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.


All 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 Daniel chapter 8 and the seventy weeks prophecy
(Dan 9:24-27) they do appear to show a common thread; the shared
notion of the ceasing of the daily and the destruction of the sanctuary.

   [ Daniel 9:26 speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem and
     the sanctuary. While Dan 8:10-14 mentions the trampling
     of the sanctuary and host.
     Dan 9:27 speaks of the ending of the daily and so does
     Dan 8:11-12. ]
 


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
references.
However, the Genesis chapter 1 references are in the form 'becoming
evening and becoming morning'.
(NB: A number of translations simply render the text as,
    'there was evening and there was morning'.)


[ For many bible students Genesis chapter one 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. ]


What has tended to occur is the assumption that a day can be split into
two portions, one being 'evening' and the other being 'morning'.
Few have studied the use of the words 'evening' and 'morning' and how
they are actually utilised elsewhere in Scripture. 
However, even a surface study of these words indicates they are usually
utilised as point in time references. 'Evening' frequently refers to the
time 'sunset', while 'morning' frequently refers to the time 'sunrise'.


So in summary, the exact meaning which we should derive from the Daniel
'evening morning' wording is a little uncertain and is something that
a comprehensive interpretation of this prophecy would have to clarify.


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 question
was 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 due to 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 this degree of ambiguity present in the Daniel 8:13
verse which has led to both long and short term views of the meaning
of the response 'evening morning 2300'.
Consequently, we observe interpretations which range from the relatively
short duration of 1,150 days to the much longer duration of 2,300 years.


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

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


        1)  It is indicated that the vision (of the ram and goat)
            corresponds to the same period as the continual.

        2)  The 'continual' can be a reference to the daily
            sacrifices and offerings as it is in Numbers chapter
            28, but it may also be applied to all that is stated
            in the Old Covenant to have ongoing 'continuance'
            in respect to worship.
            Notice that Dan 9:27 does indeed highlight a time
            when 'sacrifice and offering' will be brought to an
            end. 

        3)  In the prior verse, verse 12, the notion of ongoing
            'transgression' is provided as the reason for why
            God allows the horn to oppose the daily.
            Dan 9:24 also links the notion of 'transgression' as
            one of the reasons for God's judgment against Jerusalem.

        4)  In Dan 9:27 the ' one desolating' is linked to the
            entity which brings to an end sacrifices and offerings.
            Indicating that in chapter 8, the 'one-desolating' is
            a reference to the little horn.

        5)  The notion of 'to give' is explained by verse 12 as
            an 'army' or 'host' given over to the little horn to
            oppose the daily.

        6)  The Hebrew word rendered above as 'one-desolating'
            is Strong's reference H8074. In other translations
            it is rendered 'desolation', 'desolate', 'horror'
            or 'astonishment'(as in Young's Literal Translation).
            According to Strong's it means,
             "to stun (or intransitively, grow numb),
              i.e. devastate or (figuratively) stupefy
              (both usually in a passive sense).".
            This Hebrew word is also present in the  verses,
            Lam 3:11, Dan 9:27,12:11. 
            

An important issue we notice from the above points is that the presented
words 'transgression' and 'desolating-one' each relate to two different
entities. The notion of 'transgression' relates to the ongoing priesthood
transgression in Jerusalem (ie, sanctuary and host) and 'desolating-one'
is a direct reference to the little horn.

Hence, with this understanding it can be seen that the expression
'transgression of desolation' would represent an invalid combination
of words.     


It seems the correct rendering of the latter portion of Dan 8:13 is;

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


This question can be understood in two different ways;

        A)  How long the vision, the continual and the transgression,
            before the little horn is given an army and the sanctuary
            and host are trampled?

    OR  B)  1) How long the vision, the daily and the transgression?
                     AND
            2) How long the little horn (with his army) will cause
               the sanctuary and the host to be trampled?


So we will have to seek clarification as to whether one or two questions
are being asked in this verse.


In any case the response of Dan 8:14 was simply;

         'evening morning two thousand three hundred',

          [ NB: So should it be that two questions are being asked,
                the answer to one question may be 'evening morning'
                and the answer to the other question may be 'two
                thousand three hundred'. ]


In addition to the Daniel 8:13 question, consideration needs to be
given to the issue, "What is the connection between 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 presentation. ] 

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 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 texts. 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 46 multiplied by 50 = 2300.

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 provide insight into the number 2300?

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 '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.

For a fuller discussion of the ram and goat vision, click below.

RAM AND GOAT VISION - Daniel chapter 8


THE 'EVENING MORNING' COMMENT


We have now identified the meaning of the number 2300 (as 3,450 years)
and seen that it is the answer to the question of the duration of "the
vision, the continual and the transgression". 

However, we still need to consider how we should understand the
'evening morning' aspect of the response.


What factors indicate the 'evening morning' portion of the response is
to be understood as quite separate from the 2300 number?

  1) The sequence 'evening morning' differs from the sequence
     which is always used in respect to the daily. (The daily
     offering sequence is always 'morning evening').  


  2) In chapter 8 of Daniel there is a subsequent 'evening morning'
     reference and this reference is singular!

     While our translations often show the plural form;

       Dan    8:26  And the vision of the evenings and mornings
                    [ from 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


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


  3) There is also a further subtle indication.

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

       This affirmation "which was told is true" is somewhat
       mirrored in;

       Dan 12:7  Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was
                 above the waters of the river, when he held up
                 his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and
                 swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be
                 for a time, times, and half a time; and when the
                 power of the holy people has been completely
                 shattered, all these things shall be finished.

       Is this type of assurance present because the duration
       of each of these time periods happens to be completely
       encompassed within prophesied end-time events.
       (That is, having both their starting and ending points
       defined by critical end-time occurrences.)


So let us consider what a literal single 'evening' and a literal
single 'morning' may 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 web site.

 - Each of these terms 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' may be considered to apply to the time between sunset
   and midnight and 'morning' to the time midnight to sunrise
   
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.)

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.)

'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 corrupt symbolic daily offerings.

So, in summary, it seems the expression 'evening morning' is a symbolic
reference to the duration during which the little horn tramples the
sanctuary. Not being a concealed teaching revealing the actual duration
involved, but merely a symbolic reference to the future time of spiritual
darkness.


SEQUENCE OF THE ANSWER


What is apparent is that the sequence of the answers, does not happen
to correspond with the sequence of the questions.

Why?

In part the answer is that the response begins with the word 'until'.

       until evening morning two thousand and three hundred

In other words God begins the answer with focus upon the final point
in time.


However, it is also common for end-time orientated prophesies to
highlight the prophesied future event(s), and then symbolically
define a connection back to an implied past event.


CONCLUSION


In conclusion God has in chapter 8, and in the answer of Dan 8:14,
'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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