A Great Prophetic Period
At what time according to the prophecy of Daniel, was the sanctuary to be cleansed?
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Dan. 8:14.
Where was Daniel when the vision of this chapter was given?
"And I saw the vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river Ulai." Dan 8:2.
What first appeared to the prophet?
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns." Dan. 8:3.
What next appeared upon the scene?
"And as I was considering, behold a he goat came from the west... And he came to the ram that had two horns,... and smote the ram, and brake his two horns." Dan. 8:5-7.
What happened after the prophet heard the time announced for the cleansing of the sanctuary?
"And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man." Dan. 8:15.
What command did Daniel hear given to this angel?
"And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." Dan. 8:16.
What were the first words that the angel then uttered before the prophet?
"I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto, me, Understand, a son of man; for at the time of the end shall be the vision." Dan, 8:17.
NOTE: That is, the complete fulfillment of the vision will come in the end of time.
How did the angel then proceed to fulfill his mission to Daniel?
"The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia." Dan.8:20, 21.
What part of the vision did the angel say was to be shut up, and why?
"And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days." Dan. 8:26.
NOTE: That part of the vision relating to the "evening morning" (see margin of verse 14), was to be shut up for a time, because that was not to be fulfilled for "many days." The other portion of it was impending in Daniel's day. In fact, the fulfillment of the ram standing by the river, came about in fifteen years after the view was given to the prophet. It was proper to explain this part of the vision to Daniel that he might apprise the people of what was coming.
What did Daniel say about the vision?
"And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." Dan. 8:27.
Although Daniel said nothing of his astonishment at what he had seen, so that the king's courtiers did not perceive it, what did he do?
"In the first year of Darius,... I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Dan. 9:1, 2.
NOTE: That is, in his anxiety to learn the full meaning of the vision, Daniel had searched the sacred books until in the first year of Darius the Median King. He had about come to the conclusion that the seventy years' desolation of Jerusalem and the earthly sanctuary in that city would be the fulfillment of the vision.
In view of this, what did the prophet do?
"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes." Dan. 9:3.
What, in Daniel's prayer, showed that he was still anxious about the sanctuary question?
"Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake." Dan. 9:17.
How did the Lord regard his petition?
"Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation." Dan. 9:21.
What did Gabriel tell Daniel?
"At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Dan. 9:23.
NOTE: "Consider the vision." To consider is "to fix the mind on, with a view to a careful examination; to think on with care; to ponder or study; to meditate on." Webster. The vision Daniel was to ponder or study, was the same vision referred to in verse 21, the one in which he says Gabriel appeared to him; and that vision was given in chapter 8.
What application did Gabriel proceed to make of the vision?
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy." Dan. 9:24.
NOTE: Gesenius, in his Hebrew Lexicon, says that the original word here translated "determined" means "Properly, to cut off; tropically, to divide; and also to determine, to decree."
"Seventy weeks have been cut off upon thy people, and upon thy holy cfty." --Whiting's Translation.
Or. Gill, on Dan. 9:24, says: "That is, such a space of time is fixed upon; cutout, as the word signifies."
"To Finish the Transgression." --The Jews were to fill up the measure of their iniquity by rejecting and crucifying the Messiah; they would then no longer be His peculiar people, or host Read Matt. 21:38-43; 23:32-38; 27:25.
"To make an end of sins." --The best explanation of this clause Is given in Hebrews 9:26: "Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself;" and in Romans 8:3: "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." So "Christ is the end [purpose] of the law for righteousness."
"To Bring in Everlasting Rlghteousness." --This must mean the righteousness of Christ, --that righteousness by which He was enabled to make an atonement for sin, and which, through faith, may be imputed to the penitent believer."
"To Seal up the Vision." --To seal sometimes means to fulfill; to establish. See Webster. During the seventy weeks a part of the vision was exactly fulfilled, and this establishes and makes sure the fulfillment of the whole."
"To anoint the Most Holy." --This is supposed to refer to the anointing of the heavenly sanctuary, preparatory to opening the services there.
Seventy weeks are equal to 490 days. These were to be "cut off" from the vision Daniel was considering, that is, from the 2300 days. The days in this prophecy, uniformly with those of other prophecies, represent years (See reading on "A Remarkable Symbol," question 10). If, then, the 490 years are "cut off" from the 2300 years, it follows that the 490 years begin at the same time as the 2300.
When did the angel say that the seventy weeks (490 years) were to commence?
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three- score and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." Dan. 9:25.
NOTE. Sixty-nine of the seventy weeks were to reach "unto the Messiah the Prince." Messiah is Christ, "the Anointed." Messiah is the Hebrew word, and Christ is the Greek word, meaning anointed. See margin of John 1:41.
How was Jesus anointed?
"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power." Acts 10:38.
At what time did Jesus receive the special anointing of the Holy Spirit?
"Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son." Luke 3:21, 22.
What did Jesus say shortly after this?
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor." Luke 4:18 (Mark 1:15).
NOTE: It is evident that the sixty-nine weeks (483 years) were to reach to the baptism of Christ, as that was the time of His anointing by the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist began his work in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius (Luke 3:1-3). Tiberius began to reign conjointly with his father in the year 12 A.D., two years before his father's death ("Prideaux's Connection," vol. 1, page 246). The fifteenth year of his reign would therefore be 27 A.D., the time when Jesus was anointed, at His baptism.
When was a decree made to restore and build Jerusalem?
"This Ezra went up from Babylon... And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king." Ezra 7:6-8.
NOTE: This Artaxerxes began to reign 464 B.C. (see "Prideaux's Connection," vol.1, page 222; "Smith's Comprehensive Dictionary," art. Artaxerxes). The seventh year of his reign would be 457 B.C. Reckoning 483 full years from the first day of 457 B.C., would bring us to the last day of 26 A.D. This is demonstrated from the fact that it requires all of the twenty-six years A.D., and all of the 451 years B.C. to make 483 years, which may be illustrated by the following diagram:
It is also manifest by the diagram that if the work of restoring Jerusalem did not commence until past the middle of, the year 457 B.C. (see Ezra 7:8), then all the time of the first part of that year not so employed, must be added to the last day of 26 A.D., which would bring us up to the latter pert of 27 A.D., the time of Christ's baptism. This "seals up," or makes sure, the prophecy.
Dr. Adam Clarke says: "According to the commandment of the God of Israel, He first gave the order, and stirred up the hearts of the following Persian kings to second that order:
"Of Cyrus. This sovereign gave his orders for the rebuilding of the temple about 538 B.C. [3488 A.M.].
"And Darius. Darius Hystsdpes confirmed the above order, 519 B.C. [3485 A.M.].
"And Artaxerxes. Artaxerses Longimanus sent Ezra to Judea with new priviliges, 457 B.C. [3547 A.M.]." The letter of Artaxerxes to Ezra conferring upon him authority to do this work, is found in Ezra 7:11-26.
At the close of 483 years, in 27 A.D., one week, or seven years of the 490 yet remained. What was to be done in the midst of that week?
"And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Dan. 9:27.
NOTE. - As the sixty-nine weeks ended in the fall of 27 A.D., the middle of the seventieth week, or the three and a half years, would end in the spring of 31 A.D., when Christ was crucified, and by His death caused to cease, or brought to an end, the sacrifices and oblations of the earthly sanctuary. Three and a half years more (the last part of the seventieth week) would end in the autumn of 34 A.D. This brings us to the end of the 490 years which were "cut off" from the 2300. There still remain 1810 years, which, if added to 34 A.D., which takes us to 1844 A.D.
And what did the angel say would then take place?
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Dan. 8:14.
NOTE. - In other words, the great closing work of Christ for the world, the atonement, or the investigative judgment, will at that time commence. The typical day of atonement for Israel occupied but one day in a year. This may occupy but a correspondingly short time. Already that work has been going on for many years, and must soon close. Who is ready to meet its decisions?
THE 2300 DAY PROPHECY
DANIEL'S AMAZING PROPHECIES
The Master Prophecy of the Bible is given in Daniel 8. This chapter closely connects with Daniel 7 and 9 and should be studied together with them.
