THE 2300 DAYS OF DANIEL 8



evening morning, days

'Evening Morning 2300' - Daniel 8:14

2300




'Evening Morning 2,300'


This cryptic phrase is found in Daniel 8:14.

    Dan    8:13  Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy
                 one said to that certain one who was speaking,
                 "How long will the vision be, concerning the daily
                 sacrifices and the transgression of desolation,
                 the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to
                 be trampled under foot?"
            :14  And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred
                 days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."


The phrase 'two thousand three hundred days' being a translation of the
Hebrew;

'evening morning two thousand and three hundred'

2300 ?


Much speculation has been advanced suggesting how the number 2,300 should
be viewed.


Due to the surrounding text this period is normally considered to represent
either a literal 2,300 days or a literal 1,150 days (1,150 evenings plus
1,150 mornings). Quite often such interpretations advance theories which
have periods initiated by Antiochus Epiphanes around 168-171 BC and they
terminate with the restoration of the temple by Judas Maccabeus.


Another common perspective is the placement of a similar period of 2300
days (or 1150 days) into a future setting following the desecration of
a literal or symbolic Jerusalem.


The above views place emphasis upon the understanding that the number
2300 should be considered as a measure of the time during which Jerusalem
will be trampled by the little horn. However, the question asked in Daniel
8:13 can also be interpreted from the viewpoint of how long would it be
before the little horn would arise to cast down the sanctuary.

Therefore, an additional common approach is to apply the 'day for a year'
principle and interpret the 'evening morning 2300' as being a reference
to either 2,300 years (or 1,150 years).


Some trying to link the 2300 notion to the ram and goat vision have
thought that as the Greek empire is commonly thought to have come into
existence in 331 BC the number may define the period between the rise of
the Greek empire and end time events, ie a period of 2,300 years.


Others have attempted to link the texts of Daniel chapters 8 and 9, and
have proposed that the period of 2,300 years began with the command to
rebuild Jerusalem. Often reference is made to the period 457 BC to 1844 AD.


When one looks closely at the Daniel chapters 8 and 9 they do appear to
show a common thread, the shared notion of the ceasing of the daily and
the destroying of the sanctuary. Chapter 8 speaks of the ending of the
daily offering (and the trampling of the sanctuary and host). Chapter 9
speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary (as well as the
ending of the daily).


EVENING MORNING


Note, the wording 'evening morning' is often inappropriately translated
as 'days'.


The twin notions of 'evening' and 'morning' are associated with several
events;

   - the days of creation mentioned in Genesis chapter 1

   - the morning and evening lamb sacrifices

   - the morning and evening attendance of the lampstand


Only in the creation account of Genesis chapter 1 do we find the Daniel
chapter 8 sequence, ie 'evening' mentioned before 'morning'.

Therefore, on the surface there initially seems to be a connection between
the 'evening morning' of Daniel 8:14,26 and the repeated Genesis chapter 1
'becoming evening and becoming morning'.

For many bible students Genesis chapter 1 is viewed as a literal account
of a physical creation process. Some others prefer to view these creation
days as symbolic and therefore envisage that the physical creation process
took place over an extended period of time. A third perspective is that
chapter one of Genesis is a symbolic representation of God's overall plan
of spiritual creation.


Since Daniel chapter 8 speaks about the daily sacrifices it is also
logical to associate the 'evening morning' comment with the twice daily
lamb offerings.

    Exod 29:39  One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the
                other lamb you shall offer at twilight.

    Num  28:4   The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, the
                other lamb you shall offer in the evening,

    Exod 30:7   Aaron shall burn on it (the golden altar) sweet
                incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, ...
           :8   And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, ...



THE DANIEL 8:13 QUESTION


To better understand the meaning of the answer 'evening morning 2300'
we really need to give serious consideration to just what is being asked
in the previous verse.

The NKJV presents the question of Daniel 8:13 as follows;

    Dan    8:13  ... "How long will the vision be, concerning the
                 daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation,
                 the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be
                 trampled under foot?"

Let us consider each point;

    'the vision'    - Is this talking about the entire vision starting
                      with the rise of the ram, or is it talking about
                      the final aspect when the little horn is active?
    'the daily'     - Is this referring to when the daily is performed,
                      or does it refer to when the daily is removed?
    'transgression' - The transgression of the priesthood which causes
                      God to raise up this little horn to oppose the
                      daily (Dan 8:12), or the transgression of the
                      little horn against the daily?
    'trampled'      - The figurative trampling of the sanctuary and
                      host done by a corrupt priesthood, or the more
                      direct trampling performed by the little horn.


Even the later Daniel 8:14 notion of 'cleansed' is uncertain. Does it
mean cleansed of the corrupt practices of the established priesthood,
or cleansed of the presence of the little horn?

It is precisely the degree of ambiguity built into the Daniel 8:13 verse
which has lead to both long and short term views of the meaning of the
response 'evening morning 2300'. Hence, we observe interpretations which
range from the relatively short duration of 1,150 days to the much longer
long duration of 2,300 years.


A more 'literal' rendering of Dan 8:13 reads;

    Dan    8:13  ... "Until when the vision, the daily and
                 the transgression desolating, to give both the
                 sanctuary and the host to be trampled?"

It could be concluded that two questions were being asked!

               1) How long the vision of the daily,
                  (the time of the ram and goat before
                  the little horn arises)

                  AND

               2) How long will the sanctuary and the host
                  be trampled by the little horn?


In response the reply of Dan 8:14;

    'evening morning two thousand three hundred',


So it could be that the answer to one question was 'evening morning'
and the answer to the other question was 'two thousand three hundred'.
But if this was the case, which answer was to which question.


However, before going any further let us consider a 'word for word'
rendering;

    Dan    8:13  ... "Until when the vision, the daily and
                 the transgression one-desolating to-give
                 and sanctuary and host trampled?"


What one notices about this 'word for word' rendering is that there
is an 'and' before the word 'sanctuary' indicating a connection to
the prior thought. A connection to the 'one desolating'.

So it seems, the intended question is;

    Dan    8:13  ... "Until when the vision, the daily and
                 the transgression; one-desolating given
                 and sanctuary and host trampled?"

The actual question is essentially asking,

         "How long will continue the daily offerings and
          the priesthood transgression, before the desolator
          arrives and the sanctuary and the host are trampled."

Only one question! And it relates to the time span before judgment
is rendered upon the corrupt priesthood.
 

In addition to the Daniel 8:13 question, consideration needs to be
given to the issue, "What is the connection between the the ram and
goat narrative and the duration of the daily offerings?"


A NEW PERSPECTIVE


There are a number of commonly encountered interpretations of the
'evening morning 2300'. However, what we seek is the true meaning!

[ NB: And the true meaning may require us to grasp the presence
      of symbolic illustration. ] 

AN OVERVIEW

From an overview we can observe the following.

      -  Daniel was not able to fathom the meaning of the Daniel
         chapter 8 vision and he could not find anyone else able
         to interpret it for him (Dan 8:27).
         However, in the subsequent chapter, verses 9:22-23 imply
         the understanding of the subsequent 70 weeks prophecy
         would assist in explaining the teaching of chapter 8.

      -  Common themes are present in both the chapter 8 and 9
         predictions.
         - The fate of the sanctuary - chapter 8, v11, 'cast down'
                                     - chapter 9, v26, destroyed.
         - A state of desolation     - chapter 8, v11 & v12
                                     - chapter 9, v26 & v27.

A RELATED VERSE

When looking through Scripture for other references to the value '2,300'
one does not quickly encounter any related references. However, using the
less well know '1 year can equal 50 years' principle (derived from the
Jubilee observance) we can locate a related text.

    John  2:19  Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple,
                and in three days I will raise it up."
           :20  Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to
                build this temple, and will You raise it up in three
                days?"


Needless to say 2,300 years divided by 50 = 46 years.

John 2:20 introduces the notion of the destruction of the temple after
the expiry of 46 years of building. Daniel chapter 8 introduces the
idea of the casting down of the sanctuary after the expiry of a period
of 2300. Both texts are suggesting;

             1)  a period of building
             2)  a subsequent destruction.

EXPLAINED BY CHAPTER 9

How does Daniel chapter 9 explain the period of 2300 found in chapter 8?

