7.3 Counterfeit Priesthood

The cultic language parallels in Leviticus 2:9; 4:8, 10, 19; and 6:15 with Dn. 8:11 reveal that the priest lifts up (rum) from the cultic sacrifice a memorial portion (fat or fine flour) to be burned as incense for a sweet aroma before Jehovah. The parallel cultic language in Dn. 8:11 reveal that a counterfeit hattamid, or sweet aroma of Baal worship, is lifted up from a counterfeit beast/power sacrifice. The cultic language in the five texts in Leviticus clearly identifies the priest who lifts up (rum) the fat or handful of flour from the cultic offering. The existence of a counterfeit cultic priest is apparent in Dn. 8:11 by both cultic language parallels with Leviticus and also by the passive voice of rum (huraym) which implies an active voice counterpart of a priest. Thus the phrase, “from him was lifted up the daily,” implies three counterfeit cultic significations: 1) a cultic sacrifice (from him), 2) a cultic memorial portion of the sacrifice burned as incense for a sweet aroma (hattamid) and 3) a cultic priest who lifts up hattamid (active voice subject of rum). The chart below summarizes the cultic parallel of Leviticus and Dn. 8:11.


Leviticus Daniel 8:11
1. Priest 1. Counterfeit Priest
2. Sacrifice 2. Counterfeit Sacrifice
3. Fat or Memorial Offering 3. Hattamid
Link = Sweet Aroma
True Worship
Counterfeit Worship

It may be recalled that the cultic beast power/sacrifice is represented by the horn from littleness or Rome in its pagan phase who exalts himself against the Prince of the host. The historical record shows that with the first Caesar, Octavian (Augustus; 31 BC-AD 14), the emperor cult began in Rome.(85) Octavian’s position was strengthened by the elevation of his adoptive father Caesar, at the Senate’s decree, to a place among the deities. “Thus Octavian called himself son of the divine Caesar, imperator Caesar divi filius.” Octavian added to his name the one of “Augustus,” emphasizing the unique dignity of his position. Until that time this designation (meaning “the exalted one”; see also Dn. 8:11, “he exalted himself”) had been employed only as surname of deities. He thus conveyed the impression that his position of power was of incomparable loftiness. “The highest priestly office of the pontifex maximus was transferred to Augustus in 12 BC by popular referendum, and in 2 BC the list of honorary titles was expanded when Augustus was designated by the Senate as pater patriae” (father of fathers).(86) The title of pontifex maximus was carried by Roman Caesars including emperor Constantine, as chief priest of the pagan state religion, while still professing Christianity and setting apart the day of the sun (Sunday) as a day of rest and worship.(87)

From the historical record and the scriptural evidence, it may be concluded that the daily (hattamid) which was lifted up by the counterfeit priest (papal Rome) from the counterfeit cultic beast/sacrifice (pagan Rome) included not only self-exalting counterfeit worship (false sweet aroma), but also included the priestly ministry of pagan Rome. Indeed, the pagan title pontifex maximus was formally assumed by papal Rome from the fifteenth century onwards from its forbearer pagan Rome which inherited the priesthood from all previous pagan societies. Although used by both bishops and popes, today it is confined to the Roman pontiff.(88)

Although the substantive hattamid with the adjectival designation is never used as a direct modifier of the cultic priestly ministry in the OT, the adjective tamid is used in an indirect association with the high priestly ministry of Aaron in Ex. 28:29-30 in bearing the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate before Jehovah continually. In Ex. 28:39 the high priest, while ministering, wore a gold headband continually, engravened with “Holiness to Jehovah”. Further associations of tamid with the ministry of the priests and the Levites are found in 1 Chron. 16:37, 40; 23:31; 2 Chron. 24:14. Thus, it may be inferred that the counterfeit hattamid lifted up from the counterfeit beast/sacrifice or pagan Rome included not only a counterfeit sweet aroma of self-exalting false worship but also a counterfeit self-exalting priesthood lifted by papal Rome from pagan Rome’s priesthood (pontifex maximus).

Since the counterfeit beast sacrifice symbolized by the horn or pagan Rome exhibits a self-proclaimed priesthood (pontifex maximus), it becomes readily apparent that the “place of his sanctuary” (miqdash) in Dn. 8:11 is in reality the pontifex maximus’ (pagan Rome’s) counterfeit sanctuary located in Rome (place or habitation). The habitation (makon) of his (pagan Rome’s) sanctuary was displaced from Rome to Constantinople in AD 330.

85) R. H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, p. 35, 1981.
86) E. Lohse, The New Testament Environment, Nashville: Abingdon, p. 199, 1971.
87) E. E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, pp. 124-125, 1981.
88) F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford; Oxford Press, p. 1108, 1983.


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