, and half a time.” Daniel 7:25 uses this identical time designation for the length of time that the Antichrist will persecute the saints of the 70th week. . . . Revelation 13:5-7-note, when referring to this same persecution of 70th-week saints by the Antichrist, declares that it will last for 42 months, which equal three and one-half years. . . . The Jews will be persecuted and will hide in a wilderness area for three and one-half years, exactly one-half of the seven-year 70th week. . . . the Great Tribulation will be finished when God has completely shattered the obstinate rebellion of the nation of Israel against Him [Dan. 9:24; 12:7]. In other words, the Great Tribulation will end when Israel’s rebellion against God’s rule ends. 9

Scofield summarizes the character of this unique period:

The elements of the tribulation are: (1) The cruel reign of the “beast out of the sea” (Rev. 13:1-note), who, at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have re-established the temple worship, Dan. 9:27), and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God (Mt 24:15; 2Th. 2:4). (2) The active interposition of Satan “having great wrath” (Rev. 12:12-note), who gives his power to the Beast (Rev. 13:4-note, Re 13:5-note). (3) The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev. 9:2-note, Re 9:11-note); and (4) the terrible “bowl” judgments of Rev. 16-note 10

Although the book of Revelation indicates that all those living on the earth immediately prior to the return of Jesus will be involved in troublesome times, this is especially true for the Jews. This is because God applies judgment first and more fully to those who have greater revelation and responsibility (Amos 3:2; Luke 12:48).11

While it is true that all will suffer during that time, Israel will suffer more so. The basic reason for this lies in Israel’s relationship to God as God’s first born (Ex. 4:22) and, therefore, Israel receives double, both in blessing and cursing. The principle that Israel receives double for all her sins is stated in Isaiah 40:1-2 . . . It is also found in Jeremiah 16:16-18. The principle of Israel’s receiving double for all her sins is the reason why the Tribulation is uniquely the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.12

Stanton shows the Jewish character of the period by saying: “The tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Dt 4:30; Jer. 30:7; Eze. 20:37; Dan. 12:1; Zec. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Mt 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8-note; Re 12:1-2-note, Re 12:17-note etc.). It concerns ‘Daniel’s people,’ the coming of ‘false Messiah,’ the preaching of the ‘gospel of the kingdom,’ flight on the ‘sabbath,’ the temple and the ‘holy place,’ the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve ‘tribes of the children of Israel,’ the ‘son of Moses,’ ‘signs’ in the heavens, the ‘covenant’ with the Beast, the ‘sanctuary,’ the ‘sacrifice and the oblation’ of the temple ritual—these all speak of Israel and prove that the tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom.”13

Our study of the book of Revelation will greatly benefit by keeping in mind the purposes God has for this period of time:

The first purpose is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones (Isa. 13:9; Isa. 24:19-20) . . . The second purpose of the Tribulation is to bring about a worldwide revival (Rev. 7:1-7-note) . . . The Third purpose of the Tribulation is to break the power of the stubborn will of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:5-7; Eze. 20:33-38).14

The Old Testament presents at least five purposes for the Tribulation.

1 . The Tribulation will complete the decreed period of national Israel’s judicial hardening as punishment for its rejection of the messianic program, which the partial return from exile did not remove and which culminated in the national rejection of Jesus (Isa. 6:9-13; 24:1-6; cf. John 12:37-41; Rom. 11:7-10).

2 . It will produce a messianic revival among Jewish people scattered throughout the world (Dt 4:27-30; cf. Rev. 7:1-4-note; Mt 24:14).

3 . The Tribulation will convince the Jewish nation of their need for the Messiah in order to produce a national regeneration (Dan. 12:5-7; Jer. 31:31-34; Eze. 20:34-38; 36:25-27; 37:1-14; Zec. 12:9-13:2; Isa. 59:20-21). This will result in a massive return of Jews to the land of Israel (Zec. 8:7-8; Eze. 36:24; 37:21).

4 . It will end the time of the Gentiles and effect the deliverance of the Jewish people from Gentile dominion (Isa. 24:21-23; 59:16-20; cf. Mt 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Rom. 11:25).

5 . The Tribulation will purge the earth of wicked people in order to establish the Messianic Kingdom in righteousness (Isa. 13:9; 24:19-20; Eze. 37:23; Zec. 13:2; 14:9; Isa. 11:9). This violent reduction of the world’s unbelieving population will result from the divine judgments unleashed throughout the Tribulation (Rev. 6-18), climaxing with the Battle of Armageddon under King Messiah (Rev. 19) and His purge of rebel Jews and oppressive Gentiles at the end of the Tribulation (Eze. 20:33-38; Mt 25:31-46).15


Notes and Reference annotations


1 “The Scriptures indicate that the Day of the Lord, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, and the Great Tribulation (Ed: see chart for synonyms) have several things in common. First, the concept of trouble or tribulation are associated with all three . . . Second, the concept of an unparalleled time of trouble is identified with all three [Joel 2:1-2; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1 cf. Mt 24:21] . . . Third, the term ‘great’ is used for all three . . . Fourth, the concept of birth pangs is associated with all three . . . Fifth, the expression ‘that day’ is used for all three . . . Sixth, Israel’s future repentance or spiritual restoration to God is associated with all three . . . These comparisons demonstrate that several of the same concepts and terms are associated with the Day of the Lord, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, and the Great Tribulation . . . they indicate that the Day of the Lord will cover or at least include the same time period as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation.”—Renald E. Showers, Maranatha, Our Lord Come (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1995), 41-42.

2 “Both the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:6-7) and the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21) are described as the unparalleled time of trouble. Since there can only be one such time, both will cover the same time period. The Great Tribulation will begin in the middle of the seven-year 70th week. We know this because Jesus indicated that the Great Tribulation will begin with the abomination of desolation (Mt 24:15-21), which will take place in the middle of the 70th week (Dan. 9:27). . . . Since the Great Tribulation will begin in the middle and terminate at the end of the 70th week and will cover the same time period as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble will also cover the entire second half of the 70th week.”—Showers, Maranatha, Our Lord Come, 23-24.

3 They must necessarily eclipse all the world wars and the horrors of the holocaust unless God be accused of exaggeration.

4 Showers, Maranatha, Our Lord Come, 43.

5 James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996), G5604.

6 How different this is from the interpretation which preterists force upon Matthew 24! The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 involved no intervention by God on behalf of the Jews.

7 Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), Mic. 5:3.

8 See Prophetic Year.

9 Showers, Maranatha, Our Lord Come, 44-46.

10 C. I. Scofield, The Scofield Study Bible (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002, 1909), Rev. 7:14.

11 “It has been denied that God‘s people were actually worse than the pagans about them, but reckoning must be in proportion to spiritual knowledge and privileges enjoyed. The judgments of God are always relative to light and privilege granted. . . The Latins have a pointed saying: Corruptio optimi pessima (’The corruption of the best issues in the worst.’)”—Charles Feinberg, The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969), 37.

12 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 282-283.

http://1313 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), 237.

14 Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, 177-181.

15 Randall Price, “Old Testament References to The Great Tribulation,” in Mal Couch, ed., Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 415.

Zechariah assures that in Jerusalem's darkest hour the Second Coming of Messiah will bring about a liberation of the city, accompanied by incredible changes in the topography, some of which allow the Jews to escape.

As the united armies of the antichrist and the kings of the world come together for one final attempt to defeat God and His people, Messiah returns, an epic event recorded in several passages of Scripture. Joel writes that...

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness. And the LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble, but the LORD is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel. Then (when He returns, when He defeats all those arrayed against Him and against Israel) you will know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. So Jerusalem will be holy, And strangers will pass through it no more. (Joel 3:14-17)

Matthew corroborates this great day recording Jesus' prophecy that...

just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky (the interpretation is clear, the Son is the "sign"!), and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Mt 24:27-31)

John records that...

I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (see notes Revelation 19:11; 19:12;19:13; 19:14; 19:15;19:16; 19:17; 19:18)

Recording the defeat of the forces arrayed against Messiah, John writes...

And I saw the beast (the antichrist) and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (see notes Revelation 19:19; 20; 21)

Contemporaneous with these incredible events we also see that the great city of Babylon is destroyed (the city of Babylon was never completely destroyed and has been partially rebuilt by Saddam Hussein and will be rebuilt to become a center of world commerce during Daniel's Seventieth Week, which is interesting in light of the fact that Iraq is on the path toward a democratic government and has some of the richest oil reserves in the world! One wonders if President Bush knew these prophecies foretelling of ancient Babylon's revival?). John records that...

