33. The Most Wonderful Prophecy
in the Bible
WP

1. WHAT FOUR SCENES DID DANIEL SEE IN THIS VISION?

1WP Dan. 8:3-14 Daniel was shown 4 scenes in this vision:

      • A ram with 2 horns
      • A goat with a great horn between his eyes came from the west and
        overpowered the ram; afterward the great horn broke, and was
        replaced by 4 others
      • A little horn came among the 4 horns and gained greater power than
        either the ram or the goat
      • In 2300 days the sanctuary would be cleansed.

2. WHO EXPLAINED THE DREAM TO DANIEL?

2WP Dan. 8:16 The angel Gabriel was asked to explain the
dream to Daniel.

3. WHO WAS THE RAM?

3WP Dan. 8:20 The ram was Medo-Persia, which ruled from 538 to 331 B.C.

4. WHO WAS THE GOAT, AND WHO WAS THE GREAT HORN THAT WAS BROKEN?

4WP Dan. 8:21 The goat represented Greece, which conquered Persia in 331 B.C. The great horn was its first kingAlexander the Great.

5. WHAT DO THE FOUR HORNS REPRESENT?

5WP Dan. 8:22 The 4 horns represented the 4 parts into which Alexander's kingdom was divided after his death.

6. WHAT DID THE LITTLE HORN REPRESENT?

6WP Dan. 8:23 The little horn represented Romeboth the pagan Roman empire, which became greater than either Persia or Greece, and the Papal Roman church, which continues to this day.

7. WHAT PART OF THE VISION DID GABRIEL DECLINE TO EXPLAIN TO DANIEL?

7WP Dan. 8:26, 27 Gabriel did not explain the 2300 days, and Daniel fainted. (He was probably both disappointed, and physically exhausted from the rigors through which he passed on account of the vision.)

8. WHAT CAUSED DANIEL TO PRAY?

8WP Dan. 9:1-4 For 10 years Daniel fretted over the meaning of the cleansing of the sanctuary and the 2300 days. He understood from the prophecy of Jeremiah, that the captivity would last for 70 years and then the Jews would be allowed to return to Jerusalem. When they returned they would rebuild the temple and worship God there again. But now, the vision told him that it would be 2300 days/years before the sanctuary would be cleansed. Must they remain in Babylon (physically/spiritually) forever?

Then, in the 1st year of Darius, he felt so burdened on the issue that he prayed for an answer.

9. WHO CAME TO EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF THE 2300 DAY VISION?

9WP Dan. 9:20-22 Gabriel returned in order to explain the meaning of the 2300 days, and of the cleansing of the sanctuary.

10. NOTICE THE EXPLANATION THAT GABRIEL GAVE TO DANIEL:

10WP Dan. 9:24, 25 Seventy weeks of the 2300 days were set aside to give the Jews an opportunity to return to God.

In apocalyptic prophecy (such as Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation), a day represents a year, (cf. Ezek. 4:6, Num. 14:34). So 2300 days would be 2300 years, and 70 weeks would be a period of time marking off the first 490 years of the 2300-year time prophecy.

Gabriel proceeded to tell Daniel that the time prophecy would begin when a decree was issued to restore and build Jerusalem. From that point in time a person could calculate the exact year of the coming of the Messiah by marking off a period of 7 weeks plus 62 weeks (483 days or years).

There were 3 decrees allowing the Jews to return to their homeland, but the one given by Artexerxes on our Oct. 22, 457 B.C. fits Daniel's prophecy best (cf. Ezra 6:14; 7:6-8 for the wording of the decree). Thus Messiah should arrive in 27 A.D. (There was no zero year. See charts in Lesson 16 for an explanation of this period.)

11. TO WHAT PROPHECY DID JESUS REFER WHEN HE FIRST BEGAN TO PREACH?

11WP Mark 1:14, 15 When Jesus preached, at the beginning of His ministry, that the "time is fulfilled", He referred to the prophecy of Dan. 9:24, 25.

12. WHAT DID THE VISION REVEAL ABOUT THE MESSIAH AND THE TIMES THAT WOULD FOLLOW HIS MINISTRY?

12WP Dan. 9:26, 27 Gabriel explained that the Messiah would bring an end to the Jewish sanctuary services, and that in the middle of the 70th week (or 3 1/2 years after he began his ministry in 27 A.D.) he would be cut off—an old Jewish term that often meant "to execute." Then an enemy would come and destroy the temple.

13. WHEN 490 YEARS ARE SUBTRACTED FROM 2300 YEARS, HOW MANY YEARS DO YOU HAVE LEFT OVER?

13WP Dan. 8:14 We have seen in detail the first 490 years of the 2300-year prophecy. But that leaves 1810 years. This would extend to the year 1844. In that year, according to the prophecy, the sanctuary would be cleansed.

It couldn’t be the sanctuary in Jerusalem because that building was destroyed in 70 AD. So what was the sanctuary to which the vision referred? In our next study we will examine the sanctuary in order to see what is meant by its being cleansed, and what exactly occurred in 1844.