8.2 2300 Evening-Morning: Cultic Significance

Even among Seventh-day Adventist scholars disagreement exists concerning the cultic significance of the expression “evening-morning” in Dn. 8:14, “until 2300 evening-morning, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” For example, S. J. Schwantes contends that the expression `ereb-boqer (evening-morning) is not derived from the language of cultic worship wherein he asserts “the order `morning-evening’ is the standard one at all times.” Schwantes concludes that `ereb-boqer was most likely a time unit modeled after the phraseology of Genesis 1.(95) In contrast W. H. Shea contends that “aside from the specifically chronological use of the evening and the morning to demarcate the days of the creation week in Genesis, the evening and the morning” time unit was exceptional and “it must have been chosen for a special reason” because it “had a special connection with the sanctuary.” Shea here links the expression “evening-morning” with the Hebrew cultus. However, rather than directly connecting it with the “daily burnt offering” on the altar in the court where two lambs were offered, one in the morning and the other in the evening (Ex. 29:39; Num. 28:4), Shea sees a more direct connection of the expression, “evening-morning” in Dn. 8:14, with the lighting of the lamps in the holy place of the sanctuary in the evening and the trimming of the lamps in the morning. These functions were to take place “continually” (tamid) “from evening until morning” (Ex. 27:20-21; Lev. 24:2-3). At the same time the priest was to burn incense on the golden altar in the holy place. This was also a “continual” practice (Ex. 30:6-7).(96) Here is seen the linkage of the expression “from evening until morning” with both the “continual” tending of the lamps (Ex. 27:20-21; Lev. 24:2-4) and the “continual incense” (Ex. 30:7-8).

8.2.1 The Daily Burnt Offering. Shea, Schwantes and Hasel(97) find difficulty in linking the “evening-morning” (`ereb-boqer) of Dn. 8:14 with the daily burnt offering associated with the sanctuary service in Leviticus and Numbers. They seem to agree that “the biblical references to that practice always refer to it as taking place in the morning and the evening, never in the evening and the morning.”(98) The following discussion will demonstrate that the specific “evening-morning” sequence, not a morning-evening sequence, applies to “the continual (hattamid) burnt offering.”

The biblical evidence is clear that the “daily burnt offering” consisted of two male lambs, one to be offered in the morning and the other lamb to be offered “between the evenings” or twilight (Ex. 29:39; Num. 28:4).(99) The phraseology employed always mentions the morning before the evening offering. A cursory survey of the pertinent texts concerning the daily burnt offering appear to suggest that the morning offering preceded the evening offering(100) (“one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer between the evenings; Num. 29:39). However it should be observed that the singular nature of the expression in Dn. 8:14, “evening-morning,” contravenes the key texts describing the “law of the burnt offering” in Ex. 29:38-46 and Num. 28:1-8 in which boqer (morning) is singular but `ereb is in the dual state (ha`arbayim), the evenings. The linguistic analogy to `ereb-boqer in Dn. 8:14 is not exact.

Moreover, as Shea has correctly observed, the singular and unique expression “evening-morning” in Dn. 8:14 exhibits a near perfect analogy to Jehovah’s command to tend the lampstand “from evening to morning” continually (tamid) in Ex. 27:21 and Lev. 24:3-4. The unique expression “from evening until morning” (me`ereb `ad-boqer) strongly suggests a complete worship cycle or sequence which commenced at evening and continued until morning through the day. For example, Aaron was instructed to set up or initiate (`ala) the lamps and burn incense on the golden altar at evening and every morning he again was to burn incense on the altar while he tended the lamps (Ex. 30:7-8). Thus, worship was continuous, commencing at evening, continuing through the rest of the night with the burning lamps, and it was reinvigorated by tending the lamps and burning incense in the morning for the remainder of the day until evening when it commenced again with the lighting of the golden lampstand.

