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Memory Texts:
From the Bible:
―Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed‖
(Daniel 8:14).
From the Spirit of Prophecy:
“The cross of Christ must be studied. It must rivet the attention and hold the affections. The
blood which there was shed for sins will purify and cleanse mind and heart from every
species of selfishness.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 378.
Personal Review Questions
A. What sacrifices should we be willing to make in order to understand the important
prophecies for our time?
B. How do we know that the prophecies of Daniel 9 are clearly connected to Daniel 8—
especially in the explanation given of verse 14?
C. When studying prophecies, what principle do we needed to understand in dealing with
time?
D. Explain some of the things that needed to be fulfilled during the seventy-week period.
E. What needed to take place before Jesus could begin His ministration in the heavenly
sanctuary?
Spirit of Prophecy Reading:
Prophets and Kings, pp. 551–556.
The advent of the army of Cyrus before the walls of Babylon was to the Jews a sign that their
deliverance from captivity was drawing nigh. More than a century before the birth of Cyrus,
Inspiration had mentioned him by name, and had caused a record to be made of the actual work
he should do in taking the city of Babylon unawares, and in preparing the way for the release of
the children of the captivity. Through Isaiah the word had been spoken: {PK 551.1}
"Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue
nations before him; . . . to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be
shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates
of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and
hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy
name, am the God of Israel." Isaiah 45:1-3. {PK 551.2}
In the unexpected entry of the army of the Persian conqueror into the heart of the Babylonian
capital by way of the channel of the river whose waters had been turned aside, and through the
inner gates that in careless security had been left open and unprotected, the Jews had
abundant evidence of the literal fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy concerning the sudden
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overthrow of their oppressors. And this should have been to them an unmistakable sign that
God was shaping the affairs of nations in their behalf; for inseparably linked with the prophecy
outlining the manner of Babylon's capture and fall were the words: {PK 552.1}
"Cyrus, he is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou
shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." "I have raised him up in
righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build My city, and he shall let go My
captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts." Isaiah 44:28; 45:13. {PK 552.2}
Nor were these the only prophecies upon which the exiles had opportunity to base their hope of
speedy deliverance. The writings of Jeremiah were within their reach, and in these was plainly
set forth the length of time that should elapse before the restoration of Israel from Babylon.
"When seventy years are accomplished," the Lord had foretold through His messenger, "I will
punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the
Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations." Jeremiah 25:12. Favor would be shown the
remnant of Judah, in answer to fervent prayer. "I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will
turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places
whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I
caused you to be carried away captive." Jeremiah 29:14. {PK 552.3}
Often had Daniel and his companions gone over these and similar prophecies outlining God's
purpose for His people. And now, as the rapid course of events betokened the mighty hand of
God at work among the nations, Daniel gave special thought to the promises made to Israel. His
faith in the prophetic word led him to enter into experiences foretold by the sacred writers. "After
seventy years be accomplished at Babylon," the Lord had declared, "I will visit you, and perform
My good word toward you, in causing you to return. . . . I know the thoughts that I think toward
you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall
ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall
seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart." Verses 10-13. {PK
553.1}
Shortly before the fall of Babylon, when Daniel was meditating on these prophecies and seeking
God for an understanding of the times, a series of visions was given him concerning the rise
and fall of kingdoms. With the first vision, as recorded in the seventh chapter of the book of
Daniel, an interpretation was given; yet not all was made clear to the prophet. "My cogitations
much troubled me," he wrote of his experience at the time, "and my countenance changed in
me: but I kept the matter in my heart." Daniel 7:28. {PK 553.2}
Through another vision further light was thrown upon the events of the future; and it was at the
close of this vision that Daniel heard "one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that
certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision?" Daniel 8:13. The answer that was
given, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed"
(verse 14), filled him with perplexity. Earnestly he sought for the meaning of the vision. He could
not understand the relation sustained by the seventy years' captivity, as foretold through
Jeremiah, to the twenty-three hundred years that in vision he heard the heavenly visitant
declare should elapse before the cleansing of God's sanctuary. The angel Gabriel gave him a
partial interpretation; yet when the prophet heard the words, "The vision . . . shall be for many
days," he fainted away. "I Daniel fainted," he records of his experience, "and was sick certain
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days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but
none understood it." Verses 26, 27. {PK 554.1}
Still burdened in behalf of Israel, Daniel studied anew the prophecies of Jeremiah. They were
very plain--so plain that he understood by these testimonies recorded in books "the number of
the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would
accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Daniel 9:2. {PK 554.2}
With faith founded on the sure word of prophecy, Daniel pleaded with the Lord for the speedy
fulfillment of these promises. He pleaded for the honor of God to be preserved. In his petition he
identified himself fully with those who had fallen short of the divine purpose, confessing their
sins as his own. {PK 554.3}
"I set my face unto the Lord God," the prophet declared, "to seek by prayer and supplications,
with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my
confession." Verses 3, 4. Though Daniel had long been in the service of God, and had been
spoken of by heaven as "greatly beloved," yet he now appeared before God as a sinner, urging
the great need of the people he loved. His prayer was eloquent in its simplicity, and intensely
earnest. Hear him pleading: {PK 555.1}
"O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him,
and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and
have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy
judgments; neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy
name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. {PK 555.2}
"O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to
the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and
that are far off, through all the countries whither Thou hast driven them, because of their
trespass that they have trespassed against Thee. . . . {PK 555.3}
"To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him."
"O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be
turned away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the
iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people are become a reproach to all that are about
us. {PK 555.4}
"Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause
Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline
Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called
by Thy name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for
Thy great mercies. {PK 556.1}
"O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my
God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name." Verses 4-9, 16-19. {PK 556.2}
Heaven was bending low to hear the earnest supplication of the prophet. Even before he had
finished his plea for pardon and restoration, the mighty Gabriel again appeared to him, and
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called his attention to the vision he had seen prior to the fall of Babylon and the death of
Belshazzar. And then the angel outlined before him in detail the period of the seventy weeks,
which was to begin at the time of "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem." Verse 25. {PK 556.3}
Daniel's prayer had been offered "in the first year of Darius" (verse 1), the Median monarch
whose general, Cyrus, had wrested from Babylonia the scepter of universal rule. The reign of
Darius was honored of God. To him was sent the angel Gabriel, "to confirm and to strengthen
him." Daniel 11:1. Upon his death, within about two years of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus
succeeded to the throne, and the beginning of his reign marked the completion of the seventy
years since the first company of Hebrews had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar from their
Judean home to Babylon. {PK 556.4}
1. What was Daniel studying in the first year of King Darius? Daniel 9:2; Jeremiah 29:10.
In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years,
whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would
accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. (Daniel 9:2 KJV)
For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will
visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this
place. (Jeremiah 29:10 KJV)
“Still burdened in behalf of Israel, Daniel studied anew the prophecies of Jeremiah. They
were very plain—so plain that he understood by these testimonies recorded in books „the
number of the years‟ (Daniel 9:2).”—Prophets and Kings, p. 554.
2. Under what conditions was Daniel trying to understand the writings of God’s
appointed messengers? Daniel 2:17-19; 9:3; 10:1, 2. How must we study the
Scriptures if we expect the Holy Spirit to enlighten our mind?
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and
Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven
concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of
the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (Daniel 2:17-19 KJV)
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with
fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (Daniel 9:3 KJV)
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose
name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was
long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those
days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. (Daniel 10:1-2 KJV)
“When you search the Scriptures with an earnest desire to learn the truth, God will breathe
His Spirit into your heart and impress your mind with the light of His word. The Bible is its
own interpreter, one passage explaining another. By comparing scriptures referring to the
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same subjects, you will see beauty and harmony of which you have never dreamed.”—
Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 499.
3. Whom did God send to enlighten Daniel with an explanation of the vision (Daniel
8:14)? Why? Daniel 8:16-18, 26, 27.
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the
sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:14 KJV)
And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel,
make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he
came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of
man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I
was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me
upright. (Daniel 8:16-18 KJV)
And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut
thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick
certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at
the vision, but none understood it. (Daniel 8:26-27 KJV)
“Through another vision further light was thrown upon the events of the future; and it was at
the close of this vision that Daniel heard „one saint speaking, and another saint said unto
that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision?‟ (Daniel 8:13). The answer that
was given, „Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be
cleansed‟ (verse 14), filled him with perplexity. Earnestly he sought for the meaning of the
vision. He could not understand the relation sustained by the seventy years‟ captivity, as
foretold through Jeremiah, to the twenty-three hundred years that in vision he heard the
heavenly visitant declare should elapse before the cleansing of God‟s sanctuary. The angel
Gabriel gave him a partial interpretation; yet when the prophet heard the words, „The vision .
. . shall be for many days,‟ he fainted away (verses 26, 27 quoted).”—Prophets and Kings,
p. 554.
4. How did Gabriel state that he had come for the purpose of completing the unfinished
explanation of the vision (Daniel 8:14)? Daniel 9:22, 23.
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the
sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:14 KJV)
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 shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved:
therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. (Daniel 9:22-23 KJV)
“The angel [Gabriel] had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him
the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement
relative to time—„unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be
cleansed‟ (Daniel 8:14).”—The Great Controversy, p. 326.
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“As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we
become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the
visions of Daniel and John. This subject sheds great light on our present position and work,
and gives us unmistakable proof that God has led us in our past experience. It explains our
disappointment in 1844, showing us that the sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth, as
we had supposed, but that Christ then entered into the most holy apartment of the heavenly
sanctuary, and is there performing the closing work of His priestly office, in fulfillment of the
words of the angel to the prophet Daniel, „Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed‟ (Daniel 8:14).”—Evangelism, pp. 222, 223.
5. How do we understand a prophetic day? Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:33, 34.
And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt
bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for
a year. (Ezekiel 4:6 KJV)
And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your
whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the
days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear
your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. (Numbers
14:33-34 KJV)
“A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.”—Prophets and
Kings, p. 698.
6. How did Gabriel explain the first portion of the 2300 days? Daniel 9:24-27.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the
transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going
forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the
Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built
again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall
Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and
unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the
covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the
sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he
shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be
poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:24-27 KJV)
“After bidding Daniel „understand the matter, and consider the vision,‟ the very first words of
the angel are: „Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City.‟ The
word here translated „determined‟ literally signifies „cut off.‟ Seventy weeks, representing
490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But
from what were they cut off? As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in
chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy
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weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together.
The seventy weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. If the date of this commandment could be
found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained.”—
The Great Controversy, p. 326.
7. How was the phrase ―make an end of sins‖ or ―sin offerings,‖ as the original implies,
fulfilled? Hebrews 9:24-26.
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures
of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor
yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place
every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the
foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put
away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26 KJV)
“Said the angel, „He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years].‟ For
seven years after the Saviour entered on His ministry, the gospel was to be preached
especially to the Jews; for three and a half years by Christ Himself, and afterward by the
apostles. „In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease‟
(Daniel 9:27). In the spring of A.D. 31, Christ, the true Sacrifice, was offered on Calvary.
Then the veil of the temple was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance
of the sacrificial service had departed. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and
oblation to cease.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 699.
8. How was reconciliation made for iniquity? 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20.
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their
trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now
then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray
you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 KJV)
“Jesus paid an infinite price to redeem the world, and the race was given into His hands;
they became His property. He sacrificed His honor, His riches, and His glorious home in the
royal courts and became the son of Joseph and Mary. Joseph was one of the humblest of
day laborers. Jesus also worked; he lived a life of hardship and toil. When His ministry
commenced, after His baptism, He endured an agonizing fast of nearly six weeks. It was not
merely the gnawing pangs of hunger which made His sufferings inexpressibly severe, but it
was the guilt of the sins of the world which pressed so heavily upon Him. He who knew no
sin was made sin for us. With this terrible weight of guilt upon Him because of our sins He
withstood the fearful test upon appetite, and upon love of the world and of honor, and pride
of display which leads to presumption. Christ endured these three great leading temptations
and overcame in behalf of man, working out for him a righteous character, because He
knew man could not do this of himself. He knew that upon these three points Satan was to
assail the race. He had overcome Adam, and he designed to carry forward his work till he
completed the ruin of man. Christ entered the field in man‟s behalf to conquer Satan for him
because He saw that man could not overcome on his own account. Christ prepared the way
for the ransom of man by His own life of suffering, self-denial, and self-sacrifice, and by His
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humiliation and final death. He brought help to man that he might, by following Christ‟s
example, overcome on his own account, as Christ has overcome for him.”—Testimonies,
vol. 3, p. 372.
“Think of Christ‟s humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature,
degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured
all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit
dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple. „The Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us‟ (John 1:14), because by so doing He could associate with the sinful,
sorrowing sons and daughters of Adam.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White
Comments], vol. 4, p. 1147.
9. Before the beginning of the ministry in the earthly sanctuary, the tabernacle had to be
anointed (Exodus 40:9). What did Jesus need to do before the beginning of the
ministration in the heavenly sanctuary? Daniel 9:24; Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:8, 11, 12.
And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein,
and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy. (Exodus 40:9 KJV)
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the
transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24 KJV)
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high
priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A
minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not
man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of
necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he
should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the
law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was
admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he,
that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
(Hebrews 8:1-5 KJV)
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made
manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: (Hebrews 9:8 KJV)
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more
perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by
the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy
place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:11-12 KJV)
10. How has God’s righteousness been revealed under the new covenant? Isaiah 56:1;
Romans 3:21-24.
Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to
come, and my righteousness to be revealed. (Isaiah 56:1 KJV)
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But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by
the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Romans 3:21-24 KJV)
11. How is everlasting righteousness assured? Nahum 1:9.
What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not
rise up the second time. (Nahum 1:9 KJV)
“The whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin. And its
utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonor
to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honor before the universe of beings
who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again be manifest. . .
. The law of God, which Satan has reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honored as
the law of liberty.”—The Great Controversy, p. 504.
“Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to
impart to us. . . . By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to
obey God‟s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with
His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts
are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the
garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf
garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which
is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.”—Christ‟s Object Lessons, pp. 311, 312.