Daniel 8:14 Index
"And he said unto me, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'"
Research Material

"...unto two thousand and three hundred days..."

  • TIME PROPHECY: Prophetic time periods appear frequently in Daniel -- such as the seventy weeks (Daniel 9:24), a time, times, and an half (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14), the 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) and 1335 days (Daniel 12:12), and the 2300 days (Daniel 8:14) -- and there are paralleling time periods in the Revelation -- the five months, forty and two months (Revelation 11:2; 13:5), a thousand two hundred and threescore days (Revelation 11:3; 12:6), three days and an half (Revelation 11:9; Revelation 11:11) -- These are connected, of course, with definite events and activities, and their beginnings or endings are often marked by significant occurrences. These predicted time periods will be referred to as time prophecies, though they are tied inseparably into, and form a part of, the sequence of events depicted in the grand OUTLINE PROPHECIES. They are the inspired measuring lines of prophecy. They constitute the inspired timetable of the centuries. (Froom 32)
  • In Daniel 7, Daniel saw the reign of the fourth beast and the coming up of the Little Horn. He had been shown as the Little Horn came to its end in 1798, that the judgment would start. In Daniel 8 God is repeating and enlarging the picture. The Little Horn represents Pagan and Papal Rome. Pagan Rome destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70 taking away the "...daily sacrifices..." (Daniel 8:13), and making the sanctuary "desolate." The question is asked, how long will this go on? and the answer is given "...2,300 days..." (Daniel 8:14). The chapter ends without Daniel understanding the vision. In Daniel 9, while Daniel is praying, the angel Gabriel comes again and explains the vision. (KC 100)
  • The time here involved is specific and definite, but in Daniel 8 no date is indicated for its beginning. However, in Daniel 9 such a date is specifically mentioned (Daniel 9:25). This will be shown to be 457 B.C. From this date as a beginning, the 2300 prophetic years (Daniel 7:25), reach to the year A.D. 1844. (4BC 844)
  • There is no information in this chapter concerning the 2300 days, introduced here in Daniel 8:14. It is necessary, therefore, to pass this period of time for the present. Let the reader be assured, however, that we are not left in any uncertainty concerning those days. The declaration respecting them is part of a revelation which is given for the instruction of the people of God, and is to be understood. The 2300 days are mentioned in the midst of a prophecy which the angel Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand. Gabriel carried out this instruction, as will be found in the study of Daniel 9. (US 166-167)

"...then shall the sanctuary...."

  • Inasmuch as the 2300 years project us far into the Christian Era, the sanctuary cannot refer to the Temple at Jerusalem, which was destroyed in A.D. 70. The sanctuary of the new covenant is clearly the sanctuary in heaven, "which the Lord pitched, and not man" (Hebrews 8:2; GC 411-417). Of this sanctuary Christ is the high priest (Hebrews 8:1). John foresaw a time when special attention would be directed toward "the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein" (Revelation 11:1). The symbols employed by the revelator are strikingly similar to those employed in Daniel 8:11-13. (4BC 844)
  • There can be no question as to the accuracy of the date 457 B.C., as the beginning of the seventy weeks, for it is established by four events: the decree of Artaxeres (Ezra 7:11-26); the baptism of Christ (Mark 1:10); the crucifixion; and the spread of the gospel among the Gentiles (Acts 8:1-4). History establishes the date 457 B.C., as the seventh year of Artaxerxes by more than twenty eclipses (Genesis 1:14). The four hundred and ninety years can be reckoned backward from the New Testament history, or forward from the decree to restore and build Jerusalem. The angel has given the events during the first four hundred and ninety years of the two thousand three hundred days of Daniel 8:14 (Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 4:34). Eighteen hundred and ten years remains, 2300 - 490 = 1810. The four hundred and ninety years ended in the year 34 A.D. To this add eighteen hundred and ten years, and we have the year 1844 A.D. Daniel had been shown the events which would mark this year. It was the investigative judgment, and the giving of the message of the first angel of Revelation 14 (Revelation 14:6-7). (SNH 151)
  • This message was given within the memory of many who are still living, and is known as the advent message. About twenty years before the expiration of the prophetic period of the two thousand three hundred days, the attention of some men were called to the study of the prophecies (2 Peter 1:20). Foremost among these students was William Miller, who became thoroughly convinced that the prophetic period of Daniel 8:14 would close in 1844. The expression "unto two thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," was interpreted to mean that at the end of that stated period the earth would be destroyed by fire at the second coming of Christ (Jeremiah 15:16; Revelation 10:1-2). Consequently between 1833 and 1844 the personal coming of the Saviour was preached throughout the world (Revelation 14:6-7). Men were warned according to the wording of the first angel's message of Revelation 14, that the judgment was at hand, and thousands prepared to meet the Lord. (SNH 151-152)
