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SOME persons, having learned that the seven times predicted for the insanity of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4 : 25) was fulfilled in seven years, concluded that when they found the expression times in the Bible that it must mean years. With this idea in mind they claimed that the seven times of Lev. 26: 24, must mean seven years of 360 days each; and as this statement was connected with prophecy, that it must be prophetic time, or seven years of our time,— 2520 years. They began to reckon the time from the captivity of 677 B. C. They saw that with this application it would extend to 1843 Jewish time, or our year 1844.
Of these seven times we read in Leviticus, "If ye shall despise my statutes . . . I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague," etc. Lev. 26: 15. Then, as though what He mentioned was one punishment, He said (verse 18), "I will punish you seven times more for your sins." Then, if they still departed from Him, He said (verse 21), "I will bring seven times more plagues upon you." Still further on (verses 23, 24), He said, if not by this reformed, "I will yet punish you seven times more." Again (verses 27, 28), if they would not hearken, He said, "I will chastise you seven times." So here we have the seven times, four times, and the three following the first as additional to the first. So, in all we have four times seven, instead of one seven. Four times seven are twenty-eight. If we count the whole as a measure of time on the basis above, we should have 10,080 years, instead of 2520 years.
The 2520 years found a place on the prophetic chart of Brother Fitch, in 1842, but it was soon discovered that the seven times was not a measure of time. The word in Leviticus is not a noun, but an adverb, modifying the verb punish, and indicating the number of times they should be punished for apostasy. The word times in Daniel is a noun, with its connecting adjective, denoting duration. Let it be borne in mind that it was the 2300 days of Dan. 8: 14 that was the basic plank in the great second advent movement in 1844, and not the seven times of Leviticus. In tracing the apostasies of Israel and Judah, and their chastisements therefore, from the death of Joshua to the overthrow of Jerusalem, as predicted in Lev. 26: 31-36, we have twenty-eight apostasies. The first seven are found in the book of Judges, covering a space of only 270 years.
The First Seven Apostasies
1. They served Baal and Ashtaroth. Judges 2: 11-13. From the oppression of their enemies, and the spoilers round about, they were delivered by the judges. Judges 2: 13-18.
2. Their next apostasy was for Baalim and the groves. Judges 3: 7, 8. For this they were sold unto the king of Mesopotamia. From him they were delivered by Othniel, the son of Caleb's younger brother. Judges 3: 9-11.
3. Again they apostatized, and for this they were brought under Moab for eighteen years. Judges 3: 12-14. Ehud, with his two-edged dagger, slew the king of Moab, and delivered them. Judges 3: 18-26.
4. Again Israel did evil, and they were brought under Jabin, king of Canaan. Judges 4: 1-3. They were delivered under Deborah, who was then a prophetess and a judge in Israel. Judges 4: 4-24.
5. The fifth time they apostatized they were brought under the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites came up with their camels, etc., and harvested their crops for them, but consumed the same upon themselves. Judges 6: 1-6. They were delivered by Gideon. Judges, chapters six and seven.
6. The sixth time they apostatized and served Baal, Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, Zidon, Moab, and the Philistines, (Judges 10: 6, 7), the Lord suffered the Philistines to oppress them. From this they were delivered by Jepthah, the Gileadite. Judges, chapters eleven and twelve.
7. For their seventh apostasy they were under the Philistines forty years. Judges 13: 1. The agent who aided them during this experience was Samson. Judges 13: 2; 16: 31.
Here we have seven apostasies and seven punishments in the space of 270 years.
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