Immanuel Velikovsky - Worlds in Collision
Immanuel Velikovsky and his book Worlds in Collision are little known but significant when looking at end-time events. We know that there will be major earth changes taking place towards the end of the world. But most people aren't aware of all the changes that have taken place in the past and the effect it has had on our understanding of coming events as prophesied in the Bible. This study will explain some of that.
He Changeth the Times and the Seasons
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." (Dan 7:25)
While man might think to change times and seasons, it is God who is really in control and who does and perhaps will yet change the times and the seasons.
King Hezekiah was one of the last kings of Israel before Nebuchadnezzar came and overthrew Jerusalem. He had become very sick, "sick unto death" (2 Kings 20:1) and was told by the prophet Isaiah "thou shalt die and not live." Hezekiah "wept sore" and prayed earnestly and the word of the Lord came saying
"I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold I will heal thee: ... and I will add unto thy days fifteen years" ( 2 Kings 20:5-6).
Hezekiah then asked for a sign that he would be healed:
"And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?" (2 Kings 20:8)
His request was granted and he was even given a choice as to what the sign would be:
"And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?"(2 Kings 20:9)
Of course, the shadow normally moves forward in its normal direction. For it to go back would be totally out of the ordinary. Hezekiah understood this answered:
"... It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees." (2 Kings 20:10)
His request was granted as recorded:
"And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz." ( 2 Kings 20:11)
That is quite a miracle when you think about it. Think of what actually happened. The bible speaks of the sun rising and setting when, of course, it is the movement (rotation) of the earth on its axis that causes the apparent movement of the heavenly bodies. What would it take for the earth to stop rotating, reverse direction 10 degrees stop again and resume normal rotation? Some tremendous gravitational or other force would have to affect its rotation. The movement in the reverse of the normal direction would be equivalent to 40 minutes of its normal rotation.
10 degrees reversal out of 360 degrees = 1/36th of the earth's circle of rotation
It likely happened in a relatively short time to be observable, probably on a sundial in Hezekiah's court. Such movements of the earth as would be recorded for this to happen sound like this verse:
"The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again." (Isa 24:20)
Now, fast forward a few hundred years to the time of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.
In Daniel 2, is recounted the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar about the rise and fall of kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar, of course thought he was pretty good.
"The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?" (Dan 4:30)
Of course, this was the pinnacle of his pride, but he had the problem even earlier. In Daniel 2, remember he had a dream and tried to get an interpretation from his wisemen.
"And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king." (Dan 2:1-2)
The king asked for an interpretation but made it especially difficult for them because he could not even remember the dream itself. Of course, the king finally got the information he wanted from Daniel the prophet who had been captured from Israel some years earlier and this resulted in Daniel being promoted among the wise men in Nebuchadnezzar's court.
The king had many wise men and counsellors and among them what are called astrologers. While they did do what we would call astrology they also were scientists and astronomers. Apparently, they were good enough that they could predict lunar and solar eclipses by computation.
The king had these men to figure out difficult problems for him. Remember, it wasn't many years before that the sun had moved back on the dial ten degrees. This phenomenal event would have been noticed everywhere. Part of their job was to find out the cause, study the effects and most importantly answer: could it happen again?
In fact, one author who has studied into this says:
"From certain passages in the astrological tablets it is easy to see that the calculation of times and seasons was one of the chief duties of the astrologers in Mesopotamia." (R. C. Thompson, The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Ninevah and Babylon, II, xviii, quoted in Velikovsky, p351-2)
How Could the Shadow Move Ten Degrees?
What would cause that to happen? We talk (and the Bible does also) of the sun rising and setting when it is really the rotation of the earth that produces what we observe. So it is logical that this is also caused by a movement of the earth.
When Daniel came before the king to say that God had revealed to him the dream and its meaning, he took the opportunity to give credit to God for something else at the same time:
"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:" (Dan 2:21)
Why bother saying that? Likely, it was significant because it was still very much on people's minds - this changing of the times and the seasons. Let's look at "the times." They are determined as follows"
Of course, there is no astronomical basis for the length of or the start of the week. We simply count to seven as the days go by.
Man has thought and maybe still does think about changing times and seasons. Without looking into the details of the changes, here is what our culture now goes by for the start of each time:
Then we call Saturday and Sunday together the weekend - what confusion!
