Is Daniel 8:14 incorrect concerning the re dedication of the Temple?

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י עַ֚ד עֶ֣רֶב בֹּ֔קֶר אַלְפַּ֖יִם וּשְׁלֹ֣שׁ מֵא֑וֹת וְנִצְדַּ֖ק קֹֽדֶשׁ

He answered me, “For twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

Chris Sandoval in The Failure of Bible Prophecy: A Skeptic's Review of the Evidence (2010), pp 134-135 states:

Here he [Micah] successfully predicted the rededication of the Temple, but got the date wrong. Now the Temple was desecrated on 15 Chislev in the year 145 of the Seleucid Era (1 Maccabees 1:54), or 6 December 167 BC, and the Jewish rebels rededicated it to Jewish worship on 25 Chislev in the year 148 of the Seleucid Era (1 Maccabees 4:52), or 14 December 164 BC [or 1087 days later]. In chapter 8, our author predicted that the Temple would miss 2,300 evening and morning continual burnt offerings between its desecration and its rededication (Daniel 8:11-14). This amounts to 1,150 days, or three years plus 55 days. In the Julian calendar, the rededication should have taken place on 30 January 163 BC, almost two months too late to fit actual history.

  • 70 CE + 2300 / 2 years = 1220 CE. – Lucian Oct 8 '18 at 15:52

(1) Daniel 8:14 was not written by Micah.

(2) The writer of the question highlights a great problem, the computation of the time mentioned in this verse. Jewish commentators offer varying dates.

R' Yaaqov Medan recently in 'Daniel and the Greek Kingdom' (etzion.org.il/en/daniel-and-greek-kingdom) offers the following solution:

Most commentators understand that the number of 2,300 relates to the arrival of the future redemption. R. Sa'adya Gaon explains that this refers to 788 CE, 2,300 years after the Exodus from Egypt. Rashi suggests that this is the year 1397 CE, and R. Yitzchak Abravanel proposes a calculation that brings it to 1504 CE. All of these dates, as well as others suggested by other calculators of the ultimate redemption, have passed – yet the redemption has not arrived.

I wish to propose once again that Daniel did not look far off thousands of years into the future, but only as far as the days of the Hasmoneans. Perhaps the number of 2,300 is not the number of years, nor even the number of days, but rather the number of daily offerings that were not brought. The book of Maccabees teaches us that the Greeks controlled the Temple and shut down the sacrificial service for slightly more than three years – in other words, for at most 1,140 days (if two of the three years were intercalated). On each of these days, one daily offering should have been brought in the morning and another in the afternoon – altogether 2,280 daily offerings. Scripture often rounds up to the next hundred or thousand, and so we reach the number mentioned in Daniel's vision – 2,300. The sacrifice of these daily offerings had been stopped, and they resumed with the redemption and the renewal of the independent kingdom of Israel in the days of the Hasmoneans.

(3) If one takes the view that the time expressed refers to 1150 days, then, taking the lunar year of approximately 354 days into account, the time equals three years and nearly three months, not three years and fifty-five days.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .