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Can 1600 Furlongs Represent 1600 Days?

  • | Chris McCann
  • A study on the phrase, “…a thousand and six hundred furlongs” found in Revelation 14:20 and how “furlongs” could relate to days.

Revelation 14:19-20:

And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousandand six hundred furlongs.

Since we know from the Bible that we can pinpoint the starting point of the reaping mentioned in Revelation 14:19-20 to the exact day (May 21, 2011), we are therefore very interested in the possibility that the “1600 furlongs” mentioned above might be a time reference placed in the verse in order to give us the duration of the Day of Judgment. We are especially interested in this since 1600 days would work out to a time period of 40 days times 40 days. While at the same time, 1600 days fits very nicely with the 8400 day time span of the great tribulation. The 1600 days added to 8400 days would give a complete 10,000 days of total judgment upon unsaved mankind. The 10,000th day would be the last day (in this scenario) and would fill up the wrath of God upon mankind due to their sinfulness.

In addition to these very interesting time relationships—1600 days from May 21, 2011 would also take us to the last day of the feast of tabernacles in the year 2015. If you remember, we had previously thought that the world would end on the last day of the feast of tabernacles—in the year 2011. The fact that we have now in front of us a biblical passage that is undoubtably speaking of Judgment Day (which we know began on May 21, 2011) and that this passage gives us a number (1600) that fits so well in other ways (40 x 40 and 10,000 days of total judgment) while also falling on the last day of the feast of tabernacles itself—cannot be (and should not be) easily dismissed. This kind of, “falling into place” does not happen everyday with the Scriptures. Normally, when something fits so well—like a piece to a puzzle, the hand of God is in view.

Yes it is interesting alright; but can we look at 1600 furlongs as 1600 days?

Well, that is a good question. It does need to be pointed out that it does not speak of 1600 days in the text, but furlongs. Yet, we also know that this is the Bible; and in the Bible God often uses people, places, and things to teach various aspects of the gospel. For instance, let’s take a look at this passage in Genesis 40:6-13:

6) And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
7) And he asked Pharaoh’s officers thatwere with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?
8) And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
9) And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
10) And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
11) And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
12) And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
13) Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

First of all, notice that there are some similarities between this passage and our passage in Revelation 14. The words, “vine,” “clusters,” and “ripe grapes” are used. And the idea of a winepress is also in view when it says that, “I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup.” So we do have some similarity of content.

But the question is—can 1600 furlongs be viewed as 1600 days? After all, furlongs aren’t days. They have nothing to do with time. Yes, but let’s ask the same question of our Genesis passage—what do branches have to do with time? How is it that the chief butler told Joseph his dream and mentioned that in the vine were three branches. And once Joseph reveals the interpreation of the dream he says, “The three branches ARE three days.” Branches have nothing to do with time, yet God uses them to each represent a day.

Now let’s think about furlongs a little bit more. The blood of the unsaved is being wringed out of them (in a spiritual way beginning on May 21, 2011); and the Bible tells us the life is in the blood. So at that point (May 21) their blood (life) begins to be crushed out of them and to flow forth for 1600 furlongs. Could the Lord be using the flow of the blood of the unsaved to express that their life will be squeezed out of them and continue to be so for a period of 1600 days? And after 1600 furlongs the blood stops it flowing. It ceases to travel any further from the winepress, thereby indicating that the life of men is extinguished forever at that point (1600 days after May 21 on the last day of the feast of tabernacles).

What are furlongs?

The Greek word for furlong is, “Stadion” from which it seems we get our English word, “stadium.” It is Strong’s #4712. This word is found six times in the New Testament. Here are five of those places:

Luke 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

John 6:18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.

John 11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

Revelation 14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousandand six hundred furlongs.

Revelation 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

In these verses we find that furlongs are a measurement. They measure distance between places: as Emmaus is threescore (60) furlongs from Jerusalem; and Bethany about 15 furlongs from Jerusalem. The disciples rowed about 25 or 30 furlongs when a storm arose at sea. Furlongs are the distance from one point to another. Or, they could also be considered a measurement of length, breadth, or height (Rev. 21:16). Figuring out the duration of the Day of Judgment is a measure beginning at the point of its commencement (May 21, 2011) until its conclusion (possibly 1600 days later). A furlong would be a way of spiritually measuring this distance in time.

Furlong can also mean, “race”

The Greek word “stadion” is translated as “furlongs” five times as we noted above. But it is used a sixth time in the New Testament. Only in this instance it is not translated as furlong, but rather as “race.” In 1 Corinthians 9:24 we read:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Literally, this would be translated as “they which run in a furlong”; but the translators knew the idea of a race was in view so they translated it as race. Its significant that the word race as its being used in 1 Corinthians chapter 9, verse 24 and following, is focused upon living the Christian life. Let’s read the next verse together with verse 24. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

They which run in a furlong run all. That is everyone runs the race. But the prize is given to the winner of the race. Therefore we are to run that we might obtain that prize. What is the prize that comes to the winner of the race? It is an incorruptible crown. That can only be a reference to eternal life. In other words, this passage is telling us that we are to run the race to obtain the salvation of God and at the end of the race (furlong) lies an incorruptible crown for the one reaching that point.

How does this help us? It helps us to understand that these 1600 furlongs could be looked at as the final days of the Christian’s race; and at the end of these furlongs lies (finally) the incorruptible crown of eternal life for all God’s elect in the sense they enter into eternity future and leave this world behind.