Questions on the 2300 DaysJoseph Bates
Joseph Bates answers:
In answer to this your first question, we do not understand that the 2300 days cover the whole vision of Dan. viii. Hence the further difficulties which you apprehend about the little horn being broken with the ending of the 2300 days may be removed.
That the 2300 days do not extend to the breaking
of the little horn of Dan. viii is evident for the following reasons ;
viz.: " The going forth of the commandment," or decree to restore and build Jerusalem, [Dan. ix, 25] from whence the 2300 days have their commencement, (if men of reason and common sense will admit that they have a point of commencement) was given to Ezra_ in the 7th year of Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, [Ezra vii, 7, 11-26] B.C. 457. From the middle of said year to the middle of A. D. 1844, is precisely 2300 symbolic days. The only objection to these points that man has ever been able to discover from the Bible is, the solitary one that has been so often presented during the last twenty years, viz.: that the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given to Nehemiah by the same Persian king in the 20th year of his reign. B.C. 445. [Neh. ii.] .If we add the present A. D. 1857 to 445 B.C, we have 2302 years. Here we perceive most clearly that all our opponents on these points prove is that the 2300 days [years] of Daniel's vision are in the past, and the little horn from the fourth earthly kingdom, is not yet “broken without hands."
Again, Dan. viii, 17 says, " For at the time of the end shall be the vision." That is, before the events in the vision come to their end, it will be explained. "And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." [Hab. ii, 2, 3].
Now those who explain the prophetic periods from the commandment given to Ezra B. c. 457, show clearly that the 2300 days ended in the Fall of 1844. While those who explain from Nehemiah's date, B. C. 445, show that the 2300 days ended in 1855, or at the farthest date in 1856. Now as but one of the two periods can be right, the question arises in which of the two was the appointed time, or vision of 2300 days made plain on tables, [charts] and spoke and did not lie ? We answer, most certainly in the former.
For in 1840 the first Second Advent Conference was convened, and the first Second Advent paper issued. In 1842 the first and only vision for an appointed time, viz.. 2300 days, was written and made plain on tables, [charts,] and it was proclaimed and known in every nation. The publication of this chart was regarded as a fulfillment of the command given by Habakkuk and soon thereafter it was seen and proclaimed that Daniel's vision of days ended in the Fall of 1844.
Yet nothing relative to the vision of 2300 days transpired in 1858. Here then we prove beyond controversy that Daniel's vision of 2300 days ended more than twelve years ago; and the stone is not yet cut out without hands which smote the image upon his feet," [Dan. ii, 34 ] and the fourth universal earthly kingdom, or little horn of Dan. viii. is not yet '''bro- ken without hands." Hence we learn that Daniel's vision of chap, viii, extends to the destruction of all earthly powers, while the vision of the 2300 days in the same chap, ended in 1844; “Then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed.”
Printed in the Review and Herald May 28, 1857
A brother in New Hampshire says that he cannot find the " commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem." in Ezra vii. B. C. 457, and requests we point it out to him, if we can find it there.
This is an important question to be settled, and one which we think can be satisfactorily estalished. And, not only for the benefit of our New Hampshire brother, but, to establish the faith of all our readers, we will point out the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, from Ezra vii, in the seventh year of king Artaxerxes' reign, B.C. 457.
Said the angel to Daniel, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem,” etc. Now turn and read the copy of the decree of Artaxerxes "unto Ezra the priest," found in Ezra vii, 12-26.
Any impartial reader must see that Jerusalem is restored when the people go back there, re-establish their city polity, and re-commence the regular offering of their sacrifices, and the. observance of their daily worship.
For this restoration of Jerusalem. the decree made provision when it said:—"And thou. Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as follow the laws of thy God ; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God;, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, Whether it be unto death. or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment." Verses 25, 26.
Here is the restoration of Jerusalem by the establishment of judges, and law.
But did the decree to Ezra also authorize the rebuilding of Jerusalem? It most certainly did. Mark well the unlimited power given to Ezra by this decree. He was empowered, as he understood in his prayer, to proceed at any time with its construction. Here is a quotation from Ezra's prayer, which he offered B. C. 457 :— " For we were bond-men ; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof. AND TO GIVE US A WALL in Judah and Jerusalem," Ezra ix, 9. The Angel did not say that "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times,” as soon as the decree. should be given for their construction. All that is affirmed is that there should be troublous times when they were built.
Now if Ezra understood that the king's decree authorized him to build the wall, and he most certainly did so understand it, as seen in his prayer, then we should understand it thus also, and the point is clearly and satisfactorily settled forever.
Was any decree given to Nehemiah, thirteen years later, in the twentieth 'year of Artaxerxes ?
