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    04 THE YEAR-DAY PRINCIPLE

    FROM the exposition of the symbols thus far given we have the field of vision laid clearly out before us. The first symbol, Persia, covers a period of 207 years; the second, Grecia, 170 years; the third, which we have seen to be Rome in both its phases, pagan and papal, from B.C. 161 to its division into ten parts, in 483, A.D., continued 644 years; and if we come down to the close of papal supremacy in 1798, we have the long period of 1959 years; and if we come still forward to our own time, for this power is not yet broken without hand, we have the surprising period of 2033 years covered by this symbol.STTHD 45.1

    Putting these periods together, we have from the commencement of Persian supremacy, B.C. 538, to the division of Rome, 483 A.D., 1021 years; to the temporary overthrow of Papal Rome, 1798 A.D., 2336 years; to our own time, 2410. So vast is the sweep of this vision, which was given to the beloved Daniel.STTHD 45.2

    This fact has an important bearing upon the subject of time, which we are now prepared to consider.. One point alone remains unexplained in Daniel 8, and that is the sanctuary and 2300 days of verse 14. On this we now inquire:—STTHD 45.3

    1. Does the word “days,” which in the margin is rendered “evening morning,” mean days as commonly understood by that term?STTHD 46.1

    2. Have we the correct reading, 2300?STTHD 46.2

    3. Are the days literal or symbolic? and can we tell how long a period they denote?STTHD 46.3

    On the first of these inquiries, we present the following testimony from Dr. Hales:—STTHD 46.4

    “The earliest measure of time on record is the Day. In that most ancient and venerable account of the creation, by Moses, the process is marked by the operations of each day. The evening and the morning were the first day, etc. Genesis 1:5, etc. Here the word ‘day’ denotes the civil or calendar day of 24 hours, including ‘the evening,’ or natural night, and ‘the morning,’ or natural day; while the sun is either below or above the horizon of any place, in the course of the earth’s diurnal rotation between two successive appulses of the same meridian to the sun; corresponding, therefore, to a solar day in astronomy. It is remarkable that the ‘evening,’ or natural night, precedes the ‘morning,’ or natural day, in the Mosaic account. Hence the Hebrew compound,STTHD 46.5

    , ‘evening morning,’ is used by the prophet Daniel to denote a civil day, in his famous chronological prophecy of the 2300 days, Daniel 8:14.”—Sacred Chronology, vol. i. p. 10.STTHD 47.1

    Again he says, when speaking on this text in vol. ii. p. 512, note, “The evening morning was a civil or calendar day.”STTHD 47.2

    The first question then is sufficiently answered, the word days (evening morning) in Daniel 8:14, is such as is used to designate days as commonly understood, and hence is correctly translated.STTHD 47.3

    On the second inquiry, Is 2300 the correct reading? we quote again from the same author:—STTHD 47.4

    “There is no number in the Bible whose genuineness is better ascertained than that of the 2300 days. It is found in all the printed Hebrew editions, in all the MSS. of Kennicott and De Rossi’s collations, and in all the ancient versions, except the Vatican copy of the Septuagint, which reads 2400, followed by Symmachus; and some copies noticed by Jerome, 2200; both evidently literal errors, in excess and defect, which compensate each other and confirm the mean, 2300.”—Id., vol. ii. p512. 512.STTHD 47.5

    These points being thus established, that the expression is the proper one to denote a civil day, and that the reading, 2300, is correct, we next inquire, Are these days literal, or symbolic? If they are literal, they give us (dividing by 365) six and one-third years, as the extent of the whole period. If they are symbolic, each day signifying a year, they bring to view a period of 2300 years in length. Which of these two views is the more consistent with the rest of the prophecy?STTHD 47.6

    The question was, “How long the vision?” The question, certainly, covers almost the whole, if not the whole, duration of the vision; and that, as we have seen, extends over a period of over 2400 years. Now if, in reply, the angel singled out a period only six years and one-third in length, there is no correspondence either between this answer and the vision in connection with which it was given, or between the answer and the question which directly called it forth. These days, if taken literally, would be far from covering the duration of any one of the kingdoms of the prophecy taken singly, how much less of them all taken together.STTHD 48.1

    This is symbolic prophecy; it would be natural therefore to conclude that the time introduced would be of a like nature. Twenty-three hundred literal days would not be out of proportion to the lives of the beasts shown in the vision; and as these short-lived beasts are symbols, representing long-lived kingdoms; so the days are symbols representing the years of their continuance.STTHD 48.2

    The Bible observes this rule of chronological proportion in a general way. In Ezekiel 16, the Jewish nation is symbolized under the figure of a youthful woman, the youthful age of the woman, and the comparatively short period of growth to womanhood, representing the youthful period of the nation, and the years during which it was coming to maturity. See Elliott’s “Horae Apocalypticae,” vol. iii. p. 241.STTHD 49.1

    But more than this, the Bible gives the exact proportion between literal and symbolic time. Ezekiel, during the self-same Babylonish captivity in which Daniel’s prophecies were delivered, symbolizes years by days. He was commanded to make known to his fellow-exiles by the river Chebar, near the Euphrates, the fate of Jerusalem, with her last king Zedekiah, and also God’s reason for it. For this purpose he was to lie prostrate with his face toward the city, on his left side three hundred and ninety days for Israel, and on his right side forty days for Judah, restricted all the while to a famine diet, like the Jews he represented shut up in the siege. And God said, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Ezekiel 4:6.STTHD 49.2

    In this representation Ezekiel himself became a symbol. He was acting a symbolic part, an individual representing a nation, the days in which he was acting his part symbolizing the actual years of the punishment of those whom he represented.STTHD 50.1

    Another instance, not so evidently symbolic in its nature, but equally definite in showing how God uses short periods of time to represent longer ones, and the proportion to be observed between them, is found in Numbers 14:34: “Forty days, each day for a year.”STTHD 50.2

    It is objected against this principle of interpretation that it is novel, not having been known in the church from the days of Daniel to those of Wyckliffe, and, secondly, that those who adopt the year-day principle are in confusion among themselves respecting their interpretations of prophecy.STTHD 50.3

    The first of these objections is shown by Mr. Elliott not to be well founded; as this principle of interpretation, though not the exact application of this prophecy, was adopted by Augustine, Tichonius, Primasius, Andreas, the VenerableSTTHD 50.4

    Bede, Ambrosius, Ansbertus, Berengaud, Bruno Astensis, etc.STTHD 51.1

    As to the second objection, there certainly is no more confusion among year-day interpreters than among those who take the day-day view; and it is not strange that there should have been discordant views in days past, since the prophecy was closed up and sealed till the time of the end; but the intimation is given that then the seal would be broken, the wise understand, and knowledge be increased on these things. And right here the year-day principle has been brought out and especially defended as a key to the interpretation of the prophecies.STTHD 51.2

    But that which demonstrates beyond question the correctness of the year-day principle, is the fact that we, living down in the last years of prophetic fulfillment, are now able to trace out in history the accomplishment of these predictions; and we find that the seventy weeks of Daniel 9, the 1260, 1290, and 1335 days of Daniel 7 and 12, and Revelation 12 and 13, and the five months, and hour, day, month, and year of Revelation 9, have all been exactly fulfilled a day for a year.STTHD 51.3

    The 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, are therefore 2300 literal years. Where do they end?STTHD 51.4

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