When Does Hosea’s “Two Days” Start?

Why are we certain that the beginning of Hosea’s “two days” does not begin with the time that the nation was torn by the Romans (mangled and carried off-5:14 and “torn”-6:1)?

The case is absolutely decisive. You’ll see. In all other interpretations that I’ve seen, the two days is a nebulous metaphor that has little to do with signifying time of any meaningful duration, usually suggested as a metaphor for the brevity of the exile.

So why not start the two days of divine desertion with the destruction of 70? As Travis said, “why not 132 A.D.? It’s just as reasonable. After 70, the Jews recovered, repopulated, and rebounded with yet another, swiftly crushed rebellion against Rome. Then began the age-long exile of “many generations” (compare Isa 61:4 with Eze 38:8).

No, in order to mean anything concrete or significantly limited and definite, the terminus-a-quo must go back to Israel’s fall at the stumbling stone, the national rejection and crucifixion ending the 69th week. That is when He departs to the Father’s right hand, waiting till …

Here is when the “door of faith” was opened to the Gentiles, making Israel jealous with a “no people” UNTIL the fullness of the gentiles has “come in”. Here again, the interim is reckoned from Israel’s fall, the cross, ascension, and the pouring out of the Spirit on “all the families of the earth”.

This is the time He departs to His place UNTIL …, and gives them up until Zion’s travail and the worldwide sway of the smitten ruler from Bethlehem with the return of “His brethren” (Mic 5:4).

To move the starting point further up to 70, or 132-35 is to destroy all symmetry of the otherwise clear signposts by which the interim is marked off and bounded by the mystery of Messiah’s twofold advent.

No other interpretation fits so well, or so well explains the mystery of the long delay. And no other possible interpretation, of which I’m aware, or can conceive, so well commends itself as more glorifying of the miracle of the prophetic scriptures to leave no unforetold gaps. This concept of a gap of great duration is well defended in H. A. Ironsides classic little booklet entitled, “The Great Parenthesis”.

There’s so much more to this. Time does not permit my much fuller account of the evidence. Believe me; I’d like to stretch it out and avoid the scandal that, at least till now, there has been no substantial or obvious movement made towards restoration of sacrifice and sanctuary.

I believe I know my heart well enough to assure that my only single eyed burden, zeal and jealousy for this has only to do with the glorious harmony of the scripture and the vindication of that word in the foretelling of every part of what I’m fond of calling, “the glory of the Story”. The appointed times and seasons of God are always very calendrical and tangible, accessible to the plain person’s knowledge, edification, and practical benefit.

The 490 years of Daniel’s prophecy was quite knowable, at least very approximately. It is why “all men were in expectation” when John broke the 400 years of silence with the announcement that the time was at hand (Lk 3:15). With good reason many believe that the wise men of the East (the Jewish community in Babylon?) was looking for a king to come into the world at about that time.

Of course, we’re always reminded that “no man knows the day and the hour”. But does anyone stop to think how very specific, limited, and precise a day and hour is? That is the one thing He has withheld, and look what men have done with it to the complete neglect of all the certainty the Lord knew His disciples would receive when they would follow His wise directive to “read and understand Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation (Mt 24:15).

Jesus well knew that this would lead to their discovery of the 3 1/2 years that would follow this event leading to His return (Dan 7:25; 9:27; 12:11), as John would later corroborate in his Revelation (Rev 11:2-3; 12:6, 12, 14; 13:5). The Lord’s meaning in adding this gaurd concerning the exact day and hour when we consider that there is a mysterious extension of days in Dan 12:11-12 that exceeds the 1260 days of Rev 11:3; 12:6 by some 75 days into the millennium.

This leaves open considerable latitude for exactly when the Lord will return, though certainly not far beyond the 1260, since the AC’s persecution of the saints lasts only 42 months till cut off by the Lord’s appearing (2Thes 2:8; Rev 11:2; 13:5).

By this simple expression, “day and hour”, meaning no more than exactly and precisely what it says, the whole world of scholarship, both liberal and conservative, presumes to safely dismiss the certain knowledge of the very approximate time that the recognized arrival of the last seven years is sure to bring to the maskilim.

Behold the glorious mystery God hath wrought! It designs to elude all reliance on nature (“wise and prudent”), but sufficient evidence to be discovered by babes, “a hidden wisdom ordained to their glory.” Amazing irony!

I hope we weren’t expecting anything that would not entail a serious test of faith in what He has spoken. As for God’s way of keeping His foretold timetable, we have this word in Paul’s interesting application of Isa 10:23.

Romans 9:28
For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.”

This will go down to the wire; I’m sure. There are things we may miss preventing precise reckoning, of course. But that it will be at least very approximate for the greater glory of God and the readiness of His saints, for that, the cumulative evidence compels a measured assurance.

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