Uppermost on the mind of Daniel was the seventy years of Israel’s captivity as prophesied by Jeremiah. See Jeremiah 29:10.
“I Daniel understood by books that 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.” Daniel 9:2
Could Israel remain captive for a longer period of time due to their own wickedness and backsliding? Daniel prays over the matter.
Read verses 4–19: Daniel’s Prayer
What does Daniel mention in his prayer?
In verse 4, Daniel confesses his sins. Daniel recognizes the faithfulness and majesty of God. God is a God of love, mercy, and justice.
In verse 5, he confesses that they have gotten themselves lost and have missed the way of the Lord. They have chosen to deviate from the Lord. They have rebelled and become obstinate. They have departed from God’s commandments and judgments.
In verse 6, they have not listened to God’s spokespersons, the prophets.
In verses 7–8, righteousness is of the Lord. Shame belongs to Israel.
In verse 9, God is merciful and forgiving even though Israel has rebelled.
In verse 10, Daniel confesses that they have simply not listened to the Lord.
In verse 11, he confesses that all of Israel has sinned. Our sufferings are due to our disobedience.
In verse 12, he acknowledges that God has been true to His word. He has consistently been that perfect blend of both mercy and justice.
In verse 13, Daniel acknowledges that their sufferings are due to their sins. We have not even turned to the Lord to remedy the situation.
In verse 14, he acknowledges that God has permitted this evil to fall on us. We deserve it, for we have not obeyed the Lord.
In verse 15, we find that the Lord delivers, even His rebellious people.
In verse 16, he prays that the Lord find favor on Israel because of His goodness. May the Lord’s name be honored. But we have dishonored it.
In verse 17, he prayers that Lord will hear his humble servant’s prayer. For the sake of the Sanctuary, forgive our sins.
In verse 18, he bases his prayer upon the great mercies and righteousness of the Lord. O may Jerusalem shine again for Him.
In verse 19, Daniel prays that for the Lord’s sake, may His city and people be restored.
Now begins the answer to Daniel’s prayer for the restoration of the Sanctuary, the city of Jerusalem, his people Israel, and the honor of God’s name among the nations.
Verses 20–23: Gabriel speaks to Daniel
Even as Daniel was praying, Gabriel was sent from heaven to answer the prayer of this humble and consecrated prophet. Gabriel reminded Daniel how he is greatly loved in heaven, and how he had come to give Daniel understanding of the vision concerning the mareh, the 2300th day prophecy.
“At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I [Gabriel] am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision [the “mareh,” the 2300th day prophesy].”
In the Hebrew text, the word for “vision” is clearly the word “mareh.” Some concordances have it incorrectly identified as “chazon.”
But even so, we know that there was no vision in chapter nine for Daniel to consider. Therefore, Gabriel was referring Daniel back to the vision found in chapter eight.
When Gabriel said, “I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding,” there was only one thing that Daniel did not understand in the vision of chapter eight. It was the “vision of the evening and the morning,” the 2300th day prophesy, which was the “mareh.”
Now Gabriel asks Daniel to think about only one thing. He asks Daniel to think about the “vision” [the “mareh,” the 2300th day prophesy]. As Daniel is focused on the 2300th day prophesy, Gabriel now introduces another time prophesy.
Verses 24–27: The Seventy Week Prophecy
Gabriel then said,
“Seventy weeks are determined [are amputated or cut off] upon thy people [Israel] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem].”
Seventy weeks is 490 days. In Bible prophecy that represents 490 years. Gabriel told Daniel that 490 years are specifically cut off from the larger 2300th day prophesy. This would clearly make the 2300th day prophesy 2300 years. After all, you cannot cut off something larger from something smaller. You cannot cut off or amputate 490 years from 2300 literal days. But you can cut off 490 years from 2300 years.
What were Daniel and his people, the Jewish nation, supposed to see accomplished with this 490 year prophesy?
Gabriel said, “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” verse 24.
It is easy to recognize that all these things are associated with the sanctuary and the plan of salvation. We have words like “transgression. . . sins. . . reconciliation. . . iniquity. . . righteousness. . . anoint the most Holy.”
As we know, the sanctuary and its services all pointed to the ministry of Jesus Christ, as both lamb and priest.
Jesus would make an end of sin, and make reconciliation for iniquity with His death upon the cross. He would bring in everlasting righteousness with His sinless life. He would “anoint the most Holy” with His own shed blood. As Paul wrote:
“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens [the earthly sanctuary being a miniature copy of the heavenly sanctuary] should be purified with these [animal sacrifices]; but the heavenly things [the heavenly sanctuary] themselves with better sacrifices than these [the offering of Christ’s own shed blood is better than the shed blood of animal sacrifices].” Hebrews 9:23
If the Jewish nation would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, how different things could have been. They would have learned all the essential truths contained in the sanctuary service that pointed to an “end of transgression,” “an end to sin,” the “reconciliation for iniquity,” and the power of “everlasting righteousness.” If they would have only prepared themselves for the sealing up of the seventy-week prophecy pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. Had they received Jesus as the Lamb of God, they would have received Him as the high priest of the heavenly sanctuary. But they rejected Him instead.
When would the seventy week prophecy begin?
It would begin when there was the commandment to rebuild and restore Jerusalem.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore  and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Daniel 9:25
The commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem was by Artaxerxes in 457 BC. See Ezra 7:1–26. This gave the Jewish state full autonomy, subject to Persian overlordship.
We are told that from the time of the commandment to build Jerusalem in 457 BC, that 483 years would bring us to the time of the Messiah. Seven weeks, threescore or 60 weeks, and two weeks equals 69 weeks or 483 days. Remember, a day represents a year in Bible prophecy.
The first 69 weeks would NOT bring us to the time of Christ’s crucifixion, but up to the time when He would begin His ministry, “unto the Messiah.” These 69 weeks, or 483 years, brings us to the time of AD 27. This was the year that Jesus would begin His ministry and declare, “The time is fulfilled.” Mark 1:15
What time was fulfilled?
It was the first 69 weeks of the 70-week prophecy that was fulfilled. In the autumn of AD 27, Jesus was baptized and began His three and one half year ministry at the age of 30. We know that Jesus was born in 4 BC, because that was the year that Herod died—and Jesus was born during the time of Herod’s reign.
The prophesy then predicts the year that Jesus would be crucified.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [or crucified], but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city [of Jerusalem] and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood [of Roman armies], and unto the end of the war desolations are determined [Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed, and the Jewish people massacred.]” Daniel 9:26
In verse 27 Gabriel continues his explanation, saying,
“And he [the Messiah] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [the seventieth week]: and in the midst of the [seventieth] week he [the Messiah] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation [of offerings in the Sanctuary] to cease [because of His own death upon the cross], and for the overspreading of abominations [against the Jewish people by the armies of Rome] he [Rome] shall make it [Jerusalem and the Sanctuary] desolate, even until the consummation [when not one stone of the Sanctuary shall be left upon another], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [or desolator, when, in like manner, the desolating armies of Rome will also lie in ruins].”
After the 69 weeks “shall Messiah be cut off” or crucified. “And the people of the prince [the Romans] that shall come shall destroy the city [of Jerusalem] and the Sanctuary [in AD 70]; and the end thereof shall be with a flood [of Roman armies], and unto the end of the war desolations are determined [not one stone will be laid upon another, and the role of the Jewish nation as the Israel of God will come to an end], verse 26.
Christ had confirmed a covenant with the Jewish nation for one week. During His three and one-half year ministry, He taught and lived among the Jewish people. In the end, they cried out, “Crucify Him.” Yet, due to His great mercy, God extended three and one-half more years to the Jewish nation to repent and to receive Jesus as the Messiah. They did not receive Him, and therefore, desolations to the city, the Sanctuary, and to the people were the sad result.
