How do you derive the figure of 2520 years of punishment for Israel?
This is a basic question involving God's methods of giving us prophetic keys so that we may unlock the mysteries of Bible prophecy. In II Peter 1:19-20, we read that no prophecy is of any private, or individual, interpretation. Therefore we must not interpret a prophecy apart from other scripture and using our own human understanding to arrive at a conclusion. We must compare scripture with scripture to find the scriptural interpretation of Bible symbols.
In this case, we should first understand that in Leviticus 26, God promised Israel great national blessings, including the promises of national greatness to Abraham (verse 42), if they would obey Him. Then God promised that if they obstinately refused to obey Him, He would punish them for a period called seven times.
Now let us see how the Bible interprets the meaning of times. Turn to Revelation 12:6, 14 and you will see by examination that the two periods of time mentioned in these verses are exactly the same in length. They amount to 3 1/2 years in both cases. Therefore we know that in a prophetic sense the word times simply means years! ALSO, in verse 6 we see that the Bible itself shows that these years can be divided into 360 days each. This apparently was the original year length. Now multiplying these seven times or years of punishment by 360, we find that this gives us 2520 days.
But where do the years come in? Let us see God's prophetic definition of days when applied to the punishment of nations. In Numbers 14:34, God said Israel would bear their iniquities after the number of days they searched the land; forty days, each day for a year. This is the Bible definition of a day of punishment! God is consistent!
So we see that the seven times or years of Israel's punishment equals 2520 days (7 X 360), and that these days, according to scriptural interpretation, are actually 2520 years.
As a final conclusive piece of evidence, let us examine the well-known "seventy weeks" prophecy found in Daniel 9:21-27. Through the angel Gabriel, God here revealed to Daniel that it would be 69 weeks from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the appearing of the Messiah, and that He would confirm the covenant with many for one week.
Using the day for a year example or Ezekiel 4:6, we find that these 69 weeks would equal 483 years. The principal decree to rebuild Jerusalem was in 457 B.C., and it was exactly 483 years until Jesus was baptized and began his public ministry in 27 A.D.! So we see that God is faithful to perform His word!
Israel's punishment began in 721-718 B.C. and ended in 1803 A.D., the date of the great Louisiana Purchase. So 2520 years later, England and the United States began their rise to world power. For the astonishing proof of this fulfilled prophecy, read our free booklet "The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy." History confirms the words or Jesus, "Thy word is truth!"