The 2300 Day Prophecy and the Year-Day Principle

When taught as a unit, Seventh-day Adventists indirectly teach that Christ is the Anti-Christ little horn of Daniel 8:9-14 who defiled the sanctuary by transferring sin into it. See page one and chapter 4.

6 – THE 2300 DAYS OF DANIEL 8:14


Edited 3-2018

Dan. 8:14 Unto two thousand and three hundred days (KJV); For 2,300 evenings and mornings (NASU); For two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings (RSV); It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings (NIV); ‘ereb-boqer (Hebrew)

Dan. 8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning (‘ereb-boqer) which was told is true: wherefore shut up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

One: The Hebrew for days in Daniel 8:14 is not the usual Hebrew word, yom, for day. Instead, it is the Hebrew words, ‘ereb-boqer, meaning “evenings-mornings” which are thus translated in Daniel 8:26. When comparing the KJV, NASU, NIV, and RSV, only the King James Version reads “days” in 8:14. It is important to know that ‘ereb (evening) and boqer (morning) occur 48 times in the KJV as “evening and morning” and only once as “days” – here in Daniel 8:14!

Since the common Hebrew word for “day,” yom, does not appear in 8:14, this is probably a fundamental flaw in SDA calculations. When the sanctuary is being discussed, the couplet, ‘ereb-boqer refers to the two daily sacrifices of the evening and the morning and the total count of days could very easily be calculated as half of 2300, or 1150 actual days.

Numb. 14:34 After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years… [40 days became 40 years]

Ezek. 4:5 For I have laid upon you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shall you bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.

Ezek. 4:6 And when you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed you each day for a year. [390 years became 390 days; 40 years became 40 days]

Two: SDAs teach that “day-for-a-year” is an implied prophetic principle given in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:4-6 which also applies to Daniel 8:14. While Numbers uses the Hebrew formula, “day-for-year,” yom la-shaanaah yom la-shaanaah, Ezekiel reverses it to “year-for-day” (390 years to 390 days and 40 years to 40 days).

On the one hand, Numbers 14:34 is not prophecy at all! It is a judicial sentence of punishment which began immediately. God was commanding Moses how long to stay outside Canaan! Moses was not allowed to let Israel cross into Canaan until 40 years had transpired. On the other hand, SDAs do not use Ezekiel’s “year-for-a-day” formula at all. They only use it to bolster Numbers 14:34.

If there is a principle found in Numbers 14 and Ezekiel 4, then the principle is “When ‘day-year’ or ‘year-day’ is intended, it will be clear in the context that this principle is being used.” Even if Numbers 14:34 were a prophecy, it would be an exception to the rule and not the rule itself. For example, in Isaiah 23:15-17; Jeremiah 23:11-12; 29:10; Second Chronicles 36:21 and Daniel 9:2 “seventy years” means “seventy years” — not “seventy years of days” (70 x 360 = 25200 years).

Dan. 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city.…. [70 x 7 weeks of years]

Three: SDAs also use the 490 years of Daniel 9:24 to prove the “day-year” principle. Yet this text can stand on its own integrity without being supported by Numbers 14:34. The Hebrew sha-bu-yiim can mean “70 weeks of years,” “week of 70 years,” “70 sevens” or “490 years” without changing days into years from Numbers 14:34. In other words, there is no “prophetic principle” changing days into years found in Daniel 9:24.

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, do not be ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [1 day to 1000 years; 1000 years to 1 day]

Four: It is a good thing that SDAs did not use Second Peter 3:8 as their guide for Daniel 8:14. That would place the beginning of the Investigative Judgment 2,300,000 years away, or in 2.3 days. However, the text does prove that the logic could extend in either direction.

Five: SDAs teach that the question of 8:13 about the “daily” was “When would the Day of Atonement pattern “begin” to be fulfilled by Messiah in the heavenly sanctuary?”. Actually, the question was “When would the Jerusalem Temple “end” its defilement by being rededicated through a typical (non Day of Atonement) restoration?”. The use of ‘ereb-boqer in Daniel 8:14 instead of yom is connected, not with prophetic days, as SDAs insist, but with the “evening and morning” ”daily sacrifice” which had been defiled by the little horn in Daniel 8:11. When SDA founders used Cruden’s Concordance instead of Hebrew, they were not aware of the difference between yom and ‘ereb boqer.

Six: SDAs teach that the context of Daniel 8:14 (8:1-13) provides no beginning point for the 2300 “years” and reason that both time periods (8:14 and 9:24’s 457 B. C.) must begin at the same point in history. In reality, they mean that Daniel 8 provides no beginning point that would satisfy their own theory. Actually, there are quite a few possible beginning points which better fit the context of Daniel 8:14. (1) “In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me” 8:1; (2) the vision literally began when the Persian ram emerged in 8:2; (3) the emergence of the goat in 8:5-7; (3) the breaking of the great horn in 8:8; (4) the emergence of the little horn in 8:9; (5) the persecution of the host in 8:10 and, especially, (6) the desolation of the sanctuary in 8:11-12 which is definitely the focus of 8:13-14. Therefore, the next desolation of the sanctuary in 167 B. C. should be the most obvious beginning point. However, almost certainly, if Christ has not returned by 2133, somebody will again subtract Antiochus’ desolation in 167 B. C. from 2300 to promote that date.

When SDAs teach that the 2300 years must get their beginning from the vision of Daniel 9:24-27, this is pure speculation. Any of the starting points previously discussed would better fit the context. There was widespread disagreement even within the historical interpretation community during the early 1800s. (See points #4 above and #8 below.) Adam Clarke’s Commentary (who followed the “day-year” formula) said it started with the conquests of the great Greek horn (Alexander) of 8:8 in 334 B. C. Cumming, began the period with the decline of Persia in 480 B. C. On the other hand, the historical date of December 25, 167 B. C. for the desolation by Antiochus Epiphanes is predominant.

Seven: Although William Miller had 15 different ways to reach 1843 (not 1844), none of them included Ezra 7 and 457 B. C.! However, SDAs now teach that Ezra 7’s decree of 457 B. C. is the only valid beginning date of both Daniel 9:24’s chronology and the 2300 “years” of Daniel 8:14. By discussing Ezra 7 in the chapter on William Miller, [“In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found.”] (GC326), SDAs deceive the reader into thinking that it was discovered by Miller. See #7 of Miller’s Time Proved in Fifteen Different Ways, found in Arasola’s The End of Historicism and Dale Ratzlaff’s Cultic Doctrine, 64-65.

Eight: In chapter 9 Daniel was attempting to connect the desolation of 8:10-12 to the prophecy of Jeremiah — not to the heavenly sanctuary. “In the first year of his reign 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. 9:2).”

Yet SDAs stand firm on their conclusions that Ezra 7:21-28’s decree of 457 B. C. is the beginning of the 2300 “years” which ended in 1844 (by adding a year “0”). But even this date is controversial because Daniel 9:24’s “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” is about a decree to rebuild the walls and city of Jerusalem. Daniel 9:24 and 25 say nothing about the Temple which was rebuilt and restored in 515 B. C. Daniel 9:25 ends with “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Ezra is full of decrees about the Temple, but none about the walls of the city itself. This is extremely damaging to the SDA foundation! “Decree” occurs in Ezra 5:13, 17; 6:1, 3, 8, 11, 12; 7:13, 21. There is an obsession with the “house” of God in Ezra; the word, “house,” occurs over 65 times in the short book!

Jeremiah had prophesied in 605 B. C. that there would be 70 years of captivity. When the Persians under Cyrus defeated Babylon in 538 B. C., a decree was issued in that year to authorize the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem — not the city and its walls (Ezra 1:1-2). There was a re-issuance of the first decree by Artaxerxes in 457 B. C., but it also only affected the Temple and not the city and its walls (Ezra 7).

Nehemiah 2’s decree better fits the description of Daniel 9:24. It was not until 446-444 B. C., that a decree was issued which authorized the rebuilding of the city and its walls in fulfillment of the exact wording of Daniel 9:24 and 25 (Nehemiah 2). The book of Nehemiah reflects an obsession with rebuilding the walls of the city. Therefore, the SDA use of Ezra 7 instead of Nehemiah 2 for the fulfillment of Daniel 9:24-25 is very questionable and would change their 1844 date.

Nine: SDAs do not teach that the sanctuary of 8:14 become defiled at the beginning of the 2300 “years” in 457 B. C. Yet this failure is inconsistent with their 2300 time period. Since the question of 8:13 was “how long” should the “vision,” and the “transgression” and the “trampling under foot” of the “host” continue, then it should be logically deduced that the beginning of the 2300 time period was also the beginning of the “vision concerning the daily sacrifice.” Yet SDAs ignore this conclusion.

When do SDAs teach that the heavenly sanctuary first became defiled? Follow this trail. Since SDAs teach that, in 1844, Christ began investigating the list of professed believers, beginning with Adam, then their logic demands that the heavenly sanctuary first became defiled with the very first sin forgiven by God in Genesis 3:21. (See GC480, 483, 644.) When the LORD (Yahweh) forgave Adam and Eve, Jesus must have initially defiled the heavenly sanctuary by transferring Adam and Eve’s atoned sins into it. His ministry as mediator inside the heavenly sanctuary actually defiled it. Ellen White states in The Great Controversy, page 421, “In the New Covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary.  Therefore, Christ’s blood (SDAs teach) causes greater defilement of the sanctuary than that of pagan and papal Rome in Daniel 8:9-12.

SDAs also teach that the Roman Catholic confessional (made mandatory by the Lateran Council in 1215) is the defilement of Daniel 8:12. If this were true, then they should also conclude that the 2300 years began in 1215! As Protestants, they should also agree that the Protestant Reformation (three centuries before 1844) was the beginning of this doctrinal cleansing. Yet they teach neither!

Finally, when SDAs do not include God’s own defilement of the Jerusalem Temple when He ripped the veil, they miss the end of its usefulness and the end of its law-pattern fulfillment when the New Covenant began (Mt. 27:31; Heb. 9:8).

Historically, the literal Jerusalem Temple was fully functioning in 457 B. C. It functioned continuously from Nehemiah’s restoration in 515 B.C. until Rome caused it to cease in A. D. 70. The only very noteworthy exception was the 1150 literal days between 167 B. C. and 164 B. C.! Therefore, the beginning desolation of the 2300 evening-morning can be historically documented as December 25, 167 B. C.

Ten: SDAs teach that the 2300 “days” were 2300 “years” which reached to 1844. Yet they were neither the first nor the last to apply this period to modern times. In 1452 Krebs of Cusa taught that it started with the rise of Persia (Dan. 8:3) and ended between 1700-1750. The Matthew Henry Commentary mentioned that Cumming placed the end of the 2300 “years” in 1821. In 1825, the Methodist classic, Adam Clarke’s Commentary, stated that the little horn of 8:9 was Antiochus IV, but might be pagan Rome. He reasoned that, if the 2300 years began with the emergence of Alexander in 334 B. C., it would end with a Jerusalem sanctuary being built in the A. D. 1966. Like Adventists, Clarke interpreted the little horn of Daniel 7:25 as the Roman Catholic Church and predicted that its power would last 1260 years from A. D. 755 to 2015. Views such as Clarke’s were well-known to the early Adventists, many of whom came from the Methodist Church. However, Matthew Henry himself, plus Miller’s other contemporaries such as Albert Barnes; Jamieson, Fausset and Brown and Keil and Delitzsch all agreed with the Antiochus Epiphanes explanation of Daniel 8:14.

Historically, the 2300 days were either 2300 literal days between 171-164 B. C., or else 1150 daily sacrifices performed in 1150 literal days between 167-164 B. C. The 2300 ‘ereb-boqer were literal sanctuary burnt offerings in which the “daily sacrifice” (Hebrew tamid) had been interrupted by Antiochus IV. This sacrifice was offered twice a day: in the evening, ‘ereb, and in the morning, boqer. Therefore, the number, 2300, could either refer to 2300 total days, or 6.4 years, or 1150 total sacrifices offered in 3.2 years. Both time periods are historically defensible. The 6.4 years fits the time period when Jewish youth were enticed away from the sanctuary to the Greek gymnasium. The 3.2 years fits the time period between the desecration of the altar with a pig and its rededication after the civil war had ended in 164 B.C. Josephus made three different statements in three different places about this period being 3 years, 3 and one quarter years, and three and one-half years. See Preface to Wars (3 years 3 months); Wars i. 1.1 (3 2 years); Antiquities xii.7.6 (3 years).