And the great city (what does John call it? A city. So Babylon need not be interpreted symbolically like so many have done but as a literal city that will exist - see Babylon Photo Tour) was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. (see note Revelation 16:19)

"And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus will Babylon, the great city, (Beloved, if John calls it a city, it is a city and you do not have to interpret it symbolically as is so commonly done. After all, how could you even know whose "symbolic" interpretation was correct? What God states plainly men sometimes make obtuse!) be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer." (see note Revelation 18:21)

There are many other Biblical details describing this cataclysmic time in world history, but for our purposes this overview gives the context for the subsequent golden Millennial age foretold by the Old Testament prophets of and longed for deeply by every Jew ever born (and especially those "born twice"!). In light of the absolute certainty of the rule of Messiah over His earthly Kingdom the question is "Who will be His subjects? Who enters into the 1000 year reign of Christ?" The short answer is that only Jewish and Gentile believers will enter the Millennial Kingdom. There are two judgments preceding the Millennium, one for Jews and the other for Gentiles.

Ezekiel foretells the future judgment of the Jews, who are still alive at the termination of the Great Tribulation, recording

"As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out (refers to the Great Tribulation, a time of purifying when 2/3's of Israel will not come through the fire), I shall be king over you. And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (predicts a worldwide regathering of Israel, a regathering we have been witnessing since the birth of the nation of Israel in May, 1948), with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt (alluding to the judgment in which most of the Jews who came out of Egypt were not allowed to enter into the Promised Land of Canaan because of unbelief), so I will enter into judgment with you," declares the Lord GOD.

"And I shall make you pass under the rod (the so-called faithful remnant), and I shall bring you (God Himself engineers this spiritual transaction, which speaks of His grace and mercy) into the bond of the covenant (an allusion to the New Covenant not the Old Covenant of Law - cf Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34 see study of New Covenant in the Old Testament) and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel (part of the 2/3's who are purged. Walvoord states "This is to be interpreted as a judgment of physical death, and they will be raised from the dead at the judgment of the great white throne after the millennium to participate in the destiny of all the wicked."). Thus you will know that I am the LORD. (The Jews who are regenerated will turn away from seeking to establish their own righteousness and will seek the righteousness of God through Jesus the Messiah and that will bring about their national regeneration. It is going to be a new nation, a regenerate nation that will enter the Millennial Israel under King Messiah. Notice that the description given does not mention any resurrection from the dead and it may be assumed in view of the fact that regathering is a prerequisite to the judgment that this applies only to the living Israelites in the world at the time of the second coming.)

"As for you, O house of Israel," thus says the Lord GOD, "Go, serve everyone his idols; but later, you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols. For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel (Mt Zion, the Temple Mount, site of the rebuilt Millennial Temple)," declares the Lord GOD, "there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I shall accept them, and there I shall seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. (Ezekiel 20:33-40)

Thus we see that the Chief Shepherd will examine His flock (pass under the rod), and will purge...the rebels, and bring the faithful remnant into the blessings of the New Covenant in the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom.

In an closely contemporaneous event, the Gentile survivors of the Great Tribulation will also be judged, at what is often called the judgment of the sheep and the goats. Matthew records that

"when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (So clearly Christ returns visibly to earth and sits visibly on His throne as King of kings) And all the nations (Gentiles) will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' (Their works did not save them but demonstrated that their hearts were regenerated. They brought forth fruit in keeping with genuine repentance).

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' (Their works did not condemn them but demonstrated that their hearts were not regenerated).

"Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'

"Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Mt 25:31-46)

From these passages dealing with the judgment of Jews and Gentiles, one can readily see that at the beginning of the Millennium, all who enter in earthly (not glorified) bodies will have been shown through these judgments that they are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Dear reader, have you believed the gospel of Christ, that He died, was buried, was resurrected, that He ascended into Heaven and that He will return again to judge the living and the dead? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. (See also offsite resource The Great Tribulation)

PARALLEL TIME PHRASES
RELATED TO

DANIEL'S SEVENTIETH WEEK

(See Chart - Daniel's 70th Week)

SCRIPTURE TIME PHRASE WHAT TIME IS IT?

Rev 11:3

(note)

1260 days

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

FIRST 3.5 YEARS

Da 9:27 Middle
of the week

The time when the prince who is to come breaks the covenant with Israel and carries out the abomination of desolation

MIDDLE OF 7 YEARS

Da 7:25
(note)
Time, times
and half a time

The time during which the saints (Jews) will be given into Little Horn's (Antichrist's) hand (power).

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 13:5
(note)

42 months

Authority to act given to Antichrist - "And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him."

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Da 12:7
(note)
Time, times
and half a time

The time required to shatter the power of the holy people (the Jews) and the completion of the events described in Daniel 10-12.

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 11:2
(note)
42 months

The time period during which the Gentile nations will be given the outside court of the Temple and will trample down Jerusalem.

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 12:6 (note) 1260 days

The time period when Israel flees into the wilderness to a place prepared by God so that she might be nourished.

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 12:14
(note)
Time and times
and half a time

The time during which Israel is nourished in the wilderness from the presence of the serpent

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

THE INTERPRETATION OF MATTHEW 24:15
AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Explanation - The interpretation that follows is based on a literal approach to the Scriptures and a careful comparison of Scripture with Scripture, especially a similar but not identical passage in Luke 19. If you click on the "+" signs you will see expanded notes related to the associated verse.

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Jesus has just ended Mt 24:14-note with the words "the end" (the very last Greek word in Mt 24:14) and now responds to the disciples' initial request for a sign (Mt 24:3+) by giving them a very unique sign which will mark the beginning of the end of this age (Mt 24:3+). And so Jesus describes a specific sign, one which has not occurred in the past (but which had been foreshadowed-see Da 8:13, Da 11:31), and which will literally be fulfilled in the future. Recall that a sign is something that one can see which points to something else. In Mt 24:15 Jesus says "when you see" indicating that this is a visible sign. He explains that the sign is the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. He also explains that study of the book of Daniel will help the reader understand the sign. The Temple was destroyed in 70AD, but Jesus says the sign is of some one or some thing standing in the Temple (holy place). Of course the problem with Jesus' prophecy is that there is currently no Temple. It follows that the Jewish Temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem (see note). If God can cause the nation of Israel to be reborn in May, 1948 against all odds, then a rebuilt Temple will not be too difficult for Him (Jer 32:17+, Jer 32:27+). Does this take faith to accept? Of course it does, but the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (a rebuilt Temple, Heb 11:1+) are based not on an active imagination but on our faithful God (Lam 3:23) and His faith producing Word (Ro 10:17+, cf Rev 11:2+, future Antichrist in the rebuilt Temple in 2Th 2:3-+, 2Th 2:4+, 2Th 2:3- 2Th 2:3-see note). Daniel 9:27+ describes a prince who is to come (Da 9:26+) who will make a 7 year covenant ("one week" - see Daniel's Seventieth Week) with the "many," the "many" clearly being the Jews in context ("your [Daniel a Jewish man's] people" Da 9:24+). This "prince" is the Antichrist (name used only in 1Jn 2:18+) who Daniel identifies as the "Little Horn" and who rises to power out of a 10 nation confederacy (Daniel 7:8+, cp Da 2:44-45+ where "the days of those kings" = "10 toe stage" [Da 2:42+] = 10 horns = 10 kings - cp Da 7:24+). The first 3.5 years, his devilish character is not obvious (see note on Rev 6:2), but in the middle of the 7 year "peace" covenant, he breaks the covenant with Israel and puts a stop to sacrifices and offerings in the rebuilt Temple (Da 9:27+) fulfilling Jesus' prophecy in Mt 24:15. Daniel says he also (as the "Little Horn") will overpower 3 of the original 10 members of the confederacy (Da 7:8+, Da 7:20+). Paul adds that the Antichrist (aka "man of lawlessness...son of perdition") will go into the "holy place," the rebuilt Temple, and take "his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (" 2Th 2:3+, 2Th 2:4+, cp Da 11:36 2Th 2:3- 2Th 2:3- 2Th 2:3-+) In so doing he will commit the abomination that makes the Temple desolate. Note that this sign is not the Roman army surrounding Jerusalem in the past (70AD - cp Lk 21:20+), but a real person who will commit a real act of defilement (abomination) of the Jewish Temple in the future. At this same time, in the midpoint of the 7 year covenant, the Antichrist (aka "The Beast") is empowered by the dragon (the devil) for 42 months or the last 3.5 years of the 7 year period (Rev 13:4-5+) However, since it is unlikely the Antichrist will personally remain standing in the holy place, it is more likely that it is his image which the false prophet creates and commands the world to worship, which will remain standing in the holy place (cp Rev 13:14-15+, Rev 14:9, 11+, Rev 16:2+, Rev 19:20+, contrast Rev 20:4+)

