2,300 Mornings and Evenings

Daniel 8:13-14 includes an enigmatic statement about the length of the desolation of the holy place. “Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, ‘How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?’ And he said to me, ‘For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored‘” (NAS). There are at least three questions that relate to this statement.

The first question is how long of a period is meant by “2,300 evenings and mornings.” Most Bible scholars take this to be 2,300 days, which is approximately 6 years and 4 months. However, a few understand it to refer to a combined total of 2,300 evenings and mornings, i.e. 1,150 evenings and 1,150 mornings, thus 1,150 days or approximately 3 years and 2 months.

The second question relates to the general time when this period occurs. Despite the fact that the context of this vision indicates that it relates to the Persian and Greek periods (cf. verses 20-21), some interpreters suggest that the “time of the end” (v. 17, 19) would allow this to be understood as referring to the events of the 2nd advent (yet future for us). Some also, while acknowledging that it must be set in the Hellenistic period, argue that it may have a typological fulfillment in the future. However, there seems to be nothing in the prophecy that cannot be related to the Persian and Hellenistic periods, prior to the time of Christ.

The third question has to do with the start and end dates of this period. The event that marks the end of the 2,300 days is that “the sanctuary will be restored.” The most obvious fulfillment of this was the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem under the Maccabees in December of 165 BC. The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah commemorates that event. If that is the end date, what marks the beginning?

Calculating back 1,150 days brings us to about October of 168 BC. This is only about 2 months before the temple was desecrated by Antiochus IV Ephiphanes, on his return from a great humiliation in Egypt at the hands of the Romans. However, the times do not seem to match up precisely; it is off by about 2 months. Calculating back 2,300 days puts us in the late summer of 171 BC. It was around that time that the high priest Jason was deposed by Antiochus, replaced by the corrupt, politically appointed Menelaus. A number of biblical scholars suggest this may mark the start of the 2,300 days; however, we do not have a precise date for the deposing of Jason.

Timeline showing two possible interpretations of Daniel’s 2,300 days.

It seems that we do not have sufficient historical information to determine between these possibilities with certainty. Several reasonable explanations are available, but our knowledge is lacking.

It may be worth noting that during the early 1800s, this prophecy of 2,300 days was used by the Baptist lay-preacher William Miller to predict the coming judgement of God. Miller argued that the days represented years; beginning the prophecy in 457 BC with the return of Ezra to Jerusalem, he predicted that Judgment Day would occur in AD 1844. The prediction became hugely popular, but 1844 came and went without the return of Christ. The few Millerites who clung to the prophecy eventually re-interpreted it as a heavenly, investigative judgement, and they formed the Seventh Day Adventist movement. The events of 1844 became known as the Great Disappointment.

Cartoon poking fun at the Millerite movement following the Great Disappointment.

William Miller once said one needed to “bring all scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence, and if you can form your theory without a contradiction you cannot be in error.” That should be a cautionary tale.


    1. Avatar for Kris Udd Robert Ludwig : November 9, 2022 at 9:29 am

      The 2300 days start on Tishri 1 in 170 BC and end on Kislev 25 in 164 BC when the new altar of sacrifice was set up. The reason this can not be explained by Hillel’s jewish calendar is because his calendar only has 2 leap years between 170-164 BC. This period requires 3 leap years during that particular stretch of time. See the Elijah Calendar at app.elijah.com

    2. Avatar for Kris Udd Peter malambo : April 29, 2023 at 5:06 pm

      The 2300 days begin from the 70weeks at the beginning of the descree to rebuild and restore jersualem when the exiles had justed return to Judah. From Daniel chapter 9 the seventy weeks began in 457 B.C king artexeres decreed. For the Jews return to Jerusalem and rebuild. Messiah was cut off in the mid of the week in A.D 27 Jesus Christ is baptised by John the Baptist. And anointed with the holy spirit after his disciples and he went into the wilderness for 40days and 40nights fasting were he is tempted by the devil eventually he overcome the tempter. His ministry only lasted for three and half years In A.D 31 he is crucifed and he died to redeem lost human who had transgressed through Adam,s sin. A.D 34 the Stephen one of the chosen deacon is stoned to death by the Sanhedrin thus the Jewish rulers reject the risen messiah and begin persecuting his followers or disciples. Subtracting 2300days from 457 we get 1843 which begin us to the time of the millerite movement in the which was born the advent movement and from thus which eventually built the Seventh day adventist movement. The only mistake miller did was in the event that was going to take place. In 1844 Jesus was moving from the holy place into the most holy place to commence the investigative judgement. The cleansing of the sanctuary was not the final purification of the earth by fire. It was the commencement of the work of the high priest in his intercessory work. In 1844 Christ shut the door of the holy place and opened the door. Of the most holy place. Which we are now. When the work is finished here probation will close and all cases will be decided

      • I am familiar with the SDA “year-day” principle. However, the specific way these days are identified as “morning and evenings” should alert us to the fact that they describe literal days, not prophetic years. William Miller did in fact calculate a date for the return of Christ (despite the fact that Jesus himself did not know the date, and he said no other man did either – Mark 13:32). When Miller’s prediction proved wrong, many concluded that he was a false prophet. Switching the object of the prophecy after the fact to a spiritual event that cannot be verified or falsified (how would we know if Jesus “shut the door” in heaven in 1844?) was not convincing for most.

    3. Avatar for Kris Udd Scott Hofstee : May 10, 2023 at 12:52 am

      The three years are described in The Maccabeans. 2300 evenings and mornings go from Kislev 15 to Kislev 25 three years later. The two month discrepancy is that there is two intercalary months in that time in two of the years. In the time period there are two Adar II months…thats exposes all the false 2300 year predictions as false.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *