How Long is The Great Tribulation?
How long is the great tribulation period that is described in the Bible? Popular belief is that it will last 7 years. Can you back that up with scripture? It’s interesting to read through the various accounts of the end times and discover that the great tribulation might not last as long as we’ve been taught. That’s certainly a good thing since it sounds like a horrible time on earth! A previous post, Tribulation Timing, described where the Bible outlined that the rapture doesn’t occur until the end of the tribulation. Here’s the evidence I found for a 3.5 year tribulation.
1) According to Daniel 12:7, “I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.” Time, times, and half a time is commonly interpreted as 3.5 years.
2) Daniel 7:25 states about the antichrist: “‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” Again, this is 3.5 years.
3) Revelation 13:5 describes the 3.5 year reign of the antichrist like this: “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.”
4) In Matthew 24:15-16 we see that the abomination of desolation starts the tribulation: ‘“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), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.’ In Daniel 9:27 we see that the abomination of desolation occurs in the middle of the final 7 (week of) years: ‘“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”’ This again indicates a 3.5 year tribulation.
5) Revelation 12:6 says “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.” This is yet another indication of a 3.5 year tribulation.
So with this evidence of a 3.5 year tribulation, where’s the evidence for a 7 year tribulation?