OK, we now have 2300 days. But when do they begin and when do they end? Would God give us such an important text and then laugh at us and thumb His nose at us? No. God has given us all the help we need, and even tells us when this time period begins.
To understand this we need to do a little time traveling. Let’s take a trip back in history to the time of Daniel. It is 550 BC and King Belshazzar has just begun his co-reign with his father. His father was out in Arabia so son Belshazzar kept the palace in line.
The Bible says that in the third year of Belshazzar’s reign Daniel had a vision. This would put this vision of chapter eight right about 547 BC. Daniel is watching the ram (the Media - Persian Empire) charge across the land toward the west, north and south. And that is what it did.
Then out of the west came a goat that knocked the stuffings out of the ram. This goat then ruled the world. The goat represented Alexander the Great and the Greek Empire. Now remember, Daniel is seeing all of this in about 547 BC; about ten years before the Media - Persian Empire would come to power, and 210 years before Alexander the Great charged into Asia.
- Daniel is intrigued by what he sees. After the goat rules, the vision says, “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern- faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.” Daniel 8:23. Then we are given some attributes of this master of intrigue. They are:
- Become very strong, but not by his own power
- Cause astounding devastation
- Succeed in whatever he does
- Destroy the mighty men and the holy people
- Cause deceit to prosper
- Consider himself superior
- Feel secure
- Destroy many
- Take his stand against the Prince of princes
In this passage we find that the master of intrigue fits very well with the little horn of Daniel 7. In fact, they are the same entity. This stern-faced king is none other than the papacy (Roman Catholic Church). Let’s look at the attributes the Bible gives and their fulfillment in the papacy. The papacy became very strong. But not by its own power. It had no army. It had no fighting force. It depended on the civil governments and civil armies for its power.
- It caused astounding devastation to the truth of God by accepting the pagan practices and teachings. It literally substituted paganism for Bible teachings.
- I think we can agree that the papacy does succeed in whatever it does.
- Through persecution it did destroy the mighty men of God and those who lived the righteous, holy life of Christ. The mighty men of the Bible, the prophets, were substituted for church tradition and doctrine. “The Roman Catholic position on the authority of the Bible was given its modern form at the Council of Trent (1545-1563). In opposition to the Protestant Reformers, who made the Bible the sole basis of their belief, the fourth session of the Council (1546) decreed that tradition—the part of revelation that is not written down in the Scriptures, but is transmitted through the teaching of the Church—was of equal authority with the Bible. Catholics were forbidden to read any translations that had not been approved by the Church and that were not accompanied by commentaries in conformity with Church tradition. For a time the reading of translations required special permission from the pope or the Inquisition.” Collier’s
- He is so deceitful. He claims to be the representative of God. Yet he teaches paganism and is consigning men and women to eternal death through his false teachings.
- I think we can agree that the pope considers himself to be superior. He claims to be “God on earth”. He claims to be able to forgive men of their sins and either admit or keep them out of heaven.
- No problem with feeling secure. Hitler, communism, nobody messes with the pope.
- During the 1260-year rule of the Catholic Church, it killed over 70 million people. That is pretty close to destroying many.
- Going back to the book of Ezra, we find in Ezra 7:11 that King Artaxerxes gave Ezra a letter to take with him back to Jerusalem. This letter gave Ezra the command to rebuild Jerusalem, “appoint magistrates, and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates”. Ezra 7:25.
- In reading the Biblical and the historical accounts we find that this command was in 457 BC. In our discussion of Daniel nine we explained this as the beginning date. Now that we have a beginning date, where does 2300 days take us?
- If we take these days literally, we end up around 451 BC. Nothing really great happened in that year. Yes, the Temple was in a state of repairs, but nothing that would call for such an emphasis as Daniel 8:14 suggests.
- Remember what we have learned? Prophetic time must be calculated prophetically. As the vision is symbolic, so is the time symbolic. We have learned that in prophetic time one day equals a year. We find this in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. Yet beyond these two texts, we have a multitude of texts showing that in their everyday language there was an idiom of expression that thought in this vein. For example:
- In Genesis chapter five we read in the King James Version that “all the days” of each person was so many years.
- Genesis 6:3: “his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
- KJV Genesis 9:29: “And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years.”
- KJV Genesis 47:9: And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, ‘The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.’
- Daniel 2:28: “He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.” (This was a prophecy of years into the future.) Have you ever looked back into your life and noticed how the years of your life seemed to go by as fast as days?
In using the literal concept of years for days, as the Bible gives us authority to do, we see that the first 490 years of this vision is perfectly orchestrated. The time line fits. (See above)
Adding 1810 years to AD 34 we come down to 1844. What happened in 1844? What sanctuary was to be declared right, vindicated and cleansed?
Many people claim that the statement made to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.” Daniel 12:9, to mean that these prophecies do not refer to the nations as stated above. That they only refer to a time and day closer to the “end of time”.
There was even an “End of Time” for Egypt if it did not let the Israelites go. And an “End of Time” for Jerusalem and Judea and Israel if they did not repent and return to God. He was going to wipe them off the face of the earth. That was an “End of Time” for them also.
There was also an “End of Time” of their captivity at the end of the 70 years. They were able to go home. That was an end of their captivity time.
When Christ came He put an “End” to the Jewish economy as they knew it. That was also an “End of Time”. “In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people.” Acts 2:16-21. That was Peter speaking. He was quoting the prophet Joel and using that text in reference to his time, then. Was that the “End of Time”? No. But it was for them under the old temple plan at that time.