Daniel and Yoshiyahu

Chapter 12 of Daniel presents Seventh-day Adventists with a respite from the detailed, complex, and “stormy events”[1] of Chapter 11. Michael standing up, followed by unheard of persecution (12:1), the strongest text on resurrection in the Hebrew Bible (12:2), many running “to and fro” (12:4, KJV),[2] keeping the words secret and sealing the scroll of Daniel until the “time of the end” (12:4, 9)—familiar elements like these have influenced Adventist eschatological perspectives since the nineteenth century. At the same time, and particularly more so in recent years, unique references in the chapter to the 1,290 and 1,335 days (12:11–12) have generated much discussion and controversy.[3]

The last chapter in Daniel brings the reader not only to the end of the book but also to the end of Daniel’s long life. After being told that there would be a blessing on those who wait for and reach the end of the 1,335 days, Daniel was then told: “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (12:13). By this time Daniel was well over eighty years old, and the reference to Daniel receiving an inheritance or reward after he rises indicates resurrection, with Daniel’s “rest” referring to his prior death. With this the literary unit of Chapters 10–12 and the entire book itself ends.

Such a subdued finale provides one the opportunity to look backwards over Daniel’s life. Born during the reign of King Yoshiyahu[4] (Josiah), who ruled Judah for thirty-one years from 640–609 BCE, Daniel was likely a young person in his late teens when he was forced to migrate to Babylon (“Exile”) in 605 BCE.[5] He and his three friends are described as being from the royal family and the nobles (1:3–6),[6] so they were more likely to have associated with the king and his immediate family than most other inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Three tragic events affected the prophet Daniel and illumine the book of the Bible that appears under his name.[7] I’ll refer to them in reverse chronological order. The last tragic event that traumatized Daniel was the desolation and destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple in 586 BCE. News about the tragedy, led by the Babylonian king he served, Nebuchadnezzar II, continued to be a tragic event that contributed to his heartfelt prayer of repentance and of his intercession for the fulfillment of God’s promises in Chapter 9. While the book of Daniel refers to Jerusalem several times (1:1; 5:2, 3; 6:10), the bulk of references occur in Daniel’s great prayer (9:2, 7, 12, 16 [2x], 25). In fact, it was the desolation of Jerusalem in light of God’s promises in the book of Jeremiah that sparked Daniel’s prayer (9:2–3). The presence of the dwelling of God in Solomon’s temple contributed to Jerusalem being known in pre-Christian times as the “holy city,”[8] a term that Daniel also used in his great prayer (9:24). Daniel repeatedly refers to the city of Jerusalem in this prayer (9:16, 18, 19, 24, 26). The focal spiritual point of Jerusalem was the temple, situated on a hill, and this was called the “holy hill [or, mountain]” in 9:16, 20; and 11:45.

Prior to this had been the wave of forced migrations of the inhabitants of Judah, primarily by Babylonian forces,[9] beginning in 605 BCE, when Daniel and his friends were forcibly taken to Babylon along with other scions of Judahite royalty and noble families. Other forced migrations took place in 597 BCE, when the young King Yehoyakin (Jehoiachin), the Queen Mother Nechushta (Nehushta), and other members of the royal household, along with the prophet Ezekiel, were taken to Babylon, and in 586 BCE, the year of the desolation and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. This series of forced migrations, coherently known as the Exile, was another great tragedy for Daniel. To him it was a judgment indicative of the sin, iniquity, wickedness, rebellion, turning away from the commandments, contempt for God’s prophets, unfaithfulness, and disobedience (9:5–7, 10) that exemplified God’s people. To Daniel such an exile was shameful and humiliating—even decades after the fact (9:7–8). He considered the Exile a catastrophe of epic proportions: “this calamity so great that what has been done against Jerusalem has never before been done under the whole heaven” (9:12; cf. 13–14). As a result, Jerusalem and God’s people had become objects of scorn and mockery all around the area of Judah and beyond (9:16). The stark realities of the Exile had made such a permanent imprint in Daniel’s heart and mind that he still deeply felt the judgment and shame of this tragedy almost fifty years after the last wave of forced migrants had left Jerusalem for Babylon.

