How much time is “a time, times, and half a time”?


In Revelation 12:14, we see a reference to time(s). What is the reference to? How much time is mentioned?

In the Greek language, the word that is translated “time” is “kairos” and it can refer to a specific amount of time or a general amount of time. This word “kairos” could be translated as, “time, period, year, epoch etc.”. The word draws its meaning from the context in which it is placed. In the case of this text and word, it is clear that the meaning is a “specific period of time”.

14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. (Revelation 12)

The question is, what is the specific amount of time referred to here? If we just focus on the context of Revelation 12, then we see that the author makes 2 references to the woman’s flight to the desert, where she will be cared for by God. In verse 6, we see that she will be cared for for 1,260 days.

6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Revelation 12)

According to the Jewish calendar, a year was divided up into 360 days (12 months of 30 days). This means that 1,260 days is the equivalent of 3.5 years (three and a half ).

Having an overview of Biblical prophecy, we know that this flight to the desert refers to the Hebrews who will be persecuted by the Antichrist after he seats himself in the Temple as God. (II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24:15-19)

In Revelation 13, we discover that the Antichrist is given a period of time to work, 42 months, which once again is 3.5 years (three and a half).

1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast ; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast ; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Revelation 13)

In the book of Daniel, we find out that the Antichrist (the little horn that will arise from the 4th kingdom) is allowed to wear down the saints of the Highest One for a time, times, and half a time.

24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise ; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, . . . ; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (Daniel 7)

The period of time in Revelation that is described as 42 months, is described as a time, times, and half a time in the book of Daniel. This is once again 3.5 years (three and a half). The Antichrist will wear down the Jews for this period of time. Jesus warned the Jews about this time, just before going to the cross. He warned them when it would happen and what they were to do when they saw the events come about.

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 those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days ! 20 “But pray that your flight will 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 will. 22 “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved ; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24)

For those who are going to obey Jesus Christ’s warning, they will run to the mountains and be cared for by God for a period of time of 1,260 days, or in other words, 3.5 years (three and a half).