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Jeff Pippenger and The 2520 and Prophecy

The Seven Times or 2,520 Year prophecy

A Historical Survey and Bible Study by Eugene Prewitt

I have, on the wall in my study, a facsimile of one of the more prominent Millerite charts. For more than fifteen years I have been interested in this chart and particularly in the more obscure portions of it. I might have been about to leave my teen years when I first realized that Miller and others taught about a time period that was 2,520 years long.

This short article will survey the early Adventist teaching on the 2520 and will then offer several Biblical observations to those interested in understanding what the Bible teaches in regard to the 2520.

Historical Survey

For those that are not familiar with the facts of this case, Miller believed that there were two 1260 year periods that, together, made a 2520 year period. (2520 is 7 times 360, seven prophetic years.) One of these 1260 year periods is familiar to Adventists. It began in 538 and ended in 1798. It was the period of papal civil supremacy.

The other is less familiar. It is what Miller called the “times of the Gentiles.” Lu 21:24. He understood this to be the first of the two periods brought to view in Revelation 11. And he thought this to be the period pictured in Daniel 12.

For the timing of this period he took 677 BC as the beginning of the Jewish captivity under Assyria-Babylon, and brought this forward 1215 years to 538 AD. Then he added 45 years of non-Catholic Roman (European) control of Jerusalem, and came to 1843.[1]

One of the most interesting features of this period, as Miller understood it, was that it coincided with the Jubilee release and with the 6000th year[2] of the earth’s existence.

Miller opposed, on solid grounds, those persons who looked for a rebuilt Jerusalem as a fulfillment of covenant promises. He argued that Christ’s Coming, to reign on the throne of David, would be the event of the Jubilee that would free the Jews from their 2520 years of bondage under a succession of five great world empires.

James White later quoted the Advent Shield, an early Millerite paper, to show that Sabbath keeping Adventists were justified in holding to the original Millerite dates while other Adventists were setting new and untried dates.

The paragraphs that he quoted from the Advent Shield included a passing reference to the 2520 and to the “Great Jubilee” (the 2450 year prophecy alluded to above, 49 x 50 years) showing that both terminated in 1844. These paragraphs were quoted no less than seven times, three during the first year of publication of the Sabbath Herald, two during the first year of publication of the Review and Herald, and two during the tenth year of the Review and Herald.

The seven-year prophetic period of Jewish captivity Miller found in several Bible passages. He found it in Leveticus 26. He found it also in Deuteronomy 15 figured under the “seven year” release, the Sabbatical year.  He found it also, albeit in typological fashion, in the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s grass-eating period. And he found it also in an obscure interpretation of Ezekiel 39:9.[3]

Seventh-day Adventism on Miller

When Adventism was splintering, the Sabbath-keeping portion held to more of Miller’s original teaching than any other branch. They held to Daniel 2, 7, 8 and 9 as taught by Miller. They adopted his understanding, though slightly refined, of the latter portion of Daniel 12 and more or less to his understanding of large portions of Daniel 11.

But we didn’t follow Miller on Leveticus 26. That is why you never grew up hearing about the 2520 year time prophecy.

Hiram Edson did make a stab at reinterpreting the 2520 in a way that could fit with Adventism. (For it was clear that Christ did not, in 1844, bring an end to the Jewish captivity—Miller’s expectation.) Edson’s article was printed, at the request of James White, before it had been “matured.” It was long, nearly 30,000 words. That is 47 single-spaced sheets of typing paper.

Edson differed from Miller significantly in that he dated the 2520 from 723 BC rather than from 677. The earlier date of Edson was based on the captivity of the ten tribes and extended to 1798. In Edson’s view, then, the first 1260 years were finished inclusive at the commencement of the second 1260 year period. Thus it was the Christian church, not the Jews, that were released in 1798.

Edson’s article, in all fairness to him, was nothing like a statement of what the pioneers believed, either before its publication, or at its publication. It was the result of his personal investigation and he presented it with a request for his brethren to evaluate whether or not it would be useful.

As I have not time at present to mature the subject, I send you a portion of the broken, unmatured ideas as they are.  I do not ask that they now go out as adopted or sanctioned by the Review, but merely for the examination and inspection of the brethren; and if the subject by them be judged to be of service to the church and worthy of further investigation, then it may hereafter be revised, improved, and carried out in its further bearing and extent. – Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Aug 27, 1857.

Much of Edson’s article[4] was a response to the First-day Adventists’ attempts to find in prophecy an allusion to an “age to come” of peace and prosperity on the earth, especially for the Jews.

For the most part, it was these Sunday-keeping Adventists who held to much of Miller’s teaching on the 2520. They expected  an “age to come” at the conclusion of that time that would bring an end to the Jewish captivity and would see a renewed Jewish state. Uriah Smith addressed these expectations in the appendix of Daniel and Revelation, pp 784-785.

THE “SEVEN TIMES” OF LEVITICUS 26.

Almost every scheme of the “Plan of the Ages,” “Age-to-come,” etc., makes use of a supposed prophetic period called the “Seven Times;” and the attempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfillment by events in Jewish and Gentile history.  All such speculators might as well spare their pains;  for there is no such prophetic period in the Bible.

The term is taken from Leviticus 26, where the Lord denounces judgments against the Jews, if they shall forsake him.  After mentioning a long list of calamities down to verse 17, the Lord says:  “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”  Verse 18.  Verses 19 and 20 enumerate the additional judgments, then it is added in verse 21:  “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me:  I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.”  More judgments are enumerated, and then in verses 23 and 24 the threatening is repeated:  “And if ye will not be reformed by me these things, but will walk contrary unto me;  then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.”  In verse 28 it is repeated again.

Thus the expression occurs four times, and each succeeding mention brings to view severer punishments, because the preceding ones were not heeded.  Now, if “seven times” denotes a prophetic period (2520 years), then we would have four of them, amounting in all to 10,080 years, which would be rather a long time to keep a nation under chastisement.

But we need borrow no trouble on this score;  for the expression “seven times” does not denote a period of duration, but is simply an adverb expressing degree, and setting forth the severity of the judgments to be brought upon Israel.

If it denoted a period of time, a noun and its adjective would be used, as in Dan.4:16:  “Let seven times pass over him.”  Here we have the noun (times) and adjective (seven):  thus,  shibah iddan;  but in the passages quoted above from Leviticus 26, the words “seven times” are simply the adverb sheba, which means “sevenfold.”  The Septuagint makes the same distinction, using [the noun in] Dan.4:16, etc.,  but in Leviticus simply the adverb.

The expression in Dan.4:16 is not prophetic, for it is used in plain, literal narration.  (See verse 25.)

Besides these references to Miller, Edson, the Advent Herald, and Smith, one other pioneer early after the disappointment mentioned the 2520 period – Joseph Bates.

In his 1847 Second Advent Waymarks and High Heaps, Bates recounts how it came as a shock to Adventists that they and their critics had somehow missed the fact that the periods (2520, 2450, 6000, 2300) would be fulfilled in 1844, not 1843. This he recounts under the head of his second of seven “waymarks.”

Then, after the seventh waymark, Bates confronts Miller’s view that the “mystery of God” is the resurrection. Bates comments cogently that if that was the mystery that was to be finished, it would not be finished until after the 1000 years. Bates argues rather that the mystery of God refers to the time of redemption and probation that had closed in 1844. Under this understanding the “times of the Gentiles” were the times of Gentile probation that closed in 1844. Bates makes no reference to a change or end to captivity in 1844.

In the 1860’s Joshua Himes recommended First-day Adventists to read the work of one Dr. Schmeal. The doctor found that the world would end in 1868 at the conclusion of the 2520 year prophecy, dated from a different captivity than that chosen by Miller or Edson. The Review and Herald mentioned this simply to refute it.

Conclusion of the Historical Survey

Miller early published a series of lectures that discussed what he believed to be every time prophecy in the scriptures and the fulfillment of each. Believing the “seven times” of Leveticus 26 to be a time prophecy, he wrote about it.

Millerite charts of the time prophecies included, originally, references to the 2520 period.

As the movement approached October 22, 1844, preaching on Daniel 8 took precedence over other time prophecies. The disappointment led to a splintering of views of the time prophecies. Sabbath keeping Adventists continued to emphasize Daniel 8 (making over 2000 references to the 2300 days in the Adventist Pioneer Library).

But the only Sabbath-keeping Adventists pioneers who ever wrote about the 2520 directly were Bates, Edson and Smith. The first used the 2520 as evidence that probation had closed. The second suggested a changing of the dates on the chart to terminate in 1798, and the third argued that the 2520 was not an actual time prophecy at all. None of the three taught Miller’s view of the prophecy.

Smith’s view became standard and no one after him ever published another allusion to the 2520 as a legitimate prophecy.

The Bible Study

The Old Testament time prophecies that are familiar to Seventh-day Adventists are clearly time prophecies.

There are “2300 days”, literally, “2300 evenings and mornings.”

