Last time we saw that the woman in the wilderness might be Israel, in her offspring of Ephraim /Gentiles /Christians and Judah /Jews, in America, where she was nourished for a time, times, and half a time. I had doubts that the time period could mean from 533 to 1793 ad, or 1260 years, because the woman was not nourished during those years, she was oppressed and persecuted.
So what about the 3-1/2 times of nourishment? I wonder if the angel used the phrase “3-1/2 times” rather than 1260 days as he did in verse 6, because two different time periods were meant. I know that historicists say that all the references in Scripture of 3-1/2 times, 42 months, and 1260 days refer to the same time period. But what if they don’t? Consider this:
1620 = arrival of the woman in the wilderness on the wings of the great eagle, corresponding to the Pilgrims (Christians) landing in the wilderness which was to become America.
1970 = 3-1/2 “times” have elapsed, or 3-1/2 centuries.
In 1962, the ACLU successfully argued before the Supreme Court that silent prayer in school was unconstitutional. Before that point, in nearly every school in the country since schools began in the 1600s, prayer to God was part of the school day. In 1963, the ACLU successfully argued before the Supreme Court that Bible reading in school was also unconstitutional. Before that point, in nearly every school in the country since schools began in the 1600s, Bible reading was part of the daily curriculum.
These two cases mark a departure from the types of cases the ACLU had argued from its inception in the early part of this century. It had argued the free speech and free association rights of unions in the beginning. Then during World War II and after, it argued for free speech rights for Nazis, and prosecuted Japanese internment cases as unconstitutional. During the Cold War it argued for the free speech rights of Communists. During the Civil Rights era, it argued the civil rights cases of minorities, and also paid special attention to the constitutional rights of prisoners and criminals (i.e., police brutality). The two cases above were the only cases involving religion in which it took an interest.
All that changed, however, and the year of the revolution in the ACLU, was 1970. In 1970, a new director was appointed in the ACLU.
“Aryeh Neier’s appointment … as the ACLU’s executive director marked the advent of the ‘new’ ACLU. [He] consolidated what had been developing over the past five years: the new civil liberties issues, direct legal representation, and grant-funded special projects.”
“Neier wasted no time transforming the ACLU.”
And in 1971, The ACLU’s opposition to tax exemptions for churches in Walz v. Tax Commission “marked the dominance of absolutist thinking in the ACLU. In years to come, critics would cite Walz and the defense of child pornography as evidence of the ACLU’s utter lack of reasonableness.”
-In Defense of American Liberties – A History of the ACLU, Samuel Walker, pp. 314-316, 319-320, Southern Illinois University Press (2nd ed. 1999), from ACLUProCon.org website.
The ACLU is funded in part by the federal government. Since 1970, the ACLU’s cases have been increasingly focused on harassing the woman, and restricting the right of free religious expression and association for the woman, but increasing the religious expression for atheists, pagans, and any religion which is not Israel. The time of the woman being nourished in the wilderness indeed ended after 3-1/2 “times.”
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 13: The beast from the sea