The 1,290 and 1,335 Days of Daniel’s Prophecy
“The LORD knows the days of the innocent.”—Ps. 37:18, AT.
1, 2. What significant developments are to be noted in the history of the Lord’s people from 1918 to 1921?
IN 1918 (A.D.) no song of liberty and praise was heard, daily service of praise was not performed. Jehovah’s people were silent, and it was a sorrowful condition, heart-sickening to the loyal, faithful remnant, some of whom were in prison. In March, 1919, God set organizers of his people free from prison and immediately they got busy and arranged a convention which was held at Cedar Point, Ohio, in September of 1919. There, comfort, strength and encouragement were given to Jehovah’s people. Spiritual food was served by the “faithful and discreet slave”. It was seen there was more work to do, a shock indeed for some who had stated the work was all done. The companion magazine to The Watchtower, then known as The Golden Age, was published in 1919. It was a time of great testing and heart searching, but happy were those who were in a condition of heart and mind of being ready for any service. But some were not in a healthy spiritual condition. Their motive for service was not pure; and we should not be surprised, for Jesus said: “The love of the greater number will cool off.” (Matt. 24:12, NW) Some began to work lawlessly in God’s organization and to even smite their former companions.—Matt. 24:48, 49.
2 In 1921 The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society first published “organization instructions”. The Society appointed one of the mature brothers in each congregation to be its representative. At this direction many objected and forsook the Society and walked away. They wanted to handle the Lord’s work in their own way.
3. What great change in the condition of God’s servants on earth became quite apparent in 1922?
3 By this time the “sackcloth” condition of God’s people was being changed, replaced with other garments of identification. The ashes were changed for beauty. (Isa. 61:3, AS) Jehovah began to cause the lightnings to flash from the temple, and marvelous truths were discerned. It was seen we were now living in the ‘day of Jehovah’. (Ps. 118:23, 24, AS) The Isaiah class who had been unclean were cleansed. (Isa. 6:5, 6) The Lord Jesus had come to the temple for judgment. (Mal. 3:1-3) This was explained in 1922 at a second Cedar Point Convention, September 5-13. Now Zion’s children were awake, the “sackcloth” off, from inactivity to action, from uncertainty to confidence, from fearfulness to boldness. Out into the open before the whole world they stood truly as God’s servants, henceforth to advertise the King and the Kingdom. But what about the enemies, who had caused the death of the antitypical “two witnesses”? “Great fear fell upon those beholding them.” (Rev. 11:3-11, NW) Well it might, for their fears and torments were just about to begin.
4, 5. What events since 1918 therefore clearly indicate fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the 1,290 days?
4 This means that since 1918, which had ended the 1,260-day period, two great wonders had happened. First, the Devil had set up his makeshift kingdom which was to take the place of God’s kingdom by Christ and was striving to make all people worship it. Secondly, he was successful for a time in causing God’s holy ones to cease offering the continual sacrifice of praise to Jehovah God. These events so clearly fulfill the angel’s prophecy to Daniel of the 1,290 days: “Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but they that are wise shall understand. And from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Dan. 12:10, 11, AS) “From the time of the taking away of the continual ascending-sacrifice, and the placing of the horrid abomination that astoundeth shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Ro) “And from the time of the removal of the perpetual sacrifice, when the abomination of desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (LXX) “Twelve hundred and ninety days shall pass, after the daily offering has been stopped and the appalling abomination has been set up.” (Mo) This sacrifice need not be a literal everyday offering, but rather continual. The Hebrew word “taw-meed” is the same thought as in Isaiah 21:8, Isaiah 62:6, Psalm 34:1 and Psalm 71:6. It pertains to the continual, faithful service of Jehovah’s people.
5 These two things are in evidence together, namely, (1) placing of the horrid abomination that astounds, and (2) the taking away of the continual sacrifice. There is no Scriptural reason for concluding that the 1,290 days should run at the same time as the 1,260 days. The 1,290 days are therefore reckoned from the date of the setting up of the abomination, which was in the latter part of January, 1919. This period of 3 years and 7 months ends at September, 1922—the very time of the Cedar Point Convention mentioned above. Let it be kept in mind that this convention was not arranged for this date with a view to fulfilling any prophecy, for at that time it was not known that these dates were important. The “continual sacrifice” had been restored by 1922. The Isaiah class had been cleansed of lip and now they are wholly devoted to singing praises to Jehovah. “And in his temple everything saith, Glory.”—Ps. 29:9, AS.
6. What facts point to the accomplishment of the 1,290-day period in September, 1922?
6 At the end of this 1,290-day period the whole world was to come to know that the League of Nations was not approved of God and would come to nought. (Isa. 8:9, 10) Its doom was to be pronounced. Any build-up of the same system would be likewise doomed to failure. Three years and seven months passed from the time the abomination was set up until it was publicly pronounced as condemned, there at the Cedar Point Convention of September, 1922. There, too, another situation ceased, from the time the continual sacrifice of praise to Jehovah was interfered with and taken away until it was restored, and the sacrifice of praise was again being offered in God’s temple, and the obnoxious abomination exposed as a subterfuge, standing in the place where it never should be. So ended the 1,290 days.—See The Watchtower, Nov. 1, 1922.
7. Is it reasonable to think that these three time periods mentioned in Daniel 12 cover many centuries of time? Why do you so answer?
7 Daniel 12:12 (AS) announces: “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” From 1922 there was a forward movement, new truths were opening to the view of the faithful. No halting now, for, with the vision of the Lord at the temple, the work of advertising the King and his kingdom was on. There are those who may think it strange that these 2,500-year-old prophecies are now receiving fulfillment in a few short years. But we must realize that they must come to pass sometime, and why not now? Some may prefer to think of these 1,260, 1,290 and 1,335 “days” of Daniel 12:7-12 as covering many centuries of time, just as though that would add to their importance. But is that reasonable? Why not question yourself: Why were these wonders given? It was certainly not just to record or set forth historical facts, so that Bible students could point with confidence to God’s Word as being true. Rather, these visions are for the comfort, edification and guidance of God’s people in these “last days”, so they would really know the sign of the times and when their deliverance from Babylonish captivity would come. (Rom. 15:4, NW) How possibly could these wonders guide us today if we merely knew that certain prophecies had been fulfilled during the Middle Ages? It is true certain prophecies received a partial or miniature fulfillment at the first advent of Christ Jesus, and this was to identify God’s Son and to fulfill God’s purposes concerning him, so giving the church confidence and complete assurance in him as the Messiah.
8. What was the purpose of these visions and prophecies of Daniel? and what other happenings long foretold were fulfilled in brief periods of time?
8 The prophecies of Daniel are not provided to outline the course of the Gentile nations from 607 B.C. to 1914 (A.D.), but to show Jehovah’s people the happenings from 1914 on, not during the lease of Gentile power, but at its expiry. Daniel was told the visions and wonders for the last days, not for the purpose of then disclosing the events spread over 2,000 years, and in effect saying, “That is now over.” But it is a “living” word; these visions are for the time appointed and will speak at the day they are required, and surely they do that today. Thus it is that knowledge is increased, indeed the understanding of these visions forms part of the knowledge. Keep in mind that the greatest event in human history has come to pass, for Christ Jesus has been commanded by Jehovah God to rule in the midst of his enemies. When the infant Son of God was born at Bethlehem, Jehovah sent angels from heaven to announce the glad tidings. Also remember John the Baptist, who was the Elijah of that time, preached only a very short time before Christ’s ministry began. Again numerous prophecies were fulfilled during the three and a half years’ ministry of Christ Jesus, and that was for only 1,260 days.
9. Was it to be expected that these wonders connected with the second presence of the Lord Jesus would be readily observable to all the world?
9 Do you then wonder why Jehovah God has caused so much prophecy to be recorded for these last days, when the presence of Christ Jesus is not as a human babe but as the glorious King of all kings? Did you expect something spectacular, some worldly outward show, or some magnificent splendor, so all the world would marvel? He did not so come at the first advent. (Matt. 12:19; Luke 4:9-12; Isa. 53) His second appearing does not commence with such display. Take note: “For you yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do, but let us stay awake and keep our senses.” (1 Thess. 5:2, 6, NW) “Yet Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.” (2 Pet. 3:10, NW) It is actually possible for many wonders to be fulfilled and millions of people not even know it. Happy are your eyes if they see these things, if you are awake and watching.
10. What corresponding facts in the prophecy of Zechariah (4:9, 10, AS) fully corroborate our understanding of the “days” of Daniel?
10 Call to mind the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s temple in the days when Israel was delivered from Babylon’s literal captivity. It seemed so insignificant, so small, just comparatively few captives returning and commencing to build. However, it is recorded: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel; these are the eyes of Jehovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (Zech. 4:9, 10, AS) Therefore keep in mind these are the beginning of things, for God commenced doing a great and marvelous work through his people particularly from 1919 on. Once that work commences it never ends. Yes, it begins in a small, quiet way, without ostentation, but with a certainty which will never stop. The new system of things was coming in and replacing the old. In these last days, a 4,000-year-old world is to end, and a new world is to come in. The fulfillment of prophecy may seem to some insignificant; but do not be deceived. Keep in mind that a great mountain, which filled the earth full as it were, grew out of a small stone. (Dan. 2:34, 35) When Jehovah sets his hand to accomplish any purpose, it is done and no power anywhere is able to prevent him, for He is almighty. Jehovah’s people will yet endure much brutal persecution, for they still live in an ungodly wicked world, but their unity and peace which arise out of knowing they are the nucleus of the New Earth society will never be shattered. Never will they be broken to pieces. Let the truths that Jehovah’s King is present, the Kingdom is here to stay forevermore and will shortly manifest its power among the nations, sink into your mind.
11. What marvelous truths began to be understood by the Lord’s people in the years following 1922?
11 Jehovah’s people were realizing these truths from 1922 on and were greatly rejoicing. They were coming out of darkness, false religion, and were learning the purposes of Jehovah. The shining forth of the Kingdom sunlight was manifesting itself. They were coming to know why they were being shown these marvelous things and why Jehovah had gathered them together. Certainly for a different reason than they had thought! By this time it was understood they had not been delivered primarily for their own salvation and glorification, but for God’s own purpose. As Acts 15:14 (NW) says: “Symeon has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.” For “his name” you will notice, and not to display personal virtues though all should have them, but to be “‘a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies’ of the one that called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”. (1 Pet. 2:9, NW) There was a great deal of work for God’s anointed to do before their course on earth would be over. Furthermore, in 1925, for the first time, it was seen and understood that the Kingdom was actually born in 1914, that it was a fact. No longer was it a matter of proclaiming the time had come for the Kingdom, that the day was here for Satan’s world to end, but the Kingdom had come and was ruling from heaven, and already a war in heaven had been fought. The Watchtower for March 1, 1925, published this information.
12. Realization of what produced in the Lord’s people joy, and satisfaction and desire to actively express their gratitude?
12 Yes, the anointed remnant had been brought together in the “last days” for a purpose, not to do a mighty Kingdom work in heaven, for they could do that without being gathered here, but to serve on earth before they went there. Zion was reestablished, the King enthroned, the man-child (Kingdom) delivered, and God would now use his people to sound forth his name world-wide, to be a praise in all the earth. (Isaiah 12) For centuries Jehovah’s name had been reproached, ridiculed, blasphemed, lied about; but now he would have the truth told, his holy name would be known everywhere and his praises sung. But who would honor his name? Who would be the people for that purpose? A deep feeling of gratitude was welling up in the hearts of God’s children. They had come to appreciate they were the treasured possession. Had not God delivered them from bondage and Babylon’s dust? Had he not restored them to the place where they were free to worship him? Had he not cleansed and showed them marvelous things, helping all to see the reason for bringing them from the north, south, east and west? Jehovah’s favor had returned to Zion, and his face was toward them. “Jehovah make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Num. 6:25, 26, AS) How beautifully and clearly Jehovah was helping his people to see the great things he would yet do for them in fulfillment of his word, as shown in such prophecies as Isaiah 52, Isaiah 60, Isaiah 61, and Isaiah 62! The time had truly come for Jehovah’s praises to be sung at last. The Watchtower for January 1, 1926, contained the article “Who Will Honor Jehovah?” and the text for that year was “Blessed be the Lord out of Zion”. (Ps. 135:21) Joy and gladness had now become the portion of Zion, the now happy, favored Zion!
13. What quotations from The Watchtower mark 1926 as being a truly blessed year?
13 The year 1926 proved to be a most blessed one, and to give some conception of this happiness and their appreciation of the work that had yet to be done, we here quote small excerpts from two of the Watchtower articles:
“Among the things which ‘The Servant’ in this prophecy is directed must be done is this: ‘To restore the desolations of Israel,’ and ‘to cause to inherit the desolate heritages’. (Isaiah 49:6, 8, margin) Those mentioned as ‘the desolate’ are undoubtedly that class designated the great company. . . . Then the prophet addresses ‘The Servant’ and declares what that Servant shall do: ‘That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.’ (Isaiah 49:9) This definitely proves that ‘The Servant’, acting under the direction of Jehovah, must deliver a message to these prisoners, to them that are in darkness.”—The Watchtower, November 15, 1926.
“It is ‘the people from far’ who must be encouraged to rally to the standard of Jehovah. ‘The servant’ is commanded to lift up God’s standard, which means he must give to the people the testimony concerning God and his kingdom. The command to the servant is: ‘Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.’—Isaiah 49:22.
“The prophet indicates that many other peoples must yet hear, and that hearing they shall rejoice. Figuratively speaking, those thus hearing bear up in their arms and upon their shoulders these children who have been brought to a knowledge of God’s provision for giving them life. They thereby express their joy and approval. When a people are happy they find no better way to express it toward another than to carry upon their shoulders or in their arms the one who is favored. Great numbers of the people are providing themselves today with the books which teach God’s plan. Even greater numbers are hearing the message by radio. These are telling others about it. Many of these have become friends of those who love the Lord and his message; and while they give no evidence of being spirit begotten yet they rejoice in the truth and in its message of life and express this joy in their own way, illustrated by bearing children up in their arms and on their shoulders.”—The Watchtower, August 15, 1926.
14. Why was it no longer a question of how long the Lord’s servants would have to continue on earth performing His service?
14 No longer was it a question with the faithful anointed ones as to how long they would have to work on earth before entering heavenly glory. But rather, here present with us is Kingdom service, just as though the Kingdom had come down from heaven to the people of God, and they were living in it. No longer were they concerned, whether it meant remaining on earth one or many years, for they were so very happy. “Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion: for there Jehovah commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Ps. 133:3, AS) Assurance and confidence became their blessed portion. “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith Jehovah. And as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith Jehovah: my spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith Jehovah, from henceforth and for ever.” (Isa. 59:20, 21, AS) “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Jehovah, and their righteousness which is of me, saith Jehovah.” (Isa. 54:17, AS) “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” (Isa. 52:1, AS) The desolate places were to be filled, the tents stretched out, the wilderness become a pool. All her children were to come home to Zion. Oh, what a joyful time was now in store for children of Jehovah, and that forevermore!
15. Why is it “he that waiteth” who is blessed at the end of the 1,335 days?
15 Let us now see how this fits in with Daniel’s prophecy. Think of all the happenings from 1914 on, and now this comforting word: “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” (Dan. 12:12, AS) The word “waiteth” is from the Hebrew word meaning “to adhere, stick fast or remain steadfast and fixed”. During the many years since 1914 there had been many shakings, great tests of faith and numerous trials. Blessed are those who remained, who were steadfast and fixed, and who came to the 1,335 days. They would then understand the purpose of all these things, and be filled with gratitude. When, then, did the 1,335 days begin and end? According to Biblical reckoning, at 30 days to a month, it is a period of three years, eight and one-half months.
16. What finally marks 1926 as the fulfillment of the 1,335-day period when the Lord’s servants enter into signal blessedness?
16 Keep in mind that the 1,290 days ended by seeing the “continual sacrifice” restored, and being assured that the sacrifice of offering praise would then continue though there would be many persecutions. On the service goes now, and blessed is the one who comes to the 1,335 days. So reckoning this period on from the termination of the 1,290 days would mean from September, 1922, to May, 1926,—three years, eight and one-half months—at which time a large international convention of Jehovah’s people was in session at London, England. It was a season most blessed, for there had been a great cleansing work done in God’s spiritual city, Zion. Many ecclesiastical and false religious ideas were disposed of, a great blow was being delivered against the great “abomination” of the League of Nations, and it was known now that God’s people were on the earth for the purpose of singing praises to Jehovah God, to really and truly be a people for his name. They knew why they were alive, what they were doing, and where they were going. The great joy of being in this condition was a daily source of comfort. Oh, the blessedness of those who came to the 1,335 days! We are now living in a day when these blessings are realized. It is not feasible or reasonable to compare the joys and favors of today with those blessed experiences in 1926, in order to get a proper and correct view of the application of this prophecy, but rather to compare, if one must, the great and wonderful position Jehovah’s people were in during 1926 with their condition in 1914 and 1918. Then the blessedness will be understood.