There are “1260 days” and “1290 days” and a coming to the “1335th day”.

There is a “time, times, and half a time” and “time, times and a half”

And the phrase “seven times” appears in 33 passages. Additionally, the phrase “seven years” appears in 40 passages. I was interested in Smith’s argument that the “seven times” of Leveticus 26 differed significantly from the “seven times” of Daniel 4. Here is what I found:

When the Bible writers want to say “seven years” they use two words – sheba for seven and shanah for years. This pattern is 100% consistent in the Old Testament for all 39 Old Testament instances of “seven years.” The references for you to check in your concordance are:

 

Ge 5:7; Ge 5:25; Ge 5:31; Ge 11:21; Ge 25:17; Ge 29:18; Ge 29:20; Ge 41:26; Ge 41:27; Ge 41:29; Ge 41:30; Ge 41:36; Ge 41:48; Ge 41:53; Ge 41:54; Ge 47:28; Ex 6:16; Ex 6:20; Le 25:8; Nu 13:22; De 15:1; De 31:10; Jud 6:1; Jud 6:25; Jud 12:9; 2Sa 2:11; 2Sa 5:5; 2Sa 24:13; 1Ki 2:11; 1Ki 6:38; 2Ki 8:1; 2Ki 8:2; 2Ki 8:3; 2Ki 11:21; 1Ch 3:4; 1Ch 29:27; 2Ch 24:1; Jer 34:14; Eze 39:9

And when the writers want to say “seven times” to express so many years, they use two words, — shibah for ‘seven’ and iddan for ‘times.’

Da 4:16  Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven <shibah> times <iddan> pass over him.

Da 4:23  And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven <shibah> times <iddan> pass over him;

Da 4:25  That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven <shibah> times <iddan> shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

Da 4:32  And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven <shibah> times <iddan> shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

Further, the words iddan and mowed are sufficient to indicate a year without the help of a number.

Da 7:25  until a time <iddan> and times <iddan> and the dividing of time <iddan>.

Da 12:7  that it shall be for a time <mowed>, times <mowed>, and an half;

Finally, when the writers wish to express seven items, or seven occurrences, or any such use of seven that might be translated “seven times” the writers typically use two words, ‘sheba’ for ‘seven’ and paam for ‘times.’

For examples, see Ge 33:3; Le 4:6, 17; 8:11; 14:7, 16, 27, 51; 16:14, 19; 25:8; Nu 19:4; Jos 6:4, 15; 1Ki 18:43; 2Ki 4:35; 5:10, 14

The phrase “seven times” appears in Leveticus 26 and in four other passages.

In none of these four passages is the phrase a reference to seven periods of time. The passages are:

Ps 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times <shibathayim>.

Ps 119:164  Seven times <sheba> a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Pr 24:16  For a just man falleth seven times <sheba>, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Da 3:19  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times<shibah>[5]  more than it was wont to be heated.

The only other place in scripture where the phrase “seven times” is derived as it is in the passages above is Leveticus 26. The following verses fill out the remaining Old Testament uses of the phrase “seven times.”

Le 26:18  And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times <sheba> more for your sins.

Le 26:21  And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times <sheba> more plagues upon you according to your sins.

Le 26:24  Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times <sheba> for your sins.

Le 26:28  Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times <sheba> for your sins.

Conclusion Regarding the Phrase

There is no evidence that I can see in scripture that the number seven has even been used substantively (that is, as a noun) to indicate seven periods of time. There is abundant evidence that when seven periods of time are intended, the number is used with a noun to indicate the fact.

And there is evidence outside of Leveticus 26 that when seven is used without a noun that it refers to intensity or completeness. There may even be “seven times” in “one day” of David or in one life of a “just man” or in one cycle of purifications in a furnace.

And when time is indicated by one word, it is by a word for “time” rather than by a number. So we find Daniel 7:25 and 12:7.

So of the pioneers that wrote about Leveticus 26, Bates, Edson, and Smith, the latter appears to be closer to right than the others.

But as of yet, we haven’t even begun to study the content of Leveticus 26.

Leviticus 26

The chapter begins with one of the most beautiful summaries of the covenant made with Abraham, the covenant that we call the New Covenant today.

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. Lev 26:1-2.

God reminds Israel of their obligations to the second and fourth commandments, the very commandments that contain the gospel content in the Decalogue, the very ones altered by the papacy. To a reminder of these precepts God adds “and reverence my sanctuary.”

Here are focal truths for our age. Many distracting and side issues often claim our attention, but these deserve the attention that the side issues claim.

