THE COVENANTAL SABBATH
USE OF THE EXPRESSION "MIQQETS YAMIM" IN SCRIPTURE
The Hebrew word "qets" and its derivatives are rarely used with any other(i) connotation than that relating to chronology.
The actual expression "miqqets yamim" as such, is found in Gen. 4:3 and I Kgs. 17:7. In Gen. 4:3 it is variously translated: "in process of time" (A.V. and R.V.); "at the end of days" (A.V. marg.); "meth’ hemeras" (LXX); "ten einde [van eenige] dagen" (Neths. St. Vert.); "nach etlichen Tagen" (Luther); "in course of time" (Amer. Rev. Std. Version, and Moffatt) and "nach der Zeit" (Polygl.-Bibel, I, p. 16n(ii)). In I Kgs. 17:7 the same expression is rendered: "after a while [that brook dried up]" (A.V., and R.V., and Amer. Rev. Std. Version, and Moffatt); "at the end of days" (A.V. marg.); "post dies" (Vulg.); "ten einde van [vele] dagen" (Neths. St. Vert.) and "nach etlichen Tagen" (Luther).
The related expression "leqqets yamim" is found used in Neh. 13:6, where it is translated: "after certain days". It is also employed eschatologically in Dan. 12:13, where it is rendered: "at the end of the days". And similar expressions are employed in Daniel(iii) in respect of indefinitely shorter or longer periods of time.
The word "qets" as such, in its usual chronological connotation, is used in respect of definite periods of time (such as: forty days(iv); two months(v); every year(vi); or two, three, seven, twenty, forty, seventy or four hundred and thirty years(vii). It is also used in respect of positive indefinite periods (such as: the end of life(viii), of words(ix), of iniquity(x), of perfection(xi), of labour(xii), of a certain period of time(xiii) and of years(xiv); and in respect of negative indefinite periods (such as: no end of iniquity(xv), of people(xvi), of making books(xvii) and of Messianic government(xviii). But it is particularly employed in respect of the eschatological: "time of the end"(xix) [cf. "the last of the days", "the Last Day", "the Day of the Lord", which all refer to God’s "Eighth Day" or the "world sabbath" (thus Verhoef: "Die Dag van die Here", Exegetica, Van Keulen, Den Haag, NETHS., 1956, pp. 5, 6, 83f)].
The related word "qatsêh" is also used with chronological connotation, such as: seven days(xx), seven months(xxi) or seven years(xxii).
The expression "miqqets yamim" then, has no fixed meaning, and its signification each text must be determined by each context in which it is employed.