Furthermore, this same evening-morning sequence or cycle of worship is also exhibited with “the daily burnt offering.” The very first instruction of the law of the burnt offering Jehovah gave to Moses specifically directed that the burnt offering, a male lamb, was to be on the hearth or consuming fire “all night until the morning” (kal-halaylah `ad-habboqer) and the fire was to be kept burning (Lev. 6:9). The phrase, “all night until morning” is essentially equivalent to the phrase “from evening until morning” in terms of a cyclic sequence with a definitive initiation point. Thus, a clear signal is given at the beginning of the instructions in Lev. 6:9 concerning the law of the burnt offering that the daily burnt offering cycle commenced at evening with the offering of the first of the two lambs (one in the morning and another lamb in between the evenings as stated in Ex. 29:39 and Num. 28:4). The relation of the commencement (evening) and re-initiation (morning) sequence to the “evening-morning” sequence is reinforced in the subsequent instructions of the law of the burnt offering. Thus in the morning (boqer) the priest was to lift up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire consumed and place them beside the altar and then carry them outside the camp (6:10-11). The priest was to keep the fire burning by adding wood on the altar morning by morning which was followed by laying the second male lamb on it in the morning to burn as incense with the fat of the peace offering during the day (6:12). A continual (tamid) fire burned on the altar yielding a sweet aroma during the worship cycle (“evening-morning”) of the daily burnt offering.

Shea, Hasel and Schwantes seemingly overlook the “evening-morning” commencement/re-initiation sequence of the daily burnt offering articulated in Lev. 6:8-13 and focus on the two offerings, one in the morning and the other lamb in the evening.(101) “The universal preference for the formula day and night reflects” as Schwantes quotes J. B. Segal’s remarks “‘the ordinary course of human behavior. It is at dawn that man begins the active work of the day, and, for that reason, a phrase current in man’s mouth is day and night.'”(102) The “natural” listing of the two sacrifices (morning and evening) which is in harmony with natural human daily behavior is misinterpreted as an explanation of the biblical worship cycle of commencement and re-initiation (evening-morning) repeatedly stated in Leviticus and Numbers.(103) It should be noted that the same apparent anomaly exists with the lighting of the lampstand. The “evening-morning” cyclic sequence is specified in Ex. 27:21 & Lev. 24:1-4, but the common behavioral language of “morning and evening” is used in Ex. 30:7-8.

The preceding discussion clearly establishes the linkage of the expression “evening-morning” with the Hebrew cultus of the daily burnt offering and in particular with hattamid in Dn. 8:14 both of which are linked with a “sweet aroma” to Jehovah. The daily burnt offering is described repeatedly in the cultic worship setting of Leviticus and Numbers. Since the activity of the 2300-year vision including hattamid of Dn. 8:13 is of counterfeit origin (“until when the vision: the daily and the transgression which desolates to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled”), it may be concluded that the answer in Dn. 8:14 encompassing the 2300 “evening-morning” is likewise of a counterfeit nature. Therefore, the 2300 “evening-morning” constitute 2300 prophetic days of counterfeit worship cycles resulting in a continuous counterfeit sweet aroma to Jehovah.

8.2.2 The Continually Burning Lamps. The expression “evening-morning” is directly connected with the cultic sanctuary activity or worship as the previous discussion confirms. Shea has specifically connected the expression “evening-morning” with the sanctuary service in which the priest lights the lamps in the holy place at evening and trims the lamps in the morning (Ex. 27:20-21; 30:7-8; Lev. 24:1-4). At the same time the priest was to burn incense on the golden altar when the lamps were trimmed in the morning and set up in the evening.(104)

The expression “from evening until morning” (evening-morning) consistently refers to the worship cycle and all its aspects in the cultic sanctuary setting of Leviticus and Numbers. The various aspects of the “evening-morning” worship cycle include the daily burnt offering, the daily grain offering (both for a sweet aroma), the lighting of the lamps filled with oil to give light within the holy place (Ex. 25:37) illuminating the shewbread which typified the Word of God (Jn. 6:51, 63). The light from the burning oil in the lamps thus represented the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit (Zech. 4:4, 6).