Notwithstanding these tragedies, the first tragedy that Daniel experienced may have been the most confusing. That tragedy was the unexpected death of King Yoshiyahu in 609 BCE. His death took place during the formative years of Daniel’s life, and it had to have had a deep impact on him. Yoshiyahu was one of the most famous and significant kings of Judah, crowned king at the young age of eight years, after the assassination of his father King Amon in a failed coup after ruling for only two years. Yoshiyahu has become the object of a scholarly flood of discussion and research because of several key events that took place during his reign, in particular: 1) the discovery of the scroll of the covenant (2 Kgs 23:2, 21; 2 Chron 34:30) or law (2 Kgs 22:11; 2 Chron 34:14–15) in the temple; 2) Yoshiyahu’s key role in purging Judah of the “high places, the sacred poles, and the carved and cast images” (2 Chron 34:1); 3) his centralization of worship at Jerusalem; and 4) the return of the ark to the temple (2 Chron 35:3), along with his celebration of a Passover like none other since the time of Samuel (2 Chron 35:18; cf. 2 Kgs 23:22).

The discovery of the book of the law, with its judgments against the people for their worship of idols and for their overall disobedience, shook the nation of Judah to its core. Hardly a paragon of the modern value of religious liberty, Yoshiyahu unleashed a militant campaign to root out and destroy idolatrous practices in the land (2 Kgs 23). The temple was cleansed of its defiling idols and pagan altars, and the high places were desecrated throughout the land by scattering human bones on them. He destroyed the horses and the chariot that had been dedicated to the sun. Up in Samaria he slaughtered the priests of the high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. For this and much more, he became known as the greatest reforming king Judah ever had. The Kings source used superlative language in describing him: “Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him” (2 Kgs 23:25).

Nevertheless, according to the account in 2 Kings, all of Yoshiyahu’s efforts were to no avail—all because of his grandfather, King Menasheh (Manasseh). Menasheh began to rule Judah when he was twelve years old, and he reigned for fifty-five years, longer than any king reigned over the nation. The account of Kings, however, asserts that his rule was evil from beginning to end (2 Kgs 21:1–18). Because of his wicked reign, God would not forgive, no matter how righteous Yoshiyahu had been. After praising Yoshiyahu for following the LORD with all of his heart, soul, and might, the account immediately states, “Still the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which [Menasheh] had provoked him” (2 Kgs 23:26; cf. Kgs 21:10–15; 24:3–4).

Daniel’s great prayer in Chapter 9, however, aligns him with the theological perspective of the Chronicler, who not once blamed Menasheh for the disaster that befell Judah. Instead, the Chronicler placed the blame largely on Judah’s last king, Tsidqiyahu (Zedekiah), along with the leading priests and the people (2 Chron 36:11–14).[10] Because of God’s compassion on his people, he continued to send them prophets in order to bring about spiritual change—but to no avail (36:15–16). As a result, Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem, and the Babylonians ultimately destroyed everything of value and forced the people into exile. In Daniel’s prayer, he notes, “Open shame, O LORD, falls on us, our kings, our officials, and our ancestors, because we have sinned against you” (9:8). Like the Chronicler, Daniel does not blame Menasheh alone for the disaster that came upon Judah. Similarly, as the Chronicler noted the compassion of God in warning Tsidkiyahu and all of Judah of its impending disaster unless reform took place (2 Chron 36:15), so Daniel recalled God’s great compassion in his plea for Jerusalem (9:9, 18), just as Yoshiyahu had earlier reminded his people of God’s compassion during the great Passover that took place during his reign (2 Chron 30:9).

The fact that Yoshiyahu died in battle against Pharaoh Necho II at Megiddo in 609 BCE brought his significant achievements into a seemingly unresolvable tension, for how could such a righteous king die in such a shameful way? The account in 2 Chronicles states that Pharaoh Necho warned Yoshiyahu not to fight against him and “cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you” (35:21). But Yoshiyahu ignored that message; why would God speak through Pharaoh? Instead, he disguised himself for battle and “did not listen to the words of [Necho] from the mouth of God” (35:22). Death was the ultimate result when archers shot the king. Second Chronicles 35:25 profoundly notes the mournful effect of his death: “Jeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah, and all the singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these a custom in Israel; they are recorded in the Laments.” Yoshiyahu, once dead and buried, was not forgotten.

One reason likely added to the impossibility of forgetfulness: the natural tendency of humans to compare and contrast. King Yoshiyahu had four sons, among whom three sons and a grandson succeeded him on the throne of Judah[11]: Yehoakhaz (Jehoahaz),[12] Yehoyaqim (Jehoiakim),[13] Yehoyaqim’s son Yehoiakin (Jehoiachin),[14] and Tsidqiyahu (Zedekiah).[15] But “like father, like son” was not to be. In the eyes of the biblical authors and editors, the reign of Yoshiyahu’s sons and grandson who succeeded him was ultimately nothing but catastrophic and an unmitigated disaster. Despite glimmers of hope glinting in the sunset of Judah’s royal history, Yoshiyahu’s reformation of Judah’s religion quickly collapsed and never again reached its acclaimed height before the ignominious series of forced migrations to Babylon.

The death of Yoshiyahu reverberated in the history and hearts of the people of Judah for years. Daniel could not have forgotten King Yoshiyahu, either. The vision and audition found in Daniel 10–12 took place on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, after Daniel had broken a three-week mournful fast on account of the interruption of the Temple’s construction in Jerusalem (10:1–4). He consequently would have fasted on Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, since they took place during the twenty-one days of his fast.[16] This would have been a serious breach of religious devotion, but the serious nature of Daniel’s concern apparently superseded such prescriptions. As such, it is likely that Daniel, in the midst of his unusual and lengthy fast, would have remembered stories of the glorious and greatest Passover in hundreds of years—that undertaken during the reign of Yoshiyahu.[17]

At least three other terms and concepts in Chapter 12 of Daniel recall, in contrast or comparison, the reign of Yoshiyahu. In 12:4 and 9, Daniel is told to shut up the words and seal up the scroll until the time of the end. In contrast, the high priest Khilqiyahu (Hilkiah) found the scroll of the law/covenant and caused its contents to be revealed and read to Yoshiyahu (2 Kgs 22:8–10). Daniel closes and seals up his scroll, while Khilqiyahu earlier had found a different scroll and had read it to Yoshiyahu. In one account, Daniel was to stop up the words like a fountain in order to prevent the words from flowing into the ears of listeners, for the words were for a later time. He was to seal the scroll in order to preserve it for posterity. On the other hand, in the story of Yoshiyahu, the words were read aloud to the king and then by the king to the people so that all could understand. What had been miraculously preserved in the face of neglect and abandonment was revealed to all, for it was time to take action.

Second, Dan 12:11 states that the “abomination of desolation” will be set up in the future from Daniel’s time (cf. 9:27; 11:31). During Yoshiyahu’s purging of idolatrous practices in Judah and beyond, the account in 2 Kings states that he defiled the high places that King Shelomoh (Solomon) had set up for Astarte, the “abomination” of the Sidonians, for Chemosh, the “abomination” of Moab, and for Milcom, the “abomination” of the Ammonites (2 Kgs 23:13; cf. v. 24). While Yoshiyahu had destroyed these idolatrous “abominations,” which had resulted in the land becoming “desolate” (2 Chron 36:21), Daniel foresaw that a greater and more ominous “abomination of desolation” would be set up in the future.

Finally, both stories end in stories of or references to death. When Yoshiyahu commanded the high priest Khilqiyahu and others to inquire of the LORD about the scroll of the law, they went to the prophetess Khuldah (Huldah), who prophesied, in part, that Yoshiyahu would not see the disaster that would come upon Judah but instead would be “buried in peace” (2 Kgs 22:20). The account in 2 Kings states that when Pharaoh Necho II “met him at Megiddo, he killed him” (23:29), and his servants brought his body back to Jerusalem, where he was buried (23:30). Second Chronicles, on the other hand, states that he was wounded in battle, removed to another chariot, and brought back to Jerusalem, where he died and was buried (35:23–24). While it is clear that he died from his battle wounds, he was buried “in peace” in the city of Jerusalem, not on the battlefield. While Yoshiayahu died in peace, not having seen the disaster that overtook Judah, Daniel died in the hope of the resurrection and the deliverance of his people (Dan 12:1–2, 13).

One cannot separate the future from the past. Present understandings and perceptions are often founded on past experiences, and the future is often imaged in light of both the present and the past. The arc of Daniel’s history at the end of Chapter 12 stretched back through the desolation of Jerusalem and the forced migrations to Babylon all the way to the life and death of Yoshiyahu. The impact of his life and death on Daniel was spiritually formative and influential. And out of the trauma of a royal tragedy, without easy theological answers, Daniel was able to survive and thrive, ultimately given the hope of blessing and renewed life in the resurrection from the dust.

Ross E. Winkle, PhD, is professor of New Testament and chair of the Theology Department at Pacific Union College.