Some have chosen to place the seventieth week, two thousand years in the future. But there is no precedent in the Bible that allows anyone to do that.
First of all, nowhere in Scripture do we have a precedent for keeping part of a time prophecy in the past and then throwing part of it in the future.
Second, the seventieth week would cease to be the seventieth week if it did not follow the sixty-ninth week.
Third, the prophecy was for Daniel and his people. The destiny of the Jewish nation hinged on their acceptance or rejection of Jesus as the Messiah two thousand years ago.
Fourth, there is no hint of any antichrist figure in this prophecy. The prophecy is focused on the Messiah and the Jewish nation. When the Jewish nation rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they were rejecting the presence of God. Without God’s presence and protection, it was easy for the Romans to destroy the city and the sanctuary.
Finally, the 70-week prophecy was focusing on Christ’s ministry as the Lamb. As we will see, the 2300th day prophesy will focus on Jesus as our High Priest.
In conclusion of chapter nine, let us consider the links between chapters eight and nine of Daniel.
Both of these chapters used the key word mareh in reference to the 2300th day prophecy. See Daniel 8:16, 26a, 27; 9:23.
The Sanctuary is of central importance to both chapters. See Daniel 8:13–14; 9:24–27.
Gabriel is a key personality in both chapters. See Daniel 8:16; 9:21–23.
Both chapters contain auditory revelations. Daniel 8:13–14 and 9:24–27 are auditory revelations, and both deal with time.
There is a conceptual link between these two chapters. Daniel chapter nine climaxes in the anointing of the Sanctuary (9:24), and Daniel chapter eight in the cleansing of the Sanctuary (8:14).
If the first auditory revelation points to the end of this great time prophesy spanning 2300 years, then the 70 weeks prophecy would point to the beginning of it.
Daniel 8:13–14 is an expansion and enlargement to Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14, 21–22, 25–27, providing us with a time element for the judgment. Daniel 9:24–27 provides the 2300th day prophecy with a starting point.
Concerning the decrees that were made in reference to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, we have:
Cyrus’s decree was in 537 BC. Ezra 1:1-4
Darius I decree was in 520 BC. Ezra 6:1-12
Artaxerxes’ decree was in 457 BC. Ezra 7:1-26
The prayer of Daniel, found in chapter nine, is the longest recorded in the Old Testament. Daniel was very much the prophet of prayer. We generally see him as the prophet of prophecy. But this humble prophet knew wherein laid his strength and consolation.
Daniel understood the connection between the sins of Israel and the captivity of Israel. God permitted the Babylonian captivity of Israel for seventy years, that they may learn to trust in the Lord and depend upon Him. Often God must allow calamities to take place for our own spiritual welfare.
In the prayer of Daniel, we find that he includes himself in the sins of Israel. He prays, “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments.” Daniel 9:5.
The sanctuary and its services will teach us how to be free from guilt and the power of sin. We need both a Sin-bearer and a Mediator. Jesus is both.
Jesus as our High Priest
We saw the seventy-week prophesy pointing to Jesus as the Lamb of God. He was crucified in the midst of the seventieth week in 31 AD. But the New Testament writers also pointed to Jesus Christ as our High Priest “of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched [or made], and not man,” where Jesus sits at “the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” Hebrews 8:2, 3. For “we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” Hebrews 4:14.
The earthly sanctuary was an “example and shadow” of the heavenly sanctuary, “as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle [or sanctuary]: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5. On Mount Sinai, Moses was shown the heavenly sanctuary and was admonished to make a miniature of it on earth.
Jesus is our “merciful and faithful high priest” in the heavenly sanctuary who makes “reconciliation for the sins of the people.” And since the Son of God became the Son of man, He knows what it is like to be tempted in this flesh, therefore, “He is able to succor [help, strengthen, and rescue] them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17, 18. For we do have a high priest who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” and “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace [in the heavenly sanctuary], that we may obtain [real and lasting] mercy, and find [real strength and] grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15, 16.
Tragically, the Catholic priesthood has established itself as a substitute for the true. The priestly ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is the true. Every man, woman, and child can go directly to Jesus Christ as their High Priest. Earthly mediums are neither necessary nor legitimate.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6.
What is the cleansing of the sanctuary?
We know that the earthly sanctuary was but a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. The activities in the earthly sanctuary were to teach us the plan of salvation. For example, the sacrifice of all those innocent little lambs pointed to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. See John 1:29. When Jesus died on the cross, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom,” signifying the end of the earthly sacrificial services. Matthew 27:51. Now that Christ had died there was no more need to sacrifice those little lambs.
The work of the high priest in the earthly sanctuary also pointed to Christ’s work in saving humanity. Day after day, the priest would meet the penitent sinner at the door of the sanctuary. He would walk him to the place where the sacrificial lamb would give up its life for the life of the sinner. The penitent would confess his sins upon the forehead of the lamb, and then take the life of the animal by cutting its throat with a knife. The sinner was now forgiven. The innocent lamb became his substitute. The sins of the man were then transferred to the lamb.
The priest would catch the blood of the animal in a bowl, and then transfer those sins, via the blood, to the sanctuary itself by sprinkling the blood upon the altar and the veil. This process happened every day throughout the religious year. With all those sins transferred to the sanctuary, as a record of sins confessed and sins forgiven, the sanctuary itself would need cleansing at the end of the religious year. And so it was, on the Day of Atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest went into the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary to cleanse the entire sanctuary from all the sins that had been confessed throughout the religious year. See Leviticus 16. After this high day, the sanctuary was cleansed and ready again for another year of sacrificial offerings.
This special day of cleansing the sanctuary was also known as the Day of Judgment. It was a very solemn day when each Israelite was to make himself right with God and his fellow man.
Consequently, the Day of Atonement was a day in which both the sanctuary and the people were to be cleansed from all sin. But remember, all these services in the earthly sanctuary simply pointed to the greater service of Jesus Christ as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. The time would come when Jesus would commence His work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary and begin the judgment of the human family.
The Day God Began to Judge the World
Many believe that there will be a day of reckoning, but very few understand just when and where that will be. The Bible confirms that God has designated a certain “day” to begin the judgment, saying, “[God] hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world.” Acts 17:31. As we will see, He will begin on the 2300th day of Daniel 8:14.
According to the Bible, this “day” of judgment precedes the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus said, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. When Jesus returns He will reward everyone based upon a previous review or investigation of his or her life record.
The books of heaven, record our life story with perfect exactitude. There is no margin of error in the books of heaven. The Bible says, “The books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.
From the book of life God will judge our works (Revelation 20:11, 12), our words (Matthew 12:36, 37), our thoughts (1 Corinthians 4:5), our motives (Proverbs 16:2), and every secret thing, whether it be good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
God sees the motive behind every word, thought, and deed. In this fallen world, we often judge incorrectly. But in the high court of heaven there is a perfect examination and a perfect verdict.
Is there a time prophecy that teaches us when God would begin to judge the world?
The answer is “Yes.” Daniel 8:14 points to such a day:
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
This great time prophecy of the 2300th day represents 2300 Days of Atonement, which would be the same as 2300 years. The Day of Atonement only happened one day out of the entire religious year.
There was one Day of Atonement or one Day of Judgment each year in the Hebrew economy.
Therefore, 2300 Days of Atonement or 2300 Days of Judgment, would represent 2300 years. But note this important point: It would fall upon a certain day. It would fall upon the 2300th Day of Atonement.
So which day was the 2300th Day of Atonement?
It fell upon October 22, 1844.
Now how did I arrive at such a date?
We know that a “day” represents a “year” in Bible prophecy. See Numbers 14:33, 34; Ezekiel 4:5, 6. Therefore, this time prophecy stretched across the great expanse of 2300 years. But when would it start?
When you and I subtract 2300 years from the year of AD 1844, we come up with the year of 457 BC. But you say, when I add 1844 years to 457 years, I get 2301 years. This is true. But remember, there is no such thing as a year 0. We go from 1 BC to 1 AD. So we must subtract one year, and then we come up with 2300 total years.
457 BC - (Adding 2300 years) -1844 AD
So what happened in 457 BC?
In 457 BC, Artaxerxes, king of Persia, issued the decree that truly enabled the Jewish people to restore and build Jerusalem. His decree gave them both the politically autonomy and the religious freedom to reinstate the sanctuary and its services, and to restore and administrate the city. See Ezra 7.
The year of 457 BC, was the starting point for the seventy-week prophesy representing 490 years. This remarkable prophesy pointed to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and His crucifixion.
457 BC -27 AD -31 AD-34 AD
The first 69 weeks (or 483 years) brings us to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Three and one half years later, Jesus is crucified in the midst of the seventieth week in 31 AD. The Jewish nation has three and a half more years of probation to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Tragically, the Jewish nation refuses to accept Jesus and confirm that decision in the stoning of Stephen in 34 AD.
But this date of 457 BC, was also the starting point for the 2300-year prophesy. Remember, the seventy weeks (or 490 years) was simply cut off or amputated from the larger 2300-year prophesy.
Therefore, both prophesies begin at the same point. But they end at different times.
The seventy weeks pointed to Christ first advent as the Lamb of God, and the 2300th day prophesy pointed to the priestly ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.
Therefore, Gabriel comes to Daniel in chapter nine and says:
“. . . therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision [the “mareh,” the 2300th day prophecy]. Seventy weeks are determined [are amputated or cut off from the larger 2300th day prophesy] upon thy people [Israel] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Daniel 9:23, 24.
By adding 490 years to the year of 457 BC, we come to the year of 34 AD.
By adding 2300 years to the year of 457 BC, we come to the year of 1844 AD.
The 2300th Day Prophecy and the Judgment
At the end of the 2300-year prophesy in 1844, the heavenly Sanctuary would be cleansed. As we learned earlier, the day the earthly sanctuary was cleansed, was the same day that the people were judged.
In the year of 1844, the Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur, fell upon October 22. On this day, God began the judgment of every man, woman, and child who had ever confessed Christ. He began with Adam and Eve and has worked His way down through succeeding generations of the human race. The life of every professed believer comes into review. Every thought and action is brought forth. And before Jesus returns, every case will be determined for either eternal life or eternal death. See Matthew 25:31-46. When everyone has been judged, then it can be said that the heavenly Sanctuary has been cleansed from all the confessed sins that have ascended up to heaven.
The Judgment has started
The 2300 year prophesy that would be fulfilled in the “time of the end,” pinpointed the day God would begin to judge the world. There would have been no reason to present this truth to those living thousands of years ago. But the judgment is present truth for those living in the “time of the end” and the “end of time.”
Most of the people in Noah’s day scoffed at the idea of a judgment and the world being destroyed by a flood. But it happened! The issue is not whether people believe it to be true. The issue is whether God has said it will happen.
God has declared that He will begin to judge the world on the 2300th Day of Atonement. This prophesy does begin at the same time as the seventy-week prophesy. That prophesy clearly began in 457 BC. Therefore, the 2300th Day of Atonement fell in the year of 1844.
This is not a matter of whether it will happen, it has already happened. The issue is whether we are ready for our names to come up in the judgment.
In our next chapter, we will spend time studying the plan of salvation as taught in the sanctuary and its services. The spiritual lessons found in the sanctuary, will teach us how to draw closer to God, which will prepare us for the judgment.
It was Jesus, the Wonderful Numberer, who gave us the wonderful time prophesy of the 2300th day. Daniel 8:14
The 2300th day referred to the 2300th Day of Atonement.
2300 Days of Atonement would represent 2300 years.
This great prophesy began in 457 BC with the decree of Artaxerxes to restore and to build Jerusalem.
The 2300th Day of Atonement ended on October 22, 1844.
This was the day God began to judge the world.