We can find none. Nehemiah says, [chap, ii, 6,] “It pleased the king to send me." Etc. . There is no evidence that such permission was anything but verbal. When he had obtained the king's consent, he next requested letters from him to " the governors beyond the river," for means of conveyance to Jerusalem, and one to Asaph. the keeper of the king's forest, for timber. These " letters" were not addressed to Nehemiah, as a decree would have been, and as the decree was to Ezra ; but they were directed to the king's subordinates, and Nehemiah was only the bearer of them.
These letters are nowhere called decrees. But if they were, and if the seventy weeks date [and starting date of the 2300 days] from the time that Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem with them in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, then the Angel should have said to the prophet Daniel, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandments," etc., or the decrees ; for there was a plurality of them. These letters were considered of so little importance that the inspired penman has given us no copy of them.
Not so with the decree to Ezra. That is expressly called a decree and was addressed to Ezra, instead of the king's subordinates, and a full copy of it was entered upon the page of inspiration, and it has come down to the present time. It begins thus:—
No one will attempt to show that any such decree was addressed to Nehemiah, in the permission given to him. The decree of such unlimited power having been given to Ezra, covering the whole ground of restoring and building Jerusalem, all that Nehemiah needed was simply permission from the king to go up and complete what Ezra had begun, and letters to the king's subordinates for such assistance as he should need, If any one still thinks there was a decree " to restore and to build Jerusalem," given to Nehemiah thirteen years after Ezra went up, let him produce it.
Let this subject be carefully examined, brethren, that you may be able to defend the truth in regard to it. And if any of our readers still remain in doubt relative to the date of the commencement of the seventy weeks, let them state their objections immediately, and we will answer them.
But there are distinct bounds at each end of this important prophetic period. Dating its commencement B. C. 457, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, there is a beautiful harmony with the prophecy of the seventy weeks, and the events which mark their termination.
"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." Sixty-nine of the seventy weeks reached to the Messiah. Now at what point do we find the Messiah ?
Messiah is the "Anointed, the Christ, the Saviour
of the world, the Prince of peace." " John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb
of God which taketh away the sin of the world,"
Andrew said, “ We, have found the Messiah."
Nathaniel said unto Christ " Rabbi, thou art the Son of God: thou art the King of Israel."
The woman at Jacob's well said, "I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ; when he is come he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he."
And many of the Samaritans said, we “know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world,"
" Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said, Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is hi heaven."
At Christ's baptism the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon. Him, and a voice came from heaven, and testified, saying, " Thou art my Beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."
All this, and much more might be
added to this clear testimony, that the Messiah was
manifested at the commencement of his ministry.
This settles the termination of the 69 weeks. After
Jesus was baptized, he preached, saying, "The time
is fulfilled." (Accomplished—Campbell.) Mark i,
What time? No time can be found to be fulfilled, but the 69 weeks, which are accomplished at " the Messiah the Prince," when he was baptized. This, according to Usher, was A. D.26. [we believe 27 A.D.] Here is fixed the termination of the 69 weeks.
"And after three score and two weeks (from the end of 7 weeks, allowed to build Jerusalem) shall Messiah be cut off. but not for himself." Dan. ix, 26, How long after 69 weeks, or Christ's baptism, before Messiah was cut off, or crucified ? This may easily be determined, by ascertaining the length of Christ's ministry, from his baptism to his cross where he was cut off from the land of the living. This may be determined by the number of yearly passovers he attended. We find that but four passovers occurred during his ministry, ministry, which he attended; [John ii. 13; v, 1; vi. 4; xiii, 1 ] and at the fourth he was crucified.
These four passovers could not cover more than three and a half years. These three and a half years added to Usher's chronology of Christ's baptism, in 26-7, could not extend beyond A.D. 31; where must stand the cross.
Clear it is, that as at his baptism the 69 weeks ended, so at his cross, the end of the three and a half more years, mast be the midst of the week where Christ caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease by becoming our passover sacrificed for us. Christ said, " Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second." " By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb. x, 8-10.
The cross plainly stands according to the Scriptures, in the midst [ middle] of the last week, the seventieth, during which be was to. confirm the covenant with many. Dan. ix, 27. This fact shows that the apostles had but half of one Week, three and a half years, left them in which to confirm the covenant with the Jewish nation. Now as the cross stood in the Spring, A. D. 31, the middle of the seventieth week, three and a half years more, the confirming, by them that heard him, [Heb. ii, 3,] must bring us to the Autumn of A. D. 34, where ended the seventy weeks or 490 years of the 2300, [Dan. viii, 14,] which leaves 1810 years to transpire after the Fall of A. D. 34. This shows that the 2300 ended A. D. 1844.
Printed in the Review and Herald April 4, 1854
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Bro. Bates answers questions on the 1335 days