SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Monday July 22, 1996

The Antitypical Day of Atonement
(Daniel 8:14)

How do we know that the cleansing of the sanctuary spoken of in Daniel 8:14 is the end-time judgment typified by the Day of Atonement?

Daniel 8:14 translates literally from the Hebrew: "For evenings (and) mornings two thousand and three hundred; then the sanctuary will be justified (nitsdaq). The Septuagint translators who, before the time of Christ, translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek, translated the last phrase: kathapisthesetai ("and the sanctuary shall be cleansed"). "The Standard Jewish Bible for the English-speaking world," Tanakh - The Holy Scriptures (1985), translates the Hebrew of Daniel 8:14; "then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."

Why is the Hebrew verb to justify translated by the verb "to cleanse?" Because when God justifies, He cleanses. In the Old Testament the vert to justify (tsadaq) is used synonymously with words meaning "to cleanse." "Can mortal man be righteous [tsadaq: justified] before God? Can a man be pure [taher: to be clean, pure] before his Maker? (Job 4:17, RSV). Taher is the word used in Leviticus 16:30. In the New Testament, justification is identified with forgiveness (Rom. 4:5-8), which involves spiritual cleansing (Col. 1:13,14). Justification includes the cleansing work of the HolySpirit (Titus 3:5-7).

Daniel 8:14 speaks of a place, the sanctuary (quodesh: "what is holy," "holy [place]"), being justified or cleansed. So does Leviticus 16:2,16,17,33. And the cleansing of the people is inseparable from the cleansing of the sanctuary. Ever since the cross, Christian believers have been forgiven (cleansed) as were Israelites in the daily service (Lev. 4:31). Daniel 8:14 refers to the final atonement before Jesus comes. As the sanctuary and the people were cleansed on the literal Day of Atonement, so the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 8:1,2) and God's end-time people are cleansed in the pre-advent judgment.

The cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) is a work of judgment. Daniel 7 and 8 outline the history of the world up to the pre-advent judgment. The prophecies are parallel: