Stewarton Bible School

The 2300 Day Prophecy

I will begin this article by quoting this Bible prophecy in full.
Daniel 8: 1: In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
2: And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
3: Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4: I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

5: And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
6: And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had there seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
7: And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8: Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
9: And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10: And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
11: Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
12: And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.

13: Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14: And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

15: And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
16: And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17: So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

18: Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
19: And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
20: The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21: And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
22: Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
23: And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24: And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25: And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
26: And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

27: And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

This symbolic prophecy has intrigued believers ever since it was first penned by the prophet Daniel. To understand its message and how it concerns believers living in these last days we must endeavour to identify the following:

  1. When was this prophecy given?
  2. What does the ram with two horns symbolise?
  3. What does the rough he-goat symbolise?
  4. In Bible prophecy what do horns symbolise; and who is the great horn that was broken and who are the four horns that replace it?
  5. Who/What is the Little Horn?
  6. Where is the sanctuary that is polluted?
  7. Who are the heavenly host that the Little Horn casts down to the earth?
  8. Who is the Prince of princes?
  9. What is the Daily Sacrifice?
  10. How long is 2300 days?
  11. When does this 2300 day period begin?
  12. And finally, How does this prophecy concern us?

In this article I shall attempt to answer these questions and each of the following sections will bear the same number as the question it answers. For example: Question 1 will be answered in Section 1 and Question 2 in Section 2 and so on.

According to verse one it was given in the third year of king Belshazzar. Historians differ as to the exact year in question, but most agree that the third year of king Belshazzar was about the year 553 BC. This date becomes important when we will consider the prophecy of Daniel 9, which was given some 15 years later in 538 BC in the first year of Darius the Mede.

This question is answered by the archangel Gabriel. He tells us in verse 20: The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

Once again the archangel Gabriel supplies the answer. The rough goat, we are told in verse 21, is the king of Grecia. In other words these two beasts, the ram and the he-goat represent 'mighty monarchs' who controlled the ancient empires of Medo-Persia and Greece; the two empires that came after the Babylonian empire which ended when king Belshazzar died.

In Scripture a 'horn' symbolises power, anointing, salvation, victory and honour. A horn was also used as a trumpet in times of war; as in the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6) and when Gideon smote the Midianites (Judges 6). The following texts are given as examples of horn symbolism.

The archangel Gabriel told Daniel that the great horn is the first king (of Greece). The first earthly king of ancient Greece was Alexander the Great. His military might enabled him to overthrow the Medo-Persian empire symbolised in this prophecy by the ram. But the question arises: What 'horn' (higher, motivating spiritual power) was behind Alexander the Great? There is little doubt that Alexander was one of history's greatest generals; but what spirit (horn) motivated and empowered him? In my humble opinion, Alexander the Great was merely the earthly tool of a spirit being on high, which empowered and used him to conquer the vast regions between Italy and India? This evil spirit was Alexander's 'horn,' the inspiration, motivation and power behind his astonishing victories. It even convinced Alexander that he was the Son of God! But it brought about his death in Babylon in the year 323 BC when Alexander was only 33 years old! That spirit being was itself 'broken' at the time of Alexander's death and its dominion taken over by four other 'horns' who subsequently took over and controlled the remnants of the ancient Grecian empire: Rome, Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Iraq etc. These nations and the other remnants of the Grecian empire are scheduled to continue as earthly powers till the end of this age.

In short, we see in Daniel chapter 8 and several other symbolic prophecies, that 'horns' represent 'spirit powers' at work in world affairs. Horns fall into two categories:

The Little Horn of Daniel 8 is known elsewhere in Scripture as the Antichrist, the Beast, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition. For information about the identity of this being see our article Who/What is the Antichrist?

The sanctuary mentioned in this prophecy is not an earthly sanctuary or temple in Jerusalem; but the heavenly sanctuary, which is the divine original Moses was shown in the mountain and of which he made an earthly copy.

Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Am I saying that the heavenly sanctuary is to be polluted and will later need cleansing? Yes I am. According to this prophecy the Antichrist (the Little Horn) is scheduled to desecrate the heavenly sanctuary by his very presence. He will enter the sanctuary in heaven and will blasphemously challenge the Prince of the heavenly host! I quote:

Daniel 8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10: And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
11: Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

The heavenly host cast down to the ground by the Little Horn are the holy angels who surround the throne of God. When the Antichrist manifests himself - 'stands up' - he will enter the heavenly sanctuary and expel some of the holy angels who surround the throne of God! The events described here seem almost incredible; but that is what the prophecy is saying and it would be foolish to ignore the fact.

The Prince of princes is none other that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who is currently officiating in the heavenly sanctuary. When the Antichrist enters the heavenly sanctuary he will dare to challenge Yeshua and stop him offering the daily sacrifice.

Ancient Israel was commanded by the Almighty to offer each day a sacrifice of two lambs; one lamb in the morning and the other in the evening. This sacrifice was called the 'daily sacrifice.' It continued for hundreds of years till Yeshua the Lamb of God offered up his own life on Calvary and the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.

Numbers 28:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2: Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.
3: And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
4: The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;

The daily sacrifice of two ordinary lambs was simply a 'symbolic counterpart,' a 'shadow,' a 'figure' or 'type' of Yeshua the true Lamb of God who died on Calvary and whose blood would thereafter cleanse the contrite and repentant sinner. When Yeshua the Messiah ascended to heaven he began to officiate in the heavenly sanctuary on behalf of sinful man. There he presents and pleads the merits of his own blood on behalf of those who seek forgiveness of sin. It is not necessary for Yeshua the Lamb of God to die over and over again; but it is necessary for him to intercede - each day - on behalf of sinners who daily confess their sins and request his mercy and forgiveness. This daily procedure (the daily sacrifice) is what the Antichrist will stop! I freely admit that this drama seems so blasphemous that it is difficult to even imagine. But again I must remind the reader that that is what the prophecy is saying. It is not forecasting the stopping of the daily sacrifice in an earthly sanctuary; a sacrifice which was stopped, started, stopped and started time and again before and after Daniel's day. No, the daily sacrifice the Little Horn will stop for 2300 days is that which is made in the heavenly sanctuary! After a fierce conflict in heaven itself, the Little Horn will expel some of the heavenly host from the sanctuary above, challenge Yeshua the Prince of princes and stop the daily sacrifice! Pause dear reader and try to imagine the enormity of such a blasphemous act on the Little Horn's part. You will need to read this article again and again to appreciate what is being presented here.

10. HOW LONG IS 2300 DAYS?
Many Christians have concluded that in Bible prophecy one day always represents one year and, therefore, this is a period of 2300 years. They base their conclusion on texts such as:

Num:14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
Ezek:4:6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

But is it correct to say that in every prophecy involving time, one day represents one year? I don't think so. A prophetic day only represents a year if the prophetic language so implies, as in the case of Ezekiel 4:6 or Daniel 9:24. But if the prophetic language doesn't give this indication, as in the case of Daniel 8:14, Daniel 12:11-12 and Revelation 11:3, then a day equals a normal day of 24 hours and a year is a normal year. For example the Saviour prophesied in:
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

We all know that in this prophecy a day meant a literal day and not a year. In the book of Revelation we also see that a year is a year and no more.

Rev.20:4: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished

In short, the 2300 days mentioned in Daniel chapter 8 is 2300 ordinary days; which is about six and a half ordinary years. Believers who reckon that 2300 prophetic days means 2300 ordinary years have been obliged to place the start of this prophecy in the distant past - over 2300 years ago. To find out if they are correct in their computation we will consider the next question, which is:

The answer to this question is given by the archangel Gabriel himself. Notice how he pinpoints when this period is to start:

In short, the 2300 day desecration of the heavenly sanctuary will occur 'at the time of the end,' ... 'in the last end of the indignation,'... when 'transgressors are come to the full.' Gabriel went on to advise Daniel (verse 26) to shut up the vision; in other words to seal it up as it was not to occur for 'many days.' All this means that this 2300 day period (about six and a half years) will occur just before the Saviour returns to earth. And that means it could start any time in the very near future!

Some Christian groups begin counting the 2300 day period way back in the past, (in 457 BC) which was not long after Belshazzar's reign when the prophecy was given. Why do they do this when Gabriel expressly advised Daniel to 'shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days:' that it would occur 'at the time of the end,' in the 'last days' when 'transgressors are come to the full?' The answer is because they believe that the 2300 day period of Daniel 8 and the 490 year period of Daniel 9 both start at the same time - in the year 457 BC. To use a common starting date for these two prophecies is a serious error which must be corrected. These two prophecies (Daniel 8 and Daniel 9) though only a chapter apart in the Bible were, in fact, given some 15 years apart; and each prophecy is distinctly different from the next. For example:

The 2300 Day Prophecy

  1. Was given in 3rd year of king Belshazzar (about 553 BC)
  2. The heavenly sanctuary (Temple) was to be desecrated
  3. The daily sacrifice stopped
  4. The starting date of this prophecy is in the 'last days,' at the 'time of the end,' at a time when 'transgressors are come to the full;' that is - at their worst!
  5. Was 'many days' into Daniel's future.
  6. Would usher in the false messiah, the Antichrist!

The 70 Weeks of Years Prophecy

  1. Was given in 1st year of Darius (about 538 BC), which was some 15 years later than Belshazzar's third year.
  2. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple were to be rebuilt, not desecrated.
  3. The daily sacrifice restarted, not stopped.
  4. The starting date of this prophecy was soon after the 70 year captivity ended, not at the 'time of the end.'
  5. The fulfilment would begin in Daniel's lifetime, not at the 'last days' in his distant future.
  6. And it would usher in the true Messiah (Jesus Christ).

These comparisons make it perfectly obvious that the prophecies of Daniel 8 and Daniel 9 do not start at the same time.

The Appointed Time
Most students of Bible prophecy are well aware that the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel works to a strict Timetable in which every major event occurs at His appointed time. This fact is made clear in texts such as:
Luke 9:51: And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.
John 7:6: Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come.
Gal. 4:4: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
Acts 17:31: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
It is exactly the same with this period of 2300 days. These days will start at the Almighty's appointed time some six and a half years before the Saviour returns to earth. Of course no one knows the exact day of the Saviour's return (Matthew 24:36); so we cannot determine the start-year of the 2300 days. But, judging from the natural and social conditions on earth, we know that the Saviour's return is near. How much nearer do you suppose is the start of this awesome 2300 day period?

The Feast Days of the God of Israel
In the Almighty's Timetable (Diary) there are certain appointed days of extreme importance. He calls them His Feast Days (Leviticus 23). These are the sacred appointments the Almighty commands His followers to remember and observe. To ignore them is extremely dangerous. Why? Because there is a direct link between Yahweh's Feast Days and the Time Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Failure to observe an appointed Feast could well result in a believer missing the divine signal and warning of which the prophecy tells. For the fact is, this 2300 day prophecy is directly linked with a Feast of Pentecost in one year and the Feast of Trumpets some seven years later. Examples of this amazing prophetic count are given at Appendix C of our booklet entitled The Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel.

Bird Migration
Most of us have read about or witnessed the miracle of bird migration. Every year billions of earth's creatures, birds, animals, insects and reptiles migrate from place to place, often thousands of miles, to escape the rigours of extreme weather conditions: freezing winters or scorching summers. Did the Almighty create such breath-taking annual demonstrations for nothing? Or did He have in them lessons for mankind? According to His Word, the LORD God of Israel staged the miracle of 'bird migration' as a practical lesson for all mankind to prepare for Judgement.

Jeremiah 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.
This warning to prepare for Judgement is repeated again and again in Scripture and people should not delude themselves into thinking that they can continue in sin and escape punishment.
Zeph.2:1 1: Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
2: Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you.
3: Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.
'But,' you may well ask 'Why was this prophecy given and of what danger is the LORD warning us?'

When the Little Horn enters the heavenly sanctuary and stops the daily sacrifice the most terrifying period of earth's history will begin. We know this because there will be, for that period of time, no daily sacrifice in the heavenly sanctuary and therefore no mediator between God and sinful man! The daily sacrifice embodies all the merits of the Saviour's blood, which alone secures pardon, cleansing and protection to those who trust and obey. When the daily sacrifice is stopped, an unrestrained Satanic reign of terror will begin throughout the universe. On earth a Time of Trouble will engulf mankind; trouble the likes of which has never been seen before, nor will ever be seen again. Scripture tells us that during this time the Man of Sin, the Little Horn, the Antichrist will sit on the throne of God and proclaim himself God Almighty!

2 Thess.2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Is this almost unbelievably blasphemous act actually going to happen? It is; for that is what the prophecy is saying. It would be foolish to ignore it. We see a preview of such a blasphemous act in the behaviour of Absalom who revolted against his father king David and attempted to take over the throne of Israel. In order to prove to the inhabitants of Jerusalem that he was their new king, Absalom pitched a tent on the palace roof and there he raped his father's concubines.

2Sam:16:22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house;
and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.

Satan and the Antichrist will do the same on a universal scale at the start of the 2300 days. Their goal has always been to dethrone Yahweh and His son Yeshua and to secure the worship of heaven's host. They will make their devilish take-over bid at the start of the 2300 days and to prove to the inhabitants of the universe just how depraved the Antichrist and Satan are, the Almighty will allow this to happen!

What will the people of God be doing during that critical time?
Believe it or not the vast majority of mankind and a major section of the church will suffer under the Little Horn's rule. They will be 'given over to believe the lie, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.' The Antichrist will harass the people of God during this time. We read about this in Daniel chapter 7 where the Little Horn's attack on the saints is briefly described.

Dan. 7:21: I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.
Dan. 7:25: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Will all Yahweh's people be deceived into believing the Lie and handed over to the Antichrist? Thankfully the answer is - No they will not. There will be some who will not be deceived and they will be protected from the Little Horn in a place called the 'wilderness of the people.'
For information on where this wilderness is, see our article The Coming Exodus.

That brings us to the end of this article. In it you have read of some amazing, hardly imaginable events that are scheduled to occur on earth during the seven year period prior to the return of Jesus Christ. The facts we have covered are summarised as follows:

Will all this happen? You can be sure that, like all Bible prophecy, it will come to pass at the appointed time.

Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

SBS     Prophecy     The Time of Trouble

Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
November 1998