(written 553-552 B.C.) reveals world history from Daniel's time down to the Second Advent of Christ. In vision, Daniel sees 4 world empires symbolized as beasts, followed by a little horn power (Dan 7:1-8, 15-21, 23-25). The Investigative Judgment then convenes in heaven (Dan 7:9-10, 13, 22, 26) and after that history ends with the Second Advent of Christ (Dan 7:14, 27-28).
The animals in Daniel 7 parallel the parts of the metal image of Daniel 2. The lion in chapter 7 is Babylon (605-538 B.C.). The bear is Medo-Persia (538-334 B.C.). The leopard beast is Grecia (334-301 B.C., at which time it becomes divided into four kingdoms which continue on until around 168 B.C.). The terrible beast is Pagan Rome (168 B.C. to the 5th Century A.D., when it becomes broken into ten kingdoms). The little horn is Papal Rome, which gained full power by 538 A.D., after uprooting three kingdoms (the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths).
DANIEL 8 is composed of two major parts. The first is an EVENT prophecy that closely parallels the prophecy of Daniel 7. This prophecy is about two beasts and a little horn that follows them (Dan 8:1-12, 20-25). The first beast, a ram, is Medo-Persia (538-334 B.C.), and the he-goat which struck it down was Grecia (334-168 B.C.). The "notable horn" was Alexander the Great who, before his death in 323, carved out the largest empire in history up to that time - in only ten years. When he was broken off in the prime of life, the empire divided into four sections. The little horn is Pagan Rome which, historians tell us, was taken over by Papal Rome. Much of Daniel 7 and 8 (7:8, 19-26 and 8:9-12, 23-25) is given to a concern over this power which would speak blasphemies (7:8, 20; 8:11), and seek to kill God's people (7:21, 25; 8:10, 24-25), cast down the truth (8:12, 25), tear God's Sanctuary down from heaven (8:11), and even try to change the Law of God (7:25). Revelation 13 (read verses 6-7, for example) deals with this same little horn power - the Papacy.
But there is a second part to Daniel 8: This is a TIME prophecy (Dan. 8: 13-14, 26).
The prophecy itself is given in Daniel 8:14. "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Careful reading of this chapter reveals that while the angel Gabriel was told to explain the vision of Daniel 8 to the prophet (8:16), yet only the event prophecy was explained (8:17-25), while the time prophecy was only referred to (8:26). Daniel nearly fainted under the burden (8:27), and the prayer of Daniel 9 is the result.
DANIEL 9 begins with the prophet's prayer for guidance and help for his people (Dan 9:1-19). Gabriel, the one whom he had seen in his earlier vision of Daniel 8 (9:21), is then sent in answer to his prayer (9:20), and in order to complete the explanation (9:22-23).
THE LONGEST PROPHECY BEGINS. The seventy-week prophecy is then given (Dan 9:24-27). Seventy weeks are "determined" ("cut off' in Hebrew-cut off from the larger 2300 day [year] prophecy) for the Jews. Therefore, the first part of the 2300 Day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 is time allocated to the Jews to conclude their probation as God's specially favored nation.
In Bible prophecy, a day equals a year (Num 14:34; Ezek 4:6). The decree of Artaxerxes, given in his seventh year as king-in 457 B.C. (Dan 9:25; Ezra 6:14; 7:6-8), restoring the Jewish government, begins this vast time prophecy of 2300 years. The first 70 weeks (Dan 9:24-27) of this prophecy, cut off or allotted to the Jews, equals 490 years. The walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in 1 week or 49 years (408 B.C.). Another 62 weeks brings us to the anointing of Christ for His mission in 27 A.D. 483 years are now past; only 1 week remains of the 70. In the midst of this week (Dan 9:26-27), 31 A.D., Messiah is cut off or crucified. A second half-week of 3 1/2 years brings us to 34 A.D., when at the stoning of Stephen the gospel is taken to the Gentiles.
THE LONGEST PROPHECY ENDS. In 34 A.D. the 70 weeks, or 490 years, is completed. 1810 years remains to be fulfilled in this longest of Bible time prophecies - the 2300 year prophecy of Daniel 8:14. At its termination in 1844 A.D. began the "cleansing of the sanctuary" predicted in this important passage, Daniel 8:14.
Jesus is our High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary (that the earthly was patterned after). In 1844 began His final work within it, prior to His Second Advent to the earth for His people.