Prophetic ‘Days’ and ‘Hours’ :: By Mark A. Becker

This study survey attempts to be as thorough as possible when considering the prophetic words for “days” and “hours,” especially within the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), and how they are utilized in Bible eschatology.

Our prayer is that this article helps to pave the way for the Bible student to better understand and appreciate how these words should be understood and applied to the texts when studying Bible prophecy.

Underlined Scripture passages are my own emphasis.

‘The Day of the Lord’ in the Tanakh

The phrase “the day of the LORD” is frequently mentioned throughout the Tanakh (Old Testament) and generally depicts the wrath of God being poured out on the world in judgment, man’s ultimate rebellion against the Creator, and Satanic/demonic supernatural events – all of which will embody the horrific seven-year (2,520-day) Tribulation.

Examples of these include Zephaniah 1:14-18Isaiah 13:9-11Joel 3:11-16Amos 5:18-20, etc.

‘That Day’ in the Tanakh

The phrase “that day” or “in that day” is another prophetic term that is often used in the Tanakh.

Though this phrase can be used interchangeably with “the day of the Lord” for the pouring out of God’s wrath (Isaiah 24:21-23Jeremiah 25:33Zephaniah 3:8, et al.), other times this same phrase can be speaking exclusively of a prophecy that is close to the prophet’s day.

For our study, however, it is very noteworthy that this phrase is also used quite often in connection with Messiah’s First Advent as well as the Messianic Millennial Kingdom, as noted in the examples below.

“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” – Isaiah 11:10

In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.” – Micah 4:6-7

“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.” – Zephaniah 3:14-16

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” – Isaiah 26:1-2

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” – Joel 3:18

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness Unto The Lord; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.” – Zechariah 14:20

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” – Isaiah 4:2

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.” – Amos 9:11-12

‘The Day of Christ’ in the Brit Chadashah

The following is from An Examination of the ‘Day of the Lord’:

There is a distinction between the “day of the Lord” and the “day of Christ” or the “day of Jesus Christ.”

Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.” – Philippians 1:4-10

Paul is praying for the Christians at Philippi, and note how he urges the faithful to “be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ,” and that “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

What day is this “day of Christ” and the “day of Jesus Christ”? It can be none other than the rapture of the church.

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” – Philippians 2:15-16

Paul eagerly looked forward to “rejoice in the day of Christ,” when we would all meet together in the clouds to be forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

The church at Thessalonica had been deceived into believing that the “day of Christ” was “at hand.” In this one instance, however, “the day of Christ” seems to be referring to the second stage of “the day of Christ” – namely His Second Coming. (Please see 2 Thessalonians 2:3 – A Rebellion Interpretation for more information on this subject and the interpretation that “apostasia,” or “falling away” (in the KJV), is “the rebellion.”)

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” – 2 Timothy 1:12

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:8

That day,” in both passages in 2 Timothy above, is clearly the rapture: a day we are all waiting for with great eagerness and joyful expectation. The longing to be with our Lord Who gave His life for us is beyond human language to communicate.

The “day of Christ” – when referring to the rapture, as it does almost exclusively – that comes as “a thief in the night” is the event that initiates the “day of the Lord.”

Prophetic ‘That Day’ and ‘Day’ Passages in the Brit Chadashah

“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:29 (Mark 14:25)

[Note: Some believe that “that day” when Christ will drink the fruit of the vine in the Father’s kingdom will be in the Millennial Kingdom, which is explicitly for Messiah and Israel, while I am thoroughly convinced that “that day” will be in heaven in the presence of the Father at The Marriage Supper of The Lamb in the Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven, which aligns perfectly with the Jewish-Galilean wedding. Please see Resurrections and The Marriage Supper of The LambRevelation 6: Our Marriage and The GapThe Trinity: Examining the Triune God, and Matthew 25:1-13 – The Parable of the 10 Virgins. And for an exhaustive study on God’s Kingdoms, please see the series’ introductory article, Is it Just Me? The Messianic Millennial Kingdom, which provides links to the other five studies in the series.]

“In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.” – Luke 17:31 (The day of the Abomination of Desolation)

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night… But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:24. (“Thief in the night” is the rapture of the church – which is the initiating event of “the day of the Lord” – and “that day” of the rapture cannot overtake true believers, for we “are not in darkness” as we steadfastly watch and wait for our Lord’s return for His bride, just as we are commanded.)

Prophetic ‘Day’ Passages of Judgment in the Brit Chadashah

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” – Matthew 7:22 (Great White Throne Judgment)

“For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day…” – Luke 17:24 (This is the second phase of the “day of Christ,” the Second Coming, while the first phase of the “day of Christ” is the rapture.)

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” – John 12:48 (Great White Throne Judgment)

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” – Romans 2:16

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” – 1 Corinthians 3:13 (The Bema Seat of Christ)

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

“Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” – 1 Peter 2:12

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” – 2 Peter 2:9

“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” – 2 Peter 3:7 (See 2 Peter 3 – Peter’s ‘Revelation’ for more on this passage and chapter.)

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” – 1 John 4:17

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” – Jude 1:6

“For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” – Revelation 6:17

Prophetic Resurrection/Rapture ‘Day’ Passages in the Brit Chadashah (Some Include ‘Hour’)

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” – Matthew 24:36

“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of…” – Matthew 24:50

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” – Matthew 25:13

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” – Mark 13:32

“Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” – Luke 17:30 (Luke 17 has many blended elements of the rapture through the Second Coming. Some say verse 30 is the Second Coming, while others say it speaks of the rapture. It could be an all-encompassing reference to both phases of the “day of Christ” – the rapture and the Second Coming.)

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” – Luke 21:34

“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day… No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day… Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day… Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” – John 6:39-40445411:24

(This “last day” for believers encompasses the First Resurrection mentioned in Revelation 20:5 that commences with the resurrection/rapture of the church, with later resurrections for other Saints in their proper order, and culminates with the resurrection of those beheaded by the Antichrist.)

“So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 1:7-8

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” – 1 Corinthians 5:4-5

“As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.” – 2 Corinthians 1:14

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30

“The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.” – 2 Timothy 1:16-18

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25 (Of course, we cannot literally “see the day approaching” as the rapture is a sign-less event, but we should “discern,” “take heed,” “understand,” and/or “perceive the day approaching” as each literal day that passes moves us one day closer to our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).

‘The Day of the Lord’ in the Brit Chadashah

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2

As we noted above, the event of the resurrection/rapture of the church, that “so cometh as a thief in the night,” is the event that initiates the period of time that is known as “the day of the Lord.”

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – 2 Peter 3:10

Interestingly, the last event of “the day of the Lord,” is also the first event of “the day of God.”

‘The Day of God’ in 2 Peter 3

From 2 Peter 3:12 – ‘The Day of God’:

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” – 2 Peter 3:11-12

Now we are introduced to The Day of God,” a phrase which, as far as I can ascertain, is never mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament.

Notice that 2 Peter 3:12, “the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved” and 2 Peter 3:10, “in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up,” are speaking of the same event, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away” in Revelation 21:1.

Therefore, “The Day of God will follow the “day of the Lord” that will end with the dissolving the old heavens and old earth, and this will, in turn, be followed by the Great White Throne Judgment mentioned in 2 Peter 3:7

The Eternal Kingdom is our ultimate destination and, as Peter declares, we should be looking forward, greatly desire, and eagerly await our final destiny which will only come after the elements of the old heavens and earth will melt with fervent heat, be dissolved, and flee away – followed by the Great White Throne judgment – all of which will prepare “The Day of God with the creation of a new heavens a new earth where righteousness will reign supreme, and God will make His tabernacle with men, and He will dwell with them (Revelation 21:3)!

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” – 2 Peter 3:13

[For more on this amazing verse and chapter, please see An Examination of the ‘Day of the Lord’2 Peter 3:12 – ‘The Day of God’, and 2 Peter 3 – Peter’s ‘Revelation’.]

Examining the Prophetic ‘Hour’ – Greek ‘Hóra’ – in the Brit Chadashah

The Greek word often translated “hour” or “time” in the King James Version is 5610 ὥρα “hóra” and means “a timeor period, or hour. Properly, an hour; (figuratively) a finite ‘season’; limited time or opportunity to reach a goal (fulfill a purpose); a divinely pre-set time-perioda limited period to accomplish the Lord’s specific purpose, i.e. ‘the hour’ in which specific characteristics prevail exactly like that for a limited time.”

Hóra,” when used in a prophetic context, always means a divinely appointed timeframe.