  • When the year 1844 passed, and Christ did not appear (Revelation 10:9), many lost faith in the prophecies; but others, knowing that the word of God abideth sure, were led to search more diligently for the events which did take place at the close of the prophetic period. Further study corroborated the truth of the interpretation of the time, and revealed also the light on the sanctuary question. (SNH 152)
  • For the first time men saw that the "sanctuary" spoken of in Daniel's vision referred to the work in heaven rather than upon the earth. An investigation of the typical service instituted in the wilderness revealed the work of cleansing the sanctuary on the day of atonement. It was seen that that the work of the high priest in the earthly tabernacle was but a figure of the service upon which Christ, the great High Priest, entered in 1844. At that time He entered into the presence of the Ancient of Days, as seen in the vision of Daniel 7, and began the work of the investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary, at the end of which work He will appear in the clouds of heaven. William Miller and others who preached the second advent in 1844 were mistaken in the event, but not in the reckoning of the prophetic time of Daniel 8:14. (SNH 152-153)
  • The events which took place between 34 A.D. and 1844 A.D. are described in [Daniel 10 thru Daniel 11] which was given to Daniel four or five years later than the vision of Daniel 9. (Psalm 64:9).... Since Gabriel explained with such care and minuteness the history of the Jews (Daniel 9), and as a nation they were without excuse in the rejection of the Son of God, we may expect that this same angel of prophecy will set the waymarks high and clear (Romans 13:11-12), that men in the last days may know the time of Christ's appearing in judgment, and of His second coming in the clouds of heaven... Let us watch and be ready. (SNH 153)
  • Several views have been held as to what the sanctuary is, such as the earth, the land of Canaan, the church, and the sanctuary in heaven, the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man," which is "in the heavens," and of which the Jewish tabernacle was a type, pattern, or figure. (Hebrews 8:1, 2; 9:23, 24). Which of these conflicting views is correct, must be decided by the Scriptures. Fortunately the testimony is neither meager nor ambiguous. (US 167)
    • CANNOT BE THE EARTH:
      • The word "sanctuary" occurs in the Old and New Testaments one hundred forty-four times. From the definitions of lexicographers, and its use in the Bible, we learn that it is used to signify a holy or sacred place, a dwelling place for the Most High. If the earth is the sanctuary, it must answer to this definition. But what single characteristic pertaining to this earth will satisfy the meaning of the term? The earth is neither a holy nor a sacred place, nor is it a dwelling place for the Most High. It has no mark of distinction from other worlds, except as being a revolted planet, marred by sin, scarred and withered by the curse of transgression. Moreover, it is nowhere in all the Scriptures called the sanctuary. Only one text can be produced in favor of this view, and that by an unreasonable application: "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious." (Isaiah 60:13). This language undoubtedly refers to the new earth; but even that is not called the sanctuary, but only the "place" of the sanctuary, even as it is called "the place" of the Lord's feet. This is an expression which probably denotes the continual presence of God with His people, as it was revealed to John when it was said, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:3). All that can be said of the earth, therefore, is that when renewed it will be the place where the sanctuary of God will be located. It cannot preset any claim to being the sanctuary at the present time, or the sanctuary of Daniel's prophecy. (US 167-168)
    • CANNOT BE THE LAND OF CANAAN OR THE EARTH:
      • So far as we may be governed by the definition of the word "Canaan," it can present no better claim than the earth to that distinction. If we inquire where in the Bible it is called the sanctuary, a few texts are brought forward which are supposed by some to furnish the requisite testimony. The first of these is Exodus 15:17. Moses, in his song of triumph and praise to God after the passage of the Red Sea, exclaimed: "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established." Moses here speaks in anticipation. His language is a prediction of what God would do for His people. Let us see how it was accomplished. (US 168)
      • We turn to David, who records as a matter of history what Moses uttered as a matter of prophecy. (Psalm 78:53, 54). The subject of the psalmist is the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian servitude, and their establishment in the Promised Land. He says: "And He [God] led them safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He [God] brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to this mountain, which His right hand had purchased." The "mountain" here mentioned by David is the same as the "mountain of Thine inheritance"(Exodus 15:17) spoken of by Moses, in which the people were to be planted. This mountain David calls, not the sanctuary, but only the border of the sanctuary. What, then was the sanctuary? Psalm 78:69 informs us: "And he [God] built His sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which He hath established for ever." The same distinction between the sanctuary and the land is pointed out in the prayer of the good king Jehoshapat: "Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name, saying..." (2 Chronicles 20:7, 8)
      • Taken alone, Exodus 15:17 is used by some as an inference that the mountain was the sanctuary; but when we take in connection with the language of David, which is a record of the fulfillment of Moses' prediction, and an inspired commentary upon his language, such an idea cannot be entertained. David plainly says that the mountain was simply the "border" of the sanctuary, and that in that border, or land, the sanctuary was "built" like high palaces, reference being made to the beautiful temple of the Jews, the center and symbol of all their worship. But whoever will read carefully Exodus 15:17 will see that not even an inference is necessary that Moses by the word "sanctuary" means the mountain of inheritance, much less the whole land of Palestine. In the freedom of poetic license, he employs elliptical expressions, and passes rapidly from one idea or object to another. First, the inheritance engages his attention, and he speaks of it; then the fact that the Lord was to dwell there, then the place He was to provide for His dwelling there, namely, the sanctuary which He would cause to be built. David thus associates Mount Zion and Judah together in Psalm 78:68, because Zion was in Judah. (US 169)
      • The three texts, Exodus 15:17; Psalm 78:54, 69, are the ones chiefly relied on to prove that the land of Canaan is the sanctuary. But, singularly enough, the two latter, in plain language, clear away the ambiguity of the first, and thereby disprove the that is based on it. (US 169-171)
      • Respecting the earth or the land of Canaan as being the sanctuary, we offer one thought more. If either constitutes the sanctuary, it should not only be somewhere described as such, but the same idea should be carried through to the end, and the purification of the earth or of Palestine should be called the cleansing of the sanctuary. The earth is indeed defiled, and it is to be purified by fire; but fire, as we shall see, is not the agent which is used in the cleansing of the sanctuary. This purification of the earth, or any part of it, is nowhere in the Bible called the cleansing of the sanctuary. (US 171)
    • CANNOT BE THE CHURCH:
      • The solitary text adduced to support the idea that the church is the sanctuary is Psalm 114:1, 2: "When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion." If we take this text in its most literal sense, it would prove that the sanctuary was confined to one of the twelve tribes. This would mean that a part of the church only, not the whole, constitutes the sanctuary. Why Judah is called the sanctuary in the text quoted, need not be a matter of perplexity when we remember that God chose Jerusalem, which was in Judah, as the place of His sanctuary. "But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever." Psalm 78:68, 69. This clearly shows the connection which existed between Judah and the sanctuary. That tribe itself was not the sanctuary, but it is once spoken of as such when Israel came forth from Egypt, because God purposed that in the midst of the territory of that tribe His sanctuary should be located. (US 171)
      • If it could be shown that the church is anywhere called the sanctuary, it would be of no consequence to our present purpose, which is to determine what constitutes the sanctuary of Daniel 8:13, 14; for the church is there spoken of as something distinct: "to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot" (Daniel 8:13). That by the term "host" the people of God is here meant, none will dispute; the sanctuary is therefore something different from the church. (US 172-173)
    • THE SANCTUARY IS THE TEMPLE IN HEAVEN:
      • There now remains but one claim to be examined, namely, that the sanctuary mentioned in the text is identical with the one in Hebrews 8:1, 2, which is called the "true Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man," to which is expressly given the name of "the sanctuary," and which is located in "the heavens." Of this sanctuary there existed in ancient times a pattern, type, or figure, first in the tabernacle built by Moses, and afterward in the temple at Jerusalem. (US 172)
      • Let us put ourselves in the place of Daniel, and view the subject from his standpoint. What would he understand by the term "sanctuary"? At the mention of the word, his mind would inevitably turn to the sanctuary of his people; and certainly he well knew where that was. His mind did turn to Jerusalem, the city of his fathers, which was then in ruins, and to their "beautiful house," which, as Isaiah laments, was burned with fire. (Isaiah 64:11). Accordingly, with his face turned toward the place of their once-venerated temple, as was his custom, Daniel prayed God to cause His face to shine upon His sanctuary, which was at that time desolate. By the word "sanctuary" he evidently understood the temple at Jerusalem. (US 172)
      • On this point, the Scriptures bears testimony which is most explicit: "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary." (Hebrews 9:1). What was the sanctuary of the first covenant? The answer follows: "For there was a tabernacle made; the first, where in was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, where in was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we can not now speak particularly." (Hebrews 9:2-5). (US 172-173)