I remember waking up one April 1 morning to hear on CBC radio that we had now changed to a 10-hour day with 100 minutes per hour. I soon figured out that this was a hoax. However, certain powers that be have proposed a 10-day week and various other calendar changes. Let's think more about the calendar.
God is a God of Order
To me, the idea of a 360 day year with 12 30-day months is appealing because there are 360 degrees in the compass, it is easily divisible number, there could the same number of months in each year with the same number of days in each month etc. It is just a lot easier than 29.5 day months and a year of 365.25 days. I believe God Himself is a God of order. This is suggested by:
"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Cor 14:40)
Why wouldn't He, as the designer of the calendar, come up with a simple system that is easy to use?
It seems that the month earlier was 30 days. What is the important question? - what happened to the length of the month?
How Long is a Month?
Let's consider the length of the month. Now it is: January - 31 days; February - 28 or 29 days; March - 31 days etc.
How long is a Bible month? The actual lunar cycle is now approximately 29.5 days long. Because a day has to be in one month or another, the month length approximately alternates between 29 and 30 days. The Hebrew month was either 29 or 30 days depending on the visibility of the new moon.
Now let's look at something that will bring up an important question:
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." (Gen 7:11)
This was month 2, day 17 when the flood began.
"And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat." (Gen 8:4)
It was month 7, day 17 when the ark came to rest. So we have:
Genesis also tells us:
"And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days." (Gen 7:24)
If the flood is recorded as lasting both 5 months and 150 days then the length of each month must be 30 days which is somewhat longer than the present 29.5 days. If, biblically, the moon controls the length of the month and the Hebrew months average 29.5 days and the month in Noah's time was 30 days, what is going on? Was there a change in the length of the month from God's original calendar?
Biblical references to 1260 days
Now we need to look at something else. There are a number of references to time periods of 1260 days or something equivalent to that. Those from the book of Revelation are listed here:
42 months (42 X 30 = 1260):
3½ times: (1 time = 1 year = 360 days; 360 X 3½ = 1260)
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (Rev 12:14)
Those verses were all from the book of Revelation and are referring to last-day events. This is even more obvious in:
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." (Rev 13:3-5)
In Revelation 13:3-5, it is apparent that the 42 months occur after the healing of the deadly wound. It goes on to describe the actions of the beast including the well-known mark of the beast.
Some have made an historical application of this 1260 time period as the 1260 years from 538 AD to 1798 AD during which the papacy was in power.
Daniel is also, primarily, an end time book (Dan 8:17,19,26). It refers to "times" commonly understood as years:
A "time" (singular - one) "times" (plural - two) and a divided or "an half" of a time (half) adds up to three and a half times or years making it equivalent to the time periods in Revelation.
There are a number of other reasons why many people believe that the ultimate fulfilment of the 42 months is yet future. These will not be discussed here. The only other one I will mention here is that when God gives the specific details of a prophecy, He does not err.
The principle of dual application is well established for many prophecies, for instance the apocalyptic prophecies of Matthew 24. In that chapter Jesus gave mixed prophecies of the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the world
The application of a prophecy to historical events may be allowable, it may help us to understand how a future fulfillment will work out, but unless every detail given in the word of God is fulfilled exactly in the application it can be regarded as only that and we must look for a later, 100% complete fulfillment.
Peter applied Joel's prophecy of the last days to events on the day of Pentecost and we know that was not the complete fulfillment. In about 800 B.C., the prophet Joel wrote of an event, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a time setting, the end of the world:
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions ..." (Joel 2:28)
What is the setting? - end of the world. The rest of the chapter shows the setting to be in the last days. Peter, in 30 AD, quoted this passage as an explanation for the manifestation of the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost.
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams ..." (Acts 2:16-17)
Peter was talking of the same event Joel had written of yet the setting was in his day. It is obvious that Joel's prophecy was not fulfilled in Peter's day but an inspired writer, Peter, quoted it and applied it to his day.
"If this prophecy of Joel met a partial fulfillment in the days of the apostles, we are living in a time when it is to be even more evidently manifest to the people of God." (4BC 1175 on Joel 2:28-29)
So when these interchangeable time specifications indicate that 42 months equals 1260 days, I believe we must look for events to happen in a time when 42 months does equal 1260 days - God does not do sloppy math.