And in the symbolic economy of the Jews, giving attention to these things, walking in God’s statues and in accordance with his commandments, brings rain in due season and a fruitful harvest. It is easy to perceive which kind of rain and which kind of fruitful harvest the church should look forward today in response to the same conditions of faithfulness.

If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Le 26:3-4.

What God promised was an Old Testament blessing of always fresh produce. The two harvests would each last for months, food would be in abundance, and Israel would be safe. They would not, however, be passive. Their dominions would grow by unnatural victories, five persons putting 100 to flight.

And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. Le 26:5-8

From this promise as much as from the story of Gideon we are taught that God can accomplish his purposes through many or by few.

The summary of the blessing is found in verses 9 through 13. God promises that they will be pressured to eat their stored food just to make room for the new. God would “respect” them, and for the same reason that he had respect to Abel’s offering. And what is more, God would dwell with them.

And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

Following these wonderful promises we find a solemn denunciation, and after that, a gospel promise that was claimed by the prophet Daniel.

The Denunciation

But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; Lev 26:14-16

The items in the denunciation include:

Appointed terror

Consumption

The burning “ague” that destroys the eyes and brings misery

Harvests eaten by enemies

Death in battle

Under hated and hating rulers

Running when no one is chasing

These items are promised before the first “seven” in verse 18. The harvest thefts remind us of Gideon. The running when no one is chasing reminds us of the armies in the time of Saul. Hated rulers are a theme of the book of Judges.

And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. Le 26:18.

The threat of verse 18 is for refusing to be reformed by the judgments listed above. A man that will not be reformed must needs be more thoroughly disciplined. The further discipline continues:

And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. Le 26 19-20.

This part of the curse sounds like that of De 28 and especially of verses 23-24.

And what if Israel does not respond to these events, God’s communication. He says that he will bring “seven [times] more plagues.” This is why, and for reasons noted below, that Uriah Smith understood these periods to be successive.

But before we get that point, observe the last part of verse 21.

And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

The curse foretold by the term seven is not only finite, it is proportional to the sins of the people. Items of the curse already listed can be like that. A famine appropriate to the rebellion, a captivity commensurate with the evil, a military loss as the result unfaithfulness – all can be “upon you according to your sins.”

But what about 2520 years that span two different bodies of God’s people? Was a two millennium series of captivities a punishment threatened to a certain generation if it would not hearken?

The Ten Commandments speak of a visitation of sins to the third and fourth generation. That kind of visitation is apparent in the captivity that followed Hezekiah and in the one that followed Josiah. But it is God’s mercies that extend to a “thousand generations.” De 7:9.

In addition to the “seven times more plagues” of verse 21 God added, “I will also send wild beasts among you….and your high ways shall be desolate.” The word “also” gives credit to the Smith’s reasoning. What is the “also” referring back to? The last item prior is the “seven times more plagues.”

And it becomes clearer. Continuing from the word “desolate.”

And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. Lev 26:23-24

What are the “these things” of verse 23? They can be no other than the curses of verse 22 that began with “I will also.” The word “yet” is but another indicator of a chronologically connected discourse.

The next step in the disaster includes pestilence that helps break up the defenses of a besieged and starving city. And a refusal to respond to this curse is followed up with words that were fulfilled as least twice in Jewish history.

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. Le 26:27-29

But the easiest fulfillment to pinpoint is that of verses 34-35.

Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

This was fulfilled, indeed as Miller understood, during the Babylonian captivity.

To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. 2Ch 36:21

Four more verses of curses (36-39) are followed by a wonderful promise:

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD. Le 26:40-45

This was the promise that formed, with the prayer of Solomon, the basis of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9. His prayer was one of acceptance. He acknowledged the fairness of the sentence of captivity in light of his sins and of those of his fathers.

And he asked for a reprieve. He had been studying the 70 year captivity mentioned by Jeremiah.

Think, dear reader. Would he have been encouraged by the approaching end of the 70 year captivity if he thought that the promise he was claiming from Leveticus 26 was connected to a 2,520 year captivity?

We have praying to do, judgments to accept, sins to confess, and promises to claim. We have truth to proclaim. But Daniel wouldn’t join us in proclaiming the “2520.”

Conclusion

The pioneers became right. As they studied during the formative years of 1833 to 1863 many of their ideas changed. From the timing of Sabbath to the timing of the 2300 days, from the identification of the two-horned beast, to that of the scarlet beast, from the shut door of probation to the shut door of the holy place, the pioneers were learning. Their publications show it to be so. They were glad to admit.

