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