Introduction: Last week we studied one of the most important
prophecies of the Bible. We learned, from Daniel 9:22-27, that the
specific dates of the coming of Jesus the Messiah were revealed
hundreds of years in advance through Gabriel’s message to Daniel. As
far as I am concerned, this is the most important message of Daniel.
God reveals to His people not only the details of the sweep of
history, He reveals the timing of the coming of His Son. Of course,
we learned a number of other important things as well. We learned
that the sanctuary will be rebuilt and then destroyed again. We
learned that the gospel will go from being a message directed to the
Jews to a message for all of us today. There are, however, a few
“loose ends.” (Aren’t there always?) One unresolved question is the
meaning of the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14. Let’s dig into Daniel to
see what other secrets God has revealed to us today!

  1. The Sanctuary

    1. Read Daniel 8:13-14. Put yourself in Daniel’s place. If
      you had a short “wish list” about the future, what would
      be on it? (Recall that Daniel had been taken from his home
      when he was a very young man. He would want to return to
      his native country, Judah.)

      1. What would come to Daniel’s mind when the sanctuary
        was mentioned in his vision? (Daniel would surely
        think about the sanctuary (temple) that was built by
        Solomon. See 1 Chronicles 22:17-19.)

      2. Did Solomon’s temple exist at the time of Daniel’s
        vision? (No. The Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem
        and Solomon’s temple. This was part of the tragedy of
        his youth. He had been taken captive, and the
        important institutions of his country had been
        destroyed. This included the city of Jerusalem and
        Solomon’s temple, the center of Jewish worship.)

      3. When Daniel heard that the sanctuary would be
        “reconsecrated” (NIV) (“cleansed” NKJV) what would he
        logically think was going to happen? (It is logical
        to believe his first thoughts were that Solomon’s
        temple would be rebuilt. This vision of the future
        could be about one of Daniel’s most dearly held hopes
        – that the Jewish worship center would be back in

      4. What other possibilities might come to Daniel’s mind
        when he heard about the sanctuary being
        reconsecrated? (Read Psalms 102:19, Exodus 25:8-9 and
        Hebrews 8:1-5. Moses had originally been given “the
        pattern” so that the sanctuary in the wilderness was
        modeled after the sanctuary in heaven. Solomon then
        built a permanent version of the sanctuary to house
        the ark of God and to continue the worship and the
        sacrificial services. Only the copy on earth had been
        destroyed. The heavenly original still existed. Since
        the sanctuary on earth had been destroyed, Daniel
        might have thought this had something to do with the
        sanctuary in heaven.)

    2. What time frame is given for the sanctuary being
      reconsecrated? (2,300 days.)

    3. Let’s back up a minute and read the context for the 2,300
      days of Daniel 8:14. Read Daniel 8:9-13. What sanctuary do
      you think is being described in these verses? (In Lesson 5
      of this series (on Daniel 8), we concluded that this
      “horn” was the Pagan and Papal phase of Rome. Thus, this
      would be the rebuilt sanctuary promised to Daniel.)

      1. If this is true, could Gabriel be speaking of a
        literal 2,300 days – a little over six years? (No.
        This had to be symbolic days (meaning a day equals a
        year), not literal days. We know that Rome was
        hundreds of years in the future.

        1. Read Daniel 8:19-26. This is Gabriel’s
          explanation of the “vision of the evenings and
          mornings” and he says it concerns “the distant
          future.” Is there any possible way that the
          2,300 days are literal days? (I cannot see any
          way that this is possible!)

    4. So, what happens at the end of this 2,300 years? What does
      it mean for the sanctuary to be reconsecrated? What
      sanctuary are we talking about? Is this the end of the

    5. Living in the twenty-first century, we know that
      thereafter the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt and for
      hundreds of years Jews held their daily sacrifices and
      worshiped God in the sanctuary. We also know that in 70
      A.D., the Romans destroyed the sanctuary. Given our
      knowledge, what sanctuary do you think is being referred
      to in Daniel 8:14? (Read Daniel 8:17. Since this is a
      vision “of the end,” and since we know the sanctuary on
      earth was destroyed almost 2,000 years ago, that logically
      leaves only the sanctuary in heaven as the subject of this

      1. What argument can you make that the vision might
        refer to a sanctuary that is again rebuilt in
        Jerusalem before the world ends? (Such an argument
        would deny that Jesus is the Messiah. It would ignore
        Jesus’ High Priestly ministry in heaven referred to
        in Hebrews. If the Jews rebuilt a temple in Jerusalem
        it would be to continue the same sacrificial system
        which Jesus fulfilled by His life and death.)

        1. Read Hebrews 9:8-12. What does this suggest
          about the possibility of a new temple being
          built in Jerusalem? (Hebrews tells us that the
          temple on earth was both an illustration and an
          impediment to Jesus’ work for us in heaven. The
          idea that it would be rebuilt at some time
          before the Second Coming of Jesus is completely
          at odds with Hebrews and the entire concept of
          Jesus fulfilling the symbolism of the sanctuary

    6. The reasonable conclusion, based on what we know about
      history, and our understanding of the gospel, is that the
      sanctuary to be reconsecrated (cleansed) is the heavenly

  2. The Nature of the Cleansing

    1. If Daniel 8:14 is about reconsecrating (cleansing) the
      sanctuary in heaven, the logical question is, “Why would
      it need to be cleaned?”

    2. Read Leviticus 16:32-34. These three verses describe in
      summary form a yearly event for the Jewish people. Can you
      tell me about this event? (Throughout the year the people
      would come to the temple to sacrifice an animal for the
      forgiveness of their sins. Symbolically, the shed blood of
      the animal transferred the sin from the person to the
      sanctuary. Then once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the
      sanctuary itself was cleansed of all of these sins which
      had accumulated over the year. On that day the High Priest
      entered the Most Holy place of the sanctuary.)

    3. What about the sins of the people? Were they completely
      taken care of during the year? (Read Leviticus 16:29-30.
      It appears that the cleansing of the sanctuary on the Day
      of Atonement was the final act in the removal of the sins
      from the people.)

    4. Since the sanctuary on earth was patterned after the
      sanctuary in heaven? Do you think there is a parallel
      activity in heaven? If so, what is it? (According to the
      text in Hebrews that we previously read ( Hebrews 9:11-12),
      Jesus is the sacrifice for the heavenly sanctuary. He is
      also the High Priest who enters the Most Holy Place.)

      1. When Daniel 8:14 tells us that the sanctuary will be
        reconsecrated (cleansed) could it mean that after the
        2300 day period the Day of Atonement in heaven will
        take place? (That seems to be what is meant. Since
        the sanctuary could not be the sanctuary on earth, it
        must be the sanctuary in heaven. Hebrews tells us
        that Jesus will enter the Most Holy place of the
        heavenly sanctuary – so it makes sense that this is
        the meaning of Daniel 8:14.)

  3. The Meaning of the Day of Atonement.

    1. Let’s review a minute. The sanctuary referred to in Daniel
      8:14 is the sanctuary in heaven. The historical meaning
      of the cleansing of the sanctuary is the Day of Atonement.
      So, the next question is what would be the meaning of a
      Day of Atonement in heaven? Read Daniel 8:26-27. Did
      Daniel understand what it meant to reconsecrate the
      sanctuary in heaven?

      1. Notice that verse 27 says that Daniel did not
        understand the vision. Did he not understand any of
        it? (This is the Ram/Goat/Horn vision of the first
        half of Daniel 8. Gabriel told Daniel about the
        meaning of the Ram and the Goat. It was only the horn
        and the 2,300 days that was not specifically
        explained. Since Daniel calls the this (v.26)”the
        vision of the evenings and mornings” it must be the
        2,300 days that most specifically created the

      2. What do you think the Day of Atonement in heaven
        represents? Is this the beginning of the judgment?
        The end of the judgment? The Second Coming of Jesus?

    1. In trying to solve this mystery, it sure would be nice to
      know when this 2,300 years ended. What do we need to know
      to determine this? (When that period of time started.)

      1. Does Daniel 8 say when the 2,300 year period begins?
        (No. Indeed, Daniel 8:26 seems to say the details are
        “sealed up” for now.)

    2. Let’s re-read what we studied last week: Daniel 9:25-27.
      We have some very hard dates from this. Does this sound
      like the same subject matter? (Yes. I’m quite certain that
      Daniel is not understanding what sanctuary Gabriel is
      speaking about, but we are back to the theme of the future
      of the sanctuary and its “desolation.”)

      1. Let’s make the assumption – a reasonable one – that
        our “Seventy Weeks” message of Gabriel in Daniel 9 is
        a further answer and explanation of Gabriel’s message
        of Daniel 8. Since we concluded last week that the
        seventy weeks began in 457 B.C., where does 2,300
        years end? (1844 A.D. The title of our lesson is
        “1844 Made Simple.” The math is surely simple, but
        I’m far from sure any other aspect of this is

    3. If we are right about tying the two prophecies together
      and starting them in 457 B.C., what does that clarify
      about the previous question about the nature of the
      cleansing of the sanctuary, this Day of Atonement? (It
      does not mean the end of the world – unless God is simply
      delaying His coming. We know from the parallelism in the
      visions we have studied that the end of the world starts
      with a judgment of the righteous and ends with the Second
      Coming of Jesus. Historically the judgment and the
      “conclusion” to sin, occurred within the Day of

    4. What should the reaction of a Christian be to this
      prophecy? (The message is important, it came straight from
      the throne of God by Gabriel. The message is reliable –
      because all of the other prophecies given to Daniel came
      to pass. Whether 1844 was the “target time” for Jesus’
      Second Coming, or whether it begins the time of the final
      judgment, our main conclusion should be that Jesus’ Second
      Coming is imminent. Something very important is happening
      in heaven and it has to do with our Messiah bringing sin
      to its final conclusion.)

    5. Friend, are you ready for the judgment? For the Second
      Coming? Are you looking for your Savior to return?

  1. Next week: Day-Year Principle.