Read Daniel 9:23. What specific instruction does the angel give to Daniel? Why is this significant in understanding the meaning of the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14?
The angel plainly instructed Daniel to “consider the matter, and understand the vision” (Daniel 9:23, NKJV). What matter, and what vision? Because there is no vision recorded in Daniel 9:1-27, the angel Gabriel must be speaking of the portion of the vision in Daniel 8:1-27 that the prophet did not understand — the vision of the 2,300 days (Daniel 8:27).
Gabriel continues in Daniel 9:24-27. What events in the life and ministry of Jesus is this talking about?
The first portion of this prophecy relates to God’s people, the Jews. “Seventy weeks are determined for your people” — the Jewish nation (Daniel 9:24, NKJV). In Bible prophecy, one prophetic day equals one literal prophetic year (Ezekiel 4:6, Numbers 14:34). In Daniel and Revelation when you have symbolic imagery, you usually have a symbolic time prophecy, as well. One of the ways we can be certain that the day-year principle of prophecy applies here is that when we use it in Daniel’s prophecy, each event on the time line comes out perfectly (see tomorrow’s lesson). If we apply this principle, 70 weeks are composed of 490 days. Since one prophetic day equals one literal year, 490 days are 490 literal years.
Gabriel tells Daniel that 490 years are “cut off” (the literal meaning of the Hebrew word chathak, sometimes translated “determined”). Cut off from what? It could be the only other time prophecy alluded to here: the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14. These 490 years, a time prophecy, is directly linked back to the time prophecy of Daniel 8:14, the only part of the vision left unexplained in Daniel 8:1-27 and the only time prophecy in Daniel 8:1-27, as well. Thus, we can see that Gabriel with this prophecy is coming to help Daniel understand what he didn’t understand in the previous chapter: the 2,300 days.