(Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1912 ed., pp. 784, 785)
Almost every scheme of the "Plan of the Ages," "Age-to-come," etc., makes use of a supposed prophetic period called the "Seven Times;" and the attempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfilment by events in Jewish and Gentile history. All such speculators might as well spare their pains; for there is no such prophetic period in the Bible.
The term is taken from Leviticus 26, where the Lord denounces judgments against the Jews, if they shall forsake him. After mentioning a long list of calamities down to verse 17, the Lord says:
"And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins." Verse 18. Verses 19 and 20 enumerate the additional judgments, then it is added in verse 21:
"And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me: I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins." More judgments are enumerated, and then in verses 23 and 24 the threatening is repeated: "And if ye will not be reformed by me these things, but will walk contrary unto me; then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins." In verse 28 it is repeated again.
Thus the expression occurs four times, and each succeeding mention brings to view severer punishments, because the preceding ones were not heeded. Now, if "seven times" denotes a prophetic period (2520 years), then we would have four of them, amounting in all to 10,080 years, which would be rather a long time to keep a nation under chastisement.
But we need borrow no trouble on this score; for the expression "seven times" does not denote a period of duration, but is simply an adverb expressing degree, and setting forth the severity of the judgments to be brought upon Israel.
If it denoted a period of time, a noun and its adjective would be used, as in Dan. 4: 16: "Let seven times pass over him." Here we have the noun (times) and adjective (seven): thus, shibah iddan; but in the passages quoted above from Leviticus 26, the words "seven times" are simply the adverb sheba, which means "sevenfold." The Septuagint makes the same distinction (in the Greek, using the noun and adjective) in Dan. 4: 16, etc., but in Leviticus simply the adverb.The expression in Dan. 4: 16 is not prophetic, for it is used in plain, literal narration. (See verse 25.)