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    THE 2300 DAYS

    Besides the symbols of governments contained in Daniel 8, there is a definite period of time brought to view, which claims attention. As recorded in verse 13, Daniel heard one saint ask another the question, how long the vision should be concerning the daily [sacrifice] and the transgression of desolation to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot. The angel then addressed himself to Daniel and said, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Waiving for the present the question as to what may constitute the sanctuary, we wish to ascertain if possible the nature, the commencement, and termination of this period of time. There are two kinds of time to be met with in the Bible; literal and symbolic In symbolic time, a day signifies a year. Numbers 10:34; Ezekiel 4:6. To which class do the 2300 days belong? Being brought in connection with acknowledged symbols, it would be both easy and natural to infer that they partook of the nature of the rest of the vision and were symbolic, presenting us with a period of 2300 years. And that such is the case is further evident from the fact, as is shown in the investigation of Daniel 8, that the field of the prophet’s vision, was the empires of Persia, Greece and Rome. The 2300 days there given cannot therefore be literal days; for literal days (scarcely six years and a half) would by no means cover the duration of any one of these empires singly, much less embrace so nearly the whole of their existence put together, as they evidently do. They must consequently denote 2300 years. Can we now ascertain the commencement of this period? We answer, Yes; the key to the matter being in the ninth chapter of Daniel, between which and the eighth there is an unmistakable connection, as we shall now endeavor to show.LIFIN 49.5

    After their mention in verse 14, the 2300 days are not again spoken of in chapter 8. All the other parts of the vision are there fully explained; it must have been, therefore, this point concerning the time, that troubled the mind of the prophet, and in reference to which, solely, that he exclaims at the end of the chapter, I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.LIFIN 50.1

    It was in the third year of Belshazzar, B.C., 553, that Daniel had this vision of chapter 8. Fifty-three years previous to this time, Jerusalem had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and the seventy years’ captivity commenced; and thirty-five years before this, the Chaldeans had utterly demolished the city, broken down its walls and burnt the house of God with fire. 2 Chronicles 36:19. Daniel had learned from the prophecy of Jeremiah, [chapter 25], that the seventy years of captivity were drawing near their close, in the first year of Darius, B.C., 538, as we read in the first verses of Daniel 9; and it is evident that he so far misunderstood the period of the 2300 days as to suppose that they ended with the seventy years of Israel’s servitude; therefore, turning his face toward the prostrate city and the ruined temple of his fathers, he prays God to cause his face to shine upon his sanctuary which is desolate. Verse 17.LIFIN 50.2

    “While I was speaking in prayer,” says he, [chapter 9:20-23], “even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me and talked with me, and said, O, Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,” etc.LIFIN 51.1

    That this is a continuation of the explanation of the vision of chapter 8, would seem sufficiently evident without the aid of any special argument to prove it so. But as there is a vital point that hinges upon this fact, we will offer a few reasons which place it beyond the limits of contradiction.LIFIN 51.2

    1. Gabriel had received a charge [chapter 8:16], to make Daniel understand the vision; but at the end of the chapter, Daniel says he was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. Gabriel therefore did not complete his mission in chapter 8; the charge still rested upon him, Make this man to understand the vision.LIFIN 51.3

    2. The being who came to Daniel at the time of the supplication, was the very same who had appeared to him in the vision at the beginning; namely, Gabriel. And that he had now come to undeceive him concerning his application of the time, is evident in that he says, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. Why did he not give him a full understanding of the vision at first? We answer, because he revealed to him all that he was then able to bear. He fainted and was sick certain days.LIFIN 52.1

    3. Direct reference is made to the vision at the beginning. And if that is not the vision of chapter 8, it is impossible to find it. And again, if Gabriel does not explain in chapter 9, what he omitted in chapter 8, it is impossible for any man to show wherein Gabriel fulfilled his commission to make this man understand the vision.LIFIN 52.2