It is ironic that we have picked up a teaching that they, for good reason, were dropping. We would do well to leave it where the first pioneer to ever really examine the source of the 2520 day prophecy left it. That was Uriah Smith.

There are many other teachings that the pioneers were picking up when they were putting this one down. These deserve more of our study: The Seal of God, the Mark of the Beast, the Laodicea Message, the Third Angel’s Message and Righteousness by Faith.

Amen.

Appendix

 

What if the “seven” items or repetitions are years?

It is not possible for me, a man who does not know Hebrew, to rule out the possibility that the terms in Leveticus 26 refer to seven years. And while it appears that there is no ground for understanding the substantive adjective “seven” as anything more than “thoroughly” as in “a righteous man falls seven [times] and rises again”, still some doubt can be justified regarding the meaning of the phrase.

If one assumes that the passages do refer to years, however, there is no reason to read them as more or less than literal years. The other blessings and curses in the chapter are manifestly literal.

And we could ask ourselves, were there several “seven year” periods of catastrophe in the history of Israel that were the result of wrong doing? There were.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. Judges 6:1

Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. 2Ki 8:1

A third incident could have occurred during the reign of David if he had chosen it from a list of terrible alternatives.

So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 2Sa 24:13

In summary, if Leveticus 26 is read literally, as Adventist standard principles of prophetic interpretation would require, and if we understand “seven” in the chapter to mean “seven years” then we could find in the days of the judges and of the prophets several fulfillments of the prophecy.



[1] Later, presumably 1214 and 46 were added to reach 1844, though I find no reference to the 2520 or the two 1260’s during that incredible movement that we call the Midnight Cry, the seventh-month movement. In fact, Miller’s most thorough discussion of the 2520 is found in his “Lecture 17”, first published in 1836. Other more succinct references can be found in his “Trilogy” and in his “Reply to Stuart” and in a commentary on “Ezekiel 39.”

[2] He differed from Usher on this point, arguing that Usher and others missed about 150 years during the time of the judges.

[3] A chief problem with the last incidence in Ezekiel is that it finds the fulfillment of a prophecy of a future war and post war clean-up beginning so early that the war is ended and the clean-up is ongoing for decades before Ezekiel ever makes the prophetic prediction. Presumably this is why the 2300 days never shows up in Revelation while the 1260 day prophecy does. If one thinks this through he will also see that it is an argument against Miller’s understanding of Revelation 11:2 as well.

[4] The article takes a number of unfamiliar positions. Among them: Revelation 17 was fulfilled between 1798 and 1844, the eighth head being the short-lived dynasty of Napoleon. This dynasty is the “scarlet” colored beast. The ten horns are the powers that surrendered to Napoleon. He teaches that the Mountain of the Lord’s House in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 is the United States. He teaches that the two questions in Daniel 8:13 have different answers, one a reference to the 2300 days, the other to the 2520 (or second 1260). He teaches that the hidden mistake in the ’44 chart was the timing of the 2520. He gives a spiritualized interpretation to Ezekiel 37-39 that is fascinating. The “coming” of the “Ancient of Days” in Daniel 7 he finds, not in the 1844 judgment scene, but in the 1798 judgments on the Roman Catholic church. He teaches that the time prophecies in Revelation were also sealed like those of Daniel until 1798. Some of these positions have merit enough to warrant investigation. It does not appear that even one of them was adopted by any other of the pioneers, nor were any of them ever mentioned in writing a second time by Edson.

[5] Shibah is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew sheba.

For the Word document, see:

For the Word Version, see: The_2520 and Prophecy

(30) Comments

  1. Brother in Christ,

    I read your article carefully, and found your reasoning sound. I’ve seen this teaching destroy people and churches. I’ve seen this message be turned into THE salvation message. if we dont accept it, we are worse than lost! I don’t begin to understand that kind of thought pattern but wanted to affirm you for your excellent article.

  2. Dear Eugene,

    I have heard some discussion on this 2520 prophecy and have been wondering if there was anything to it. I have not studied it in great detail but what I heard, although casting a shadow of doubt, didn’t quite make sense to me in light of Scripture that I did know. However, reading this article and the Scripture references you have given, have greatly helped me in understanding the issues of the debate better and in making up my mind.

    I will prayerfully share this article with others that I know who are looking into this prophecy as sn extra source of research in the hope that it will help them too.

    May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

  3. Dear Brother Prewitt,
    This is a very timely article, I have friends who are pulling away from the church because of this message and won’t listen to anyone. They seem to be fixated on conspiracy and obscure issues. I will be sending this article to them.
    God bless,
    Dale

  4. Pastor Justis St. Hilaire - Reply

    Dear Eugene

    Thank you for this research and the putting together of this article. I am the acting British Columbia Conference Evangelist in Canada. It is absolutely amazing to me that Bible believing SDA’s are getting caught up in this false teaching that is leading them into a fanatical and false movement. Have they so soon forgotten the warning of Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, pg. 707:3, where we are told that heresies will come in among us and separate the chaff from the wheat. I have been dealing with this teaching in our conference and have heard that it is not only spreading throughout North America but has moved into South America. We are facing a crises in our church today because of this, as a number of SDA’s are leaving the church. This is exactly what Satan wants.

    Thank you again for your article.
    Pastor Justis St. Hilaire

    • Dear Brother St Hilaire,

      May God grant you wisdom as an evangelist to spare the lambs from the dangers. If you need a box (60 copies) of my book, Deeper, to use in your field, I would be happy to give you the bookstore price (40% off) and free shipping. It is the only book I know of right now that addresses this issue. I wish it were in Spanish to help in South America. It has been translated into German, but that is no help down there.

  5. God has a people in which all heaven is interested, and they are the one object on earth dear to the heart of God. Let everyone who reads these words give them thorough consideration, for in the name of Jesus I would press them home upon every soul. When anyone arises, either among us or outside of us, who is burdened with a message which declares that the people of God are numbered with Babylon, and claims that the loud cry is a call to come out of her, you may know that he is not bearing the message of truth. Receive him not, nor bid him Godspeed; for God has not spoken by him, neither has He given a message to him, but he has run before he was sent. The message contained in the pamphlet called the Loud Cry, is a deception. Such messages will come, and it will be claimed for them that they are sent of God, but the claim will be false; for they are not filled with light, but with darkness. There will be messages of accusation against the people of God, similar to the work done by Satan in accusing God’s people, and these messages will be sounding at the very time when God is saying to His people, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” {TM 41.1}

  6. This article is partial in its explanation of the “seven times”. “We should fear to skim the surface of the word of God.” 6T, 407. The 2520 is inseparable from the 2300, and the themes involved in a true understanding of the 2520 are divine in origin, sanctifying in their effect. Under footnote 1 Brother Prewitt says, “…I find no reference to the 2520 or the two 1260’s during that incredible movement that we call the Midnight Cry, the seventh-month movement.” Yet in Samuel Snow’s article “The True Midnight Cry” published on August 22, 1844 “The Seven Times of the Gentiles” is one of the main truths that produced the “light” of the midnight cry (see EW, 14).

    As you told me you would correct this honest mistake, I hope it will be sooner rather than later because, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” LS, 196.2

    The curses of Deut. 28 and punishment pronounced in Lev. 26 are interlinked as well, the 70 year Babylonian captivity was just the beginning of the chastisement of the seven times. The visions given to Daniel in chapters 2,7, and 8 and especially 8 was the cause of his heart searching prayer of confession in chapter 9, and in 8:23 is revealed to Daniel “a king of fierce countenance” which without a doubt led him to Deut. 28:50. What kingdom is that representing? Rome, pagan and papal to tread underfoot the sanctuary and the host. Daniel 8:19 says that Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel know about “the last end of the indignation” which has an “time appointed” connected with it. What is the indignation? Isaiah 10:5,6 declares that Assyria is God’s “indignation” and began the treading down of the sanctuary and host, which began in 723 B.C. and 677. Its not until 1798 that God has people free to worship him “according to the dictates of their own conscience” in a “glorious land” as did his people he made a covenant with originally. Therefore I think you make a false assumption Eugene by your question just before your conclusion regarding this, and also the presumptuous statement that “Daniel wouldn’t join us in proclaiming the 2520”. I ask that you would go deeper.

    • Matthew, I do fear to skim the surface. I hope readers of my article will see that I endeavored to handle the data carefully. Nevertheless, I have just posted an open and frank admission on Facebook that I was wrong regarding the preaching of the 2520 in the articles that promulgated the Midnight Cry. Thank you for pointing this out to me.

  7. ironically, you use an image from the 1850 Nichol’s prophetic chart which include 2520 teaching for you website banner. And did you know that John Andrews also bearing this teaching … ?

    I do not deeply study the subject, but I don’t understand why we are so worried about this.

    All argument are always about “why we do not have to bear such teaching” but never “what does the bible text said …”.

    I will study it deeply, … because I think that there is something interesting in Luke 21:24 that only Lev 26 can explain.