He changeth the times and the seasons
One well-known Bible commentator wrote
"In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored." (Prophets and Kings, p678)
While this statement is in the context of the breach made in the law of God, especially with regard to the sabbath, it may be that other divine institutions will be restored. In fact, it says "every divine institution" whatever that includes. Biblical support for that:
"And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." (Isa 58:12)
What is restored? It could include the seventh-day Sabbath, other holy days, a correct understanding of the state of the dead and a correct understanding of the judgment.
One other divine institution that may be restored is God's original calendar. Actually, of all the things that you might call divine institutions, the only two that are recorded as being established in Eden, before sin, are the institutions of marriage and God's calendar.
The Bible speaks of time periods of 1260 days, 42 months and three and a half years as being equivalent. This can only be possible if the 12 months are 30 days each.
Is it possible that God will make the adjustment using some celestial event (signs in the heavens) that will radically and suddenly change things on earth and essentially reset the clock?
This would provide a solution to the frustration among people trying to understand God's calendar and coordinate their observance of it with others.
The best evidence that this might happen is the reasoning above and the fact that the calendar has been adjusted in the past.
The 360-day Year:
There is considerable evidence from many earlier cultures that they originally had a year of 360-days with 12 30-day months (Velikovsky, 1950, Worlds in Collision). A few will be given here, quoted from pages 333-342 of his book:
Immanuel Velikovsky adds this note in summary of the above:
"All over the world we find that there was at some time the same calendar of 360 days, and that at some later date, about the seventh century before the present era, five days were added at the end of the year, as 'days over the year,' or 'days of nothing.'"
Historical evidence shows that, at one time, the calendars of many civilizations were made up of 12 30-day months. This could only be because they were all based on the same astronomical phenomena.
There are other lines of reasoning or evidence that suggest at least that there could be a great catastrophe yet coming. That is what it would take - some earth-shaking event - for this to happen:
The day of the Lord is prophesied to begin with sudden destruction.
Statements of others: There are non-Biblical sources which also show an expectation along these lines. While these are not inspired sources, we know that Satan is working hard to set up his last-day deceptions and he will reveal enough of his plans to gain the confidence of millions when events happen. Malachi Martin in his book Keys of This Blood (p656-7) wrote:
"That message [Fatima] predicts that a catastrophic change will shortly shatter any plans or designs that men may have established ... Men have abandoned religion. God does not intend to let human affairs go on for a long time in that fashion, because this is his world - he created it for his glory ... This is why John Paul is waiting. God must first intervene, before John Paul's major ministry to all men can start. In Pope Wojtyla's outlook therefore, the Grand Design of which he is the nominated Servant of divine providence to recall men to the values that derive only from belief, from religion and from divine revelation. His is an unpleasant message, and, for the moment, a thankless job. He has to warn his contemporaries of his conviction that human catastrophe on a world scale - according to his information - is impending. He has to admit that he, like everybody else, is in the dark as to when it will occur, although he does know some of the horrific details of that worldwide catastrophe."
Again, we ask: is it possible that, in the time of the end, God will make a readjustment to return the earth to His original calendar? It seems like a possibility but what would be the result?
Of course, non-believers scoff at the idea of a literal, seven-day creation. The common understanding is that we are here as a result of random chance and millions of years of evolution. God wants people to choose His way but to do it based on evidence, not blindly.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Rom 1:2)
By providing additional evidence of His existence, of creation etc. they will have more reason to choose Him. "Without excuse" means with evidence or reason to choose another way of understanding of how we got here.
Think of the effect (reducing the number of excuses) on the world and science if this happened. After the cataclysm, when scientists and astronomers have a chance to assess what has happened they realize and announce to the world that our year is now exactly 360 days long and our months (lunar cycles) are now exactly 30 days - to the second. Surely, this would point to an orderly God and His original creation.
Also, the experience of the accompanying disaster would increase the effectiveness of messages proclaimed that include "the hour of His judgment has come" (Rev 14:7)
In summary, this event would:
1. Readjust solar and lunar cycles to a 30-day month and 360-day year. The earth would be closer to the sun and therefore going around it in a shorter time with the result that the earth would be somewhat warmer. This brings to mind the verse:"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire." (Rev 16:8)This would also give more meaning to this verse:"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat."(Rev 7:16)
Martin, Malachi, 1990. The Keys of This Blood. Simon and Schuster New York 734 p.
Velikovsky, Immanuel, 1950. Worlds in Collision. Dell Publishing Co., Inc. New York 400p.
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