      • There is no mistaking what is described here. It is the tabernacle erected by Moses according to the direction of the Lord (which afterward merged into the temple at Jerusalem), with a holy and a most holy place, and various articles of service. A full description of this building, as well as the sacred articles of furniture and their uses, will be found in Exodus 25 and onward. (Sanctuary). If the reader is not familiar with this subject, he is urged to turn and read the description of this building. Plainly, this was the sanctuary of the first covenant, and we wish the the reader carefully to mark the logical value of this declaration. By telling us what constituted the sanctuary, the book of Hebrews sets us on the right track of inquiry. It gives us a basis on which to work. We have before us a distinct and plainly defined object, minutely described by Moses, and declared in Hebrews to be the sanctuary during the time of the first covenant, which reached to the days of Christ. (US 173)
      • ...the language in Hebrews has greater significance even than this. It annihilates the claims put forth that the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church, is the sanctuary. The arguments which would prove any of these to be the sanctuary at any time, would prove it to be such under ancient Israel. If Canaan was at any time the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was planted in it. If the church was ever the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was led forth from Egypt. If the earth was ever the sanctuary, it was such during the same period. But was any of these the sanctuary during that time? The answer must be negative, for the writers of the books of Exodus and Hebrews tell us in detail that not the earth, not Canaan, not the church, but the tabernacle built by Moses, replaced by the temple later, constituted the sanctuary of Old Testament times. (US 173)
    • EARTHLY SANCTUARY:
      • This building answers in every respect to the definition of the term, and to the use for which the sanctuary was designed. It was the earthly dwelling place of God. "Let them make Me a sanctuary," said He to Moses, "that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8. In this tabernacle, which they erected according to His instructions, He manifested His presence. It was a holy, or sacred place - "the holy sanctuary." Leviticus 16:33. In the word of God it is repeatedly called the sanctuary. Of the more than one hundred thirty instances in which the word is used in the Old Testament, it refers in almost every case to this building. (US 174)
      • The tabernacle was at first constructed in such a manner as to be adapted to the conditions under which the children of Israel lived at the time. They were entering upon their forty years' wandering in the wilderness when this building was set up in their midst as the habitation of God and the center of their religious worship. Journeying was a necessity, and the tabernacle had to be moved from place to place. This was made possible because the sides were composed of upright boards, and the covering consisted of curtains of linen and dyed skins. Therefore, it cold be readily taken down, conveniently transported, and easily erected at each successive stage of their journey. After Israel entered the Promised Land, this temporary structure gave place in time to the magnificent temple of Solomon. In this more permanent form the sanctuary existed, except during the time it lay in ruins in Daniel's day, until its final destruction by the Romans, A.D. 70. (US 174)

"...be cleansed."

  • As an aid to determining what event in connection with the heavenly sanctuary is here referred to, it is helpful to examine the services of the earthly sanctuary, for the priests in the earthly sanctuary served "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things" (Hebrews 8:5). The services in the wilderness tabernacle and in the Temple consisted of two main divisions, the daily and the yearly. Christ's daily ministration as our high priest was typified in the daily services. The annual Day of Atonement typified a work that Christ would undertake at the close of the age. (Leviticus 16; GC 418-432). The prophecy of Daniel 8:14 announces the time for the beginning of this special work. The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary comprehends the entire work of final judgment, beginning with the investigative phase and ending with the executive phase, which results in the permanent eradication of sin from the universe. (4BC 844-845)
  • A significant feature of the final judgment is the vindication of God's character before all the intelligences of the universe. The false charges that Satan has lodged against the government of God must be demonstrated as utterly groundless. God must be shown to have been entirely fair in the selection of certain individuals to make up His future kingdom, and in the barring of others from entrance there. The final acts of God will evoke from men the confessions, "Just and true are they ways" (Revelation 15:3), "Thou art righteous, O Lord" (Revelation 16:5), and, "True and righteous are thy judgments" (Revelation 16:7). Satan himself will be led to acknowledge God's justice (GC 670-671). (4BC 845)
  • Connected with the 2300 days is another subject of equal importance which now presents itself for consideration, namely, the sanctuary. With this is connected the subject of its cleansing. An examination of this matter will reveal the importance of having an understanding of the beginning and the end of the 2300 days, that we may know when the great event called "cleansing of the sanctuary" is to take place. All the inhabitant of the earth, as well appear in due time, have a personal interest in that solemn work. (US 167)