Eleven: Unfortunately, in the SDAs’ own scenario, nothing really “ended” in 1844, the so-called “end” of the 2300 “years.” This seriously contradicts the text [8:14’s ‘then shall’) and is the opposite end of the preceding discussion.

In practice, SDAs make the answer to the question in 8:13 “After” (not “before” or “not until”) 2300 years, then the heavenly sanctuary will ”begin to be restored.” The verb action is reversed! Instead of something ending after the 2300 time period, something begins.

Although much of the SDA scenario has ended, none of it ended in 1844. (1) The ripped veil in the Temple at Christ’s death both ended the significance of the old sanctuary (Heb. 9:8) and began the priesthood of believers, thus allowing every believer to boldly enter directly into the Most Holy Place (Heb. 4:16; 7:19-20; 10:19-20). Sadly, though, admitting this truth would force SDAs to correct their doctrine. (2) The A. D. 70 desolation of the Jerusalem Temple has not ended because it has not been rebuilt. (3) According to Protestants, in the 1500s the Protestant Reformation corrected (or ended by exposing) the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic confessional. (4) The only thing that did not end in 1844 is the Investigative Judgment which allegedly only began in 1844.

The question in 8:13 was “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?” NASU. And the answer in 8:14 is “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored” NASU. If the interpretation of the answer does not match the question, then it must be the wrong answer! The question, “how long?” means “how long until the desolation stops?” Wa-ni-tsa-daq literally means in Hebrew “then shall be restored” (NASU), “restored to its rightful state” (RSV) and “then will be reconsecrated” (NIV). In order for the SDA interpretation to be correct, the verb, ni-tsa-daq, would have to mean “shall begin to be restored” — and it does not!

Historically, the sanctuary of 8:14 was indeed completely cleansed at the end of the 2300 days in 164 B. C. This interpretation follows the logical sequence that the desecrating little horn from 8:9 to 8:13 was part of the Greek he-goat of 8:8 and was not a new empire such as pagan or papal Rome.

Heb. 9:25-26 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the [most] holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world he has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Twelve:  SDAs teach that the anti-typical Day of Atonement has been continuing since 1844. The worst failure of SDA “pattern-fulfillment” is the length of their prophetic “Day” of Atonement itself! While the “day-for-a-year” pattern SDAs use from Numbers 14:34 should only allow for one year (1844-1845), it is evident that they cannot possibly be honest to their own principle of interpretation. They will not accept the fact that Christ fulfilled the pattern when He died on only one day! The most important prophetic “day” in all of Adventism, the “day” which gave birth to their existence as a church movement in 1844 has already lasted over 173 years [in 2018]! Evidently, the patterns are not exact patterns after all.

However, fulfillment of the Day of Atonement cannot possibly fit into a period of time lasting more than part of a single day (such as since 1844). Since the Old Covenant cleansing began and ended within minutes of the blood of the sacrificial animal being shed, then the pattern-fulfillment should also require that the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary both begin and end soon after Christ shed His blood.

In reality, the “one day” Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 was indeed fulfilled in one day when Jesus died!

Rev. 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour [Greek: hoora] of his judgment is come …

Rev. 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour [SDA: 15 days] [Greek: hoora], and a day [SDA: year], and a month [SDA: 30 years], and a year [SDA: 360 years], for to slay the third part of men. [SDA reckoning]

Thirteen: SDAs interpret “hour” in Revelation 9:15 as prophetic time and applied it to Turkey in 1840. Ellen White called it “another remarkable fulfillment of prophecy” which occurred “at the very time specified” (GC334-335). Their “hour” was 15 days, that is, 1/24th of a 360-day year. Yet they do not use the same principle with “hour” in one of their favorite texts, Revelation 14:7. But, following their own time principles, if the Investigative Judgment began on October 22, 1844, then it should have only lasted one hour, or 15 days. “Hour” (hoora) occurs 108 times in the N. T. and in Revelation 3:3, 10; 9:15; 11:13; 14:7, 15; 17:12; 18:10, 17, 19.

Fourteen: The SDA doctrine of the 2300 “days” also means that it would have been impossible for Christ to return before 1844. Yet Christians in every century have believed that Jesus could return in their own lifetime. Even the Apostle Paul spoke about Christ’s soon return in the first person, “we” (1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51).