Looking at the 70 weeks prophecy, in chapter 9, we can see the period
of 69 weeks is composed of 7 + 62 weeks. At the start of the 7 weeks
building began (v25) and at the expiry of the 62 weeks Jerusalem and
its sanctuary are destroyed (v26). Thus the overall period of 69 weeks
also encompasses the notions of 1)building and 2)subsequent destruction.

               There is an inference the period indicated by
    *****      the number '2,300' found in Daniel chapter 8      *****
    *****      is also being referred to as '69 weeks' in        *****
               Daniel chapter 9!


What period is being referred to as '69 weeks'? Some would say 483 years
(ie 69 x 7 years), but they would be wrong! The prophetic period of
'69 weeks' refers to the period of 69 Jubilee years, ie 69 x 50 years or
3,450 years.
(For a full explanation of the 70 weeks prophecy click on the 'Bible Study
Index' below.)

[NB: The 3,450 years define a period from when the children of Israel were
     'planted' in the land of Canaan to the future destruction of a symbolic
     Jerusalem and its sanctuary (ie, the start of the Great Tribulation).]


What is the connection between '2300' and 3,450 years?


Daniel chapter 8 places heavy emphasis upon the regular daily sacrifice.
Bible students are generally aware that under the Jewish law two lambs
were to be offered every day, one in the morning and one in the evening,
refer to Exod 29:38-42 and Num 28:3-8.
However, what is less well known is that the book of Ezekiel documents a
further daily lamb offering to be offered on behalf of the 'prince' every
morning.

    Ezek  46:13  You (prince) shall daily make a burnt offering to the
                 LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish; you
                 shall prepare it every morning.
            :14  And you shall prepare a grain offering with it every
                 morning, a sixth of an ephah, and a third of a hin of
                 oil to moisten the fine flour. This grain offering is
                 a perpetual ordinance, to be made regularly to the LORD.
            :15  Thus they (priesthood) shall prepare the lamb, the grain
                 offering, and the oil, as a regular burnt offering
                 every morning.

                 (Note: The quantity of flour and oil offerings required
                        to accompany the 'prince' offering differs to
                        that specified for the two lambs.)


The additional 'prince' offering is also mentioned in 2Kings.

    2King 16:15  ... burn the morning burnt offering, the evening grain
                 offering, the king's burnt sacrifice, and his grain
                 offering, with the burnt offering of all the people
                 of the land, their grain offering, and their drink
                 offerings; ...


Over a period of 1,150 mornings and 1,150 evenings, a total of 2,300
occasions, 3,450 lambs would have been offered as regular daily offerings!
2300 daily lambs would have been offered in the morning and 1,150 daily
lambs in the evening.

So it seems the number 2300 when connected with the regular daily sacrifice
is representing the period prior to the fall of Jerusalem. The 3,450 lambs
are representing a duration of 3,450 years!


So the answer to the question of how long the daily offerings and the
priesthood transgression is 3,450 years. The daily spans the period from
the time the children of Israel were settled in the Promised Land to the
yet future prophetic fall of the sanctuary.


While this interpretation fits in well with the notion of 'daily', one has
to ask what it has to do with the duration of the ram and goat (entities
which are defined in verses 20 & 21 as the kingdoms of Medo-Persia and
Greece respectively).

The only conclusion is that the provided definitions of verses 20 & 21
are symbolic explanations. That 'Media', 'Persia' and 'Greece' are
definitions being used to symbolize other entities.

The page www.bibleinsight.com/goat.html discusses the true identity of
the ram and goat.


THE 'EVENING MORNING' COMMENT


In addition to the 2300 number found in Dan 8:14 we encounter the
words 'evening morning'.

At first this merely appears to be a definition which helps us to
understand the meaning of the 2300 number.

However, there are number of factors which suggest otherwise:

  1) Scripture has recorded the sequence 'evening morning' and the
     sequence which is always used in respect to the regular daily
     offering is 'morning evening'. In respect to the daily sacrifices
     'morning' is always mentioned first! 


  2) A subsequent 'evening morning' reference is singular!

     While our translations often show the plural form;

       Dan    8:26  And the vision of the evenings and mornings
                    which was told is true; ...  [ NKJV ]

     The Hebrew actually shows these words in the singular
     form with 'the' preceding each.

       Dan 8:26  And the vision of the evening and the morning
                 which was told is true; ...

     The indication from Daniel 8:26 is that there only ever was
     one evening and one morning being implied in Daniel 8:14!


  3) The answer in Dan 8:14 in Hebrew actually reads;

       Dan 8:14  ... until evening morning, ...

     The word 'until' meaning 'as far as' or 'up until'.
     In other words the duration of the daily would come
     to an end with the start of the symbolic 'evening
     morning'.      


Let us now consider what 'evening morning' may mean.


Drawing upon point 3) above we can state that the 'evening morning'
expression has to relate to the period which follows the allowed time
for the daily and the transgression (of the priesthood).
It relates to the time of the desolator and the trampling of the
sanctuary and host - the time of a destruction of Jerusalem.


So let us consider what a single 'evening' and a single 'morning'
in literal terms represent.

A notional 'Day'?


Some would quickly make a connection to the repeated evening morning
references in Genesis chapter one. This is where the proper sequence
of 'evening' then 'morning' is found. So does an 'evening' and a
'morning' represent a single day?

It may seem so until one looks at how these two words are literally
used in Scripture. The topic of their use is quite complex and covered
in another webpage, so let us just state the findings of this webpage.

 - The terms each refer to two points of time. There are two points
   of time called 'evening' (one of which is sunset) and there are
   two points of time called 'morning' (one of which is sunrise).
   When used to refer a period of time, and not a point in time,
   'evening' refers to the time between sunset and midnight and
   'morning' refers to the time midnight to sunrise.
   We see an example of this in Mark 1:35 where Scripture says
   Christ rose in the morning a great while before day (daylight).

So in literal terms these two terms refer to the period of night,
the entire period of darkness.

Not to a full 24 hour day. 

 [ NB: The Genesis chapter one references in Hebrew do not merely
       say 'evening morning', but rather 'becoming evening and
       becoming morning' and refer to the coming of the time
       known by both names which marked the end of the bible day.]  
 

A Symbolic Midnight?


Is the 'evening morning' comment referring to a single point in time?

Is it referencing to a symbolic midnight, a time which would mark the
end of an era. The final end to God's patience with Jerusalem.

This a possibility and there has been a significant past judgment
rendered at this time;

    Exod  12:29  And it came to pass at midnight that the
                 LORD struck all the firstborn in the land
                 of Egypt, ...

However, some may argue that the Dan 8:26 'the evening and the morning'
tends to suggest two periods of time rather than a single point in time.

A Symbolic Night?


The prophetic notion of judgment occurring during a symbolic 'night'
fits well with verses such as;

    John  9:4   I must work the works of Him who sent Me
                while it is day; the night is coming when
                no one can work.

    Amos  5:18  Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
                For what good is the day of the LORD to you?
                It will be darkness, and not light.

                (And other similar verses like Ezek 32:7-8
                 and Isa 13:9-11.)

{ NB: What is also interesting about the expression 'evening morning'
      and the notion of judgment is that it also correlates to some
      extent with the Great Flood. The deluge of Noah's time being
      composed of 150 days of rising waters followed by 150 days of
      receding waters. ]
  

'Evening Morning' Summary


We should keep in mind that Priestly transgression is the issue which
leads to the necessity for the rise of the little horn. We are told
in Daniel chapter 8 that because of transgression (a deviation from
God's required form of worship/work) an army would be given over to
the little horn to oppose such corrupt symbolic daily offerings.


So it seems the expression 'evening morning' is a definition of the
duration of time during which the little horn tramples the sanctuary.
It is a reference to a time of spiritual darkness in what the bible
is calling 'Jerusalem' or 'Judah'.
(Hence, the inhabitants are told in Matt 24:16 ... let those who are
in Judah flee to the mountains (meaning - 'mountains' of the house
of Israel).  


CONCLUSION


In conclusion that God has in chapter 8, and in the answer of Dan 8:14,
'until evening morning, two thousand three hundred', simply presented
an overview of His spiritual work.

An overview, which spans the time from when Israel was settled in the
Promised Land through to the start and completion of the end-time Great
Tribulation.




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