    God bless

    • Benjamin, after you study deeply (as you plan to do), come back and let me know what you find. But I think that if you read my article that you are commenting on that you will find plenty of Bible data. And if you read a different article (on the 1260, 1290 and 1335) will find a Biblical explanation of the “times of the Gentiles” from Luke 21:24. Am glad you will be studying.

    • I with you Benjamin, let each man study for himself and be persuaded in his own heart.

      @Eugene if what Jeff pippenger and his associates are teaching be of men, it will come to nought But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

      • Hi Sibanda. Yes, ultimately, that is true. But in the near term, we are to beware of false teachers. What Calvin taught four hundred years ago, though deadly to many, hasn’t yet come to naught. And what the Shepherd’s Rod taught eighty years ago hasn’t come to naught yet, but it will. And what Jeff teaches hasn’t come to naught yet, but it will. Until then, we are to do what we can to defend the truth.

  8. Dear brother.

    I am really sorry about my english, cause I am not american and English its not my mother language, but, I am studying more and more. I have seen lifes been changed (for good) with this message. I have no doubt about the truth of the bible. I am really sorry, but, Who are you and me to say what the church should be left in the past or not? . . .

    [note from Eugene Prewitt…I removed a large amount of material that Tiago wrote to me.]

    Tiago

    Dear Tiago,

    I have no doubt that you have seen lives change from the preaching of Pippenger’s views. An interest in the teaching of the pioneers and in preparing for the final crisis…will often do a person much good, even if it is combined with some fanaticism and falsehood.

    The messages that we are not to change…are the Three Angel’s Messages. And God forbid that I should try to change one of those.

    Be faithful,

    Eugene

    • Jennifer, I am sorry that my article did not make it clear. The 2520 is not even in the Bible. That is how false it is. But the article explains how I come to that conclusion and why I do not fault early Adventists who concluded otherwise.

  9. How do you explain the fact the EGW said that the hand of God was on the first chart that Miller outlined.

    There was only 1 mistake which was 1843 which should have been 1844.

    • Thank you, Diane, for asking. First, “hid a mistake” doesn’t mean “there was only one on the chart.” It only means that there was one that was “hid.” Further, God’s hand was on the reformation and the Millerite movement. But that did not stop either of them from making some errors. I recently preached on this in the North England Conference. See my facebook page for early November, 2015, for links to a more thorough answer to your question. But in short, God told us that no figure of the charts should be altered “except by Revelation” meaning, of course, Bible study. And that was a hint that Bible study would, in time, warrant the changing of figures on the chart.

  10. I am wondering when I read the article and than the responses. Come on, seriously? People argue about that? The Jews also had some false teachings regarding 70 years period in Babilon, but everything is in the history now. There can be many periods in the past we don’t even know about it, but now we have many many more pressing issues. And I am also wondering if this topic is to be a present truth, well Ellen White lived how many 70 years after that? Why she just didn’t said so, there will be no wondering now. If we read the only quotes that support this teaching, they are said regarding the major issue – 1844 and the origin of the advent movement. To proof that Jesus will come in 1844 was the present truth in 1843 and this was quite important, in fact this was the main message, everything else was not that important. But now, come on, if you make research what Ellen White consider as present truth you can find anything but this! Yes they had all kinds of arguments in the first years over many doctrines and some of the pioneers departed, others change their mind many times, it was a constructive process of studying. But for example can you see this message of 2520 preached in 1912 for example? Ellen White was alive! Why she didn’t wrote for example: Why you are not preaching it, it is the present truth so so so important, why you forget the 2520. Nothing whatsoever, nobody. It was fully forgotten let me guess why. Because it is not the main subject on the charts, it was all about 1844 and Jesus and the sanctuary! Seventh times, seven periods of some years… Well when I said nobody, it is possible that someone somewhere in some small church preached in exact this year, and it is possible that Jeff Pipinger will send me this argument 😀 … But my point is standing regardless. It is just not the main message, it was additional supporting proof used from few, that might not be true after all… And it is okay, because they get even the even wrong, the date, and many other teachings they had was also wrong, and they was fixed in the right context. I don’t believe 2520 is in the Bible and is in the Spirit of prophecy either, for me this is argument enough… Let me just say to substantiate one doctrine we need some clear texts and some that can support. So the main texts about this are coming not from the Bible neither from The Spirit of Prophecy, but from Miller. And than we we look for some texts to support, and this texts are not even talking about this topic. In this way of interpretation you can proof anything, anything at all. I can take some words from someone former leader of the church, and look for some texts that fits, and proof anything I want … This is only a way to make people following me instead of God…

    • I think, brother, that you are agreeing with me. But it sounds like you think these ideas differ from mine. Maybe you are just interacting with the comments instead.