    4. When Gabriel commenced his further explanation, he did not explain the symbol of the ram; for that he had already explained. He did not explain the goat; for he had likewise explained that. Neither did he commence about the little horn; for he had made that plain also in chapter 8. What then did he explain? The very point there omitted; namely, the time: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, etc. These facts are sufficient to show the connection of Daniel 9 with the vision of chapter 8. But how do the words of Gabriel, Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people etc., explain the period of the 2300 days? The answer is, The word rendered determined, signifies literally, cut off. Gesenius, in his Hebrew Lexicon, thus defines it: Properly, to cut off; tropically, to divide, and so to determine, to decree. The Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance says, Determined, literally divided. From what period are the seventy weeks divided, or cut off? From the 2300 days; for there is no other period given from which they can be taken; and this is placed beyond a doubt by the connection of the two chapters, which has already been proved.LIFIN 52.3

    Having now ascertained that the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 are the first 490 years of the 2300 days, and that consequently the two periods commence together, we further learn that this period of weeks dates from the going forth of a commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. Daniel 9:25. If then we can definitely locate this commandment, we have the starting point for the great period of the 2300 years. The Bible furnishes us with four tests by which to determine when the true date is found:LIFIN 53.1

    1. From the time of the commandment, 49 years were to witness the completion of the street and wall of Jerusalem. Daniel 9:25LIFIN 53.2

    2. Threescore and two weeks from this time, or, in all, 69 weeks, 483 years, were to extend to Messiah the Prince.LIFIN 53.3

    3. Sixty-nine and a half weeks were to extend to the crucifixion - the cessation of sacrifice and oblation in the midst of the week. Verse 27.LIFIN 53.4

    4. The full period of 70 weeks was to witness the complete confirmation of the covenant with Daniel’s people.LIFIN 53.5

    In the seventh of Ezra, we find the decree for which we seek. It went forth in B.C. 457. Much concerning this decree, and the date of its promulgation, might here be said. But a more full explanation of it may more properly be given in another place. I will say, however, that, admitting that B.C. 457, is the correct date for the commencement of the 2300 years, which is susceptible of the clearest proof, none will fail to see how William Miller came to the conclusion that this prophetic period would close in the year 1843.LIFIN 53.6

    From 2300
    Take 457
    _______
    And there remains 1843

    “With the solemn conviction,” writes Mr. Miller, “that such momentous events were predicted in the Scriptures, to be fulfilled in so short a space of time, the question came home to me with mighty power regarding my duty to the world, in view of the evidence that had affected my own mind. If the end was so near, it was important that the world should know it. I supposed that it would call forth the opposition of the ungodly; but it never came into my mind that any Christian would oppose it. I supposed that all such would be so rejoiced, in view of the glorious prospect, that it would only be necessary to present it, for them to receive it. My great fear was, that, in their joy at the hope of a glorious inheritance so soon to be revealed, they would receive the doctrine without sufficiently examining the Scriptures in demonstration of its truth. I therefore feared to present it, lest, by some possibility, I should be in error, and be the means of misleading any.LIFIN 54.1

    “Various difficulties and objections would arise in my mind, from time to time. Certain texts would occur to me, which seemed to weigh against my conclusions; and I would not present a view to others, while any difficulty appeared to militate against it. I therefore continued the study of the Bible, to see if I could sustain any of these objections. My object was not merely to remove them, but I wished to see if they were valid.LIFIN 54.2

    “Sometimes, when at work, a text would arise like this: Of that day and hour knoweth no man, etc., and how then, could the Bible reveal the time of the advent? I would then immediately examine the context in which it was found, and I saw at once that, in the same connection, we are informed how we may know when it is nigh, even at the doors; consequently, that text could not teach that we could know nothing of the time of that event. Other texts, which are advanced in support of the doctrine of a temporal millennium, would arise; but, on examining their context, I invariably found that they were applicable only to the eternal state, or were so illustrative of the spread of the gospel here, as to be entirely irrelevant to the position they were adduced to support.LIFIN 55.1