Illustration by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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[1] Jacques B. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel: Wisdom and Dreams of a Jewish Prince in Exile (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000), 166.

[2] Unless otherwise indicated, all biblical quotations are taken from the NRSV. Some have used this particular text to suggest that certain transportation innovations in the history of the United States fulfilled the prophecy.

[3] See, e.g., Marian G. Berry, A Warning in Daniel 12, rev. ed. (Brushton, NY: TEACH Services, 2015); Frank W. Hardy, “The 1,290 & 1,335 Days of Daniel 12: Past or Future?” in Prophetic Principles: Crucial Exegetical, Theological, Historical, & Practical Insights, ed. Ron du Preez, Scripture Symposium 1 (Lansing, MI: Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2007), 271-98; idem, “A Context for the Time Periods of Dan 12:11-12,” unpublished mss., modified ed. (August 15, 2015), accessed March 22, 2020 at http://historicism.org/Documents/Dan12_Symposium.pdf; Abner Hernandez, “Adventist Eschatological Identity and the Interpretations of the Time Periods of Daniel 12:11-12,” Andrews University Seminary Student Journal 1 (Spring 2015): 65-84; Gerhard Pfandl, Time Prophecies in Daniel 12, Biblical Research Institute Release 5 (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2005); William H. Shea, “The Time Prophecies of Daniel 12 and Revelation 12-13,” in Symposium on Revelation, Book I, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 6 (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1992), 327-60, particularly 330-42; and Alberto R. Timm, “The 1,290 and 1,335 Days of Daniel 12,” unpublished mss. (June 5, 2002), accessed March 22, 2020 at https://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/sites/default/files/pdf/daniel12_0.pdf.

[4] I have transliterated the Hebrew names of King Josiah and his three sons and grandson differently than typical English Bible translations in order to: 1) more closely align with the Hebrew text; 2) perhaps startle the reader; and 3) refocus attention on their often too-familiar narrative histories and the theological conclusions associated with them.

[5] Dan 1:4 indicates that the ones King Nebuchadnezzar II wanted to serve in his court were “youths” (ESV, NASB) or “young men” (NIV, NKJV, NRSV). These youths or young men were the same age as Daniel and his friends (1:10; cf. 1:17).

[6] Isaiah had prophesied that some of the descendants of King Khizqiyah (Hezekiah) would be eunuchs (ESV, NIV, NKJV, NRSV) or officials (NASB) in the palace of the king of Babylon (Isa 39:7).

[7] While the book of Daniel is about Daniel’s experiences (as well as that of his three friends), the third person narratives in Daniel 1-3, 5-6, indicate that they were written by someone else. Compare what appears to be archival information in Daniel 4 and the vision account in Daniel chaps. 7 (one the narrator indicates in 7:1-2 that Daniel wrote down) through 12 (notice the interspersed narrative elements, e.g., 10:1-2).

[8] See Isa 48:2; 52:1; Neh 11:1, 18; Tob 13:9; Pr Azar 1:5; 1 Macc 2:7; 2 Macc 1:12; 3:1; 9:14; 15:14. For references to the “holy city” in the NT, see Matt 4:5; 27:53; Rev 11:2; 21:2; 22:19. Whether or not its use in 3 Macc 6:5 is pre-Christian or not is not conclusive.

[9] Young King Yehoakhaz (Jehoahaz), forcibly removed from Jerusalem earlier in 609 by Pharaoh Necho II, was nevermore to return to Jerusalem.

[10] In another contrast to the account in 2 Kings, the Chronicler tells the story of how the Assyrians took King Menasheh (Manasseh) with hooks as a captive to Assyria and how he subsequently repented of his wickedness and, upon his return, attempted to undo all of the evil he had done in Judah (2 Chron 33:10-19).

[11] 1 Chron 3:15 is the only biblical text that lists all four of Yoshiyahu’s sons. His eldest son was “the firstborn” Yochanan (Johanan), of whom we know virtually nothing. Yochanan did not succeed Yoshiyahu, and he may have died young.

[12] Elyaqim (Eliakim) was the next eldest after Yochanan, but he was not the first to succeed Yoshiyahu. The next oldest son was Shallum, who, when he ascended the throne, apparently took the regnal name Yehoakhaz (Jehoahaz). After Yoshiyahu’s tragic death, the “people of the land” made Yehoakhaz king at the age of 23, just as they had made Yoshiyahu king after his father Amon was assassinated (2 Kgs 21:24; 23:30). But Yehoakhaz ruled only three months before Pharaoh Necho II deposed him and imprisoned him at Syrian city of Riblah and imposed a heavy tribute on the nation. Second Kings laconically notes that after Necho forced Yehoakhaz into exile in Egypt, “he died there” (23:34).

