Four times in Leviticus 26 the Almighty indicated that if Israel refused to obey His commandments, they would be punished “seven times” (v. 18, 21, 24, 28). Scholars debate how these seven-time punishments have been fulfilled in Israel’s history. Two suggestions are: 1) seven nations of biblical prophecy would impact Israel throughout its history (see Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 7, 9); and 2) the Holocaust lasted seven years (1938 to 1945) and the Tribulation is seven years in length (see Dan. 9:27).
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the English word times is sheba’ and by implication is a period of seven. For example, in Genesis, Laban asked Jacob to “fulfill her [Rachel’s] week” and Jacob worked an additional seven years. This word week (see Gen. 29:27, 28) is shabuwa and was a week of years and not of days. The leading passage that alludes to the final seven-year Tribulation is Daniel 9:27, where it is written, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” This word week is also shabuwa, and alludes to seven years of time.
Since the ancient calendar and the future prophetic calendar in Revelation centers on a 360-day year, scholars have multiplied the seven-time punishment with 360 days, totaling 2,520. Using a scriptural principle that exchanges the days for years (see Num. 14:34 and Ezek. 4:4-6), these 2,520 days are said to allude to 2,520 years that the Gentile nations and powers would have over the Jewish people. If we use a possible date of Nebuchadnezzar’s inva- sion of Judea, 606 BC, and move it forward 2,520 years, we come to AD 1914, the beginning of World War I. However, Gentile dominion over the Jewish people did not conclude until after Israel was reformed as a nation in 1948.