The Time of Jacob's Trouble
The Time of Jacob's Trouble Video
Louis Forain. Devastated Land. Cleveland Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
The expression “The time of Jacob’s Trouble” comes from Jeremiah 30:7.
[Jer 30:7 KJV] 7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Jacob himself was the father of the nation of Israel and was himself given the name Israel by God. The “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” is also known as The Tribulation. It is specifically a time of judgement on the Jewish nation and all who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Jesus also refers to this period in Matthew 24:21
[Mat 24:21 KJV] 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
The doctrine of the Tribulation is something that has been taught throughout church history and the description of the Tribulation period is given in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation Four Riders. Albrecht Dürer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Antichrist from Osogovo Monastery. Edal Anton Lefterov. via Wikimedia Commons
My main purpose here is to go through the timeline of events. The Tribulation is a period of seven years which was prophesied in Daniel Chapter 9:24-27. The Angel Gabriel gives Daniel understanding about the future. He talks about a period of 70 weeks, which are actually weeks of years, but only 69 weeks have been fulfilled. You can read more about this on the web site page entitled “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel”. The final week of years (7 years) remains unfulfilled. This is the period known as The Tribulation. The period will start with a “covenant with many” which indicates some kind of agreement or treaty. Half way through the week the Antichrist will set up an “abomination” in the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus speaks about this in Matthew 24:15-16.
[Mat 24:15-16 KJV] 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
The Apocalypse. British Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The second half of the Tribulation (the second three and a half years) is known as the Great Tribulation. This is specifically the time of judgement that will be the worst period in the history of the world.
The seven years are years of 360 days each and each year is referred to as a “Time”. You can read more about this on the web page entitled “The 360 Day Prophetic Year”. Jesus returns at the end of the seven year period.
One year is 360 days so seven years is 2,520 days. The period is split into two halves of 1,260 days each. The various judgements listed in the Book of Revelation occur during this period. Daniel is given further revelation about the time of the end and specifically two time periods. One of 1,290 days and one of 1,335 days.
[Dan 12:11-12 KJV] 11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Separating the sheep and the goats. Rijksmuseum, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
At the end of the seven years (2,520 days) Jesus will return to rule the world. See the web page on “The 1,000 year Millennial Reign” for more information on this. Satan will be cast into a bottomless pit at this point. It appears from the previous passage that the abomination in the temple is probably not removed until 1,290 days after the midpoint of the Tribulation period. That is, 30 days after Jesus returns. It is not clear why there is this delay. There is a blessing for those believers who, having survived the Tribulation, make it to 1,335 days ( 70 days after the end of the Tribulation and the return of Jesus). Some commentators believe that this is the time of the sheep and goat judgement of Matthew 25.
[Mat 25:31-34 KJV] 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Empty Tomb. Wix Images
So there will be a separation of the sheep and the goats. Those who have taken the mark of the beast during the Tribulation are the goats. Those who accepted Jesus as Lord during the Tribulation are the sheep. The sheep are blessed and will continue through to the millennial era. The goats depart to everlasting fire (Matthew 25:41).
Notice that in the bible there are different categories of believers:
Old Testament believers (who believed on the Messiah to come)
Church age believers. All who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and saviour. From the time of Christ up until the Rapture.
Tribulation martyrs who died for their faith during the seven year Tribulation.
The Sheep mentioned above are believers who survived the Tribulation and go on to the Millennial age.
All these people receive their salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. 17