Daniel Chapter 8: 2,300 Evening-Mornings
By Clovis E. Miller
In chapter 8 of the Book of Daniel, we are given an endtimes prophecy concerning events which are to transpire with regard to the desecration, and eventual cleansing, of a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. The vision stated there, is one which is to have a time span of 2,300 days (evening-mornings). This period covers the time from which the gentiles take possession of the temple until it is regained by the Jewish people, and the cleansing begins. It is, without a doubt, directly related to the prophecy of Rev. 11, wherein we are told that the gentiles will trample the holy city, and the outer court of the temple, under foot for 42 months. There have been numerous attempts to explain the 2,300 days of Daniel 8, including many complicated formulas. In this article however, we will take a simpler look at this amazing prophecy, which sickened Daniel, for the lack of being able to understand it.
In order to better follow the reasoning behind the present conclusions drawn concerning Daniels 2,300 evenings and mornings in this article; please read the short explanation given on the 1,335 day of Daniel 12 first, by clicking here
Daniel 8:13-14 states,
"...Then I heard one saint speaking; and another saint said to that certain saint which spake, 'How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give of both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?'
And he said unto me, 'Unto two thousand and three hunderd days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.' "
Rev. 11: 1-2 also states,
"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: And the angel stood saying, 'Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.' "
As can be seen in Dan. 8:14 above, the King James Version states that there are 2,300 "days" involved in this vision. However, in the original language, it is stated as 2,300 "evening-mornings". The most common Hebrew word used for the word, days, is "yowm" (pronounced as yome - #3127 in Strong's Concordance) and typically refers to the period from sunrise to sunset. For the word "days", as used in verse 14 however, Strong's uses two Hebrew words together to describe what is meant. First, there is 'ereb (#6153), pronounced: eh'-reb, and meaning dusk, evening or night time. The second word is boqer (#1242), pronounced: bo'-ker, and meaning dawn, morning or day time. The use of the words "evening and morning", to describe the length of a day, goes all the way back to Genesis 1:5.
There are two ways we can look at the time span of this prophecy. Firstly, we may interpret it to mean that there are literally 2,300 evenings and 2,300 mornings involved in this vision. Secondly, we can interpret it to mean that there were a total of 2,300 units of time involved here: (1,150 evenings plus 1,150 mornings; together equaling 2,300 evening-mornings, or 1,150 actual days). Since other time periods mentioned by Daniel, fall within a very close range: 1260 days (time, times and half a time); 1,290 days and 1,335 days; the second viewpoint warrants a closer examination, and is the period of time explored in this article.
The forty two month period mentioned in Rev. 13:5, equals 1,260 days (42 months x 30 days). If the 2300 evening-mornings of Daniel 8 equals 1,150 days, as stated above, then it quickly becomes obvious that the time period of Daniel 8 doesn't fully encompass the 1,260 day wherein the holy city is to be trodden under foot by the gentiles, as stated in Revelation 11. What then, can be offered here as an explanation of the 110 day variation which exist between these two time frames? It's probably safe to say, that the 110 day period, and the 1,150 day period deal with two aspects of the 1,260 days of Rev. 11. The smaller of the two periods may be dealing with activities concerning the setting up gentile worship in the temple (i.e. creation of the image of the beast; initializing the mark of the beast system, etc.). The larger period, on the other hand, may be referring to the length of time that the gentiles will actually worship there; before the Jewish people regain control of it, and begin the cleansing. It's the larger 1,150 day period of gentile worship in the temple, which seems to be the primary focus of Daniel's vision. So let's take a brief look at what the significance or understanding of such a structure might be?
A Possible Scenario:
As was stated in the article, about the 1,335 days of Daniel 12; the daily sacrifice would be halted 30 days before the mid-point of the seven years of tribulation. It's probable that initially, the administration of the city of Jerusalem; and then shortly thereafter, the temple itself; will be given into the hands of the gentiles by the antichrist, who will cause the daily sacrifice of the Jews to be halted. Since temple sacrifices of the Jewish people were done on an evening-morning schedule, the use of the term: 2,300 evening-mornings, may relate to the idea that sacrifices would also be offered in the temple, by gentiles for a period of 1,150 days, (1,150 evenings and 1,150 mornings); after which it would be retaken by the Jewish people, and the cleansing would begin. The gentile sacrifices would be offered up to the one who, "...shall exhalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods..." (Dan.11:36): the one who, "...sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (II Thess. 2:4).
If we count the 1,260 days (42 months of Rev. 11:2) from the time the daily sacrifice of the Jews is halted, that would mean that gentile control of the city, and the temple, would end 30 days before the Day of Atonement (in the seventh year of the tribulation). The Book of Zechariah (chapters 12-14) makes it abundantly clear that the Jewish people, not the antichrist, will be in possession of Jerusalem at the time of the revelation of Jesus Christ (Zech 14:3-4). Opportunity for this repossession to occur, may present itself as the antichrist goes forth in his campaign to destroy Babylon (Rev. 17).
As stated above, the 110 day gap existing between the 1,260 days of Rev. 11, and the 1,150 days of Dan. 8, may possibly represent the time period necessary to fully implement the mark of the beast system. During the first thirty days following the halting of the daily sacrifices, the image of the beast would be created (Rev. 13:14). At the exact mid-point of the seven years, it would be set up in the temple; and then followed by an additional period of time during which the marking system would be instituted (perhaps 80 days). While this may seem like an explanation of convenience: to reconcile the 1,150 with the 1,260 days; it's clear that the mark of the beast system will not be an instantaneous occurance, but will require some degree of time to implement.
The balance of the 1,260 days of gentile control (the 1,150 days of Dan. 8) would then be fulfilled; concluding with the retaking of the city by the Jewish people, and the likely immediate removal of the image from the temple (a sort of replay of the Maccabean revolt of 165 B.C.). While we know the fate of the antichrist and false prophet, from the Book of Revelation; the Scriptures are silent on how the image of the beast is to be dealt with. We have only the type of the Maccabean revolt to suggest what might transpire. After retaking the city and the sanctuary, the Jews would then hold their position for an additional 30 days: and on the verge of anihilation by a returning antichrist (gathering his forces at Megiddo); will be rescued by the Messiah, Jesus. That would occur on the Day of Atonement, during which the antichrist will be destroyed by "... the brightness of His coming." (II Thess. 2:8), and the surviving Jews will be reconciled to the Lord. Following the Day of Atonement, 75 days later, rededication of the temple would begin, on Hannukah (exactly 1,335 days after the image was set up in the temple).
For more on the Structure of the Tribulation Period, click here