Thursday: Daniel 8 and 9

The term for vision (in Hebrew chazon) in the question in Daniel 8:13 refers to the entire vision in Daniel 8:3–11 (see Dan. 8:1-2, 13, 15) and encompasses the time of Media-Persia (ram), Greece (he-goat), and papal Rome (little horn). When the length of the vision is given as “2,300 evenings and mornings,” we should therefore understand it as covering the span from Media-Persia to the End Time. The text repeatedly emphasizes that the vision pertains to the “time of the end” (Dan. 8:17, 19) and “many days in the future” (Dan. 8:26, NASB). Because of its length, a literal 2,300 days is nowhere near long enough to cover the time span of the vision. Therefore, we need to interpret it by the day-year principle as 2,300 years, following the example of Ezekiel 4:5-6 and Numbers 14:34.

Image © Pacific Press from

Image © Pacific Press from

The question remains: When do the 2,300 years begin?

Bible scholars, both Jewish and Christian, have seen a strong link between Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 9:24–27, long viewed as a powerful prophecy pointing to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.

Read Daniel 9:24–27. What is happening in these verses? How is this linked to Daniel 8:14?

While the word “vision” (chazon) refers to the entire prophecy of Daniel 8, another word mareh, translated as “vision,” points specifically to the “vision [mareh] of the evenings and mornings” (Dan. 8:26, NASB). It is this mareh, that of the 2,300 days, that Daniel did not understand (Dan. 8:27). The angel explained everything else.

Several years later, the same angel, Gabriel, appeared to Daniel to give him a message so that he would “understand the vision [mareh]” of the 2,300 days (Dan. 9:23, NKJV). The seventy-week prophecy in those verses helps us to understand the prophetic time element of Daniel 8:14. It is the verb “decreed” at the beginning of Daniel 9:24, which is best translated as “apportioned” or “cut off,” that specifically suggests that the seventy weeks compose a part of the longer period of 2,300 days. Thus, the seventy-week prophecy is “cut off” from the larger 2,300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14. This gives us the starting point for the prophetic time period depicted in Daniel 8:14 (See tomorrow’s study for more details).



Thursday: Daniel 8 and 9 — 3 Comments

  1. In the Thursday's lesson of Lesson 10, where in the Bible does it show that King Artaxerxes actually issues the decree to actually rebuild the temple? It seems more like King Cyrus did that, and the decree was supported/enforced by King Darius. Ezra 6:3-5, Ezra 6:8

    In Ezra Chapter 7, it shows that during King Artaxerxes reign, Ezra comes to Jerusalem; he had devoted himself to the study of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10

    • Nancy, the decree is two-fold in Daniel 9:25,and only the 3rd decree of Ezra 7, given by Artaxerexes fulfills those requirements of both rebuilding and restoring. This 3rd decree restored full autonomy to Israel, which the two previous decrees did not do.

      Some will point to the "decree" of Nehemiah as the proper decree, but it was not a decree at all, only permission for Nehemiah to take a leave of absence to fulfill the decree given 13 years previously to "restore and rebuild".

    • Daniel 9:25 tells us the starting point is " the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem". It's true the temple was being rebuilt before 475 BC, and people were rebuilding their homes, etc.

      However, Jerusalem had no authority of it's own. It didn't have authority as a "capital" but was merely a group of Jewish people dwelling there.

      In the decree found in Ezra 7:25-26 we read
      "And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not.
      26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him,"

      So what we see here is the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people who lived "beyond the river", with political authority to command and carry out justice.
      Thus Jerusalem is legally restored in 475 BC, by decree, with full permission to continue rebuilding.


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