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The 2520

The 2520



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Published by Alvin Cardona

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Published by: Alvin Cardona on Sep 19, 2008
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The Seven Times or 2,520 Year prophecyA Historical Survey and Bible Study by Eugene Prewitt
I have, on the wall in my study, a facsimile of one of the more prominentMillerite charts. For more than fifteen years I have been interested in thischart and particularly in the more obscure portions of it. I might have beenabout to leave my teen years when I first realized that Miller and otherstaught about a time period that was 2,520 years long. This short article will survey the early Adventist teaching on the 2520 andwill then offer several Biblical observations to those interested inunderstanding what the Bible teaches in regard to the 2520.
Historical Survey
For those that are not familiar with the facts of this case, Miller believed thatthere were two 1260 year periods that, together, made a 2520 year period.(2520 is 7 times 360, seven prophetic years.) One of these 1260 year periodsis familiar to Adventists. It began in 538 and ended in 1798. It was the periodof papal civil supremacy. The other is less familiar. It is what Miller called the “times of the Gentiles.”Lu 21:24. He understood this to be the first of the two periods brought toview in Revelation 11. And he thought this to be the period pictured in Daniel12.For the timing of this period he took 677 BC as the beginning of the Jewishcaptivity under Assyria-Babylon, and brought this forward 1215 years to 538AD. Then he added 45 years of non-Catholic Roman (European) control of  Jerusalem, and came to 1843.
 One of the most interesting features of this period, as Miller understood it,was that it coincided with the Jubilee release and with the 6000
of theearth’s existence.Miller opposed, on solid grounds, those persons who looked for a rebuilt Jerusalem as a fulfillment of covenant promises. He argued that Christ’sComing, to reign on the throne of David, would be the event of the Jubileethat would free the Jews from their 2520 years of bondage under asuccession of five great world empires.
Later, presumably 1214 and 46 were added to reach 1844, though I find no reference tothe 2520 or the two 1260’s during that incredible movement that we call the Midnight Cry,the seventh-month movement. In fact, Miller’s most thorough discussion of the 2520 isfound in his “Lecture 17”, first published in 1836. Other more succinct references can befound in his “Trilogy” and in his “Reply to Stuart” and in a commentary on “Ezekiel 39.”
He differed from Usher on this point, arguing that Usher and others missed about 150 yearsduring the time of the judges.
 James White later quoted the
 Advent Shield 
, an early Millerite paper, to showthat Sabbath keeping Adventists were justified in holding to the originalMillerite dates while other Adventists were setting new and untried dates. The paragraphs that he quoted from the
 Advent Shield 
included a passingreference to the 2520 and to the “Great Jubilee” (the 2450 year prophecyalluded to above, 49 x 50 years) showing that both terminated in 1844. These paragraphs were quoted no less than seven times, three during thefirst year of publication of the
Sabbath Herald 
, two during the first year of publication of the
Review and Herald 
, and two during the tenth year of the
Review and Herald 
. The seven-year prophetic period of Jewish captivity Miller found in severalBible passages. He found it in Leveticus 26. He found it also in Deuteronomy15 figured under the “seven year” release, the Sabbatical year. He found italso, albeit in typological fashion, in the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s grass-eating period. And he found it also in an obscure interpretation of Ezekiel39:9.
Seventh-day Adventism on Miller
When Adventism was splintering, the Sabbath-keeping portion held to moreof Miller’s original teaching than any other branch. They held to Daniel 2, 7, 8and 9 as taught by Miller. They adopted his understanding, though slightlyrefined, of the latter portion of Daniel 12 and more or less to hisunderstanding of large portions of Daniel 11.But we didn’t follow Miller on Leveticus 26. That is why you never grew uphearing about the 2520 year time prophecy.Hiram Edson did make a stab at reinterpreting the 2520 in a way that couldfit with Adventism. (For it was clear that Christ did not, in 1844, bring an endto the Jewish captivity—Miller’s expectation.) Edson’s article was printed, atthe request of James White, before it had been “matured.” It was long, nearly30,000 words. That is 47 single-spaced sheets of typing paper.Edson differed from Miller significantly in that he dated the 2520 from 723 BCrather than from 677. The earlier date of Edson was based on the captivity of the ten tribes and extended to 1798. In Edson’s view, then, the first 1260
A chief problem with the last incidence in Ezekiel is that it finds the fulfillment of aprophecy of a future war and post war clean-up beginning so early that the war is ended andthe clean-up is ongoing for decades before Ezekiel ever makes the prophetic prediction.Presumably this is why the 2300 days never shows up in Revelation while the 1260 dayprophecy does. If one thinks this through he will also see that it is an argument againstMiller’s understanding of Revelation 11:2 as well.
years were finished inclusive at the commencement of the second 1260 yearperiod. Thus it was the Christian church, not the Jews, that were released in1798.Edson’s article, in all fairness to him, was nothing like a statement of whatthe pioneers believed, either before its publication, or at its publication. Itwas the result of his personal investigation and he presented it with arequest for his brethren to evaluate whether or not it would be useful.As
I have not time at present to mature the subject, I send youa portion of the broken, unmatured ideas as they are.
I do notask that they now go out as adopted or sanctioned by the Review, butmerely
for the examination and inspection of the brethren
; andif the subject by them be judged to be of service to the church andworthy of further investigation, then it may hereafter be revised,improved, and carried out in its further bearing and extent. –
 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 
, Aug 27, 1857.Much of Edson’s article
was a response to the First-day Adventists’ attemptsto find in prophecy an allusion to an “age to come” of peace and prosperityon the earth, especially for the Jews.For the most part, it was these Sunday-keeping Adventists who held to muchof Miller’s teaching on the 2520. They expected an “age to come” at theconclusion of that time that would bring an end to the Jewish captivity andwould see a renewed Jewish state. Uriah Smith addressed these expectationsin the appendix of 
Daniel and Revelation,
pp 784-785.
 THE "SEVEN TIMES" OF LEVITICUS 26.Almost every scheme of the "Plan of the Ages," "Age-to-come," etc., makesuse of a supposed prophetic period called the "Seven Times;" and theattempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfillment by events in Jewish andGentile history. All such speculators might as well spare their pains; for thereis no such prophetic period in the Bible.
The article takes a number of unfamiliar positions. Among them: Revelation 17 was fulfilledbetween 1798 and 1844, the eighth head being the short-lived dynasty of Napoleon. Thisdynasty is the “scarlet” colored beast. The ten horns are the powers that surrendered toNapoleon. He teaches that the Mountain of the Lord’s House in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 is theUnited States. He teaches that the two questions in Daniel 8:13 have different answers, onea reference to the 2300 days, the other to the 2520 (or second 1260). He teaches that thehidden mistake in the ’44 chart was the timing of the 2520. He gives a spiritualizedinterpretation to Ezekiel 37-39 that is fascinating. The “coming” of the “Ancient of Days” inDaniel 7 he finds, not in the 1844 judgment scene, but in the 1798 judgments on the RomanCatholic church. He teaches that the time prophecies in Revelation were also sealed likethose of Daniel until 1798. Some of these positions have merit enough to warrantinvestigation. It does not appear that even one of them was adopted by any other of thepioneers, nor were any of them ever mentioned in writing a second time by Edson.

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