I’ve always thought of the phrase “the middle of the week” to mean exactly 1,260 days into the Tribulation until I started studying this in depth.
Working backwards from the end my timeline came out like so. I’d like to explain some of the reasoning below.
(click to enlarge)
Here are the verses in question:
“From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. [Daniel 12:11 NASB]
“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.” [Daniel 9:27 NASB]
Does not “the middle of the week” mean exactly 1,260 days until the end? That’s what I thought. So, why does Daniel 12:11 say 1,290 days?
Daniel 12:11 clearly gives the Antichrist 1,290 days in Jerusalem. The stop to the sacrifice and the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation is said to happen in the middle of the week, yet 1,290 is 30 days longer than 1,260 days or 3.5 years. There’s a 30 day gap here. Is this a discrepancy? No, and here’s my reasoning.
The 30 Days of Transition
Think about how long it might take an invading nation to secure a headquarters in a hostile country amid resistance. It can’t happen instantly. Now magnify that by the intensity of the love the Jewish people have for their Promised Land and the intensity of the hatred the surrounding nations have for the Jews. Thirty days to set up the capital of the most antichristic Biblical Kingdom in the history of the world from Jerusalem is about as fast as you can get, at least in my mind. And so I named this period of time the 30 days of transition.
If you don’t see my reasoning, yet, perhaps this will help. How is the 30 days still considered the middle of the week? Think of it this way. It would be like saying “In the middle of the last decade I lived in Thailand for a year.” Because there is only a mere 1 year period in the midst of the ten, it can be considered to have happened in the middle of the decade.
Likewise, because there is only a mere 30 days gap, as compared to 7 years, what happens during the 30 days can still be considered as happening “in the middle of the week”.
The Two Witnesses
Consider this, also. The ministry of the 2 witnesses starts as a direct response to the actions of the Antichrist which take place “in the middle of the week”.
“Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” [Revelation 11:2-3 NASB]
Revelation 11:7-12 tells us there are at least 3.5 days after the end of the ministry of the 2 witnesses when the Antichrist is still in power because their bodies are lying around in the streets for this long while the population celebrates.
When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. [Revelation 11:7-12 NASB]
This pushes back the start of their ministry to at least 3.5 days before the 1,260 day mark.
Scripture actually says there is more time afterward than even that because the 3rd woe hasn’t started yet [Revelation 11:14].
This means the Antichrist is still in power after they are resurrected. So, their ministry does not start exactly at the 1,260 day mark as I previously thought. It starts some days before – some days within the 30 days of transition. Remember, after the 1,290 days, the Antichrist’s rule is over.
The Antichrist’s reign ends 1,290 days after he transitions to Jerusalem and there are at least 3.5 days after the end of the ministry of the 2 witnesses when he still reigns. Therefore, their 1,260 day ministry has to start at some time within the 30 days of transitional turmoil and not exactly to the day of the 3.5 year mark.
I tried to explain this in a simple way. Whether you agree or not, I hope you at least see my reasoning. If you have any questions or you see something I don’t, please let me know. And, please know that many God-loving people before me have studied these things much longer than I and they have come to different conclusions. I do not mean to say this is definitive. I hold everything with an open hand.