Daniel 8 & 9

This study will be based on the books of Daniel Chapter 8 and 9 from the Old Testament of the bible. The backdrop to the book of Daniel is that Daniel had been captive in Babylon but became highly noticed as one of the wise men of the nation. We saw in an earlier post how Daniel was able to interpret the dream of a king in Daniel Chapter 2 and we saw how this dream pin-pointed kingdoms that were to come in the future up till the establishment of the everlasting Kingdom of Christ.
Well, Daniel 8 and 9 are two profound books of the bible which contain some amazing truth, towards the end of this study we’ll also take a look at the 2300 day prophecy from this book, so lets get started!

The Great Battle Between A Ram and A Goat

Daniel 8:1-8

Daniel is having a vision, he is standing by the river Ulai and he sees a Ram with two horns, one horn is higher than the other, this ram is able to do as it pleases and it has become a great ram, no one is able to stand before it. Whilst Daniel is looking suddenly he then sees a he goat coming from the west with a Notable horn between its eyes. It runs with fury into the ram. This he goat then breaks the ram’s two horns, casts it to the ground and then stamps on it. Verse 8 tells us that “Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven, KJV”

The bible translates itself in verse 20 as it says “The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece”.

The Great horn of the goat represented Alexander the great, who when he died, his kingdom was now divided amongst his four generals. This ties is in completely with what we saw ealier in verse 8 where it mentiond that when the great horn became broken four horns appeared. This is a classic example of how Bible Prophecy proves to be real as this book of Daniel was written well before the Kingdom of Alexander the Great came on the scene.

The little Horn

Daniel 8:8-12

“Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered”

The angel Gabriel interprets the vision for Daniel from verse 23 to 25 of chapter 8. “A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means,” NKJV.

The Little Horn power of Daniel 8 sounds very similar to the Little Horn Power of Daniel Chapter 7. In Chapter 7 we see a much more detailed description which actually helps to determine exactly who this Little Horn represents. We will go into further detail on Daniel 7 in the next blog post and we will see clearly who this little horn represents.

How long?

Carrying on with Chapter 8 we then arrive at verse 13 and 14, this is now the meat of the topic we’re studying.

“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” KJV.

In verse 26 the bible then states, reagarding the 2300 days:
“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. 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.” So we see here that Daniel falls sick and is astonished at this vision, no one understands the vision.

Daniel Chapter 9 then starts off with Daniel having a prayer of confession for the sins of himself and his people, when we get to verse 21 something happens. Let’s take a look!:
“yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision”:

So we see now now that Gabriel the angel has returned to provide Daniel with the interpretation of the rest of the vision he had concerning the 2300 days.

70 weeks (ends in 34AD)

“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy,” Daniel 9:24, KJV”

Interesting, so we see now that 70 weeks have been determinind (cut off). Essentially this is saying that out of the 2300 days, the first 70 weeks are cut off for your people (referring to the jews as this interpretation was being given to Daniel).

In order to understand bible prophecy we need to understand that a day represents a year (see: numbers 14:34 and ezekiel 4:6) so when we transform 70 weeks into days we get 490 days (70×7 = 490).

Using the day for a year principle we then see how the 490 days(70 weeks) becomes 490 years.

From this we now see that the 2300 days is actually a prophecy of 2300 literal years. So Since we now know how long this prophecy lasts it would be important to know when it began.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem…” Daniel 9:24, KJV.

So the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem signifies the time when this prophecy began. The main decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by King Artexerxes in the year 457BC. Read Ezra 7:11-27 for more clarity. Circular history also validates this.

So from 457BC and adding 490 years we then arrive at the year 34AD (remember when counting that year 0 doesn’t exist because the years went from 1 BC to AD 1). 34AD was the year when the gospel was now to be preached to the Gentiles, after the stoning of Stephen, this meant that the time had now been fulfilled for the Jewish nation to receive and accept the gospel.

This same 70 week prophecy(490 years) also encapsulates the full baptism, anointing and the 3.5 year ministry of Christ which was carried on for another 3.5 years by the Apostles, after Christ’s death. After that time the gospel is then taken straight to the gentiles.

“There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:25,26,27 KJV.

The 70 week prophecy points to the time that was allocated to the Jewish nation, because after that time period the gospel then went onto the Gentiles. Paul the apostle is one of the most notable forerunners who God used to spread the gospel. Almost more than half of the new testament was written by Paul.

2300 Days (ends in 1844)

“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” KJV.

As we just found out the 490 years(70 weeks) ended in 34AD, this was proved because we found out that the start date was 457BC. So which means there are 1810 years left of the prophecy(2300-490=1810). So when we do the simple mathematics we see that since 457BC is the start date, if we add 2300 to this we then end up at the year 1844 AD. (remember that year zero doesn’t exist because the years went from 1 BC to AD 1)

So lets now recap the bible verse said that ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed, Daniel 8:14“. This would then mean that the year 1844 has some significance in terms of the cleansing of the sanctuary.

In the 1800’s a man named William Miller believed that the earth was the sanctuary that this verse refers to. So him and his followers believed that the ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’ meant that the earth would be cleansed hence symbolising the Second coming of Christ. This was what was known as the great advent movement.

History teaches us that Jesus did not physically come to earth on October 22 in 1844 as William Miller had expected. Those hundreds of thousands who were waiting on Christ’s physical return became part of what is now known as The Great Disappointment.

Many rejected Christ after this event but there were a few who still believed that their faith was not in vain. After allow some time for the healing process of the disappointment there were those who chose to go back to the sincerely study the bible but more specifically the sanctuary in order to seek for truth.

The Heavenly Sanctuary

“The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand directed the great advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light(1) the position and work of His people.” –The Great Controversy, p. 423.

“The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days.” –The Great Controversy, p. 424.

After the Great disappointment there was a group that went back to research where they went wrong and they discovered that in the old testament service once a year the priest went from the holy into the most holy to blot out all the sins(Leviticus Chapter 16). This was the cleansing of the sanctuary in the Old Testament annual sanctuary service. Through bible study they also came to realise that there is a actually a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the lord set up and not man.(See Hebrews 8:1-5). So instead of Christ coming to the earthly, based on the understanding of the sanctuary, Jesus moved from the Holy into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and that’s where he now continues his intercessory work and carrying out the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.

Seventh Day Adventists were formed many years after 1844.  They are known as a people of the book as they are a church which has a foundation which is built on a sincere study of the scriptures. Some of those who sincerely went back to the scripture after the Great Disappointment later became the pioneers of the adventist faith. One of the most notable people is Ellen Gould Harmon White who is today famously known for her writings which have been published on a global scale. She is one of the most translated woman writers in the history of literature, her book Steps to Christ has been published in over 140 languages.

So what is the sanctuary?

In the old testament, God gave Moses instructions to build a sanctuary which was a God’s holy dwelling place for the Israelites in the desert. The pattern that Moses used to build the sanctuary was based on the sanctuary in heaven. In the ancient sanctuary service of the old testament, a sinner would have to put his hands upon a lamb, then he would have to confess his sins, and thus transferring the sin to that substitute. The lamb was then killed and the blood was taken into the Sanctuary to be sprinkled in the Holy Place, in order to make the record of sin.

Sanctuary being cleansed meaning?

Once a year on the day of atonement the ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’ took place in which the service symbolised the cleansing of the peoples hearts before God.

Christ’s ministry in the sanctuary?

When Jesus came to the earth the first time he came as a ‘lamb’, John 1:29. So when he died the Veil(curtain) in the sanctuary of the earthly temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. This symbolised that all the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament had now met their fulfilment because they all pointed to Jesus who came to take away sin. This meant that the earthly temple was now no longer valid. Jesus is now the Great High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary and also interceding on our behalf. (Matthew 27:51).
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”, Hebrews 4:14-16.

Cleansing of the sanctuary in 1844?

In Daniel 8 we see that the 2300 day prophecy shows that the cleansing of the sanctuary began in 1844. So since then Christ has been carrying out his work during this Antitypical Day of Atonement which we are now living in. This means that the Jewish Day of Atonement pointed to Christ’s final ministry in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

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