1. The prophet Daniel asked, “Oh Lord, how long?”
“How long until the promise be fulfilled?”
“How long until the right o’ercome the wrong?”
“And meek men rule, whose blood on earth was spilled?”
“Unto two thousand and three hundred days;
Each day a year by the prophetic rules;
Then shall my people learn to walk my ways,
From sin depart, and ne’er again be fools.”
2. The start of this long prophecy was marked
With Artaxerxes’ final, full decree;
In four five seven Ezra was embarked,
The building of God’s temple to o’ersee.
Then to the Jews four hundred ninety years,
Marked out for them in the prophetic word,
To make an end of sin and all its fears,
But woe! instead they crucified their Lord.
3. But this God had foreseen, and prophesied,
That in the last sev’n years of Jewish time
Messiah would be cut off in the midst,
Not for Himself, but for all of mankind.
The start of this last week of years began
In A.D. twenty sev’n when Jesus went
Down to the Jordan to fulfil God’s plan,
From heav’n above the Spirit did anoint.
4. In A.D. thirty one, the Saviour died;
Our sins did crucify the Prince of life.
We cannot blame the Jews for this foul deed,
For we, like them, are also sons of strife.
In A.D. thirty four was Stephen stoned;
The Jews no longer were the chosen race;
But faithful Jews and Gentiles made one church,
To bring the world the gospel of His grace.
5. This left but eighteen hundred ten years more,
From A.D. thirty four when Stephen died,
Which reaches unto eighteen forty four,
The point at which the Judgment would preside.
And so it was, not one year more nor less;
In heaven’s Holiest Place Christ entered in.
The church must now put on her heav’nly dress
Of purity, and final end of sin.
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This text is based on the time prophecy recorded in Daniel 8:13,14; 9:24-27; 12:6,8.
The 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 is the longest time prophecy mentioned directly in the Bible. It was the foundation prophecy for the Millerite movement, that led them to believe that Christ was coming to the earth around 1843 to 1844.
Today, in the Christian world, these prophecies of Daniel are mangled beyond recognition, with people attempting to fix it to a literal 2300 days during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the descendants of Alexander the Great’s Greek empire. Others put it far off in the future, again as a literal time for the reign of Antichrist.
All of these wild interpretations destroy the prophecy. It is clearly part of the 70 week prophecy, that Daniel received in chapter 9. First he received the 2300 day prophecy, but there was no starting point. He was troubled about this, and about the future of Jerusalem. The angel Gabriel came to make both matters plain in one further prophecy. The 70 week prophecy provided both: a starting point for the 2300 days, and a small history outlining the rebuilding, and eventual destruction again, of the city and temple. The 70 weeks are 490 days, and in prophecy “a day equals a year,” so the time is actually 490 years.
The 70 week prophecy is the only one in the Bible that predicted in what year Christ would be anointed by John the Baptist, in what year He would die, and in what year the end of the Jews as God’s chosen people would take place. That is, if you interpret it correctly! When the last prophetic week of the prophecy was reached, Jesus immediately knew the time had come, and went to John to be baptized. Then He went forth:
…preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. –Mark 1:14,15
The “time is fulfilled”…what time? Obviously the last prophetic week of Daniel’s 70 weeks. The starting point was the decree to rebuild the temple. There were three decrees, recorded in Ezra 5, 6 and 7. The last one, by Artaxerxes is the most comprehensive, and since the prophecy specified a decree “fully to restore and to build again,” then that is the one we should start with, which was given in 457 BC.
From there it is a simple matter to calculate the 69 weeks (69×7 = 483), or 483 years, which would reach to 27 AD. This is when Jesus was baptized.
The last week of this prophecy, or 7 years, would start from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He was to be “cut off” in this last week. “In the midst of the week” he [Messiah] was to cause the sacrifice to cease. Jesus was crucified exactly 3 1/2 years after his baptism, in 31 AD. This was right in the middle of the last 7 years of the prophecy, and caused the sacrificial system to have no value anymore, for the True Lamb had been slain. You can know that this is the correct interpretation of the prophecy for Jesus is right in the middle of it!
Another 3 1/2 years would end the time alloted to the Jewish nation to co-operate with God, which point was reached with the stoning of Stephen and the call of the apostle Paul to go to the Gentiles.
Since the 2300 year prophecy had the same starting point, it would extend beyond this time for another 1810 years, or until 1844 AD, at which time the “sanctuary would be cleansed.” This could not be the temple on earth, for that had ceased to have any significance, and Jesus was now ministering as the true High Priest in the true Temple in Heaven. Therefore, this cleansing must be for the heavenly temple…a cleansing not of blood of animals, but of the sins confessed by the saints of all ages.
Here is a small chart outlining these events: