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) in the future following the desecration of a literal or
symbolic Jerusalem.


Both of 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, another 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).


In an attempt to link the texts of Daniel chapters 8 and 9, some 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.


An initial justifiable timing for the start of a period of 2,300 years
could be either the rise of the Medo-Persian or Greek empires. The text
of Daniel chapter 8 discussion highlights both these empires. Still, if
the 2,300 figure was intended to refer to 2,300 years and be defining the
length of time spanned by the vision then it should be started with the
rise of the Medo-Persian empire.
The problem with such a view is that the Medo-Persian empire is commonly
thought to have come into existence in 539 BC (the Greek empire in 331 BC).
So only the less likely option, the rise of the Greek empire, is still a
viable future possibility and even then only if one is willing to accept
a dating more recent than 331 BC.


[ The strongest connection between chapters 8 and 9 is the notions of
  the ceasing of the daily and destroying of the sanctuary. Chapter 8
  speaks of the ending of the daily offering (and the trampling of the
  sanctuary and host), while Daniel 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 a strong connection is suggested between the 'evening morning'
of Daniel 8:14,26 and the repeated Genesis chapter 1 'evening and morning'.

For many Genesis chapter 1 is 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 to these two questions the reply of Dan 8:14 was;

    '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.

One may also ask why would the duration of the ram and goat kingdoms
equate to the duration of the daily offerings?


A NEW PERSPECTIVE


The various interpretations considered so far have focused upon the
common opinions about the Daniel chapter 8 prophecy. However, there
are indications that there are deeper symbolic meanings present.

AN OVERVIEW

From an overview we can observe the following.

      -  Daniel was not able to fathom the meaning of the Daniel 8
         vision and 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 twin notions of 1)building and 2)destruction of
the sanctuary.

               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 first question of how long the vision and how long
the daily 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 not literal, but rather symbolic. That the kingdoms of Medo-Persia
and Greece are in Daniel also being used as symbols.

The page www.bibleinsight.com/goat.html discusses the true identity of the
ram and goat, suggesting these and the Medo-Persian and Greece kingdoms,
are being used to represent the Jewish and Christian faiths.


THE 'EVENING MORNING' ANSWER


If Scripture had recorded 'morning evening', the sequence always used
in respect to the regular daily offering, instead of 'evening morning'
we would have had to look no further.

Since we have now linked the answer '2300' to the first question (how
long the daily would continue), the answer 'evening morning' logically
should relate to the second question (how long would the little horn
trample).

The response 'evening morning' must be a symbolic definition of the
period during which the sanctuary and host are trampled by the little
horn.

At this point we should consider the subsequent 'evening' and 'morning'
reference.

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

    [ The NKJV shows the 'evening' and the 'morning' in the plural
      form, that is as 'evenings' and 'mornings'.

      However, the Hebrew actually shows these words in the singular
      form with a '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!  ] 


Having realised that the prophecy is only dealing with a single
'evening morning' period let us consider what such may mean.

As 'evening morning' is related to the notion of 'day' we can make a
link to the end-time destructive prophetic period called the 'Day of
the Lord' (refer Amos 5:16-20).

  [ The term 'Day of the Lord' may also be deemed to be connected
    with a form of prophetic spiritual Sabbath. Indeed death is
    also a notion connected to the Sabbath. The Old Covenant
    Sabbath was a time when it was punishable by death if one
    persisted in doing one's own work on that day. ]


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.


CONCLUSION


So it seems in conclusion that God has in chapter 8, and in the answer
of Dan 8:14 'evening morning 2300', simply presented an overview of His
spiritual work. An overview, which reflects the history of His work and
also gives specific focus to an important prophetic end-time event.




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