  11. The two-sided sword. The Word makes the split. The 2520 is not something you understand by lectoring, following the wine of the docters. The 2520 is the heavenly powered punch that hits gently your heart if you had it delivered to the Holy Spirit. I can not translate in man’s words what is going on around this mouvement, but it is clearly guided by the Hand of the Lord of Host. Is like God choose to leave this (2520) message behind so it will be the “bread” for the last days servants. God allways choose simple people, humble men and women with strenght of convictions and sincere at heart. May He bless all that face war in the higher places to carry on the 2520 message.

    @Eugene: your lines are foundamented but you lead to wrong conclusion, mostly because you left outside several points, mean biblical points of anchorage of the 2520. I dont know why but one thing I know: this 2520 prophecy is keyfull to understand more about SDA concept like later rain, sealing, close of probation and 144 k. Are you following? Its the wake up call for SDA people.

    Maran Atha

    • Well, Caido, I most certainly disagree that the 2520 is the wake-up call and key to understanding other things.

      But I do agree that we need to understand the sealing (see my article on the Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast to see if there is any new light there) and the Latter Rain (see my article on being filled with the Holy Spirit and see if I missed any points that you could point out.) And I believe that we do have a wake-up call in Revelation 3:14-17.

      God’s truth is rational and powerful. Beware of emotional zeal that looks like spiritual zeal.

  12. Thank you so much for all this, now I have more understanding about this subject that I was so fear, thanks to you,
    God bless you every day and your ministry
    Thank you God

  13. Thank you for sharing your findings, Bro. Hewitt. I, too, came to the same basic conclusion concerning this theory after a short time of ‘courting’ it as meritorious. You make the statement : “He argued that Christ’s Coming, to reign on the throne of David, would be the event of the Jubilee that would free the Jews from their 2520 years of bondage under a succession of five great world empires.” Can you point me to your source for this claim? I have been unable to find anything by Miller connecting the end of the 2520 years with a deliverance of the Jews from bondage. You will find a good study on this topic at my website as well which delineate my findings.

    • Hi Adam,

      I read that idea into his use of the word “Great Jubilee” because of his article on the same. The first paragraph has this reference on the Pioneer Writings CD-ROM: {1842 WiM, LTSGJ 3.1}

      Be faithful,

      Eugene

  14. Thank you for your in depth information concerning this subject. I appreciate your effort to encapsulate the information as I know there are many that involve themselves in deep debate over this. The teachings of the 2520 came to our church and things turned ugly ending with division and loss of dedicated souls. My firm belief after seeing what happened is that silence on this subject must be exercised. The person delivering the 2520 message in our church eventually approached us with statements against James and Ellen White, such as saying that their children died as a judgment because they would not give the 2520 message and that God silenced Ellen White because of the unbelief of the people. Unfortunately these kind of statements and methods in this movement are simple demonic and is meant to divide and shake the church. But did God intend the time of shaking to come about this way? No! The shaking will happen when the straight testimony of Christ’s our righteousness is given, the teaching that we must have the character of Christ in order to enter heaven. That Christ will do a good work within us through the power of the Holy Spirit as we ingest the word of God and take the Three Angels Messages to the world. It is a teaching that we must come out of the world, out of the man made religion and get back to primitive godliness. It is the truth that unites us and the work of Sanctification in each of our lives that brings the church together in a unified effort. This will cause a love for each other and a great love for God. We are now the church militant because there are wheats and tares together with in the church but when Jesus comes we will be the church triumphant because he will separate the wheats from the tares. It is not our appointed work to do so. Let’s stay in the church and do the will of God in unity!!! Thank you again for your effort to clarify this subject.

  15. How can I get your book? I would like to share it with other people. Would you please pray for my friend who start studying 2520? Thank you for sharing. May God bless your ministry.

  16. It cross my path many years ago and I checked it to the law punching the word 2520 in the eg white writings not a hit and then on the bible the book for me” …not a hit I was teaching it but was not checking finally I did …I now help a big number who believe in it to come out of it ..it is going from 2520 to lunar sabbath then joining the Islamic faith I am surprise there is a lot of confusion at least this web site helps to clear some obscure view thanks u gene God bless

    • Manasa, thank you for your kind words. I think there is a language barrier that prevents me from understanding all. But thank you anyway.

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