Below are “hóra” passages – translated “hour” or “time” – with the prophetic definition of a divinely appointed timeframe that do not pertain to the rapture (though a few have the rapture with the other resurrections in view).

“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” – John 2:4

“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” – John 4:21

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” – John 4:23

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” – John 5:25

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice…” – John 5:28

“Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.” – John 7:30

“These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.” – John 8:20

“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” – John 12:23

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” – John 13:1

“But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.” – John 16:4

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee…” – John 17:1

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” – 1 John 2:18

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” – Revelation 3:10

“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Revelation 14:7

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” – Revelation 17:12

The Prophetic ‘Hour’ – Greek ‘Hóra’ – of the Rapture in the Brit Chadashah

Below are passages where the “hour,” a divinely appointed timeframe, is appropriated for the rapture of the church (some include “day”).

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” – Matthew 24:36

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” – Matthew 24:42

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” – Matthew 24:44

“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of…” – Matthew 24:50

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” – Matthew 25:13

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” – Mark 13:32

“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” – Luke 12:40

When it comes to prophetic “hours” in the Brit Chadashah – whether they be brief in duration, as the rapture, or lengthy in duration, as in 1 John 2:18 – the prophetic “hour” always communicates and conveys a divinely appointed timeframe.

Revelation 3:10

The rapture is certainly found in Revelation 3:10. But when it comes to the “hour” portion of the verse, it is not applicable to the rapture but to the wrath of God.

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” – Revelation 3:10

Here is how the underlined emphasis is broken down eschatologically.

… I also will keep thee… = The rapture.

… from the hour of temptation…= The pouring out of God’s wrath following the rapture, through The Gap and Tribulation period, and up to the Second Coming.

Therefore, the “hour” in Revelation 3:10 depicts “the divinely appointed time” of the wrath of God which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Matthew’s Parable of the Rapture

In Matthew’s account of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus gives a parable on the rapture in Matthew 24:45-51 regarding a Goodman or lord of his household and His servants, with a culminating focus on an evil servant who shows himself unfaithful and rebellious.

Yeshua concludes the parable with the following declaration:

“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 24:50-51

Consistent with our study’s theme, the parable is broken down as a “literal day” and a “divinely set timeframe.”

“The lord of that servant shall come in a day [literal day, when “the lord” of the parable will arrive unannounced] when he looketh not for him, and in an hour [divinely set timeframe, within which that literal day will occur when “the lord” of the parable arrives unannounced] that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 24:50-51

Again, this literal day and divinely set timeframe is consistent throughout the prophetic passages of the Brit Chadashah.

That Prophetic Day and That Prophetic Hour in Matthew and Mark

As we have noted within this study, in every prophetic context the word “hour” or “hóra” is a divinely appointed timeframeMark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 are no exceptions.

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” – Mark 13:32 & Matthew 24:36

But of that [literal] day and that hour [divinely appointed timeframe] knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

This is our Lord’s concise method of stressing the following, “But of that literal day and that divinely appointed timeframe knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Our Lord is utilizing a literal day and a divinely set period in time to emphasize the following two truths: That no one but the Father will know … of that day (a literal day, so do not try to set a day or date that no one knows) and that hour (a divinely appointed timeframe in which the literal day of the rapture is to occur and is pre-determined solely by the Father and Him alone).”

[For more on this unique subject, please see Mark 13:32 – ‘Neither the Son, But the Father’.]


When it comes to Prophetic ‘Days’ and ‘Hours, we should be able to make a couple of valuable observations from our study’s investigation.

A prophetic day, in both the Tanakh and Brit Chadashah, can be very nuanced dependent upon context. A prophetic day can be as short as a literal day, such as the rapture or the Second Coming, while another prophetic day can be very long in duration, such as “the day of the Lord.”

A prophetic hour in the Brit Chadashah, on the other hand, always conveys the idea of “a divinely appointed timeframe” (unless, of course, its blatantly obvious, such as Revelation 9:15) and can also vary widely on time duration, dependent upon context, and assessed with a proper eschatological understanding.

In the end, both Prophetic ‘Days’ and ‘Hours’ are essentially divine time durations, evaluated and deciphered upon context. As students of the Word of God, and with rightly dividing and cutting straight the Word of Truth, we should be able to contextually ascertain how to apply these time signatures in our own studies.

And, with that, “Happy studying, precious Saint!”


May we all keep Answering the Call of The Great Commission, and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?

Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!

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