a thousand two hundred and threescore days
12:6 a thousand two hundred and threescore days. The “woman” at this time can only be Israel, and the “wilderness” into which she flees must be the desert-and-mountain regions east and southeast of the Dead Sea. This is the region occupied in ancient times by the peoples of Ammon, Moab and Edom, and it is this area that Israel will flee to escape the armies of the prince who is also called the Beast (Daniel 11:36-45; see also Isaiah 16:1-5; 26:20-21). Gentile Christians—that is, those that will accept Christ during the first half of the tribulation—will either have been martyred or gone into hiding. On the other hand, the 144,000 sealed Israelites and probably many other Israelites in Jerusalem will either have become Christians or at least have entered sincerely into the Jewish worship at the restored temple in Jerusalem. All of these Israelites, probably led by the 144,000, will need to make a very rapid exit from Jerusalem and Israel, when the “abomination of desolation” is set up by the beast in the temple. See notes on Matthew 24:15-21 and Revelation 13:14-17. There in the wilderness the Lord will care for them during the final 1260 days (3½ years) of the tribulation. For those Jews who lag back or fail to escape for some reason, whether in Jerusalem or anywhere else, this period will see the most deadly pogrom in the long history of Jewish persecution. “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” (Jeremiah 30:7).