[13] In place of Yehoakhaz, Pharaoh Necho made Yehoakhaz’s elder half-brother Elyaqim king and changed his name to Yehoyaqim (Jehoiakim). Yehoyaqim began his rule at the age of 25 and ruled for eleven years. Among his wicked deeds, he is the king notorious for murdering the prophet Uriah (Jer 26:20-23) and for cutting Jeremiah’s scroll with a knife and burning it (Jer 36:23).

[14] Yehoiakin (Jehoiachin) was also known as Yekonyah / Yekoneyah / Yekonyahu (Jeconiah), and Konyahu (Coniah). Similar to his uncle Yehoakhaz, he ruled for only three months and ten days before his forced migration to Babylon. There Nebuchadnezzar kept him, known as “the prisoner” (1 Chron 3:17), imprisoned throughout his decades-long reign over Babylon. It was only when Nebuchadnezzar’s son and successor Evil-Merodach (typically known as Amel-Marduk; despite his name’s transliteration in various translations, it does not indicate any kind of evil quality) became king in 562 BCE that the latter released Yehoiakin, still recognized as king of Judah (2 Kgs 25:27), from prison and allowed him to eat at the king’s table. The Bible indicates that Evil-Merodach “spoke kindly and gave him a seat above all of the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon” (2 Kgs 25:28). It is likely that Daniel was familiar with him.

[15]When Nebuchadnezzar took Yehoiakin into forced migration to Babylon in 597 BCE, he then made Yoshiyahu’s fourth son, Mattanyah (Mattaniah), full brother of exiled Yehoakhaz, ruler over Judah and gave him the regnal name Tsidqiyahu (Zedekiah). Tsidqiyahu began his reign at the age of 21, and by this time, Daniel would have been older than him. The famous first-century CE Jewish priest and historian Josephus asserts that Daniel and his three friends were of the family of Tsidqiyahu (Ant. 10.188), but they could not have been his sons. Tsidqiyahu was the last Jewish king in Jerusalem, ruling for eleven years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the final forced migration in 586 BCE.

[16] Cf. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, 158-59; John Goldingay, Daniel, rev. ed., Word Biblical Commentary 30 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2019), 526.

[17] It is unknown whether Daniel could have remembered it. It took place about thirteen years before Yoshiyahu’s death in 609 BCE (cf. 2 Chron 34:1; 35:19), which would have been approximately 622 BCE. If Daniel had been no older than seventeen years old when he was exiled to Babylon in 605 BCE, he would have been born around the time of the Passover. In any case, people would have told stories about that great Passover for years.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10295

Nicely written/good information, but I found the use of all the alternative names a little confusing and unnecessary - what could be the point of that, Ross?

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We have just finished the book of Daniel again, and those who have been following the various teachings presented in the SS lessons over the last 40 years simply do not believe various current teachings associated with the sanctuary doctrine. Over the last 19 years I have not been able to find a single pastor or layperson who believes the current teachings regarding Daniel 8:10-12, especially the vertical attack by a Papal host in heaven aspect that is applied to verse 11. In view of W.H. Olsen’s warning that any future adoption of the new view of the daily would destroy the sanctuary doctrine, it appears the understanding of verses 10-12 depends largely, if not entirely, on the validity of the new view of the daily.

In his book Graffiti in the Holy of Holies Dr Goldstein claimed the SS Lessons represent the "official teachings of the church. In a recent response to my question regarding the various SS Lesson teachings associated with Daniel 8:9-14, he said, “As far I a know the church does not have an “official” position on the exact meaning of those verses —”.

May I suggest this situation has arisen because our scholars are failing to apply basic principles associated with the historical grammatical method of interpretating of prophecy, cf. below.

  1. If the plain word of Scripture makes sense, seek no other explanation.
  2. History will confirm the correct application of fulfilled prophecies.
  3. If a latter prophet provides additional information to an earlier prophecy, we should accept and apply the latter prophet’s information.

Three examples.

  1. Regarding the plain word of Scripture and little horn:-
    Dan 7:24 says this horn is “another” that is “different,” to the “first” (KJV) or to the previous (NIV). In chapters 2:39 and 7:4-6, it is very clear “another” does not mean the “same”.
    It is generally accepted that a horn symbol only represents one king and kingdom.
    In 2:33 the divided state of the kingdom is represented by the symbols of iron and clay.
    The Little horn of 8:9 “came from the four winds”, the little horn of 7:8 “arose in the midst of the 10 horns”.
    Both kingdom powers were little and became great.
    The LH of 8:9, Rome, gave the LH of 7:8, the Papacy, her power and authority.

  2. Regarding history and the little horn-
    History confirms Greece finally fell to Rome, the LH of 8:9, in 30 B.C. cf. Dan 11. Rome was finally overthrown by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D., cf. Rev. 9
    Revelation and History are clear the Roman empire did not fall in 476 A.D.
    History confirms the Papacy arose in 538 A.D. and received a deadly wound in 1798.
    Historians never refer to the Roman empire as pagan and papal.
    History confirms Rome and the Papacy ruled their individual kingdoms concurrently for 915 years(538 to 1453 A.D.), as opposed to sequentially in 476 A.D. .

  3. Regarding latter prophets
    "Believe your prophets so shall ye prosper. " 2 Chron. 20:20
    The SOP says the iron and the clay represents statecraft and churchcraft kingdoms.
    The symbols of miry clay, potter’s clay, and iron mixed with miry clay, 2:41, remain to be identified and applied.
    A strict and consistent application of the iron and clay symbols reveal’s Rome, the LH of 8:9, is a statecraft kingdom, and the Papacy, the LH of 7:8, is a churchcraft kingdom.

Much to learn and much to unlearn.

“In these days many deceptions are being taught as truth. Some of our brethren have taught views which we cannot endorse. Fanciful ideas, strained and peculiar interpretations of the Scripture are coming in. Some of these teachings may seem to be but jots and tittles now, but they will grow and become snares to the inexperienced.” {1SM 169.2}
We have a decided work to do. Let not the enemy cause us to swerve from the proclamation of the definite truth for this time, and turn our attention to fanciful ideas. {1SM 169.3}

In 2011 Oriville Parchment wrote. The Seventh-day Adventist Church still holds fast to Fundamental Beliefs number 24. We have not made a change. Changes are only made at General Conference Sessions.

In 2015 the church voted the revised wordage of Fundamental Belief 24. the sanctuary doctrine. Consequently it appears that positions such as the little horn representing Rome pagan and papal, and the daily representing Christ’s ministry, cannot be changed unless approved by the world church in session. This appears to be a catch 22 situation for the church and ultimately the truth.

Thus the question, is anyone working on a solution that would address this situation?

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I agree with the idea expressed in a previous comment that if the plain word of Scripture makes sense, we need not seek another explanation. But sometimes the problem is in deducing the plain word.

For example, here is the NLT translation of Daniel 12:1-3:
At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued.
Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.
Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.

The NLT states that this is only place in the OT that the expression ‘everlasting life’ is found and the only place that a specific reference to a resurrection at the end of this age is discussed. It also states that the Hebrew word translated as everlasting is olam.

Here are a couple of literal translations of Dan 12:1-3 which I believe more accurately reflect the ancient Hebrew and hopefully demonstrate how concepts we accept as the truth of God’s word can be distorted in translation:

Here is the same passage from the Concordant Version of the Old Testament:
In that era Michael shall stand up, the great chief who is standing over the sons of your people. Then an era of distress will come to pass such as has not occurred since there was a nation on the earth until that era. Now in that era your people shall escape - all those found written in the scroll.
From those sleeping in the soil of the ground many shall awake, these to eonian life and these to reproach for eonian repulsion.
The intelligent shall warn as the warning of the atmosphere, and those turning many to righteousness will be as the stars for the eon and further.

This is how Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible words it:
And at that time stand up doth Michael, the great head, who is standing up for the sons of thy people, and there hath been a time of distress, such as hath not been since there hath been a nation till that time, and at that time do thy people escape, every one who is found written in the book.
And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches - - to abhorrence age-during.
And those teaching do shine as the brightness of the expanse, and those justifying the multitude as stars to the age and forever.

Quite a difference. The Hebrew word olam refers to an indefinite (hidden), secret, or unknown period of time (such as a future age), not an infinite period of time. For example, olam is used to describe the three days that Jonah was in the belly of the whale (Jonah 2:6), and to describe the Old Covenant (Lev 24:8) which, of course, has been replaced.
Num 25:13 tells us that God promised Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson, ‘an everlasting [olam] priesthood’. Several hundred years later, this priesthood came to an end due to the corruption of the sons of Eli, a direct descendant of Phinehas, as recorded in 1Sam 2:30-36. If olam means everlasting then God broke His promise to Phineas.

So, this passage of Daniel tells us that the dead will all be raised and judged together with those who are living at the end of this age. Each person will either be rewarded with a new kind of life or suffer some kind of punishment in the next age.

Also, apparently some of those deemed worthy of this new life will be selected to be instructors or teachers. It is my belief that they are to help explain what justification and righteousness mean to those who have not known Christ or have rejected Him during this age.

Thus, this passage in Daniel gives us some insight into how God will fulfill His desire for ‘all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth’ and how He will indeed become ‘the Saviour of all men’.

I wrote in footnote #4: “I have transliterated the Hebrew names of King Josiah and his three sons and grandson differently than typical English Bible translations in order to: 1) more closely align with the Hebrew text; 2) perhaps startle the reader; and 3) refocus attention on their often too-familiar narrative histories and the theological conclusions associated with them.”

Such a scholarly article impressed me greatly until I arrived at such an erroneous mistake as to accuse Daniel of fasting during Passover. That error has been posted here before by other “scholars” in Adventism.

The First Month is cited as such 29 times in Scripture. The first month is “the month Nisan” (Esther 3:7). Daniel fasted until the 24th of the First Month, but Daniel did not fast until Nissan 24. For Daniel to have completed three full weeks of fasting immediately prior to Nissan 24, his fast would have had to have been during Passover, Nissan 14. Daniel, who would not eat the king’s defiled diet, would not fast when God commanded him to eat the Passover lamb:

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year … Your lamb shall be without blemish…the fourteenth day of the same month : and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening …They shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it (cf Exodus 12:1-11).

Daniel’s three-week fast was in Tishrei. The first two days of Tishrei are Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). They are not fast days, but feast days. Together these two days are as one long day and they are linked with the eating of certain foods like apples and honey to signify that the New Year will be a sweet one. They also begin the ten Days of Awe when God’s faithful people search their souls in regards to the Ten Commandments in preparation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It aligns with September-October on the Gregorian Calendar. Daniel fasted from Tishrei 3 thru Tishrei 23, which are exactly three full weeks . Immediately after Daniel fasted for 21-days, Gabriel’s coming to him on Tishrei 24 fits the context that aligns with his concern about the desolation the Sanctuary and its Services to make atonement for sins. (The Last Trump Shall Sound: Michael Stands, pp. 218-219)

[cf Numbers 9:13 "But the man that [is] clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.]

Though I enjoyed Winkle’s article, I was disappointed by the assumption that Daniel would disobey a direct command of God so that he could fast to show his remorse for his peoples’ disregard for God’s commands.

“But sometimes the problem is in deducing the plain word.”

Correct, but in relation to Daniel 8:9-14, the problem is not so much deducting the plain word, but a strict and consistent application of the basic principles of interpretation,

We have been warned this doctrine would be the main object of Satan’ s attack, and as a result the study of Daniel and Revelation is paramount, if we are to have a clear understanding of the foundation doctrine of our faith and the church.

Except the idea that the little horn came from the four winds is based on linguistic and interpretive speculation. The horn logically arises from the four horns before it. In Daniel, horns beget horns, as in Chapter 7. Animals that hold up the horns are the greater entities, but directly related. Horns don’t come from the winds.

Thus, the four horns that come from the goat are Alexander’s four generals, which led to the warring factions of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. Out of them later arose Antiochus IV. A little horn power in comparison to the goat and rulers that preceded him, but who wreaked havoc upon the Jewish people, their temple, and the practice of their religion. He was the one who desecrated the temple and worship of God in its confines. The fact that chapter 8 changes back to Hebrew, and uses sacrificial animals instead of wild beats as its imagery, suggests that the Jewish people and their tribulation was the focus of this vision. The vision moves from a macro, world encompassing scene in chapter 7, to a focus on the people of God at that time, in Chapter 8, one mirroring the other.

Additionally, Antiochus would destroy the mighty men and the holy people, and would ultimately be destroyed himself, but not by human power. This points to the Macabee victory, considered a miracle of YHWH’s deliverance, commemorated by Hanukkah, a holiday that Jesus himself celebrated.

This is worth genuine consideration, considering how many within the denomination find the Adventist take on this chapter to be increasingly unbelievable, and how many credible scholars also see Antiochus in this chapter.




Thanks for your comments and very interesting, I was not aware of EGW’s description of the iron and clay and if it hasn’t been officially written about by SDA scholars I hope someone does soon follow your lead. A quick scan of EGW writings and the Bible reveals the following:

Iron and Clay—Mingled Churchcraft and Statecraft —We have come to a time when God’s sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay. God has a people, a chosen people, whose discernment must be sanctified, who must not become unholy by laying upon the foundation wood, hay, and stubble… The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay . This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. …(Manuscript 63, 1899).

  1. Psa_40:2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
  2. Psa_140:10 Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise!
  3. Eze_47:11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

My own Comments:

  • aside from both quoted from Daniel, miry associated with clay appears only three of four times in Scriptures depending on the translation used, some translations don’t have it at all.
  • From the above verses it seems “miry” stands literally for destruction and swamps, or unstable, sinking places
  • Based on Daniel’s description of the fourth terrible beast with great iron teeth, it seems to be State military and political power.

Bible Commentaries (Emphasis mine)

(Eze_47:11) “with respect to the marshes and miry places thereof, that are settled in the mire of their own sinfulness , and will not be healed”

Ezekiel 47:11
“But the miry places thereof, and the marshes thereof ,… That is, of the sea; the waters of which were healed, by the waters of the sanctuary coming into them: but the ditches and lakes, the miry and marsh ground , separate from the sea, which lay near it, and upon the borders of it”

shall not be healed ; these design the reprobate part of the world, obstinate and perverse sinners, that abandon themselves to their filthy lusts, and sensual pleasures; that wallow like swine in the mire and dirt of sin; are wholly immersed in the things of this world,

Hi Frank,

If the LH of 8:9 applies to Antiochus Epiphanies and it came out of one of the four horns, then how is it that the goat only has four, not five horns? Surely if this horn represents a Greek king then it must be is a fifth Greek horn.
No where do we find Daniel applies horns as representing two completely different kings and kingdoms.
Another problem is that Anchious did not become Great in comparison to Rome.

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Out of one of them (the four horns) came another horn. Frankly, I don’t see the problem considering that the text is indicating sequence…the little horn, another entity, coming out of what came before it. Antiochus is spotlighted as another power/ruler coming from the Seleucid line because of the nature and scope of his activity against the holy people and the worship of YHWH, his hubris, which was well known, and his prohibition of the practice of the Jewish religion, even sacrificing pigs to Zeus on the temple altar. Thus, his disruption of the tamid, the daily sacrifices/service v.13.

Antiochus did become great to the south and east, as v.9 says. This describes his successful military campaigns against Egypt first (south), then against the Parthians (east), and finally Palestine/Judea, which is described as the beautiful land at the end of the verse (see also 11:16,41). IOW, the entire vision is describing the impact that Antiochus had on the region, and specifically on the people of God of that time, totally couched in temple imagery, the destruction he wreaked upon them, and the deliverance that was promised. The particulars of the description fit him far better than a disembodied horn, arising from the winds, flying through the air, and forming the medieval papacy attacking a heavenly sanctuary centuries and even over a millennium later.

If one wants to apply the principles from the text to a persecuting power such as the medieval papacy, I have no problem with that. If the shoe fits, so to speak. As it can for any power that oppresses and persecutes the people of God in any time or place. But, to say that the papacy is the primary identified actor in this text is simply a big interpretive stretch to me, based on immediate context and history.




As this session is about to close, a couple of extra thoughts.
Daniel 2:41 indicates the fourth kingdom is divided by two symbols, iron and clay.
History reveals Western Rome, was overthrown by the Papal states when the Holy Roman Empire was established. Eastern Rome was overthrown by the Muslims , the Ottoman Turks . History reveals the Roman empire was divided by two iron and miry clay powers, not by the 10 horn kingdoms.
Both kingdoms were overthrown, (do not cleave together) and we await the rise of the last iron and miry clay kingdom, when the 10 kingdoms of Revelation unite, or give their power to the Papacy. This union also falls apart.
If 8:11 applies to Rome , Christ and the earthly temple, as the church believed until 1980, the daily does not apply to Christ’s ministry taken away by the Papacy.

It was the adoption of this position in 1980 that required verse 11 to apply to the Papacy, Christ and the heavenly sanctuary. A position that requires a heavenly attack by a Papal host.!!

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