The counterfeit cultic “evening-morning” expression in Dn. 8:14 would thereby encompass not only a counterfeit worship associated with the daily burnt offering (sweet aroma) but also counterfeit light from the lampstand associated with a counterfeit holy spirit. Since the burning of incense on the golden altar is integral to the “evening-morning” cultic worship sequence of lighting the lamps in Ex. 30:7-8, the counterfeit “evening-morning” sequence in Dn. 8:14 also implies a counterfeit incense aroma to Jehovah which was previously established from independent factors based on the cultic language in Dn. 8:11 and cultic parallels in Leviticus.

8.2.3 The Continual Cloud. The “evening-morning” sequence is also specifically linked with the continual pillar of cloud above the wilderness tabernacle (Num. 9:15-16, 21). “On the day the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of testimony; and at evening there was above the tabernacle the appearance of fire until morning. So it was continually; the cloud covered it, and the appearance of fire by night” (Num. 9:15-16). The description commences with the pillar of fire at night “from evening till morning it was above the tabernacle” like fire (9:15) and concludes with the cloud by day (9:16). Quoting W. H. Shea, “during the wilderness wandering the time to carry out the various sanctuary activities of the “evening-morning” sequence was marked off by God Himself. At evening the cloud turned to a pillar of fire. In the morning the fire turned into a pillar of cloud (Num. 9:15-16, 21). This language in the Pentateuch sounds very much like the background for these “sanctuary days” in Daniel 8:14.”(105) The sanctuary day or “evening-morning” cycle was superintended by Jehovah Himself, symbolized by the cloud during the day and changing to the appearance of fire at night (1 Cor. 10:1-4). The counterfeit cultic “evening-morning” expression in Dn. 8:14 would thus include a counterfeit christ.

The horn from littleness in its papal form counterfeits all aspects of true worship by setting before the saints 1) a false worship system associated with the self-exalting character of a counterfeit hattamid or sweet aroma; 2) a false Holy Spirit with counterfeit light and truth and 3) a false christ, a savior who is not nigh at hand to help in every time of need but who is replaced by a counterfeit human priest. A summary of the genuine and counterfeit elements of the “evening-morning” worship cycle is illustrated in the following table.


Genuine Text Counterfeit 2300 Evening-Morning
1. Hattamid Burnt Offering
Sweet Aroma
True Worship
Lv. 6:8-13
Ex. 29:38-46
Num. 28-29
Counterfeit Hattamid
Repugnant Aroma
False Worship
2. Continual Light
True Holy Spirit
Ex. 27:20-21
Lv. 24:1-4
Counterfeit Light
False holy spirit
3. Incense
Sweet Aroma
Contrite Spirit
Ex. 30:7-8 Counterfeit Incense
Repugnant Aroma
4. Pillar of Cloud
Jehovah Christ
Num. 9:15-16, 21 Counterfeit Cloud
False christ

95) S. J. Schwantes, “`Ereb Boqer of Daniel 8:14 Re-examined,” Symposium on Daniel, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, F. B. Holbrook, ed., Vol. 2, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Washington, DC, pp.472-474, 1986.
96) W. H. Shea, DARCOM, Vol. 2, pp. 196-197.
97) G. F. Hasel, DARCOM, Vol. 2, pp. 430-433.
98) W. H. Shea, DARCOM, Vol. 2, p.197; see also Notes 95 & 97.
99) It should be emphasized that the continual burnt offering (`olat hattamid), repeatedly referred to in Num. 28 & 29 and specified in Ex. 29:38-46, Lv. 6:8-13 and Num. 28:1-8, always consisted of two lambs comprising a complete unit which were offered evening and morning respectively. The evening offering could not exist without the morning offering in order to obey and fulfill the “law of the burnt offering” (Lv. 6:9-13). This scriptural understanding precludes 1150 days/years as an interpretation of the 2300 evening-morning time prophecy.
100) See, for example Ex. 29:39; Num. 28:4; 2 Kg. 16:15; 1 Chron. 16:40; 23:30; 2 Chron. 2:4; 13:11; 31:3; and Ezra 3:3.
101) See footnotes 95, 96 & 97.
102) S. J. Schwantes, DARCOM, Vol. 2, p. 471.
103) See Ex. 27:21; 30:7-8; Lev. 6:8-13; 24:3; Num. 9:4.
104) See footnote 96.
105) W. H. Shea, DARCOM, Vol.2, p. 197.


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