SIX MILLENNIA OF MANKIND’S HISTORY

 

Like the number forty in Scripture, the number seven also appears often, and actually is the most prominent of numbers. The multiple associations of a day with a millennium as presented earlier in Chapters One, Two and Five of this Part suggests that God has taken seven days of Creation and stretched them out into seven thousand years of human history.

That in this stretching of a day of the Lord into a thousand years is clear from Psalm 90 and 2 Peter 3:8. Beyond those direct equations of days to millennia is God’s obvious equation of the first day to a millennium in Genesis 2:17:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die.”

As P.J. Hanley remarked in Chapter Five his book The Seven Lost Keys of End-Time Prophecy, Adam died before the end of a millennium at the age of 930 years. In fact, no human has ever lived to be a thousand years old. Given that limitation of Adam’s life to just under a thousand years, the “day” intended by God in Genesis 2:17 must have been a millennium. Hanley also asserts that the association of a day with a thousand years of human history was a common interpretation among the Jewish prophets and rabbis.

Further confirmation of this is abundant: the four days of keeping the Passover Lamb; the four days Jesus waited to resurrect Lazarus; the fourth millennium that had passed before Jesus’ first advent; the third day after the fourth day that Jesus referred to multiple times regarding His return to earth, the third day after the fourth day that brought Jesus to the wedding at Cana in anticipation of His marriage to His Church; Hosea’s prophecy in Hosea 6:2 of the restoration of Israel after two days; and the final millennium specified in Revelation.

A number of ideas were spawned around the middle of the nineteenth century that had a large effect on our perception of Scripture. Many of these ideas arose from our successes in technology and science. Some of them attempted to toss God away as no longer necessary, while others displayed a growing awareness that the time of Jesus’ return to earth may be approaching.

The latter half of the nineteenth century produced two men of exceptional intellect, vision and devotion to God, and who possessed a glimpse of the closure of this age. Their names were Sir Edward Denny, who wrote The Seventy Weeks of Daniel in 1849 and Henry Grattan Guinness, who published The Approaching End of the Age in 1878. Both of them pictured human history as occupying six millennia prior to the return of Christ on earth with His Church for the final millennium of Revelation. Each of them constructed cyclic representations of the six millennia of human history, but on very different logical bases and with equally different numbers. Astonishingly, they ended up at the same place. Just as amazingly, they were complementary, one cycle displaying the prominence of the number twelve, and the other of the number seven.

The numbers twelve and seven are both Scripturally significant, one being associated with Israel and the other with the Church.

Israel had twelve tribes; Jesus had twelve apostles; when Jesus fed the five thousand, Luke 9:10 tells us that the event took place near Bethsaida on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, a locale consisting primarily of Jews; from that event there were twelve baskets of leftovers.

In Revelation 1 through 3, Jesus addressed seven Churches; according to Mark 7:31, the four thousand were fed near Decapolis on the south shore of Galilee, where Gentiles were the dominant group, as with the Church; from that event there were seven baskets of leftovers.

Taking his cue from Daniel 9:24, Sir Edward Denny split his seven millennia of human history into twelve periods of 490 years each.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

Daniel’s weeks were periods of seven years each; seventy of them amount to 490 years. A period of 490 years also can be derived from the Books of Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua. Exodus 12:40 and 41 is very specific regarding the length of the Israelites’ stay in Egypt:

“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.”

After that 430-year duration, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and then spent the next thirteen years, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, in conquering the Promised Land. These three durations add up to 483 years, or sixty-nine weeks of years. A final seven years is assumed for a period where the Israelites settled into their new home in peace. Denny himself constructed a 490 period somewhat differently, using the 430-year duration of the Israelites’ stay in Egypt as the final segment of that period.

Each 490-year interval of Denny’s cycles, consisting of seven seventy-year periods, also introduces the number seven into his system. His twelve cycles amount to five thousand eight hundred and eighty years, which seem to be rather random until one realizes that each period of 490 years also includes ten symbolic Jubilee years. If these are added together, they amount over the twelve cycles to one hundred twenty years. Adding these 120 years to the 5880 years yields a total of six thousand years, or six millennia of human history.

Henry Grattan Guinness constructed his cycles from an entirely different perspective. He noted from Genesis 25:7-11 that Abraham died at the age of one hundred seventy five years, during which some important events in his life, like the birth of Isaac, occurred at twenty-five year intervals. From that, Guinness perceived that Abraham’s lifetime, in seven cycles of twenty five years, might represent the entire six-thousand-year sweep of human history. Dividing six thousand by seven, he came up with a figure of 857 and a lot of numbers past the decimal place. But then he may have noted that in six millennia there would be 120 Jubilees. If he subtracted these 120 symbolic years from the six thousand, he would arrive at a number of 5880 years. In dividing that number by seven, he found that it came out exactly to 840 years, furnishing a firm basis for his seven cycles. Furthermore, if he divided the number 840 by seven again, he came up with the number of 120, or twelve times ten. Attempting next to expand the 25-year duration of each cycle to 840 years, he came up with the number of 33.6, which he discovered to be the lifetimes of both Adam and Jesus.

So Denny, with his grand cycle of twelves, and Guinness, with his grand cycle of sevens, managed to come up with the same numbers for the six-millennium duration of man on earth prior to the final millennium: 5880 actual years plus 120 symbolic Jubilee years. Associated with these cycles is a wealth of information yet untapped.

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