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23 He answered me thus:

“The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
    different from all the others;
The whole earth it shall devour,
    trample down and crush.
24 The ten horns shall be ten kings
    rising out of that kingdom;
    another shall rise up after them,
Different from those before him,
    who shall lay low three kings.
25 He shall speak against the Most High
    and wear down the holy ones of the Most High,
    intending to change the feast days and the law.[a]
They shall be handed over to him
    for a time, two times, and half a time.

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Footnotes

  1. 7:25 The reference is to the persecution of Antiochus IV and specifically to the disruption of the Temple cult (1 Mc 1:41–64). A time, two times, and half a time: an indefinite, evil period of time. Probably here, three and a half years, which becomes the standard period of tribulation in apocalyptic literature (Rev 11:2; 13:5 [in months]; 11:3 [in days]; and cf. 12:14). As seven is the Jewish “perfect” number, half of it signifies great imperfection. Actually, the Temple was desecrated for three years (1 Mc 4:52–54). The duration of the persecution was a little longer, since it was already under way before the Temple was desecrated.

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