Christian Pilgrim


146. Forty and Two Months

In the Book of Revelation, we have a mysterious period of time, forty-two months, mentioned several times:

The Gentiles shall tread the holy city under foot for 1260 days (which is 42 30-day months):

Revelation 11:2,3 – “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”

After the woman’s child has been caught up unto God and His throne (the child clearly being Christ, as He “was to rule all nations with a rod of iron,” v.5) , the woman, i.e. the church, flees into the wilderness for 1260 days:

Revelation 12:6 – “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

The beast from the sea is given power for forty and two months:

Revelation 13:5 – “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

In Daniel we have two similar periods of time mentioned:

Daniel 12:11,12 – “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”

1290 days is actually 43 months, and 1335 days is actually 44.5 months. The significance of these slight differences we do not know as yet.

However, it is clear that the symbolic figure of forty and two months refers to the age between Christ’s first coming (or at least the sacking of Jerusalem in AD70, when the Gentiles trod it under foot) and Christ’s coming again. It is the “Times of the Gentiles”:

Luke 21:24-27 – “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”