The Day for a Year Principle
There are other verses in scripture that back up the day for a year concept. Within the Books of Numbers and Ezekiel we find insight needed to understand the day for a year principle.
Numbers 14:34: “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.”
Ezekiel 4:5-6: “For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”
Although some people may understand the day for a year principle, how many understand it when interpreting prophecy? With this concept we can now understand the prophecy of the 70 weeks, the 1290 days, the 42 months, and so forth.
The old Hebrew calendar fell under the Levitical code and was “lunar” based. Twelve of these Hebrew months equaled 354.14 days, or about eleven days short of the solar year. The Hebrews learned to add an extra month every two or three years, which month was called an “intercalary” month. In old rabbinical times this intercalary month was inserted seven times in nineteen years.
The Jews had a twelve-month calendar, and each month had 30 days; this made up a 360 day year. Logically, then, it is correct to use a 360-day Hebrew years to interpret Old Testament prophecies. But, since the Christian Era, historical records have been based on a “solar” year of 365.24 days. Therefore, we need to convert those Hebrew days to fit our solar days; and how do we convert the 360-day lunar calendar to a 365.24-day solar calendar?
The factor used for the difference is: .9857.
The number of weeks, multiplied by the number of days-per-week, equals total days. The total number of days, multiplied by the factor .9857, equals the number of Hebrew day/years. By using Daniel’s 70 week prophecy, which will be discussed in the next part of our discussion, the simplified equation looks something like this:
70 weeks x 7 days per week = 490 days x .9857 = 483 days or Hebrew years.
The Apostle John lived during the Christian Era under a Gentile Roman government that used a solar calendar of 365.24 days. His writings are primarily to the Gentile church. Thus, it is correct to use the Gentile solar calendar of 365.24 days to interpret John’s prophecies without making any conversion.