    “Thus, all those passages that speak of the will of God being done on earth as in Heaven, of the earth being full of the knowledge of the glory of God, etc., could not be applicable to a time when the Man of Sin was prevailing against the saints, or when the righteous and wicked were dwelling together, which is to be the case until the end of the world. Those which speak of the gospel being preached in all the world, teach that, as soon as it should be thus preached, the end was to come; so that it could not be delayed a thousand years from that time, nor long enough for the world’s conversion after the preaching of the gospel as a witness.LIFIN 55.2

    “The question of the resurrection and Judgment was for a time an obstacle in the way. Being instructed that all the dead would be raised at the same time, I supposed it must be so taught in the Bible; but I soon saw it was one of the traditions of the elders.LIFIN 55.3

    “So also with the return of the Jews. That question I saw could only be sustained by denying the positive declarations of the New Testament, which assert, There is no difference between the Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male or female; but that if ye are Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. I was, therefore, obliged to discard an objection which asserts there is a difference between the Jew and Greek; that the children of the flesh are accounted for the seed, etc.LIFIN 55.4

    “In this way I was occupied from 1818 to 1823, in weighing the various objections which were being presented to my mind. During that time, more objections arose in my mind, than have been advanced by my opponents since; and I know of no objection that has been since advanced, which did not there occur to me. But, however strong they at first appeared, after examining them in the light of the divine word, I could only compare them to straws, laid down singly as obstacles, on a well-beaten road. The car of truth rolled over them, unimpeded in its progress.”LIFIN 56.1

    He continued to make the Bible his daily study, and became more and more convinced that he had a personal duty to perform respecting what he conceived the Bible to teach of the nearness of the advent. These impressions he thus describes:LIFIN 56.2

    “‘When I was about my business it was continually ringing in my ears, Go and tell the world of their danger. This text was constantly occurring to me: “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:8, 9. I felt that if the wicked could be effectually warned, multitudes of them would repent; and that, if they were not warned, their blood might be required at my hand. I did all I could to avoid the conviction that anything was required of me; and I thought that, by freely speaking of it to all, I should perform my duty, and that God would raise up the necessary instrumentality for the accomplishment of the work. I prayed that some minister might see the truth, and devote himself to its promulgation; but still it was impressed upon me, Go and tell it to the world; their blood will I require at thy hand. The more I presented it in conversation, the more dissatisfied I felt with myself for withholding it from the public. I tried to excuse myself to the Lord for not going out and proclaiming it to the world. I told the Lord that I was not used to public speaking; that I had not the necessary qualifications to gain the attention of an audience; that I was very diffident, and feared to go before the world; that they would not believe me, nor hearken to my voice; that I was slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. But I could get no relief. ’LIFIN 56.3

    “As Mr. Miller’s opinions respecting the nearness and nature of the millennium became known, they naturally elicited a good deal of comment among his friends and neighbors, and also among those at a distance. Some of their remarks, not the most complimentary to his sanity, would occasionally be repeated to him.LIFIN 57.1

    “Having heard that a physician in his neighborhood had said that Esquire Miller, as he was familiarly called, was a fine man and a good neighbor, but was a monomaniac on the subject of the advent, Mr. Miller was humorously inclined to let him prescribe for his case.LIFIN 57.2

    “One of his children being sick one day, he sent for the doctor, who, after prescribing for the child, noticed that Mr. Miller was very mute in one corner, and asked what ailed him.LIFIN 58.1

    “‘Well, I hardly know, doctor. I want you to see what does, and prescribe for me. ’LIFIN 58.2

    “The doctor felt of his pulse, etc., and could not decide respecting his malady; and inquired what he supposed was his complaint.LIFIN 58.3

    “‘Well,’ says Mr. Miller, ‘I don’t know but I am a monomaniac; and I want you to examine me, and see if I am, and, if so, cure me. Can you tell me when a man is a monomaniac? ’LIFIN 58.4

    “The doctor blushed, and said he thought he could.LIFIN 58.5

    “Mr. Miller wished to know how.LIFIN 58.6

    “‘Why,’ said the doctor, ‘a monomaniac is rational on all subjects but one; and when you touch that particular subject he will become raving.LIFIN 58.7

    “‘Well,’ says Mr. Miller, ‘I insist upon it that you see whether I am in reality a monomaniac; and if I am, you shall prescribe for and cure me. You shall, therefore, sit down with me two hours, while I present the subject of the advent to you, and, if I am a monomaniac, by that time you will discover it. ’LIFIN 58.8

    “The doctor was somewhat disconcerted; but Mr. Miller insisted, and told him, as it was to present the state of his mind, he might charge for his time as in regular practice.LIFIN 58.9

    “The doctor finally consented; and, at Mr. Miller’s request, opened the Bible and read from the 8th of Daniel. As he read along, Mr. Miller inquired what the ram denoted, with the other symbols presented. The doctor had read Newton, and applied them to Persia, Greece, and Rome, as Mr. Miller did.LIFIN 58.10

    “Mr. Miller then inquired how long the vision of those empires was to be.LIFIN 59.1

    “‘2300 days. ’LIFIN 59.2

    “‘What!’ said Mr. Miller, ‘could those great empires cover only 2300 literal days? ’LIFIN 59.3

    “‘Why,’ said the doctor, ‘those days are years, according to all commentators; and those kingdoms are to continue 2300 years. ’LIFIN 59.4

    “Mr. Miller then asked him to turn to the second chapter of Daniel, and to the seventh, all of which he explained the same as Mr. Miller. He was then asked if he knew when the 2300 days would end. He did not know, as he could not tell when they commenced.LIFIN 59.5

    “Mr. Miller told him to read the ninth of Daniel. He read down till he came to the 21st verse, when Daniel saw the man Gabriel, whom he had seen in the vision.LIFIN 59.6

    “‘In what vision?’ Mr. Miller inquired.LIFIN 59.7

    “‘Why,’ said the doctor, ‘in the vision of the eighth of Daniel. ’LIFIN 59.8

    “‘Wherefore, understand the matter, and consider the vision. He had now come, then, to make him understand that vision, had he? ’LIFIN 59.9

    “‘Yes,’ said the doctor.LIFIN 59.10

    “‘Well, seventy weeks are determined; what are these seventy weeks a part of? ’LIFIN 59.11

    “‘Of the 2300 days. ’LIFIN 59.12

    “‘Then do they begin with the 2300 days? ’LIFIN 59.13

    “‘Yes,’ said the doctor.LIFIN 59.14

    “‘When did they end? ’LIFIN 59.15

    “‘In A.D. 33. ’LIFIN 59.16

    “‘Then how far would the 2300 extend after 33? ’LIFIN 59.17

    “The doctor subtracted 490 from 2300, and replied, ‘1810. Why,’ said he, ‘that is past.LIFIN 60.1

    “‘But,’ said Mr. Miller, ‘there were 1810 from 33; in what year would that come? ’LIFIN 60.2

    “The doctor saw at once that the 33 should be added, and set down 33 and 1810, and, adding them, replied, ‘1843. ’LIFIN 60.3

    “At this unexpected result, the doctor settled back in his chair and colored; but immediately took his hat and left the house in a rage.LIFIN 60.4

    “The next day he again called on Mr. Miller, and looked as though he had been in the greatest mental agony.LIFIN 60.5

    “‘Why, Mr. Miller,’ said he, I am going to hell. I have not slept a wink since I was here yesterday. I have looked at the question in every light, and the vision must terminate about A.D. 1843; and I am unprepared, and must go to hell. ’LIFIN 60.6

    “Mr. Miller calmed him, and pointed him to the ark of safety; and in about a week, calling each day on Mr. Miller, he found peace to his soul, and went on his way rejoicing, as great a monomaniac as Mr. Miller. He afterward acknowledged that, till he made the figures 1843, he had no idea of the result to which he was coming.LIFIN 60.7

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