8.3 Sanctuary Trampled 2300 Evening-Morning Cleansed: Thesis-Antithesis

The question asked in Daniel 8:13, “until when the vision,” pertains to the whole vision (chazon), which began in 8:1 while Daniel was in Shushan by the river Ulai, and which encompasses the activity of the ram, the goat and the horn from littleness in both its pagan and papal phases. More specifically, the activity within the entire vision results in giving or making (natan) both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled down. The Hebrew root ramas and its derivative mirmas both connote the sense of “trampling”(106) and when connected with God’s sanctuary (Is. 1:12), ramas conveys the sense of trampling the sanctuary in terms of hypocritical and false worship in Is. 1:11-13. The sanctuary in 8:13 (qodesh) is Jehovah’s, both His earthly and heavenly sanctuary. The question in 8:13 concerns the limit of time (time of the end; 8:17) when the activity within the vision, which results in trampling the sanctuary and the host, will be exposed in order that the sanctuary (exclusively heavenly at the time of the end) will be put right (nisdaq), restored, vindicated from error and cleansed. The Hebrew root (sadaq) embraces all of these concepts.(107) Nisdaq (to put right) in Daniel 8:14 is the corrective response to the trampling (mirmas) in Daniel 8:13 revolving around the sanctuary. The focus in 8:13 is on the duration of the trampling down the sanctuary; the focus in 8:14 is on up-righting the sanctuary at the termination of the vision. It should be re-emphasized that the emphasis on duration in 8:13 comes from the phrase describing the on-going activity in the vision, namely, “to give (make) both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled.” This clearly implies duration, not termination. It is acknowledged that `ad (until) designates termination(108) but only in the context of terminating the 2300 years (duration) of trampling activity. A summary of lexical evidence for “trampling down” and “putting right” the sanctuary is shown in the following chart.


2300-Year Duration (8:13)
(Trampled Down)
2300-Year Conclusion (8:14)
(Put Right)
mirmas (root: ramas) nisdaq (root: sadaq)
1. Basic Meaning

  • Tread
  • Stamp down
  • Trample down
  • Walk over
1. Basic Meaning

  • Put right
  • Be straight
  • Justify
  • Vindicate
  • Make upright
2. Result:
Downward crushing
2. Result:
Upward restoration to rightness

Although this exposition has established that hattamid (the daily) is the negative, self-exalting character of paganism and not the positive, beneficial high priestly ministry of Christ, the question in 8:13 confirms this conclusion. The question deals exclusively with negative consequences resulting from the activity of the ram, the goat and the horn to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled down. Both “hattamid (the daily)” and “the transgression which desolates,” which appositionally modifies “the vision” in 8:13, are set forth in the context of negative consequences which permeate the entire vision. The interpretation that “the daily” is the positive, beneficial high priestly ministry of Christ contravenes the context and leads to an oxymoron. That “the daily” is indeed associated with both paganism and the trampling of the sanctuary will be demonstrated in the following discussion.

8.3.1 The Daily and the Trampling of the Sanctuary. The question in 8:13 implies that the sanctuary (qodesh), both earthy and heavenly, continued to be trampled down for 2300 years following the return of the exiles from Babylon. The commencement of the 2300-year prophecy in 457 BC to restore and build Jerusalem at the command of Artaxerxes (Dn. 9:25; Ezra 7) has been well established elsewhere.(109) If the sanctuary was trampled down in the early post-exilic period of the 2300 years, biblical evidence must exist to support this assertion which is implied in 8:13. The post-exilic prophets, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi as well as the historical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, in fact, provide evidence of the continual trampling down of Jehovah’s earthly sanctuary in Jerusalem, following its reconstruction, by pagan elements and practices. For example in Haggai where the people delayed rebuilding the temple to pursue their own pleasure, Jehovah announced the work of their hands and their offerings as unclean (2:10-14). Zechariah called the returned exiles to repentance (1:2-4). In Malachi the priests are rebuked for lack of reverence for Jehovah and despising His name (1:6); for offering defiled food (1:7); for offering blemished (lame/blind) sacrifices; for vain worship (1:10) similar to the trampling or vain worship in Is. 1:11-13; for departing from and corrupting the covenant of Levi (2:7-8); and Judah is rebuked for profaning the sanctuary of Jehovah by ecumenical mingling with the daughters of a pagan god (2:11). Ezra mourned, following his return to Jerusalem in 457 BC, when he discovered that not only the people but the priests and Levites had taken pagan wives causing trampling of the sanctuary.(110)

However, the clearest and most explicit statement of the trampling of the sanctuary by pagan elements is in Nehemiah. Eliashib the high priest who had authority over the storerooms in the sanctuary allied himself with Tobiah, the pagan Ammonite official (13:4; 2:19). Through this alliance the sanctuary was profaned and trampled down by the pagan official Tobiah who, through the auspices of Eliashib, was permitted to have a private large room in the court of the temple which had previously been used exclusively for storage of holy articles for the sanctuary including the grain offering, the frankincense, the tithe of grain, the new wine and oil (13:5). Nehemiah, after returning to Jerusalem, following his recall by Artaxerxes (13:6), expelled the household goods of Tobiah and commanded the rooms of the court of the sanctuary to be cleansed (taher; 13:9). Furthermore the priesthood had again been defiled by marriage to pagan women (13:27-29). In response to the pagan trampling down of the sanctuary and priesthood, Nehemiah cleansed (taher) the priesthood from everything pagan in order to restore the sanctuary to its rightful function (13:30-31). It should be emphasized that both the sanctuary and the priesthood were cleansed by Nehemiah.

Thus, clear evidence is provided that the self-exalting character of paganism (hattamid), symbolized by the ram in Daniel 8 and represented by Medo-Persia to whom Tobiah, the Ammonite official, reported, infiltrated and trampled the earthly sanctuary (qodesh) in the early stages of the 2300-year time prophecy.

With the rise of the Grecian and Roman empires, Israel and Judah remained in subjection to pagan domination. Due to the iniquity of the profane wicked prince of Israel, Jehovah’s indignation would rest on Israel commencing with Babylon, who removed the crown, followed by Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome symbolized by the triple imperative, “overturn, overturn, overturn, I will set it” (see Eze. 21:24-27). Thus, the latter time of the indignation (Dn. 8:19) would continue until the time of the end with Rome. Pagan Rome through the office of pontifex maximus trampled down the sanctuary and ultimately the physical destruction of the sanctuary in AD 70 by Titus was consummated who became Roman emperor.

Papal Rome’s trampling down of the heavenly sanctuary continued with the human priestcraft of the Roman church under the guise of professed Christianity. Thus a continuous progression of trampling down the sanctuary commenced in the post-exilic period with the earthly sanctuary (qodesh) under Medo-Persia and continued with Greece and pagan Roman. Papal Rome lifted up the self-exalting character of pagan Rome’s pontifex maximus function and continued to trample down the heavenly sanctuary (qodesh) which at the conclusion of the 2300-year period was to be exposed and put right (sadaq).

It seems clear that attempts to symbolize the beneficial heavenly high priestly ministry of Christ by “the daily” which is “taken away” by the papacy to initiate the trampling of the sanctuary cannot fulfill the requirements of the 2300 years which commenced in 457 BC. The continuous trampling of Jehovah’s sanctuary, both earthly and heavenly during the 2300 evening-morning time prophecy, is summarized in the following table.


Symbol Agent Dates Qodesh Activity
Ram Medo-Persia 538-331 BC Earthly Pagan Wives of priesthood
Goat Greece 331-168 BC Earthly Pagan influences on worship
Horn Rome 168 BC – AD 476 Earthly Destroy sanctuary
pontifex maximus
Horn Papal Rome AD 300 – 1844 Heavenly Priestcraft

8.3.2 “The Daily” & the Integrity of the 2300 Evening-Morning. By “exegetically” forcing “the daily” in Daniel 8:11 to be the positive, beneficial high priestly ministry of Christ, Adventist scholars have recreated a framework in which Daniel 8:11 and Daniel 8:14 must be seen in a thesis-antithesis relationship. That which is positive and good is taken away and cast down in 8:11 and restored and made right in 8:14. This is the same framework in which all pre-Millerite views were set forth where “the daily” represented the positive Jewish temple sacrifices which were restored at a later date in 8:14. Following the disappointment of 1844, the “time setting” effort of one group, similar to others, which tried to re-establish the date for the second coming of Christ, was intimately linked with the identification of “the daily” as the positive Jewish altar of the “daily sacrifice” which was taken away in 446 BC. This was used as a starting point for a new 2300-year time span to end in 1854. The Cummings 1854 “prophetic chart”, “published at Concord, New Hampshire, in 1853, was typical of charts that commenced the 2300 days with what was said to be the taking away of the `daily sacrifice.'”(111)

All efforts to identify “the daily” as a positive and beneficial substantive immediately create a thesis-antithesis relationship between 8:11 and 8:14 and destroy the integrity of the 2300 evening-morning time prophecy with a commencement date of 457 BC.(112) For example, this anomaly is exposed by forcing “the daily” to be the heavenly ministry of Christ and the miqdash in 8:11 to be His heavenly sanctuary. If the foundation of Christ’s heavenly sanctuary (miqdash) was cast down by the papacy in Daniel 8:11, this would require a “putting right”, restoration and vindication after the 2300-year time span described in 8:13-14. This would mandate a commencement date of the time prophecy no earlier than AD 300-538 when popery began to blossom leading to the papal usurpation of Christ’s heavenly high priestly function. This would force the termination of the 2300 years to conclude no earlier than AD 2600. By identifying “the daily” to be a positive and beneficial substantive, the integrity of the 2300-year time prophecy commencing in 457 BC, which is internally confirmed from Daniel 9:24-27, becomes utterly decimated by the thesis-antithesis relationship created between Daniel 8:11 and Daniel 8:14. Alternatively if the negative, self-exalting character associated with paganism is assigned as an interpretation of “the daily” in 8:11 which exhibits itself by the trampling down of the sanctuary (both earthly and heavenly) through all the activities of Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, the 2300-year time prophecy retains its integrity with a commencement date of 457 BC. The correct assignment of “the daily” as a negative substantive precludes the creation of a thesis-antithesis relationship between Daniel 8:11 and Daniel 8:14, and the 2300 evening-morning time prophecy with a commencement date of 457 BC becomes confirmed and self-consistent with the activity of “the daily”, and AD 1844 now becomes firmly anchored.

Although a counterfeit “thesis-antithesis” relationship exists between Daniel 8:11 and Daniel 8:14, the genuine “thesis-antithesis” relationship exists between Daniel 8:13 and Daniel 8:14. The positive and beneficial function of the sanctuary (qodesh) of Jehovah is trampled in 8:13, which is a summary statement for the continuing trampling caused by “the daily” and “the transgression which desolates” described throughout the vision (8:1-13). The function of the sanctuary which has been trampled and despised is “put right” (sadaq) in Daniel 8:14. A summary of the genuine and counterfeit thesis-antithesis relationships in Daniel 8 is presented in the following chart.


Counterfeit Genuine
A. Thesis Dn. 8:11
Heavenly ministry removed
1. daily taken away
2. sanctuary foundation cast down
A. Thesis Dn. 8:13
Sanctuary trampled
1. by “the daily”
2. by “the trangression which desolates”
B. Antithesis Dn. 8:14
Sanctuary put right
after 2300 years
B. Antithesis Dn. 8:14
Sanctuary put right
after 2300 years
C. Effect on 2300 Evening-Morning
1. Commencement AD 300
2. Conclusion AD 2600
3. Result: 1844
-> destroyed
-> anomalous
C. Effect on 2300 Evening-Morning
1. Commencement 457 BC
2. Conclusion AD 1844
3. Result: 1844
-> integrity
-> self-consistent

8.3.3 The Termination of the 2300 Evening-Morning. From the discussion of the 2300-year trampling of the sanctuary and the host in Daniel 8:13, it is evident that the phrase, “the sanctuary shall be put right (nisdaq),” includes not only the cleansing (taher), as implied in nisdaq, and the rectification (putting right) of the sanctuary itself, but also the cleansing and putting right (rectification) of God’s people, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Sadaq includes the concept of cleansing (taher) of the sanctuary from confessed sins as set forth in Leviticus 16, but the trampling of both the sanctuary and the host (saba’) in Daniel 8:13 caused by “the daily and the transgression which desolates” requires a “putting right” or rectification of both God’s heavenly temple and the temple of the Holy Spirit, His people (saba’ or host). The “putting right” or rectification conveyed by sadaq transcends the cleansing described by taher and effectively describes God’s intended action both with His sanctuary and His people.

Just as Nehemiah cleansed the priesthood of everything pagan (Neh. 13:30), he also cleansed the sanctuary court rooms from the trampling caused by the pagan Ammonite official, Tobiah (13:9). Likewise God will purify (taher) the sons of Levi (Mal. 3:3), His royal priesthood today (1 Peter 2:9), that they may offer to Jehovah an offering in righteousness (sedaqa). The promise and the power of the gospel is to make His faithful people, who walk after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4), righteous through the obedience of Christ (Rom. 5:19). Consequently, the sanctuary shall be cleansed and “put right” at the time of the end (Dn. 8:17) following the continuous trampling associated with the 2300 “evening-morning” time prophecy. The antitypical day of atonement and cleansing or “putting right” of the heavenly sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 is intimately connected in a parallel manner with the typical day of atonement and cleansing (taher) of the earthly sanctuary in which both the people (Lev. 16:30) and the sanctuary (Lev. 16:19) were cleansed which was followed by the feast of tabernacles typifying the second coming of Christ and the heavenly Canaan.

106) H. W. F. Gesenius, Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Baker, pp. 510, 771, 1971.
107) N. E. Andreasen, “Translation of Nisdaq/Katharisthesetai in Daniel 8:14,” DARCOM, Vol. 2, pp. 475-496.
108) See Note 90.
109) See DARCOM, Vol. 2, G. F. Hasel, pp. 3-63,; A. J. Ferch, pp. 64-74; W. H. Shea, pp. 75-118.
110) See Ezra 9:1-2; 10:2, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23.
111) A. L. White, The Ellen G. White Biography, Vol. 6, The Later Elmshaven Years, Washington DC: Review & Herald pp.256-257, 1981.
112) For a related discussion of the anomalies of the “thesis-antithesis” concept pertaining to Daniel 8:11 and 8:14 see: D. Hokama, “Does 1844 Have a “Pagan” Foundation?” Adventists Currents, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 20-29, 1987.


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