What are "the times and seasons?"


Would you please make a short explanation of Acts 1:7?  What is meant by the "times and seasons?" The duration of the Kingdom? Thank you very much. I appreciate your web site and use it often.


"Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority"" (Acts 1:6-7).

The disciples had it fixed in their minds that Jesus would be establishing a kingdom on earth that would restore Israel to its former glory. No matter how many times Jesus explained that they misunderstood, they continued to hold on to this false notion. Even now, after Jesus' death and resurrection, they still held on to this idea. Notice that the disciples did not ask if the kingdom would be restored to Israel; they wanted to know if it would begin immediately.

Jesus gently rebukes them, but saying that God doesn't often tell men about the time schedules of His plans. This is not a confirmation that the kingdom would be restored to Israel, but rather a rebuke focusing on the fact that the disciples wanted to know when. "Times" comes from the Greek word chronos. It refers to a time frame without pinpointing an exact time. "Seasons" comes from the Greek word kairos. It refers to a specific time or appointment. Jesus is saying it isn't for man to know either the specific times or the rough time frames when God plans to do things. There are things that God plans to do by His own authority. He'll do them by His own power. If men knew about those plans in advance, they would try to "help" God, but the result would be that it could be claimed that men brought the events about instead of seeing that it was God alone who did these things.

In other words, what Jesus is telling the disciples is that if God wanted to restore the kingdom to Israel, He would do so by His power and on His time scale. He would not inform men of those plans because He isn't in need of man's cooperation to accomplish His plans. They were asking about things that were really none of their business.

By the way, Paul uses this same phrase in regards to the Lord's return. "But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night" (I Thessalonians 5:1-2). Paul is saying I don't need to tell you the precise time when the Lord will return or even give you a general time frame because you know that his return will be like the coming of a thief -- that is, unpredictable. This too is something that is not for men to know.