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