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Revelation 11:3

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3 And [kai] I will give [didomi] power unto my [mou] two [duo] witnesses, [martus] and [kai] they shall prophesy [propheteuo] a thousand [chilioi] two hundred [diakosioi] and threescore [hexekonta] days, [hemera] clothed in [periballo] sackcloth. [sakkos] KJV-Interlinear



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



The Jewish calendar back in ancient times, was based on the lunar activity of the moon, which typically ran twelve or thirteen months of thirty days each.


Our calendar is based on the solar year which is 365 days, which we adjust by one day every four years in order to keep the calendar and sun and moon synchronized.


Te Jewish calendar was adjusted every second or third year, when they added a second, twelfth month, in order to keep their year in sync with the solar year.


In the previous verse,  John used the terminology of forty-two months, typically a gentile term, because he was speaking of the outer court and gentiles.


In this verse, John speaks of 1260 days, in parallel with the Jewish calendar, because he is speaking of the two witnesses, both Jewish or Hebrew, if you will, to connect them with their respective dating system.


The reference to 1260 days is an exact count in the number of days. The reference to forty-two months could refer to 1277 or perhaps 1278 days, depending on the exact month and day that the temple is blasphemed.  The forty-two month timeframe is more general, whereas the 1260 day timeframe is precise.


However, these two timeframes may not necessarily coincide exactly together. John gives us two different timeframe references, meaning that they are not precisely in sync, but they are both connected with the trampling of the temple concept, as well as the troubled world desperately needing salvation, both of which we have studied in recent verses.


The temple will be disgraced at the mid-point in the Tribulation, and the Tribulation will end in forty-two months with Armageddon and the Second Advent. Remember too, that the mid-point may not be a precise mid-point, but a general timeframe between the third and fourth year of the Tribulation.


For all of the events for these two witnesses to occur, they most likely will be removed from the scene sometime prior to the very end days of the Tribulation. It will take some time for nations to declare war, organize, invade, and so forth. And that does not occur in a single day but over a period of several weeks or months time, most likely. This again, will depend on how well organized or disorganized the militarization of the world comes together in those latter days.


Remember, that by the end of the Tribulation, nearly all of the judgments will have been completed, well over half of the worlds population will already be dead, communications and public services will not be at their best, for obvious reasons, and general chaos will be the order of the day.


The world will however, still be able to view the dead bodies of these two witnesses, from all over the world, so satellite television or some other technology will still be operational for people to use, when that time comes.


The two witnesses will be wearing sackcloth, the clothing of mourning, distress, grieving. The world is in the midst of judgment and these two will be teaching the gospel, and preaching judgment for a world that has been filled with evil and currently undergoing terrible pain, suffering and grieving.


As for the identities of these two individuals, tradition has it that Moses and Elijah will be the ones who will return and become Gods witnesses in those days. This is derived from several scriptures, Zech. 4, Mal 4:5 Deut 18:15,18,  John 1:21; 6:14; 7:40, Matt 11:14, Luke 1:17. And due to the unusual nature of both of their deaths, Elijah never died, but was transported to heaven in a fiery chariot, 2 Kings 2:11-12, and God supernaturally buried Moses body in a secret location, Deut 34:5-6; Jude 9. Both participated in the transfiguration of Jesus.


Whether these are actually Moses and Elijah or not is not really relevant, since an unbelieving world which rejects Christ, would also reject their identities. Some, however, will believe in Christ.


John does not identify them as such, but does refer to identities that are far more important, which we will cover in the next verse.


Even though there will be massive violence occurring worldwide, the gospel from these two witnesses and from the 144,000 evangelists and other sources, will still occur, and will still be effective, regardless of what the world does in trying to prevent their message.



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