400 years of silence


I have been trying to trace out where the idea of 400 years of silence comes into play. I have read Amos 8:11 and understand it, but I have been trying to trace out if there are any more specifics given on the dating of this silence or if it has to be inferred. I was thinking, perhaps, that the 430 years Israel spent in Egypt (Exodus 12:40) ending in the Passover might be related to the 62 week period spoken of in Daniel 9. Hopefully, you have a more perfect understanding of these scriptures.


In my understanding the number of years to the 3rd installment is something that God was deliberately vague about, so to speak, when He set forth through Daniel the overall time-schedule for the remaining installments to the Fifth Course of Punishment. In fact the issue of Him being deliberately vague about it was part of the punishment belonging to the 3rd installment. (Remember that each installment to the Fifth Course of Punishment has its own particular punishment and/or chastisement to it, and collectively they make up the entire package of punishments belonging to the entire Fifth Course. And in connection with this the issue of the individual time-schedules belonging to each of the installments is not something that God randomly applied to them; but rather each time-schedule is specifically appropriate to the punishment/chastisement that occurs within the installment to which it applies.) Since the matter of God going silent to Israel was going to be part of what the punishments of the Fifth Course of Punishment called for, it was also fitting for Him to be ‘silent’ about its duration when it occurred; with the result that its actual duration of time would not be able to be accurately stated until after it was over.

That the overall time of the silence would be substantial was known. However part of the punishment in connection with it would be the longing, and the grief, and the dismay associated with not knowing exactly when it would end. Hence when God said more about it through Amos at the time of the beginning of the Fifth Course of Punishment, His description of it being a “famine” not only aptly applied to Israel not “hearing the words of the LORD,” but also to the issue of them ‘wandering’ about and ‘running’ about seeking “the word of the LORD” and not finding it. In other words, just as when with a physical famine there is the grief, dismay, anxiety, and the like, as starvation sets in, and also there is the intense longing for the end to it and the suffering of wondering when it is going to end; so also would this be the case with Israel during the “famine” of “the hearing of the words of the LORD.” Hence for this cause God was deliberately vague and did not specify the exact time-schedule for the 3rd installment to the Fifth Course of Punishment. The ‘full famine effect,’ so to speak, including the lack of knowing the exact time at which the silence would end, was part of the punishment of the 3rd installment.

Moreover, in accordance with this, by the way that God words things in Daniel 9:25-26 He not only provides for this deliberate lack of knowledge pertaining to the precise ending of the 3rd installment, but what He says also naturally does not state the precise time of the beginning of the fourth installment either. For it, of course, is contingent upon the concluding of the 3rd installment. Hence what God says about them is purposely grouped together, and all that He says with respect to the time of the third and fourth installments is that it involves “threescore and two weeks” and that “after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:… .” Therefore the precise time schedules for each would not be knowable until after the fact.

So the 400 years of time I apply to the silence of the 3rd installment to the Fifth Course of Punishment is determined ‘after the fact.’ Likewise this is so with the time applied to the 4th installment. For with the exception of Israel knowing in advance from Daniel 9 the issue of the overall time specified for the accomplishments of the punishments/chastisements of the 3rd and 4th installments, the determination of the individual times belonging to each installment was going to have to wait until the two installments had run their course and their individual prescribed punishments/chastisements had been accomplished. And this, once again, was in perfect accordance with the nature of the punishment/chastisement belonging to the 3rd installment.

Keith Blades
Enjoy The Bible Ministries

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