During this last 3.5 years, the Antichrist will begin to pursue and persecute the Jews, which is the impetus for Jesus taking five verses to command and convince the Jews to flee when they see the sign of the abomination of desolation! During his last 3.5 years of the Seventieth Week, the Antichrist "will speak out against the Most High (beginning in Mt 24:15, 2Th 2:4 2Th 2:4, blaspheming God - Rev 13:6+, cp his great, boasts - Da 7:8+, Da 7:11+, Da 7:20+) and wear down the saints of the Highest One, with the intent to make alterations in times and in law (cp Da 9:27+ "stop to sacrifice and grain offering"); and they (the Jews) will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time." (Da 7:25+ = Da 7:21+ = the Little Horn who "was waging war with the [Jewish] saints and overpowering them") In other words, after the Antichrist breaks his covenant with the Jews, they will be given into his hand for "time, times and half a time" (3.5 years, John says 1260 days in Rev 12:6+, which he repeats in Rev 12:14+ = "time, times, and half a time" = 42 months). John records "it was given to him (the Antichrist) to make war with the saints (the Jews first, but then to all who refuse to worship his image - Rev 13:15+) and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him." (Rev 13:7+) For how long? Three and one-half years beginning with the unmistakably clear sign in Mt 24:15 which inaugurates the time Jesus calls the "Great Tribulation" (Mt 24:21+ = Mk 13:19 = the "time of Jacob's distress" = Jer 30:7+) a time "such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall," a time which Daniel describes as "a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time" (Da 12:1+) but a time which "shall be cut short" (Mt 24:22) after "a time, times, and half a time" (Da 12:7+), during which "many (Jews) will be purged, purified and refined." (Da 12:10+, cf Zech 13:8, 9, Zech 12:10, Ro 11:26-27+) God will allow the Antichrist 1260 days (42 months) to do his worst, but not one day longer, because the true Christ will return and bring that Lawless One "to an end by the appearance of His coming" (2Thes 2:7-8, 9-10). Then the true Christ will fulfill many OT prophecies (Amos 9:11,12, Jer 30:9+, Jer 31:28+, Jer 32:42, 43+, Jer 33:14, 15, 16+, Ezek 37:22, 23, 24, 25+, Zech 14:11, 16, 17), and set up His 1000 year Kingdom on earth (cp Acts 1:6, 15:13-14, 15-18, Lk 19:11 Rev 20:4-5+), demonstrating God's best after 3.5 years of Satan's worst! Indeed, "Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him." (Da 7:27+)

PARALLEL TIME PHRASES
RELATED TO

DANIEL'S SEVENTIETH WEEK

SCRIPTURE TIME PHRASE WHAT TIME IS IT?

Rev 11:3

(note)

1260 days

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

FIRST 3.5 YEARS

Da 9:27 Middle
of the week

The time when the prince who is to come breaks the covenant with Israel and carries out the abomination of desolation

MIDDLE OF 7 YEARS

Da 7:25-note Time, times
and half a time

The time during which the saints (Jews) will be given into Little Horn's (Antichris's) hand (power).

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 13:5-note

42 months

Authority to act given to Antichrist - "And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him."

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Da 12:7-note Time, times
and half a time

The time required to shatter the power of the holy people (the Jews) and the completion of the events described in Daniel 10-12.

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 11:2-note 42 months

The time period during which the Gentile nations will be given the outside court of the Temple and will trample down Jerusalem.

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 12:6-note 1260 days

The time period when Israel flees into the wilderness to a place prepared by God so that she might be nourished.

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

Rev 12:14-note Time and times
and half a time

The time during which Israel is nourished in the wilderness from the presence of the serpent

SECOND 3.5 YEARS

 

 

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